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FireRunner

Game: Senators v Caps - Oct 11, 2010

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Comments.

Caps looked great last game vs NJ, was great to see them straighten out after the first period. Neu' looked good and Carlson played well. I'd still like to see where Varly is physically and mentally. Caps need to maintain the tough mentality to win the cup this year. And, if they can kill the penalties...even better!

Prediction.

4-3 Caps

Dropping Gloves.

No one...too tired from last game :)

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Dropping Gloves.

No one...too tired from last game :)

Lets hope Bruce has learned to keep King in the lineup. If King is dressed, he and Carkner may have a run at it, (Carkners probably pissed from loosing to Orr of all people, again!). I really hope the Caps have gotten the proverbial "taste of blood" in them after last game and last season.

The willingness to drop the gloves, make statements, send messages, and answer challenges will go further in our goal to win a Cup than scoring 7 goals a game. (Of Course, this implies still winning said games).

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Last game was somewhat of an improvement, they still need to play for 60 minutes and Green and Semin need to pick they're game up pronto! Caps win 5-3!

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According to Katie it appears that King and Steckel are the scratches again tonight. I am fine with that, I liked the 4th line's play last game and will be interested to see if they can keep it up tonight.

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Last game was somewhat of an improvement, they still need to play for 60 minutes and Green and Semin need to pick they're game up pronto! Caps win 5-3!

Semin and Green need to pick their game up. Where have I heard that before? Tell you what, I'll bet you that Carlson makes everyone forget Mike Green within the next couple of years. And Semin will never change. With him, you are paying for a guy that, between being injury prone, soft and inconsistent, shows up for maybe 50 games a year.

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Honestly the Caps only have to worry about is well...really who? The senators have scored 2 goals in 2 games and have given up 5 to Toronto and 2 to the Sabres. I think this game honestly will come down to how well Leclaire plays. He has no help on offense other then Alfred and Spezza so if you can't get those guys going then I dont know what they will do. Oh and Gonchar is the easiest to burn. Just abuse Sergei and Caps win this by 3-4 goals.

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Semin and Green need to pick their game up. Where have I heard that before? Tell you what, I'll bet you that Carlson makes everyone forget Mike Green within the next couple of years. And Semin will never change. With him, you are paying for a guy that, between being injury prone, soft and inconsistent, shows up for maybe 50 games a year.

Semin was one of the best players on ice these last two games.. I understand he has a reputation, however so far he didn't deserve much criticism, rather the opposite

Last game was one of those special "team and confidence building" games, I expect Caps firing on all cylinders tonight and achieving another big win

I think last season big wins over NJ and Buffalo initiated our 14 game winning streak, win over the Devils is always special

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Isn't it Semin had 2 points in each of two games? Looking at reviews, he provided good feeds. I just hope this line would keep doing a good job.

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Semin and Green need to pick their game up. Where have I heard that before? Tell you what, I'll bet you that Carlson makes everyone forget Mike Green within the next couple of years. And Semin will never change. With him, you are paying for a guy that, between being injury prone, soft and inconsistent, shows up for maybe 50 games a year.

I agree Green has been less than average. He's been that way every since the second half of least season. I don't know if he's not focused or what, but every game I've been to (which is almost all of them) since the break last year people in the stands have commented at his poor performance and bad decision making.

He needs to step and start hustling, because it seems like he's "going through the motions" on the ice. With two young goalies our defense needs to step up and be solid.

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Also, Knuble is finally starting to take his tole on the top line to the point where Backstrom is looking bad now.

I think Nicky's slow start is more due to the stitches in his thigh than Knuble. although I will say he's doing an awesome job on the PK and I'm sure he'll be on fire before we know it.

ps: a chucker is a guy that can only dump the puck in.

We have too many players who aren't willing to dump the puck in and who try to be "too cute" and then usually turn it over. I have no problem with a player who dumps the puck in.

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Semin gets horrid reviews by you guys, the problem isn't Semin, the problem is Bruce. Semin should be on the top RW position, and the caps would be 3-0 right now and have tons more goals scored.

Also, Knuble is finally starting to take his tole on the top line to the point where Backstrom is looking bad now. Backstrom has no one to pass to, cause Ovy is always covered, and he is sick of giving Knuble the pass, just to have Knuble fumble with it and be a chucker

ps: a chucker is a guy that can only dump the puck in.

Y'know 008. you're just wrong. Knuble played fine tonight. Your opinion of him is totally biased and incorrect. He is there to do particular things, and he's doing fine at them.

Heck, there was even one time tonight when Ovie was first across the line, came boring down the LW, fired on goal -- and Knuble was in front trying to screen the goalie. I remember thinking to myself, how did he get there?

There's no other way to say it about your opinion of Knuble. You're simply wrong. You can keep complaining about him a thousand times, and all it means is that you will be wrong a thousand times.

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Heck, there was even one time tonight when Ovie was first across the line, came boring down the LW, fired on goal -- and Knuble was in front trying to screen the goalie. I remember thinking to myself, how did he get there?

this happened on ov's first goal on saturday. im pretty sure knuble is the reason the puck even went in, the time it took for ov to dangle knub was there tying up the defensemen who deflected the puck. so in a way, he's the one who made the goal possible by being there.

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Get rid of washcaps008 or add a ignore button. He is a broken record. Ovie could have a career year statistically and he would still complain about Knuble. Knuble does his job just fine

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I think that 008 has a good point. I like Knuble, good finisher, screener all this qualities team really needed. At the same time he is a weak link when need to make a play. Therefore when Ovie is closely covered, Backstrom is in a difficult situation (especially it is true in playoffs). At the same time, I don't really think that Semin is a perfect fit either (he doesn't do screening, and not as good with garbage goals).

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what if they switched knuble with chimera? chimera can do the dirty work, and he's fast, AND he's got a pretty good shot evidenced by his goal on saturday

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Get rid of washcaps008 or add a ignore button. He is a broken record. Ovie could have a career year statistically and he would still complain about Knuble. Knuble does his job just fine

lol. I agree, some people just like to complain.

and if Ovechkin thought knuble was holding the first line back he would say something to bruce and there would be a switch.

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Thoughts on last night's games against Ottawa. I thought we got outworked and were fortunate to win the game, however, a win is a win.

Good:

1. The PK again was outstanding and while I thought everyone who was out there on the PK did a good job I was especially impressed with Boyd Gordon and Semin. I thought they were the most effective forwards on the PK. As for defenseman, again Schultz was solid as was Green.

2. Neuvirth was really good and is going to make it hard for Varly to win the number 1 spot. Couldn't ask for much more from Neuvy. He seems very calm and composed out there. He is hardly ever out of position and his rebound control for the most part has been good. Can't fault him for either goal last night.

3. The fourth line again looked good, although they were missing Bradley after the 1st period so had to rotate in other RW's but Hendricks continues to look good and I thought Gordon was our best center last night. He has really been working hard, I guess he wants to keep his spot. Steckel may have a hard time getting back into the lineup.

Bad:

1. As good as our PK has been, the PP has been just the opposite. BB seems to be running two units but so far neither has looked that good. I am not sure why he has separated Semin and Backstrom, in the past they have been very effective working together on the PP and I think he should put them back together.

2. The 1st line has not played particularly well together and has generated very little offense. Nicky for some reason is stuggling, maybe he still is bother by the cut on his leg but he has been pretty ineffective. Ovie while getting the game winner didn't have a particularly good game. He seems to be fumbling the puck quite a bit.

3. I thought for most of the game Ottawa outworked the Caps, they seemed to want the game more. I guess that is a sign of a good team to be able to win games even though you didn't play your best.

4. I thought Ottawa did a good job of taking away the sideboards and as a result we were having trouble getting the puck out of our zone. We did not make adjustments but kept throwing the puck up the side. It seems to me we should have been making a short pass to the center who would have been able to skate the puck up through the middle.

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My thoughts from 405:

  • The Senators played a very good defensive game. They were very structured, and were frustrating our guys when they consistantly were in the passing lanes and dropping back 4 to force dump ins. They seemed to have us pinned on our side of the red line a lot.
  • Even though the Senators played well defensively, they didn't play well offensively. They didn't cycle the puck very well, and were muscled off of the puck more than a few times. Aside from when they controlled the puck for about a minute that led to their second goal (if I am remembering them correctly in order), they didn't maintain very good puck possession in the offensive zone.
  • Gonchar is as bad as I remember, defensively, and seems to have lost something on his offensive game.
  • Pascal Leclaire had a few nice glove saves, and there were about 4 or 5 other saves that we shot it right into his glove.
  • Backstrom hasn't gotten into that groove yet. It seems as if he is a half step behind (this may be due to his injury), and is holding the puck a bit too long before making his passes, which lead to turnovers or deflections. He'll pick it up, I'm sure.
  • Johansson continues to impress, but he is still making rookie mistakes. Those will, no doubt, lessen as he gets more experience to the North American style of play. I have been impressed, mostly, with his yeomanlike defensive play (aside from the turnover in the Devils game that led directly to a goal).
  • Fleischmann played ok, but didn't seem to be able to win many faceoffs.
  • Bradley didn't play much, and I've read that he has an undisclosed injury. Hopefully he's okay. If not, I'd imagine that we might see DJ King suit up on Wednesday against the Fishsticks.
  • Bjork has been fantastic this season. A lot of people are sold on Varlamov being our goaltender, but I am not so sure. Neuvirth is consistant, positionally much more sound, and has been much less injury prone. Varlamov has more of an ability to make the miracle (not Norm Maracle) saves, but doesn't seem as comfortable in the crease. When all is said and done, I still think that Bjork is our guy, and that Varly will be the one to be traded. But, that isn't a problem to worry about now.
  • Carlson played, shocker, another great game. He needs to amp up his physicality at times, but has made phenomonal plays in every game so far. He might make Mike Green expendable when Green's contract is nearing it's end.
  • Alzner is very consistant, but he still has periods where he looks nervous. I expect this to lessen as the season progresses.
  • Schultz has been very, very good this season. I counted two big hits from him, along with two times that he leveled a Senator trying to camp out in the crease. His defensive work has, again, improved. If Mike Green can get his offensive game working, then this pairing could be one of the best in the NHL.
  • Semin had an up and down game. His puck control is among the very best in the game, and it was last night. But, he also made several ill-advised passes and poorly judged moves. As someone behind me said, it just Semin being Semin.
  • Ovechkin was mostly absent from the highlights, but that was because the Senators were shifting their coverage to double team him and try to take away his passing lanes. He found a way to win the game though. He still hasn't been the dominant physical player that we all know he is, but that is coming, I'm sure.
  • The referees were, again, horrid. Oh how I long for a game where what is a penalty remains a penalty for both teams, and not just for one.
  • The crowd wasn't as into it as on Saturday, but it was a Monday night (and for some of us, the last night of a holiday weekend). But, we seemed to amp it up as the game progressed. And when the new red-clad Tom Green 'Unleash the Fury' came on, the building was nearly as loud as it is for the playoffs.
  • Metro still sucks. Period.

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Good analysis Sly, the only thing I would quibble with is your comment that the emergence of Carlson as a top defenseman may make Green expendable. I hope we can keep both of them. I would love to see Green- Schultz and Alzner and Carlson paired up for years to come. I think that would make the Caps pretty set on defense.

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Good analysis Sly, the only thing I would quibble with is your comment that the emergence of Carlson as a top defenseman may make Green expendable. I hope we can keep both of them. I would love to see Green- Schultz and Alzner and Carlson paired up for years to come. I think that would make the Caps pretty set on defense.

I didn't say that Green is expendable now, but rather closer to when his contract is up. He already makes quite a bit of money, and I can't see him not getting a raise, perhaps substantial. I'd love to keep both, but in the Salary Cap world, that might not be feasible.

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I didn't say that Green is expendable now, but rather closer to when his contract is up. He already makes quite a bit of money, and I can't see him not getting a raise, perhaps substantial. I'd love to keep both, but in the Salary Cap world, that might not be feasible.

It might be a problem but I hope they can work something out. If I recall correctly Green will not be an UFA when his contract expires for that is worth. I think he has two more years left. I just hope they can keep the so called "core" together and I consider him one of the "core".

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Last night I was fortuitous enough to receive complimentary seats to the game from my work.

(score!)

I ended up taking my sister for her birthday, and the seats were incredible.

101 Row B (Coaches Club)

The first OV hit up against the glass was right in my face and sent the removable piece of glass for cameras flying. We were also front and center for the game winning goal.

You'll have to forgive my exuberance, but it was a really fantastic evening overall and I feel very lucky and appreciative to be able to go and sit where we sat.

A few comments.

Positives:

- Hendricks. I am very, very glad we signed him. An excellent addition to the fourth line.

He almost always finishes his checks and leaves it on the ice almost every shift. It's players like that who will make the Caps tough to play against.

- Special Teams. I don't know about you guys, but if we have an excellent PK and an average PP, I am okay with that. Right now I am really liking the level of effort on the Penalty Kill. The power play could do with a few tweaks, but they have the talent that it should fall into place.

- Green was deserved to receive the 2nd star. He has a stigma about him that if you understand no player is perfect, you can see some really excellent plays and looks from him. If he gets the puck on his stick on some of these back door looks, I think we will see a return of a 20g Green.

- Carlson. See my little article. Yeah I am really pleased watching him up close and personal, his timing for jumping into the play was solid and he almost broke up the Shannon goal, though he should have committed one way or the other.

- Erskine. Ya know, I'm a happy camper here. He still makes a few dumb passes, more than I'd like, but if he is able to maintain this level of play, his play is solid enough to round out the Top 6.

- Chimera. Really happy we brought this guy over. He can absolutely fly.

Negatives

- Sloan. Sigh. I found he was in between too often, and didn't make a choice one way or the other. Thumbs down from me.

- Ovechkin. Aside from the game winning goal and excellent efforts on the keep in. It really wasn't one of his better outings. Love the guy, but you gotta keep it real. He doesn't score and this isn't one of his best efforts. That being said, scoring the game winning goal on a bad day...? Yea I'll take it!

- Backstrom. His injury appears to be hampering his play. He's still solid... but less so. I think you all know what I mean. He's off a half-step and it shows.

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If Ovie is covered, Backy is straggling, Knuble not efficient at creating a play (although a good screener/finisher), then what are you expect from Ovie? No wonder his goal was in 4 by 4 play, when more open ice, and feed from defender.

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If Ovie is covered, Backy is straggling, Knuble not efficient at creating a play (although a good screener/finisher), then what are you expect from Ovie? No wonder his goal was in 4 by 4 play, when more open ice, and feed from defender.

ya, in the cases of teams covering Ovie so he cant do anything, I think it is up to BB to beat their strategy, not a matter of the other players on the line.

If players are doing what they are told, (which apparently they are), and the other team is stopping them, you need to have them do something different.

All in all though, and this maybe a biased opinion because I havent researched it. . .there appears to be a greater focus on defense, playing without the puck, taking away chances et. all so far this year than there was last year.

Its only three games, but a great start.

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