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Montreal win is salve for Caps fans

This might make Caps fans petty, or pitiful, or jealous, or short-minded, or whatever other slur you might want to sling. So be it. Pittsburgh's seven-game loss to the Canadiens was an unimaginable bounty of second-round happiness. No, it doesn't come close to equaling the happiness of an actual Caps playoff win, but it was the next best thing. A few angles to the joy.

The Crosby-Ovechkin debate

My feeling when the Caps were eliminated was that to pin the team's glaring lack of playoff success on their biggest star was iffy at best. He didn't play great, perhaps, but he was far from the team's biggest problem. His career playoff stats were mostly excellent. He had a potential game-tying goal in Game 7 that was waved off by officials, but which otherwise would have led analysts to all him clutch, someone who showed up when his team needed him most. And, with some rare exceptions, hockey players don't win or lose series by themselves.

So now that Sidney Crosby is gone, I'm going to take the same mature pose. His greatness should not be measured by one Game 7. He's not to blame for the early end of Pittsburgh's series. He's still had a 12 months that any normal hockey star could only dream about.

That said, what the hell, let's pull some numbers.

Seven games against Montreal

Ovechkin: 5 goals, 5 assists, 10 points, +5, 34 shots
Crosby: 1 goal, 4 assists, 5 points, -1, 17 shots

Career playoff games facing elimination

Ovechkin: 9 games, 6 goals, 5 assists, 11 points, 1.22 per game, +6, 56 shots
Crosby: 7 games, 2 goals, 4 assists, 6 points, 0.86 per game, -1, 20 shots

Career postseason games

Ovechkin: 28 games, 20 goals, 20 assists, 40 points, 1.43 per game, +14
Crosby: 62 games, 30 goals, 52 assists, 82 points, 1.32 per game, +22

Boudreau's pep talk

Bruce Boudreau, as I've previously noted, was rooting hard for Montreal. He explained some of his reasoning during an appearance last week on Toronto's 590, when asked if he was able to watch hockey again.

"You know me, that's all I do is watch hockey," he said. "And for me not to be able to watch it through the first weekend was pretty tough. Gradually, [I'm] watching now, hoping for teams either to win or lose so I've got better things to say to my team come next year. An example, if San Jose goes out and wins this thing, they've gone through this [pain], and sometimes you have to go through it in a difficult manner before you win. If Montreal wins, saying listen, we weren't as bad as people are making us out to be, Montreal played really good. So those are two series that I've been looking at pretty closely. Other than that, I can't watch anything else."

Well, that's 2-for-2. And it's hard to dispute his logic.

The media gloaters

After the Caps lost, the ink was completely dry. Ovechkin had fallen behind. The Caps were choke artists. Montreal's seven-game series win, in which the Canadiens were actually outscored, made it so. Some highlights.

Wayne Scanlan, Ottawa Citizen:

Goodbye, Ovie. Hello, Sid. This will be another fun series to watch, even if only for the chance to do yet another Crosby-Ovechkin comparison. If Sidney Crosby and the Penguins triumph, it will be open season on Ovechkin all over again. Crosby is a winner. Crosby has a Stanley Cup ring, a 2009 triumph that included a second-round ouster of Ovie's Caps. Crosby's Canadian team romped over Ovechkin and the Russians at the Vancouver Olympics.

Talk about who's hot and who's not. Not sure what your immediate plans are, Alex, but may I suggest you avoid Las Vegas?

Michael Farber, SI:

Since he and Alexander Ovechkin entered the NHL together in 2005--06, the question has been: Who's better, Sid or Ovie? The answer, until further notice, arrived last week when Crosby took a commanding lead in playoff scoring, while Ovechkin failed to carry Washington past the upstart Canadiens....

Crosby's points are less achievements than signposts en route to perhaps another championship. Last June he became the youngest captain of a Cup winner. Now he can win his second trophy before the age of 23. (Gretzky was 24 when he won the second of his four Cups.) Like a classic type A personality Crosby, who has also won an MVP and a scoring title, keeps scratching off items on his virtual to-do list.

Tracee Hamilton, The Post:

Can Ovechkin be the greatest player in the world but fail to drag his team out of the first round of the playoffs, against the worst of 16 teams to make the postseason, with the deciding Game 7 on home ice? Can you be the best hockey player in the world if your team underachieves to such a degree?....
You can't help but notice that his nemesis -- by his own reckoning, not mine -- and the other guy who's often referred to as "arguably the best hockey player in the world," Sidney Crosby, has in the past year won the Stanley Cup, the Olympic gold medal (scoring the game winner in overtime, to boot) and tied for the league lead in goals.

That reads a lot like Ovechkin's to-do list coming into the season. Instead, his season ends with the Presidents' Trophy and little else. I've never seen a player hug the Presidents' Trophy in the back of a limo or bathe a baby in the Presidents' Trophy or take a swig of champagne out of the Presidents' Trophy.

Bourne's Blog:

If any good came of this, it's that the Crosby/Ovechkin debate is over, for at least the next year. It's early in Ovechkin's career, and he can fix this the way Kobe Bryant realized there's an easier way to win than taking it all on himself. Ovy may have scored as many round one goals as Sidney (5), but Crosby made every person in a Penguin's sweater better, tacking NINE assists on to that total.

Elliotte Friedman, CBC:

Ovechkin - and Capitals fans - despise Crosby comparisons, but it's apt in this case. Crosby took a boatload of criticism at the start of his career. He responded by doing whatever it took to become a winner and a more-rounded player. That's Ovechkin's next step. He is still a great, great player who can win multiple Stanley Cups. But, he must make himself more dangerous, more difficult to stop. That's his summer project.

Ken Campbell, THN:

Alex Ovechkin, the league's possible most valuable player, has to take his share of the blame for this loss as well. He had a respectable five goals and 10 points in the series, but really wasn't much of a factor when he was needed most. Even worse, he reverted back to being the predictable player he was last year when things got desperate.

Tom Boswell, The Post:

Look at Alex Ovechkin's two broken sticks in Game 7, snapped in half when he mistimed his slap shot. Even his skills deteriorated under pressure.

Scott Burnside, ESPN:

This year, they drew a Canadiens team that had scored 101 fewer goals in the regular season and they led 3-1 in the series, but they still couldn't get the job done. Call it heart or soul or character or whatever you want, but the Capitals don't seem to have it. And until they find it, it's hard to imagine there won't be more of these shocking conclusions in the nation's capital.

Martin Fennelly, Tampa Tribune:

The team with the most points in hockey, with the best player in hockey, the team that said it was "Cup or Bust," is done after one round. Start the Elway clock on Alex the Great. Or is it the Marino clock?

Sid the Kid Crosby is already in the clubhouse with a championship. Ovechkin remains 0-for-Stanley.

Tim Wharnsby, CBC:

How do you explain the fact that Ovechkin failed to score a goal in the two final crucial games? Here's a guy who was so distraught after the Capitals were eliminated in a seventh game by Crosby and the Penguins last spring that he returned home to Moscow and didn't watch a second of the remaining Stanley Cup action. He also suffered through the embarrassment of Russia's 7-3 loss to Team Canada in the Olympic quarter-finals two months ago.

The reassessment

Bruce Arthur from The National Post wrote the defining piece Thursday morning.

It says here the difference between Crosby and Ovechkin is more slender than people seem to have decided, and that the tipping points are more complicated than win or lose. We all feel the need to constantly take the temperature, weigh the stakes, write the latest rough draft of history. But sometimes in the rush, we miss the footnotes....

So say Crosby, at 22, is the most accomplished player in the game; say the game revolves around him, at the moment. Say Ovechkin, at 24, still needs to use his teammates better, or at least to get better teammates. Say Crosby is the best player in the NHL, right now. Fine. Just don't say it's over. The story's not done yet.

Again, to the inevitable haters, no, this doesn't make up for the Capitals' failures. No, Capitals fans would not rather see Crosby fail than Ovechkin succeed. This just makes a dreary May morning a little easier to stomach, that's all.

By Dan Steinberg  |  May 13, 2010; 11:26 AM ET
Categories:  Caps , Media  
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Comments

"This might make Caps fans petty, or pitiful, or jealous, or short-minded,"


Cindy Crysby...Cindy Crysby...Cindy Crysby. Nope, I'm not being petty, pitiful, or short-minded at all.

Posted by: 4-12 | May 13, 2010 11:48 AM | Report abuse

More than anything, Montreal's win over Pittsburgh validates their win over Washington. While the Caps still should have won the series, they were and are the better team, it goes to show that what the Canadiens did wasn't a fluke.

Now unless you want to subcribe to the theory that the Penguin Scum were vastly overrated to start with...

But amazing what happens when a team has to kill a penalty early on in a Game 7 huh?

Oh, and just who took that back-breaking penalty just ten seconds in last night?

Posted by: CapsNut | May 13, 2010 11:51 AM | Report abuse

Best headline I've seen came from the small-town Eastern Shore paper "The Star Democrat." Works on so many levels with the pen-ink pun, the surprising Habs blowout, the last game at the Igloo.

It was ...

PENS RUN OUT OF RINK

Posted by: scrappledog | May 13, 2010 11:59 AM | Report abuse

It's called schadenfreude and I have welcomed it into my lifelike a long lost brother. If the Flyers lose tomorrow night I will be about as happy as I can be with a Caps-free playoff.

Posted by: md268 | May 13, 2010 12:05 PM | Report abuse

Love it. Someone point this out to fatboy Wilbon and tell him to open his eyes and shut his mouth, at least until he's done shoving it full of food.

Posted by: geoffross | May 13, 2010 12:09 PM | Report abuse

This is hockey, folks. You might have a 7-8 seed matchup in the conference finals.

Posted by: collins63 | May 13, 2010 12:09 PM | Report abuse

You're right, it doesn't make up for the Caps' failure this year.

But it sure does feel good.

It also feels good to remember that the Caps swept the Pens in their final year in the Igloo (I know it doesn't really matter, but it still makes me smile on the inside.)

Way to send the Igloo off in style, Pens!

Yes, I am petty.

Posted by: TwoBuckChuck | May 13, 2010 12:11 PM | Report abuse

What I haven't seen discussed is that, for all the wondrous gifts Crosby possesses, he was camped out last night in his usual position to the right of the crease and had a perfect opportunity to close the deficit to one goal and couldn't convert. No one anywhere is giving him the grief Ovechkin would surely receive in such a scenario.

Posted by: 74umgrad1 | May 13, 2010 12:12 PM | Report abuse

Doesn't make the pain of the first-round loss go away, but does make it a little bit more bearable. Love those clutch stats comparing Ovie and Crosby.

By the way, that Tracee Hamilton column quoted abover was one of the silliest columns to appear in the Post this year, but got overlooked in the aftermath of Game Seven. She actually compared Ovie to Albert Haynesworth, because one was skipping a voluntary minicamp and the other skipped a voluntary practice during the playoffs. Yeah, great comparison. They both skipped something voluntary. Other than that, is there anything similar between the two?

Posted by: TheFingerman | May 13, 2010 12:12 PM | Report abuse

"More than anything, Montreal's win over Pittsburgh validates their win over Washington."

Agreed.

The problem I have is from all of those hockey types that kiss Crosby's butt so much. The media doesn't even make an effort to hide it.

A couple years ago Wilbon was saying how great Ovie was. Now his lip prints are all over Crosby's butt.

Also Alex is Russian. Alex will never be the Canadian darling that Crosby is simply because of where he is from. Canada doesn't even try and hide it's/thier lack of love for Russian hockey.

Alex could have 5 Cups by now and Canada would still be screaming Crosby is better.

It's a lame argument all the way around and no matter what Alex does from here out he's always going to be the loser. You're not going to hear how Crosby "failed" against the Habs in the media. Guess what? Crosby had WORSE numbers against them then Alex did. Crosby all but disappeared. He was a "no show" and was called for a penalty in the first seconds of game 7 for ramming the other player into the boards. Talk about a frustration penalty, and just 10 seconds in. Then he cried about it to the media. But you're not going to hear anything bad because the media loves Crosby so much.

The media called the Caps "choking dogs" and I think you can make that case for the Pittsburg also. But you're not going to hear that.

It's really annoying.

- Ray

Posted by: rmcazz | May 13, 2010 12:14 PM | Report abuse

If Ovechkin had committed that boarding penalty Crosby committed in the opening 15 seconds of a game 7, he would be mercilessly flamed as a dirty cheater who got his comeuppance and cost his team the game. No one has said peep about Crosby being dirty or costing his team the game or getting his comeuppance.

Posted by: ThisGuy | May 13, 2010 12:14 PM | Report abuse

First and foremost, I never endorse the A > B argument when it comes to Ovie and Crosby. Despite being a Pens fan, people just need to pull up their lifetime PPG to see that these two are damn near equal stat-wise, and head and shoulders above their peers. Any talk of one over the other, this early in their careers, is silly.

That said, I will say that a lot of the talk giving Crosby the edge in the media comes more from his Cup/Gold win in the past 12 months, more than from this playoff series though. Doesn't make it right, but the Pens being bounced hardly negates some arguments. They have been to 2 finals and a 2nd round in the past three years, which is hardly a shabby playoff showing.

No one should feel bad losing to this Montreal team though. They are the 1995 Devils re-incarnated. Neutral zone trap, hot goalie, executing offense exploiting mistakes. Can beat any team if the refs are calling a slightly loose game that doesn't negate some clutching/grabbing/obstruction. That doesn't take away from the Habs excellent play, just saying that this has been done before, and has allowed a few teams "less skilled" on paper, to keep up with the juggernauts.

Good article though, and I loved the National Posts breakdown. Hit the nail on the head imho, when pointing out that some things Malkin has done has left both Sid and Ovie behind. Problem of course being, he can't maintain that, and is streaky in getting there. Still, he has moments where he mirrors Jagr's old escapades of wheeling around, untouchably with the puck, using that frame to keep people away, steal the puck, and take some wicked shots on goal.

Posted by: spynnal | May 13, 2010 12:16 PM | Report abuse

To be fair on the Hamilton comparison, she compared him to Haynesworth, then said in many ways they weren't comparable, and then drew the comparison again.

Posted by: TheFingerman | May 13, 2010 12:16 PM | Report abuse

"They are the 1995 Devils re-incarnated."

I agree and was thinking the exact same thing watching them through 2 series.

They are a good team, no question.

- Ray

Posted by: rmcazz | May 13, 2010 12:18 PM | Report abuse

Steinberg: interesting post, BUT it is loser think if the Caps somehow think that Pittsburgh's loss makes their joke any more tolerable.

Posted by: poguesmahone | May 13, 2010 12:19 PM | Report abuse

Should be "choke" not "joke".

Posted by: poguesmahone | May 13, 2010 12:20 PM | Report abuse

You sound like a bunch of Red Sox fans circa 2001 gloating over Yankee failures. Caps, the 1 seed, went out in the 1st round after being up 3-1, that is all you should be worried about. Marty Turco is available, it's an upgrade to your goaltending woes. Might want to do something about the defense too.

Posted by: sleastacks | May 13, 2010 12:20 PM | Report abuse

This might make Caps fans petty, or pitiful, or jealous, or short-minded, or whatever other slur you might want to sling. So be it.
------------
You should've seen the Pens blogs after the Capitals lost to the Canadiens.

Posted by: StuScott_Booyahs | May 13, 2010 12:30 PM | Report abuse

You sound like a bunch of Red Sox fans circa 2001 gloating over Yankee failures. Caps, the 1 seed, went out in the 1st round after being up 3-1, that is all you should be worried about. Marty Turco is available, it's an upgrade to your goaltending woes. Might want to do something about the defense too.

Posted by: sleastacks | May 13, 2010 12:20 PM | Report abuse
-------------------------
You mean the goaltender who allowed 2.3 goals per game? Get your facts straight before you start slinging mud. The power play sunk us, not goaltending or defense. Signing a has-been like Marty Turco isn't going to help anything.

Posted by: StuScott_Booyahs | May 13, 2010 12:36 PM | Report abuse

Schadenfreude is a perfectly legitimate feeling in sports.

Now will the playoff gods give us the added joy of a Flyers loss or Lebron failure?

Posted by: theBIGC_1982 | May 13, 2010 12:39 PM | Report abuse

"You should've seen the Pens blogs after the Capitals lost to the Canadiens."

I didn't need to...this place was infested with in-your-face Penguins fans. Has anyone seen/heard from SteeltownScourge for the last two weeks? Didn't think so....

Posted by: 74umgrad1 | May 13, 2010 12:40 PM | Report abuse

"If Montreal wins, saying listen, we weren't as bad as people are making us out to be, Montreal played really good. So those are two series that I've been looking at pretty closely. Other than that, I can't watch anything else."

The above quote is troubling. Boudreau, YOU WERE UP THREE TO ONE! REMEMBER! I don't have how well Montreal was playing, there is no excuse for what happened in that series. You and your team choked. That is all there is to it. Montreal winning the Cup wouldn't change that.

Posted by: poguesmahone | May 13, 2010 12:48 PM | Report abuse

Now will the playoff gods give us the added joy of a Flyers loss or Lebron failure?
---------------
Both of those would have to come with Boston victories. Not really too pleased with that. Too many hateable teams still in it.

Posted by: StuScott_Booyahs | May 13, 2010 12:50 PM | Report abuse

If the Caps or Caps fans get ANY satisfaction out of the Montreal win over Pittsburgh, then they are both born to lose and deserve the choke.

Posted by: hz9604 | May 13, 2010 12:58 PM | Report abuse

If the Caps or Caps fans get ANY satisfaction out of the Montreal win over Pittsburgh, then they are both born to lose and deserve the choke.

Posted by: hz9604 | May 13, 2010 12:58 PM | Report abuse

Since we're already well aware that we are born to lose, we are free to find our joys in the suffering of others.

Posted by: ThisGuy | May 13, 2010 1:17 PM | Report abuse

I am one of those "inevitable haters" and you can stick it for labeling me as such.

Yeah, Crosby is a whiny, diving, loser. Your numbers and analysis are somewhat compelling.....

But, I'm sick and damn tired of playing the "Well now that the Caps choked - who do we NOT want to win the Cup" game.

I want the Caps to win the Cup. That's it. Nothing more. Nothing less.

My Caps blew a 3-1 series lead against an inferior team. They lost a Game 7 at home AGAIN.

I'm still mad. Pittsburgh losing means nothing.

Posted by: CF11555 | May 13, 2010 1:19 PM | Report abuse

hz960- that's ridiculous; Montreal's win last night,exemplifies that they are a better playoff team than they've been given credit for.

Posted by: Hattrik | May 13, 2010 1:20 PM | Report abuse

Cindy Crosby's playoff beard is an embarrasment to all men in the world. Here kitty, kitty, come get you some.

Posted by: epwolff | May 13, 2010 1:23 PM | Report abuse

How is this supposed to make me feel better as a Caps fan? The Caps are playing golf; not playing for the Stanley Cup; they blew a 3-1 series lead over the Habs IN THE FIRST ROUND! Who cares who the Habs beat after the fact...we still have to wait 12 months to try again. Yeah- I feel wonderful.

Posted by: lylewimbledon | May 13, 2010 1:30 PM | Report abuse

The Pens never broke down Halak. They caught him tired once, and took advantage, but the bounces never quite got in the net during this series.
This series also points out a glaring problem for Pittsburgh, they cannot beat the trap/transition. It's a problem they will have to figure out to get somewhere next year.
Montreal beat 'em without Markov. Tough Team.

Posted by: ripper368 | May 13, 2010 1:31 PM | Report abuse

If the Caps or Caps fans get ANY satisfaction out of the Montreal win over Pittsburgh, then they are both born to lose and deserve the choke.

Posted by: hz9604 | May 13, 2010 12:58 PM | Report abuse

=============================

Hhhhhmmmmmmm.............could that be say a..................Penguins fan! 2010 should be a fine vintage of whine in Pittsburgh.

Posted by: Gambrills4 | May 13, 2010 1:33 PM | Report abuse

And yet Dan, still Sid has more hardware than Ovie. That kills you doesn't it? The answer is yes.

Oh, and how many Cups do the Penguins have compared to the Caps?

More accomplished player and team.

Pittsburgh (and Sid) > Washington (Ovie)

I love that it hurts you so much.

Cheers!

Posted by: popopo | May 13, 2010 1:36 PM | Report abuse

Damn Steinberg, clearly the Caps are your DC team of choice and Ovechkin is your ultimate man crush. Go ahead, you want to marry him, just admit it.

Posted by: Bigfoot_has_a_posse | May 13, 2010 1:40 PM | Report abuse

Copied from last post....

Speaking of the Canadians game...Did anyone see that dude with the large gorilla puppet, both covered in Canadians gear, behind the Penguins bench. VS had a great shot of him at the end of the game, the puppet just shaking his head behind Dan Blysma. It was pretty funny.

Steinz! - Please tell me you have something in the hopper on this, I've been googling it for the last hour trying to see if there's a backstory.

Posted by: WaPoLiveFan16 | May 13, 2010 1:46 PM | Report abuse

As a Habs fan I have to say that I respected Ovechkin's demeanor far more than Crosby's. In this past series Sid once again became Cindy Crysby. From the drop of the puck to every whistle he was yapping and whining at the refs. It was nauseating to see.

I watched both series in their entirety and I can unequivocally say that Crosby gets away with a heck of a lot more than Ovechkin. Slew foots, hooks, interference, the full gambit. He is protected by the league, unlike Alex. It reminds me of back in the day when Gretzky was more protected than Lemieux.

The fact is Crosby had not taken a single penalty until that blatant boarding penalty early on. At the end of game 6 he and Gorges, the player he boarded, were in a scrum and I think Crosby went after him intentionally.

Hold your heads high Caps fans, at least you blame your own team for losing and your captain did not whine about the Habs style of play. He showed class. Cindy Crysby? Not so much.

And for those Pens fans that have the audacity to claim Montreal got away with a lot of hooks and holds, watch the games again and see what the Pens got away with. Furthermore, they had 31 pp to Montreal's 21.

Do you want to know why you lost Pens fans? Crosby 1G 4A, Malkin 1G 2A and Fleury sucked in the last two game. Blame your team, not the officials.

Posted by: ForumIce | May 13, 2010 1:51 PM | Report abuse

Sure, it was nice watching the Penguins get crushed but it won't erase the horrors of the playoffs for us Caps fans.

Posted by: dmacman88 | May 13, 2010 1:53 PM | Report abuse

The canadians are making Barry Melrose and Matt Barnaby look real bad. They keep predicting them to be eliminated each round.

Posted by: ged0386 | May 13, 2010 2:07 PM | Report abuse

You should've seen the Pens blogs after the Capitals lost to the Canadiens."

I didn't need to...this place was infested with in-your-face Penguins fans. Has anyone seen/heard from SteeltownScourge for the last two weeks? Didn't think so....

Posted by: 74umgrad1 | May 13, 2010 12:40 PM

Stanley Cup Championships
Pens 3 Craps 0

Put that in your Schadenfreude and smoke it. Also, please work on your self-esteem issues before next season. It's embarrassing

Posted by: puckhead1 | May 13, 2010 2:13 PM | Report abuse

What do these series tell us?

Hal Gill is better than Ovi and Crosby- debate ended!

Posted by: lylewimbledon | May 13, 2010 2:16 PM | Report abuse

"I was stunned," Crosby said. "I don't know how that's a penalty 10 seconds into the game."

That's just pathetic. That was a penalty at any second of the game. What a crybaby. Hope he watches the replay.

Posted by: TheFingerman | May 13, 2010 2:17 PM | Report abuse

And yet Dan, still Sid has more hardware than Ovie. That kills you doesn't it? The answer is yes.

Oh, and how many Cups do the Penguins have compared to the Caps?

More accomplished player and team.

Pittsburgh (and Sid) > Washington (Ovie)

I love that it hurts you so much.

Cheers!

Posted by: popopo | May 13, 2010 1:36 PM | Report abuse

==================================

Oh I'm sure it just pains him so..........wait a minute......what's that sound in the background...............yes, it's your bell for recess popopo. Enjoy!

Posted by: Gambrills4 | May 13, 2010 2:17 PM | Report abuse

Posted by: ForumIce | May 13, 2010 1:51 PM
Do you want to know why you lost Pens fans? Crosby 1G 4A, Malkin 1G 2A and Fleury sucked in the last two game. Blame your team, not the officials.

Yeah! I can't believe they threw garbage on the ice because of the officials.....Oh yeah...that was the Habs fans. Classy

Posted by: puckhead1 | May 13, 2010 2:20 PM | Report abuse

"I was stunned," Crosby said. "I don't know how that's a penalty 10 seconds into the game."

Me either. Boarding a defenseless player is usually allowed in the first five minutes of every game. What was he thinking when he said this? Probably, my name is not Ovechkin. I'm above getting called out for a dirty hit.

Posted by: Gambrills4 | May 13, 2010 2:22 PM | Report abuse

I'll never get sick of Ovi vs Sid debates. I know there are countless hockey fans who think otherwise, but I honestly love the rivalry. I love to hate Sid (even though I truly do respect his talent) and I love to believe Ovi can do no wrong, like he is my dad and I am 5 years old (even though I do question some of his decisions). It makes me feel like a kid again when I had unconditional love for particular athletes based for no particular reason and unconditional hatred for athletes who challenge my favorite teams and players. As a penguin Sid does both.

That said, anyone who honestly thinks that their current stats will mirror how we view their careers after they have retired is on crack (or from Pittsburgh, but the difference is negligible - jk, keep your panties on Pitt fans).

What it comes down to is each player can be the best player in the league on any given night, period, or shift. Each team is incredibly lucky to have what they do. If Sid gets two early goals, Ovi might come back with a trick. Or they could just as easily be invisible for a handful of games. Neither player is going to be the best player 100% of the time.

As for TEAM vs INDIVIDUAL:
People have come to expect so much from each of these guys because they have done so much in their early careers. But their careers are still so early. Look at Mario and Gretsky. Tremendous personal awards for years before finally winning the Cup. Do we ever consider them "under achievers" for not winning the Cup within their first 4 seasons? What about Ray Bourque who played his entire career before finally getting one? Yeah, it's easy to say the success of a team is a reflection on an individual's skills, but you are going to vastly under and overestimate a lot of players if that's your main argument.

What's my point to all of this? Oh yeah, let's all have fun comparing who we think is the best and who is more entertaining to watch, but let's also remember that these two guys should have very long careers ahead of them. So keep on trash talking, enjoy the show these two put on for us, and realize that we gotta wait until around 2020 before this thing can be settled. And even then, it might never be.

Posted by: MillBurray | May 13, 2010 2:26 PM | Report abuse

How can this possibly make up for the fact that the 1 seed lost to what was effectively the 16th seed? Pittsburgh was 13 points better than Montreal regular season, Washington was 32. So because a mighty oak fell, there is supposed to be solace that a sapling fell? Ha ha.

Posted by: Nemo24601 | May 13, 2010 2:32 PM | Report abuse

The "best" player in hockey and his championships team lost to the sorry habs!!!!


hahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahaha

hahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahaha

hahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahaha


Man I gotta catch my breath...Where are dozens and dozens of pen's fans(officially named penis/es) who where posting here after the caps got eliminated? Turning to their guns and religion again!

Posted by: gatsu | May 13, 2010 2:45 PM | Report abuse

This series does tell us a few things that the Crosby apologists and Ovechkin bashers are seemingly missing.

1) the Penguins quit. Sure, people will say they scrapped but watch the game. Gonchar cared less and Crosby was, at many times, more concerned with drawing a penalty than focusing on the game. Throughout his career, Crosby has been the "anointed one", he really hasn't earned anything. When it came time to fight to earn a birth in the next round, he didn't know what to do. The Caps fought back in Game 2 and didn't quit until Game 7 was over. The Penguins followed Crosby's lead and were lost at how to overcome a challenge. So, they quit.

2) After the Cup Finals last year, Crosby did not stay in the handshake line long enough to shake Lidstrom's hand. Many in Detroit (and Crosby bashers) called it classless. The Crosby fans (and apologists) said it was exuberance from winning the Cup. Last night, Crosby refused to call Halak by name. Instead, he kept saying, 'their goalie.' During the question and answer period, Crosby mentioned the referees and referred to the loss in the third person. It was as unsportsmanlike as not shaking Lidstrom's hand. When the Caps lost, Ovechkin took it. He credited Halak and the entire Canadiens team by name, he blamed himself too. He lead like a Captain and showed class in defeat.

There's more to being a great player than statistics. There's character. Crosby doesn't have that character and the team reflects that lack of character. Ovechkin, for good and bad, has a strong character. He understands how to show class in victory and defeat because he understands how hard it is to win. Crosby has been handed everything throughout his career; he's never been called upon to show character or respect because he's been told he has it. When he shows his lack of it, people jump to defend him through a plethora of excuses, "you're misreading him," "he's young," "you just don't like him."

Sure, Wilbon and other Ovechkin bashers and Crosby fans/apologists can point to stats and say, "Crosby is so far ahead of Ovechkin, Ovechkin needs a telescope to find him." But, when it comes to character, Crosby needs the Hubble to find Ovechkin.

Posted by: Matt23185 | May 13, 2010 2:46 PM | Report abuse

Steiz, how much money did you lose betting on the Pens to win last night?

I'm sure glad I don't bet on your picks.

Posted by: sasquatchbigfoot | May 13, 2010 2:48 PM | Report abuse

So......you are admitting that the "best" player in hockey is Sidney "Stanley Cup Champion" Crosby. You are also admitting that your sorry excuse for a team lost to a team that you call "sorry.

Catch your breath before you go back down on me. Wouldn't want you to gag or "choke" like the Crapitals did last month.

Posted by: puckhead1 | May 13, 2010 2:50 PM | Report abuse

And yet Dan, still Sid has more hardware than Ovie. That kills you doesn't it? The answer is yes.

Oh, and how many Cups do the Penguins have compared to the Caps?

More accomplished player and team.

Pittsburgh (and Sid) > Washington (Ovie)

I love that it hurts you so much.

Cheers!

Posted by: popopo | May 13, 2010 1:36 PM

How did you get the pick for Lemeiux? OH yeah, by tanking the rest of the season on purpose to secure the first pick. Classy.

Posted by: beaupre33 | May 13, 2010 2:54 PM | Report abuse

Crosby gets a bigger pass than Ovechkin for losing to the Habs because he, uh, won it all last year. And made it to the Final the year before that. There's a reason no one has even made it to the Final in three straight years since Gretzky's Oilers teams. Not necessarily an excuse for the Pens losing, but keep in mind they've played 303 games the last three seasons. A victim of their own succeess, they ran out of gas this season. Pens have played in 11 playoff series the last 4 years to the Caps 3. That starts to take a toll, even on young legs. If you want to turn it individual, Crosby is 8-3 in playoff series and 2-1 in Game 7s. Ovie is 1-3 and it took the Caps 7 games to beat an awful Rangers team, and he's also 1-3 in Game 7s. Again, Crosby already has his name on the Cup, to remain there forever. Ovie hasn't gotten there yet. Caps defeat to the Habs remains much worse than the Pens'. This debate ain't done but Crosby still has the upper hand for now. I'll see you suckers at Verizon next season...

Posted by: GoPens | May 13, 2010 2:55 PM | Report abuse

Puckhead 1:"Stanley Cup Championships
Pens 3 Craps 0"

Popo: "Oh, and how many Cups do the Penguins have compared to the Caps?"

I don't understand this argument. If it implies that Cups are the only matrix by which to measure a team then shouldn't you be one of the Canadiens' fans celebrating their victory today? Or maybe one of the Wings' fans still smarting from their loss to the San Jose Sharks? Or are you saying that if the Pens didn't have those Cups you wouldn't be a fan of the team? (talk about bandwagon/frontrunner fans) Maybe you're arguing that the Caps will never win a Cup ever? Though how you would know that is a mystery, and seems to suggest that if the Caps were to win four Cups your allegiance would shift.

I don't believe any of these questions can be answered in the positive. Having the Cups is a source of pride for you but in no way negates MY fandom of the Caps, nor can it illustrate which is the better team now. I invite you to survey the recent records of the Islanders and the Oilers, both teams possessing more Cups than the Penguins. When next season begins you will look at the loss to the Habs as "that was then this is now". The same holds true for your Cup wins.

As for the Sid's accomplishments it should be noted that the majority of them are TEAM accomplishments, while the majority of Ovechkins' hardware measure individual achievement, including being considered the best player by other NHL players. I should add that I don't think either is the best. They are Best Player 1a and Best Player 1b. But to give Sidney the edge based on team accomplishment is silly (Particularly the Olympics when Ovie was saddled with a far inferior team and Crosby was invisible until the last shift).

Posted by: b80vin | May 13, 2010 2:58 PM | Report abuse

Catch your breath before you go back down on me. Wouldn't want you to gag or "choke" like the Crapitals did last month.

Posted by: puckhead1 | May 13, 2010 2:50 PM | Report abuse

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

No you excrement, "best" is in quotes, elementary school education would tell you that I was referring to what he is quoted as being, not what I believe... As to the sorry habs, that just you rednecks' argument right back at you...

So what burned the most, me laughing or "guns and religion" quote. Take a swig of that moonshine and hop in bed with your sis, its customary for you.

Posted by: gatsu | May 13, 2010 3:06 PM | Report abuse

BWAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA! LULZ

'bye-'bye, Penguins!

Interesting that the dirty player many of us Caps’ fans call "Orprick" was able to give credit where it was due:

"They beat Washington, now they beat us. I think it's time to give this team some credit for what they've done, rather than picking apart why we didn't do what we were supposed to do."


Unsurprising was that--again--Crosby could not do the same...

When will the NHL Media finally wake up and realize that--highly skilled though he may be--Sid-the-Id is not the Stalwart Guardian of NHL Tradition/Golden Saviour of Hockey Canadian that everyone makes him out to be?

When will they see him as he truly is on a behavioral level? Which is at best a boor with about as much personality as a block of tofu, and at worst a petulant, ill-tempered brat prone to throwing violent, explosive tantrums when things don't go his way?


What he said when asked about the last night's 10 minute boarding misconduct on Josh Gorges:

"I don't know how that's a penalty 10 seconds into the game."


What he meant:

"Sure, anyone else who did that would find themselves thrown out of the game and maybe even suspended, but I don't know how that's a penalty on me"

GROW UP, Sid, for chrissakes!!! It’s a penalty, regardless of whether it:
--Happened in the first 10 seconds of the first game of the regular season, the last 10 seconds of Game 7 of the SCF, or anytime in-between.
--Was committed by a superstar from Cold Harbour, by a known goon from Saskatoon, by or anyone in-between.

You have spent your entire conscious life on the ice, Sid. It’s way past time you learned that the rules apply to everyone, and that a Penguin doesn’t have to fall for a penalty to apply. Start acting exemplary rather than exempt, and maybe you’ll begin to deserve some of the adulation heaped upon you.

Maybe Mario will evict Sid-The-Id from his basement now.

Posted by: Rhino40 | May 13, 2010 3:09 PM | Report abuse

Has anyone ever considered that Montreal is playing a solid team game? There were too many individual efforts by the caps and Pens and not enough 5-man effort. Throw that in with lights out goaltending and you have a recipe for upsets.

Posted by: ForumIce | May 13, 2010 3:13 PM | Report abuse

Puckhead 1:"Stanley Cup Championships
Pens 3 Craps 0"

Popo: "Oh, and how many Cups do the Penguins have compared to the Caps?"

I don't understand this argument. If it implies that Cups are the only matrix by which to measure a team then shouldn't you be one of the Canadiens' fans celebrating their victory today? Or maybe one of the Wings' fans still smarting from their loss to the San Jose Sharks? Or are you saying that if the Pens didn't have those Cups you wouldn't be a fan of the team? (talk about bandwagon/frontrunner fans) Maybe you're arguing that the Caps will never win a Cup ever? Though how you would know that is a mystery, and seems to suggest that if the Caps were to win four Cups your allegiance would shift.

I don't believe any of these questions can be answered in the positive. Having the Cups is a source of pride for you but in no way negates MY fandom of the Caps, nor can it illustrate which is the better team now. I invite you to survey the recent records of the Islanders and the Oilers, both teams possessing more Cups than the Penguins. When next season begins you will look at the loss to the Habs as "that was then this is now". The same holds true for your Cup wins.

As for the Sid's accomplishments it should be noted that the majority of them are TEAM accomplishments, while the majority of Ovechkins' hardware measure individual achievement, including being considered the best player by other NHL players. I should add that I don't think either is the best. They are Best Player 1a and Best Player 1b. But to give Sidney the edge based on team accomplishment is silly (Particularly the Olympics when Ovie was saddled with a far inferior team and Crosby was invisible until the last shift).

Posted by: b80vin | May 13, 2010 2:58 PM | Report abuse


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

Like I said when these scum posted on here after the caps lost...Too bad you cant melt all though nice trophies in one your dying mills and buy some class.

Posted by: gatsu | May 13, 2010 3:18 PM | Report abuse

As a Caps fan, I'd be happy to see ANY Pens loss in the playoffs - regardless of the Caps playoff status. It's called a "rivalry" ... I love to hate the Penguins.

What makes my glass of Schadenfreude taste even sweeter is that the Pens really got a taste of their own medicine from last year ...

On May 12, 2010, the Habs came in to the Pens building for a game 7 in an otherwise competitive second-round series and they pounced on every Penguin mistake, frustrating the team many believed to be more individually talented. Up 4-0 just minutes into the second, the Habs were able to coast into the conference finals.

Replace "Pens" with "Caps", "Habs" with "Pens" and rewind the date exactly 364 days.

I just couldn't get enough of the late-game montages showing all of the dejected Pens fans in the crowd - their dapper light blue jerseys and white rally towels stained with tears ...

Posted by: kevmikwa | May 13, 2010 3:20 PM | Report abuse

I'll take a line from Ron Burgundy gatsu, that doesn't make any sense. Way to stretch the metaphor too far. The Burgh is a leader in the medical services and IT sectors, biotch. Get your facts straight. DC sucks on the federal teet. Boo-yeah. Sid = champion, Ovie = heartless Russian. Watch Rocky IV.

Posted by: GoPens | May 13, 2010 3:23 PM | Report abuse

Not necessarily an excuse for the Pens losing, but keep in mind they've played 303 games the last three seasons. A victim of their own succeess, they ran out of gas this season.
---------------
Probably the worst excuse I've heard yet.

Posted by: StuScott_Booyahs | May 13, 2010 3:26 PM | Report abuse

Thank you, Steinz, for your great Caps blogs this season. You stepped it up!

Good number pulls in this one.

Posted by: pstenigma | May 13, 2010 3:27 PM | Report abuse

The pens losing made me smile, but nothing will erase the pain of being a caps fan until we win a Stanley Cup.

Posted by: capsfansince74 | May 13, 2010 3:30 PM | Report abuse

Sometimes it happens that teams get on a roll. Last year, Anaheim was the worst team to get in, yet they came within a goal of reaching the final and played top teams all the way through. Montreal caught fire at the right time, while the Caps peaked before the Olympics. It happens.

But with all the randomness, no one can say a knockout tournament of any kind proves which team is the best. There is too much chance. Often, great teams will win. Often Carolina or Tampa Bay will win. (Note that Real Madrid, Barcelona, Man Utd, Chelsea all out of Champions League but those 4 teams are clearly the best 4 in Europe). Nothing I've seen about the Caps performance v Montreal has negated what they accomplished. It just didn't work out for them in a knockout tournament.

At least the regular season - no matter how deprecated - clearly and with little doubt establishes which was the best team in the season.

But, contrary to all the talk about the playoffs being all that matter, it shows that the playoffs are a number of things, but very often they only determine who won the playoffs. The regular season at the very least can establish with little doubt which was the best regular season team.

Posted by: RedLitYogi | May 13, 2010 3:35 PM | Report abuse

'll take a line from Ron Burgundy gatsu, that doesn't make any sense. Way to stretch the metaphor too far. The Burgh is a leader in the medical services and IT sectors, biotch. Get your facts straight. DC sucks on the federal teet. Boo-yeah. Sid = champion, Ovie = heartless Russian. Watch Rocky IV.

Posted by: GoPens | May 13, 2010 3:23 PM | Report abuse

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

You lack class cause your brethren come here on caps board talking crap, you lack class cause your brethren come here to this town for job so your as/s can eat and still bit/ch and complain. So get f out, go back to your piece of crap town. Your state and your town take billions and billions of dollars in fed money, you got the same billions in tax break as everyone esle, your steel industry is begging, literally begging for fed moeny, your teams, steeler and pirates live off the money generated by big market teams like the Redskins. You lack class cause because that how you were raised. So take your ungrateful sorry behind out of these town since you dont like it here, since you dont want to live off the "federal teet" though you do it everyday.

Posted by: gatsu | May 13, 2010 3:35 PM | Report abuse


Where is Wilbon and his number's game. What a moron that guy is. Stats don't mean squat in team sports. The Habs took it to the Caps and the Pens. Give the Habs all the credit for playing TEAM hockey. Got that Wilbon?

Posted by: hessone | May 13, 2010 3:36 PM | Report abuse

Actually, it's a valid excuse if there is one. In actuality they lost because they didn't play well enough and the Habs are playing a sick 5-man game and have a hot goalie. Same thing that happened to the Caps. Only the Pens have actually gone deep in the last two postseasons and, again, won last year so that burn is a little deeper on the Caps right now. Biggest #1 seed collapse ever. How does that taste? Bitter?

Posted by: GoPens | May 13, 2010 3:36 PM | Report abuse


@GoPens

You're just another brain washed Boo-yeah!

Posted by: hessone | May 13, 2010 3:40 PM | Report abuse

Gatsu, this paper lacks class by publishing an entire article praising the defeat of another team to make their defeated team feel better. Actually that's not an issue of classiness, that's just pathetic.

Posted by: GoPens | May 13, 2010 3:43 PM | Report abuse


@GoPens

What part of the words TEAM SPORT don't you understand. I'll tell Caps and Pens fans that hockey is a team sport with a few unique players on each team.

GoPens = Team Moron

Posted by: hessone | May 13, 2010 3:45 PM | Report abuse

Wow gatsu....apparently grammar is not your strong suit. I actually think Ovechkin has a better grasp of the English language than you do.

Now that the Pens and the Caps are out. What team should we all root against to make ourselves feel better? I vote for Philly

Posted by: puckhead1 | May 13, 2010 3:46 PM | Report abuse

Thousands of people who grew up in Pittsburgh have since moved to DC.

I can guarantee that nobody who grew up in DC has since moved to Pittsburgh. Wonder why?

Posted by: capsfansince74 | May 13, 2010 3:51 PM | Report abuse


GoPens можно сосать мой русский осел


Posted by: hessone | May 13, 2010 3:53 PM | Report abuse

By the way, that Tracee Hamilton column quoted abover was one of the silliest columns to appear in the Post this year, but got overlooked in the aftermath of Game Seven. She actually compared Ovie to Albert Haynesworth, because one was skipping a voluntary minicamp and the other skipped a voluntary practice during the playoffs. Yeah, great comparison. They both skipped something voluntary. Other than that, is there anything similar between the two?

Posted by: TheFingerman | May 13, 2010 12:12 PM | Report abuse

Tracee Hamilton has quickly become the biggest hack at the WaPost sports page. Frankly, to me, it's an embarrassment that she is employed as a sports writer.

Wilbon on the other hand, while he too has become a hack, and is incredibly lazy these days as a journalist, at least at one time was a thoughtful columnist--before he hit the big time with ESPN and his ego exploded.

Posted by: Barno1 | May 13, 2010 3:53 PM | Report abuse

Not sure what you're talking about hessone, I've mainly been trash-talking the Caps team here. Fine, let's go with team accomplishments. The Pens won the Cup last year. The Caps never have. Case closed.

Posted by: GoPens | May 13, 2010 3:54 PM | Report abuse


@Barno1 = Critique

Posted by: hessone | May 13, 2010 4:03 PM | Report abuse

its funny how they give columns to anyone now a days esp the guy from tampa Martin Fennelly, Tampa Tribune: bringing up the Elway Marino clock when Ovie is only 24 years old. Are you kidding me , when people say this including the canada media people it just means they are idoits or dont want to see NHl succeed and basically watch Crosby every year would please them with not have NHL have more elite teams. The bias hockey has is mind boggling and the fact there some out there that cant appreciate Ovie for what he does . If he where Canadien this wouldnt be an issue. But for these guysto forgot Gretzky didnt win ti'll year 6 , so its great Crosby won early but safe to say he has had the better team the last couple years. Ovie team is still growing but didnt we all know Caps this where not perfect goaltender issues, defense lapse , we know wasnt the most all around team but when Ovie fails supporting cast didnt step up and goes the same for Crosby both ways

Posted by: cjdwolfpack | May 13, 2010 4:10 PM | Report abuse


@GoPens

You made my case. And the Pens were the Champions last year. Congradulations. And the Pens and the Caps are now out of this years playoff, beaten by a better TEAM. Does that help you out or am I losing my mind?

Stats = Misleading

Posted by: hessone | May 13, 2010 4:11 PM | Report abuse


I can guarantee that nobody who grew up in DC has since moved to Pittsburgh. Wonder why?

Posted by: capsfansince74 | May 13, 2010 3:51 PM

WTF......Do you work for the census department or something? How can you make such a ludicrous statement? Do you know everyone who grew up in DC?

Posted by: puckhead1 | May 13, 2010 4:13 PM | Report abuse

Montreal is simply a better TEAM in the playoffs this year than the Caps, Pittsburgh, and likely whoever they play in the Eastern Conference final. They not only have the hot goalie (Halak), but the hotest player in Cammallieri in the playoffs. Clearly, Montreal peaked at the right time whereas the Caps peaked back in January/February and couldn't regain the magic in the playoffs.

I'm a huge Caps fan but give credit where it's due: Montreal has played extremely well and made the sacrifices as a team as evidenced by their blocked shots to advance.

Posted by: wizfan89 | May 13, 2010 4:23 PM | Report abuse

LOSER mentality

Posted by: ryancwakefield | May 13, 2010 4:36 PM | Report abuse

you dont have to work for the census dept to know that pittsburgh is a dump. Thats why they all move here. Go to a caps game and see all the pens fans. They all live here - they dont drive from Pittsburgh.
Has anyone ever woke up in the morning and said - "you know what, I'm packing up and moving my family to Pittsburgh."

Posted by: capsfansince74 | May 13, 2010 4:39 PM | Report abuse

Steinz, is your contract up? YOu shamless self promoter! You wrote this KNOWING how many hits you would get.

Pens fans: Go away! Nobody in ANY city likes you, because you are too busy telling everyone how great of fans you are!

Caps Fans (like me): It still hurts, and although the Canadiens winning last night "validates" the Caps first round loss, it changes nothing in the grand scheme of things, other than the Caps got 2 extra weeks to work on their short games.

Let us all have the discussion 15 years from now, in the twilight of Ovi's and 87's careers. Right now is too soon.

Posted by: Leeguru | May 13, 2010 4:58 PM | Report abuse

Keep talking trash about opposing team's city. You classy folks did it with Montreal, now Pittsburgh. Must take the sting out of the worst first round playoff choke in NHL history.

Posted by: GoPens | May 13, 2010 4:59 PM | Report abuse

You could say that Mntl win over the Pens shows lessens the pain for the Caps. I don't buy it, and i don't feel that way. The Caps would have wiped the floor (and did) with any of the Eastern conference teams in the regular season, but failed after being up 3-1 in the series. Just because the Pens lost, doesn't means the caps don't need a very honest evaluation of their team. clearly, they need some experienced/gritty players, they probably would have lost in the 1st round last year, if not for Sergie Federov. The Habs have Gionta/Gomez, we have young players who don't know how to win when it matters. GMGM, pls get some experienced gritty players next year, before the deadline. That is the key, leadership and experience - no Pens loss matters at all.

Posted by: gs12 | May 13, 2010 5:06 PM | Report abuse

Hey CapsFanSince74
I've been a Caps fan since 82 (I was born in 72, so it was difficult for me to have much of a rooting interest as a toddler....) and I am also a present season ticket holder. I bleed Caps red every bit as much as you do, but GoPens has a point. Stop dumping on Pittsburgh; its classless and frankly you are talking out of your a$$, sound snobby, and embarrassing the rest of us. If you would take the time to do a 10 second Google search you would see that Forbes ranked Pittsburgh its #1 most livable US city in 2010, and 10th most livable in 2009. Additionally, The Economist went a step further and ranked Pittsburgh #1 in the US in 2009 and #29 in the ENTIRE WORLD. Pittsburgh has had quite a renaissance in the last decade and a half and is doing quite well now..... There is no need to dump on an entire city- ignorantly- to make a point. Dumping on Cindy is plenty, and after his joke of a series against the Habs its more than enough...

Again, try Google before generalizing about things... it really is a wonderful tool.

Posted by: brian1va1 | May 13, 2010 5:07 PM | Report abuse

What do these series tell us?

Hal Gill is better than Ovi and Crosby- debate ended!

Posted by: lylewimbledon | May 13, 2010 5:09 PM | Report abuse


@GoPens

A few Caps fans talking trash. Big deal. 1) grow some thick skin 2) your talking just as much trash as anyone on the board 3) Crosby cries like a baby. Here is his quote about the penalty 10 sec into the game last night:
"I was stunned," Crosby said of his penalty for driving Josh Gorges into the boards. "I don't know how that's a penalty 10 seconds into the game."

GoPens = Thin Skin
You sound like Crosby belly-aching!

Posted by: hessone | May 13, 2010 5:10 PM | Report abuse

"They are the 1995 Devils re-incarnated."

YUCK!!!!!!!!!!!!!

You can compare them to the '71 or the '86 or the '93 Habs teams but you INSULT them by comparing an over 100 year old team to any other team but their own. Learn a little thing about hockey - PLEASE I BEG YOU!

Go Habs!

Posted by: KPaige1 | May 13, 2010 5:12 PM | Report abuse


@brian1va1

Live by the computer = died by the computer

I'll stay with ranking my own places. I am VA born and VA bred. Both sides of my family are from Pittsburgh. I know both sides of the fence. My Uncle Joe, who moved from Pittsburgh to Richmond, VA said it best. "Pittsburgh is a nice place to be from". I like the country but I always look forward to a trip to The Golden Triangle. It's a neat town, but no way could I live there. Chicken on the hill with Will!

Posted by: hessone | May 13, 2010 5:17 PM | Report abuse

Dan Steinberg writes:

Well, even if this glorious day comes to pass, Crosby would still have everything he has now: an Olympic gold, a Stanley Cup, and four straight years of going further than Ovi in the playoffs.

But obviously if the Pens lose the chorus will get a bit quieter. Still, there's obviously no chance they'll lose. I mean, it's a 100 percent lock Pittsburgh wins on Wednesday. Bet the mortgage. Bet the neighbor's mortgage. Take it to Vegas. That series is over.

Posted by: KPaige1 | May 13, 2010 5:19 PM | Report abuse

Hessone, I'm just trying to keep it to hockey, no need to bring cities into the discussion. I can take any hockey trash talk you have because you have no argument over the Pens right now, despite our loss last night. And brian1va1, you're right, the Burgh went through some tough times (ahem, DC in the 80's and 90's was no picnic either) but has rebounded nicely by getting into different industries than steel. For the record, I really like both cities, but can't stand the Caps. So there.

Posted by: GoPens | May 13, 2010 5:20 PM | Report abuse

Dan Steinberg writes:

One more round justifies. Just one more win. They would have then beat the Presidents' Trophy winner and the defending champs, the highest remaining Eastern Conference seeds in both rounds, the two best players in the game. Nothing else would be needed.

Sadly, this is a statistical, logical, existential impossibility. The score is already like 6-1 Penguins. There's just no way the Canadiens can come back from that deficit. Too bad.

Posted by: KPaige1 | May 13, 2010 5:21 PM | Report abuse


GoPens = Thin Skin

Posted by: hessone | May 13, 2010 5:24 PM | Report abuse

I love how penguin fans try to take the offensive and demean Caps fans that enjoy this. Nice try. They'll be smiling for a few weeks now if you don't mind and nothing you can do about it. Take a cue from Cindy and don't whine about...err scratch that - never mind.

Posted by: TripleH44 | May 13, 2010 5:26 PM | Report abuse

Nicely played hessone. I'm telling the teacher.

Posted by: GoPens | May 13, 2010 5:27 PM | Report abuse

Keep talking trash about opposing team's city. You classy folks did it with Montreal, now Pittsburgh. Must take the sting out of the worst first round playoff choke in NHL history.

Posted by: GoPens | May 13, 2010 4:59 PM | Report abuse

Did you not read this piece? Did you not see what happened last night? Are you unable to comprehend that Montreal's game 7 win in Pittsburgh makes the previous round win over the Caps less of a "choke" and more of a comment on how well Montreal is playing right now?

Posted by: Barno1 | May 13, 2010 5:27 PM | Report abuse

Oh BTW Penguin Scum fans, if you're going to count Cups vs. the Caps you might want to remember you've been in bankruptcy twice while the Caps have a goose egg in that stat too.

Posted by: CapsNut | May 13, 2010 5:27 PM | Report abuse

It doesnt' matter how well the Habs are playing, the Caps will killing everyone all season and still doesn't take away the choke job. Pens choked too, but not quite as spectacularly as the Caps did up 3-1 on the 16th seed in the entire playoffs.

Posted by: GoPens | May 13, 2010 5:30 PM | Report abuse

But, when it comes to character, Crosby needs the Hubble to find Ovechkin.

Posted by: Matt23185

Well said! I still love unconditionally Ovi and the Caps. The boys displayed much character and class and respect for their opponents. I am proud of how they responded in defeat.

I'm still hurting from our beloved Caps loss, but I do find solace in the fact that the Caps played hard to the bitter end in a game 7 that included a disallowed Ovi clutch goal on a weak call for goalie interference.

Whereas the Pens led by Crosby had an epic 7th game meltdown. To be brutally frank, the Pens and Crosby played horribly in that final decisive game.

Does their collapse make me feel better about the Caps ouster-no, not really. But I am delighted that the Pens self-destructed on their way out. Takes the edge off the pain of the Caps ouster by those pesky Habs.

Got to give the Habs credit. They found a way to shut down the star players from first the Presidents' Trophy winners then the Stanley Cup Champs. That is no mean feat. I will be mildly interested in seeing if they can continue. Otherwise I've decided I'm a Sharks fan for this years' SC. I feel their pain.

Posted by: Capsyoungguns | May 13, 2010 5:37 PM | Report abuse

And Dan--great post. Loved the recapping of media mudslinging after the Caps loss. I have enjoyed my daily Bog stops (tho' I really don't watch football, basketball, and only a little baseball).

I will be reading avidly for further responses in the media to the Pens loss.

Shall they take note of Crosby's failure to lead his team? Or will it be his team let him down by not managing to kill off Crosby's boarding penalty so early in the game! Hmm--I bet more of the latter.

Posted by: Capsyoungguns | May 13, 2010 5:43 PM | Report abuse


"I was stunned," Crosby said of his penalty for driving Josh Gorges into the boards. "I don't know how that's a penalty 10 seconds into the game."

Posted by: hessone | May 13, 2010 5:44 PM | Report abuse

Crosby gets a little more leeway for not playing a good series against the Habs since he led the Pens to two Final appearances and a Cup last year. Ovie still hasn't proven anything in the playoffs. Despite putting up good numbers, the loaded team that he's supposed to lead hasn't done anything. To the Pens, this is a disappointing second round exit after two long runs. To the Caps, it is a borderline disaster and causes them to second-guess the makeup of the team every spring. The situations are different, so Crosby might not get dumped on as much as Ovie. With that, take it easy Caps fans, I'll be sure to check in next fall and bother you all then...

Posted by: GoPens | May 13, 2010 5:51 PM | Report abuse

@GoPens:

Are you serious?

A choke is a choke is a choke, no matter the circumstances. In order to make quantitative comparisons, one must first assign objective numerical values.

So tell me then, in what objective numerical units is a choke measured?

I'll tell you: THERE AREN'T ANY!!

Now go away.

As for me, I'll be tapping a big 'ol keg of Schädenfreude at my house all week!

LULZ

Posted by: Rhino40 | May 13, 2010 5:57 PM | Report abuse


@GoPens

Bye - Bye Mr Doodey

Posted by: hessone | May 13, 2010 5:57 PM | Report abuse

Mike Wise knows more about swimming in the C&o canal than he knows about Hockey. His editor should ban him from writing about the Capitals because all the Idiot does is insult the caps fan base.ditto Wilbon and Tracce Hamilton

Posted by: duckyjimpond | May 13, 2010 6:58 PM | Report abuse

Can't we all just agree that the Flyers fans are the worst and we will all feel better if the Flyers lose?

Posted by: didnik | May 13, 2010 7:21 PM | Report abuse

@GoPens "Crosby gets a little more leeway for not playing a good series against the Habs since he led the Pens to two Final appearances and a Cup last year"

That was then. This is now. That is all.

Posted by: miseaujeu | May 13, 2010 7:56 PM | Report abuse

Caps fans are so funny! You think because now the Pens have been eliminated it excuses your loser captain from losing as well? First you did not beat the Penguins the Habs beat the Penguins. Second, your Captain has never won anything to begin with so your jubilant, off the wall comments have no backing what’s so ever. Crosby 303+ games in 3 seasons, 2 Cup finals, 1 cup Win, 1 Gold Medal, and many individual awards. Ovechkin, not as many games, hasn't even sniffed the finals; let's not even talk about the Olympics. Caps Presidents Trophy winners, and better all-around forwards still could not get past the first round. And for you Caps fans that found some joy to the Penguins losing, you still didn't beat the Penguins and I am sure when your team meets them again they still won't win, and I don’t mean in the meaningless regular season either, which obviously has no bearing on the playoffs whatsoever as you all found out! So stop trying to make it less of a loss for your team, it’s not!

Posted by: jpocasangre1978 | May 13, 2010 9:20 PM | Report abuse

Actually since the Flyers are an arch enemy of the Pens i am rooting for them.

Posted by: zcxnissan | May 13, 2010 10:01 PM | Report abuse

@jpocasangre1978 | "And for you Caps fans that found some joy to the Penguins losing,..."

Red Sox fans have two favorite teams, the Red Sox, and whoever plays the Yankees.

Redskins fans have two favorite teams, the Redskins and whoever plays Dallas.

Red rocking Caps fans have two favorite teams, the Caps, and whoever plays the Penguins

Posted by: miseaujeu | May 13, 2010 10:11 PM | Report abuse

Alex Ovechkin might not have been Gretzky-like against the Canadiens, but he was a hell of a lot better than Cindy Crosby was. All of the morons who said the Caps choked are just that: morons. Montreal might be the best No. 8 seed ever (or at least is playing like it), and deserved to win each series. But Ovechkin was better against Montreal than Cindy Crosby was, and the Caps were better against the Canadiens than the Penguins.

They're both playing golf earlier than they planned or hoped. The Caps have a better roster coming back, a better superstar and a better coach. It doesn't help assuage (look it up, Pens fans) the pain of the first-round upset, but it should shut up Crosby's groupies.

Posted by: DC2Dallas | May 13, 2010 10:36 PM | Report abuse

HOW MINOR LEAGUE IS THIS? Who cares what the Pens did WE LOST! I don't give a damn what anybody else does. Until we stop talking about Pittsburgh this, and Crosby that....STOP you're jealous and its silly.

Posted by: caphcky | May 13, 2010 11:01 PM | Report abuse

Steinberg, admit it. In the chat the other day you insisted very emphatically that the Canadiens had absolutely NOOOOO chance of winning game 7 against the Penguins. You were just trying to not jinx what your heart REALLY desired.

Posted by: CoachD1 | May 14, 2010 1:48 AM | Report abuse

jpocasangre1978 you're hilarious. You seem to be unable to distinguish facts from emotions. I KNOW my team lost and nothing changes that FACT. I feel better because a team I respect but dislike and a fan based I loathe just lost. If the Penguins lost in the first round and the Caps won the Cup I'd STILL be happy the Pens lost because I find Pens fans to be whiny smarmy infantile little twerps. I keep hearing about how the regular season doesn't matter from you guys, but you can never explain to me why, on those rare occasions when you when her in D.C. you act JUST like you won the Cup. You're all hypocrites, or at least the ones who feel the need to comment on a D.C. blog. But that's how you guys are. You always act like you have some legitimate point when all you have is a confused diatribe you couldn't possibly believe. How many of you go on Caps blogs and have the nerve to say Ovie has no class? Really? You don't find that ironic? Spare me the Cup countdown and Crosby's TEAM accomplishments. And don't worry about MY grasp of reality, spend some time on your own grip.

Posted by: b80vin | May 14, 2010 6:02 AM | Report abuse


Win a year supply of diapers for your kid sponsored by Luvs enter at http://bit.ly/abz2lw

Posted by: keatonjo | May 14, 2010 7:20 AM | Report abuse

Makes the Habs look more like real horses--which makes the Caps look less like real dogs. End of story.

Posted by: Godfather_of_Goals | May 14, 2010 8:03 AM | Report abuse

Look at the difference in how Ovie and Whiny Boy conducted themselves in the post-game. Alex, while devastated accepted responsibility and the WB complained about the boarding call.

Oh, this definitely put a smile on my face....

http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/2010/writers/michael_farber/05/12/habs.pens.game7/index.html?eref=sihp

Posted by: ljo211 | May 14, 2010 8:40 AM | Report abuse

OK Steinberg, I'm biting. Don't know who's more pitiful, you doing your tired, old Ovechkin vs. Crosby rehash, or me responding to the crap. The bottom line is that the Caps were a great team this season, maybe the best regular season team in the last few years in the NHL, and they crashed and burned to a team that wouldn 't have even made the playoffs in the West. The Pens were a very inconsistent team that never found its mojo and rode to the playoffs on the back of an early season surge. Caps should have blasted the Habs. The Pens should have beat them too, but that wasn't as certain going in. The Caps fans can enjoy the Pens defeat all they want, but your big dogs choked a big one there, the Pens not so much. Plus, the Pens weren't so hungry after winning last season. I don't think they had it in them this year and wouldn't have beat anyone in the West even if they would have gone to the finals. Caps should have been hungriest team out there after that 7 game loss to the Pens last year, but where was that will to win? The Pens found it after losing to Detroit in 2008, but the Caps just didn't have that drive in them. That drive comes from leadership (cue: Ovechkin vs. Crosby).

You can make this an Ovechkin/Crosby think all you want, but the Caps just didn't in any way live up to any of their expectations. If you want to make your loss more about the Pens and Crosby losing too and not your pitiful failure, then you're a loser too.

Posted by: vahockeyfan | May 14, 2010 8:56 AM | Report abuse

Oh, and by the way, when you do the "Cindy" thing, you make yourself look really bad. At least try to look like you are thinking intelligently about what you are writing.

Posted by: vahockeyfan | May 14, 2010 9:11 AM | Report abuse

Caring too much about what happens to the Penguins beyond a Nelson-ish "Haw-Haw!" is Loser Talk.

It really doesn't matter. It doesn't change the fact that the Caps took the best regular season in team history, the President's Trophy, and a 3-1 series lead against the #16 team in the playoffs...and turned it into a tee time.

It also doesn't take Cindy's name off the cup. I, for one, vote to table the whole "who's a better player" discussion until Alex's name is on the cup as well. Until then, does it really matter who the "better player" is?

Posted by: VTDuffman | May 14, 2010 9:18 AM | Report abuse

"Oh, and by the way, when you do the "Cindy" thing, you make yourself look really bad. At least try to look like you are thinking intelligently about what you are writing."

---

Oh Please, good-natured ribbing is completely acceptable in sports. Get over yourself.

Posted by: VTDuffman | May 14, 2010 9:32 AM | Report abuse

But he was a true Cindy to the end.....he's earned it: "I was stunned," Crosby said. "I don't know how that's a penalty 10 seconds into the game."

Posted by: yampaco | May 14, 2010 10:10 AM | Report abuse

Note the contrast. Ovechkin says the loss to Montreal was his fault and he took responsibility. Crosby wimpered about being called for an obvious boarding call. Which one has the character?

Posted by: poguesmahone | May 14, 2010 10:19 AM | Report abuse

Not only has Ovechkin never won anything, but he's a dirtbag. Sorry Caps fans. The conversation is (still) over.

Posted by: Jumpy66 | May 14, 2010 11:12 AM | Report abuse

Caps fans have selective reading abilities I see. You pick out a quote from Crosby denying the boarding call so that you can "prove" that he wasn't taking responsibility for the Pens loss, but you left out this quote from him: "They played better. Unfortunately for us, we didn't play well."

At the same time, you ignore all those quotes from Ovechkin after his questionable (maybe dirty?) hits when he says he's "just playing his game." I guess it's OK for Ovechkin to deny that he did anything wrong, but not "Cindy".

Posted by: vahockeyfan | May 14, 2010 11:31 AM | Report abuse

"Not only has Ovechkin never won anything, but he's a dirtbag."

---

If only OV was as high of character as your boy, boarding someone 10 seconds into the game, eh?

Posted by: VTDuffman | May 14, 2010 11:59 AM | Report abuse

"You pick out a quote from Crosby denying the boarding call so that you can "prove" that he wasn't taking responsibility for the Pens loss, but you left out this quote from him: "They played better. Unfortunately for us, we didn't play well."

---

Technically, he didn't take responsibility for the loss in your quote. He spread the blame across the whole team in lieu of taking responsibility for it himself.

Posted by: VTDuffman | May 14, 2010 12:01 PM | Report abuse

As much of a Pens' fan as I am, I have to give Montreal credit.
They outworked, outplayed and outcoached Pittsburgh in this series.
I think the Pens assumed Montreal wouldn't have enough left after the Caps' series to win it.
Yes, Halak was great when he needed to be but, as a team they played great defense and took advantage of every opportunity.
Spin whatever numbers you want any way you want to but, both Ovechkin & Crosby are no spectators now.
Congratulations Habs and good luck.

Posted by: BigDaddy651 | May 14, 2010 12:45 PM | Report abuse

DC2Dallas,
"Alex Ovechkin might not have been Gretzky-like against the Canadiens, but he was a hell of a lot better than Cindy Crosby was."
While your statistical argument is accurate in the 7 games series, exactly how is this relevant? Both the Caps & Pens lost the series. Its essentially like Pirates' & Nationals' fans say "we both lost a lot but did so efficiently because neither team had a high payroll" last year to a Yankee's fan. They both lost...same result.
Had Crosby had a huge series and the Pens lost it wouldn't be any easier to take as a fan of the team. Conversely, its no better that Sid didn't play particularly well. By losing it doesn't matter either way.

Posted by: BigDaddy651 | May 14, 2010 1:14 PM | Report abuse

Calling him Cindy is an insult to at all of the wonderful Cindys of the world. How about we just call him Whiny Boy or Crybaby.

Posted by: ljo211 | May 14, 2010 1:26 PM | Report abuse

or maybe we take the voldemort approach and just not utter his name in this space again.

Or we could all just lighten up.

Have a great weekend!!!

Posted by: ljo211 | May 14, 2010 1:32 PM | Report abuse

Thanks so much for this Dan! I started a post on my blog in the same subject, but since you beat me to the punch and you did such an excellent job - I linked this here: http://singingfromthecrease.wordpress.com/2010/05/14/514-the-penguins-hit-the-links-caps-fans-get-some-solace-and-don-cherry-is-stuck-in-the-days-of-old-ive-got-a-gripe-with-grapes/
If this Capitals fan can't watch her favorite team in red - at least she doesn't have to watch our least favorite flightless birds anymore either. Go HABS!

Posted by: creasesinger | May 14, 2010 1:45 PM | Report abuse

Thanks so much for this Dan! I started a post on my blog in the same subject, but since you beat me to the punch and you did such an excellent job - I linked this here: http://singingfromthecrease.wordpress.com/2010/05/14/514-the-penguins-hit-the-links-caps-fans-get-some-solace-and-don-cherry-is-stuck-in-the-days-of-old-ive-got-a-gripe-with-grapes/
If this Capitals fan can't watch her favorite team in red - at least she doesn't have to watch our least favorite flightless birds anymore either. Go HABS!

Posted by: creasesinger | May 14, 2010 1:46 PM | Report abuse

capsfansince74,
"Thousands of people who grew up in Pittsburgh have since moved to DC.

I can guarantee that nobody who grew up in DC has since moved to Pittsburgh. Wonder why?"

So they could live off of the federal government like the overwhelming majority of the metro DC area does?
Were it not for the presence of the federal government and associated goverment contractors, beltway bandits, etc. what would the area's economy be built on? The swamp land that eventually became the city?
Just go elect your crack smoking former mayor a few more times...

Posted by: BigDaddy651 | May 14, 2010 2:03 PM | Report abuse

"So they could live off of the federal government like the overwhelming majority of the metro DC area does?
Were it not for the presence of the federal government and associated goverment contractors, beltway bandits, etc. what would the area's economy be built on? The swamp land that eventually became the city?
Just go elect your crack smoking former mayor a few more times..."

---

It's a good thing that the DC Metro Area doesn't include vast swaths of Virginia and Maryland, home to the headquarters of many companies spanning industries from finance, to telecommunications, technology, automotive, biomedical, etc...

Otherwise, you would look like a mouth-breathing idiot with no point. So, it's a good thing that's not the case.

Posted by: VTDuffman | May 14, 2010 2:59 PM | Report abuse

BigDaddy651: "So they could live off of the federal government like the overwhelming majority of the metro DC area does?"

Really? You do know the definition of "Federal" right? And does it surprise you that D.C. has a particularly large Federal Government presence? I'm sure you're aware that the city was created only for that purpose. Seriously that's like complaining everyone in Detroit "just" works for the car companies (well, in the 1970's).

And that crack (pun intended) about Barry is silly for two reasons: 1)Most Caps fans live outside the city and therefore have no vote in the D.C. elections and 2) it's older than Mario's rookie card.

Posted by: b80vin | May 14, 2010 3:03 PM | Report abuse

I really wish people would stop making logically erroneous arguments. No one argues that the Pens loss changes the Caps loss. Caps fans, superior intellectually to Pens fans, can have TWO emotions, even opposing emotions at the same time. My happiness that I don't have to listen to Pens fans slobber over another Cup doesn't take away my pain that the Caps lost when they shouldn't have. It is there in ADDITION to that pain. I'm not denying one reality for another, I'm accepting BOTH. You see how that works?

Posted by: b80vin | May 14, 2010 3:09 PM | Report abuse

@VTDuffman: That's right, Crosby said "we" lost because "we" didn't play hard enough. What a novel idea, that hockey is a team sport. You win together and you lose together. I have to say that I do credit Ovechkin for saying he didn't play well, but he needed to lead his team AS A TEAM in order for them to win. My beef with Ovechkin isn't about his skills...they are outstanding. It's how that bit of individualism in him and others like Greene seems not to fit into a team sport so you can win in the playoffs.

And the cracks about Pittsburgh are old and tired. Have you really been there lately? It's a small town feel in a small to medium size city. People take care of each other, and the the housing prices and economy have been steadier than most cities through this depression. And, to those of you who think DC is the epicenter of the universe, you are here because the federal govt. drives this area. To say otherwise is being disingenuous. The taxpayer money from the rest of the country fuels your economy. I'm not saying the Burgh is better than here, I'm just saying you need to stop being so egocentric about yourselves.

Posted by: vahockeyfan | May 14, 2010 3:17 PM | Report abuse

VT,
"home to the headquarters of many companies spanning industries from finance, to telecommunications, technology, automotive, biomedical, etc...
"
Many of the same things can be said of Pittsburgh. Also, the area is home to a number of universities.
The point it both areas have advantages and disadvantages to them. When western Pa's economy was heavily based in manufacturing they essentially set themselves up for failure that resulted in the large exodus of people.
The DC area is heavily dependent upon the federal government and all of the associated entities. While it would still exist without the government its likely it wouldn't be nearly as economically vital without it.

Posted by: BigDaddy651 | May 14, 2010 3:25 PM | Report abuse

Who cares whether Pittsburgh or Washington is a better place to live? Who cares whether Crosby is a better player than Ovechkin? Bottom line is both teams lost to the Habs and both teams have a fan base that is happy the other team lost. Neither team is winning the Cup this year. No one on this board is truly happy at the outcome. Did I miss anything?

Posted by: puckhead1 | May 14, 2010 4:01 PM | Report abuse

puckhead1,
I think you've covered it. I don't get the logic of being happy because a rival lost thing but whatever.
As much as I dislike the Patriots, I don't celebrate them getting bounced just because the Steelers lost. Once the Steelers are out I still watch the games but just don't have a rooting interest.
It'll be the same with the NHL. I'll still watch all the games I can but just won't care how they end since the Pens are out.
Maybe its a misery loves company type deal?

Posted by: BigDaddy651 | May 14, 2010 4:14 PM | Report abuse

Not to belabor the point, but Pittsburgh was just named by Forbes.com as America's Most Liveable City for 2010.....just saying.

Posted by: vahockeyfan | May 14, 2010 4:55 PM | Report abuse

vahockeyfan:"It's how that bit of individualism in him and others like Greene seems not to fit into a team sport so you can win in the playoffs."

So your premise is that Ovechkin should be criticized for your assumptions? You use the word "seems" to denote a lack of confidence, but you feel comfortable with your "beef" anyway? And you are that willing to advance the meme that the regular season means nothing in the playoffs? Here's something to ponder winning the President's Cup is by no means an indicator of how you'll do in the playoffs, BUT the P.C. winner wins the Cup at a higher percentage than any other finishing position. Montreal isn't the first team to surprise people and the Caps aren't the first team to win the P.C. and lose in the first round.There is no reason to think or even present supposition about Ovie's play being the reason the Caps didn't win. Indeed I find it somewhat hypocritical that you put fault with TWO players even as you invoke the "team sport" label.

Posted by: b80vin | May 14, 2010 5:59 PM | Report abuse

>>>>Caps fans have selective reading abilities I see. You pick out a quote from Crosby denying the boarding call so that you can "prove" that he wasn't taking responsibility for the Pens loss, but you left out this quote from him: "They played better. Unfortunately for us, we didn't play well."

At the same time, you ignore all those quotes from Ovechkin after his questionable (maybe dirty?) hits when he says he's "just playing his game." I guess it's OK for Ovechkin to deny that he did anything wrong, but not "Cindy".<<<<

At least Caps fans have reading abilities. Your post is so non-responsive to the original post that it is incoherent.

Posted by: poguesmahone | May 14, 2010 6:59 PM | Report abuse

My goodness but there are a lot of Pen fan trolls on this board. Really once Crosby and the Pens have a dreadful game 7 you feel the need to talk trash here.

Notice that I haven't resorted to name-calling but I do hold players accountable.

Crosby and the Pens had an epic game 7 meltdown. They played dreadfully, and were NOT complementary in their post game interviews. Rather most of them reflected confusion as to why they had lost and gave very little credit to the Habs.

Crosby as usual did not refer to his opponents by name referring instead to Halak as "their goalie". He is not gracious in defeat. That does not mean that I don't admire his elite skill as a player but I do not admire his character--never have, never will.

The Caps and Ovi were extremely gracious in defeat, made note of their failings and of the Habs strength of play, and complemented Halak and other players by name. Ovi in particular took the blame for the loss on his shoulders.

I am proud of our guys and proud to be a Caps fan.

Posted by: Capsyoungguns | May 14, 2010 8:07 PM | Report abuse

BTW Dan--I hope you keep track of the reassessments of Crosby.

I'm sure it won't reach the level if vitriol expressed in regards to Ovi, but I sure would be interested in knowing which journalists are at least willing to re-evaluate their rush to judgement.

Personally I find the whole argument of "who's best" a pointless one, given that they play different positions with different styles. The "who's best" argument is unanswerable. Fans of hockey are lucky to have two generational phenoms in the same conference who meet at least four times a season.

They both are the best and Pittsburgh and Washington are both lucky franchises.

Posted by: Capsyoungguns | May 14, 2010 8:23 PM | Report abuse

Capsyoungguns: You get a lot more of those post-game quotes from the Caps, obviously, because they are covered here. You read the national posts for the Pens, I assume. I would disagree and have heard a lot of praise for the Habs and Halak from the Pens. The bottom line is that both the Caps and the Pens didn't play up to their ability, or at least their promise, this playoffs. Both need to do some soulsearching in the offseason. Steinberg is the one who brought the Pens into this discussion, and all of you (and, unfortunately, me) took the bait. Steinberg has a habit of being Crosby and Pens-obsessed for some reason. Does it really make the Caps failure any better since the Pens lost? I really don't feel better about the Pens crashing knowing that the Caps are out. We're all still golfing this month. The Caps fanbase is whining more than they accuse Crosby of doing.

Posted by: vahockeyfan | May 14, 2010 8:32 PM | Report abuse

Maybe Crosby actually made the Caps lose in that first round. Might not be too far-fetched an idea since you seem to blame him for everything from whining to nuclear warfare.

Posted by: vahockeyfan | May 14, 2010 8:36 PM | Report abuse

@vahockeyfan:
First, do you live in Pittsburgh or are you living in Virginia? If Pittsburgh is so liveable, why are so many people living in this area? I can honestly name 20 families that I personally know who are from Pittsburgh.

Second, get off the Ovi/individualism/not team player thing. Before game seven, he said EVERYONE needed to step up their game to win it. He didn't say only him. In defeat though, he did what any good captain would do and was willing to take the blame and not point fingers at his teammates. Green was the one who said before game 7 that the stars needed to play well. Ovi GETS it.

Posted by: dfe1 | May 14, 2010 11:14 PM | Report abuse

@vahockeyfan

Nope--I watched the NHL post game video. I prefer to hear the interviews as intact as possible because too many writers take quotes out of context. Moreover, I find that the tone and expression is also important. Perhaps you get your quotes already edited in a print medium.

I don't have a problem with Pens fans. I don't have a problem with the Pens or Crosby. I actually think both Ovi and Crosby are generational players and I find the "who's best" argument pointless as they play different positions with different styles and both are destined IMH for legendary status.

As a Caps and Ovi fan, however, I am tired of and irritated by the constant genuflection at the alter of Crosby, while Ovi and the Caps get constant criticism and negativity, from the national media down to Pens fans who come on a WaPo board to talk trash.

I understand that many Pen fans live in this area and feel that WaPo is their local paper. But the Caps are the local team and I find it idiotic for Pens fans to talk trash about the local team and then act shocked that Caps fans take offense.

Posted by: Capsyoungguns | May 15, 2010 12:29 PM | Report abuse

@vahockeyfan

For example, the national media was all over Ovi for the Caps ouster and talking about how he and the team choked. No discussion really of the inspired hockey played by Montreal and especially Halak and Cammalleri.

Now that the Pens have lost after playing a dreadful game 7--a game that is in no way comparable to games 6 or 7 played by the Caps--and the national media is strangely quiet. Very little blame is laid at Crosby's feet, though he was a non-factor in the series and a liability in game 7. No choking labels have been attached to him. Instead it is now about how well the Habs are playing. The closest admission I've read and heard thus far is that the Habs played their best hockey with a full and healthy roster against the Caps.

For me it's all how the national media spins the story, and the meme is that Ovi can't lead the team, isn't mature, chokes in the playoffs etc. etc., and many conveniently ignored the stats that tell otherwise. Whereas Crosby does all the little things right and the Pens failure is more because his team let him down, not that he failed to lead his team.

At least the epic failure of the Pens this postseason now means that the Ovi/Caps bashing has become more nuanced. But that is why I so enjoyed Dan's stat summaries showing that Ovi had a much better series against the Habs than Crosby. It's nice that some in the media are keeping track.

Personally I liked Dan's summary. But I had already read most of those pieces, and watched much of the video before his piece. It's just such a pleasure to read it pulled together, and is worthy of a follow-up highlighting how hypocritical the national media is when discussing Ovi and the Caps.

Posted by: Capsyoungguns | May 15, 2010 12:57 PM | Report abuse

@vahockeyfan

I just re-read this thread. I think you need to read Wilbon. You clearly agree with him. And he made a huge stink comparing Ovi to Crosby with his silly "telegraph" remark. I find Dan at least a nice counterbalance to Wilbon and Wise.

And your statements about the Pens not being a strong team this season are silly. Do you really believe that no one thought the road to the SC would have to go through the Pens. It's true that they are not as strong as last season whereas the Caps really improved. But the Pens were always one of the top teams, the Stanley Cup Champs.

Caps/Pens games are always exciting and though the Caps won all four, the games were hard fought and no sure thing. You sell your team short.

The Habs found a way to neutralize the star players of both the Caps and the Pens, and more power to them. I find their hockey style boring to watch and really hope they don't win the Cup, but I they won both series, not that the Caps and the Pens choked (well except for the Pens goose-egg of a game 7).

The Habs just played better and were offensively opportunistic. The Caps lost mostly IMO because of their PP going dry and the second line not being able to score. The Pens lost IMO because they couldn't play consistently. It was a really uneven series for them. It was as if they failed to watch the any of the video or learn any lessons from our series with the Habs.

Posted by: Capsyoungguns | May 15, 2010 1:25 PM | Report abuse

This isn’t singles tennis or golf. It’s a team game so comparing a player against another is very hard, especially when they have no say as to who they play with or for. Why not compare George McPhee vs Ray Shero (the Pens GM) since those are the guys that put the teams together. That would be interesting.

Posted by: alagarts | May 15, 2010 3:04 PM | Report abuse

"b80vin" I hope this gets to you somehow. You talk all this garbage and make no sense in what you are saying. I would love for you to come up to me and call me a whiner, or whatever else you can think of. The only punks I see are DC fans; they are the worse bandwagon jumping off, on, off and back again fans in the NHL. I am originally from Washington DC and hate all the sports teams there for this very reason! You know nothing about anything and in your rebuttal towards me all you could really say is that Pittsburgh fans are whiners and crybabies with absolutely no facts behind it. You know why the NHL regular season means nothing? Because Washington finished 1st and Montreal finished 8th and who won?? Yes the 8th seed! That’s why the regular season means nothing. I hope you can understand that! Until your Caps beat the Pens in the playoffs or win a Stanly Cup they are a second rate franchise! I get on this blog because I still have friends in the DC, MD, VA area that I talk to and read their comments that they post and every now and then I get the urge to bring you fair-weather fans back down to earth, especially one like you, the typical “why is the regular season meaningless” Caps fan. Good luck next season you’re going to need it with your circus clown captain leading the charge!

Posted by: jpocasangre1978 | May 16, 2010 3:02 AM | Report abuse

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