25 April, 2014


A Night to Forget

For the Caps fans who stayed till the end of Tuesday’s 5-1 blowout loss and gave a standing ovation when their team finally scored late in the third, defenseman Karl Alzner noticed. And he appreciated it.

“I noticed it right away,” he said. “I thought that was nice they were still cheering, even though what the score was.”

But after a loss like last night’s to the Flyers, the Capitals are going to need two things: a video session and a short memory.

It was less than a memorable performance for goalies Tomas Vokoun for 40 minutes and Michal Neuvirth for 20, though Capitals head coach Dale Hunter chalked three of the goals up to being tipped out of the air.

“There’s no excuses,” Vokoun said. “I didn’t help the team at all, and that’s my job.”

One person who was doing everyone else’s job with less than his usual reckless abandon, however, was Alexander Semin. At one point in the game, Adam Vingan of Kings of Leonsis tweeted Semin had two hits. But by the end of the night, Semin had five total – the most of any individual on either the Flyers or the Capitals. And he had no penalties, though he did finish -3.

The final stats sheet, though, told less than the whole story on Tuesday: the Capitals were almost even with the Flyers in shots on goal, had one more hit, finished almost even in faceoff percentage, and managed 13 blocked shots to Philly’s 19. They also were only in the box once.

That means little, however, when the scoreboard says 5-1 in your opponent’s favor.

“I don’t think we played very responsible,” Alzner said when comparing this outing to the Capitals’ last few games (the Capitals have gone 3-1 in their last four).  “I don’t know why it changed tonight. Philly is a really good team.  They do a great job down low, but we made a lot of bad mental errors. … But I think the mental errors are things that you can easily change. You take an extra second to think, and make a smarter play.”

Azner said the Caps’ inability to clear the zone and their turnovers at the blue line Tuesday also took its toll physically.

“Some of us were out there for a minute and a half, two minutes at a time, and it really, really kills you,” he said.

The Caps also were unable to convert three power plays into goals. Jeff Halpern was the only Capital to find the net, and it came late in the third, saving his team from being shut out. Joel Ward and Dennis Wideman had the assists.

“It’s an ugly game,” was Halpern’s assessment afterwards.

Hard to disagree.



12 Comments

  1. Mikeruck wrote:

    Mike, bb got paid major dollars by leonsis he is not gonna say anything negative n the press, it’s called class. Of course he is gonna say it was time for a change. Behind closed doors he is pissed as hell, he is a competitor. He wanted to win the cup in Washington. Bb is a great coach, unfortunately he was not given enough time.

    14 December, 2011 at 12:59 am | Permalink
  2. Bill wrote:

    Stop blaming “the team” or “the defense” for poor play. There’s one reason, and one reason only the Caps season is teetering on the brink of disaster. GOALTENDING. Last year the Caps netminders were CONSISTENTLY ranked in the Top 10 (GAA). BB stated repeatedly that goaltending was not a concern last year. This year, however, Caps goaltending is at the bottom. Not near the bottom. AT THE BOTTOM. 30 games into the season, Vokoun is ranked 26 of 30 NHL starting goalies (GAA).
    I don’t understand why Coach Dale is covering for his netminder(s). After tonight’s game vs Philly, Hunter said that 3 of the 5 goals against were deflections; and the rest were softies. Huh? I watched all 5 goals via DVR/NHL On the Fly this evening. NEWSFLASH: 4 of the 5 goals were softies. 1 goal was deflected, and that was the sole goal against Neuvy. Either Coach Dale doesn’t know anything about goaltending, or he is covering for his players (by not naming names). Why would a new coach cover for his players? He has to know he was brought in under tenuous circumstances. The Caps weren’t losing because of BB. They were losing because of poor goaltending (not because of Semin or Schultz). So, 6 games into the reign of Coach Dale he is defending his LOSING goaltender. Dale better get a clue. And quick. Toss that puppy in front of the bus (i.e. Vokoun) and move on; or his tenure in Washington will be short-lived. Note: I know personnel decisions are the purview of the GM; but if I was in Dale’s shoes, and my reputation was on the line; I’d tell GMGM to toss Vokoun overboard IMMEDIATELY or threaten to quit.

    14 December, 2011 at 1:02 am | Permalink
  3. Exactly wrote:

    Holtby and neuvy r awesome. So we fired bb and got vokoun. Last time I checked we won the division and vokoun and the panthers didn’t do s. So we got vokoun . Why? Leonsis come on buddy I think ur great but ur taking a page from dum dum Snyder. Ur better than that.

    14 December, 2011 at 1:12 am | Permalink
  4. OvieTracker wrote:

    The Caps and their Captain Alex Ovechkin failed to build on the momemtum generated in the previous two games. It was very ugly to watch the regression, especially Ovechkin’s horrendous giveaway and non-existent backchecking. After coming on like a powerhouse the past two games, tonight he managed only three measly shots on goal all in the third period, and finished -2 for the night. When and where will we see vintage Ovechkin again?

    Maybe some long video sessions and short memories will help get past this stinker. It’s on to Winnipeg and Colorado for a couple of very winnable games. They are on paper anyway.

    14 December, 2011 at 3:06 am | Permalink
  5. don cherry wrote:

    Shorter game summary: Terrible. Even shorter: Yuck.

    Easily one of the worst games I’ve seen since the lockout ended.

    14 December, 2011 at 9:56 am | Permalink
  6. morgan wrote:

    Do you think Ovi is becoming Jagr II? It seems clear that he just seems to be going through the motion most of the time while collecting his hefty paycheck. And we are probably stuck with him for a long time as his production diminishes so does his trading value. I think GMGM, providing he’s still around next summer, should start focusing on grity, talented Canadian and American players and move away from Europeans. The ones we have seem to lack the grit and determination needed to flourish in today’s NHL.

    14 December, 2011 at 9:59 am | Permalink
  7. muddapucker wrote:

    This team is going to change. Dale Hunter won’t be associated with underachievers. Its not his style, it never has been, it never will be. You can bet Coach Hunter is evaluating his personnel and deciding who fits the bill and who doesn’t.

    Stay tuned, the Coach is about to get everyone’s attention.

    Dale Hunter doesn’t know how to lose.

    14 December, 2011 at 11:14 am | Permalink
  8. tracy wrote:

    turned on the game :score Flyers 1, Caps . twenty minutes later,my entire cranium exploded. Caps, say it ain’t so.
    signed,
    a Flyers Hater

    14 December, 2011 at 1:00 pm | Permalink
  9. True Capitals fans. The nature of fans needs to change. The fan’s are the whole reason the Yankees and Red Sox payroll debate gets brought up.
    I never understood why fans leave early. It’s weak. You paid for the seats. Watch the entire game. Fortunately for hockey fans, it’s a long season. Every team has those nights where they get blown out.

    14 December, 2011 at 3:01 pm | Permalink
  10. Josie wrote:

    Never have left a hockey game early or booed my team. Whats the point? Glad Alzner noticed and appreciated it… wasn’t an easy game, but happy I got to be there at least.

    16 December, 2011 at 2:01 am | Permalink
  11. The game was almost unwatchable. The Caps used to be a fun to watch.

    16 December, 2011 at 7:08 pm | Permalink
  12. xke4me wrote:

    Completely underwhelmed by the “new” Caps. Glad I haven’t wasted any of my money on tickets this year.

    16 December, 2011 at 9:27 pm | Permalink

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