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Eastside Terp

Caps 2016

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Calling a penalty for what was a hockey version of a flop in the last two minutes of a playoff game is pretty bad.

OK. You were robbed. Again.

 

Might want to consider scoring more than 2 goals a game though. Just a thought.

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OK. You were robbed. Again.

 

Might want to consider scoring more than 2 goals a game though. Just a thought.

 

Calm down, no one is saying that one bad call cost the Caps the game.  It's just a crappy way for a playoff game to end.

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Not only that, it should have gone the other way, 2 minute minor for embellishing. It looked pretty damn obvious to me. Why not review it, when you're basically determining the outcome of a game?

 

Ovi is having a bad series, he's trying to do too much and they are keying in on him. Kuznetsov is the most dangerous player on the team at the moment. Orpik again gets caught up ice and gives up the first goal. Have no words about Orlov and what he did at the moment.

Guess you can blame Orlov but why the heck was Holtby on his knees hugging the near post?

 

Pretty sure in past lives some of the Caps players must have burnt down orphanages or something. Odd stuff bedevils them. Who the hell gets an icing on a PP?

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3 hours ago, Eastside Terp said:

Ok, good effort......

Hard to get excited yet but gives me something to watch on Monday night.......

 

For once the score reflected the play on the ice.  I agree though, I fully expect the Pens to close it out Monday, probably with some odd bounce or whacky break, despite the puck being in their zone 70% of the game.

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Saturday was the first game of the playoffs where the Caps looked like they were genuinely the superior team.  Tonight shall reveal the truth.

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4 hours ago, ivanbalt said:

Saturday was the first game of the playoffs where the Caps looked like they were genuinely the superior team.  Tonight shall reveal the truth.

Have to disagree.  The Caps have dominated the puck for most of the series.  I forget the total numbers they rattled off, but it was absolutely astonishing that they were down in the series, let alone 3-2.  And really, had Orlov not scored a goal on his own team, and Bonino garnering an Oscar for his flop, very likely it would be 3-2 the other way. 

The Caps have to(and finally did) figure out how to beat Fluery, not Crosby/Malkin.  Fluery is the reason the Pens have survived the barage of shots and scoring chances they have and not gotten blasted off of the ice like they did in period 3 of game 5.  The problem I see though, is that in order to do so, and what they did there, was got really aggressive with their defensemen, and that's a really dangerous game to play with a fast team like the Pens.  That puts a certain amount of "luck" into the equation, and that's what got them torched in Game 2.  Blocked shots that come careening out to center and off to the races go the Pens.  The Caps do have speed, but it's all on the offensive side, their defenders are big, heavy and slow for the most part.  Orpik and Carlson look like they skate with lead boots at times. 

Should be interesting to see what the Caps do, but I see a duplicate of last season.  Pens are opportunistic, and have been for the past two seasons or so.  Holtby is going to have to come up big again, or they are going to get blown right off of the ice before the second period is over.

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I don't know, most of the other games it sure didn't look like they were dominating anything.  Constant turnovers and sloppy passes, plus poor scoring chances.  Pittsburgh definitely has figured out how to play defense against them considering what seems like a ton of blocked shots.

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1 hour ago, ivanbalt said:

I don't know, most of the other games it sure didn't look like they were dominating anything.  Constant turnovers and sloppy passes, plus poor scoring chances.  Pittsburgh definitely has figured out how to play defense against them considering what seems like a ton of blocked shots.

Well the Caps had been doing a lot of East-West type passing, and the Pens had been very good at getting sticks in the way and disrupting the offense.  Much like last year they also did a great job of keeping the Caps away from the net and putting bodies in the middle of the zone.  Caps finally shifted to a North-South offense and they lit the Pens up almost effortlessly.  I would expect more of that approach, especially with Fluery suddenly looking very shakey.  Like I said though, it opens them up to a lot of odd-man breaks if the Pens get blocked shots careening out towards center ice like they did a lot of the series. 

I think the other thing the Caps have to continue is having Backstrom taking more shots. 

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Wanted to post more bout this last night, but was tired and savoring the post-game shows. 

THIS is the kind of game we've been waiting for from the Caps!  That was, from start until the last couple of minutes in garbage time, the most complete, dominating effort by them I can recall in the playoffs in a very long time.  The Pens look nothing like the team that stole the first two games by being opportunistic and fast...they look beaten down, tired, and resigned to the more talented, physical team asserting themselves.  That's not to say that they won't reach back and steal a game 7 in which they will be heavy underdogs - they've done it many times, and the Caps have many times blown game 7's they should have won easily. 

However...last night they mentioned some more series numbers...like 200+ shots to 130...and something like 70% of the time the Caps have had the puck in the offensive zone.  The hits are closer, but the hits by the Caps have been thunderous.  Watching Beagle and Mojo relentlessly harrass Crosby was a beautiful sight to see. 

Just as I said, the key was to beat Fluery.  In game 5, they did just that, and it seemed to shake his, and the Pens confidence.  Game 6, the Caps immediately came out firing, and completely dominating even more than they had been(which is saying something).  Fluery held his own at first, making some absolutely brilliant saves, but you got the sense it was only a matter of time before some of those started finding their way in.  No team can withstand a barrage like that for long.  It's not so much the quantity of shots(only 28 on goal for the game) - but the quality of them, and the odd-man breaks the Caps were getting.  They are doing to the Pens what the Pens were doing to them last year and through the first few games of this series - attacking the puck, getting takeaways and getting those odd-man rushes.  Give Trotz a HUGE amount of credit here for adjusting his team and finding the formula to get the momentum of the series back. 

The Caps didn't just beat the Pens - they embarrassed them, on their own ice.  Yinzer tears are delicious :)  Will it continue to carry into game 7?  I dunno.  Hockey can be such a weird sport.  All it takes is some unlucky bounces and a game can completely turn.  I won't believe the Caps will get past the Pens until they actually do.  Somehow I feel like the Caps will run out of gas/mojo/whatever, and the Pens will find a way, just like they always do.  I hope they can prove me wrong...until they do - the Caps will always be Choking Dogs.

Edited by alienrace

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Caps got out hustled in game 7.  Even in the third period when they were down 2-0 the Capitals always seemed to be chasing the puck down in their end.  I think Holtby did everything possible to keep his team in the game.  He made some great stops in the third or the final might have been 5-0.  It felt like the Caps maybe had expended so much energy to get this series to a game 7 that they just ran out of gas.  Pittsburgh looked more aggressive and quicker to every puck.  Still the Caps should have won this series.  Pittsburgh played without Crosby for two games and LaTang for the whole series.  Capitals had to have outshot the Penguins for the whole series, but I felt the Caps were often just taking shots to take them while the Penguins set up their shots better. 

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8 hours ago, cprenegade said:

Caps got out hustled in game 7.  Even in the third period when they were down 2-0 the Capitals always seemed to be chasing the puck down in their end.  I think Holtby did everything possible to keep his team in the game.  He made some great stops in the third or the final might have been 5-0.  It felt like the Caps maybe had expended so much energy to get this series to a game 7 that they just ran out of gas.  Pittsburgh looked more aggressive and quicker to every puck.  Still the Caps should have won this series.  Pittsburgh played without Crosby for two games and LaTang for the whole series.  Capitals had to have outshot the Penguins for the whole series, but I felt the Caps were often just taking shots to take them while the Penguins set up their shots better. 

When the Caps took shots it was always at a wall of defenders, while the Penguins constantly got chances at 1 maybe two defenders.  When they are playing well, the Penguins are just too fast for the Capitals.

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On 5/11/2017 at 8:18 AM, alienrace said:

Choking Dogs.  Will be an interesting offseason.  I saw Ovi just standing around a few times after his mistake led to the second goal.

Turns out Ovi was pretty badly injured from the hit he took against Toronto, was on painkillers the entire series.  Might explain his lack of playing time, and why he looked sluggish at times.

I think Williams, Alzner, Orpik, are all gone for sure.  They will probably try to keep Oshie, given his relative youth and what he brings.  Might be some other guys traded.  I don't think Ovie is going anywhere, and certainly not Backstrom.  The future is Kuzy and Borakovsky.  Both of them really emerged this year especially Kuzy, who I think is going to wind up being the scoring leader as Ovie is starting to trend downward.  Probably say goodbye to Grubauer, which is a shame. 

They didn't lose to the Penguins because of speed.  They lost because Fleury stole games they should have won.  It's really THAT simple folks.  Fleury is just a slightly above average guy in the regular season at this point, but he has another gear in the playoffs.  Some of the saves he made in game 7 were insane.  The Caps also once again, looked like the tight, playing with everything-to-lose team of games 1 and 2.  I don't know where the problem is.  It's not Trotz - it pre-dates his arrival.  I don't know if it's Ovie, Backstrom, or some of the others, but they just cannot seem to buy a break when the series is on the line for both teams.  Their passes get tentative, guys start getting afraid to take shots(see, Wilson passing instead of shooting in the third on a good opp), and they allow the Pens to harrass them far too much when coming out of their own zone instead of making the Pens pay for their aggressiveness.  In games 5 and 6, the Caps were very aggressive, and they totally got away from it in game 7, going back to the defensive minded, methodical pace of the first two games. 

The Caps dominated shots, hits, and zone time in this series.  By those numbers, they should have won in five games.  That has to tell you something.  Losing a game 2-0 in game 7, has to tell you something.  Do you blame Holtby for not being able to steal a game like Fleury?  Maybe.  But not game 7.  Holtby was making some incredible saves, often due to sloppy, tentative play by the Caps. 

If you're Leonsis, what do you do?  Fire Trotz?  No, I think that would be a huge mistake.  Trotz isn't the issue, and he has made this a much more complete team than it ever was.  He also did a masterful job in making adjustments during this series.  Blow it up, personel wise?  No, you don't do that either - far too much good, young talent on the team, and you are so damn close.  Trade Ovie or Backstrom?  Maybe...that is sort of "blowing it up", but if you keep Oshie, and have Kuzy and Borakovsky, Wilson, and some other young guys emerging, you probably still make the playoffs and maybe not being the favorite would be good for them.  Really, if I had to point fingers(I'm not going to point them at Ovie, since it appears he was playing with a pretty bad injury), I'd point it pretty damn directly at Orpik, and Niskanen.  Yeah, ex-Pens of course, but both of those guys were abysmal during this series.  Orpik in particuar was slow, got caught up the ice far too often, and didn't contribute much of anything.  Shattenkirk was pretty crappy too.  I think if anything, the Caps have to get younger and faster on the backend.  That's were they got beaten this series.  They lost game 4 because of Orpik's slop.  Oh, and well Orlov scoring on his own team for christ sakes!  I dunno about Orlov either.  He seems to make too many stupid mistakes.

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I disagree that they didn't lose because of speed.  In game 7, especially the third period, Penguins players seemed to always be where they needed to be to get the better of the slower Caps players.  Fleury had some good saves, but the Caps weren't exactly taking the best shots especially when facing a fall of defenders regularly.

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5 minutes ago, ivanbalt said:

I disagree that they didn't lose because of speed.  In game 7, especially the third period, Penguins players seemed to always be where they needed to be to get the better of the slower Caps players.  Fleury had some good saves, but the Caps weren't exactly taking the best shots especially when facing a fall of defenders regularly.

Yet in games 5 and 6, the polar opposite was true. 

The Caps have speed at the forward position, but lack it badly with defensemen.  Orpik in particular, cost us several goals because he was too old and slow. 

Neither goal scored by the Pens in game 7 was because of speed, it was because of sloppy, tentative, tight play by the Caps.  The last one was a very glaring example of what the problem was there. 

It's not like the Caps gave up 5 goals.  They gave up 2.  On sloppy plays.  They scored ZERO.  The Caps had a slew of good looks, but couldn't corral the puck, or the Pens did a good job of disrupting and protecting Fleury.  It was always something.  Tons of near misses by the Caps.  I don't know if other than praying to the hockey gods you can affect that.  This series was so incredibly lopsided in terms of shots and scoring chances towards the Caps, many of them point blank, you have to start wondering if the franchise is just simply cursed ;)  On a serious note, 99 times out of 100 if a team has that kind of domination on the ice, they win.  You had to go back five years to find a series that turned this way. 

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Well, Oshie and Williams have made it very clear they want to stay and make another run.  Oshie is kind of a no-brainer...Williams will be 37, but he did have his best year since 2006-7, and provides veteran, championship type leadership.  He did have some big moments in the playoffs too.

Will be interesting to see what Leonsis does.  He's very clearly disappointed, but it's hard to read his body language.  He knows there will be some shakeup, but it's not clear that he means it's inevitable or that he will be the one doing the shaking.  I still say keep the offensive stars you can, and get faster in the backside.  Please get rid of Winnick, Orpik, Niskanen.  Shattenkirk is obvious not coming back, thank god.  He was a major disappointment, and at times a liability.  Wish this wasn't an expansion year...I think you can kiss Grubauer goodbye. 

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On 5/12/2017 at 0:35 PM, ivanbalt said:

I disagree that they didn't lose because of speed.  In game 7, especially the third period, Penguins players seemed to always be where they needed to be to get the better of the slower Caps players.  Fleury had some good saves, but the Caps weren't exactly taking the best shots especially when facing a fall of defenders regularly.

Caps had quantity not quality of shots. And the Pens really commit to blocking. Ian Cole's entire body must be black and blue.

Great series. (Afraid I'm getting too old for this, so nerve racking!!)

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The Caps lost because they completely forgot what made them dominant in Game 6.  They came out and hit nobody in Game 7 and, instead of playing a grinding game low down in the Pittsburgh end, they played a skating game, which played right into the Pens' hands.  in Game 6 Pitt could barely get out of their own end.  In Game 7, they mostly had clear sailing up through the neutral zone.  After the first 3 minute flurry of pressure, the Caps relaxed and started playing careful instead of with abandon.  As soon as I saw that, I knew they would lose.  I've seen it for way too many years.  

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