Thursday, April 17, 2008

stubborn or patient

i was going to write a long diatribe about boudreau's unwillingness to change the configuration on his power play, an omission that contributed significantly to losses in games 2 and 3 of this series. but then he went and finally did it in practice yesterday, along with switching fedorov and backstrom (a move i swear i was going to suggest in a post but was to lazy to do it before it was reported - whatever, one day i'll learn). so now we'll see how the caps respond, if those changes are enough, and whether it's all too little too late.

one other thing i'd like to mention re the pp debacle, i was watching the caps tv interview with boudreau from after the game (an awesome feature, too bad the players almost never have anything interesting to say), and he was asked about incorporating laich's net presence on the first pp. bruce's response, not fully understanding the question, was a good one: he basically said that those players are who they are and they werent going to change, that they were a good pp during the last part of the season doing what they do. i think that's right. if you ask semin and backs and feds to do what laich does on the pp, then you shouldnt be an nhl coach. that's not who they are and it's too late to change their abilities (similarly, if you ask laich to do what either of those 3 do, youre even dumber). the reporter rephrased his question to get to the point: what about putting laich on that unit? bruce gave the first terse response i've seen from him all year: he's on the 2nd unit already, theyre out there. now this answer is disingenuous at best and idiotic at worse. he knows that 1) the 2nd unit has been out there for around 20 secs if at all lately, and 2) it's the first unit that needs the net presence; theyre the guys that are going to get the zone time and create the chances that require screening biron or a body to get to the rebound. just a terrible, terrible utterance from boudreau and i'm guessing by his pained delivery and his actions the next day, he knew he had fucked up and that he had been doing so for a while. there's a difference between being reactive and proactive, and though nhl coaches love to use the words, i'm not sure they know what they mean.

7 comments:

rananda said...

heartbreaking loss. save some terrible miscues in their own end, caps played a very strong game. richards, neutralized most of the night physically, makes am unbelievable pass to briere to tie it in the third. great player. 6 times out of 10 ovechkin knocks that very rolling 3rd period puck in his feet into the net. dang.

hiphiphuet said...

very heartbreaking indeed. it's frustrating to see turnovers in vulnerable spots, and multiple 'too many men' penalties. that can't happen in the playoffs. i liked the switch with backstrom--good call on that one by you and boudreau. ovie just couldn't buy a goal, just one of those nights. i really liked the caps energy and presence in front of biron. huet made some amazing saves too. we'll see.

rananda said...

yea, you have to give the flyers credit, they're playing well and biron hasnt wilted like i figured he would. obv the refs were brutal last night, but what can you do except hope that it all gets evened out in the end. the 2 too many penalties were a killer. i think richards has been the difference maker in the series. another good game from eminger. his treatment this year from both coaching staffs def has to be the biggest mystery surrounding the team. his upside is pretty high, really wish he got the chance to play more than 20 games.

rananda said...

i hate to say it, not because of any infatuation with a player that leaves me unable to view a game objectively, but because hockey is such a team game that cannot be boiled down to the performance of individuals, but the elephant in the room is that richards is outplaying the hell out of ovechkin. im not sure the caps can win as long as that's the case.

hiphiphuet said...

yeah. although they're almost even in terms of points this series, richards is definitely a better 2-way player and has shown way more grit. ovie just isn't matching this grit, something which would help the caps tremendously against the flyers. however, ovechkin is more of a marked man than richards is--caps seem to be trying to shut down briere.

i'm hoping boudreau somehow tweaks his system to allow for better penetration as they enter the zone--maybe just more of a dump and chase. the caps were outshooting everyone this season mainly due to bruce's high-octane offensive system. the flyers have obviously figured out hot to limit their shots. what do you think, maybe play with 5 left wingers on the ice?

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