Canes beat Caps 5-0

You thought you’ve been through the hard times already, right? Wrong.

The Washington Capitals’ pathetic bumbling against the Carolina Hurricanes was their worst performance that I’ve had the dubious honor of documenting. This was the kind of game that costs people their jobs. Or at least it should.

No goal summary for you. Hurricanes beat Caps.

  • via

    Read my pregame. I went on at length about the myriad ways in which the Carolina Hurricanes are a very bad hockey team. I didn’t even mention how they were missing Ruutu and Ward. That very bad awful team dominated the Capitals for a full hour. They dwarfed the Capitals.

  • Alex Ovechkin did not play in the final 6 minutes of the second period. There was no apparent injury on his final shifts, and he returned to the ice in the third. So was it an equipment malfunction or just a hissy fit? 1 shot for the guy who is supposed to be the team’s captain, but is rather just its sulking, stubborn, utterly flaccid mascot. 1 shot.
  • Mike Knuble was excellent in the game’s opening minutes, firing the Caps’ first two shots– both from right up front– and leveling hits. But even he fell in line with his team’s putrid pace, recording no more offense for the duration.
  • I was excited for the reunion of Mike Green and Jeff Schultz, who were the Caps premiere pairing a few years back. They were on ice for the first two goals against. Once split up, Green was on ice for the two after that. Mikey, apparently, is still on the mend.
  • There were no good players tonight. Maybe Jeff Halpern. And as much as you may hold affection for Mathieu Perreault, he is not cut out for first-line center in the National Hockey League. Any team that utilizes him as such is fundamentally broken.
  • Michal Neuvirth relieved Tomas Vokoun after the latter surrendered two goals on seven shots, neither of which was really his fault. And if you really think the problem here is goaltending, just go ahead and bite down on the cyanide pill inside that false tooth.
  • Caps @ Canes was the only game tonight. It was broadcast all across North America. That means tons of people had a good view of Washington’s self-immolation. That means everyone in America should be writing about exactly how awful they were on this miserable Monday night. That means– hopefully– some dramatic changes will be made. Now. It’s time. There aren’t any Dale Hunter die-hards left, right? Can anyone honestly say that this has been a successful transition?
  • Who is this Justin Peters person?
  • There were some fights. Here’s your sideshow:

Games like this usually result in someone getting fired. The Caps already fired their coach, who is leading a certain California team on a steep ascent of the Western Conference. So I guess there are no real consequences for this dismal sputtering. The Capitals exist in a fantasy world of zero accountability and even less efficacy, and that will apparently continue.

Joe B suit of the night

There is no savior coming for this team. There is no Adam Banks with his magically healed wrist, no Rohirrim riding down the crest with Gandalf, no up up down down left right left right b a start. This is the Capitals’ lost season and so much more.

You could say it started in game 8, when they lost Mike Green. You could say it happened in Buffalo, when Boudreau’s exasperation broke through. But it really happened in April of 2010, when the shellshocked Capitals began an 18-month retreat from their offense-first posture. This team has been shriveling like a spent something-or-other since that halak-ing, and it hasn’t ceased yet.

The playoffs are a pipe dream, and I’m not keen on hitting that particular pipe.

There has to be a bright future, because how much worse can it get?

That’s not a rhetorical question; I really want to know.

  • Aleks

    Time to trade for the Hanson brothers…

  • I think your answer will come Wednesday night. I’m afraid it’s going to get much worse. 

    Instead of pulling together, the inter-team squabbling became noticeable on television.  Accountability isn’t the issue (neither is goal-tending … Neuvirth was the only one with his head in the game and not up … ).  The issue is far more basic … learning how to get along.  

  • You are spot on….zero accountability….very prevalent in Washington D.C. sports…..ugh……

  • Priscilla

    No magic missiles either.

  • JessHughes

    After the 2nd period, we opted for “Slapshot,” which is a) free on pay-per-view, and b) offers better and more entertaining hockey than the Caps.  Le sigh, indeed.

  • hellyeah

    wow…I just…I don’t even…Faulk it.

  • The whole team should just commit seppuku at this point.

  • Mike Reppenhagen

    The Mighty Ducks reference is apt, because I definitely feel like I caught a knucklepuck to the face right about now.

  • sean

    Well it was fun while it lasted, time to start anew.  Other than Kuznetszov we have nobody in the farm system, we are at the cap limit and the playoffs are a pipe dream.  Who do we keep and who goes is what we will be dealing with until the start of next season.

  • That was the worst performance I have ever seen from them.   There is absolutely NOTHING positive I can say.  I have a feeling these guys are going to miss the playoffs, and the rest of the team owes a big apology to Vokoun, who took a big-ass pay cut to come here.

  • 8Sasha28

    I’m trying to figure out why, on all nights, Hunter didn’t shuffle the lines immediately when it wasn’t working from the beginning.  Why he didn’t throw MJ90 back up on line 1?  Why keep MP85 up there?  It was clearly NOT working.  He was much better on the 2nd line with Chimmer and Sasha, I think.  If I were coaching this team tonight, I would’ve tried throwing out every possible option available… maybe even put skates on a kitchen sink and throw that at it too.  What is his plan for this team?  None of them seem to know.  They’re all playing hockey individually without any idea what’s going on, sometimes not even knowing a puck is 5 inches from their feet.  I don’t get it.  It was complete chaos tonight. 

  • Shoquan1

    This might be a sign that some players can be traded either tomorrow or this week. We need players that can help us get offensively again. Ovi seriously needs help, Sasha needs help, All the Caps star players need help. Hunter is an OK coach, but the players constantly makes mistakes. We need to trade players for more disciplined players. That’s why we keep getting those stupid penalties. 

  • Pattyo

     The combined efforts of Dale Hunter and Rene Bourque have ruined our season.

    Dale is a junior coach, and should stay in the juniors…… GMGM should be fired for hiring him. Time for a huge trade. Time to gut the roster. Rebuilding time.

  • MA

    Can’t even watch the Caps ‘play’ anymore….. Hate to say it but Ovie needs to be stripped of the ‘C’ and grow up.  Can someone ask to Mama O to get her son’s head straightened out!

  • J222

    Just a terrible all around game. Nothing to do but take a deep breath and go forward.

    I do think, though,  that immediately jumping to the conclusion that Ovi went off at the end of the 2nd in a “hissy fit” rather than equipment/injury is kind of a bit much. Yeah, the captain has not been what we need and expect him to be and he should be held up to that and called out for crappy play– but to insinuate he went off the ice in a huff seems like just a dumb narrative to create for a moment in a game we’re not at. Like yelling steroids in a Pittsburgh newspaper.

  • Peter

    When you say “like”, you mean “similar” and not “congruent”, right? Cause what I did is in no way like accusing him of cheating and taking drugs. And there was objective evidence that he was in a bad mood.

  • Much as I usually scorn such comments, my mind keeps going back to a comment I read attached to a Post article earlier this year: that the problem with the Caps became clear watching Rangers/Flyers 24/7, and realizing that the members of both teams would eat a box of razor blades for each other.  Noone ever got that kind of mentality into the Caps.  It might be interesting to see if Dale Hunter could do that with a fresh set of young players; he probably came in too late to have a chance with this group, so there he is untested.  But I admit, I have grave doubts about Kuznetstov in that respect; his showboating at Junior Worlds speaks of another Ovechkin.  We might very well blow up the team now, only to find ourselves in this place again come 2020.

  • Alex

    Is it wrong that I want them to miss the play offs? Because I know they won’t get far in them so maybe it’ll be a wake up call. But that doesn’t comfort me much. The Caps have had a ton of wake up calls already and just ignored them.

  • Pattyo

    I can’t believe I wasted almost $300 of my hard earned money ordering tickets to friday’s game against the habs….

  • brian!

    At least we got a Konami Code reference out if this disaster.  That’s gotta count for something.

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  • When the Caps lost to Montreal in the playoffs I wrote a few passionate comments about how proud I was to be a Caps fan, despite the loss, and how much I was looking forward to seeing them shove those gloating Canadian teeth down Don Cherry’s throat when they scored their way to a Cup.

    Now this.  BB ridden out of town on a rail.  Our offensive horses turned into geldings.  Locker room problems.  Bad hockey, and even worse BORING bad hockey.  All because Ted and GMGM (and then BB) caved to peer pressure and “conventional wisdom”.

    So either we get back into playing the system that made our “superstars” into superstars – except without the head coach that was behind that system – or ditch pretty much everyone and try to find players who are just as talented except they thrive in a dump ‘n’ chase system.  HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA NO I’M NOT CRAZY WHY DO YOU ASK?!?!?!

    If any Caps front office people are reading this blog – you sucked/lucked your way into some amazing draft choices a few years ago.  PLEASE DON’T EFF THIS ALL UP.

    If any Caps players named Alex Ovechkin are reading this blog – don’t forget just how little DC cared about this team as little as three years ago.  You aren’t entitled to our devotion and I’ve been seeing you eyeing other fans when you thought my back was turned.  Unless you want to skate in front of an empty (albeit very nicely painted) Phone Booth you might want to think about putting on your big boy pants and playing like our hard earned dollars are funding the new wing on your garage.  It’s not cool anymore, bro.

  • Dylan

    At least I still have Skyrim.

  • This has to be the saddest and most depressing recap that I’ve ever read. I’ve been one of the most positive fans left, and I’ve constantly been telling people for months that the Caps will, yet again, pick it back up again in February and March, and do something great. But after this game, and reading this recap, I’ve finally changed. And I feel awful about it. I just wish that we could go back in time to 2009-10, and live in those happy times again. Because losing flat out sucks

  • Derek

    Sasha has been one of the few consistent performers, though. 25 points in 26 games, something like 7 or 8 penalties total (compared to his 1-3 per game before Dale). He’s stepped it up.

  • Jay

    Scene: Washington Capitals bench, 6:30 remaining in 2nd period.

    Unnamed Caps player turns to Alex Ovechkin: “How’s it going out there tonight rock star?”

    Ovechkin flashes peace sign, hops over board and skates to locker room.


  • Bz

    Stop this Ovi rockstar theme, please.  You need a scape goat? Ok, you had one (BB). Didn’t cure all the wounds, right?
    What’s next – trade Semin, Green, Knuble, demote Ovi, kick GMGM, take some established veterans? We saw these veterans – Arnott, Scott and others – didn’t help much, right?
     The performance of the whole team dropped significantly.
    home-road win ratio, many turnovers, drop in offense, shaken defence mean nothing less, that the END of BB’s  system and a new one to be established by the new coach from the scratch. 
    We hit the dark times and the length of it depends on the coaching skill, if there is any. It’s Dale’s job and 2-3 changes in the lineup will not make big difference at this stage.  

  • Gmgm

    the blood pact for shining in regular season and laying goose eggs in playoff was signed with BB not with the Caps…
    Dale signed opposite pact. Silly one, he forgot, that with spoiling the season, they will not have a chance to participate in PO. But their extra spring luck will help them to shine at golf  in casino and on R&B parties.


  • pucker up

    Even the “fights” were crappy. This isn’t even a team anymore, just a bunch of guys who happen to show up at the same time. The only players who even came to play were the goalies, who had absolutely no help from the rest of the “team”.No wonder Nick is still out.Who’d want to be associated with this sorry bunch?

  • Anonymous

    But the team isn’t even putting up a fight for Dale.

    Having the wrong pieces is one thing, but what we’re seeing the pieces aren’t even showing up to the rink.

    That’s on Dale.

  • Livia

    It’s entirely possible that the Caps are the worst team in the NHL, based not on the standings, but how they’re playing right now. This is the new reality, and the sooner the players and fans accept it and let go of nostalgia for the high-flying 2009-10 team, the less suffering there will be all around. Maybe if the team can set aside thoughts about their past glory days as well as their future playoff prospects, and instead narrow their focus to each game, each shift, and each play of the puck, they’ll find a way up.

  • Chris Gardner

    Thank God we aren’t winning the President’s Cup. That damn thing is a curse. That year sucked.

    Can we have it back now?

  • I don’t even want to know how worse this is going to get. This is such a terrible season that it’s hard for me to watch the games anymore. I missed this game due to being swamped with school work but now I’m glad I did. I am a ‘Canes fan as well… but the Caps should have won this. But that performance made them look like talentless fools, something we know they are not.

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  • Josh

    Honestly, they should just go back to the run and gun offense.  At least back then teams were scared to play the Caps.  You could be up 3-0 or 3-1 and in a matter of minutes lose the lead and lose the game to the Caps.  Sure, that is not a recipe to win the cup, but neither is the way they are playing now.  Its actually pathetic how they play some nights, I don’t even care to watch the games.  These guys are not a defensive oriented team, even if they try to be; they are stuck in limbo, somewhere in between and it results in some terrible hockey.  At least the PP is still going some nights which gives them a chance. 

    From the top line down, face it, the Caps are not an organization with the personnel or character to win a cup. Johannson and Perreault are still developing (they will be great players, no doubt), Joel Ward is not playing like he is worth $3 million, Semin is…well semin, and Ovi is not playing or acting like a captain, super star, and franchise player.  Wasn’t a new coach supposed to bring along a new culture? Hunter hasn’t done anything except for scratch Knuble.

    The SE division should be a breeze for the caps, yet they are not even in a playoff spot.  Take this season as a loss and move on, even if they make it into the playoffs i have no doubt in my mind they will be out in the first round.  Hunter should not be the future coach of the caps.  Semin needs to go (really he does), Ovi needs his passion for the game to be reignited, I don’t think he should be the captain after this season, ever since he got the C things have been different.  All he needs to focus on is scoring goals and bringing passion to the club.

  • Anonymous

    Arnott and Scott Hannan were great for us, and both probably would have done well under Hunter.

    At the end of the day the poor performance falls upon your Kaptain, Ovechkin and Komrad Semin… oh and the shitty defending and lack of heart.

  • Anonymous

     That’s the dumbest thing in the history of the the franchise. You strip his captaincy, you’re gonna have to trade him.

    A pissed off Ovie, is not a happy Ovie.

  • Anonymous

    I don’t see how Dale isn’t central to the struggles as well.
    Does this team look well-coached?
    Do they look to be playing to their potential?
    Do they seem to understand their system?
    Is there a system?

    The answer to all is no, IMO.

  • Anonymous

     He was one of the most winningest coaches in the history of the OHL. Soooo there’s that.

    Let us keep in mind Disco Dan Bylsma was just a little AHL coach and now he’s one of the best coaches around. Quite frankly, we’d be lucky as citizens of the U.S. for him to coach our boys in Sochi.

  • Anonymous

     Well you’re forgetting about hmmmm lets see: Kuntradek, Eakin, Holtby, Galiev (who is killing the QMJHL on one of the top lines), Pat McNeill and Grubauer… and I’ll even throw in Paquette because I like his chutzpah.

     Not quite Schenn and Sean Couturier, but far from the bare cupboard you’ve depicted. Let us not forget we have the Avs 2012 1st rounder, which could potentially turn into a lottery pick.

  • Anonymous

     Finally. A competent Capitals fan!

    I thought I was alone in this world.

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     Its not like its the Mayan end times or like Whitney Houston died or something.   Geez.  Get a grip people.


    BTW – maybe instead of a recap RMNB should have just linked to last season’s 6-0 blowout to the Rangers at Verizon center.   Everyone thought that was pretty awful at the time – and look how things turned out that season!   ::snark alert::

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  • Pattyo

    Are you people all drunk? Semin has been the best player on the team the past 2 months……

  • Peter


  • Peter

    Yup = I agree and also I’m drunk. NATIONAL MARGARITA DAYYYYY

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