Friday, April 04, 2008

Friday Roundup/Caps 4, Bolts 1

[AP Recap - Game Summary - Super Stats - Postgame]

So where in Rule 78 - Protection of Goalkeeper does it provide for waiving off what should have been Brooks Laich's game-tying first period goal? And if Tomas Fleischmann had interfered with Bolts blueliner Matt Smaby shouldn't Flash have, you know, gotten an interference penalty? In a season full of inexplicable calls, this one takes the cake.

Thankfully, though, it didn't matter, as Alex Ovechkin did his thing, Cristobal Huet did his, and the Caps inched ever closer to a spot in the post season. Some quick thoughts on the game:
  • Ovechkin's game-winning goal was obviously huge, but the pivotal play of the night, for my money, was Huet's stoning of Vincent Lecavalier when the latter found himself all alone ten feet on top of the crease. Frankly, after the early goal, you had a feeling that Cristo would lock it down the rest of the way. Hand him a blank check right now - I'm sold.
  • Karri Ramo is good... but not good enough. If Ovie could play 82 games per year against goalies with girls names, he'd break the Great One's mark of 92 goals in a season.
  • I've been on record as a Matt Bradley hater in the past, but I've been happily eating crow for months.
  • Matt Cooke had another strong game, but every shift with him is a checking-from-behind waiting to happen.
  • John Erskine was atrocious all night. Tyler likened him to molasses in January. I said he skates like he's walking through eight inches of monkey crap while wearing flippers. Tyler is classier than I am.
  • John Tortorella is an ass, and Doug Janik is a buffoon. Both are Bay Staters (as is Chris Rooney). Coincidence? Oh, and feel free to guess the fine(s) and suspension(s). I'm going with 10k to Torts and a game to Lessard.
So it's 81 down, one to go with a huge Friday night of scoreboard watching in between. Win or lose, it doesn't get much better than this, does it?

Elsewhere 'Round the Rinks:

One year ago today we recapped a Caps win and looked at a classic magazine cover and two years ago today we took Tony K. to task and witnessed what has to be a world record for typos.

Daily Awards
  • Hart: Antoine Vermette (3G, A, +2, 8 SOG, 63% faceoffs won)
  • Ross: Antoine Vermette (4 points)
  • Norris: Greg de Vries (Game-winning goal, +3)
  • Vezina: Henrik Lundqvist (25-save shutout win)
  • Richard: Antoine Vermette (3G)
  • Calder: Carey Price (W, 27 saves on 28 shots against)
  • Aiken: Vesa Toskala (L, 8 goals allowed on 33 shots against)


dk said...

Goalie interference...worst call I've seen in 30yrs...especially to blow the call and take away the goal...


AO makes me smile and is turning this long time Leafs fan into a Caps fan with every game I watch...He's such a Joy to watch...

Anonymous said...

"John Erskine... I said he skates like he's walking through eight inches of monkey crap while wearing flippers. Tyler is classier than I am."


Tyler said...

Torts intentionally sent out a fifth player when TB was down a man with 16-18secs-ish left. That should be an automatic suspension. (And the officials should be made to explain why the two teams played until the 10 fight without it being a penalty.)

Kim said...

Did I miss something regarding Cooke's hit on Vinny? Did not seem anything cheap to me. Even if it was, do not agree with Tort's reaction. I am a little concerned about him coaching Team USA now.

Kim said...

Oh, and I almost forgot. Matt Bradley Rocks!!!

That Bradley, Gordon, Brashear line is really working.

hotdog88gt said...

Cooke must have broken Vinny's ribs.

JP said...

Torts thinks that Cooke interfered with Vinny, which is semi-true - the puck wasn't there. But the puck was with the player who was on the other side of Vinny and for whom Vinny was more or less setting a pick, so Cooke had every right to the ice Vinny had moved to occupy, as he was persuing the puck.

It's unfortunate that Lecavalier got hurt, but he should have better awareness of where he and the puck are.

maruk said...

I've never been a Cooke fan, but he has played pretty well since the trade. He seems to be toeing the line pretty well. But sooner or later, he's going to cross it. He always has.

Dave UK Caps Fan said...


Isn't it time to update the "Every goal - a milestone" list.

Paul Nichols said...

Bradley has been playing like a whole new guy for 2 months now. Amazing. And you're right about Erskine, JP, whenever he's out on the ice I'm thinking "Aw hell, what's he going to mess up now?"

That 4-minute PK with ( I think ) only 1 SOG was superb.

Like Barry Melrose said this morning - " I want the Caps to make the playoffs just so I can watch this guy (Ovie) for three more weeks".

Yea baby.

Kim said...

Speaking of Barry Melrose and ESPN...Top stories this morning were Beckham's first MLS goal and Ovechkin. This little thing about Brett Farve un-retiring was buried below. Cool!

tg said...

Got to be at least a 10 game penalty for the player and the coach.

No less than three times, the ref/linesman ordered the player off the ice prior to the faceoff. Then, AS SOON AS TAMPA NO LONGER HAD POSSESSION OF THE PUCK (meaning no penalty for too many men on the ice), he comes back on the ice and starts a fight. Or at least attempts to do so.

In my view, that's intentionally leaving the bench to get into a fight, which is at least a 10 game suspension.

Of course, the league won't see it that way. If they were that pissed about the Lecavalier hit (or whatever), the time to do it was earlier, not with 15 seconds left.

And how in the world does Schultz (Jurcina?) get absolutely creamed against the boards by St. Louis?

JP said...

@ Dave UK: I absolutely need to update the list, but have been a little reluctant to do so from a superstition standpoint. I'll tweak it later today, though.

NS said...

F Torts. Complete douche bag.

On to things that don't suck:

- If Boudreau does not win the Jack Adams award, it will be equally or more of a joke than if Ovie doesn't win the Hart

- Vive le Huet

- Schultz's and Erskine's worst game of the year? pretty close.

- Emminger looked solid and hungry.

- Semin's line seems to have good chemistry. Having Cooke and Fedorov out there helps me not stress while Semin does his little dance(and hop). btw, Semin - shoot more, pls. do not turn into the next Hemsky (p.s. Hemsky is pretty sick, though)

- thought i should give some long due credit to Jurcina. He has been the big body the Caps needed all season. Hopefully, he gets even better and nastier (in a clean way)

- CapsChick made a good point on her blog. Watching Ovie put Laich in a headlock and jump up and down after Gordon's goal was one of the best parts of the game last night. Need video.

- Kozlov...umm, thanks. you've been kicking ass.

- Fehrthis year was a good learning experience for him. I think next year we will see him really turn it on. if not, i think he is worth keeping over Flush. Flush will be lucky to have a jersey next year.

Parise - pls score another clutch goal and down Philly in regulation. I hope Boston steam rolls Ottowa too.

so excited about tonight and tomorrow.

Dave UK Caps Fan said...


Thanks. I don't think it will be bad luck if you add some more. The original list didn't stop Ovie getting to 65, plus I need to know what 65, 66, 67 will all signify!

ted said...

After last night's game I have one question:

Is it clear now to all the conspiracy theorists that the NHL is not trying to put the Caps in the playoffs with favorable calls by their referees?

You can take off your tin foil hats now. Although the MLB is still trying to read your minds.

Soulie said...

Just to play devils advocate here, but y'know, if Kolzig had given up that first goal, this board would have lit up like Xmas tree slamming him. Just saying.

Vive Huet, indeed!

b.orr4 said...

First, thanks Toronto for lying down like dead dogs. Your organization can officially rot in hell.
-JP, you're right about Erskine. I have to cover my eyes every time he's on the ice. And not only does he stink but then he compounds it with a four minute high stick.
-Torts is a joke. Not for sticking up for his injured star, but for sending out Ward to fight in the last seconds of the game. If he isn't suspended, there needs to be an investigation.
-Finally, who else believes that the Caps playoffs hopes will be decided on Sunday with shootouts between Pittsburgh-Philly and Boston-Buffalo?

JP said...

@ Soulie - If Olie had given up that first goal, it's highly unlikely that it'd have been the only one he allowed on the night.

NS said...


i'm confident we will know, by the end of tonight, whether a Caps win on Saturday will clinch a playoff spot.

b.orr4 said...

I hope you're right, but I won't believe it until it actually happens.

tj said...

I said it before, those segway riders (Ovie, Backis, Green, Bradley) were together for a reason. They are a foundation of this team for years to come. You need skill, but you need Matt Bradley too.

Anonymous said...

I am actually a little surprised at the mildness of the comments regarding Torts' actions last night. That behaviour is exactly the type of thing that keeps the game I love from getting the exposure it really deserves. There was really no reason for it at this point in their miserable season.
The things I was shouting into my television last night are truly unprintable. That it shows him to be a classless loser is clear. Suspension is not good enough. Perhaps a swim through Erskine's monkey crap, (without a snorkel), is in order....
BTW- the only true justice would be for Ottawa to give up their playoff spot to the Caps- regardless of the outcome in the next few days. If they back in, playing as they have the past two months, and the Caps are shut out, (ditto, plus sweeping the season series with the Sens), it would be a disgrace.

b.orr4 said...

If ottawas does get in, they won't stay long. Alfredsson and Fisher both were injured last night and are expected to be out for a long while.

grapejoos said...

Great win for the guys last night. I agree that the interference no-goal was the worst call I've ever seen...though I've said that before. Either it's a penalty or it's not.

Torts and the guy that left the bench should get at least a 10 game suspension, that was totally bush league. The Caps were not playing dirty.

Too bad on Vinny's injury, but it's not like Cooke put a vicious hit on him. He just ran into his own man after the hit and fell awkwardly (or at least, that's what it looked like to me). Freak injury.

I thought "Flush" actually had another decent game tonight. He's no grinder, but I feel like the guy has played pretty well the past week or so.

It was hilarious watching all the guys mob Laich on the bench. What was that about--he wasn't on the ice for the goal?

Go Devils, and for the love of god B's and Sens, settle this thing in regulation.

Rage said...

Haven't read all 25 comments yet, but I'm getting there. But has anyone noticed that AO is now tied with Viktor Kozlov at +28? And that that is good for SIXTH in the league?

Unbelievable. The guy was -19 last year.

Link to stats

b.orr4 said...

One thing noone's mentioned is that, aside from the Ottawa win, the Caps got the results they wanted with the Montreal and Ranger games. Montreal's win keeps the pressure on Pittsburgh to play all out in their last game against the Flyers and the Ranger's win forces NJ to go for a win tonight (also against the Flyers) to hold on to the fourth spot.

jh said...

A) Tortorella is a huge d-bag for putting his meatheads on the ice with only seconds left in a game that was over and done with.

B) That no goal, no interference call happened only two days previous in the St. Louis-Nashville game, with the Blues neither getting the goal nor the "interference" penalty. That fuck up allowed Nash the OT win, and, because they won again last night, removed the playoff implications from tonight's Hawks-Preds game. I'm baffled by the blatant stupidity of officiating and how those crews are not accountable!

Rage said...

I think Schultz actually lost his footing and fell and St. Louis hit the glass above Schultz. That made it look like a huge hit, but I think their contact was actually pretty minimal.

And I think Torts gets at least $10k but would be surprised if he gets suspended. For comparison, Brash got a 5 gamer, Suts a 3 gamer and Hanlon a $30k fine for the game against Atlanta in 2006. Hartley got $10k and Mellanby got a 1 gamer. It doesn't seem like coaches get suspended for this type of stuff.

ted said...

As sad as it was to see Torts pull such sophomoric (and potentially dangerous) antics at the end of last nights game, did anyone besides me find the last shift amusing with Brashear asserting his presence to the TB bench?

It got the message across, that's for sure.

exwhaler said...

Of course, the rules don't clarify what it means by "intiating contact"--people are just assuming that it means the attacking player makes the contact himself. However, Flash did initiate contact that did interfere with the goalie's ability to make a play; he just shoved a defender into the goalie when Laich was lining up for his shot. I thought it was painfully obvious that Flash did that on purpose, and obviously, the officials thought so as well. The rules give them the latitude to make that judgement call (see Note 1).

Hazardous said...

"do not agree with Tort's reaction. I am a little concerned about him coaching Team USA now."

Wow, really? It took you this long?

Tort has been a completely classless jackass since the beginning. Why he isn't just booted out of the league by now is beyond me.

"s it clear now to all the conspiracy theorists that the NHL is not trying to put the Caps in the playoffs with favorable calls by their referees?"

I've been an advocate of the opposite for some time now. I'll gladly shut the hell up when the referees just all admit they're a bunch of incompetent dumbasses, though.

And finally, Lecavelier got hurt?
GOOD. Overrated douche.


1) The officials should get fined/suspended for the job they did yesterday. The non-call on Fleischmann/the waving off of the resulting goal was totally ridiculous. The explanation was even worse. It would have been better if they just said "We blew the call", and left it at that.
2) By not taking charge of the ice in the waning moments and allowing Tortorella to get the extra skater on to goon things up is even more inexcusable.
3) If the rules are enforced properly (are they ever?) Tortorella gets a 25 K fine, the team gets a 250,000 fine, and the player gets 10 games automatically. It was akin to leaving the bench during an altercation

the deuce said...

Hey, does anybody know a hockey-friendly bar in or around DC that has the center ice package where we can catch the playoff-implication games tonight?

Tyler said...

Please. We do not want players on other teams to get hurt. As hockey fans we certainly don't want the best, most entertaining players to get hurt. That diminishes the appeal of a game we hope will grow and a league we all want to see succeed. (Furthermore, Vinny is not Sean Avery. He's a model guy.)

Bowler said...

If Ovie could play 82 games per year against goalies with girls names,
he'd break the Great One's mark of 92 goals in a season.

HA! Excellent.

grapejoos said...

If that's the rule, I don't understand it. I agree that Flash was trying to push the guy towards the goalie, but isn't that 2 minutes for interference, and doesn't that prevent the goal from happening? My reaction was strong because I have never, ever seen that type of goal waved off. That it happened a few days before and affected the outcome of the WC playoff chase is all the more disgraceful. If it's the rule, it is one that doesn't make any sense.

And yes, hopefully it will help the ludicrous Caps conspiracy theories go away. I know that as a Caps fan, the suggestion that refs would intentionally try to help us out is downright comical.

kb said...

We're not the only ones fed up with Torts. Check out some of the comments from Lightning beat reporter Erik Erlendsson's blog.

Oh, and not all players from MA are massholes. The defense submits: Jeremy Roenick, Chris Nilan, and Mike Milbury

Tyler said...

Yeah. Watch it on the Bay State!


Tom Poti

john aiken said...

Thanks, Tyler.


1)On 2/28/08 JP said...
"How 'bout a wager, Faux?
If Huet signs for less than what Olie makes this year - $5.45m - which is what I said, you and your many aliases never comment on this blog again."
2) Still believe that they can sign Huet for less than what Kolzig made this season JP?

exwhaler said...


I agree, Flash should have been assessed a penalty under the rules, and the Caps should count themselves lucky that they only lost the goal. My feeling is the refs interpreted the contact as "incidental" because Flash didn't hit the goalie himself, but was checking another player in the crease (directly onto the goalie), and the refs didn't want to try to read Flash's mind about his intent. According to part A..."If an attacking player initiates contact with a goalkeeper, [b]incidental or otherwise,[/b] while the goalkeeper is in his goal crease, and a goal is scored, [b]the goal will be disallowed[/b]." Incidental contact does not receive a penalty, according to Part C.

Although Flash did initiate the contact, the refs called it "incidental" because he shoved another player into the goalie rather than making contact himself. Thus, no goal, but no penalty.

JP said...

@ Faux: Yes.

bigonetimer said...

looked to me like Ramo was out of the crease (or on the border at least) when Flash (clearly) pushed the player into him...tough call; glad it didn't hurt us in the end.

What is remarkable about this team, as opposed to Caps teams of years past, is their resiliency: 17 come from behind wins under BB (another feather in his Adams cap). I barely flinched when Kuba scored in the first minute--my first thought was, "ok, 1-1 or we are up 2-1 after the first period." It never even occured to me that we were going to collapse--and lesser teams would have. Years ago, it would have been, "*%$#, we're done!"...

Dreading the 3 pt game tonight with BOS-OTT; my eggs are still in the Philly fold basket. Still, nice to say that, today, we are "in" (albeit with a long row to hoe before being assured) after the team has fought so damn hard for the last month...really proud of the guys. Carry on!

jh said...


What Flash did is still player interference. Or it was incidental and the goal should have stood. It's understandable if the ref makes the penalty call. But to wave off the goal without making the requisite penalty call is literally stupid. Good for the Caps that it happened early in the game. For the Blues (and more importantly, in my humble opinion, for the Blackhawks) tough luck the same exact thing happened that nullified a goal with 6 minutes left in a tie game. It deflated the Blues who were reeling after giving up a 3 goal lead. A Blue was pushed by a Preds d-man into Chris Mason, the puck was shot past him and the ref immediately waved it off. Well, the net didn't come off the moorings. If there was no St. Louis penalty, why blow down the play? John Davidson upstairs was rightly livid and I can be sure he sent a message and video to league headquarters about such a blatantly poor referee decision. Then not 48 hours later it happened again! Who's accountable? Are we going to see these kinds of calls in the playoffs???

grapejoos said...

Agreed completely. I realize a penalty to Flash would have hurt the Caps more, but I have an easier time stomaching the enforcement of an actual rule (would have been the correct call, btw), than something which seems made up to me.

I read "incidental" in that rule as "inadvertent," but I guess that's what it says. I'm not sure how incidental contact could ever be anything other than interference (the penalty).

On an unrelated note, I'm not sure how I feel about that 8-19-28 line that was out there a few times. I like the Cooke - Fed - Semin line, don't mess with it BB.

But, whatever. Caps win! Hooray!

exwhaler said...

>>>"Or it was incidental and the goal should have stood. "

In my last post, I quoted the rule that says any initiated contact by an attacking player in the goalie crease--INCIDENTAL OR OTHERWISE--disallows the goal.

Incidental contact does not mean the goal stands.

b80vin said...

Points on the game:
1) The atmosphere was nowhere near as intense as Tuesday, though implications for the playoffs were still significant.
2) Matt Bradley is the shiznit! In baseball he would be called a utility player.
3) We should stop chanting "MVP" and chant "PLAYOFFS" Saturday. The Hart will take care of itself.
4) Got my playoff tickets Thursday
5) Some people talk with their hands, Brashear skates with his. He looks like a gooney bird trying to take off.
6) I'd love to get Halperin back. Man is he solid.
7) The Flyers will definitely lose to either NJ or Pitt, or both.
8) Ovie is worthy of the captaincy. His enthusiasm for the play of his mates is evident at all times, and he's taken to getting physical and rambunctious when someone takes liberties with a team mate.
9) Green has some kind of sight problem in which the goal appears to him as a foot and a half higher than it really is.
10) Brooksie is playing confident hockey and is one of those players that could take some of the credit besides Ovie.
11) Where are we without Huet? Nowhere near as excited about Saturday's game or our chances in the playoffs.
12) and finally, is the "Unleash the Rage" montage not the most exciting crowd ramping thing the Caps have ever put on the jumbo tron (besides a replay of a Gr8 goal)?
13) No wait, I have one more: When did the Caps stop just giving things to the fans and start the "dance monkey, dance" routine. And do the people who fall for that have any self respect? Seriously, "kiss your wife because the camera's on you"? Dance cam? Scream for a burrito? Hell, scream for a crappy Pappa John's pizza? Worse of all, sing the worst song about hockey EVER written?

Hooks Orpik said...

b orr4: "Montreal's win keeps the pressure on Pittsburgh to play all out in their last game against the Flyers"

Montreal finishes up on Sat. night; how they do then will be the real test (if they lose in regulation, the Pens clinch #1).

Regardless, I think the Penguins will def. come out strong that game because it is a rivalry game and they want to keep all the momentum for the start of the playoffs...No sense in taking the foot off the gas.

Good luck to your boys, I was at the game last night and it was pretty exciting.

Scott said...

As much as that no-goal shenanigan pissed me off, I knew we weren't going to lose on a call like that. Not this team. Not this year. Not now.

Also, man i wish i remember the time and exact situation but it was either Brads or Laich on the forecheck (maybe on PK too). Puck behind the net and TB throws a somewhat illegal pick out to block our forechecker. Brads/Laich just bowls him over and chases down the man with the puck behind the net. That was awesome.

Sidenote - When the Caps announced the Red-Out, I thought it would be a wash like so many attempts in the past. But holy shit...that building looks awesome. I get chills watching it on TV and wishing I was there. Thanks to all of you guys who are there wearing red and making those of us who can't be there proud to be caps fans.

jh said...

Um, exwhaler, you quoted the rule book wrong. Part b of the rule says, contact with the goalie other than incidental contact disallows the goal.

jh said...

OK, wait. Part a of the rule states what exwhaler was getting at. Since Ramo was in his crease, there was a precedent to disallow the goal without calling a penalty.

The Blues-Preds game was different, however. It was a Nashville d-man that pushed the Blues player into his own goalie.

Needless to say, refs seem to be confused on consistent calls.

Rage said...


Don't disrespect the Hockey Song ever again.

JP said...

I positively despise the Hockey Song.

Tyler said...

JP hates Bay Staters AND The Hockey Song? What next, the revelation that he's Canadian and loves Whiny Diver?

b.orr4 said...

"Montreal finishes up on Sat. night; how they do then will be the real test (if they lose in regulation, the Pens clinch #1)."
Hooks, Did the Toronto team you saw last night give you any indication that they can beat a Montreal team that's flying on all cylinders? They looked more like the Toronto Marlies. Trust me, your Pens are going to have to win on Sunday if they want to get the #1 spot and nothing would make me happier. I can't believe I just said that...

Rage said...

Despising the Hockey Song? This is ridiculous. I've lost faith in humanity.

My buddy lives in the same building as Quintin Laing. I'll ask him to check with Laing and get his opinion. If HE hates the Hockey Song, I'll drop it.

Joe said...

"If Ovie could play 82 games per year against goalies with girls names, he'd break the Great One's mark of 92 goals in a season."

I lol'ed. Quite hard.

I will see you all there tomorrow night. I am sooooo excited! Go Caps!!!

NS said...

took a friend to her first hockey game and when The Hockey Song came on, she just turns to me, stares, and says "what the shit is this?!"

seriously thought she was going to leave.

i don't mind it, after a drink or two.

Ari said...

Hockey song is fine, as is the dance cam. What's wrong with you people? The only thing I hate is when they ask us to make noise. We know when to make noise, no need to make it all artificial.

I'm not crazy about the coaches' speeches from movies - got old really fast. I do dig 'unleash the fury' though. Maybe they could just play that.

Joe said...

"The Hockey Song" is a classic.

However, I think we need an updated hockey song. As much as I can't stand the Bruins, I love Dropkick Murphys' "Time To Go". Every time I listen to it, I always tailor it to the Caps.

Scott said...

While we're on the subject of not insulting things, B.orr4 - Don't insult the Marlies (they're actually going to make their playoffs)

Anonymous said...


Anonymous said...


*until next season

Slacker said...

The SE is ours for the taking! Let's Go Caps!

Joe said...


*until next season"

If by "next season", you mean "tomorrow night", then I agree :) The division is ours for the taking boys!

terpgrrl said...

The fact that the Panthers won that game is amazing. They had what, 16 shots on goal compared to 40+ by the Canes?? Insane!! Not to mention all the penalties against them.

I just hope they don't play that well tomorrow and are all worn out!

Let's GOOOOOO Caps!!!

ted said...

Apparently Vokoun has back spasms and left early, and the commentators on "NHL on the Fly" said that backup goalie Anderson was playing hurt at the end of the game. Could be interesting to see who plays between the pipes for them. Maybe a minor league callup?

1 Point and we're the division champs! Un---believable!!!

hotdog88gt said...



b.orr4 said...

Canes outshot the Panthers 46-17. God really does want the Caps in the playoffs. Now it's time for Boudreau to really earn his money and get these guys to not believe they've already made the big dance.