Caps-Canadiens, Game 6 results

Apr 26, 2010

Post staff writer Gene Wang discussed the outcome of Game 6 of the Caps-Canadiens first-round playoff series.

Thanks for joining  me as we discuss the Caps' 4-1 loss to Montreal in Game 6 and look ahead to Wednesday's Game 7. I'm sure you have a lot of questions, gripes and observations, so let's  get started.

Gene, all season "They" told us that this team wasn't built for the playoffs. A regular season powerhouse whose success wouldn't translate to a best of 7 series. No Defense, No Goaltending, No Heart. I didn't want to believe them, and hoped that this playoffs would be a validation...Now it's looking more and more like "They" were right.

I can't agree with the no heart part. They've showed heart at times in this series, but not a killer instinct, which is a different thing. And "they" will be right only if the Caps lose Game 7.

Last year the excuse for his poor playoff performance was injuries. So what's the excuse for this year's soft and horrible play? He's been a liability every game. He should be benched for game 7.

He had a shot that hit the post. Unlucky bounce. Now that doesn't excuse Green's play overall, but the difference between a goal that could have changed this game was just several inches.

Caps deserved every bit of this loss. Halak was spectacular, but the Caps again didn't match the Habs effort and desire.

Halak was the only reason the Canadiens won. The Caps had what, 54 shots? And many were from close range. What else would you have them do? They set a playoff record for shots in regulation. I know many Caps fans don't want to hear this, but the fact is Halak was the better man, and it really was as simple as that.

For weeks I've been asking if it was possible for a Bruce-coached team to NOT go down 2 goals (or more) in a game and/or to NOT have a 7-game series in the playoffs. Now we know: "no" it's not possible for either. If this team can't get up for a BIG game against a SMALL team like Montreal, there's no point in dreaming they'll do any better against BIG teams like Pittsburgh or Chicago. So, my weeks-old question has tonight changed to this: will Ted do the REALLY HARD thing and get a coach in who can take the Caps to the next level? Win or lose in game 7, Bruce is Bruce. We don't need anymore data. Nice guy. Good coach. Not a Cup-capable coach. Thoughts?

I think Caps fans need to hold off on the fire BB talk until after Wednesday night.

The Caps are not built to be a playoff contender. They are soft on the defensive side, and can't keep the mental focus to play playoff hockey. They are almost like the playground bully who goes around pushing people around and get a big rep, but when they push someone smaller, and the smaller dude punches them in the nose, the bully goes down.

That's actually a very good comparison right now after the emotion of a Game 6 loss, but it's not like the Canadiens mucked it up so much that the Caps couldn't manage shots. They had 54 shots and controlled play for much of the game. You may see other goalies give similar performances in the postseason, but you probably won't see another better effort. 53 saves is just ridiculous.

... can't keep this up. We win Wednesday

The Capitals better hope that's the case.

Impressive, no? Our goaltending wasn't bad either, but Halak really hit it out of the park.

Agree completely. Varly probably should have stopped the second goal, but there's nothing you can do against a goalie that stops 53 shots.

Come on people. That was horrible to watch but Halek stopped 53 of 54 shots and at least 30 of them were great scoring chances. Great game by him....we have one more shot.

Glad there are some Caps fans who are looking at this game objectively and not ready to blow everything up.

Okay first things first....Halak was just TREMENDOUS. We could have taken 100 shots on goal tonight and we still would not have won. That being said, Halak isn't the only reason this team is stinking. Of 18 periods of Hockey (plus 10 mins of OT collectively), the Caps have been better for about 3.5 periods. It seems like this team invests EVERYTHING (win or lose) in whoever scores the first goal. They seemed demoralized after Cammaleri's goal. Boudreau needs to gameplan like his life depends on it and somehow help his players get an early lead on Wednesday, or else this could be a monumental collapse...8 seed beating a 1 seed after being down 3-1.

The Capitals have to play loose in Game 7. Even though the stakes are incredibly high, if they put too much pressure on themselves, they will lose.

Why do they continue to put out the same basic power play unit with Ovie, Semin, and Backie. I would give some of the 3rd line guys a lot more time if the others are not going to score.

You could  have had a 5 on 2 against Halak tonight, and it wouldn't have made a difference.

Not saying that he was at fault for this loss in any way (just the opposite in the 2nd and 3rd periods,) but did you wonder if it wasn't time to bring in Theo after the first two goals?

No, especially not at Bell Centre considering Varly entered undefeated at that arena. This game wasn't  on Varly, who I suspect will be the starter in Game 7.

The Habs seem to shorten the time for decision-making by the Caps. How can they get back to their game?

The Caps played their game tonight. They took 54 shots.  The Edmonton Oilers  with Gretzky, Messier,  Coffey and the rest wouldn't have been able to score on Halak the way he played in thig game.

This team might actual be San Jose East. I mean I would say it's 50-50 whether they will win Game 7 because they are terrible at home in the playoffs. Montreal might even be favored. This is so despicable. They got 55 shots? Who cares? If you don't screen the goalie and jam in rebounds and create chaos around the net, a goalie like Halak will stop the puck. This isn't the regular season any more! You can't be cute and do the little chips like Semin and Fleishmann do and expect to score. You have to drive the crease and get those ugly goals that teams get in the playoffs. Varly was average but if you can't score, it doesn't matter how good he plays. I am very worried for Game 7 and if they lose on Wednesday, Ted needs to make a change. I don't know what, but a change needs to be made.

The Caps' predicament is akin to a great hitting team facing a pitcher tossing a no-hitter. The Caps weren't being cute. They did crash the net, but Halak was so dialed in, it didn't matter if the Caps had six guys in the painted area.

what is his injury status?

We're checking on that. Come back to Capitals Insider for updates.

Geno, you said in the postgame chat after game one that it was not the time to panic. It is now time to panic. Martin made the mistake of starting Carey Price in game four.

It's time to panic if the Capitals are trailing 3-0 in the third period on Wednesday.

Does anyone else think the caps are being out coached? they obviously know something about our pp that we dont.

I can't say the Caps are being outcoached. You could argue Martin made the mistake of starting Price in Game 4, and that was the wrong coaching move, while BB scratched David Steckel in favor of Boyd Gordon, who came up with a big shortie and an assist on another shortie, plus BB went to Varly for Game 3, and that paid off.

how can u have live chat about a team that is DEAD?

Since when does a team win a series if it's tied at three games? Must be a new rule the NHL just implemented.

Do you think Coach Boudreau will continue to tinker with the line-up this late in the series? Or, do you think he'll do the prudent thing and go back to the line-up that won games 3 & 4?

When BB tinkers with the lineup and wins, he's a genius. Then the next game if he doesn't tinker and the Caps lose, suddenly he's forgotten how to coach. Caps fans can't have it both ways. I don't think he tinkers, considering the Caps were able to get 54 shots.

Can we make a rule? No Caps bashing after this game. The Caps played their best game of the series. Unfortunately, Halak could do no wrong tonight, so let's cut our losses, ease our frustration, and cheer on the Red against the Habs in our own barn on Wednesday. Thank you!

Too late. Some Caps fans seem to have a defeatist attitude, even though the series has one more game to go. I don't get it. We all know how quickly things can change. Remember Halak looked great early in the series, then the Caps beat him I think on 8 of 30 shots and chased him. 

I'm not ready to fire the entire team, but while Halak was very good, the Caps snipers flat out missed great opportunities. Fleischmann had the entire net and fired it into Halak's glove. Semin had a ton of great opportunities and shot it right into Halak's stomach. He was good, but the Caps' best players failed on this night. Let's hope they don't fail on Wednesday.

I wouldn't say the Caps' big players failed so much as Halak was the better man tonight.

Considering our Playoff Home Record...I'm just sayin' - there's a precedent here.

Different season, different team. While  I agree Caps fans have every reason to feel down right now, in two days I'm guessing they'll be ready to go for Game 7 with a red-out at Verizon Center.

After this sub par performance tonight...Who will B.Boudreau choose to be in net for game 7?

I can see the argument for either Varly or Theo, but I don't Varly was the reason the Caps lost this game. Plus Theo is a bit rusty, or he could be well rested. It all depends on your perspective, right?

Stop with the whole fire coach stuff. Do not turn this team into the Redskins! If you want out, turn in your season tix for next year and I'll finally be able to buy some. Goodness. It ain't over til the russian machine and company break.

I like your thinking. You want to moderate the chat one of the these days?

"he difference between a goal that could have changed this game was just several inches." quarter of an inch the other way and he would have missed completely.

That's true, and again, it's all in how you look at it.

The one thing that strikes me watching this current Caps team is that they seem to play to the level of the competition in the post-season. Montreal should have been a mismatch, and if the PP rate is anything close to regular season, the Caps are resting up for round 2 right now. Yet, its disturbing that inferior teams like Montreal and the Rangers last year can take us the distance. Your thoughts?

I do see that to be the case, but that could be a good thing if the Caps can get past the Habs.

Geno, you are a saint to be putting up with this. Thank you for doing these postgame chats. They're not quite as cathartic as in-game chats would be, but they're a big help. Hopefully we can celebrate on Wednesday.

I'm glad to be here for all the frustrated Caps fans to vent. Keep it coming. I can take it.

i would love the capitals to win it all, but what part of this teams performance so far in the playoffs makes you think that they can win the stanley cup, let alone a series with the 8th ranked team in the eastern conference?

Games 3 and 4 in this series indicates the Caps are a pretty good team. And seeds in the NHL playoffs don't really mean that much to me. Look at the Devils losing to Philly. And look at all the other series that are going down to the wire. It just shows playoff teams are much closer than the regular season standings indicate.

I think some Caps fans have a defeatist attitude because we've seen this team--in this carnation and in older ones--be defeated so often. They're 1-2 in Game 7s the last two years, all at home. It's easy to picture the Caps losing another one.

Sure it may be easy to picture the Caps losing, but we all know that rarely does anything worth having come easy. Winning a Game 7 could be a huge momentum boost for this team heading into the next round, but I'm getting ahead of myself.

How come he never catches any grief? He's been around more than a decade, never won a Cup, made the finals only once -- and that was with 99 percent David Poile's players. Never mind BB, GM has to go.

The team as it is constructed this season is courtesy of GMGM, and again, let's not fire anyone yet until Game 7 is over.

It seems to me the Caps simply aren't as hungry and don't want to win as much as the Canadiens do. I watched the team on an off during the season, and while Halak was brilliant tonight, there were a lot of rebounds where the Caps where nowhere to be found and didn't get second changes, which often can be converted into goals. They are missing the net a lot on shots, too, and don't seem to be hustling as much as possible. What's going on with them?

I don't think you can say the Caps weren't hustling tonight. They came out like gangbusters, and it was clear Halak was in for big things. There were times during the series when hustle perhaps could have been better -- like in the first 10 minutes of Game 5 -- but not on this night.

Hey Gene, you're really riding the "but we got 54 shots" train tonight. Halak played a great game indeed, but we made it easy for him. Obviously Flash and a couple others missed some wide-open net, but for most of the shots, the Caps had a Hab in their face, and they couldn't make passes that would create some open net. Just the number of shots isn't an end-all be-all measure of assessment.

So you didn't think Halak was dialed in? The guy stopped some shots that 99 percent of goalies wouldn't have. Plus he was getting some fortunate bounces, like on Mike Green's shot.

Far better effort than Game 5 that's for sure but one man won this game tonight. Wake up people. Only knock I have is to have seen a few more of those shots get up on him. Bring the same effort Wednesday night and I like our chances. Here's to hoping Boudreau sticks with Carlson on the PP now. Glad he put him out there.

Comments such as these have been few and far between tonight. If the Caps get the same quality chances on Wednesday as tonight, you have to figure they will win.  Halak can't possibly be that good again, right?

Your answers would seem to indicate that you did not.

I actually fell asleep from midway through the first period and awoke at the final buzzer. I'm making all my answers up during this chat, actually.

It seems to me the Caps simply aren't as hungry and don't want to win as much as the Canadiens do. I watched the team on an off during the season, and while Halak was brilliant tonight, there were a lot of rebounds where the Caps where nowhere to be found and didn't get second changes, which often can be converted into goals. They are missing the net a lot on shots, too, and don't seem to be hustling as much as possible. What's going on with them?

I don't buy the not wanting to win as much as the Canadiens do. The Caps came out on a mission tonight, and against any other goalie, they would have scored at least five goals. With a mortal goalie tonight, the Caps would have been celebrating a series win.

The Caps intensity was definitely there...but you gotta agree that tonight was all about Halak being there the WHOLE game...I mean, 55+ shots....unbelievable...

I agree, but according to some chatters, the Caps played horribly and should be blown up even before Game 7. I have an idea. Let's fire BB and GMGM tomorrow morning and make one of the players the coach and have  him decide on the lines and who should be in goal.

Wow, how do you win with Halak giving a performance like that? We almost tripled their shot count!

I'm not sure, but apparently there are others out there who prefer to blame the Caps rather than acknowledge Halak's other-worldly performance.

Well here we go again Is there any reason to keep on watching ? If they do win whats next going up againts a Philly who have been sitting going over film. I hope for the best but I think we know why this is a Football town GO SKINS !!!!

There is plenty of reason to keep watching. I mean there's still a Game 7, right? And again, it's all in how you look at the circumstances. Some would argue the Flyers will be rusty, while if the Caps win Game 7, they will have the momentum going into the next series.

So based on tonight performance, if anything I would consider calling the entire Hersey roster to come play real playoff hockey for the caps. Apparently the caps feel talent is enough to win games, they should play in the AHL. At least Hersey has heart and will actually put up a fight in game 7. Question: What do you say to calling up Hersey to play against Montreal for Game 7?

I have a better idea. Maybe the Caps should just forfeit Game 7, since it seems some fans have the team buried even before faceoff.

Do you sit Semin on Wednesday? Sure, he got some shots off tonight, but he does not hit and makes some terrible passes.

It would be shocking if Semin were a scratch in Game 7.

Obviously from Semin's body language and frustration, it was evident he is pressing too much. Halak was awesome but Semin had a few excellent chances and fired his shots straight into his gut. I know everyone will disagree with me, but I don't see Semin pressing his way out of this slump. It may be beneficial to limit his ice time and get somebody else out there with more patience and confidence right now. I'm not saying bench him, just cut his shifts back and get him to relax.

That makes more sense than scratching him, but I'm guessing BB will run Semin on his regular rotation come Wednesday.

Should the Capitals stick with the same game plan that saw them totally dominate this game?

I'm hoping this question is tongue-in-cheek, but they aren't going to make many, if any, changes for Wednesday. Get that many shots on most any other night, and the Caps win.

if Halak wasn't in goal, we might have scored 8 goals today. Halak had no conscience out there.

Honestly, it was one of the greatest playoff performances by a goalie in recent memory, if not of all-time. When you set a team record for most shots in regulation and still lose, there isn't much else you can do.

Who's going to have the courage to ask Bruce why does he insist on dressing Fleischmann? Everyone criticizes Green and Semin but is Fleischmann untouchable? Is Bruce so blind? This game makes me very upset because I can sense stuborness in Bruce's part; not waiting to think outside the box and that he won't give a chance to thougher guys such as Walker or Laing. They can't do any worse than Fleischmann.

If BB makes a change, Fleischmann would be the most obvious player to get scratched.

People....please calm down! I really think that the Caps played better tonight than the Habs. They outshot them 54-20 for God's sake! They were beaten by a crazy hot goalie. I live in Montreal and Hate the Habs with a passion! Going to work tomorrow is going to SUCK! If Halak plays like this in game 7....it is going to be a long summer!

Staying calm doesn't seem to be on the minds of many Caps fans right now. Good luck at the office tomorrow.

Personally speaking as a fan , we get tired of hearing all of these excuses. Thats all it is, excuse after excuse. Do you know what a fan knows? We went into a game and lost. I don't care if Green's shot was "inches away" or if the guys "tried really hard". Green is an offensive defenseman who doesn't score goals. What does that make him?

I agree it's frustrating right now right after the loss. A lot of Caps fans have a lot invested in this team, but playoff series are best of seven for a reason, and this is why the Caps wanted to have home ice throughout the postseason.

So who is it? If I'm BB I go with Theo.

We're not going to know until faceoff on Wedensday. Of that I am almost 100 percent sure. BB isn't going to tip his hand tomorrow during practice, but if he does, I'll be there to report it on Capitals Insider.

It is amazing that over the decades the Caps almost always manage to lose because of some hot goaltender. Most of the shots were not tha fabulous on net if you telegraph appropriately. In the 80's the Caps had goal scoring issues, goaltending problems and always faced some Ken Dryden type. Now they can not score goals, they have inconsistant goaltending and now are making Halak look like Dryden. It is amazing that even the novice fan knew that the Caps needed better goaltending, at least two tough guy defensemen and some depth at the Center position. Is it time for a cleaning of the house both front office and coaching?

Not until we see the results from Game 7

What is so good about home ice. The Caps have lost 2 out of 2.

Better home ice for Game 7 than not, regardless of the record.

That was probably the most frustrating game I've ever seen, and it's 60 minutes from being the most frustrating series of icehockey ive seen since 1992. The best in the league getting beat by the worst. There's nothing objective to look at here, they just don't care enough, shooting 54 times directly at the goalie will hit the goalie more often than not. Who cares if you shoot 54 times without really trying to get a goal? might as well have let all of them sail wide of the goalie - at least they might have at least looked a heck of a lot closer. This game looked like a third rate college team playing team Canada, or playing the USSR of the Soviet years. Yet another washington team with the attitude of 'we tried really hard'. Sounds like the mentality of Danny Boy's Redskin park. What are your throughts?

I respectfully disagree, but I'm here to bear the brunt of the frustration, so keep firing away.

hey, i am proud suporter of jose thedore, i live in montreal but i kno he did not have one of his best games in game two but i belive if he was givein the chnace to stay put he would have got the win. he has been thru alot but i just belive that he is not getting his fair chance why is that like he has one bad game he is done weather on the other hand varly has had two games in witch the frist 5 shits have seen the back of the net.....today why did he not get pulled to sprak the team a lil bit i mean over all theo got pulled in game to to sprak the team no ???? i just see it as its injustice to him why becaues he does not speak out or anything and now teh question relaies does bb make the same dessions as lat year were he put varly no matter what or does he go after theo ????

I've heard both sides, and each has a compelling argument. My gut tells me BB will stick with Varly, but that could change tomorrow based on what we see at practice and the vibe in the locker room.

Many of these criticisms are fair as to the Caps' play in the series as a whole, but not tonight. Dude had 53 saves and many of them were simply magnificent.

Agreed, and I'm glad to see another vote for coming in off the ledge.

The #1 Montreal Canadiens blew a 3-1 Series lead to the #8 Boston Bruins to force a game 7 at home...That they easily one, 5-0. So, I'm just saying this isn't the most unprecedented thing to ever happen! Just don't look at what happened to Les Habs in the next round, or at the hands of whom it happened :)

This chat has been borderline morbid at times, so thanks for the fun fact.

Do you think putting all our big guns on the ice at one time was a smart idea by BB, I understand it is done to give spark but the shifts after it seem to accomplish nothing without our big 3 upfront.

I think it can be very effective if done at the right time. I will say this: When BB does do it and the line produces, he's a genius. When he does it and it doesn't produce, he should be fired. I'm not sure I see the logic in that.

I don't think we're all doom-and-gloom...just some of us. If you were BB, what would you do in preparation for Game 7? Give the guys a day off? Host a closed practice? Skate their legs off? Have a huge pep talk?

I wouldn't change much. A lot of changes shows a level of panic that I don't think would do the team any good at this point. I'm not into the fire and brimstone pep talk either. These are grown men who know what's at stake.

people really think the Caps didn't "match the Habs effort and desire"?? Um, hello, the puck was being cycled in the Habs end for 45 out of 60 minutes. Take the loss, look to next game, but don't act like a team that got outshot by 32 - a normal game's worth - showed up and outworked the Caps. If they play like this they will win 19 out of 20 games; the real question is whether they can do it again Wednesday. If so they'll be fine.

Out of every 10 chatters who is ready to fire everybody, disassemble the team, bench  both goalies and promote the entire Hershey squad to play on Wednesday or else forfeit the game, there are a few who aren't ready to impugn the entire organization because the other team's goalie played like Ken Dryden on his best day. Thank you.

Let's not overlook the fact the enthusiastic Montreal crowd played a major role in supporting their home team. They certainly magnified the sense of momentum and spurred their players on. (Hint...there's a lesson here for the home town fans).

I'll be interested to see if Caps fans can match that intensity. Perhaps it's worth an item for my notebook that night if it's especially rowdy at the phone booth.

Much has been said about the Bell Centre crowd--both as a positive and a negative for the Habs. From the TV, they seemed insane tonight--even more so than in past. Can the Verizon Center liven up to help the Caps in Game 7? Did the VC crowd let the Caps down in Game 5?

I'm not sure of that, but see the previous answer about what could be in store for Game 7.

Gene, well it sounds as if all but a few Caps fans have conceded the season. I'm not surprised. Yet, Halak won this game, as well as Game 5. That stuff happens. My question is around the lines. What did you think of Belanger on the top line? What about Steckel's performance? And I agree that if the Caps get a performance resembling tonight's, they should be fine.

I liked Belanger on the top line, especially early in the game. I think Semin was able to find more room also with Backstrom drawing more attention. Now that didn't translate into goals, but more of the same on Wednesday, and the Caps stand an excellent chance.

Why are people so down on the Caps? Just because we're going to game 7 doesn't mean the Caps are done, that BB or GM need to go... Halak was unbelievable tonight but if the Caps keep pushing Wednesday like they did tonight, everything is going to be okay. Deep breaths, people!

Wow, consecutive votes for keeping things level. I never thought I'd see that during this chat. There is hope yet.

Do you think BB will be fired if caps lose game 7?

And then there's this

How long do you think the Caps will be in the spotlight in this area if they lose in the first round? For a team with talent, they don't seem to get it done year after year. Our goalies are never as good as their goalies and it's clear that our goaltending is nowhere near it needs to be to truly contend. If the Caps lose, how much of a setback do you think it will be for this team and the love affair that they were about to have with the city?

If the Caps lose and fans jump ship en masse, then it shows me this town is shamefully front-running. When things are not going well, to me that's when a team needs support the most and instead of fans dumping on the squad. As for Caps goalies never being as good as the other teams, I would have to disagree with that when you consider Olie Kolzig carried the team to the Finals.

Gene, I'm not sure whether I admire your optimism or suspect you were a PR guy for the Kremlin in an earlier life. But thanks for letting us vent.

I'm not trying to be overly optimistic on purpose, just trying to reassure folks that, yes, there still will be a Game 7, and a series isn't over until one team wins four games, which Montreal  has not done yet as best as I can tell. Now I'm not saying the Caps are in a great position either. I certainly can see the side that wonders why they couldn't have closed this series out sooner, but playoff hockey is never easy. Just look at all  the tight series still going on.

I am putting off judgment day until Thursday, but it was the earlier games that we didn't win to close this series out that matter tonight. There are some games you can't expect to win, and tonight was one of them. We needed to play 100% in the series until now and didn't.

Reserving judgment until the series is over? Now that's a novel idea.

Anybody remember who scored the OT winner against the Caps in a decisive Game 7 back in 2008? I believe he is one of the keys to winning Game 7 this year!

Now that would be some story, wouldn't it?

Gee, as a NY Rangers fan I wish I was rooting for the home team in a 7th game at Madison Square Garden. Caps fans.....GROW UP!!!!

A perspective that didn't even cross my mind, but a very good post.

I'm a long-suffering caps fan who has lived thru Kornheier's "choking dogs" days. This series may end up teh biggest choke in Caps history. The reason so many fans are voicing their disgust and talking coaching changes is, regardless of what happens in game 7, this team has no chance in the next round.

The key words in your comment are "may end up." This series isn't over until Wednesday night. I'll be here again win or lose, and if the Caps lose, then everyone can feel free to tear apart the team like a pack of hungry wolves at a butcher shop.

Gene, your answers are reasonable and make perfect sense. However, anyone who knows anything about this franchise's playoff history knows that reason has no place here. I will watch Wednesday and cheer for victory. But part of me will be waiting for the other shoe to fall. It's instinct brought on by years of playoff disappointments and blown 3-game-to-1 leads.

Yes, that is understandable. It's the Cubs syndrome (or Red Sox syndrome before they won the World Series).

The only good thing about yet another incredible Caps possible playoff choke would be to lose the bandwagon fans and apparently, Post columnists, who decided that this was the team to jump on board with. Don't even judge us until you have suffered for all these years of playoff chokes and disasters!

It's good to see that at least you're sticking with this team til the bitter end.

OK, how do you explain game 5's horrid performance where the Caps again had a chance to close out an inferior team with the Caps up 3 games to 1? The Caps are 2-8 all-time in game five's when up 3-1. And why do the Caps, for 27 years, always seem to run into the one "hot" goaltender who often looks more than mortal in the next round? Were you here in the 80's and 90's to witness our pathetic playoff history?

I was born in D.C., grew up in the nova burbs and went to college here, so I've seen it all. What happened 20, even 10 years ago, has nothing to do with this team.

What is wrong with all of you? The problem here is that many of these Caps "fans" equate winning with giving effort, and losing with "not trying" or "doing something wrong". A bounce or two the other way and the game is in OT as we speak. I hope the Caps win on Wednesday just to show the detractors that you don't give up on your team. Both teams will give a huge effort, so don't bring heart into question.

I'm chalking up another don't panic post. They are dwindling as this chat continues well into the night.

When a professional writes this: "I agree, but according to some chatters, the Caps played horribly and should be blown up even before Game 7. I have an idea. Let's fire BB and GMGM tomorrow morning and make one of the players the coach and have him decide on the lines and who should be in goal" it's time to click another site. I gave you a try, guy. Nobody said fire these guys right away (at least not me). Calling Bruce into question for his team's failure to be ready to go is fair. The printed Post is dead. This part is too. Good luck!

Obvoiusly you haven't been reading the previous chats, where there was question after question about when BB will be fired and why GMGM still has a job. Read them, and you'll see I simply repeating what some fans are asking.

I think I'll go against the grain [pun intended] and shave my playoff beard. Or maybe go with a goatee. Or a cheesy 70s mustache. Gotta exorcise these ghosts of Caps playoffs past!

I'm sure the Caps will appreciate any effort fans make to get them a victory in Game 7.

Should be a great game 7. I agree Gene, if the Caps win game 7 I think it will be a huge momentum boost. It's like the NCAA tournament game For a high seed, sometimes winning that first one is the hardest game you play on the way to the final 4. Let's hope its that way for the Caps in this series. I like our chances a lot in Game 7. Hard to beat a team 3 times in a row.

That is true, although the Caps did just that in this series, right? We'll see which way the odds fall on Wednesday night.

I guess the frustration that a lot of us are feeling is based on a pretty simple hypothetical: What do you do if Halak brings the same performance he has the last 2 games to game 7 and we lose? Do we change absolutely nothing and try again next year? "Hope you don't get a hot goalie" doesn't strike me as a particularly solid playoff strategy.

Let's see what happens on Wednesday, and then we can discuss all the hypotheticals you want.

The Caps have a history of making 1 series legends out of goalies, wouldn't you say Geno?

Yeah, it seem that way, doesn't it?

I'm not in the camp saying we should fire BB and/or GMGM, but I do think they needed to pick up someone on the defensive side for a playoff run. I know it's not their style of play, but if they could have picked up a solid defenseman or two, think this is a really different series.

I'm certain if the Caps lose in Game 7 that there will be a complete accouting of all the personnel, and that may entice the team to go after a rugged defenseman or two.

This is a fun, exciting and super talented team that is a joy to watch. Anything can happen in the hockey playoffs. The best team does not always win.

That's what makes sports in general the best reality TV out there, unless of course your team is on the losing end.

Gene, shouldn't we just pack it in now and quit while we're tied? After all, that's what all of these fans

I think some have beaten you to it already

Gene, It seems like some of these other people are looking for reasons to diss the team - you can fault some of the shot selection, but you absolutely cannot fault the effort tonight. When you see Alex Semin digging into corners and hitting, and even the maligned Fleischmann making a great (yes, great) backcheck to take away a breakaway, you know these guys want it. There were bodies in the crease - Laich and Fehr in particular. Halak was otherworldly, but I'm happy if the Caps repeat this performance on Wednesday because it means they'll be seeing Philly.

If the Caps play the way they did tonight, I think most would feel confident a victory will follow.

Caps controlled much of the game? What game were you watching.... had they been controlling, wouldn't they have scored goals? Even with Halek being as good as he was.... With the CAPS controlling the game, wouldn't they have scored - or have been set up to score - and what about the power plays - 5 on 3 and they couldn't score ....

They spent more than 40 of the 60 minutes in the Canadiens zone. Forcing that much action in the opponent's zone is dictating the pace. That Halak was magnificent, well there's not much you can do except call it a night and move on to Game 7.

Seriously it sickens me when people start to turn on the caps right when the times go sour, (not to say that tonight was a bad performance), Halak absolutely stood on his head to make ridiculous saves and people are blaming it on the players? This is the team that brought the Caps franchise the first presidents cup. All these whining caps fans should just stop watching hockey because they obviously don't appreciate the players efforts.

If the Caps read the transcript of this chat tomorrow, I'll make sure to point out this post.

Washington Capitals fans piss me off. Remember a few years ago? When the Caps were the worst team in the league year in/year out? A Stanley Cup isn't won over night. And if you hate them this much... don't show up Wednesday to the game, and don't wear the red to support them. Be a fairweather fan and I'll see you when next season rolls around... but until then, I'll be cheering for MY team NO MATTER WHAT!

And this one.

In the past few years this team has made a dramatic turnaround. Even if the Caps lose game 7 (and I pray to God they don't,) I don't think firing anyone (esp those instrumental in building this team) is the key to a cup. If we lose, it's an unkind stretch of luck, not BB's or GMGM's fault.

There is a lot to be said for continuity.

Re: "I like your thinking. You want to moderate the chat one of the these days?" I guess one needs very little experience to moderate this chat. Ah well, this was my first (and last) time w/your chat. It's as big of a loser as the Caps tonight. You say the same rah-rah things over and over. If you're an intern, I suppose that's cool. If you're not, dude you need to bring something more that, say, the Red Rockers.

I guess humor is in short supply tonight. Relax, take a deep breath, and the sun will come up in the morning. I promise.

I'm a Caps fan, and as much as my panic was building in the third period, I have enough love of the sport to appreciate watching a truly spectacular performance by Halak. Almost gave me goosebumps how good he was tonight. Now, how do the Caps beat such a hot goalie on Wednesday? This game has got to pump Montreal up. The Caps came out on fire early, and still started off down by two. Isn't all of the momentum with Montreal now?

It is, but a quick goal by the Caps would negate that, so it's imperative they strike quickly.

As a lifelong Montrealer and Habs fan, I have to say that while it's true that Halak stood on his head, you've got to give kudos to the rest of the Canadiens. They killed off penalties, including the 5 on 3, with great skill and patience. And Camalleri took care of business. But despite that, I don't think anyone in Montreal is thinking that we're going to win game 7 easily, if at all. We're all expecting the Caps to really take over at some point, and Game 7 is their last kick at the can. I'll also say that my wife and I attended a Caps-Habs game in Washington in 2005 and the arena was not a happening place to be at that time. As a true Canadian hockey fan, I'm thrilled to see that hockey is now thriving in your city, and has captured the attention of the people.

It certainly has, and judging by the some of the comments tonight, there's a great deal of passion from the half-full and half-empty camps.

All these negative fans that D.C. has become full of in recent years need to calm down or go away. The NHL is not the NBA. Teams don't dominate series just because they are more talented. Will the Caps over-react too? Is it realistic to expect the Habs (especially Halak) to do this again?

While I don't think it's realistic to expect Halak to make 53 saves again, he probably isn't going to give up soft goals either. The Caps are going to have to earn Game 7. We'll see what they are made of come Wednesday night.

Gene, give me some kind of criticsim. All your doing is shooting down all the comments we "the fans" have to say aboot the team we love. Please speak up and let us know what you would like to see The Caps do to win this series. We are hurt and are emotional! You are suppose to be the reasonable, calming presence we are searching for. CAPS FANS NEED A HUGG:)

How is saying a goalie who played the best game of his life an excuse? I'm rooting one way or the other in this series,  just trying to emphasize that until Game 7 is done and if at that time the Caps have fewer goals than the Canadiens, you can vent all you want, and I'll be here to listen and post your comments.

Look---I don't know how long you've been on the Caps beat Gene but having watched this team consistently choke over the last 25 years, I can't help but think this team is merely following the pattern set out by other talented Caps teams in the past. I for one expect an overtime heartbreaker on Weds because thats just what happens here. And frankly, these playoffs have borne out that there is a lot wrong with this team. Green has been atrocious and needs to go while he has trade value for a capable defense first defender. Semin should be traded as well for a power forward type who can crash the net. Fleishmann showed a little more today but has been generally useless. And finally BB needs to go--nice guy but nice guys don't win playoff series. BB is out of his league here and should be the very first casualty shortly after Weds loss.

As I mentioned before, I grew up in Washington, so I know the history of this team, and I'm not going to argue with a Caps fan who is assuming a loss in Game 7.  But I've seen so many sporting events where things don't go as planned, so I'm going to reserve judgment until after Game 7. And my question to you is if you fire BB, tell me who is replacing him.

Geno, enjoy the flight back to D.C. See you after Game 7. I hope the Caps win for your sake, mostly, because imagine the comments that'll come flooding in if they lose that one. And thanks, as always, for the postgame dialogue.

I'll be here right after Game 7, and I'll gladly post all the vitriol should the Caps lose. I'm not going to say all is well with the team if it loses the series, I can promise you that. If they lose, then there will be plenty of justification to bash this team.

The definition of Insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results. Say the Caps lose Wednesday (not a given, but for discussion's sake), that will be 3 playoff runs with similar lackluster results. After 3 shots, I think that questioning whether BB's system works in the playoffs become a valid point to examine.

Again, a topic for discussion once Game 7 has concluded.

So your point Gene seems to be that the fans aren't allowed to be upset? Since we got over 50 shots everything is okay?

I'm not sure I ever said everything is okay. I'm saying the series isn't over until Wednesday night.

Thanks, Gene, for your positivity. It's refreshing. Love the team. Starting to hate the fans :-(

As I said, I'm not trying to sugarcoat anything. The Caps are in a tough spot, but despite bad games at home, they would much rather have Game 7 at Verizon Center. I'm simply pointing out that while there are many fans who are gloom and doom based on history, there's also a new chapter that could be written on Wednesday. I'm not saying that will happen, just that it could.

Boudreau coached the Hershey Bears to a Calder Cup. I don't think that is a disqualification for his job as head coach. He has done a good job and his record shows it. This loss was about Halak period. The people posting here should stop trashing this team and just admit that Halak was too good.

That seems to be a hard sell for many fans tonight

It was the Caps best game of the series it just happened on a nite when Halak was doing his patrick Roy impression. Rock the Red and pik thses guys up Wed nite!!!

I'll end the chat on that note, and thanks to all for your comments. I'm glad to see the passion, regardless of your position on the team. I hope you'll come back after Game 7 for more discussion. I know I'll need at least a full day's rest to get ready for the Game 7 chat.

In This Chat
Gene Wang
Staff writer Gene Wang writes about the Caps, Nats, Wizards and local colleges for The Post.

Capitals Full Coverage
Playoff shot chart
Capitals Insider
Recent Chats
  • Next: