Back to Philly

It was important for the Caps to come out with a strong first period in Saturday’s Game 5, and they did. It was probably their best period of the series. They outshot the Flyers 12-4 and outhit them 22-9. Washington also held Philly without a shot for the final 15 minutes of the frame, but for all that dominance, the Caps held only a slim 1-0 after 20 minutes, and they needed a great Cristobal Huet save on a Danny Briere breakaway for that.

They’ll need six more periods like the first period of Saturday’s game if they’re to come back from the 1-3 hole they dug for themselves in this series, though. Game 6 is in Philly on Monday night, and we’re all headed back up that way later today.

I’d love to see the Caps completely eschew any idea of making a pass at the opposing blueline and just stick to dump and chase hockey, establishing a forecheck and forcing the Flyers’ defensemen to make quick, accurate passes. To me, that was the basis of a lot of Washington’s success yesterday, especially in the first period. And when they do make those cute passes at the line, they’re too often turned over and used as fuel for the dangerous Philly transition game.

I’ve been pointing out virtually since Game 1 that the Caps have had difficulty getting shots through and getting them on net. That was still the case on Saturday. During the regular season, the Caps had the fifth most shots on goal in the league, and the Flyers allowed the fourth most. But Washington has not been able to get enough shots on Flyers goaltender Martin Biron in this series. Through five game, the Caps have fired 137 shots on goal, they’ve had another 109 blocked en route, and they’ve missed the net altogether with 77 other bids. 

My podcast partner Brett Leonhardt summed this problem up neatly yesterday. “They’re shooting to score,” he said. Meaning that they’re trying to pick a corner, and more often than not missing, only to have the puck rattle around the glass and careen out into the neutral zone, where once again the danger exists of a Philly counter-attack. Brett recommends shooting on net, and getting traffic in front to create screens or having guys driving the net for rebounds. Makes sense to me, and I’d like to see some of that on Monday.

Game 6 will be a war, a battle of wills. The Flyers don’t want to come back to the District for a Game 7 on Tuesday, and the Caps want nothing more. If the Caps can bottle up that first period on Saturday in Game 5 and reproduce it a few times in Game 6, they can win it and even the series. But if they play the way they played in the third period — when too often it looked like they’d be content to get it to overtime even though they led throughout the frame — they’ll be in trouble.

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143 Comments on “Back to Philly”

  1. K Says:

    Guess who’s complaining about a goal tender interference call now? Yep it’s being reported that the Flyers aren’t happy about that call….

  2. Anthony Says:

    Can’t we just let that talk die? Leave it in the other comments thread.

  3. Anthony Says:

    Btw, Sergei Fedorov was the 3rd star of the NHL for Saturday night.

  4. Funkyglovefacewash Says:

    Great points Mike. We can’t make dangerous passes because the Flyers transition game has been their biggest strength this series. Yesterday, we finally got some solid cycling going in their zone but seemed to let up in the 3rd. Brett’s right on about the need to get shots on net and have guys there or get there for rebounds. You have to create havoc around their net and looking for the perfect shot isn’t going to do that. Biron has not been that good and now that we’re starting to break through their D, we can capitalize(npi) on that if we keep cycling down low and drive the net. The goals don’t have to be pretty. It should be an exciting game and if they play 60 min. I’m confident they’ll win. Go Caps!

  5. Turk in Alaska Says:

    can’t remember watching a more complete period of hockey from the Caps all season. I think our “Young Guns” finally get what NHL playoff hockey is all about. What was it ’91-’92 when the Caps were up 3-1 over the Pens and blew the series? It was so painful to watch… Maybe it’s finally our turn, as long time Caps fans, to be on the other side of that.

    ~Turk

  6. Anthony Says:

    In the end, I think its not that anyone blew the series, I think its simpler put that the flyers didn’t play the “real caps” until game 4. We were adjusting to playoff hockey then.

  7. John in Atlanta Says:

    Totally agree! Throw it at the net as much as you can! Good things will come of that!

  8. Ben from Washington Says:

    Anthony, those were the real caps in the first three games. The real caps had no playoff experience.

  9. Shannon Lush Says:

    I agree, Mike, this series has really been a case of Philly taking advantage of everything that the Caps have given up, lots of transitions and a failure to get a lot of attempts directly in front of the net and screen Biron. I hope they can come back and play like they did most of Saturday, I’m not ready to accept their playoffs being over yet, they are the most exciting team in them! I love the Caps, I hope they can hold out and win it and get back to the V Center!

  10. Anthony Says:

    Ben,

    The “real caps” are the ones who win. They did not play caps hockey in the first three games. They are now.

  11. Tom in FL Says:

    Anthony: I’m really hoping they can bring Federov back for next year. No knock on Nylander, but he just doesn’t do some of the things Federov does nor does he have that championship experience. Federov, Nylander, Backstron, Steckel and Gordon gives you five good pivots for the season and lets you rest Federov on some back-to-back nights. Also want them to sign Huet and bring back Johnny for next year. Final thing is to sign someone like Brad Stuart, a free agent defenseman with front-of-the-net toughness. But that’s next year. Bottom line for Monday is it should be a very tough game. The question isn’t whether or not the Caps can do it but if they will. This isn’t like when they played Detroit in ’98 and, looking back, had no real chance.

    Despite the criticism from some of the Flyer fans, I really like the way Semin has played, although more dump and less dipsy-do would be in order. Perfect start to Monday’s game would be Briere skating with his head down through neutral ice and Brashear puts him up in the stands. I can’t complain about the guy though because when we had one of those (Ciccarelli) he was great to have on the team. How dumb was that when we traded Dino for Kevin Miller and then Miller for Paul Cavallini. That was like selling your Z28 for a Camaro and then trading the Camaro for a Cavalier.

  12. Anthony Says:

    Early on after we got Bruce he talked about what we needed to change, or something. He talked about the difference between a rut and a groove, and how you can change being in a rut into a groove. Its really a similar feeling. I think it definetly applies right now.

    The caps have figured out I think how to beat the flyers, and they know what they have to do. The only potential problem is that its still a lot to do.

    Its like knowing what you want is at the top of the mountain, but its not at the top of one of these mountains here on the east coast, its at the top of a real mountain on the west coast. Continuting along that train of thought, I think the caps also know though, the only way to get to the top of the mountain is to put one foot in front of the other and take it one period, one shift at at time.

    In all of this we can’t forget the possible genius of Bruce, after the fact it seems like such the obvious thing to do, to switch Backstrom and Fedorov, but its proving to be very important, to me. It takes some fortitude to switch your top two lines and the powerplay at that point I think.

    I definetly agree that Fedorov is a more valuable addition , I love what he brings to the PK. I just wonder for how long Nylanders shoulder was hurting him, and if we may see a different nylander next year.

    I wouldn’t want to be GMGM this offseason.

  13. Tom in FL Says:

    Anthony: The word as reorted seems to be that Nylander was fine until taking a faceoff during a game vs the Panthers in November and suddenly the shoulder hurt like hell. They held him out of four games for an “undisclosed reason.” Even the reporters didn’t seem to have a clue. Then he came back, tried to play through it, decided he couldn’t, and opted for the surgery.

    A number of us posted after game three to switch Federov to the top line. Many people including Mike of course and Mike Wise I think in the Post said they had to change the power play. Looking back, it seemed so obvious that Boudreau had to do it. Backstrom looks like a different player ever since they took the “top line center” albatross off his shoulders. Sure, he handled it during the regular season. But this is the Stanley Cup playoffs. He’s 20 years old. The youngest of my three daughters is 22 so I know very well that 20 years old is VERY young. Plus, he’s not North American, and no knock against him for sure, but coming from another country and being yound I imagine you can be overwhelmed by this “Stanley Cup” mystique. Ovechkin appears to have been affected as well, and even the Canadian kids like Green at times don’t look like themselves. I posted a note the other day about it being like for me the first time I had to give a presentation in front of the Corporate fathers and then added how tough it would be if five 250 pound dudes were trying to smash my face in while I was talking.

    And I WOULD want to be GMGM this offseason. This is what a GM lives for – building a team up from scratch. The Caps took major steps this year. You go back in all sports and look and before a dynasty is born, the season before the team usually rises up to make the playoffs and then bows out early. Even the Pittsburgh Steelers back in 74 would never have won their first Super Bowl without the Immaculate Reception on top of everything else. There must be struggle; there must be some luck; there must be supreme effort. The Caps can really and truly become a dynasty (or like the Red Wings have a decade plus of being one of the top three or four teams) given time, a top flight right winger, a big, bruising defenseman and a top 33% goalie. My opinion is they won’t win with Green or Poti as the top two defensemen. And they won’t win with Kozlov as #1 RW. I don’t think they can be the championship team even with Ovechkin-Backstrom-Clark. Now that I typed that, you might be surprised but I am starting to believe Ovechkin-Backstrom-Brooks Laich could be that #1 line. Laich seems to have that extra little thing in his game that maybe you don’t get unless you grow up from the time you can walk with the NHL on television. I’m not knocking Europeans of course because I believe Ovechkin is the best player in the game but there is far more to hockey and far more to anything in life than just your skill and even your desire. Maybe upon typing all this someone can counter with, “But Ovechkin comes from a championship family. His mother has two gold medals.” I would say, “Yes, but gold medals and the Stanley Cup are two different things. Not harder, just different.”

    Sorry, but I am rambling. The last bottle of 2005 chardonnay (it was Kendall-Jackson) has been consumed along with the orange roughy for dinner. Now we must look forward as all the white wine in the cooler is 2006. It’s really amazing that as hard and well as the Caps played over the last month of the season, the playoffs turned out to be an entirely different animal. At least they got that experience THIS year. If the Caps play all 80 next year the way they played the last 60 this year and the way they’ve played games 4 and 5 of the playoffs, we have quite a bit to look forward to.

  14. Philly Voice of Reason Says:

    Dear Mr. Vogel,

    So I’ve now read 2 of your articles here on this blog, “Horse Hockey” and this one. I thought I’d stop back to see if you would be objective and write about the questionable or “phantom” calls called against the Flyers yesterday like you did after game 4 in your “Horse Play” article.

    No such luck. It is a disgrace that the Caps organization allows you to attach this rag of a blog to their official web site and you should be embarrassed.

    It has becoming evident by watching this series that the NHL and Mr. Bettman in particular has gotten the word to the refs that they should do everything possible to let the Capitals win this series. Why? Because the league thinks they need a new superstar to promote and grow and they’ve chosen Ovichicken.

    There is only 1 problem with this plan, the Flyer’s aren’t cooperating. Despite the bad calls against them; and there will be more tomorrow night; the Flyers will prevail and you and all of your loyal followers here on this blog will disappear.

    To all of my fans and followers that I’ve developed here, I promise to stop by on Tuesday morning and write on Mike’s latest bore-fest to say goodbye and let you know where I’ll be if you’d like to follow and learn more about the game. Until now, you can all bask in the glory that you are still alive in the series, only down 1 game and heading back to Philly facing elimination.

    Hey, it’s something…

  15. Tom in FL Says:

    I must add that sometimes life throws you a curve. Here I was watching on th 58″ TV the Sharks and Flames with Ron Wilson behind the Sharks’ bench and remembering how he coached the Caps in ’98 with that hockey card of his dad in his pocket and my 2005 Kendall-Jackson run dry and me having mixed some half-ass Tom Collinses (Tanquerey, 7-Up and lemon from the tree out front) and then the middle daughter comes over and even though I took her to just as many Caps games and practices back in the early 90’s as the younger one with whom I watch all the games she doesn’t watch anymore being too busy working on a doctorate and she demands since she comes over infrequently and her time is so important that she gets TV domination so now the women who rule my life have changed the channel to something called “The Tudors.”

    I could have checked her into the boards and held on to my TV rights as the billpayer but somehow feel that would’ve earned me a “game misconduct” or some other dubious call by the house ref who although with good vision could easily penalize me in some fashion that would’ve been just as painful as the six-minute minor assessed to Brashear back in that Boston game.

    I took enough history and political science credits back in the day (no, I didn’t stump for Lincoln) that I know all too well how this whole Tudor business transpires. I wanted to just tell them the conclusion so I could get the big TV back and watch the Sharks and Flames but somehow thought better since the last time I tried that trick they were all (the four women who rule the house) leaving for a movie and I told them, “Why bother, the ship just sinks.”

    The movie was “Titanic” and I have since watched it and I can tell you honestly I would rather watch a rerun of the Pittsburgh – Ottawa series. Gag, gag, gag.

    You think the Caps have it tough when they are down 5 on 3. Try living your whole life 1 on 4.

  16. Tom in FL Says:

    To the Philly Voice of Reason:

    I have ben watching hockey since rooting for Gordie Howe and the Red Wings in 1964. You are the biggest idiot I have ever seen. Come down to Orlando Florida. I am 5’11” 160 pounds but get off the plane and walk toward me and I will stick my fist in your face. I don’t care how big you are or how young you are or how tough you think you are but you are a damned, stupid moron of the first degree.

    My address:

    Tom Orem
    234 N. Castleford Ct.
    Longwood, FL 32779

    If you have one-half the guts you pretend like you have on the internet show up at my door and I will be Donald Brashear and you will be Danny Boy Briere. Just come down here to Florida just make sure to kiss your ass goodbye first.

  17. Anthony Says:

    Philly VOR,

    So, to be clear, the caps are being put forward into the second round, by the NHL, but they aren’t, because the flyers won’t let them?

    So your of the opinion that the flyers aren’t bound by the NHL?

  18. Tom in FL Says:

    “Oh, Danny Boy.”

    A fine Irish song.

    I’ll bet you all didn’t know it but the song is about Briere and Philly Voice of Reason is the bedroom.

  19. Tom in FL Says:

    Anthony: Please don’t encourage him with a thought-provoking response. Notice how he wrote, “To all my fans and followers…” Like the Holy Roman Empire, which historians say was neither holy, Roman nor an empire, Philly Voice of Reason neither represents Philadelphia, is a voice or has any reason. Somehow a person who should call himself “Placeless Piece of Turd” has somehow deluded himself through drugs or some metaphysical transformation that he has fans and followers or even anyone who would find his rants entertaining. We are dealing with a person here whose IQ is below the Mendosa line and who probably makes like $6.50/hr to flip Philly cheesesteaks at his corner greasy spoon.

    Baseball had Yogi Beara and we have PVoR. He is the George W. Bush of the hockey internet – someone so stupid you don’t believe they really exist but you keep reading what they say and you tell yourself, “I am sorry I had to live so long that I had to know such idiots even existed.”

    At least he isn’t the President.

  20. Turk in Alaska Says:

    Philly Voice of Reason,

    Are you stupid? Vogs is the senior writer FOR the Washington Capitals. Will his articles bias the Caps? Probably as his paycheck gets cut by the Capitals organization.

    I wouldn’t read a Philly paper or blog expecting it to be any less slanted toward the Flyers. The fact that you come in here and spout off about such nonsensical crap like “the fix is in” and lambaste Vogs for his biased articles only puts on display for the entire world how incredibly ignorant you are.

    Wasn’t it Mark Twain who said:
    “Better to keep your mouth shut and be thought a fool than to open it and remove all doubt.”

    Go Caps,
    ~Turk

  21. Anthony Says:

    I consider myself a regular here, and Mike has indicated before in his line of work things are sometimes, difficult.

  22. Andrew Says:

    Philly “VOR”,

    Are you serious?

    I guess now I understand why Philly ans are chastised nationwide as being a cut below grade.

  23. Tom in FL Says:

    To Philly Voice of Reason:

    300 million Americans. It’s not like we need extra people. Sorry your mom didn’t terminate. But then again she’s probably just as stupid as you.

  24. notfadeaway Says:

    Philly Voice,

    The Flyers were HANDED their first goal on a terrible call against Fedorov to give you a 5-on-3. And this came right after a blown call where two Flyers tackled Kozlov as he skated thru your zone.

    1 shot in 25 minutes, and you think you guys actually deserved to win? The Flyers shouldn’t have even been IN the game by the time the 3rd started.

    News flash: the Flyers take lots of penalties.

  25. Philly Voice of Reason Says:

    notfadeaway,

    That was the first period and I believe the Caps came out of the first with the lead. HOw about the call with about 5 minutes left in the game which lead to the winning goal? Did you see that genious?

    I try and forget about the game after it is over unlike you whiney cry babys on this blog, but what I do remember from yesterday’ was Washington hanging on by a thread at the end as the Flyer’s dominated. 5 on 5, Flyers are the better team.

  26. Philly Voice of Reason Says:

    phily vor you are such a tool.

    we dont care you decided to stop back in

    you have no “fans”

    what you have is too much time on your hands.

  27. Jason Says:

    ANY person who claims that the refs and the league try to sway the outcomes for ANY team is an idiot. you, phily vor, are an idiot

  28. Jason Says:

    do all of my fans want to know what i think is funny?

    all these flyers come on here and talk so much shit when we go down 3-1. we win after outplaying. and one comes back.

    why do you guys need a huge lead to talk shit?

    phily does have a blog on their website. and you are an idiot its a BLOG. where PEOPLE SPEAK THEIR MINDS. this isnt the washington post you moron.

  29. Philly Voice of Reason Says:

    I gotta tell ya….

    I love these people who feel they need to copy my name to be heard. I also love how they tell Flyer’s fans to leave “their” site.

    Trust me, no one wants to read 500 “Let’s Go Caps” messages; old men reminisce about when they could get a boner (Tom i FL) or people kiss Mike Vogel’s ass. I bring life to this blog and when I leave on Tuesday) it will be dead again.

  30. Jason Says:

    It just seems the voice of reason should be intelligent

  31. notfadeaway Says:

    Philly Voice,

    It’s “g-e-n-i-u-s,’ genius.

  32. Tom in FL Says:

    Philly Voice of Reason:

    Why don’t you just die and give life to life again.

    Are you an American?

    You aren’t worthy of being such.

    I have told you to come down here and take me on, but all you can do is regurgitate Philadelphia type insults. Reading you is like watching a TCM movie from the 30s with all your cliches. I’m sure your dad is proud of you but I’ll bet your mom wishes you at least had gotten past the 8th grade.

  33. Tom in FL Says:

    Philly Voice of Reason:

    One thing is for certain and it is that you will leave this blog come Tuesday. Thank God we can be happy for that. This is like when Reagan bombed Qaddaffi and that little turd shut his ignorant trap ever since. So we should rename you, “Moammar the Voice of Treason.” I have read you sub-human rants and one explained how you were ready to head on over to the Montreal BB and explain to then the ways of life vis-a-vis ice hockey.

    I hope you are so busy shaving your back Monday night that you miss the game.

  34. Anthony Says:

    So, the NHL wants Ovechkin in the second round, but lack the power to make it happen?

    So your saying the officials are trying to give us the game? So we can win?

  35. Philly Voice of Reason Says:

    Can someone please explain what Tom in Florida is talking about? Reading his messages is like watching Family Guy with all the cut-aways to explain what he is trying to say. Reagan bombing Qaddaffi? What a poor, old bitter man…

    Yes Anthony, the NHL wants Ovechkin in the second round. Nobody outside of Philly likes the Flyers, but there are front runners like Tom in Fl that like the Caps because Ovechkin won the scoring title.

    I need to get a cup of coffee in me and then take a dump. I will be back in an hour or so to explain home ice advantage to all. Stay tuned…

  36. anthony Says:

    You ignorned my point if there truly was a conspiracy, the flyers would of never had a chance.

  37. acap1066 Says:

    To Philly Voice of Reason,

    Here are some facts concerning the propensity to take penalities that I posted in the “Horse Hockey” post. It would be nice if you did some fact checking before you spouted off on another teams board that shouldn’t even matter to you in the first place.

    Here is the post:
    Here are some facts from NHL.com:

    Times short handed in the regular season:

    Flyers: 388
    Captials: 349

    Only nine teams out of thirty had fewer total time shorthanded during the regular season than the Capitals. Only two teams had either the same amount or higher in times short handed during the regular season than the Flyers. By looking at these numbers (facts), the Flyers tend to be shorthanded more often than not. Game 6 fits this model/trend. The Flyers coach and fans shouldn’t be surprised.

    To make it simple for you, the Flyers tend to take more penalties than 26 or 27 other NHL teams by looking at this stat. The Capitals are in the bottom third in the NHL by looking at this same stat. I used a non-biased site http://www.nhl.com to pull these numbers. Go do some fact checking, should make your points/arguements would have weight. All you do is cast stones on another teams boards, did you get kicked of the Flyers’ boards? You are welcomed to argue facts not insults.

  38. Jason Says:

    Phily Voice I love how you address your “fans” and tell us to stay tuned. have you not noticed that all of your “fans” are not here anymore. And what is this “home ice advantage” you speak of? ive never heard of it before you, gods gift to hockey, mentioned it. are you suggesting that its the only reason we won? or that its part of the NHL’s conspiracy to make us advance? you are such a tool.

    you come onto our site to talk shit about how we complain officials for results, and then you come in and blame the officials for the results. hmmmm.

  39. Flyer Fans are funny Says:

    philly VOR,
    what phantom calls? the goalie interference on the flyers? just like kozlovs. bad call but one that is routinely being made in this (and probably other) series. in game 4 they were all against the caps. in game 5, pretty even. fedorov’s call was just like the goalie interference, a call that should not be made in the playoffs and a call that is not being called consistently.

    vogel does not suggest the ref’s are biased one way or the other. just bad. if you really believe the refs/nhl are conspiring to give this series to the caps you really are the idiot that others on this site believe you are. and if you are half the hockey fan you claim to be, then you would be well aware of the propensity for refs to be inconsistent, prone to make up calls, and without any clue how to call playoff games vs regular season.

  40. Flyer Fans are funny Says:

    by the way, i’m proud that you havent seen any cap players talk about bad calls or diving. but briere and upshall et al are constantly harping on it. sad

  41. Jason Says:

    briere is a fag

  42. acap1066 Says:

    This is a correction to my last post. I said “Game 6” when I should have said Game 5. Again, sticking to facts, which is why I posted this correction.

  43. Txcapsfan Says:

    Philly Voice of Reason (is that not an oxymoron?) Or is he just a moron?

  44. Philly Voice of Reason Says:

    Mike,

    I am not disputing the facts that the Flyers are the second most penalized team in hockey, nor am I disputing the facts that the Caps are ninth in least penalties taken. Believe me, as a Flyers fan, I am fully aware of the amount of penalties they take.

    What I take issue with is when a sports journalist like yourself uses facts like these to say that the Flyers should be penalized more than the Caps in every game they play against each other. That is exactly the point you were trying to make in “Horse Hockey”. That is asinine, moronic thinking and you as a sports journalist should know better.

  45. anthony Says:

    that was not the point, the point was that what is a call one day should be a penlty everygame

  46. Philly Voice of Reason Says:

    So home ice (field) advantage…

    What? Why? How?

    What is home ice advantage? Why do teams playing at home win more games than they win on the road over the course of a season? Here’s the deal…

    Yes, part of it is the disadvantage that the visiting team has in traveling. Jet lag, motel rooms with uncomfortable beds, different schedule, different food, packing, unpacking, etc… All of the things that the home team does not have to worry about.

    How about the fans? What effect do they have? Well I can tell you that the fans have absolutely zero affect on the players. The players do not hear the fans. They block them out, like white noise in the background. They need to in order to communicate with their teammates on the ice and bench.

    But consider the affect that the fans have on the refs. Could the fans influence the calls a ref makes for the home team? Absolutely. In fact, the fans influence on officiating is the number one reason that there is an advantage to the home team.

    This has never been so evident as it is in this Flyers/Caps series. If we are going to be objective, we need to admit that the “bad” calls for the most part have gone against the visiting team. It is what it is and it will continue to be this way.

    So I fully expect some bad calls against the Caps tonight, but it will not determine the outcome of the game/series. The Caps need to realize that they are going into a bees nest tonight and will require an extra goal to win. I give the Flyers a 2 puck advantage in this game, so the 1 puck they will get for home ice advantage calls will not factor in to who wins this series.

    Flyers 5, Caps 3. OV = OVER.

    Thanks for listening.

  47. Philly Voice of Reason Says:

    Anthony,

    Go back and read Horse Play again. It’s one complaint after the other about non-calls agaisnt the Flyers. He’s complaining about the officiating. He even admits to reservations about posting such commentary.

  48. Jason Says:

    phily vor, yoy finally made an objective point…i guess. take this as a win, leave this site, and dont come back.

    and IF the caps win tonight…you still gonna be here tomorrow? i doubt it.

  49. acap1066 Says:

    Philly Voice of Reason,

    If you are referring to my post, then you didn’t read. I am not Mike which is indicated by my name. Again, check your facts and make sure you refer and quote the correct person.

    If a team has a tendency of committing more penalties than the other teams in the regular season, it usually carries over into the playoffs since it is their predisposition to commit the same type of penalties. Teams generally don’t have an epiphany and stop doing what they have done throughout the entire season.

    No matter who wins, the officials have been horrible in this series and in other’s as well. Being an ex-official in a different sport, it has been my experience to choose how one is going to call a game and be consistent about this method. Either let the teams play, concentrating on major infractions or call it tight. No matter which way, I have found by being consistent through out all 60 minutes is usually the best way to go. Sure, some players, coaches and Fans may not like every call but can understand it better if they can judge how things are called and they can adjust accordingly. I believe in this series that the officials have not been consistent even within the same 20 minute penalties. This is evident in both posts concerning the last 2 games by myriad examples.

  50. Philly Voice of Reason Says:

    acap 1066,

    Why do you feel it is necessary that a tendency to committ more penalties in the regular season carry over to the playoffs? And if it doesn’t, as it hasn’t so far in this series, will you use that as an excuse when the Caps lose this series?

    That is where I see your delusional train of thought going. If you were an ex-official as you indicate, I’m glad you didn’t officiate any of my games. Officials should not “choose how one is going to call a game”. Officials should call the game they see and not the reputation of either team in it.

  51. acap1066 Says:

    Philly Voice of Reason,

    I thought you wouldn’t understand which is why I am not surprised about your post. Before each games, officials usually confer on the points of emphasis, which either letting them play or call it tight appears. There are many factors. This is completely different from predisposition of calling more calls on one team versus the other. All officials, no matter what sport, talk before the game. This is where the officials in this series has failed. Also, teams are what they are by this time in the season. They do not automatically change.

    Good to see that you actually credited the correct poster this time. Not throwing insults like you do, just pointing out fact. Keep on posting, this is getting quite amusing.

    PS.. I am glad that I haven’t officiated any of your games. You would be one of the coaches/players who thinks they know it all but actually have no clue (and make a fool out of themselves in the process). Unfortunately, these types are a dime a dozen.

  52. Philly Voice of Reason Says:

    Well it looks like the Voice of Reason is being silenced. My posts are being removed. I guess they don’t want to hear opposing views here on this blog. Oh well, no sweat. 8 hours from now it will all be over anyway. I’m sorry you guys couldn’t take it because I’ll still be dishing somewhere.

    Later.

  53. Dan, Jr. Says:

    Philly Voice Of UnReason,

    Everyone has the right to their own opinion. However, you have to expect to be ridiculed when you continuously talk trash. If you were to leave honest and realistic comments/arguments, we wouldn’t think you such an ass. Please, go seek some professional help. We’d like to hear your views when you have a clear head. A lot of good people have come from Philadelphia. Right now, you’re not one of them.

  54. acap1066 Says:

    Oh, man… just when I was starting to have fun. By the way, I can see your last post. Which posts are being removed?

    Seriously now, no matter what team wins, should be a very intense game. Can’t wait for Game 7. It will be nice to see Ovie score the game winner with less than a minute left in the game and jump into the boards at your place.

  55. Mike L Says:

    One more time to anyone who doesn’t get it…

    1) This is Mike Vogel’s personal blog.

    2) What he writes here are his opinions, thoughts, ideas, anything he wants. There is no requirement that he be objective here at all. None.

    3) Vogs is also the staff write for washingtoncaps.com, and there, he is much more objective.

    The point of a writing a blog is to be able to say whatever you want to say. If you don’t like what’s said here, or disagree with what’s said here, that’s fine. That said, remember that what is written here is not written in any official capacity for the Caps, this is personal, and the writing on the website is business.

  56. Mike L Says:

    Ok, now that my rant is out of the way…

    Tonight’s game will hopefully have better officiating than the other five previous games. I have no doubt there will be calls that both coaches will disagree on, but so far in this series the officiating in the games has gone from so-so (Game 1) to not-so-good (Game 2, Game 3, Game 5) to atrocious (Game 4). Thankfully, there are only three opening round series left with a maximum of 4 games, so the pool off referees will be shrinking…

  57. gusty161 Says:

    The whole premise behind PVOR’s argument is that since Mike is a “sports journalist” he should not be writing a blog complaining about officiating. As has been stated before, Mike works for the Caps. He would be the first to say that he is not a journalist in the traditional sense of the word. He has a built-in bias in favor of the team that pays his salary. He knows it, we know it. Apparently, the only person who’s having a hard time with this concept is PVOR. His continued rants are built on a foundation of sand and really not even worth the cyber paper they’re written on.

  58. Philly Voice of Reason Says:

    It’s a matter of class for a “sports writer” not to write a “Horse Play” type article complaining about the officiating after a loss. I’m sorry none of you get that.

  59. Philly Voice of Reason Says:

    P.S.

    It sounds like some of you want to complain about the officiating for tonights game now, before the puck is even dropped. What a sad bunch you are…

    Maybe you know what’s in store. There’s a freight train coming and the Caps are stuck on the tracks.

  60. Jason Says:

    i thought you said you were leaving?

  61. gusty161 Says:

    “There’s a freight train coming and the Caps are stuck on the tracks.” Wow, such symbolism. Take you long to think that one up? LOL The good thing about playing back-to-back is that at most we only have two more days of PVOR’s words of wisdom. What will we do?

  62. Philly Voice of Reason Says:

    Wrong. You’ll be crying tonight, not two days.

  63. Philly Voice of Reason Says:

    P.S.

    If Cote plays for Knuble tonight and the score allows for it, he will punch Barshear’s lights out. You heard it here first.

  64. Philly Voice of Reason Says:

    P.P.S.

    If Downie plays for Knuble, he’ll be on the score sheet. You can bet on it.

    PVOR

  65. Jason Says:

    Jason Says:
    April 21, 2008 at 2:55 pm
    i thought you said you were leaving?

  66. Philly Voice of Reason Says:

    Do you want me to leave?

  67. Jason Says:

    if you want to debate intelligently and objectively about hockey then fine but for someone who calls themselves the voice of reason you are little more than unintelligent white trash. you are only capable of ranting incoherently about conspiracies or how the flyers will win. grow up.

  68. Philly Voice of Reason Says:

    Ok, here is an intelligent and objective observation…

    Ovechkin reguslar season stats

    65 goals
    47 assists
    112 points

    On the ice for 112 goals! What do you think his +/- is?

    +28.

    Granted, that is a great number for most players, but when your on the ice for 112 goals, I think it should be much higher. This is why he is not the threat you think he is. He is a defensive liability.

  69. Jason Says:

    i have some stats too…OV led the league in
    shots on goal- 430
    lead changing goals- 30
    third period goals- 25
    power play goals- 21
    multiple goal games- 12 (tied)
    10 game winning goals (tied)

    granted he has to learn a little on the defensive side…knuble was his man game 4 ot on the goal. but he is the best player in the league, hes young, and he will bring the cup to washington.

    lets not forget these stats, including most goals ever by a left winger, came in the most defensive year ever

  70. Jason Says:

    he will lead the league in shorthanded goals once his defensive game improves

  71. acap1066 Says:

    Your own listed stat here, +28 and you still consider him a defensive liability? Apparently, you don’t know about how hard he worked over the last off season on defensive to become a more all around player. With this said, he lead the league in goals and points and is still considered an true goal scorer (these type of players typically have a smaller +/- stat). Lets face reality here, you would love to have him on the Flyers and to say other wise is foolish. Here is another stat: Ovechkin currently as 5 points in this round. Mario Lemieux had 5 points in his first playoff series. Gretzky had about 5 points as well in his first playoff series as well if I remember seeing the stats correctly. Ovechkin has at least one more game if not two. He is on track and is now warmed up. Also, one of his strengths is to draw attention from the Flyers defensemen which allows other Caps to be open.

    By the way, your last post was the best post that you have done to date.

  72. Chris Says:

    I believe approx. 37of those goals he was on the ice for were on the power play – so for the hockey knowledgeable these would be excluded from his +/- totals

  73. Philly Voice of Reason Says:

    I consider plus/minus the most important stat in determining how good a player is. Any way you spin the numbers, he was on the ice for 84 goals against. He’ll never be considered a great player until he cleans that up. In my opinion, he is the Allen Iverson of hockey. He doesn’t like to share the puck. He’ll have to learn to share it in order for the Caps to progress in the playoffs. Playoff hockey is much tighter than during the regular season which is why he only has 1 goal in 5 games. There is no room for a puck hog in playoff hockey.

  74. Jason Says:

    dude he was like 5th in the league in +/-

    and he shares the puck

  75. CAPS FAN Says:

    a puck hog would not have 47 reg season assists and 4 postseason assists…add in the 29 hits, and Ovie’s been an important part of the Caps playoff team, even having scored only 1 goal.

    once again, PVOR is being unreasonable

  76. Anthony Says:

    Guess what Philly VOR, we don’t care about your opinion.

  77. Chris Says:

    I don’t have to defend Ovechkin – I think he is the best player in the league, but if my numbers are correct and he was on the ice for 37 power play markers….. then he was on the ice for 75 goals for at even strength – which means he was on the ice for 47 goals against at even strength not 84. Just for your information.

  78. Philly Voice of Reason Says:

    Chris,

    If he WAS on the ice killing penalties while 37 goals were scored, shame on Boudreau. It looks like Boudreau learned his lesson in the playoffs by sitting him on the Flyers PP. In fact, he’s been putting him in the box for bench minors so he doesn’t even have to think about having him try and kill power plays. Power plays count against +/- too. Killing penalties is one of the many skills a great, well rounded player has.

  79. Chris Says:

    I wasn’t going to go where many others have, but maybe you are a little slow. He was on the ice for 37 power play goals scored for WASHINGTON. Listen carefully these do not count towards his +/-. He is still learning how to be a skilled two way player and no he does not kill penalties.

  80. acap1066 Says:

    Philly Voice of Reson,

    Ovechin is Ranked 29th overall in assists, one slot better than the first Flyer on the list (Richards, Ranked 30th). Both had 47 total assists. Using your logic, I gues that Richards has to learn to share the puck as well. Looking at total ranks in +/-, you will see Ovechkin is 7th. The first Philadelphia player is ranked 33rd, Braydon Coburn with a +/- 17. Takes a lot to be in the top 10 in any league. Just some stats to consider. You also failed to mention that Ovechin has 4 assists in the playoffs so far. This state does support your belief that he is a puck hog.

  81. Philly Voice of Reason Says:

    If you want to talk playoff clutch, you need look no farther than one Danny Briere.

    Regular season, 31 goals, 41 assists, -22!

    Playoffs 5 goals, 4 assists, +5.

    Danny Briere is Mr. May…

    Ovi can learn a lot about playoff hockey by watching Mr. Briere tonight and in the Flyers subsequent series.

  82. Philly Voice of Reason Says:

    Well it’s now 5:08 PM, so time for me to stop working and get ready for the game. As promised, I will stop by here tomorrow to bid you all farewell as I move on to the next series.

    Caps have had a good run this year, but the puck stops in Philly tonight. If the Caps make it to the playoffs next year, I’ll try and remember to stop by here and enlighten you some more.

    Peace, out.

  83. Tom in FL Says:

    First off, I want to apologize for some lowclass things I said last night about PVOR. Thankfully, Mike had the good sense to delete some of the nastier stuff. I’ll need to make sure in the future I act my age and behave myself.

    That said, PVOR is still an idiot. He completely doesn’t undertstand that power play and shorthanded goals don’t count against +/- unless you are on the ice when a shorthanded goal is scored. He somehow also praises Briere for being -22 during the season when Ovechkin was +28. For those of us who didn’t attend the Philadelphia public schools, that’s a +/- differential of 50 goals, or 5 goals every 8 games. This says that Ovechkin is way more valuable than Briere. Fact is, I wouldn’t want Briere on my team at -22 unless he were paid far less than he makes. This guy uses up way too much cap space for a one-dimensional player. I sometimes I have the same fear about Semin, although he’ll be making half Briere’s salary next year. I don’t know about the rest of you, but I’d take Semin in a heartbeat at $4M rather than Briere at $8M since that extra four mil can be used to sign Green.

    Honestly, the Caps have been outplayed so far in maybe 10-11 of the 17 periods. It will be a real test tonight. I even agree with some of the things PVOR says, but he’s far too irritating a person with whom you can engage in civil conversation. So I acted like an idiot and stooped to his level. I’ll try and do better moving forward. It’s really no fun duking it out in the sewer.

  84. Anthony Says:

    Well Tom, do you want to agree to not comment or respond to him in anyway from now on?

  85. acap1066 Says:

    Thank you Huet. He is the reason why the Caps are not down by more than one goal. The Caps better start playing better on the power play. They registered 0 shots on the first and maybe 1 on the second.

  86. Tom in FL Says:

    Anthony: I won’t comment to him but I might well, like here, talk to you about him.

    Important thing is the Caps rebounded to make a game of it. The Flyers soundly whipped us in the 1st period. Caps turned it around and tilted the ice back their way. Lots of good, clean hitting. Briere scored but also made a poor defensive play on the Caps’ second goal – as I said, he’s a one-trick pony. I did make a mistake earlier – Briere makes $6.5M, not $8M. At $6.5M you might say he’s not really overpaid. He’s getting about what you’d expect to pay for a veteran forward, top scorer, but missing intangibles like Joe Thornton and even Lecavalier. I would not want Briere on the Caps, not for $6.5M. I’d rather give that money to someone who would fit in better within Boudreau’s system. He’s not a bad player by any means, just not the Caps’ type.

    Let’s hope the Caps keep playing like they are. The Flyers have taken every opportunity to dent the twine anytime the Caps screw up. The Caps are younger and that could be an advantage in the 3rd period. Also, hopefully, the 4-on-4 goes our way. I expect Federov, Ovechkin, Green and Poti to start the 3rd. Although a case could be made for Semin and Backstrom who have really stepped up.

  87. Philly Voice of Reason Says:

    Just checking in between period 2 & 3 and I gotta tell you, my butt is as tight as a drum right now. Caps are fighting back hard and now controlling play. Hopefully the Flyers are looser than me and come out with some fire in the third or we might have to do this again tomorrow.

  88. Anthony Says:

    I think it also proves that Backstrom is better than some people give him credit for, as they always assume he is doing well due to Ovechkin.

  89. Philly Voice of Reason Says:

    P.S.

    The way I see it, if not for Biron and Huet, the score would be 6-5 Flyers.

    Off to the 3rd and hopefully final period of this series!

  90. Philly Voice of Reason Says:

    Commercial break.

    I guess you’ll start crying about the calls soon…

    Back to the game and Flyers PP!

  91. acap1066 Says:

    2 more for Ovie……we want more!!!!!! Still too much game left. The 5-3 penalty kill was huge.

  92. Jason Says:

    I KNEW TONIGHT WAS HIS COMING OUT PARTY!!!

  93. Jason Says:

    PVOR,

    how do your words taste?

  94. Funkyglovefacewash Says:

    Deja vu, ’88.

  95. Jason Says:

    im sayin yo

  96. Jason Says:

    i had a floor hockey game during the middle of the game. needless to say it was not easy leaving when they played poorly but coming home to see a lead and ovi beauty of a slapshot i just want to cry a little

  97. Tom in FL Says:

    Don’t worry about FVOR. Remember how tight his butt was? He’s off changing his diaper just about now. They go through a lot of Pampers in that household.

    Seriously though, the Caps played very well but also got a bit lucky. I didn’t realize Knuble was so valuable. Whereas I wouldn’t want Brier on my team, I’d take Knuble or Richards in a heartbeat. Richards is a very good value at 12 yrs/$69M.

    As some of you might have guessed, I work in high finance for the giant aerospace corporation. Everything relates back to money. Sorry about that.

    I’m drinking a Guinness stout right now. Got it on sale $5.29/six-pack. Oops, tehre I go again.

    Gotta think the Caps have a huge advantage tomorrow night coming home and with Knuble out. Hope Poti is OK.

    Come to think of it, this series is like the season in miniature. Bet you all forgot the Caps were 3-0 to start the season, didn’t you? Then the tailspin. Then got our act together. Made it in the playoffs in the last game. Hopefully tomorrow is more of the same.

    We are watching again, replaying from the start of the second period. One of the benefits of the fancy TV. For the first time in the series, the Caps weren’t on Vs or NBC but we got the Comcast feed on the Center Ice. The picture is horribly blurry compared to HD and even Versus. I will be on the Center Ice people this summer about fixing that. The technology exists to put all the games on HD.

    Suggestion for Ted Leonsis – can we get Dale Hunter to drop the puck for tomorrow night? God knows the Flyer fans would hate that worse than Al Gore supporters hate the sight of GW.

  98. Philly Voice of Reason Says:

    I am embarrased for the Flyers and had I been at the game, I would be among those who were booing. Sloppy play, lack of hustle, not taking guys out along the boards, getting beat wide, turn-overs, lazy passes, you name it.

    That being said, I look forward to game 7. The Flyers can only play better. They outplayed the Caps for most of period 1 tonight, but except for small spurts in 2 and 3, it looked like men agasint boys out there. Hopefully Stevens will come to life and hand out some asses in the locker room tonight and they come out ready to play 60 minutes tomorrow, or they will lose.

    Here in Philly, we call it the way we see it. When our teams play good, we applaud and yell positives and when they play bad, we boo and yell negatives. That’s the way it is here. Other cities think we’re lousy fans for booing. I disagree. If a player or team doesn’t like getting booed, they need to play better. It’s that simple.

  99. Philly Voice of Reason Says:

    By the way, Cote is a waste of roster spot in this series. The only thing he has to contribute is to pummel the opposing teams tough guy and get the home town fans fired up. With game 7 in Washington, if Stevens has half a brain, he’ll play Steve Downie tomorrow. Downie has tons of potential and is good around the net, but he is also a bit of a nut job and can go off at any moment.

  100. acap1066 Says:

    My wife thanks the Capitals for pulling it together about midway in the 2nd period. I wasn’t very happy up to that point. It definetely didn’t look good for the Caps at that point and I was pissed. It took too long for the defense to start moving their feet and help Huet. For Example, the Flyers 2nd power play goal (Briere?) there were two Caps defensemen standing still in the front of Huet. The Caps have to do a better job agains Briere in Game 7. He has been a thorn in the Caps backside and has 6 goals so far in the series (if Comcast SportsNet is correct). I agree with Tom, looks like the Flyers really missed Knuble tonight, didn’t seem to have as much men in front of Huet.

  101. Mike L. Says:

    Ok, let’s think about Alex Ovechkin being a defensive liability since he was “only” +28 when he was in on 112 goals. First of all, you can’t get a plus when you score on the power play, and AO was in on 37 PP goals (22 goals 15 assists), so on his goals he only had the opportunity to go +75.

    There are times where it is only possible to get a Plus in the Plus/Minus and that’s when you’re short handed. AO doesn’t play much on the PK, mostly because the Caps have better defensive forwards the AO (Gordon, Steckel, Bradley, Fedorov, Cooke, Laing).

    Of course, the real value of the +/- statistic is if it is studied within the context of the environment where it is earned. AO goes +28 for the Caps. Suppose someone was +28 for Atlanta, Tampa Bay or LA. Who would be a better defensive player? Suppose someone goes +28 with Detroit? With LA, +28 puts you 24 ahead of the team leader, while +28 in Detroit and your 4th on the team just ahead of Brian Rafalski. AO tied for the team lead at +28 (With Viktor Kozlov). Does it mean he’s the best defensive player on the team? Probably not, but it does mean his defensive game is better than what a lot of people think.

  102. Philly Voice of Reason Says:

    My last post of the night…

    I listened to the post game interviews here and I hate to say it, but it sounds like the Flyers are discouraged and don’t have any answers. They felt they gave it all they had and only had a two goal lead. Then when the Caps got their first goal, they slowly gave up.

    So what does this mean? The way I see it, the Flyers only shot is for Huet to have at most a normal game if not a sub par game tomorrow. A soft goal or two early in the game will give the Flyers new life.

  103. Tom in FL Says:

    acap: See the difference between us and some of the Flyer fans? We all watched the same game. A Flyers fan posts that his team deserves to get booed. How can you boo your own team like that, turn on them in an instant? And here I had already posted that the Caps played very well but were both a bit lucky and fortunate to have Knuble injured. I don’t believe for a minute the Flyers chocked or lost the game. First, they had some busted sticks and some bad hops over the sticks as they were about to shoot. Huet made several skate saves that could’ve just as easily gone in. I would never boo my own team unless it appeared they were just taking the money and mailing in the game. Come to think ot it, I’ve never booed my own team. Once when the Orioles really, really stunk the most I could do was yell out at Frank Robinson to get Jay Tibbs the hell out of the game before he got the rest of the team injured with line drives. Benjamin Franklin (a true patriot and someone actually older than I am) must be rolling over in his grave due to way people from Philly behave. I mean, honestly, we have a giant city known only for cheesesteak subs and booing. That and those stupid Rocky movies where all the lines were like: “Yo.”

    By the way, the replay is still on and Ovechkin just scored the PP goal. It was just as nice the second time. Philly fans might not understand, but Ovechkin will probably never be booed by Caps fans ever. It is a concept I can’t comprehend. Thank God my father never moved us to Philadelphia. I’d just hate to be that way.

  104. acap1066 Says:

    The Caps do have the momentum right now. However, the have only won one Game 7 out of six. They are a younger team than the Flyers and they can get too confident just as the Flyers did after going up 3-1 by winning in Game 4. Hopefully, Alex will continue scoring as he did today in the Flyers’ house.

  105. Tom in FL Says:

    Now look, PVOR is ready to throw in the towel. All I can say it’s good thing back in the Revolutionary days that the New Englanders and Virginians fought to free us of the British. Had it been up to Philadelphia, they would have conceded just before Washington crossed the Delaware on the grounds that it was cold and they had given it their all and didn’t have any answers.

    One day when PVOR is a little older he might well understand that you don’t learn anything in life until you don’t have any answers and still must proceed forward anyway. Despite his dire predictions, my guess is the Flyers won’t give up and it will be trench warfare tomorrow night. They will years from now call that game the greatest struggle since the Germans vs the Soviets at Stalingrad in 1942. In case you missed that one the Soviets won in overtime led by Marshall Zhukov.

  106. Philly Voice of Reason Says:

    Tom,

    Butch up.

    Maybe when fans expect more from their teams, the teams will give more. Do you think that might be possible? Or do you fret that the million-dollar pro athelete’s feelings might get hurt if they aren’t cheered all of the time regardless of how they perform?

    We call it “passion” here. Look it up in the dictionary.

  107. Kris Says:

    Now THAT was a comeback! What a team! From the coach, to the MVP, to the secondary scoring, to the Energy Line, to Huey; the Caps were impressive. By my count this team has come from behind to win 17 times this year.

    Based on their performance all season and especially the last two games, I’m not surprised by tonight’s result. But I am impressed, because the Flyers didn’t take a period off, they didn’t panic, and they didn’t give up. Philly played a great game, it just wasn’t great enough to stop the even better play of the very determined Washington Capitals.

    I can’t wait till tomorrow night. Rock the Red.

  108. Mike L. Says:

    Well, the Caps will have to fight some history tomorrow in Game 7, having only won one out of six. Of course, that game 7 win was against Philly 20 years ago. No one from that team is still active with the Caps, of course. I can still see that play in my mind…Murphy looking up ice, hitting Dale Hunter in stride. The Caps got Hunter in a trade at the draft that year and they certainly paid a lot for him (giving up their first rounder, which turned into Joe Sakic), but at that moment, when he shot the puck past Hextall, that trade was the best thing that had happened to the Caps in years. It became the most important goal in Caps history up to that time. It would remain there for 10 years until Joe Juneau slipped a rebound past Dominik Hasek to send the Caps to the Finals in 1998.

    And now it’s 10 years after that… time for a new “Most Important Goal”…there’s only one goal that could pass getting one that sends you to the finals…

  109. txcapsfan Says:

    Philly Voice of Crap (Reason),

    You are here just to aggrevate. You really have made no point other than to be dissenting to the general feeling of the people posting here. Allow me to state.. It is fact that the Flyers get more penalties and FACT they have committed more infraction albeit uncalled in this series.

    Why the crap is it that Flyers fans are so defensive.. You all have a dirty team and you get away with more than most. Game 5 opening drive by philly we get busted for Semin throwing a shot into the face of a flyer after he commited what is a deplorable cheap shot taking a player out at the knees while trying to skate around the goalie thus causing him to go into our goalie (should have been a double minor) instead we take the extra man down because we threw a punch.

    Less than 5 minutes later same thing on the other end and after someone was trying to break everything up to flyers come in and cheap shot to the face without a call.. Same thing.. At the end of the day the Flyers are Bit**** who get away with more than the contribute.

    Hopefully next year the NHL will kneecap their unsportsmanlike play and Place more than half the team on suspension for being punks

    Who was the punk that was too much of a wimp to drop gloves against Brasher (as always flyers will go for the cheap shots but when it comes to being a man what do we get…………. NOTHING) go back to your Flyers boards and whine like the FLyers do to the oficials.

    PS stop trying to say that their dirty play is an effort.. Because cheap shots are exactly that a cheap way for your team to get an advantage at the expense of sportsmnaship.

  110. Philly Voice of Reason Says:

    txcapsfan,

    blah, blah, blah… Same old bullshit… Flyers are bullies… Broad St. Bullies… cheap shots…

    Please get a new line and move on. Broad Street Bullies left the arena 30 years ago.

    Obviously you don’t get to watch a lot of Flyers games in Texas. They take a lot of minor penalties due to their youth, but they will clean that up. Yes Cote lead or was close to the top of the league in penalty minutes, but that’s one guy and evey team has or should have a tough guy.

    My team just got plastered last night and I need to hear this? Why aren’t you on the Stars site anyway?

    I need to get a cup of joe in me and take a dump, then I’ll be back with my prognosis for tonights game. Stay tuned.

  111. Tom in FL Says:

    That guy PVOR must have a serious constipation problem. Here it is 50 minutes after he said he was going to the john and he still hasn’t come out. Maybe some of the Flyers stopped by and flushed him down for booing them after they gave a 100% full effort last night and just came up a little short.

    Sometimes you need to credit the other team a little.

    One note from this series though is that the other SE division coaches will be dissecting tape of Timonen’s play on Ovechkin over the summer and then try and implement those tactics next year.

    My prognosis is the Caps have the advantage of youth and home ice. Many of the older players have to be a bit tired. Both goalies have really lousy records playing the second straight night of back-to-backs. It will come to whichever team still has the most in the tank. I would rate the Caps as a slight favorite.

    I sure hope they can get Huntsy to come down and drop the first puck.

  112. Philly Voice of Reason Says:

    Tom,

    Did you ever meet Abe Lincoln? What was he like?

  113. Jason Says:

    PVOR, have you ever had sex with a female human?

  114. Philly Voice of Reason Says:

    Ok, here it is, my prognosis of tonights game…

    The Caps have been facing elimination the last two games, proverbial “backs against the wall”, and to their credit, they’ve come out with more fie than the Flyers in the last 2 games. The Flyers were able to match the intensity at times during those games, but they needed a 60 minute effort and that didn’t happen. I also credit the Caps for making neutral zone adjustments in this series to eliminate the long break-outs by the Flyers that were leading to odd man rushes in the first 3 games.

    Now tonight, we get to see the heart of the Flyers; how they react when their backs are up against the wall for the first time. Unfortunately I’m not sure what to expect. This is a completely different team than last year with a mix of new and young players. From what I saw last night, I am giveing the Caps a puck and a half in this game (1/2 for home ice advantage calls). The Flyers will need to score at least 4 to win this game, Biron will have to stand on his head again and Huet will have to have anm average or bad game. I just hope the game is as fun to watch as the first 5 (last night was not fun for me) and I still wouldn’t be surprised if the Flyers came through. I’m a strong believer of ebb and flow in a series and with the Flyers playing their worst game of the series last night, the flow tonight should be in their favor.

  115. Jason Says:

    about OV’s “defensive liability”

    he created his breakaway with his defensive effort, and won the game

  116. Philly Voice of Reason Says:

    Jason,

    Does your sister count?

  117. Philly Voice of Reason Says:

    Some series +/- stats that work for the Flyers tonight…

    Bradley -3
    Green -2
    Kozlov -3
    Morrison -2
    Ovi -1
    Steckle -2
    Poti -1

  118. Mike L Says:

    “They take a lot of minor penalties due to their youth, but they will clean that up.”

    Hmmm… for most of the year (and likely even now) the Caps are a younger team than Philly, and yet they had the 4th fewest PIMs during the season, while Philly had the 3rd highest total. The Caps were also 1 minute behind New Jersey.

  119. Jason Says:

    vor youre like 13 arent you?

  120. Philly Voice of Reason Says:

    “Jason Says:

    April 21, 2008 at 3:29 pm
    if you want to debate intelligently and objectively about hockey then fine but for someone who calls themselves the voice of reason you are little more than unintelligent white trash. you are only capable of ranting incoherently about conspiracies or how the flyers will win. grow up.”

    “Jason Says:

    April 22, 2008 at 8:41 am
    PVOR, have you ever had sex with a female human?”

    I fail to see what does my sex life have to do with intelligent objective deabte over hockey. Can you help?

  121. Jason Says:

    i find your lack of sex life the reason you waste your time bickering with fans of other teams. intelligent hockey conversation is not something you can accomplish. you did have 1 kinda intelligent posting, it was wring but at least backed with data and it was objective

  122. Jason Says:

    have you noticed that since game 5 youre the only phily trash still here?

  123. Philly Voice of Reason Says:

    Mike L.,

    See if you can comprehend this…

    NHL teams have 26 players on their roster. For the Flyers, what do the following 14 roster players have in common?

    Cote
    Dowd
    Downie
    Hartnall
    Lupul
    Prospal
    Thorensen
    Tolpeko
    Upshall
    Coburn
    Kukkonen
    Modry
    Parent
    Timonen

    Give up? The answer is that they are all in their first year or less with the Flyers. 14 out of 26! This team is still learning to play with each other and with that, comes penalties.

    It’s amazing that we even made the playoffs after the house cleaning we went through, and don’t forget that despite having the worst record in hockey last year, we finished a point higher than the Caps in the regular season.

    The Caps had better win tonight. If not, it will be a long, long time befoer the Flyers are bad enough again for the Caps to get by them in the playoffs again.

  124. acap1066 Says:

    To all Caps fans on this thread. Let’s stop insulting PVOR. PVOR is starting to turn the corner and offering his arguments wit some more objective debate and is now using stats to back up his arguments. We may not agree with his conclusions but the latest posts from PVOR are a big improvement of the early posts that PVOR had provided. Lets keep this to hockey and leave, sex, sisters, mommas, etc… out of these threads. This will just be more enjoyable tomorrow after another Caps victory tonight. I do not mind other fans posting aslong as they stick to Facts and leave the insults off. This makes for some interesting/fun banter and get to learn something in addition about the other team and it’s fans.

  125. Philly Voice of Reason Says:

    Jason,

    I forgot more about hockey than you’ll ever know. Do not question my hockey knowledge. It makes you look foolish.

  126. Jason Says:

    pvor you are just a politician, you talk up all this shit and then when things start goiung our way you justify it. we were just as bad as you last year, we were dead last when bruce took over, and we are young as shit too

  127. Jason Says:

    make me look foolinsh then hockey guru who cant produce one actual argument worth my time

  128. Philly Voice of Reason Says:

    P.S.

    Don’t forget that their leading point scoreer last year; Simone Gagne; has been out most of this year with concussion sypmtoms. They brought Briere here to play with him which explains why Briere didn’t have such a great regular season. He’s played much better since they added Prospel and he’ll play even better whith Gagne next year.

  129. Philly Voice of Reason Says:

    Dude,

    I’m trying to teach you, but you refuse to learn. If you don’t like my message, stop reading my posts. I don’t know what else to tell you.

  130. Anthony Says:

    Jason, stop feeding the trolls. It doesn’t help.

  131. Philly Voice of Reason Says:

    Ooops! Forgot about Danny Briere. He makes 15 of 26 in their first year with the Fyers!

    Wow, what a future!

  132. Philly Voice of Reason Says:

    Ok, Jason, this is my last attempt with you…

    There is a difference between young players that have been developed through the team’s minor league system and new players added to a team from all over the place. Young players who have come up through the teams minor system have a much faster learning curve than players coming from different systems.

    Do you understand that?

  133. fashi13 Says:

    Philly voice of reason, just stop. come back after game 7 if you have the fortitude. I will be there tonight, so I hope it’s a good game.

  134. Txcapsfan Says:

    VOR,

    I have to disagree with you as to the statement. I believe there are many more factors in how a team works together and it is not as black and white as you make it. Personality conflicts at any level, issues with the coach, Issues with your role and playing time. Coming up through the same system is an advantage to some extent depending on the players/coaches/game style you end up in. The Flyers signed people that play a specific way which gave them an advantage in expiditing their ability to play well together. Players with more experience should be able to gel more rapidly as they have experience in making it happen at the professional level ,and I do not see the differences as a great trade deadline would most likely make teams worse and not give them the push to the playoffs(there is more to it than what you state)

    acap1066 I respect your opinion on this as i have been reading your posts to the blogs here forever, But VOR has made his own bed by being antagonistic to the people posting their ideas on this board for days. Now its tied up and his mood has changed. Its like having someone come into your house and talk trash to your family members. Some people are not willing to let that go.

  135. Philly Voice of Reason Says:

    Ok, I’ll leave so you can all exchange “Let’s Go Caps” messages. There is no debate here anyway and I’m getting bored with the dialog. Especially Tom’s history lessons, political statments, and droning on about his TV set up. What the hell is wrong with that guy anyway? Isn’t this a hockey blog?

    None of you deserve to be Flyers fans, so it’s good you’re not.

    Goodbye and good luck.

  136. Tom in FL Says:

    Here’s what PVOR says:

    “The Caps had better win tonight. If not, it will be a long, long time befoer the Flyers are bad enough again for the Caps to get by them in the playoffs again.”

    Now, there’s something we can debate. The NHL Organizational prospects ranking (I tried copying it here but it didn’t take) has the Caps 6th and the Flyers 10th. For the Caps:

    Strengths: Washington continues to have a solid tandem in net in Semen Varlamov and Michal Neuvirth. The addition of Karl Alzner adds a solid defenseman who could pay leadership dividends to the NHL roster very soon. Defensemen with size, in Jeff Schultz and Sasha Pokulok, lead a group who overall will do a great job of controlling the opposition in the defensive zone but may lack offensive skills relative to other defensive pools around the NHL. Solid down the middle with potential franchise center Nicklas Backstrom and a pair of diminutive centers Chris Bourque and Mathieu Perreault that will battle for time on the second or third line. Eric Fehr continues to knock on the door as a potential second line forward and sniper Francois Bouchard provides scoring depth to the right wing position. Weaknesses: The graduation of Tomas Fleischmann has made an already thin left wing position even thinner. Defense lacks top potential outside of Alzner and is thin in offensive defensemen. Top five prospects: 1. Nicklas Backstrom (C), 2. Karl Alzner (D), 3. Eric Fehr (RW), 4. Semen Varlamov (G), 5. Francois Bouchard (RW). Key graduates: Tomas Fleischmann.

    For the Flyers:

    Strengths: The Flyers have an excellent mix of potential top six forwards led by 2007 second overall pick James vanRiemsdyk, who became the team’s top prospect. They also have one of the best future agitators in Steve Downie as well as the highly-skilled Claude Giroux. There are also offensive projects like Andreas Nodl and Stefan Ruzicka, while Ryan Potulny, Freddy Cabana, and Darren Reid are solid supporting role players. Ryan Parent, acquired from Nashville last season, is their top defensive prospect. Weaknesses: With the graduations of Braydon Coburn and Alexandre Picard, the Flyers are once again thin on the blue line. They did add Kevin Marshall and Nathan Guenin at the 2007 draft and have no shortage of projects like Michael Ratchuk, Oskars Bartulis, and Denis Bodrov, but they lack a defenseman with top pair potential. In addition, though there are several decent goaltending prospects in Scott Munroe, Martin Houle, and Jeremy Duchesne, they lack a definitive top prospect. Top five prospects: 1. James vanRiemsdyk (LW), 2. Steve Downie (C), 3. Claude Giroux (RW), 4. Ryan Parent (D), 5. Andreas Nodl (RW). Key graduates: Braydon Coburn, Alex Picard.

    My own opinion is that the Caps will be challenged more by the Penguins over the next ten years than the Flyers. My expectation is that Ovechkin will hoist the Cup more often than Richards. Over the next dozen years, they could tangle multiple times in the playoffs with both teams winning some. To suggest that the Flyers will be so good continuously going forward that the Caps won’t ever touch them is simply misguided.

  137. acap1066 Says:

    Txcapsfan, understand your point about not letting things go. PVOR and I had our exchanges. However, one can only beat a dead horse for so long before it gets old. I felt that the conversation was moving in the correct direction away from all of the insults, which can be fun, but only lasts for so long before the same things are being said over and over again. Were getting into some good debates and away from true insults which is more fun as well as getting to learn new facts about our respective teams. I don’t agree with PVOR but he is bringing some interesting counter points and stats which should be welcomed without the insults (this is a dead horse in my mind). If PVOR still posts insults then it is on PVOR. At this point, it really doesn’t affect us and who really cares about these insults anyway after a while.

  138. Jason Says:

    pvor you make a good point about how each of our franchises is young in diff ways. you guys went for the quick fix this year…even though was injury more than anything…while we went for a long rebuilding process that has been brutal until last offseason right around the first day of free agency. regardless of who wins tonight the caps will have a brighter future because we are built from the ground up. ovechkin will bring the cup to washington in a few years and phily will continue being the major sports city with the longest championship drought

  139. Mike L Says:

    Hey PVOR,

    You said the high PIM total was due to their youth, and indeed, some of the players on your list are young, but not all of them:

    Cote – 26 years old
    Dowd – 39 years old (really! Will turn 40 on Xmas)
    Downie – 21 (Just turned it 3 weeks ago)
    Hartnall – Just turned 26 last week
    Lupul – 24
    Prospal – 33
    Thorensen – 25
    Tolpeko – 23
    Upshall – 24
    Coburn – 23
    Kukkonen – 26
    Modry – 37
    Parent – 21 (turned 21 on St. Patrick’s Day…nice timing!)
    Timonen – 33

    I don’t think Modry, Dowd, Timonen, and Prospal count as young players. Admittedly Prospal was a deadline deal (or just before), so he wasn’t with the Flyers all year.

    Now let’s look a the PIMs:

    Cote – 202
    Hartnell – 159
    J. Smith – 89 (who is 34 years old, not on your list)
    M. Richards – 76 (who is 23 years old, not on your list)
    Coburn – 74
    Upshall -74
    Downie – 73 *
    Knuble – 72
    Briere – 68 (who is 30 years old, not on your list, and he wasn’t in Philly last year either)
    *- Downie’s PIMs happened in 32 games.

    I don’t think youth, or not playing together causes penalties. Playing to aggressively (like Downie) or lazily causes penalties. The Flyers commit more penalties because of the players they have and the way they play. It isn’t like they are committing so many penalties that it’s a major problem, but when your opponent has a power play with Oveckin, Semin, Backstrom, Fedorov, Green, and then can bring out a 20 goal guy on the second unit (and double shifts Ovechkin), it can become a problem unless your PK is very good. Philly was 10th in the league in the regular season. Not great, but above average. Against the Caps, they’re 12th overall. The Flyers are 15th in power play goals against, mostly because Anaheim was in the playoffs and no one takes more penalties than the Ducks…

  140. Mike L Says:

    Tom, I have to disagree with you on who will challenge the Caps over the next few years. Yes, Pittsburgh will be tough and they probably are a better team than the Caps now, and while they have a lot of young stars, the core of the team is not young and their farm system, while good, doesn’t have the missing pieces, and instead has more of the same pieces (they crank out forwards, but that’s the Pens’ strength). The team I am most worried about is Montreal. They *are* a young team, and they got the #1 seed in the East this year and they have tons of youngsters. Remember Hershey was the runner up to Hamilton last year in the AHL…Hamilton is Montreal’s farm team.

    That said, I am sure that the Caps are going to get better in the coming seaosns as well. Oveckin is a monster at age 22, leading the league in goals, points, PPG, etc, What are his numbers going to be when he hits his peak years (25-29)? Add to that Backstrom, Semin, Green, Laich, Gordon (who may win a Selke before he’s done), Schultz, Morrisonn and you have a nucleus for a very strong team for a long time (along with veterans Nylander, Kozlov, Clark, Poti, Pothier). Plus the Caps have *another* Calder candidate coming in 2008-09 with Karl Alzner, who has the potential (nasty word I know) to be the next great defensive defenseman in the NHL.

  141. Tom in FL Says:

    Mike: Montreal – Washington would be a great rivalry for the NHL. You’re right, Montreal is ranked 4th:

    Strengths: The Habs have a bright future ahead and continue to boast one of the deepest prospect groups. They have elite prospects in Carey Price and talented Russians wingers Andrei Kostitsyn and Mikhail Grabovski. Complimenting the high-end talent is a group of solid if unspectacular players, including Alexei Emelin, Pavel Valentenko, and Ryan O’Byrne. There is also no shortage of two-way defensive minded forwards like Kyle Chipchura, Maxim Lapierre, Ben Maxwell, and Ryan White. Further down the depth chart are some offensively gifted projects Mathieu Aubin, Sergei Kostitsyn, and Corey Locke. Weaknesses: While there is no shortage of talent in the system, there is a clear lack of size and grit, especially among the forward prospects. In addition, though there are several offensive-minded prospects on the blueline, they still lack a power play quarterback and a solid defensive-minded defenseman who can log big minutes. On a whole, Montreal has plenty of quality in their system, but the top three organizations had just a little more. Top five prospects: 1. Carey Price (G), 2. Ryan McDonagh (D), 3. Andrei Kostitsyn (LW), 4. Kyle Chipchura (C), 5. Max Pacioretty (LW). Key graduates: none.

  142. Txcapsfan Says:

    Hey acap1066,

    Point taken.. Unfortunately as you can see the evidence he provided was not so accurate but instead just more of the same..

    Hope anyone on here that can go is going to catch the game at Verizon tonight!


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