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Penguins add to Capitals’ misery, Ovechkin disgusted

Feb 7, 2013, 10:17 PM EDT

PITTSBURGH, PA - FEBRUARY 7: Alex Ovechkin #8 of the Washington Capitals looks on against the Pittsburgh Penguins during the game at Consol Energy Center on February 7, 2013 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Justin K. Aller/Getty Images) Getty Images

The Washington Capitals have made the playoffs for five straight campaigns, but that streak is in serious jeopardy of ending this season.

Washington collapsed under the weight of the Penguins’ attack in the second period. During that frame, Pittsburgh fired a staggering 18 shots, capitalized on all three of its power-play opportunities, and five different Penguins’ found the back of the net.

Capitals coach Adam Oates, with the season already slipping away, was quick to pull goaltender Michal Neuvirth in favor of Braden Holtby, but that didn’t slow his team’s downfall. Alex Ovechkin‘s efforts were equally ineffective, although he did end up with a goal and an assist in Washington’s 5-2 loss.

“We weren’t ready to play,” Capitals forward Troy Brouwer said simply, according to the Washington Times’ Stephen Whyno.

Capitals captain Ovechkin appeared to be disgusted when it was time for his post-game press conference. He kept his answers brief for the most part and backed Brouwer’s assessment, based on the Washingon Times’ report.

Ovechkin added that the Capitals need to play with more emotion.

“We can play like that, we can start play like, we get a lead and, you know, we stop playing,” Ovechkin said. “Second period, stupid penalties. I don’t know.”

When asked how upset he was that he didn’t start the game, Ovechkin answered, “Angry enough.”

The Capitals are dead last in the NHL with a 2-8-1 record. That represents just under a quarter of the shortened season gone with very little to show for it.

Related:

Crosby surprised by Ovechkin’s struggles, sure he’ll bounce back

  1. steelpenbucs87 - Feb 7, 2013 at 10:24 PM

    Solid showing by the Pens tonight. Capitalizing on offensive chances all day. Malkin, Sid, Neal all finding the back of the net.

    On the plus side for the Caps (and there weren’t many) I liked Ovis play out there. Got a goal, rang one off the pipe, and was playing physical. This is going to be a tough season for the Caps, but they’ll be alright if they can get their goaltending and defense sorted.

    • stakex - Feb 7, 2013 at 11:21 PM

      Hiden behind the media storm of “Ovechkin needs to be better” of late, is the fact that he actually hasn’t played that bad all things considered. Hes engaged, playing physical, leads the league in shots on goal and 3g 4a in 11 games isn’t awful when you look at the Caps overal offensive numbers, a new system/coach, and a position change.

      The real problem is the rest of the team. The Caps have one line thats any sort of an offensive threat (probably the real reason Oates has Backstrom and Ovi split up), their defense isn’t that good, and their goaltenders couldn’t keep the puck out of the net right now if it was a beach ball as we saw tonight.

      If I were McPhee, I would get on my hands and knees and beg Gillies in Vancouver to trade Luongo. I know that would be an issue with Washingtons cap situation in the long run, but nothing else is going to help this team right now. They need a very solid number one goalie to get them through this, and they just don’t have one.

    • dcfan4life - Feb 7, 2013 at 11:25 PM

      While i appreciate your support i have to disagree. In 2 meetings against a very good Pens team, the caps have shown how far off they are from contending right now. Yes Hillen and Orlav being hurt doesnt help, yes we really miss Brooks Laich, and yes even John Erskine suspension hurt as he was playing pretty well, by his standards. But Roman Hamerlik and Jeff Shultz are pretty useless. Poti is a shadow of himself right now. Mike Green, Alzner, and Carlson are playing mediocre defense. Even Alzner is taking dumb penalties. Johansson, Chimera, and Fehr make you forget they even played in the game. Backstrohm and Ovie cant find their grooves. Oh, and Holtby and Neuvirth are playing the worst goaltending combo ive ever seen in Washington. I know they can play better, but right now there so bad its hard to watch. That means Joel Ward and Mike Ribiero are the Caps lone bright spots. And thats just not going to be even close to enough. This team is done. Time to blow it up and look forward.

      • steelpenbucs87 - Feb 7, 2013 at 11:38 PM

        So I don’t disagree with your assessment (as harsh as it may be), but I don’t think the team has a lack of good players. When I look at your characterization of the roster I don’t say to myself “wow, those guys are bad players,” I say to myself, “wow, that’s a good roster that is playing terrible hockey at the moment.”

        Backstrom, MoJo, Laich, Chimera, Ovie, Ward, Riberio, and I’d even toss Bouwer in their still are 7 NHL caliber forwards who can make things happen when they’re banging on all cylinders. From a defensive perspective though you don’t have an identity. Are you the hard forechecking, turn-over forcing, and risk taking team that Bruce wanted you to be? Are you the sound defensive, conservative team that Hunter wanted you to be? Does anyone, including Adam Oates know what you want to be now?

        As I mentioned, I don’t think the solution gets found within this season – I think you guys could probably do well with a couple of stay at home depth defensemen and a solid (if unspectacular) goalie between the pipes – no more of this “let’s see how far the guy from last year’s playoffs can take us” stuff.

      • dcfan4life - Feb 8, 2013 at 3:15 AM

        The last time a team full of star players were greatly underperforming in Washington, they were blown up. Trade after trade. In return we got a lot of draft pics, young guys, and rebuilt from within. In return for that we were a playoff team 5 straight years and a yearly cup contender. With this kind of awful play, im for doing it again. Trade everybody not named Ribiero, Laich, Ovechkin, Alzner, Carlson and Backstrohm. Players like Ward, Chimera, Johansson and Brouwer could definately net a nice return.

      • bgsusteelers - Feb 8, 2013 at 8:20 AM

        Hate to break it to you, but it’s not blowing up the team when you trade the so-so role players and keep the “stars.” That’s called re-tooling. And the guys you listed wouldn’t fetch THAT much. Sorry to say.

      • dcfan4life - Feb 9, 2013 at 6:30 AM

        Yes true, it was wishful thinking. I do remember when Johansson was a top prospect and people asked for him. I remember when Green was a top offensive defenseman and was worth a lot if traded. I remember when Chimera was a great speedster and hot commodity. Ive said for years now they should have traded green when he was a top guy. I knew his defense was suspect and we could have got a lot in return. Too bad, now we are stuck with these guys and they arent worth nearly as much as they used to be.

  2. Stiller43 - Feb 7, 2013 at 10:39 PM

    Thats a shame

  3. ravenscaps48 - Feb 7, 2013 at 10:49 PM

    SETH JONES!

    • bmscalise - Feb 7, 2013 at 11:27 PM

      I sure hope not – and not even because he would make the Caps better. The organization is clearly dysfunctional, from ownership down: it ruins and spits out anything good it gets, from coaches to players. I’d hate to see them ruin Jones before he ever gets the chance to be great.

  4. lordfletcher - Feb 7, 2013 at 10:54 PM

    they’re not that much better in MN right now…

    BARKOV!!!!!

  5. lordfletcher - Feb 7, 2013 at 10:54 PM

    not that much better in MN right now…

    BARKOV!!!!!

  6. dawglb - Feb 7, 2013 at 11:01 PM

    Dale Hunter and his system is looking pretty good now, Ovie?
    You are a spoiled brat! Brucie-Boy let the inmates run the asylum. Then, Hunter came in there to try to make men out of the group, especially Ovie and Green.
    Good luck, babies.

    • dcfan4life - Feb 7, 2013 at 11:29 PM

      Ovie didnt run Hunter out of Washington. Hunter spent his entire career signing 1 year contracts. At the end of the year he would say, “ok, i had a pretty good season, give me a raise.” If he didnt he would ask for a raise. Well he asked Washington for another 1 year contract and a raise. Washington refused saying theres no stability there, and it isnt worth the money. Especially when they knew a lockout was coming. So Hunter walked. Agree or disagree, but that was between Hunter and McPhee, not Ovie.

    • 2jivecrew - Feb 7, 2013 at 11:31 PM

      They wish they could let the inmates run the asylum again in Washington. But those pieces are gone. Even if they went back to that system it wouldn’t work anymore. Gabby has to be having a good chuckle at the Caps’ expense.

  7. jcmeyer10 - Feb 7, 2013 at 11:13 PM

    As a Bruins fan I am not shedding too many tears.

  8. caps4cup - Feb 8, 2013 at 12:11 AM

    Caps need to get it together. They have the right players. I thought ovechkin had a great game. Set up first goal. Got lots of good shots, and scored. Caps need to get scoring from there other players and goaltending needs to be better.

  9. 19to77 - Feb 8, 2013 at 1:07 AM

    As a routine critic of Ovechkin… he showed up tonight, and he was damn near the only Capital who did.

  10. yvrmike - Feb 8, 2013 at 2:48 AM

    Luongo for Brower and a second will save McPhees job
    NO playoffs NO JOB 4 McPhee

  11. ironman721 - Feb 8, 2013 at 4:28 AM

    Washington has a few issues but a big one is that their best goalie was on the Pens bench last night. Let’s go Pens 🐧!

  12. 27nova - Feb 8, 2013 at 7:42 AM

    The Caps played so well in the 1st period and then it was like someone flipped the switch and they forgot how to skate. There were were a few goals left on the ice because no one goes to the net. The rebounds were there but no Caps to put them in. Sickning.

  13. hockeywithdrawal - Feb 8, 2013 at 8:15 AM

    Pretty good game – blown calls on both sides but can’t say the refs had any impact on the game.

    By the end of the game I was hoping someone would crush Ovi…and anytime you feel that way normally that means that guy was playing pretty damn good. I agree with the other comments…seems like Ovi needs some help.

  14. hmink96 - Feb 8, 2013 at 8:16 AM

    I’m not really understanding the whole “blow it up” notion. Yes, the caps arent winning games. But they have shown glimpses of being a good team. If this were a normal season and we were 25 games in, and still having these problems, I would understand the panic. In a shortened season, with a complete overhaul of the coaching staff, are we getting a little ahead of ourselves? Also, we’re only 11 games in. Its still possible for this team to find itself, rattle off a some wins, and be right in it.

  15. capsfan19 - Feb 8, 2013 at 8:35 AM

    Go ahead and crap on ovi. Best cap out there. Id rather have a team of baseball players on the ice. So freakin disgusted.
    Real nice caps. Its obvious they understan dthe system. Out first period play it looked like we were a playoff contender.
    Hey how about we lose 7-0 to florida. Get ur heads straight and look like men!
    Oh lets trade ovi yea that will help… You idiots. He wants this team to be good! Right now he’s playing like a team captain should.

    • ravenscaps48 - Feb 8, 2013 at 9:40 AM

      I’d have to disagree Nd say that Mike Ribeiro is by far the best Caps player right now

      • ravenscaps48 - Feb 8, 2013 at 9:41 AM

        *and… How bout that editing feature, PHT?

  16. londonfletcher59 - Feb 8, 2013 at 10:58 AM

    I’m as much of an Ovi critic as the next dc fan who’s sick of losing in the playoffs, but he’s got 3 goals/4 assists in 11 games and he’s 3rd in the league in shots, which isn’t up to par with ’09 Ovi, but still isn’t terrible considering the hot garbage heap that the Caps are right now. Oats needs to stop changing the lines up EVERY GAME. Two guys ran into each other last night because of that. He’s not giving them time to get used to who they’re playing with. We need a goalie though. Holtby was the clear answer coming into the season, and even when he was playing with the Bears he was doing well, but he’s just stinking up the joint now. I’ve never really been a fan of Neuvirth to begin with. I don’t think he’s a starter in this league. In my opinion, they never should have let Varlie walk. The Capitals goal tending situation hasn’t been right since Kolzig retired. It’s like the Skins QB situation after Theismann’s leg was snapped like a twig. You had “your guy” for so long, and now he’s gone and you just can’t figure out what to do, and the Caps have been making the playoffs despite this, but it doesn’t look like that’s the case this year. This is what happens when your “offensive juggernaut” starts playing like a average hockey team. Your defense, or lack thereof, is exposed.

  17. mordock57 - Feb 8, 2013 at 11:29 AM

    On behalf of the Pens (unofficially) and Pens fans everywhere, I would like to once again extend a huge thank you to the Capitals for allowing us to have Vokoun. Frankly, we thought you were joking when you let him go, but we’re ecstatic that one fluke playoff run by a rookie was enough to convince you to release such a proven starter. He has nothing but nice things to say about you and your organization, but he’s having a marvelous time playing every other game and winning just about all of them. Thanks again, Washington. It’s been a pleasure doing business with you, on and off the ice. ;)

  18. Steeley McBeam - Feb 8, 2013 at 11:46 AM

    As a Pens fan the Caps ability to execute in the first had a me a little nervous for a while. I think that was a glimpse of the players finally buying into Oates system and what it can do between the blue lines. What Dan Bylesma is great at is in game adjustments so after he had 20 minutes to disect the first period he was able to turn things around.

    The Pens are a tough team to turn a season around against. That should have been done in Toronto the other night or the Panthers this weekend. No one is going to beat the Pens when Crosby, Malkin and Neal all score, even if Letang is out. Theyre playing their best hockey I’ve seen in a long time.

    As for Ovie, he may be leading the league in shots but those shots come from the high slot. He has all the power in the world but power isnt going to beat most NHL goalies when they have a direct line of site on the puck the whole time. The shots look great, but in all honesty theyre not all that hard to stop.

    If the Caps are looking to flip players send Johansson our way. We could use another winger to pair with Malkin.

  19. joewilliesshnoz - Feb 8, 2013 at 2:20 PM

    What a shame, I only wish it were the Flyers.

  20. cspsrbums - Feb 8, 2013 at 3:43 PM

    Holtby did t play bad the goals they scored was because the Def sucks . The 1st goal the D let’s a player behind him and receives a pass between two D infront of Holtby he not stopping g that
    The second goal was off a Faceoff where the caps suck they can’t win them. The shot was to his right and he was screened by a caps defender had he had great position but could see
    His third shot I believe was deflected right in front of the net because a Cap D never tied the pit player up. Hammerlock, Shultz and Poti need to go. Give Holtby a break this wasn’t his deal this time or many of his past goals.

  21. seanaveryrules - Feb 8, 2013 at 4:03 PM

    It seems to me it’s about that time. Blow up the team, trade Ovechkin for a 7th round pick and future considerations. McPhee really dropped the ball this time

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