John Russell

Photo: John Russell

The weekend hasn’t been kind to the Washington Capitals. Aside from the Leafs, the Caps’ competition in the wild card race all gained ground while the Caps floundered against the Bruins. Sunday’s game against the Nashville Predators was a crucial opportunity to stay on pace. And while Nashville had a headlock on Washington during even strength, the Caps managed to summon up some special teams magic to keep the game interesting. Or excruciating, depending on your attitude.

The Capitals got on the board first with a beautiful five-on-five unicorn: Nick Backstrom stole the puck, served it to Mike Green, who found Troy Brouwer alone at the back door. Nashville stuck back 100 seconds later with Patric Hornqvist’s goal following a big rebound off Halak’s chest. Hornqvist wasn’t done, scoring a semi-breakaway late in the first as the Caps momentarily forgot what they’re supposed to do at their own blue line (hint: defense).

The second period was all Nashville, but Halak was halaking like there was no tomorrow. The Caps earned back-to-back power plays and converted the second of them, a frantic backhand by Brouwer in the slot. Shea Weber restored Nashville’s lead nine minutes into the third period with a monster slapshot. Nick Backstrom tied it a few minutes later, converting a power play with a slapshot as the bowels of Caps nation collectively liquefied.

Overtime gave us no decision, so here we go with the…

Shootout bullets!

  • Jarnkrok was a sidewinder, but Halak smashed him with a shovel.
  • Kuznetsov missed wide again. He’s not gonna like that.
  • Craig Smith scored on an early release.
  • Grabo got blocked.
  • Josi denied low.
  • Nick Backstrom, who is not Calle Johansson, blocked.

Perds beat Caps 4-3 (Shootout).

  • That was the 19th shootout of the season. That’s too many shootouts.
  • The Capitals were a wet noodle at even strength. The Backstrom line got a pretty even-strength goal (his first at 5v5 since early February), but Nashville seemed to have a Get Out of the Defensive Zone Free card. This is not news. The Caps have been bad at evens since week one, but I thought I’d mention it again because Adam Oates had the world’s best scorer, Alex Ovechkin, skating with Jay Beagle in a huge game with the season on the line.
  • Ovechkin was a non-factor. He had just three shot attempts– total– fifty minutes into the game. I’ll say this for Ovi: he’s being a good sport. He’d have every right to cop an attitude over how Oates has disadvantaged him during even strength, but he hasn’t done that. If he did, the clowns at NBC would be all over him. Instead, Ovi has been a good little soldier, and I don’t think I’ve heard anyone remark about that one way or another. Anyway: Ovi’s possession was under 30%, which is really really bad.
  • Your boy Adam Vingan reported that Alex Ovechkin finished the month of March without a single even-strength point.

Read: Rich Clune Injures Patrick Wey in Fight, Tom Wilson Eyeballs Him So Hard (GIF)

  • Patrick Wey put an innocent hit on Rich Clune along the boards in the first. No one made much of it except for Clune, whose delicate sensibilities were offended. He demanded satisfaction, knocking out Wey (in his second pro fight ever). There never was a code in hockey. Wey was injured and missed the rest of the game, leaving the Caps with only five defenders for this very big game.
  • Mikhail Grabovski, who is awesome, returned to play for the first time since late January (not counting those two minutes in Sunrise). Grabo started on the fourth line, where he and Tommy Wilson and Dustin Penner looked pretty fantastic and not at all like a fourth line. Wilson had a crucial scoring chance in the first before Oates obliterated his awful lines and replaced them with another set of awful lines.
  • Here they are, per Mike Vogel after 40 minutes of play:

Grabovski – Beagle – Ovechkin
Johansson – Backstrom – Brouwer
Chimera – Fehr – Ward
Penner  - Kuznetsov – Wilson

  • I’m wondering how deep into this recap I can go without mentioning Troy Brouwer. Let’s keep going and see if the Brouwer Rangers throw a hissy fit.
  • Shea Weber is so good. I hate him. He executed a textbook stick check to defuse Alex Ovechkin on a two-on-one breakaway. (I’d really like Mike Green to skim that textbook at some point.) And there’s that slapshot to give the Perds the lead in the third, which was one of the hardest slappers I’ve seen all year. Did I mention I hate him? I did like it when Tom Wilson put a big shoulder into him with three minutes left in #rego.
  • With two goals tonight, Troy Brouwer set a new career best in goal scoring at 22. He got 21 back in 2009-10 with Chicago. He was just the triggerman in his first of the night, finishing a beautiful play by Backstrom and Green. The second goal, a powerplay marker, was the other kind of beautiful: scrapping in the slot for a loose puck that he shoveled into the net off his backhand.
You are not Joe B quit lying Al your suit is meh at best

You are not Joe B quit lying Al your suit is meh at best

The Caps have been so so bad at even strength and pretty awesome at the power play. We’ve known that since the beginning of October. I assume the coaches know it too. And yet here we are, with less than two weeks left in the season, and the Caps are somehow getting worse. Aside from defensive shallowness, the players aren’t all that bad, but the line decision-makers are plainly inept and the corpus of tactics they employ is infuriating.

But they can still draw penalties. Whatever criticism we offer for Adam Oates, he deserves tons of credit for the Caps being terrifying when a man up.

Then again, power plays are just one small part of the game– and not one you can rely on– either in the playoffs or in pursuit of making it to the playoffs in the first place.

Whatever– I’m sorry for venting. There’s nonsense abound in how Caps players are being coached, but the players themselves continue to excel in every way they can. There’s Troy Brouwer’s career-best season, Tom Wilson shaking off the role he’s been forced to play and becoming a scoring talent, Dmitry Orlov tilting the ice better than anyone else on the team.

Imagine how good those guys are gonna be under whoever the coach is next season.

  • Chris Cerullo

    Ridiculously boring. Horrible effort. Season bye bye.

  • Jack Conness

    Beagle with Ovi still? C’mon Oates. What a joke. You basically just ruined this season. Brutal man. I’m crushed.

  • Sad fan

    That was the season

  • Owen Johnson
  • Jack Conness

    I think the ceiling is through the roof for Orlov but let me say one thing. He is absolutely beautiful in the offensive zone. He just weaves around guys and is great with the puck. But when you put him in the d-zone, he is the worst player on the team. Honestly. What the hell is he doing? Someone has to teach him how to play defense. Or clear a puck. Or not make a turnover. Goodness gracious.

  • dylan wheatley

    al koken kept calling everybody calle johansson

  • MuzzMuzzington

    So the Predators have some really great offensive talent eh? Oh… they’re awful? Salary cap floor, you say? 28 year old rookie goaltender who is really a career AHL guy?

  • Big Chuck

    My favorite was when Oates decided to blindfold himself then throw darts at a dartboard to decide line combinations. Hell of a year!

  • Rob W.

    Same shit, different day. The loser point sums up this team perfectly. Im so tired of the boring offense or lack of it. Other teams goalies have to love facing us, they only face 2 or 3 tough chances a game. Ovi also has to step up his 5v5 game. I know +/- is dumb but -34 is ridiculous.

    Ovi cant be just a PP specialist. He has been really bad with the puck on his stick with that 2-1 in the 1st as an example. He needs to work harder in both ends away from the puck but that wont happen as long as Oates is behind the bench.

    Speaking of Oates, his line decisions are mind boggling. Keeping Penner on the 4th line while moving Grabo to 1LW and keeping Beagle as 1C…I freakin give up man…I’ve never had a team test my patience like these guys do. This team needs some serious changes including finding some heart to play with. A part of me just wants this season to be over…

  • Jack Conness

    I hope this confirms that Oates is gone. Sorry for all of these comments but my frustration is coming out in bursts right now.

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

    Malkovich

  • sheena dunn

    I’m pretty sure that Al was upstairs drinking…..

  • Georgoroth

    Yes, yesssss. The incantation is made.

  • Josh Carey

    Can’t say I blame him.

  • Chris Cerullo

    That young Carter Hutton out there man, stonewalled us.

  • Matt Lauer

    At some point during this game, it occurred to me that John Tortorella could be the new coach next year. Just sayin’.

  • Cooper

    Oates is about as delusional as Putin right now when it comes to his lines, the atrocity of beagle and Ovi together makes me feel like this

  • Kyle Reid

    No. No no no no no no no no no no no no no. Please god anyone but Tortorella.

  • Brouwer Rangers

    “I wondering how deep into this recap I can go without mentioning Troy Brouwer. Let’s keep going and see if the Brouwer Rangers throw a hissy fit.”

    We’re content gloating over the typo.

  • Owen Johnson

    I like how 4 of the top 6 forwards in the 3rd period were centers and how all 6 of the bottom 6 were wingers.

  • MuzzMuzzington

    Ew… god no. Peter Laviolette is 100x better with talented players than Tortilla

  • Matt Lauer

    OATES FOREVER BABY.

  • Chris Cerullo

    This usually happens to me as well. To not fill up RMNB with my BS, I just go to HF haha.

  • Chris Cerullo

    Yes please

  • Matt Lauer

    Hear, hear.

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

    Oh.

    Good.

    You’re back.

  • Gersh21

    Caps used up all of Beagle’s daytime minutes “calling their own number”.

  • Daniel Walker

    The only thing more brutal than the way the Caps played tonight was Smokin Al’s play by play. I think he called everyone on the ice Calle Johansson at least once during the broadcast.

  • Jake Ettawakapow

    Hate how Oates always juggles the lines during games. That’s probably why our 5 on 5 sucks ass.

  • Dave

    The Beagle – Ovechkin thing is insane, especially with Grabo back. Our forwards should be terrifying opponents when they’re this healthy, except Oates has no idea how to utilize them.

  • Roy Schue

    Where is their heart, their drive, the desperation….I just do not see it with this team. F***ing frustrating

  • Brouwer Rangers

    Also the 1st goal tied his previous career best of 22. The second set a new best of 23. #fancystats.

  • Chas

    Calle Johansson wins 2 out of 3 stars tonight by default. They were everywhere tonight!

  • Matt Lauer

    I don’t care what anybody says, Orlov played like a stud tonight and has been rather consistently. I’m inclined to say that he actually might be our best D-man right now.

  • MuzzMuzzington

    We will never have the fearsome offense that we used to have while Oates is behind the bench preaching his “lefties play left wing and righties play right wing” bullshozzle.

  • RESmith

    “Adam Oates had the world’s best scorer, Alex Ovechkin, skating with Jay Beagle in a huge game with the season on the line.” That says it all right there.

  • Dave

    I wonder if it will be hard to fire Oates since Ovechkin seems to like him so much.

  • Cooper

    Trade Ovechkin, his talent doesn’t deserve to be wasted here. I love ovi too much to watch him suffer

  • Alex Hughes

    I don’t understand Oates nobody does, he’s gotta stop using his magic eight ball in the middle of games to pick his lines

  • Matt McNeely

    I like Peter taking an offseason coaching change to #thebank! Nope, actually I love it. #HOPE

  • Jake Ettawakapow

    Looking forward to the Worlds. How many Caps you think will represent? Because the Caps can kiss their playoff hopes goodbye. If they can make it, ill be really happy, but they won’t win it all when they can only average 5 shots per period…

  • Lawrence

    I..am..so..crushed.

    I don’t think any of us should really be all that surprised though, this is the same team we have thought they were all season (slow, no good, no puck possession, horribly coached, terrible roster, etc.). To me this is the most disappointing effort of the season. Again, they came out slow and got pretty much outplayed for the majority of the game (by a pretty bad team mind you).

    I usually like to try to state the positives in these things, so I will try that I guess. Wilson showing signs of offensive skill in the 5 mins of ice time he got. Grabo got a lot better towards the end of the game. Backstrom had one of his best games of the year. Brouwer was sniping. Halak played unreal at times. We did get at least 1 point, which basically makes it so we aren’t statistically eliminated.

    Isn’t the god damn Beagle first line center experiment over yet? Ugh.

  • Alex Hughes

    Right and Most Effective Line Combos would be
    Kuzya-Backstrom-Ovi
    Penner-Grabo-Brouwer
    Chimera-Fehr-Ward
    Mojo-Beagle-Wilson

  • Roy Schue

    Who wants to start a petition to get rid of Oates… I fear Leonsis and GMGM aren’t bright enough to see the writing on the wall and fire him

  • Marky Narc

    Using Beagle as the center for Ovi’s line is the thing you do in NHL14 to give yourself an extra challenge because you’ve gotten so good at the game, you beat the CPU every time.

  • Zach Evans

    Is there any defense for Oates staying? Like my god this is just laughable. Horrible line combos, persistence to stick with them (when there’s documented evidence they don’t work), and just inability to get the players up. It’s sad when a team not in the playoff race plays better than a team that is “supposedly” in one. I just think he needs to go.

  • Roy Schue

    Exactly. Why is it so obvious to everyone but Oates

  • RESmith

    Actually, I got the suspicion that we just played against the two people who will be our next coach and GM.

  • Alex Hughes

    Peter Laviolette anybody?

  • Jake Ettawakapow

    Beagle will play for Canada, because he deserves to play with all stars. Am I right? Oates?

  • Matt Lauer

    My final observation coming out of this game is that the Caps absolutely must axe their policy of only hiring ex-Capitals players to important positions within the organization.

  • Josh Carey

    The last bit of hope I had for the season was Oates moving Grabo up to the top 6 and getting something going 5v5. I had NO idea anyone would be so dumb to keep Beagle there and demote Kuzya. This season is pretty much over, and the worst part is, the Capitals have all of the tools to make a decent playoff run. I really hope upper management realizes this and gets rid of Oates and Calle.

    I’d be happy keeping GMGM around. He gets a TON of hate but looking at it, he made a bad trade for Erat and failed to bring in a top 4 dman. He’s done a lot of good in helping this team in the past 10 years that I’ve been watching.

    Enough venting and sadness. Back to playing Peter’s album on repeat all night. Goodnight everyone.

  • Dave

    My Most Effective Line Combos:

    Anyone but Beagle – Anyone but Beagle – Ovi
    Anyone but Beagle – Anyone but Beagle – Anyone but Beagle
    Anyone but Beagle – Anyone but Beagle – Anyone but Beagle
    Someone – Beagle – Someone Else

  • Matt Lauer

    Interesting! [Strokes beard.]

  • Marky Narc

    I’m def missin’ Joe B 4sho.

  • Alex Hughes

    So now that Wey is out in comes Connor Carrick… OH GOD

  • you guyyyys

    with regard to our season…

  • RESmith

    What is old is new again (i.e. David Poile)

  • Michael Blaesing

    Ugh

  • Ben

    Or Smokin

  • Alex Hughes

    Columbus’ 3 next games are Colorado, at Philly, and Chicago, all loseable games, while Detroit has Boston, Buffalo, and at Montreal, easily two loseable games there, we only need 1 of those teams to go on a losing stretch

  • Roy Schue

    Our season thanks to Oates

  • Lawrence

    Hey at least we are not Toronto, amiright???

  • Alex Hughes

    The reason the top 6 hasn’t been putting up points even strength is that they have no chemistry due to the Nutty Professor behind the bench changing the lines twice a game. The third line is the only line that consistently stays together

  • Alex Hughes

    Why is the 3rd line now called the Green line, are we trying to copy Boston cuz they have the Merlot line

  • Matt McNeely

    I don’t know, guys. I’m actually feeling pretty good about this. No no, not the season! That’s completely hopeless lolz. I mean our chances of not having Oates back as coach. I honestly don’t see how he keeps his job.

  • Myan

    If we can’t beat f&^%$ing NASHVILLE, we have no business being in the playoffs. Calle Johansson and/or Oates need to GTFO right now. That was embarrassing.

  • Steven Lemmeyer

    Watching this game…Oh also, please put Beagle somewhere not near Ovi. http://www.ohmagif.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/06/superman-in-super-agony.gif

  • Justin

    Where is Georgoroth when you need him?

  • Alex Hughes

    All the way at the bottom of the comments thread he commented first

  • Hatfield

    His line combos would actually be more successful if he did that. Instead, it seems like he takes the logical combinations and purposefully avoids using them.

  • Matt McNeely

    It’s like he’s throwing darts at a board with all the good ideas removed

  • Justin

    At this point in the season, we should have a full RMNB recap by Georgoroth…

  • MuzzMuzzington

    That and the lefties on LW and righting on RW Oatesism. Bad angles all day long.

  • MuzzMuzzington

    I’d rather listen to Laughlin do a one man show all night and talk to himself than suffer through another Koken PBP.

  • alchemistmuffin

    Anything could happen though. Columbus loses next game, and Caps miraculously wins a game against the Stars, wildcard.

    Vent all you want. Even though I am sick and tired of Oates, we still have games to play, and this race will go down to the wire. (Except the Leafs, after watching them blow themselve up in second half, I switched back to March Madness. They are done, and likely to lose against the Flames in amazing fashion)

    Now, if you’ll excuse me, I’m going to finish my vomiting from yesterday with this fellow:

  • yv

    This is total agony and without any ecstasy.
    I guess the favorite game for Oates is lottery Pick 3. Caps will have good chance now to participate in the live one.

  • disolitude

    As a Caps fan living in Toronto I have to say that the possibility of both teams missing the playoffs is pretty devastating.

  • Myan

    God I was at the game and I have literally never hated Nashville & its peoples more in my entire life.

  • Matt McNeely

    Unfortunately the other side of that coin is the Capitals finding a way to win games [in spite of Adam Oates]. Would you have considered NSH one of the non-loseables for us? Yeah. Whoops.

  • RESmith

    No defense for Oates staying anymore. I’m a “Perfectionist” with a capital “P.” And not in a good way. I recognize it when I see it in someone else though. Get too rigid and get so lost in the details that they loose the proverbial “forest for the trees.” Get convinced at the brilliance of an idea and stay hung up on it waiting for the one time it works as proof and minimizing the 99 other times it didn’t.

    Yes, this team has it issues with it lack of depth on defense past the top three or four, but their 5v5 play still shouldn’t be this abysmal especially if the forward corps as whole offered more puck support in the defensive zone. Given the success on the PP the have, but all the issues they have elsewhere, I think it is safe to say Oates is more suited to be an assistant than the head coach.

  • Chris Cerullo

    Or to tank for a high draft pick. (I do this frequently)

  • Myan

    For what it’s worth, my boyfriend & I made these signs and Kuzya & Orlov laughed/smirked in acknowledgment. After tonight’s game, I promise we will never make signs again.

  • Justin

    We lost to Nashville without Pekka Rinne…

  • Josh Carey

    I’d argue the Caps don’t have a terrible roster. To start, their third line is probably top three in the league as far as third lines go (perhaps behind Boston’s) and their top six composes of two of the top 10 players in the world. The top six is filled in by a good supporting cast in Grabo, Kuzya, Brower and what should be Penner. The top four on defense are good, in my opinion. The problem with this team is the system, not the personnel.

  • Justin

    Oates is a riddle, wrapped in a mystery, inside an enigma.

  • Justin

    NSH… without Pekka Rinne!! Should have been a layup for us.

  • James Desautels

    It’s been said all night but I’m piling on too…the lines are a disaster. Kuzya saw no PP time tonight, he was demoted to line 4 even though he’s been one of our most productive point producers over last 3 weeks, Beags still centering Ovi, and then putting Beags and Grabo with Ovi when we are clearly lacking C depth everywhere else, the awful breakout tactics and neutral zone coverage scheme, we could go all night. We give up goals immediately after we score, we let other teams go untouched through the middle all the time (Iginla G yesterday and Hornqvist tonight were virtually same play, that’s textbook coaching fail)….Oates gave us the blueprint to dominate a PP but now many teams use the 1-3-1 so I am sure a new coach can handle it from here. Torts is NOT the answer. He took over an offensively powerful team and turned them into mush. How much money do we need to throw at Boudreau? I kid but anything is a step up.

  • Myan

    They aren’t buying in because their coach has had a season and a half to figure it out and he’s failed…miserably. This game was supposed to be a slam dunk for us and yet again we showed that we are nowhere near contenders. Effing embarrassing.

  • Thomas

    *Inhales air*
    . . . I got nothing
    Sums up this game nicely lol

  • Myan

    I wanted to punch every single person around us. I should not have downed that fourth beer….

  • the_jen

    Hey all.

    So, I’ve only been watching the Caps games for a few weeks, and there are so many ways to lay blame on what’s going on lately- whether it be the defense, offense, coaching, goaltending.

    Frankly, I’ve never seen a) so little urgency on the part of the team and coach when vying for a playoff spot, and b) so much “cute” play. That swing against California was epic BECAUSE the team refused to back off and drove hard to the net- even in the loss against LA. Nashville might be in the gutter standings-wise, but they are hardly the worst team (hell, look who is in their division- Chicago, STL, Minny, Dallas, Colorado- all either in the playoffs or near the playoffs). Only Winnipeg is worse, and coming from an STL fan, they have played the Blues HARD every time- even beating us once. There is never an easy game against Nashville, especially against their defense.

    Carter Hutton might be an AHL goalie, but he’s played A LOT as Pekka Rinne has been hurt. The Caps likely would have had better luck against Rinne.

  • johnnymorte

    Ovi’s 5v5 play has been nothing but garbage since Sochi. I get that you’re trying to teach him how to forecheck by putting him with Beags, but not with the season on the line. If Oates were smart he would’ve put Ovi on the PK in the beginning of the year. Our best players have been regressing since the beginning of the season and he has a terrible tendency to over-engineer. Whatever this system is, it’s not working for our best players and I don’t see our players getting better within it. The defense is god awful and Calle needs to get axed as well as GMGM for his role in building it. The main problem with Oates is just lack of experience at the helm, that players coach bullshit can only get you so far. Ovi has got too much money, too much punani, and too much influence to get out of his comfort zone and care about relearning how to play hockey the right way now that his youthful god-given talents are disintegrating(and yes they are if you don’t think so you’re in denial. You take that one-timer away and there are a lot of problems there). There is a coach right now sitting on his couch named Lavi that could possibly do the right things with this team, because he’s not afraid to break balls and he likes to play offensive hockey. Ted, if you’re out there I think you’ve seen enough games to see the obvious. A spring cleaning will be long overdue when the summer comes.

  • the_jen

    Pekka Rinne has a sub .900 Sv%. He hasn’t played well at all since coming back. Hutton has been their guy when he was out, so this isn’t surprising.

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

    ….dammit

  • JenniferH

    *sigh* #FireOates

    Peter, your tweet is sadly totally no doubt absolutely true.

  • JenniferH

    What’s your username on HF?

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

    Those turned out awesome! I am in awe. Haha.

  • james

    Orlov is playing D as good as anyone else on the team right now. He is a high-risk, high-reward player, which would be a much better thing if his linemates weren’t a constant liability. He will only get better with age; right now he is the least of the Caps problems.

    By the way, he has been post-hits away from winning 2 of the last 3 games. Give the guy a break.

  • Myan

    Thanks Ian. I convinced my poor boyfriend to make them because they would have literally looked like poop if I made them. He says it was totally worth it to see Kuzya & Dima laugh at them :)

  • Mary Catherine Walker

    Fire Oates! Bring back Boudreau!

  • Chris Cerullo

    Burakovsky95

  • Matt Root

    translation on the sign? Looks great btw

  • JenniferH

    Ah, I recognize that name. Shockingly enough, I’m JenniferH, haha!

  • prut

    you could also point out that Brouwer has 23 goals, not 22 :)

  • Matt Mendelsohn

    To me, it’s not each line specifically (well, maybe, that Beagle-Ovi pairing) but rather the fact that we are all sitting here discussing lines at all with eight games left. It’s like a teacher still talking school supplies with a week left until summer. These are things that most teams ironed out months ago, yet. Here we are in April and we’re still trying every combination and permutation mathematically possible.

    That any GM could have squandered so much with the talent we’ve had in the past five years is pathetic. The Fleischmanns, the Semins, the Perreaults and Hendricks and Knubles and more. But that this GM and THIS coach could have the league’s leading scorer and STILL gave an offense this anemic speaks volumes.

  • Shaun Phillips

    #FreeBinky

  • Shaun Phillips

    GMGM is going to be gone too. Hopefully the new GM wants “his” guy in there.

  • Fedor

    fedfed talking. I’m a mod! ;)

  • Kait

    Calle Johansson was clearly the real Palm player of the game. He was just everywhere on the ice.

  • Justin

    You’re right, and Pekka did get lit up the other night. I was just HANGRY.

  • Fedor

    Too bad Caps let go Mark French a year ago.

  • Fedor

    Can he take Forsberg with him?

  • the_jen

    Don’t blame you. I’m new to the Caps and have really quickly found so many things to like and have fun watching, and the game last night left me sad.

  • Justin
  • Jonah

    Like for Connor mcdavid…wait wait wait OATES IS A GENUIS!!!
    This has been the system all along! Tank this team over 3 years so we can rebuild with mcdavid, OV, Nicky, Grabo Wilson, and Kyzya. (That is an absolutely filthy top 6 btw)

  • Georgoroth

    Of course, the unholy words were spoken. We took a bit of a break, you see, while the flames of hope burned in the hearts of men. Seriously, those things are very bright, and, when you spoke of reuniting Russian and Swede, we were about to complain noisily to the Housing Association.

    But it was not to be, and the Dark Shepard kept up his end of the bargain with shootout-ensuring line combinations. Which is good, because we’ll be double-damned if we’re sending all of this #WeRise2014 swag back to Cafepress.

  • Jonah

    Remember after the Mtl series? We all wanted a team that was tougher and could handle the playoffs? That and his proficiency for taking shitty stick penalties was the reason we let Semin walk. Knuble was too old and retired. Fleishman was an injury liability. Perry and Hendy were just terrible moves. The bad part if this seaosn was not letting those players go, but it was failing to adequately replace them.

  • araporrada21

    Players only meeting needed

  • Myan

    “Kuzya, dangle, shoot, score, & celebrate!” Igor & Fedor from RMNB helped me translate it :)

  • Bryan J. Casto

    I’d switch Penner and Kuznetsov, but otherwise spot-on.

  • picturesandtalk

    Why is Oates so opposed to Penner playing with Backstrom and Ovechkin? I know Backstrom and Ovi haven’t played together that much since acquiring Penner, but the question still stands. You get a good two-way guy without giving Beags top-line minutes. I know Oates probably wasn’t watching this team too much before Dale broke Knuble, but wouldn’t Penner be the perfect guy to play the Knuble role?

  • picturesandtalk

    I really think Lavi could be a good fit for this team. But we’ll need GMGM to get the axe for that to happen. We all know GMGM hasn’t hired a coach with NHL head-coaching experience since Ron Wilson, who, by the way, had the longest tenure of any coach in the McPhee era.

  • Bryan J. Casto

    It sure feels that way. I see a Penner-Backstrom-Ovechkin line as the mirror to a Kuznetsov-Grabovski-Brouwer line, constructed with a smooth 2-way center, a prolific sniper, and a big body providing screening and potting rebounds. Chimera-Fehr-Ward continue to be a bruising, cycling, grind-it-out line, and Johanssen-Beagle-Wilson providing a good energy boost/injury fill-in for any of the top-two lines.

  • thiazzi

    …covered in dumb.

  • picturesandtalk

    MJ90 is definitely the odd-man-out on that 4th line, but I’m not sure where else you put him. He’s never really turned into the top line guy that the team still seems to think he can be. I also would like to see Wilson getting some actual experience, but I don’t think you can push Brouwer out of the 2nd line power forward slot, and that 3rd line is the only thing at evens that isn’t broken now.

  • Matt McNeely

    I’ve never played the game, and I’ve only been watching for 8 years so I’m not exactly a brilliant hockey mind, but I’m just gonna throw this out there.

    The only really “problem” I see with Ovechkin is his board play. He might be the worst player on the team at protecting the puck on the boards, which can not be good for his possession numbers. I wouldn’t call him a possession player. And I don’t know how much he can fix that. Just doesn’t look like he has a good feel for it. Especially when compared to a guy like Joel Ward, who is a board-play fucking master. Which has me thinking…

    You absolutely want the World’s Greatest Shot on the ice as much as possible, but you want him in the offensive zone shooting. So you have to protect his possession weakness if you want to tilt the ice in his favor and scoar moar goals. We have the tools on this team to do that: Joel Ward and Nicky Backstrom, two very very extremely strong possession players.

    I think a Ovi-Backstrom-Ward line would absolutely crush shit. That would be my top line. Let Nicky carry the puck. Let Ward and Nicky possess the puck. Let Ovi find the open ice to shoot. Get in trouble? Just throw it to Ward in the corner. He always comes out of the corners with the puck. Would that mean moving Ovi back to LW? Yes. I would do it. I don’t give Oates credit for “fixing” Ovi anyway. I think Ovi was going to “fix” himself regardless because he’s Ovi.

  • Matt McNeely

    Wardo is also a great net crasher, is big, can set up shop and screen the goalie, and will also actually SHOOT the PUCK [lookin' at you, Mojo]. I think Ovi could put up 60 playing on this line and at the Ovi Spot on the PP. Nicky and Wardo could both put up 25+. #WANT

  • Roman Z.

    Great signs! I don’t get the camel reference though :/ …

  • factoryofsadness

    hows this. Honestly, I am sick of all the Majo Hype. he is overrated.
    1. 92-19-8
    2. 17-84-20/43
    3. The only consistent thing all season. Duh
    4. 90-83-20/43

    On d…
    1.74-27
    2.52-not Erskine
    3.81-not Erskine

  • Myan

    It’s from the Chelyabinsk oblast flag :)

    http://russiatrek.org/images/flag/chelyabinsk-oblast-flag.gif

  • RESmith

    One can only hope!