Last night on Twitter, while I was in character, a few requests were made to me after the Caps 3-2 Loss to the Vancouver Canucks:

  • edmorgans: @russianmachine Can you “lose” Poti in a snow drift somewhere between Vancouver and Edmonton? No one would suspect you!!!
  • jdb820: @russianmachine Can you do to Poti what you did to Nylander?

While it’s still unclear to me what Ovechkin did to Nylander (give him vodka and an ikea gift card?), I don’t get the anger towards Tom Poti. Yes, Tom Poti took a tremendously ill-timed third period penalty for cross-checking. Yes, as he skated over to the penalty box, he completely showed up the referee, slammed the penalty box door and got awarded another penalty – making his costly 2 minute minor an even more terrible double minor. Yes, the Canucks scored during the first penalty, took a 3-2 lead they’d never relinquish, and then used the second minor penalty to erase another 2 minutes of valuable comeback time. Alright so I get it. His penalty is what allowed the Canucks to win the game.

But I’m not going to throw him under the bus. Poti is a key veteran on this team, and the penalty he took last night was at best a questionable call by the referee. He shouldn’t of cross-checked Canucks agitator Alex Burrows so high, but it was painfully clear to me that Burrows dove. If you’re going to take a penalty though, an aggressive play in the defensive zone is alright by me. Now the hooking and holding penalties Alex Semin has taken in the third period of other games – in the offensive zone – is another story.

But last night, I was more peeved with Jeff Schultz’s ill-timed own goal in the first period. Take a look Below:

Jose Theodore stopped a hooked Ryan Kesler breakaway attempt after Mike Green tried to obstruct the star winger. Schultz, who trailed on the play, came up to the stopped puck, tried to kick it from skate to stick, and then watched the goal slowly enter the yawning net in horror. Because there was a penalty in the process of being called, Bruce Boudreau begged the officials to take away the tally, because he believed Schultz demonstrated possession of the puck. I completely disagree however, because if Schultz had possession, he wouldn’t of kicked the freakin puck in the net.

So as I start reading Tarik El-Bashir’s recap in his blog, this is what I read in his introduction:

Take your pick for what went wrong tonight. Alex Ovechkin finishing without a point in a performance Coach Bruce Boudreau called “average”. Tom Poti taking a questionable cross checking penalty late, then losing his cool. Or Alexander Semin whiffing on his penalty shot attempt with 5 minutes 45 seconds left.

No mention of Schultz. I had to go all the way to the bottom of his post to find this juicy nugget:

*Jeff Schultz, who inadvertently kicked in the Canucks’ first goal, was limping pretty good after the game. He said he was struck by a shot on the heel in the first period, but thinks he’ll be okay.

Really? We don’t get a quote from Schultz saying “my bad” or “oops!?”

I think I summed it up on Twitter best:

  • russianmachine:@jeffschultz55 – When you try to do imitation of me, make sure you shoot puck at opposing goalie. This is why your Awareness a 23 in NHL2K10
  • russianmachine: I very happy we respond to friendly-fire goal by @jeffschultz55 – It happen to every d-man at one time. I’m kidding. Who kick in breakaway?

Anyways, The Caps take on the Edmonton Oilers tonight at 10pm ET. I hope they can put together a solid 60 minute effort and try to help Neuvy get some confidence back, after his atrocious game a week ago. Here’s hoping!

  • Kat

    Remember when a some blonde Swedish centerman did the same thing against the pens? We forgave him, stuff like this happens. Lay off on the Shultz bashing.

  • I don’t think I’m bashing Schultz per say. He’s been getting a lot of love this year for his solid plus minus and everything. I’m happy he’s been making a lot of progress this year. I just wanted to point out specifically that I didn’t think Tom Poti’s penalty was really something that should have angered Caps fans so much. Over aggressive plays in the defensive zone are going to happen. Not being able to handle the pressure of kicking the puck to your stick when the puck is laying 10 ft away from the goal is disconcerting for me. I think we’re all scarred by some of the losses early on in the season. Just trying to keep everything in perspective.

  • Kat

    Ok yea, so you arent really doing it too much. But Ive seen way to much of it lately, so every little thing…And I didnt even see the Poti penalty…I had a hockey game that went longer than it was supposed to, so dint see much of the game. Im not mad at Poti because of that penalty, I just have never been a big fan of his. Havent been the biggest fan of Shultz either, but the bashing of him has really taken off in the past few weeks. He’s become a better player this year, and everywhere I look, its all “oh, look at Shultz, he sucks.” I didnt see much of that game, just bits and pieces, so…yea..

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  • Poti is the worst player on the team. He plays soft defense and has lack luster offensive skills. If the guy was making 750K he’d be ok but he makes 3.5 mill. Hopefully we can somehow unload his contract before the deadline