Blog Entry

Seeing red

Posted on: April 16, 2009 12:45 am

So is it too early for the Washington Capitals to give up? Not on their series against the New York Rangers of course -- a 4-3 first game loss isn't the right time to throw in the towel -- but on Jose Theodore.

The southpaw goalie was the biggest question mark for the heavily favored Eastern Conference second seed coming into these playoffs, with the general consensus being that Theodore could be the only thing standing between the Caps and a legitimate Stanley Cup run. Unfortunately, he did nothing to assuage those fears with a miserable night that not only put Washington behind the eight ball, but cost the Caps the home ice advantage they earned for this series.

Theodore really did make all those fans decked out in Caps red see that color. He wasn't set properly when Scott Gomez beat him with a weak shot to tie the game a minute after Tomas Fleischmann opened the scoring for Washington; he didn't react quickly enough on goals by Nik Antropov and Markus Naslund; and he didn't cover the short side properly when Brandon Dubinsky beat him for the winner. All told, Theodore made only 17 saves, few enough to offset what was an otherwise dominant effort by Washington.

That has to concern the Capitals. They executed their game plan well by penetrating the Rangers zone and creating the kind of offensive pressure they wanted, but Washington still came away empty handed because New York goalie Henrik Lundqvist lived up to his repuation. In other words, he was really good.

He had to be. Washington outshot the Rangers 35-21, outdid them in the faceoff circle by an astounding 46-20 margin and outhit New York 35-27. The Caps power play even scored a couple of times against the league's best penalty killers. Alex Ovechkin was the force he is supposed to be too, getting a pair of assists to go along with 13 shots and 15 more that were either blocked or went wide. And he delivered six bone crushing hits, but nothing mattered because Theodore didn't give his team a chance to win.

Washington doesn't have much time to figure out if he can in this series. Problem is their only other option is Simeon Varlamov, a 21-year-old rookie who has all of six NHL games under his belt. But Caps coach Bruce Boudreau didn't rule out using him, saying "when you lose, you make changes."

Maybe he means it is time to give up.

Meanwhile, the home teams managed to prevail in the other games of the first night, with the New Jersey Devils playing their most complete game in a month to beat Carolina 4-1 and the Pittsburgh Penguins using a quick start to overwhelm the Philadelphia Flyers by the same score. Vancouver rounded things out with a 2-1 win over a plucky St. Louis Blues team.

The Devils effort was arguably the biggest surprise of the evening, mostly because they were able to beat the Hurricanes at their own game. The Devils were flying from the opening faceoff, using their bodies and their speed to keep the Hurricanes back and to take advantage of Carolina's weakness in its own end. New Jersey outshot the visitors 39-19 and more important, got goals fron Zach Parise, Patrik Elias and Jamie Langenbrunner, the players they need to score to win this series.

It was the same story in Pittsburgh where big guns Sidney Crosby and Evgeni Malkin both found the back of the net. The Penguins also got a nice display of leadership from veteran Bill Guerin, who defended a teammate late in the game by fighting Braydon Coburn, and Pittssburgh's Marc Andre Fleury wasn't too shabby in goal either. Neither was Philadelphia's Martin Biron for that matter.

Still, the most anticipated goaltending battle of the night between Vancouver's Roberto Luongo and the Blues Chris Mason didn't really materialize, although both were as sharp as they had to be in a close game. That's good news for both teams because this series looks like it is shaping up to be a long one.


Category: NHL

Since: Oct 29, 2007
Posted on: April 17, 2009 11:56 am

Seeing red

Nobody even remembers the two posts Callihan hit early on.

Even though  did not play great I think the Rangers held their own 2nd and 3rd periods.

Also no mention on how the Caps kept Ovetchkin on the ice so long during the PPs.

I only hear how poor  played.


Since: Apr 24, 2008
Posted on: April 17, 2009 11:11 am

Seeing red

Maybe unstoppable was a bad word to use, sorry, but if you guys are a cup contending team than you wouldn't allow those goals to happen.  The fact is the rangers took advantage of those mistakes, and if you're trying to win the cup you don't allow that.  And for the record sauter3 the penalty summary had 7 for the rangers and 4 for the caps...not to mention the elbows thrown on both Sjostrom and Callahan so I don't know what kind of Jersey you think the refs are wearing but it sure as hell isn't broadway blue..

Since: Sep 14, 2006
Posted on: April 16, 2009 11:03 pm

Seeing red

Both teams didnt play a great game.  Only the Caps did but theo sucked.  I GUESS YOU DIDNT READ THIS  NEXT PART...... 

  lived up to his repuation. In other words, he was really good. He had to be. Washington outshot the Rangers 35-21, outdid them in the faceoff circle by an astounding 46-20 margin and outhit New York 35-27. The Caps power play even scored a couple of times against the league's best penalty killers.

Since: Oct 9, 2007
Posted on: April 16, 2009 6:47 pm

Seeing red

Simeon Valramov is 20, not 21, Wes.  Your dumbness continues to amaze me.



Since: Aug 29, 2006
Posted on: April 16, 2009 5:52 pm

Knew It

Jose Theodore is not good. I was furious when the Caps let Cristobal Huet walk and then did nothing to replace him. I coun't Jose as nothing just so we're clear. With a good goaltender the Cup was theirs for the taking, but now they have to rely on a has been or a unproven guy. They could have traded for Niklas Backstrom from Minnesota and been the favorites but they missed out. Could have gotten Steve Mason from Nashville but didn't. They will beat the Rangers, I'm not worried about that, but to move on past Pittsburgh or New Jersey they are going to need some net play. It's so frustrating.




Since: Apr 7, 2009
Posted on: April 16, 2009 2:44 pm

Seeing red

Hey broadway what game did you watch, he surely did blow at least two of those goals never should have been scored. Get real the rangers had their fun it will be one series and one for the broadway fools. 

Since: Mar 4, 2008
Posted on: April 16, 2009 12:38 pm

Lucky to be there

Before the Rags fans get too carried away, remember your club backed into the playoffs, gave up more goals than they scored and are only in the playoffs because the teams below them were slightly worse.  The Caps will win this series. You should just be content with making it this far.   

Since: May 15, 2008
Posted on: April 16, 2009 12:23 pm

Seeing red

but last night he let in a soft goal or two which is uncharacteristic of him




Which one was soft, The Fleischmann tip in off the Ovi shot.  The great pass backdoor where Kozlov tipped it in? or the goal where he made the first save on the bank in attempt by Ovechkin and while he was down Semin put it in a half empty net?

The first goal on Theodore was soft

Since: Feb 18, 2009
Posted on: April 16, 2009 12:00 pm

Seeing red

Why the Caps though Theodore was the answer to their goaltending issues is beyond me. The facts are Theodore had one outstanding regular season early in his career, has never made it past the 2nd round of the playoffs, and at best, is a streaky netminder that might steal the odd game or two for you, but that's not going to cut it in the playoffs.  


Since: Apr 15, 2008
Posted on: April 16, 2009 11:51 am

Seeing red

Your kidding right...the goals at least three of them were definately stoppable.  They were soft long range wristers with no traffic in front.  But who cares your team won.  So what is the big deal.  Is it just too much for your team to win you need everyone to say that your team is the best in the world in the history of sports.  If so don't hold your breath because they aren't.  And lundquist usually plays like one of the best in the east (although I wouldn't crown him heads and shoulders above the rest when you have ones like broduer in the same league...heck the same state...heck same city, not to mention we have a guy named fleury here in pittsburgh who isn't too shabby either) but last night he let in a soft goal or two which is uncharacteristic of him.  I'm not saying your team didn't win it.  But those goals wouldn't have gone in against most goalies.  But again it doesn't matter I'm actually cheering for you because I want the rangers and Montreal to win so that the pens can get home ice advantage and so that ovi doesn't win a playoff series.  

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