Capitals have yet to learn how to make it easy on themselves

Mike Wise
Washington Post Staff Writer
Saturday, April 24, 2010; 12:35 AM

Mike Knuble talked about the power play as if it were a house key that was supposed to be under a pot in the backyard. "Best in the regular season -- where did it go?" the 38-year-old winger said.

The coach was flat-out furious; Gabby almost went gonzo.

"What do you think?" Bruce Boudreau responded when asked if the Capitals had let this 2-1 duel of netminders slip away. "We have Game 5 in our building, and we play like crap the first 10 minutes, and the game's over."

Lineup changes were threatened for Game 6 in Montreal, a plane ride the Capitals so did not want to take.

Star players were called out.

That's right, you Alexander Semin, you scorer of no goals in your last 12 playoff games.

And you, Mike Green, there is a reason why you're Everybody's Favorite Cap to Pick On lately, and it's not because you keep letting the puck go under your blade like Bill Buckner let a baseball slip under his glove.

You have two assists in five games. Those are not Norris Trophy finalist numbers; those are Stephon Marbury numbers.

And you, Tomas Fleischmann, you have done almost zilch in this series and should soon be paying for a rinkside ticket.

Power play? Power outage. The most proficient team in the NHL in the regular season with a man advantage has now scored once in 24 times in five games against the Montreal Canadiens. As a fed-up Knuble said, "Our penalty kill has outscored our power play [2 to 1] and that's not going to get it done in a series."

When Gabby was asked to concur with Brendan Morrison about the team's lousy man-advantage offense, he replied. "I'd agree that it's part of the reason. The other reason is that we're not getting 20 guys playing. We're getting 13 and 14 guys every night, rather than everybody coming to play. Tonight we had five or six passengers again."


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