- ‘Welcome to the edge of freedom’: Biden’s boots touch down in DMZ
- Obama: Hole U.S. ‘digging out of’ requires billions more in unemployment benefits
- Obama’s regulatory agenda will cost U.S. economy $143B next year: report
- Patriot Act author on James Clapper: Fire, prosecute him
- Russia P.M. Medvedev: No amnesty for political prisoners
- Michigan GOP Senate hopeful reminds government is the ‘servant’
- Christmas, by Congress: Members mull a 15-cent tax on trees
- U.S. unemployment falls to five-year low of 7 percent; 203K jobs added
- World mourns Nelson Mandela and celebrates his life; burial set for Dec. 15
- Bill O’Reilly reminds: Nelson Mandela ‘was a communist’
WHYNO: Capitals must stay out of penalty box to advance
NEW YORK — Tangled up with Derek Dorsett, Mike Green went down in the corner of the ice. When Green got up, Dorsett was on his knees, and the Washington Capitals defenseman cross-checked him in full view of officials.
Goaltender Braden Holtby accused the New York Rangers forward of a “dirty slew foot,” but it was Green who went to the penalty box for retaliating. Even as Holtby called the penalty discrepancy in Sunday’s 1-0 Game 6 loss “lopsided,” it’s clear that in committing 28 minors this series, a lack of discipline is killing the Caps.
“We took penalties. We deserved some, we didn’t deserve some,” right wing Troy Brouwer said. “That’s how the series has kind of gone on. We’re not helping ourselves, either. We take untimely penalties.”
That’s a troublesome trend that cannot continue, or the Caps will find themselves out of the playoffs, whether it’s Monday after Game 7 of the Eastern Conference quarterfinal series or soon after.
“Obviously you’ve got to stay out of the box in the playoffs,” center Nicklas Backstrom said. “You can’t take as many as we did today.”
Against a team with a more functional power play, Washington would already be done. The Rangers are 2 for 26 with the man advantage (including 0 for 3 when up five-on-three) through six games.
Defenseman Karl Alzner called the penalty kill “the only reason why we’ve been able to stick around” the past few games.
“It’s holding us in this series,” Holtby said.
But seven penalties (counting roughing calls on Brouwer and John Carlson at game’s end) also showed the Caps are failing at something they’ve emphasized in recent weeks and that killed them early in the regular season.
Five before the final horn Sunday afternoon at Madison Square Garden didn’t directly contribute to the loss, as the Rangers couldn’t capitalize, but the flurry took Washington out of its flow and gave the restless crowd plenty to yell about. Captain Alex Ovechkin and center Mike Ribeiro can’t get on the ice, let alone produce, when the Caps are constantly killing penalties.
“It’s very difficult,” coach Adam Oates said. “The guys that we use to kill, the trickle-down minutes affect other guys. Some guys sit on the bench, don’t kill penalties. It makes it hard for them to get into their game.”
In Game 6, the Caps took penalties in the ways they’ve learned all too well they can’t. Defenseman Jack Hillen retaliated against Rangers captain Ryan Callahan in front of the benches and, predictably, went to the box.
© Copyright 2013 The Washington Times, LLC. Click here for reprint permission.
About the Author
- WHYNO: Tomas Vokoun gets unexpected Stanley Cup shot with Penguins
- Brandon Meriweather, Redskins' secondary ready for bounceback year
- Kirk Cousins embraces role as Redskins' offseason starter as RG3 rehabs from injury
- Capitals notes: Realignment won't prompt roster remake
- Despite Caps' first-round playoff exit, Adam Oates' first season as coach left a positive taste
Latest Blog Entries
- Redskins injury updates (5/23): WR Pierre Garcon, CB Josh Wilson each had labrum surgery
- Capitals 'love' Matt Hendricks, but how much?
- Wojtek Wolski signs in Russia's Kontinental Hockey League
- Tom Poti won't return to Capitals, plans to continue his NHL career
- Is Tom Wilson ready to be a regular for Capitals?
- Spike in battlefield deaths linked to restrictive rules of engagement
- Obama: Hole U.S. 'digging out of' requires billions more in unemployment benefits
- Bill OReilly reminds: Nelson Mandela was a communist
- Obama tries to calm Israeli fears over Iranian nuke deal 'not based on trust'
- 'Dude, I'm dreading that I will have to go': Czech prime minister on Mandela funeral
- A Mandela remembrance
- Inside China: Nuclear submarines capable of widespread attack on U.S.
- 'Hunger Games' delivers Obama's message on income inequality
- Behind Andy Reid, Chiefs enjoying a resurgence
- Study suggests link between gun ownership, racism
Independent voices from the The Washington Times Communities
Get in the middle of all the action inside and outside the boxing ring.
The cold hard truth about politics in America today and the state of this once great nation.
White House pets gone wild!