That Sucked: Pens Blank Caps 4-0

sidney-crosby-celebrates

:( (Photo credit: Rob Carr)

Ian Oland birthday card of the night. (Photo credit: Brouwer Rangers)

Ian Oland birthday card of the night. (Photo credit: Brouwer Rangers)

A few years ago, the Washington Capitals-Pittsburgh Penguins rivalry was the NHL’s top draw. Led by the league’s best players, the teams spawned epic playoff series and fantastic regular season games. Eventually, though, Sidney Crosby got hurt and Alex Ovechkin got stale. For the past couple seasons, Caps-Pens has been a bit hollow.

This year, however, Ovi vs. Sid is relevant again: Crosby came into the game tied for the league lead in points, Ovechkin was tied for the lead in goals. Wednesday, the Caps were just one point behind the Pens for the Metropolitan division lead. With NBC in town, the good old days of the late ’00s were back — even if Brooks Laich didn’t give a crap.

Unfortunately, the game was less Snovechkin and more 2009 Semifinals game seven.

Paul Martin put the Pens up early through a screen that make Braden Holtby look foolish. Rejected Gossip Girl character Beau Bennett stretched the lead to two on a two-on-four — yes two-on-four — for Pittsburgh midway through the first. The second frame was utterly boring until ya boy Sidney Crosby unleashed an Ovi shot from the Ovi spot on the power play to put the Pens up by three. James Neal added another in the third.

Worst. Pens Blank Caps 4-0.

  • Not much point in singling out individual performances by the Caps tonight. The whole team was awful.
  • Via Extra Skater, this is what the shot attempts looked like after one. Ouch.

FirstPeriod

  • Despite facing a bunch of shots, the first two goals Holtby allowed were weak. Bray Bray, though, has been excellent this year so he deserves some slack. All in all, not the reason the Caps lost. He made 36 saves in the loss.
  • With Mike Green missing his third game in a row, John Carlson manned the point on the power play again. JCar struggled, fumbling the puck a couple times and failing to connect with open men. Despite Greenie’s lack of goals, his presence is greatly missed in the lineup. Washington’s man advantage until is now a pathetic second place in the NHL.
  • This was probably the low point of the night.
  • The possession numbers for the third pairing of Alexander Urbom and Steve Oleksy were biblically awful. The second line also stunk. Surprise, surprise!
  • Good news for my fantasy team (Team Sexy Legs), bad news for everybody else: Sid had a great night, registering an assist on Martin’s goal and sniping in a sublime shot on the power play. He now takes the league lead in points. The dude’s mustache sucks, but his resurgence — along with Ovechkin’s — is good for hockey.
  • But seriously, his mustache sucks.
  • The Pens outshot the Caps 40-17. Washington had just 10 shots 5-on-5. Wow.

I may not have actually seen Sunday’s game — it’s a long story involving fire and Times Square — but the Caps have been playing good hockey as of late. Tonight wasn’t one of those nights. Washington faced a tough divisional rival, a great judge of the team’s standing in the conference. The Caps could have moved into first place in the Metro. They crapped the bed. Oh well. Habs on Friday. Pete will be back with you.

  • JenniferH

    Well, that was … disappointing.

  • OlietheGoalie

    That was pathetic. If you ever want to know why the Caps have never won the Big Game, this is why. Center stage, big lights on us, and we poop the bed.

    All we have is… the Winter Classic win? Somehow getting to the Cup once (I guess). I dunno.

    Also, I hate Pen fans.

  • GuestZ

    F*cking pathetic. I actually shouted “YES!” when Brouwer was slow to get off the ice. Much to my dismay he was fine, and continued to hand the puck over every chance he got. OATES, GET YOUR HEAD OUT OF YOUR BUTTCRACK.

  • Josh Carey

    Something needs to change. I hope it’s Fehr/Orlov coming into the lineup, but it’s pretty bad when you get dominated night in and night out in possession. Even when we beat the Blues, we still gave up way too many shots. Laich/Brouwer remain horrible, and I don’t know what Oates is thinking giving them more playing time than the third line. They start most of the games and I can’t figure out why.

  • Matt

    Maybe 2/3 of the defence shouldn’t be of guys who haven’t played more than 40 games a season.

  • OlietheGoalie

    In other news, we are only 3 points back from first. That’s a hell of a lot better than I thought they’d be doing in their first year in THE METRO. Dun dun dun…

  • Dave

    Caps couldn’t hold onto the puck. Even Backstrom had problems tonight.

  • dylan wheatley

    This team does not play the type of hockey that wins in today’s NHL.

  • Bon

    First off I’ve had a few beers so excuse the poor flow of my comments. First off everything about this game was embarrassing. It seems to me that there are teams and individual players that just get so far into the heads of our guys that we just fold like a beach chair. When Ovi gets a strong D guy he is quiet all night. Holtby should NEVER EVER EVER start against the pens. its clear the pens are just mind F***ing him. Brooks and Brouwer dont deserve to be written about. When we play big time games we continue to get beat mentally. The pens can win playing multiple styles and we cant. Chipping it in and losing board battles 9 out of 10 times is so frustrating. The Defense also is embarrassing, no further comment on that. So to wrap up this team has light years to go before being contenders and i might not watch many more games when we play top competition. Sorry for semi-drunk blabbering

  • Bon

    and the passing and overall speed of the pens is something we dont have and might never have

  • http://www.russianmachineneverbreaks.com/ Peter Hassett

    I think there’s a lot of good reasons to single out individual performances tonight. Ovechkin played fantastic– but he was all alone. And despite every talking trash about him on Twitter, John Carlson was a stud too.

    Urbom and Oleksy were about as bad as you can get in the NHL. 4 out of 5 shots went the wrong way when they were on ice.

    The team ain’t bad– but the D is inexperienced, and it’s killing ‘em in their own zone. The breakout and neutral are garbage as a result.

  • Alex

    need to make moves for a veteran Dman. please. please.

  • H70

    This pic. Makes me want to vomit.

  • MuzzMuzzington
  • MarkGreenway

    I am watching the blue jackets game to cheer up. If that s not a bad sign I don’t know what is. Feels like the team when they are in the offensive zone forgot how to score goals they used to score in the boudreau 1.0 times.

  • http://www.russianmachineneverbreaks.com Ian Oland

    I don’t know. Carlson’s first period was pretty dreadful (missed shots on PP, misplay on Pens goal), but he definitely rebounded in the second and third. At some point in the second period too, Ovechkin seemed more concerned with checking Penguins than actually trying to score. Not sure I love how this team plays when they get down.

    But I agree, the team isn’t bad. D is inexperienced. There’s some overreacting going on tonight, but still sucky game ON MY BIRFDAY. ((((((((((((

  • Sidewinder

    Just think: GMGM gave up not one, but TWO first round picks for that fantastic “second line” we keep putting on the ice.

  • http://www.russianmachineneverbreaks.com Ian Oland

    Not sure why, but I feel the need to post this.

  • dylan wheatley

    He feasts

  • http://www.russianmachineneverbreaks.com/ Peter Hassett

    nailed it

  • A_Shoe

    Worst game of the year. Unfortunately it had to come against the Pens on national TV. We sucked something awful.

  • Matt

    An embarrassing loss to a division rival on national tv, just like the game against the rangers last month. I would expect big lineup changes again.

  • Graham Dumas

    Yeah, well. Your fault for having a birthday on “rivalry night.”

    But happy birthday anyway. Go drink!

  • Ash

    That sucked. But it’s over now, and if this is the game that gets Fehr and Dima in the lineup and the Black Hole twins separated, I’ll take the loss as a horribly painful but necessary learning experience. Fix it, Oates!

    Oh yeah, and Pens fans will get their karma served back eventually.

  • http://www.russianmachineneverbreaks.com Ian Oland

    ON IT

  • Buck

    this game featured two of the people I hate most on this planet in Pierre McGuire and Cindy Crosby

  • Mike Dietz

    Either brooksy or brouwer need to be scratched or traded that second line is absolutely horrific

  • dylan wheatley

    2 first + Bondra pal. Get your hyperbolic facts straight

  • Jack Conness

    They HAVE to fix their defense. And the 2nd line. End of story.

  • Owen Johnson

    Shittyshittyshittyshitty. Fuckittyfuckfuck what happened? I spent $100 after the Blues game for THAT? I was waiting the whole game for SOMETHING to happen. Even a shift with sustained pressure would have been nice. Nope.
    Happy birthday Ian.

  • Owen Johnson

    Fehr should be playing more too. And by “more,” I mean “some.”

  • Owen Johnson

    FREE FEHR!!!!

  • johnnymorte

    Dude, why is Crosby on the top of the page? As if we didn’t feel bad already this is making me sicker. I want to lash out against the world in terrible vengeance. Someone please egg those penguin fans. That is egregious.

  • Owen Johnson

    To be fair (Fehr) we got dominated on possession against St.Louis partially because we were up 3-0 before we could count our chickens. Thus we just sat back.

  • Roman Z.

    Get rid of Brouwer and Laich already and get some real D, please I beg you … I don’t know what else to say …

  • Shaun Phillips

    Looked like Laich didn’t give a crap about the game after it started as well. Scratch Laich, move MoJo back to 2, Erat to 1, and Fehr/Wilson to 2.

  • SamWow Carroll

    Everyone needs to calm down. Seriously.

  • Joe

    The overall performance last night was dreadful. And what the hell happened to Troy Brouwer? Was last year a total mirage? Missing shots way wide, not connecting on passes or creating any pressure on the forecheck. Laich has been terrible as well. And the D looked like a bunch of lost little boys for the most part last night. We constantly under-perform in big games and it really worries me that this team just does not have the gall to go on a Cup run. Oh well, let’s see how the weekend plays out. They did look awesome against a very stellar Blues team the other night.

  • oldman

    And yet again, we have a coach standing in front of the media looking like a deer in the headlights trying to defend piss poor goal tending, no heart from the team. When will this get fixed? Pens showed up and again, the roll of the dice showed up a lack luster dis-functional group of guys wearing caps uniforms

  • Steve

    Incredibly frustrating to watch with poor breakouts from our own zone. Half the time it literally looked like we were serving pucks over to other side of the ice so we could go back to a defensive scrimmage to prepare for upcoming NHL games…and it was a poor scrimmage at that!

    I know we need more experienced D-core – but gracious most of our breakouts up the ice prevented us from hemming them into their own zone. Some of our passes to try and set up our offense seemed completely pointless. And icings on the powerplay? EEEssssh.

    For some reason – I really felt that the game was over after the failed power play in the first for the Caps, even though that’s irrational. Instead of thinking “Oh they’re buzzing” – I was thinking “Crap – it’s going to be that kind of a night.” It was :(. Thinking back on it – that first failed powerplay was the highlight of Caps offense.

  • William

    Can I just mention how much I dislike Pierre Mcguire?

  • William

    Seriously though, We played a bad game against a good team on national television. It looks bad and a lot of individuals played poorly for washington, but it’s certainly not the end of the world. Shit happens. I still believe we need a 2ld though.

  • Isabella_St

    Yeah. I’ve had a busy fall and haven’t been able to see that many Caps games, but at some point I realized that most of the Pens were somewhat familiar to me and the Caps defense was full of guys I’d never heard of before.

  • http://www.russianmachineneverbreaks.com/ Peter Hassett

    OH MAN GOOD ONE

    CINDY CROSBY

    HAHAHAHA

    BECAUSE HE’S A GIRL

    AND GIRLS SUUUUUUUUUUUUUUCK

    HAHAHAHA

  • Jack Conness

    Totally agree. Oates needs to shake things up and get Fehr and Dima in that lineup NOW.

  • Graham Dumas

    What has the world come to when red-blooded ‘merican youth can’t even cite the Ayatollah among their most-hated?! Damnedsocialistgub’ment…

  • Graham Dumas

    Not cool, bra. Not cool at all.

  • Buck

    well then.

  • http://www.russianmachineneverbreaks.com/ Peter Hassett

    Here’s what I wrote about this in 2011:

    When fans discuss star players from other teams, character assassination is hard to avoid. That’s why we get Alex Semin is a diver, P.K Subban is a jerk, and I wouldn’t pee on Danny Briere if he were caked in napalm and I’ve been pounding Gatorades all day. But that stuff is kind of quaint. So too is calling Sidney Crosby a whiner. After all, thanks to 24/7, we’ve got incontrovertible video documentation of Sidney Crosby being a whiner.

    Some fans call him Cindy Crysby. Crysby is a little obvious and punny, but I guess it’s fine. Cindy, on the other hand… Here’s why that’s a dick move. You see your sister, mother, girlfriend, wife, daughter sitting next to you? She heard that. And now she’s internalizing what you said– that being a girl is a bad thing. That women have no place in sports, regardless of what mindblowing stuff my 15-year-old cousin is doing on that blueline in Vermont. When you call him Cindy as an insult, you’re perpetuating that boys club nonsense, and it is keeping a pretty cool sport on the fringes.

    http://www.russianmachineneverbreaks.com/2011/11/30/caps-fans-and-bad-habits-we-can-do-better/#more-25031

  • david

    please shut up..youre over the top liberalism is making this site tough to read..

  • david

    and yes i spelled your wrong..

  • dave

    or just delete comments you loser…

  • http://www.russianmachineneverbreaks.com/ Peter Hassett

    a) If I shut up, you wouldn’t be reading here at all.

    b) What you call “over-the-top liberalism” is just a policy of being welcoming to anyone on the site who wants to be here. Feel free to start your own site where you can be a hostile dick to people for arbitrary reasons. I’m sure it’ll be very successful.

  • Buck

    I understand you trying to keep the site politically correct but the reason I love to read RMNB is because you guys aren’t the standard, dry, hockey blog. You guys aren’t politically correct which is the great thing, but being offended by the use of “Cindy” seems a little sensitive to me…

  • dave

    I’m sure the “cindy crosby” people is offending all sorts of people…”barack the red!”…nerd.

  • http://www.russianmachineneverbreaks.com/ Peter Hassett

    Sure, I’ll start now.

  • http://www.russianmachineneverbreaks.com/ Peter Hassett

    You might be missing the point.

    I’m not offended by “Cindy Crosby.” The people who are offended (kind of a meaningless term the way it’s used lately) aren’t really the concern either.

    The concern is for the people for whom equating being a woman with being bad is an unrecognized, unconscious cue that you are not welcome here.

    I want to rip down the sign post that says “White, male, straight hockey fans only” because RMNB is for everybody.

  • http://www.russianmachineneverbreaks.com/ Peter Hassett

    p.s. “politically correct” means knowing the difference between “African American” and “black.” I think the term you meant is “Not an asshole”