Capitals build snowman in Atlanta

The Southeast Division leading Washington Capitals came into cold, frosty, frigid Atlanta and built a snowman. No, not outside in what remained of Thursday night’s frozen precipitation that blew through here…they did so inside Philips Arena by putting up 8 on the scoreboard.

And alas…the one-game winning streak comes to a crashing end.

Colby Armstrong and the Thrashers were unable to hold back the Washington Capitals (AP Photo/John Amis)

Colby Armstrong and the Thrashers were unable to hold back the Washington Capitals (AP Photo/John Amis)

You know things are not going to go your way when you outshoot your opposition 18-6 in the first period but go into the intermission trailing 3-0. But that is exactly what happened to the Thrashers on this night…and it looked like it took all the fight out of this team.

During the post-game interview, Caps coach Bruce Boudreau made the point that Atlanta came out playing hard…playing much of the game in the Capitals’ zone. But when his team was able to go into the break leading by the margin they were, it really just took the wind out of their sail.

That, my friends, is a very polite way to say “That team over there that my friend coaches simply quit”.

John Anderson’s statements were very similar. “I just think we felt sorry for ourselves. That’s not good. We can’t stop playing no matter what. We have to help our goalies out there for Pete’s sake. We can’t give them point-blank shots from all over the place”.

“I didn’t think I would ever say this”, he went on to say, “But this team is having trouble scoring goals right now…our big guns have got to start scoring goals. We’ve got some guys on this team who are underachieving in the scoring category so when a guy like [Ilya Kovalchuk] doesn’t score in a couple of games it makes it even more pronounced. We need some secondary scoring”.

Uh…yup. But how about keeping the other team from scoring goals on the other end of the ice? I think that might help too, coach.

Making matters even worse, at least for one Thrasher, is that the one goal that was actually scored by Atlanta was originally credited to Todd White… who hasn’t netted one since before Halloween. However, upon further review, a scoring change gave the goal to Maxim Afinogenov, his sixteenth of the season.

Todd White remains on the milk carton as his streak without a goal has now reached 34 games

Todd White remains on the milk carton as his streak without a goal has now reached 34 games

So…unfortunately…White remains on the milk carton and the streak now stands at 34 consecutive games without a goal.

I guess that also means I will probably get another frosty glare from Todd during the next pre-game warm up like I did tonight…right Zoomo?

Johan Hedberg allowed the first four goals on nine shots. Ondrej Pavelec relieved him after Mike Knuble’s second goal of the game put the Caps up 4-0. Opie turned aside the first 16 shots he faced but eventually gave up 4 goals as well on 28 shots.

Where’s The Accountability?

Accountability. That’s a word I have used quite often of late as I’ve discussed the management of this organization. But what about the players…where is the accountability there?

Even super stars like Ilya Kovalchuk were once subjected to the seat of shame if deserved (AP Photo/John Amis)

Even super stars like Ilya Kovalchuk were once subjected to the seat of shame if deserved (AP Photo/John Amis)

I remember back when Bob Hartley coached this team…and if a player was “dogging it” or failing to pull his weight in the defensive end of the ice, there was a special place at the end of the bench reserved for him. Hartley used the method of giving players a “time out” to let the offending party know he was displeased with the “effort”.

Why, even Ilya Kovalchuk experienced this form of discipline.

Some thought coach Bob was a “hard ass” for such disciplinary tactics. But ya know what, it was a way of holding these highly paid professional athletes, dare we say, accountable for their actions. No effort on the ice equaled no time on the ice.

These days…I just do not see any such accountability for poor play.

And Finally…

I want to give a special shout-out to two little boys that I met Saturday night in section 222. They were 5-year old twins Lincoln and Joseph and they were really fun to share a game with.

They even joined in during a “Fire Waddell” chant…much to their mother’s delight.

Of course, one has to wonder if these boys will be chanting the same thing 20 years from now when they are bringing their kids to games.

166 comments Add your comment

Tony C.

January 11th, 2010
3:36 pm

if we trade with LA we better get one of those young defensemen they’re so loaded with, their 1st rounder this year, their 2nd-rounder next year and Frolov.

Seriously, Kopitar on one line and #17 on the other (If I’m Lombardi, no chance I give up brown-he’d be ideal playing on the same line as#17)…. sick

No idea, if we really want to keep him at this point. The situation’s clearly got the whole room upset. Personally, I blame all parties-
Kovalchuk: If you truly want to play for the same team your entire career AND be on a contender, you’ve got to give to get-max cap salary=your team is almost good once ever 3-4 years (see Dan Marino). Can’t have both. Also, worst way to justify max cap salary is to completely ignore the defensive 3rd of the ice-just sayin’
Waddell: Jackass. Had to know that NOT having player signed by beginning of season would result in current morass. Granted, player asked for an “evaluation” period; player was approving-should’ve had the terms (numbers and where your line in the sand was) already worked out! How did you not prepare for this?!?!? Other people have detailed this.
Grossman: Actually, I’d probably hire this guy to represent me. However, demanding crazy term AND specifying that there be “no tail” (a la the Hossa deal for example) – does seem to be counter to what your client has long said publicly; player’s desire to remain with current team “for life”. This demand seems poised to halt the entire process and force a trade-great strategy if goal was to test truly UFA status in June.
Anderson: Should have begun an insulation dynamic so as to limit the spill-over cancer. If nothing else; be prepared to use Paris Island-style motivation: Do not be afraid to turn the room against a player who is, (for whatever reason-however understandable) putting himself above the team.

Smoothie

January 11th, 2010
4:31 pm

Great post Tony C! That pretty much sums it up! Next topic!

Over / Under on the number of games Kari plays before busting his groin in half? Five games?

Alan R.

January 11th, 2010
4:37 pm

Smoothie, you realize last years bane was his back, right? Groin was earlier in his career. I know it’s cool and all to poke fun about something that hasn’t been a problem in a couple of seasons, though, so I won’t let facts get in the way of your game :P

Darren

January 11th, 2010
4:40 pm

has anyone considered mass emailing atlanta spirit requesting the firing of waddell. if we get a lot of people to do it, then maybe they will start to pay attention

R. Stroz

January 11th, 2010
5:08 pm

Waddell should be registered as a WMHD, a Weapon of Maximum Hockey Destruction.

LAC

January 11th, 2010
5:37 pm

Smoothie

January 11th, 2010
6:01 pm

Alan – when he’s had as many injuries as he’s had, does it really matter? I don’t care, set the over / under on his back too? Might as well have 2 ways to win, eh? :cool:

Brendan

January 11th, 2010
6:27 pm

Honestly, I really think that if Kovalchuk thought he could win a Stanley Cup here, he’d have signed by now.

stendec

January 11th, 2010
6:42 pm

My beloved ailing wife is a wonderful woman who does not know a hockey blue line from a clothesline. She does know and love UGA football! The other night she inquired why I was overly loud while watching television. I told her I had the hockey game on. What is the score? I replied it was 6-1. If it makes you so upset why do you watch? I viewed the remainder of the beatdown in silence! ++STENDEC++ The wise Mrs Stendec.

Red Light

January 11th, 2010
7:29 pm

Which NHL team has the largest number of expiring contracts at the conclusion of the 2009-10 season in terms of amount of money? If you guessed the Thrashers, you are 100 percent right. Including Kovy’s current contract, the approximate amount of expiring contracts is $23 million. Add to that the $8.5 million of cap space it currently has, if DW signed Kovy for $8 million a year for the next 12 years, he’d still have $23.5 million left to sign the eight others needed.

That, my friends, means that you can sign the other eight players for $2.9375 million each and still be under the cap.

ASG won’t spend up to the cap you say? Well, even with a budget of $45 million, you can sign the other eight for $1.9375 million each.

Something’s rotten in Donmark!

World Be Free

January 11th, 2010
7:56 pm

Brendan-I agree about getting something for Kovy. But if you remember a few months back, I was pushing to get a deal done before the season. Get the deal done or make the trade at the team’s convenience, not sit around and let the player force their hand, which is where we are today. We could have received a solid package for Kovy at the start of the season, but everyone was stating he want to wait and see how the team did.

That’s a long term commitment, looking to see how we are going to do this season? How about signing a long term deal and being a centerpiece to draw talent to build a winner? That should have been the plan presented to the star, instead of this nonchalant approach that basically leaves us over a barrel, hoping we get fair value for a star player. Nevermind how he has played over the past few weeks; Kovy is a star who will shine somewhere else.

The deal should have been completed before the season, deal being a contract or a trade for full value, not the consolation prizes we stand to get in a trade in the coming weeks.

We will have to move forward with whatever we get in this deal.

World Be Free

January 11th, 2010
8:03 pm

If Kovy’s goal is to win the Stanley Cup, then why would Los Angeles be his long-term destination? L.A. has promising talent, but I do not see the makings of a Stanley Cup in La-La Land. The West is so strong, I just don’t see them making the conference finals anytime soon.

I said it before-if you are going to play a player $10M/year (or the max) you will not have enough money left over to build and maintain a team that will challenge for the Stanley Cup. If he wants a Cup, he has to take a discount and go to a current or on the verge contender.

Cup or money-which will it be?

Rawhide

January 11th, 2010
8:06 pm

Stendec – Great story! :lol:

The Divine Mrs. R has asked me the same question many times…whether I was watching the Thrashers…Braves…Falcons…they’ve all driven me crazy over the years :lol:

Red Light – Working on a few things right now.

World Be Free

January 11th, 2010
8:11 pm

Stendec-all kidding aside, our wives are saints.

Rawhide

January 11th, 2010
8:51 pm

WBF – Amen.

And now…a new blog.

fanfan

January 12th, 2010
9:51 am

“Going the right direction” = Sell, sell, sell!