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Alzner: We’ve got some tough guys, too

Apr 10, 2012, 12:54 PM EDT

Ovechkin hit Getty Images

“You ain’t so bad, you ain’t so bad, you ain’t nothin’.” – Rocky, to Clubber Lang

“I think we’ve got a lot of guys that can throw the body around, too. We’re not a team like them where we come out and always do that, but we do that when we need to — and we’re going to need to in this series.” – Karl Alzner, on how the Capitals match up against the big, bad Bruins (via the Washington Post)

OK, so the two quotes aren’t exact parallels. Washington definitely won’t want to get into a street fight with the B’s, but you can’t blame Alzner for rejecting the notion the Caps are about to get bullied into surrender. They’re still hockey players.

“For us we’ve got some guys, they can hold their own,” added Troy Brouwer. “We’ll push back. Don’t think we’re going to lay down by any means.”

A big key for the Caps will be the power play. Last year’s Stanley Cup finals might’ve ended differently if the Canucks had been able to score with the man advantage. Instead Vancouver went 2-for-33 and lost its best way to neutralize Boston’s intimidation tactics.

Washington’s power play finished the season 18th (16.7%) in the NHL, but there’s plenty of firepower on the Capitals to improve on that success rate.

  1. cableguymike - Apr 10, 2012 at 1:06 PM

    Washington in 7. They will make Crybaby Thomas look bad in the process. Marchand will get his face tuned in if he isn’t too scared to drop the gloves with someone.

    • mgp1219 - Apr 10, 2012 at 1:10 PM

      hey cableguymike -
      your words are tougher than your team is.

      B’s in 5!

      • cableguymike - Apr 10, 2012 at 1:18 PM

        Hey mgp1219 -

        Season Series: WSH 3-1-0, BOS 1-2-1

        Washington in 7.

        Side statistic: All 3 playoff opponents the Canucks faced in 2011 are contenders again this year. 2 of 3 Bruins opponents are draft lottery contenders. The road through the west, as usual, will be the harder one to the SCF.

      • homelanddefense - Apr 10, 2012 at 3:21 PM

        Mike, who cares about the regular season?

        And two of the teams the Bruins beat are Cup contenders too…Philly and VANCOUVER. You remember them beating Vancouver right?

      • cableguymike - Apr 11, 2012 at 11:29 AM

        Sorry meant on the road to the SCF. Thought that was self-explanatory. Apparently not.

        All I’m saying is I wish Vancouver had the opportunity to play an Ottawa or a Florida in a playoff round. There’s no push overs in the West. Hence, the reason the Canucks were so beaten up by the time they got to the SCF last year.

        Anyway, Bruins still out in 7. Benoit Pouliot can take that prediction to the bank.

    • getlockedout - Apr 10, 2012 at 1:15 PM

      marchand is one of the few pests who actually drops his gloves. he practically begged matty niskanen to fight him so he could make up for the slewfooting incident…

      • mgp1219 - Apr 10, 2012 at 1:18 PM

        He also fought Subban. And last year in the SC finals when he ducked under Erhoff he came up ready to fight. Don’t think he is scared to drop the gloves.

      • jpelle82 - Apr 10, 2012 at 5:13 PM

        i think marchand could take anybody the caps have…i mean we saw what happened to beagle. and hendricks sucks just as bad. brouwer is the only guy anyone should be even the slightest bit scared of.

      • fbothharbaughs - Apr 11, 2012 at 9:38 AM

        Marchand did look tough slapping Sedin in the face 3,4,5 times last year in the Finals…

    • jond86 - Apr 10, 2012 at 9:13 PM

      Why would the Bruins want one of there top line forwards to drop the gloves in the playoffs? If he absolutely has to, he will, as he has proved numerous times. I betcha he rearranges Picasso faced Ovi too.

  2. mgp1219 - Apr 10, 2012 at 1:15 PM

    When players start talking about how they are not afraid of another team, they are afraid.

    Perhaps Jay Beagle can drop the gloves with Marchand. Marchand wins in a TKO.

  3. dcdiehard82 - Apr 10, 2012 at 1:18 PM

    Caps in 6… Boston looked like garbage in March and I’m sure they will carry it into the playoffs.. And I hope to see Thomas on his ass again just like he was in OT a few weeks.. We ain’t scuuurd!

    • homelanddefense - Apr 10, 2012 at 3:23 PM

      how did they look? Go back and look at the last 10 games or so 7 and 3.

    • upyourstodd - Apr 10, 2012 at 7:54 PM

      There arent any shootouts for Thomas to get faked out of his shoes. Scared or not its about confidence in the playoffs. The Bruins and Capitals played well in the last few games of the season and The Bruins have the experience from the Cup run as well as the awful defeats they suffered in years prior.

  4. bergeronforselke - Apr 10, 2012 at 1:19 PM

    I understand trying to rev up the bravado but the Bruins don’t normally start with the rough stuff right away, they usually adapt to that style of play out of necessity….well except Lucic who has his angry face on display the entire time. I don’t remember too much rough stuff in any of the earlier Caps games but who knows.

  5. capsrockva - Apr 10, 2012 at 1:27 PM

    As much as I would love to see the Bruins knocked out, I have to look @ it realistically. I don’t see Holtby beating Thomas in Net. Thomas is one of the best in the league. Hopefully Holtby steals 1 or 2 in Boston, but I think Boston in 6 or 7. Also fighting in the playoffs is a huge penalty more so than the regular season

  6. govtminion - Apr 10, 2012 at 1:33 PM

    There won’t be a whole lot of fighting- I’d be stunned if either team turned to dropping the gloves. This is the playoffs, after all. And Alzner is right- there’s some toughness on the Caps, enough to stack up against most other teams. The problem is that the Bruins aren’t most teams- their very identity is to push their opponents around (ask the Sedins.)

    If Holtby really does well and the Caps front two lines really do their job, I think they can steal a couple of games at home. This isn’t as bad of a team here in Washington as they made themselves look like all year.

    …it just isn’t enough, either. Bruins will move on after a very interesting series.

  7. pepper2011 - Apr 10, 2012 at 1:38 PM

    Bruins will sweep. Maybe 5. This is not the type of team that gives the Bruins trouble, I don’t care what happened in the regular season. The B’s took off Jan- mid march. Let us not forget the Dennis wideman factor. He tries so hard, and he falls so often – at exactly the wrong time. He led the caps with 23+ minutes a night; From a defensive point of view that’s not a good thing. he is a strong PP dman just about half of his points came on the PP, he is not very strong in the defensive zone. Lucic will go through him and Seguin will go around him. Ovechkin will get tired of the Bruins defensive pressure and try to do it all himself – not gonna work the way the Bruins play. Ovechkin for Nash in the offseason – makes sense for both teams

    • ravenscaps48 - Apr 10, 2012 at 1:45 PM

      You’re an idiot

      • johnguelff - Apr 10, 2012 at 1:53 PM

        agreed..

      • pepper2011 - Apr 10, 2012 at 2:14 PM

        how cute, you insult me because you have no reply to the facts which I presented. your top two dmen; carlson and wideman were -23. not good heading into the playoffs against a team that lead the league in goal differential – +67 to your -8 (ouch). oh yeah, you also didn’t have a 22 year old rookie goalie who had an .857 save % in the AHL Playoffs last year.

      • ravenscaps48 - Apr 10, 2012 at 2:52 PM

        I was referring to your Ovechkin for Nash swap.

    • govtminion - Apr 10, 2012 at 2:16 PM

      Not to argue, but why on earth would the Caps and Jackets make that trade?

      • pepper2011 - Apr 10, 2012 at 2:25 PM

        The Caps will make it because they will be sick of Ovi and his inability to win; all the drama that surrounds him. They could get a guy back in Nash who will put up similar numbers with a Top 5 center (backstrom). The Bluejackets will do it to save face. In losing the face of the franchise they can replace him with one of the most polarizing players in hockey. He will put people in seats. Also- assuming they land Yakapov – Brassard or johansen would look pretty good in between those two.

      • govtminion - Apr 10, 2012 at 2:32 PM

        Honestly, it sounds like trading problems for problems for both teams. YMMV.

      • pepper2011 - Apr 10, 2012 at 2:43 PM

        Oh, I agree, but I think it would work for both teams. At least in a selling tickets sort of way.

    • rockthered1286 - Apr 10, 2012 at 2:25 PM

      If one more person uses the “that 3-1 regular season series win for the Caps doesn’t matter” I’m going to flip. You know when that logic works? When next season starts. So basically you’re saying the Bruins didnt play hard enough in the regular season because obviously they didnt care at all and had no plans of playing hard ever? Or was it just against the Caps they didn’t care? Or was it a sudden change of heart? CLEARLY this Caps team DID and WILL give the Bruins trouble. Not saying we’ll sweep them but they will not walk all over us. And again, defend your logic: did Lucic and Seguin go through Wideman everygame in those 3 loses and 1 win? Or were they also holding back? And did Ovechkin break down and fail? And how can you judge Holtby who you’ve never seen? Yea… the only thing I truly remember is Tim Thomas getting faked out of his pants and falling on his ass in the SO win for the Caps, followed shortly by a tunnel tumble.

      Caps in 6.

      • pepper2011 - Apr 10, 2012 at 2:35 PM

        It really doesn’t matter. The Bruins were without some key players and yeah- they weren’t playing hard/well Jan-March. Fact.
        FYI- the next season has started; or starts Wednesday. The regular season is not the playoffs. There is your first mistake. I am glad you remember Thomas falling down in a meaningless SO (which the playoffs don’t have) I remember a Vezina, a Conn Smyth and a STANLEY CUP. have fun with a last week of the season shootout goal by a useless player in a game which your team blew a 2 goal lead with 3 minutes left. oh, you forgot about that, you know when Lucic went right through Wideman

      • ravenscaps48 - Apr 10, 2012 at 3:01 PM

        Because we weren’t missing our BEST PLAYER (19) or anything. Stop making excuses

      • rockthered1286 - Apr 10, 2012 at 3:11 PM

        And the Caps played the first 3 of those games without Green and Backstrom, 2 top guys but still pulled out 2 wins.
        Lucic- 26G, 35A, 61pts
        Seguin- 29G, 38A, 67 pts
        Ovechkin- 38G, 27A, 65 pts…playing without his top center and a makeshift line all year.
        Holtby- 14-4-3 @ NHL level, .928 sv% Not too shabby for being 22 y/o.
        Bruins 7-2-1 in their last 10. Caps 6-2-2 in their last 10. 1 OT loss difference. But clearly Bruins are far superior. If you want to throw out regular season stats then throw ALL stats out. Forget the 3-1 season series the Caps won, but also forget the +/- goal differential and forget injuries. We have our full team for the first time since November and that will make a world of difference.
        ps- Hendricks useless? Thomas sure will never forget that move, nor will you forget that name when he lays an ass whooping on a bruin in this series.

        Caps in 6.

      • pepper2011 - Apr 10, 2012 at 3:40 PM

        If you want to go that route; Savard, Horton and Peverley. I also think they were without Pouliot as well, but injuries happen. You did neglect to mention that Ovi is a -8 and Lucic and seguin are a combined +41. You do realize that there are usually not many fights in the playoffs right? and, I really don’t think hendricks would stand a chance against; Thornton, McQuaid, Lucic, or Chara. He might give Campbell and Ference a good bought – but the only one of those guys that it would actually be worthwhile for the B’s to drop the gloves with is Thornton- and he has no chance there. The mere fact that every one of your fans is bringing up Thomas falling over is not a good sign. He fell. Thomas falls a lot and if that is what you need to hang your hat on… eek. Also, I find it funny that you all point out the Hendricks goal; when it was the Laich goal that was the one worth mentioning. Bruins in 4.

      • rockthered1286 - Apr 10, 2012 at 4:01 PM

        I know Brooksie won it, but the fact that a Vezina winning goalie bit that bad on a Hendricks shot is just pathetic. He did not fall, he got embarassed. Nobodys hanging onto that win, hell we beat the Bruins that game without Ovi, Green and Backstrom, so there’s 2 on your top line gone and our top scoring D in the PP (career not this year due to injury) not to mention a goalie change due to injury when we were up 2-0. Lets crunch some more numbers: since the lockout, the team who won the season series headed into the 1st round matchup has won 77% of the time. I’ll also mention that in the second game in the season series Hendricks fought McQuaid and tied up quite nicely. No KO’s there buddy. Understanding that fighting is minimal, but further proof you will not see this Caps team bow out easily from the typical Bruins physical play. We’ll hit back and if it gets choppy we’ll drop gloves.

      • pepper2011 - Apr 10, 2012 at 4:18 PM

        He did fall. Green and Ovi played that game. FYI – 20+minutes each actually, but yeah.

      • pepper2011 - Apr 10, 2012 at 4:22 PM

        Also- The Bruins played (most) that game with 5 dmen. One of which was Corvo – who was in for Seidenberg and will be #7 on the depth chart heading into the playoffs.

      • rockthered1286 - Apr 10, 2012 at 4:41 PM

        Good job Washington Post making me look foolish with the Ovi/Green comment. I thought Ovi played not Green, and obviously he did. 2 assists.

        Another stat? Regular season series GF/GA both at 12. Thomas had the slight advantage in sv %, .923 to Vokoun’s .911. again, I am in no way saying the Caps have a major advantage, all I’m driving at here is that every Bruins fan who thinks they’ll blow us away has clearly not watched the Caps recently or paid attention to any game in the series other than the Boston 4-1 win in December.

    • grimlock410 - Apr 10, 2012 at 7:53 PM

      Since you don’t like the 3 to1 stat how about he fact that in the eastern conference finals last year tampa bay score 5 yes 5 goals on your impenetrable D 4 times. Bostons run last was just that a run and If you think this wont be tough your a know nothing fan boy… And the ovi for nash trade is moronic.

      • pepper2011 - Apr 11, 2012 at 9:10 AM

        That is true; they did score 5 goals four times. you know the team that swept your Capitals. Two of the games that the “impenetrable D” gave up five goals- they gave up two EN goals. They also shut out Tampa twice in that series. Even with the bad games – Tim Thomas still ended up the playoffs with a .940 save % . They were also without their top defensive forward and future selke winner Bergeron. I also think making it to the 7th game of the conference finals 3 years in a row (losing) and then winning a cup in the your 4th constitutes more than a “run”, but yeah- I guess I am just a fan boy, like you said. Honestly I don’t care what you think about an Ovi for Nash deal- we’ll see when you get swept.. I hope it doesn’t happen – it would make the Caps better.

      • pepper2011 - Apr 11, 2012 at 9:19 AM

        in addition to that – they were up 3-0 against Philly the year before to make it to the cup; yeah they collapsed, but Lucic was 20- Seguin wasn’t on the team Krejci broke his wrist; Seidenburg was out; McQauid and Boychuck were rookies, Savard was not a guy who should have been playing (and hasn’t since) Thomas was backing up a 21 year old Rask because of injury and our best offensive player from game 3 on was Miroslav Satan. Yeah injuries happen, but that was a bit much. Oh yeah and we had Dennis effing Wideman.

    • fbothharbaughs - Apr 11, 2012 at 9:41 AM

      but they DO have that defensive stalwart Green back…

      just in time to SUCK yet again when it matters….

  8. odj810 - Apr 10, 2012 at 1:51 PM

    I think washington drew a bad matchup. Sure they could shock people and play to there potential but the more likely scenario is the bruins defense/ goal tending just frustrates the caps and knocks them off there game. I don’t see there stars battling through adversity for a 7 game series the way they are going to need to.

  9. dagnats - Apr 10, 2012 at 2:20 PM

    I love the caps, but the two teams are completely different, everyone knows what the bruins are, and no one(including the caps) knows what type of team the caps are…they have no identity…with that said, hendricks, brouwer, laich, and beagle arn’t afraid to grind it out…we’ll see…

  10. ballistictrajectory - Apr 10, 2012 at 2:46 PM

    Give Ovi a dozen donuts for every goal he scores in the playoffs. Guaranteed the Caps are done after he scores three goals. He doesn’t have the discipline to play for the team, he only plays for himself. Then, again, I’ve seen the B’s lack some serious discipline in the playoffs as well. B’s in 5.

  11. mclovinhockey - Apr 10, 2012 at 3:33 PM

    God, if I had to play against Marchand I would be pissed. 3 ducks this year, if he ever ducked me or a teammate I would slash him in the neck. What a dbag

  12. sumthinsweet - Apr 10, 2012 at 3:44 PM

    Washington has been the # 1 seed the past 2 years and this years team is better than both of those. Dont forgeg we have been banged up all year but are finally healthy. I think the bruins know it and know they have to play a physical game to make up for there lack of skill. If you think our biggest weakness is our goalie then u better think again. Most caps fans have far more belief in Holtby over any other goalie on the team. That kid is the truth.. Caps in 6

    • pepper2011 - Apr 10, 2012 at 3:55 PM

      What lack of skill? Just cause the Bruins focus on defense doesn’t mean they don’t have skill. Seguin, Marchand, Lucic, Krejci, Bergeron, Peverley (check the numbers, he has been a VERY productive player) & Horton (Injured) are pretty skilled. you can pretty much add at minimum 10 pts to each guy if they didn’t have to be defensively responsible. The Bruins had a 75 goal differential. that is huge. Also that lack of skill scored 47 more goals than the Caps. The Bruins can shut down “skill” ask St. Louis/ Stamkos or Sedins from last year. the B’s don’t play Chara and Seidenberg together during the regular season they do in the playoffs. They are pretty darn close to on par with Weber and Suter.

      • pepper2011 - Apr 10, 2012 at 4:02 PM

        and by “That kid is the truth” you have looked at his AHL playoff numbers
        09-10 –
        3g 2-1 .857% 3.60GAA
        10-11
        6g 2-4 ..893% 3.01GAA

        That is some serious truth.

    • ravenscaps48 - Apr 10, 2012 at 4:02 PM

      Very true about Holtby. Neuvy is good but not great (always gives up 1 or 2 EASY goals) and Vokoun was a bust this season. Holtby is the Future for us. He’s lightning fast and is consistent. The only bugaboo he has is that he has a tendency to overplay pucks. And that will become less of a factor though more game experience. He will not give up five goals a game. He will be on display for the NHL to see and it will be fun to watch. For those of you who are claiming that he cannot do it? You obviously have not seen the kid play

      • sumthinsweet - Apr 10, 2012 at 6:02 PM

        You could easily say the same thing about the caps. Since dale took over, we are not the free flying caps of old having to outscore everyone to win. I am not saying they do not have any skill, im just saying the caps top 2 lines are far superior offensively than the bruins. The bruins will have to be physical to try and throw the caps off of there game and are probably going to take a lot of penalties. Backstrom, arguably the best center in the league, is almost back to 100% and he alone makes the entire team better. Its safe to say the bruins did not want to play the caps in the first round and with washington playing as the underdog, I wouldnt either. Im excited, Caps in 6

  13. hazlydose - Apr 10, 2012 at 9:32 PM

    Tough guys like Jay Beagle?

    • ravenscaps48 - Apr 10, 2012 at 9:56 PM

      ……………. Touchè

  14. Hound Dog26 - Apr 11, 2012 at 12:35 PM

    X Factor – Obama shows up to game at the phone booth, Thomas refuses to play.

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