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Discuss: Rangers handle Capitals 4-1

Mar 10, 2013, 3:08 PM EDT

rangersbeatcapitalsgetty Getty Images

Well, the Washington Capitals at least started off well. Also, Steven Oleksy scored his first NHL goal.

Those are about all of the positives you can take from a 4-1 loss to the New York Rangers on Sunday, though. Let’s get to the talking points.

  • We might as well get the Alex Ovechkin stuff over with. His two-penalty shift opened the door for two Rangers goals. In a way, it seemed like a microcosm of his season, as one penalty was a bad error and the other seemed like bad luck (to some). How much do you blame him for this loss and the Caps’ plight overall?
  • From the not important department: is Ovechkin going a little gray at the temples? Just asking.
  • One bright spot has been Braden Holtby, but he was pulled today. Do you expect Washington to lean on Michal Neuvirth a bit more after today’s struggles?
  • Rick Nash had a strong game, with two assists. Has he lived up to expectations in New York?
  • Could this be one of those games that helps the Rangers jump from a bubble team to the more legitimate contenders we expected going into the season?
  1. Stiller43 - Mar 10, 2013 at 3:11 PM

    Holtbys odd. It seems he gets a shutout half the time, and pulled the other half.

    • 19to77 - Mar 10, 2013 at 4:24 PM

      People are forgetting he’s extremely young for an NHL starter. Consistency will come with time. It’s obvious the skill is there, he just needs time – and ideally something resembling a legitimate NHL defense in front of him, that could help too.

    • jpelle82 - Mar 10, 2013 at 4:33 PM

      today wasnt holtby’s fault, was surprised he got pulled. oates doesnt seem to have confidence with anyone on his team, the line juggling has been ridiculous…though i dont blame him – no one on that team has been consistently good besides ribiero

  2. cameltoews - Mar 10, 2013 at 3:17 PM

    Nash is/has lived up to expectations in NY. He embraces the big market team and seems to thrive on pressure with most of his goals coming in the third period. I still cannot believe Columbus traded him.

    • tdrusher225 - Mar 10, 2013 at 7:05 PM

      It’s funny, Nash is one of my favorite players and I think the Rangers made a great move trading for him. However, that trade doesn’t seem to be that one-sided. Columbus actually got some decent pieces for him, and they look a lot better than they did last season, despite a similarly bad record.

  3. bigwayne75 - Mar 10, 2013 at 3:17 PM

    The Caps looked sloppy in all parts of the game.

    • polegojim - Mar 10, 2013 at 7:24 PM

      Yes, but it was all the referee’s fault… ; )

      Caps are a very fragile and weak minded team.

  4. mattybo - Mar 10, 2013 at 3:19 PM

    What about Richards? I’ve been as critical as any about him but after going 15 games scoreless he has scored in back to back games after coming back from his injury. Maybe that hit knocked something into him.

    And yes, Nash is a beast and makes everyone on the ice with him infinitely better.

  5. bcisleman - Mar 10, 2013 at 3:22 PM

    Go ahead, Oates. Tell us how the Rangers didn’t earn their two points.

  6. johnstone17 - Mar 10, 2013 at 3:22 PM

    Slow start for the Rangers, but they recovered nicely after going down one. Richards looks to be finding his form ( he was before the injury ) & Nash just continues to be a beast. As far as the Caps go, there is something slightly dysfunctional there that I can’t put my finger on.

    • barkar942 - Mar 11, 2013 at 1:16 AM

      I can put my finger on it- the location of the large C on a jersey that it shouldn’t be on. There is a great weight that comes with that letter, and some don’t do well with it.
      Ovie is a great offensive talent, but not a team leader.
      Perhaps by removing that C from his jersey, he could get back to doing what he does best.

  7. mattybo - Mar 10, 2013 at 3:24 PM

    On a side note, Torts was ripped a ton for making people healthy scratches that were in his doghouse and since doing so Brian Boyle is playing much better.

    Easier to rip him I guess.

  8. jkay1818 - Mar 10, 2013 at 3:25 PM

    Nash also had a goal today.
    He has been a monster lately and the comment above me is dead on, he makes everyone around him better. It’s scary to think how good he’d be if they put at least some marginal talent around his during his days in Columbus.
    Ovechkin seems to get worse each yr. typical euro player, I bet if they paid him a ton for every goal he scored, he’d have 40 already. His lack of effort makes you dislike the guy, eg: that soft play on Stepan that led to the first goal and those penalties when he ran around the zone.

  9. nysportsrule - Mar 10, 2013 at 3:28 PM

    They actually changed Nash’s goal to Callahan

    • jkay1818 - Mar 10, 2013 at 3:31 PM

      Yup, my bad, saw that. Ton of PP goals for Callahan this yr

  10. ravenscaps48 - Mar 10, 2013 at 3:37 PM

    That team is full of QUITTERS! No Heart. No Effort. This team needs to be dismantled in the offseason. BIG TIME

    • 19to77 - Mar 10, 2013 at 4:27 PM

      Who would you move, out of curiosity? Or maybe it would be easier to ask who you think shouldn’t be?

      • ravenscaps48 - Mar 10, 2013 at 4:44 PM

        You KEEP Laich, Erskine, Orlov, Backstrom, Alzner, and Holtby. Everyone else is expendable. Hell, Oleksy has been our best defenseman, and he’s only played 4 games!

      • vbcaps - Mar 10, 2013 at 4:52 PM

        i agree with this list…i still will not believe they deal OVIE tho

        i would keep brouwer as well

      • ravenscaps48 - Mar 10, 2013 at 5:07 PM

        They can’t trade Ovie because of his nightmarish contract

  11. capsfan19 - Mar 10, 2013 at 3:38 PM

    Yyyyaaayyyyy rags! Yaayyyy

    Sure we get an article when the caps get railed but nothin when the caps win. Great work guys.

    Rags deserved it. Get lost bcisles, go give tavares a loong hug.

    Sorry just reallll salty right now!! Ugh

  12. thehairychestsportsblog - Mar 10, 2013 at 3:51 PM

    Callahan chips the Puck into the corner, what a courageous play by 24 on a side note why can’t Ovid play like that why can’t our Nations Capital be like Pittsburgh Boston or NY. We hate the Capitals organization its fans and the Verizon Center. Lets send it to Milbury and hear about how much he hates’s the Capitals.

    NBC COVERAGE OF A CAPS GAME EVERY YEAR!

    • jkay1818 - Mar 10, 2013 at 4:08 PM

      Ovi can never play that way homie. If you’re complaining about him not getting enough love, give me a break. For years and years, even when underachieving, ovechkin can do no wrong. It doesn’t take a hockey guru to notice ovechkin was doggin’ it out there. Nothing wrong with the way Callahan plays the game

      • vbcaps - Mar 10, 2013 at 4:54 PM

        OV has looked bad the last 2 games. 3 huge turnovers resulting in 3 goal

        boy will not play defense…just stands in the defensive zone half the time

    • rpiotr01 - Mar 10, 2013 at 4:33 PM

      Ovi inexplicably fanned on Derek Stephan in open ice when he had him dead to rights. Just gave up. What was going through his head? Was he afraid of getting a penalty?

      Here’s the thing: sure, some people will never be happy with Ovi unless he’s scoring 50+ goals per year, but they’re not the majority. Hi coaches, teammates and majority of fans would deal with the scoring struggles if they saw him playing a bit more like Callahan, throwing himself into corners, digging for pucks, going hard to the net, physically outworking the other team to help a teammate. Instead he seems to shy away from all that, he constantly seeks open ice away from the action, and refuses contact even when dishing it out.

      That’s why Ovechkin gets heat. Not because he isn’t scoring, but because he isn’t trying to do anything else to help the team.

      • stakex - Mar 10, 2013 at 9:12 PM

        The announcers were so high on that non-hit it was almost hard to watch… even from a Rangers fan. If Ovechkin had thrown the hit, they would have all been talking about how dirty and late it was (Stephan no longer had the puck). There was a game quite recently (forget which one) where someone was ejected for almost the same exact play… and with a histroy, Ovechkin has to be careful. Thats why he backed off the hit.

        Now I agree that at times he seems disengaged from the play, but it really is a roller coaster when it comes to how the media talks about him. One week I hear how great hes looked, even if hes not scoring, and then one week he looks awful and they are blaming everying including Holtby’s terrible play on him. When they like him, they love him…. when they hate him, the really really hate him.

      • nicknyhc - Mar 11, 2013 at 12:01 AM

        I agree. I didn’t think that non-hit was a huge issue. The Caps D-men were soft of the play and Holtby let a bad one in. I really didn’t think it was Ovi’s fault.

        Eddie Olczyck and Pierre McGuire wouldn’t shut up about that play all game long.

  13. 950003cups - Mar 10, 2013 at 6:21 PM

    Here in lies the Caps 2013 problems:

    Oates was Devils PP coach last year. The Devils were one of the worst in PP goals. Now he’s running EVERYTHING in Washington? Think about it.

  14. capsfan19 - Mar 10, 2013 at 6:48 PM

    Capitals gave one of the best PPs in the east… Think about that.
    Oates is doing a great job. I honestly think its the team and team leadership.

    • therealjr - Mar 10, 2013 at 6:54 PM

      I’m hoping the only discussion would be when George McPhee is fired. 17 years of disappointment and this is right up there.

  15. cameltoews - Mar 10, 2013 at 6:55 PM

    Honestly I think Ovie was either worried about getting a penalty or hurting Stepan that’s why he gave up on the hit.

    • stakex - Mar 10, 2013 at 9:18 PM

      It really would have been close to late.

      Players decide not to throw hits like that all the time… and the goal really has nothing at all to do with it. The defense on the play was awful, and Holtby simply cannot let that go in. Of course, none of them are named Ovechkin… so they get off the hook.

  16. riklovesballs - Mar 10, 2013 at 8:51 PM

    “the puck bounces near ovechkin” an actual nbc quote from least years playoff series between these two last year…for you capitals fans complaining nbc hates the caps. They always hump their legs and Callahan gets the praise he gets because noone in the Lassie works as hard as he does and is one of the only few players in the league that deserves a c on his chest

    • barkar942 - Mar 11, 2013 at 2:41 PM

      “Callahan gets the praise he gets because noone in the league works as hard as he does and is one of the only few players in the league that deserves a c on his chest.”

      Callahan gets the praise because he is one of many that work hard on both sides of the puck who deserve to wear the C on his chest.

      Tell me if you can remove the word name Callahan from that sentence and replace it with Ovechkin and honestly say that sentence is still true? I doubt it. But replace Callahan with Crosby or Chara or Brown or Toews and it is still a true sentence?

      Some earn the right to wear the C, some don’t.

  17. c1md6 - Mar 10, 2013 at 11:43 PM

    Exactly, if he throws the hit then he’s a dirty player and “frustration” is getting the best of him but he chooses not to and now he’s apathetic. I’m not an Ovie supporter by any means but the media just won’t cut this guy a break.

    • barkar942 - Mar 11, 2013 at 1:34 AM

      I remember when Ovie came into the league. WOW! What a offensive talent!
      However, there were fewer teams playing collapsing 5 defensemen and block any and all shots to the net. If most defensemen in the league have a younger Ovie coming in and try to take him one on one with his strength and offensive skills and his tremendous shot, Ovie 1- defenseman 0.
      Then as his career has progressed, the defensive aspect of the game has changed with the shot blocking mentality, and now it is tougher for him to get those one on one chances, but he has become rather predictable with his plays and teams know how to play him.
      Unfortunately, he is only a one way player. That is the only way he knows how to play, and in today’s NHL, you have to be a complete two way player.

  18. ithacamike - Mar 11, 2013 at 9:16 AM

    Nice embellishment by Callahan that directly led to 2 goals…awful.

    • pwilson264 - Mar 11, 2013 at 1:41 PM

      yea ok you keep thinking that

  19. pwilson264 - Mar 11, 2013 at 1:40 PM

    the first period of the game looked like a continuation of third period of ranger sens game. but after stepans goal they picked up thank god need the points now.

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