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Beagle Sent Down

No big surprise here, but the Capitals have officially reassigned Jay Beagle to Hershey.

Coach Bruce Boudreau said before yesterday's 6-2 loss to Florida that he expects Viktor Kozlov to be ready for tomorrow's game against Carolina. Kozlov sat out the Panthers game after aggravating his sore groin muscle against Boston on Saturday.

By Tarik El-Bashir  |  March 2, 2009; 11:22 AM ET
 
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Next: Green named February's second star

Comments

are the caps practicing today, or are they snowed in?

Posted by: capsfan8 | March 2, 2009 11:27 AM | Report abuse

Shultz has to go down and please bring Alzner back.

Posted by: Tondi | March 2, 2009 11:28 AM | Report abuse

Re: Tondi

Agreed - Schultz needs to go. It took me a while to get on this bandwagon, but something needs to happen.

I don't care how good his stats can be made look but the truth is #55 is an empty pair of pants on the ice. He was especially soft yesterday, not clearing the puck, not checking his guys and effectively screened OUR OWN goalie on at least two of FLA's goals.

Something needs to happen or I'm afraid the Caps aren't going past first round in the playoffs.

Posted by: condalator | March 2, 2009 11:33 AM | Report abuse

@ Tarik,

All reports seem to still point to Guerin coming here. Just as a general thing, how do you deal with that if he does end up here and your source told you otherwise??

Posted by: ThePat | March 2, 2009 11:34 AM | Report abuse

Any truth/updates to the rumor of Backstrom (Goalie for Wild) coming to the District?

Posted by: Capitals32 | March 2, 2009 11:34 AM | Report abuse

i haven't heard any rumors about backstrom coming here, except for posters here.

Posted by: richmondphil | March 2, 2009 11:36 AM | Report abuse

Posted by: Capitals32 | March 2, 2009 11:38 AM | Report abuse

Coach B likes Schultz....and he is 23 years old. I am just glad we are in the middle of our 21 game stretch run, if not everyone would be panicking !

Posted by: Capsfannmiss | March 2, 2009 11:40 AM | Report abuse

Yeah, for some reason the guy on Islanders point blank believes that Washington is the place where Guerin will end up, but TARIK said he isn't coming here. Who to believe?! I think we should believe Tarik.. As for Niklas Backstrom, the Wild GM does not want to lose him.

http://www.startribune.com/sports/wild/40509747.html?elr=KArks7PYDiaK7DUvckD_V_jEyhD:UiD3aPc:_Yyc:aUU

Posted by: rachel216 | March 2, 2009 11:40 AM | Report abuse

I don't think we need goalie but we need at least 1 good defender plus Alzner so we can have fair defense

Posted by: Tondi | March 2, 2009 11:41 AM | Report abuse

Forget Guerin, any word on the Caps making a move for a big time defenseman?

@Richmondphil: read the morning update for the Backstrom rumors.

Schultz is worthless. I'd rather have Bruce on the ice than that braindead do-nothing oaf.

Posted by: tURBO8 | March 2, 2009 11:41 AM | Report abuse

ThePat

I read on different NHL sources totally different information. Some say hes coming to Caps, others say to Habs and so on. Guess we need to wait a little more till deadline to find out.

As for Schultz than he was during all 6 goals last night (as I recall my memory) and screened both Neuvy and Theo.

Posted by: Hazz | March 2, 2009 11:42 AM | Report abuse

well turbo, what I heard is what rachel216 said. the Wild are not committed to dealing him yet. they are still on the PO running.

although ive defended him a couple times, id like to see schultz go while he still has some of his "prospect" status left.

Posted by: richmondphil | March 2, 2009 11:43 AM | Report abuse

I have seen various places where Backstrom and the Caps were mentioned int eh same breath. I don't think it'll happen, but it is not restricted to only on this blog.

Posted by: Baildog | March 2, 2009 11:43 AM | Report abuse

once again, what I heard was that he isnt committed to dealing him yet.

As for Niklas Backstrom, the Wild GM does not want to lose him.

http://www.startribune.com/sports/wild/40509747.html?elr=KArks7PYDiaK7DUvckD_V_jEyhD:UiD3aPc:_Yyc:aUU

Posted by: rachel216 | March 2, 2009 11:40 AM

Posted by: richmondphil | March 2, 2009 11:47 AM | Report abuse

The palyoffs is a whole other level and if Schultz is not making plays now - I am fearful of how far we will go with him on the ice. I seem to recall us doing better against Philly in the playoffs last year when #55 was not in the lineup due to injury. I don't want to dislike the guy, he is still very young, lets let him do some more growing in Hershey.

Posted by: Grape8 | March 2, 2009 11:47 AM | Report abuse

I think (read: hope) GMGM has a few tricks up his sleeve. If Theo can play at the level he's been playing for the past few months (yesterday's game withstanding), I don't the Caps need another goalie especially a big contract goalie like Backstrom.
I think a big name defenseman, like Pronger, will have a HUGE impact on the Caps' playoff chances.
The caps have a lot of potential to deal and they can afford to trade away some future draft picks since they are already so deep with prospects...

Posted by: tURBO8 | March 2, 2009 11:48 AM | Report abuse

TSN reporting at 1100 AM on the Guerin trade:

"The identity of this mystery team is being concealed for fear the trade will fall apart, although speculation continues to point at the Washington Capitals."

Posted by: OldFan | March 2, 2009 11:49 AM | Report abuse

theo cant cut in the playoffs. lets hoping a different team in front of him will turn his historically bad playoff game around.

Posted by: richmondphil | March 2, 2009 11:50 AM | Report abuse

We need a defenseman...not a RW! Even BB said we didn't need a RW and perfect example of why we need D is yesterday's POOR performance. Shultz to Hershey and Alzner to DC...PLEASE!

Posted by: NatyBG | March 2, 2009 11:52 AM | Report abuse

I love how not a single person who wants to throw Schultz to the wolves (a) can spell his name right and (b) ever actually mentions stats. Just sayin'.

I don't know. I think given how flat the team was yesterday, Neuvirth did all that could be asked of him in a playoff-caliber situation. I'm not convinced that we need a goalie, although having two Ni(c)klas Backstroms on one team would just be funny if only to watch the commentators try to figure out how to deal with it. I mean, watching them try to sort out the Vancouver power play was pretty good (Sundin-Sedin-Sedin).

I think we need a veteran D presence on the blueline, someone who can help out the PK, not take stupid penalties, and be a leadership force without disrupting the locker room.

Posted by: kittypawz | March 2, 2009 11:52 AM | Report abuse

The Guerin trade is plausible. The secrecy may stem from the fact that Nyls may be involved. There are procedures that need to occur for him to wave his NMC and that makes it a little more complex than the normal trades.
As of yesterday though, Nyls had not been asked to wave anything.... but there are huge efforts being made to deal him thus the 3 consecutive healthy scratches. He wants a trade and the Caps want to trade him... that doesn't mean it will happen.

Posted by: atybat | March 2, 2009 11:53 AM | Report abuse

only one person spelled his name wrong.

I recall a few months ago, schultz had a pretty bad game and we all were discussing it. You agreed with mostly everyone that schultz, despite his statistics, makes quite a few boneheaded plays. Section117 was the ONLY one at that time who came at the defense of Schultz, posting his +/-. We told him that despite his admirable stats, he makes more visible mistakes than the other defense men. You agreed then, what happened now?

Posted by: richmondphil | March 2, 2009 11:58 AM | Report abuse

FIRST time I've seen anybody write that Nyls wants to be traded. Good work, keep it coming.

Posted by: WhyGo | March 2, 2009 11:59 AM | Report abuse

I wish the deadline would pass. Here's my deal: I don't think this team is one player away from going deep in the playoffs. If we assume that one player is the answer to the issues we have (Alzer for Shultz, Guerin, Pronger, Backstrom) then I think we're reaching for straws. Either we're still a year away with a few prospects coming up from Hershey and a few holes to fill, or we're not. I honestly don't think any one player that's been discussed will take this team any further in the playoffs than we'll go with the 20 sitting on the bench right now. One player? Seriously? We seem to think our team defense needs to be significantly better to make us happy and we think one player will do that? Let's count the defendents (from D) from across this blog: Shultz, Mo, Jurcina, Poti, and Erskine. That leaves Green (and he gets his share of defensive ability derision). Changing one of those players with someone else, who would then need to learn the system, isn't the answer; particularly if the team takes on a huge contract that handcuffs us.

Based on what I've seen against the top teams in the East, we can make a deep, deep run with the team we have.

Only one player would make the kind of difference we dream of: Ovechkin. We've already got him.

Do think I'm resigned to not doing well in the playoffs, it's quite the opposite. If we get out of the first round we are going to get a seven-game series of death vs. the Devils. We can play with them, we've shown it all year, and I'll take my chances.

Posted by: saintex | March 2, 2009 11:59 AM | Report abuse

I find it somewhat amusing how quickly everyone has jumped on the Schultz hate-wagon over the past few days...

this isn't a new occurrence people. This parking cone/pylon/airhead/whatever you wanna call him has looked this bad for a while now... the only difference is now his weaknesses are exposed even more being paired up with Green.

And I don't care what people say about his statistics and plus/minus... the dude is a serious liability and will kill us come playoff time.

Schultz still needs to be babysat by Poti otherwise there really is no reason to have him on the ice. Period.

I think, given his age and "potential," he would be a great guy to try to include in a deal for Pronger. I highly doubt we deal him because for some odd reason BB and GMGM seem to love the guy, and something tells me GMGM would not want to trade him because he was a first round draft pick.

But his upside is only gonna go down so I say try to get rid of him as part of a deal for Pronger and hope the Ducks bite.

Posted by: zloss126 | March 2, 2009 11:59 AM | Report abuse

i love the way all these armchair GMs blast schultz after every loss. ..the guy is a plus 17 without ever scoring a point. ..BB never scratches him, and he never gets a penalty while always being on the ice against the other teams first line. . .must be doing something right. ..and he's only 23. . .thats why GMGM and BB are where they are and the rest of us are left to sit at home and wish we were somewhere else!! . ..of course that being said, if we could get pronger without giving up much (like we got feds last year), we'd take him in a heartbeat. . .be a wonderful thing to have a stay at home blueliner who can can knock out the other team's forwards ala scott stevens . . .

oh, and someone should cut don cherry in half!!!!

Posted by: madmax521 | March 2, 2009 11:59 AM | Report abuse

If you read Corey's article on the deadline we have to swap a player for player do to us having 50 players with NHL contracts in DC and Hershey. So if the trade for Guerin is for a pick. That means that two players would be involved in another deal going to another team and that is what would be holding the whole thing up. That, or like Tarik reported we are not interested in Guerin and all the other talk linking us to him is garbage.

Posted by: ThePat | March 2, 2009 11:59 AM | Report abuse

I wish the deadline would pass. Here's my deal: I don't think this team is one player away from going deep in the playoffs. If we assume that one player is the answer to the issues we have (Alzer for Shultz, Guerin, Pronger, Backstrom) then I think we're reaching for straws. Either we're still a year away with a few prospects coming up from Hershey and a few holes to fill, or we're not. I honestly don't think any one player that's been discussed will take this team any further in the playoffs than we'll go with the 20 sitting on the bench right now. One player? Seriously? We seem to think our team defense needs to be significantly better to make us happy and we think one player will do that? Let's count the defendents (from D) from across this blog: Shultz, Mo, Jurcina, Poti, and Erskine. That leaves Green (and he gets his share of defensive ability derision). Changing one of those players with someone else, who would then need to learn the system, isn't the answer; particularly if the team takes on a huge contract that handcuffs us.

Based on what I've seen against the top teams in the East, we can make a deep, deep run with the team we have.

Only one player would make the kind of difference we dream of: Ovechkin. We've already got him.

Don't think I'm resigned to not doing well in the playoffs, it's quite the opposite. If we get out of the first round we are going to get a seven-game series of death vs. the Devils. We can play with them, we've shown it all year, and I'll take my chances.

Posted by: saintex | March 2, 2009 12:00 PM | Report abuse

Does anyone else find it disturbing that we were completely rocked (at home) by Florida, and that loss leaves us in 3rd place in the east, but also puts Florida up into 6th...

Posted by: superpaqman | March 2, 2009 12:00 PM | Report abuse

By the way Guerin is a Captain in Islanders right? Since Caps current Captain Clark is underperforming and plagued with injuries, Guerin can be really handy as a new Captain.
Also Caps dont have a good natural RW, Kozlov is a Center and Semin is a LW and they both are forced to play RW... So if Caps can pull this trade, than it would be a positive one, especially loosing Nyls.

Posted by: Hazz | March 2, 2009 12:00 PM | Report abuse

What is going on with Varlamov?

Posted by: ERHDC1 | March 2, 2009 12:02 PM | Report abuse

It will not be a straight trade-up. There will be a prospect involved... Watch Edmonton also....

Posted by: atybat | March 2, 2009 12:04 PM | Report abuse

Tarik,

I asked you on your chat last week why Schultz's is up here and not getting work down in the AHL. You said that the Caps like his size, stick, and handles the puck well.

I dont see it and alot of us dont see it, I cant believe you see it. The guy needs work, He is slow and he does not punish anybody, Other guys are able to skate around him all the time, And God help us if he's out of position because he is to slow to recover. He needs work and I cant believe Mangt see's an upside to this guy. He seems like a great person but im not sure playing defense in the NHL is his nature.

I love Coach Boudreau, but sometimes I think he plays favorites with some of his Hershey guys... Schultz either needs to be sent back to Hershey, or he needs to sit, or traded. I've seen other guys in Hershey play better than this guy.

Posted by: darrylrbaker | March 2, 2009 12:05 PM | Report abuse

trade Backstrom for Backstrom. Has their been an NHL trade before for a one to one with the same names?

Posted by: dezlboy1 | March 2, 2009 12:05 PM | Report abuse

@madmax521
Yes, Schultz plays with Green, who is a plus monster on this team. If Green had Morrisonn, than same story, any D playing with Green will have positive +.

Posted by: Hazz | March 2, 2009 12:06 PM | Report abuse

patrone, i must ask.

do you really think Kolzig is anywhere near the same echelon as Hasek?

Posted by: richmondphil | March 2, 2009 12:09 PM | Report abuse

Sorry for the double post.

I'm not a Schultz hater and haven't been all year. It is interesting that all of Schultz's weaknesses are exposed by being on the ice with Green...wonder why? I sport my Mike Green shirt, I love Mike Green, but as far as strictly defense and manning the point is concerned - manning the point, not shooting - he is one of the weakest defensive players we have. You know what, you stick any one of our dmen out there with Green and they are going to struggle to look good on the ice because they are covering 50% more of the ice than with any other defender. Is Schultz an a great player? Not yet. Is he as bad as we seem to think? Not even close. Seriously, Shultz is in the crease on on defense trying to either move another player out or holding the line and our response is that he shouldn't be there? He's too big? He's screening the goalie? How about he stand over near the circle and let the other team screen the goalie? I'm not a huge +/- guy but there are other numbers out there from last year's complete season that show his contribution is far greater then we think. And, as always, I'm pretty sure BB and GM2 know what they're doing.

Posted by: saintex | March 2, 2009 12:10 PM | Report abuse

What is going on with Varlamov?

Posted by: ERHDC1 | March 2, 2009 12:02 PM
-------------
He's been practicing. Coach Woods says he expects him to be ready by the weekend.

Posted by: tess2201 | March 2, 2009 12:11 PM | Report abuse

There are 3 things we could use to advance deep into the playoffs:

1) 1-2 puck-clearing defensemen
2) A lock-down goalie
and, to a lesser extent....
3) A skilled agitator (these guys always help in the playoffs)

Guerin fits #3 and would be an upgrade over Nylander, Fehr...but our desperate needs are in defense/goal.

Quite frankly, there will be few takers for Nylander given his age and contract size.

Posted by: C-way | March 2, 2009 12:11 PM | Report abuse

Condolator: I don't care how good his stats can be made look but the truth is #55 is an empty pair of pants on the ice. He was especially soft yesterday, not clearing the puck, not checking his guys and effectively screened OUR OWN goalie on at least two of FLA's goals.


And thats the truth. He's one of those lucky guys who has decent plus-minus stats relative to his terrible defensive play. Yesterday he ends up being on the ice for Ovechkin's fluky goal at the end and his +/- drops from -2 to -1. And he's on the ice an awful lot for goals against on the PP as well. Bruce must think Schultz's long reach is a benefit on the PK. I for one have not seen #55 show any benefit on the PK

Posted by: cstanton1 | March 2, 2009 12:13 PM | Report abuse

Why not trade Nuevirth and a pick for Backstrom, or same with Varly. Bird in hand is worth more than 2 in the bush.

We know Backstrom is elite, we know Neuvy and Varly are potential elites.

To sweeten the deal lets add Nyls:)

Posted by: gtydings | March 2, 2009 12:18 PM | Report abuse

Three things:

1. Schultz is a hitter and is tall. There is a reason he is a defenseman.

2. Steckel wins face-offs, but that seems to be the only thing he is good for. He can't pass and can cause breakaways the wrong direction.

3. Is it just me or does it seem like we are in a win-lose-win-lose pattern these days? WHat's up with that?

Posted by: jgprentice | March 2, 2009 12:18 PM | Report abuse

Section117 was the ONLY one at that time who came at the defense of Schultz, posting his +/-. We told him that despite his admirable stats, he makes more visible mistakes than the other defense men. You agreed then, what happened now?

Posted by: richmondphil | March 2, 2009 11:58 AM


Actually, I've posted a whole lot more numbers than just his +/-, but that's been white noise to many.

I've also said (and will say yet again) that he's the team's least experienced and youngest defenseman, playing a position that most of that corps hasn't even peaked in yet. Players take time to mature, to fill out, and he should be given that consideration similar to Fleischmann, Green, et al. Not every 6-6 player turns into Pronger overnight, even Pronger.

And don't spout off about the PK either, this team has barely broken 80% since Ron Wilson left, so it's not like 55 makes the unit automatically F.R.E.D.

Anyway, go back to the flame war.

Posted by: Section117 | March 2, 2009 12:19 PM | Report abuse

my point was, is that you have been consistently the only Schultz supporter on this blog. from the start of the season til now.

Posted by: richmondphil | March 2, 2009 12:20 PM | Report abuse

Jeff Schultz, a hitter? HA!
http://www.nhl.com/ice/playerstats.htm?fetchKey=20092WASSASAll&sort=hits&viewName=rtssPlayerStats

He has 10 fewer hits than Nicky Backstrom..
Come on, Schultz is a bum...

Posted by: tURBO8 | March 2, 2009 12:21 PM | Report abuse

@jgprentice


schultz isn't a hitter!
he never hits! he bear hugs and shoves

Posted by: capsfan8 | March 2, 2009 12:25 PM | Report abuse

and i hope that is not interpreted as a shot against you. I do not express anywhere near the same hate for Schultz as most here. He is young, but like i said, I wouldn't mind seeing him go while he is still labeled a prospect.

Posted by: richmondphil | March 2, 2009 12:25 PM | Report abuse

so weve got 3 inches here in richmond and it just starting blowing tons more down.

how is it up there for you guys?

Posted by: richmondphil | March 2, 2009 12:26 PM | Report abuse

@richmondphil: What happened? I read what 117 said and a couple of other people on Japers' Rink said, and I thought about it, researched it, and started watching what he does. And I realized a few things. (1) He never gets credit when he does something right, only gets jumped when he does something wrong. (2) His style isn't what this board seems to be used to and want. (3) Fact is that we're all armchair GM's here. Some acknowledge that more readily than others. (4) The whole freaking team looked flat as a pancake; pinning everything on one guy is silly.

I didn't watch all of the game, so I'm going to stay out of the assessment of the game. I'm just pointing out that our batting average on players we hate who are actually a problem isn't all that good (Fehr, Flash, Nylander, Erskine, Jurcina gives us a 1/5 batting average), and that our observations are just that - observations. We don't argue the numbers here generally, with a few key exceptions.

So what happened? I acknowledged that I don't get Schultz, but there's got to be something there I'm not seeing. That I'm not an expert, and that there are guys getting paid to do this who know far more than I do. And that people here have players they love to hate, that isn't based on any logical or objective argument. Argue me either way, but the side that supports him is based on stats and the side that hates him is based on subjective observation, so about all I can do is sit back with the popcorn and watch :)

Posted by: kittypawz | March 2, 2009 12:27 PM | Report abuse

Hey All,

I’m going to post this here and several other Caps blogs/sites to urge you all to boycott ESPN 980 (WTEM) for Lent (or as long as you wish) and to write to tell them you are doing so (http://www.espn980.com/info/contact_us.php). Now I wish they covered the Caps more but I understand why they don’t and this is not the reason for my personal (and hopefully larger) boycott.

The reason is that jerk Colin Cowherd who is on from 10-12 every morning. I usually turn him off when he comes on, but not always. He recently he gave a teaser before commercial saying what was he going to give up for Lent. Somewhat interested, I decided to listen through the break and when he came back on I couldn’t believe what he was doing. He said he was giving up talking about hockey for the 40 days of Lent.

Of course Cowherd is a complete tool and knows next to nothing about hockey. But to dis hockey during the hottest point in the season – ON A SPORTS STATION WHERE THE HOTTEST LOCAL TEAM IS A HOCKEY TEAM is inexcusable. Hey, even the little attention that ESPN 980 gives to the Caps is much better than nothing. Let Cowherd play to Alabama and Oklahoma or wherever hockey isn’t followed, but here in the nation’s capital, where the Caps are outperforming the Wizards on every level of measurement, we want whatever we can get (the same can be said for many sports cities).

So please join me in boycotting ESPN 980 and letting them know you are as well!

Posted by: bob_in_SS | March 2, 2009 12:30 PM | Report abuse

Backstrom has become a very good two-way player and gets action at both ends of the ice. Backstrom is also getting hits at both ends. Also, Schultz has ten more hits than Poti. If hits are the standard than run Poti.

Posted by: saintex | March 2, 2009 12:32 PM | Report abuse

I still see Schultz make some really weird plays. I dont know, I dont hate him nearly as much as most here, but he just does weird things sometimes. Granted, it's not anything I haven't seen Poti do a few times this year, but Schultz seems to stick out. I'm not basing it on the FLA beatdown, because the whole team played bad.

I like Schultz, but i find some of their criticism valid. and like i said, i wouldnt lose to much sleep over seeing him go while he is still labeled a "prospect." But I have much faith in our front office, so I trust whatever GMGM is going to do.

Posted by: richmondphil | March 2, 2009 12:33 PM | Report abuse

So please join me in boycotting ESPN 980 and letting them know you are as well!


Posted by: bob_in_SS | March 2, 2009 12:30 PM

bob, based upon some of the listernership numbers is saw last year, people have been informally boycotting ESPN 980 for a while now.

Posted by: dcsportsfan1 | March 2, 2009 12:34 PM | Report abuse

I'm looking more at trade rumors right now anyway, honestly. Of all the pieces we could acquire, Pronger is the only one I think might make a serious difference to our playoff hopes. I'm not sure we can get him - we have the trade pieces but the salary cap might not work.

Posted by: kittypawz | March 2, 2009 12:35 PM | Report abuse

You agreed then, what happened now?

Posted by: richmondphil | March 2, 2009 11:58 AM

Me I suppose? I can't spell to save my life. Thank the computer gods for spellchecker.

I still don't like Schultz. I don't think I ever did. He can poke-check and he's positionally sound, but he takes forever to get positionally sound and is a powderpuff.

MHO.

Posted by: Greg S. | March 2, 2009 12:36 PM | Report abuse

coasting out the rest of the season is not the way to go deep in the playoffs. Every week we find the one game to bash the teams because they are looking ahead or are sleepy or whatever excuse they want to use.

Could we bring in any of the list of rumored individuals? Sure, but while the armchair GM's are salivating at the fact we are one or two people away from making the cup run, the problem isn't with the talent we have or could get, it "seems" that it goes more to the work ethic and commitment to playing in a system. Why did they follow BB last year and are having a harder time this year? Too successful, no pressure really to make the playoffs? Why do we hear subtle, or maybe not so subtle, statements about the lack of veterans speaking up? The coach can only harp on it so many times as it has recently been pointed out.

My question is would you want to bring someone in that has Cup experience from the past couple of years or from over a decade ago?

Posted by: caps28fan | March 2, 2009 12:36 PM | Report abuse

Poti's played 9 fewer games and has had a bad groin all year, doesn't surprise me he's not hitting a lot...

The point is is that Schultz is a big guy who has no lived up to his potential (remember he was selected BEFORE Green in the first round).
I am not arguing that his is destined for failure, but he could certainly use some work.

Posted by: tURBO8 | March 2, 2009 12:37 PM | Report abuse

no, you spelled it right. I think Tomdin was the one who kept spelling it wrong.

Posted by: richmondphil | March 2, 2009 12:37 PM | Report abuse

@jgprentice: "1. Schultz is a hitter and is tall. There is a reason he is a defenseman."

Shultz..a HITTER?!? BAWHAHAHAHA.

Sorry, I'll stop laughing now..but if you've been to ANY games and watched #55, the one thing you would know is: he's NOT a hitter.

Posted by: hawk1009 | March 2, 2009 12:38 PM | Report abuse

@richmondphil: Fair enough. :) Some of it is valid, I just find it unbalanced because sometimes he'll have a monster game and it goes unnoticed and unmentioned. I'm with you - the front office knows way more than I do and I'll place my faith in them for now.

Posted by: kittypawz | March 2, 2009 12:38 PM | Report abuse

saintex, if hits are the standard, then why did Tyler Sloan have as many hits as Schultz up until yesterday?

Posted by: caps28fan | March 2, 2009 12:39 PM | Report abuse

*******************************************
Someone brought this up to me at the game yesterday and I want to share it.

Since we play the Pens this Sunday...
instead of booing Crosby (which is typical) let's all make a whining sound. Well, since he/she is a bit of a cry baby it is only fitting that it sounds like one when he touches the puck!
*******************************************

Posted by: NatyBG | March 2, 2009 12:41 PM | Report abuse

sloan was a force, but i'd rather have schultz up...

Posted by: richmondphil | March 2, 2009 12:41 PM | Report abuse

I'll buy what Kittypawz is selling. Especially #3 and 4. And that goes for me, too.

I'll also agree with 117 that he's young and still growing into the position.

I will not buy into him being the cause of yesterday's loss. There's entirely too much blame to go around to the whole team. I won't lay that loss on Schultz.

He's going to be a fine SAH D-man someday. If we can get someone in sooner that can do the job, I'd feel comfy in moving him to 3rd line

Posted by: Greg S. | March 2, 2009 12:42 PM | Report abuse

Schultz can be invaluable. Seriously, he is Tomas Holmstrom type of player. The only problem is that he parks in front of Caps goalie instead of opposing team's goalie. Look at his record! At least 4 goals were scored while he was screening a goalie.

When PP doesn't work, when Caps players shoot from perimeter, bring Schultz up front! Problem solved.

Posted by: CodePoetry | March 2, 2009 12:42 PM | Report abuse

Did you see the Washington Post Sports Section on Sunday?

Good thing I read the Times, right-wingers rule. Lot's of post-game analysis and reports in the times sunday edition.

Not one word on the Caps big win in B'town. Even though it was an early game (they usually give us the BS that the game was 'late' and couldn't make the deadline) and a win against the best team in the east.

24/7 wall-to-wall stories on the stupid moves that the jerkoff Snyder makes over and over with the 'Skins.

Post thinks we are all butt-boys (girls) to the lame NHL. Ask Tarik if he thinks his profile has improved as a result of all the time and effort he has given us.

NBA sucks, NFL sucks.

And CHERRY sucks, too.

Posted by: WhyGo | March 2, 2009 12:42 PM | Report abuse

richmondphil

Yeah, but it took me like 12 tries! :D

Posted by: Greg S. | March 2, 2009 12:43 PM | Report abuse

PHO scouts at the Panthers game can only mean one thing, and that's a trade involving Derek Morris. He may have lost a step, but his contract is expiring at the end of the year and would be a HUGE boost on the blueline. Not to mention the fact that the Caps wouldn't have to give up much to get him (especially given the Coyotes' on and off ice troubles) -- the biggest obstacle would be finding room for the remainder his ~4mil contract this season.

Posted by: FOHS_Marc | March 2, 2009 12:44 PM | Report abuse

ball SLAPPAH!

Posted by: WhyGo | March 2, 2009 12:45 PM | Report abuse

how old is Lepisto?

isnt he 23? he didnt look too good when he was up here, but he's supposed to turn into a mike green type of d man. he must have some pretty good prospect stock...

Posted by: richmondphil | March 2, 2009 12:46 PM | Report abuse

I love how Schultz was out there for most of the goals yesterday and was screening the goalie for about all the ones he was out there for, but he was still on the ice for 20+ min. I love how Coach BB coaches a lot of the times, but he makes some real bone head moves sometimes. (1)If he isn't going to make Schultz a healthy, DON'T put him with green. Green is all offense, and Schultz isn't really a good defensmen to put with Green. Put Morrison with Green, and Poti with Schultz. (2) Give Kronwall some more chances!! I thought he played better defensivly than Schultz can in a few of the games that he played. (I think 2?) (3) Why would you put that first line out there with a min remaining in a blowout game. I don't care if Ovie and Backstrom are begging you to put them out there. You should NEVER put your best player on the ice in a blowout game in the last min in case the game gets chippy.

Posted by: Thomas32 | March 2, 2009 12:46 PM | Report abuse

hershey people, if you would be so inclined to fill me on Lepisto's play up there.

thanks.

Posted by: richmondphil | March 2, 2009 12:47 PM | Report abuse

Two places before Mike Green? That isn't a piece of evidence. Mike Green is an exceptional talent. What if Green went two places before Schultz? Would that matter? It's not like Schultz was picked in the first round and Green in the third. Take a good, long look at everyone chosen between #6 and #26 in that draft. Aside from Stafford and Zajac, I don't see much.

Posted by: saintex | March 2, 2009 12:48 PM | Report abuse

and stafford and zajac arent saying much, haha.

Posted by: richmondphil | March 2, 2009 12:49 PM | Report abuse

Hmm, Schultz is the kind of player who generally gets attention only when he's made mistakes. How about taking armchair GMing to the next level over the next couple of games? Collectively, those of you who can watch the games consistently (I'm not so blessed), actively take note of his shifts and spot him points for good defensive play and strikes for bad. Anyone care to come up with criteria and how to score them? Here's some I can think of:

Giveaways/takeaways +1/-1
Good Clearing pass out of zone +2
Shoots Puck out of zone +1 (+2 if not iced)
Breaking up odd man rush +1 if a shot, +2 if breaks up a pass
Blocked shots +1
Goals for/against while on the ice
what else? +2/-2
Penalties -2 (-3 if a really dumb one)
What else?

At the end of however many games, see
how he adds up (or not). That might give a better picture than just the obvious gaffes and make us all better armchair GM's. Might also make blogging here that much more engaging, no?

Posted by: geauxcaps | March 2, 2009 12:50 PM | Report abuse

takeaways in d zone/takeaways in o zone -10/-1

Posted by: richmondphil | March 2, 2009 12:53 PM | Report abuse

i mean giveaways. and i think you do too.

Posted by: richmondphil | March 2, 2009 12:53 PM | Report abuse

No doubt we need a tweak on the blueline, but what we really miss are the meat and potato players. Dale Hunter, Craig Berube, Brendan Witt, Ken Klee, Chris Simon, Mark Tinordi. Absence of leadership and toughness in our lineup.

Patrick Roy is considering coming out of retirement right? No? Darn. I actually trust Theodore 50 times more than I trust Huet. Consistent defense, tough forwards should turn this team around.

Posted by: hockeynightincanada | March 2, 2009 12:54 PM | Report abuse

@caps,

I never said hits were the standard. What I said was that "if hits are the standard" in response to Schultz's hit numbers linked previously as justification for him sucking so bad as compared to Backstrom - and I'm still not sure why hits, as a stand alone stat, are of value to anything. I think we'd all agree that hits mean nothing without other aspects added to a player's game. Lidstrom and Rafalski each average .5 hits per game but no one would even think of throwing that out as justifying that they are the worst defender the world has ever seen. All the numbers should contribute to the player's contribution and there are some very good numbers (PIMS, block shots, etc.) that should be considered along with hits, shots, goals, +/-, etc.

Posted by: saintex | March 2, 2009 12:54 PM | Report abuse

and i hope that is not interpreted as a shot against you.

Posted by: richmondphil | March 2, 2009 12:25 PM

No worries brother.

Posted by: Section117 | March 2, 2009 12:54 PM | Report abuse

@phil
Giveaway/takeaways
Here I meant he gives it away in the D-Zone or takes it away from an offensive player

Posted by: geauxcaps | March 2, 2009 12:56 PM | Report abuse

theo > huet.

no doubt or complaints there.

Posted by: richmondphil | March 2, 2009 12:56 PM | Report abuse

richmondphil: No snow here in Orlando, but it's chilly all right. Must be down around 50.

No, I never spelled Schultz incorrectly.

Posted by: tominfl1 | March 2, 2009 12:58 PM | Report abuse

@phil,

They are something and that's why they were excluded. There are another 19 players in there that haven't amounted to much so far. That was the point, not Zajac and Stafford.

Posted by: saintex | March 2, 2009 1:01 PM | Report abuse

no, no .

Tomdin. not Tominfl.

i know what you were saying. i was saying that despite great early campaigns, stafford and zajac are having crummy years this year.

Posted by: richmondphil | March 2, 2009 1:04 PM | Report abuse

well, i just checked zajac's numbers and hes doing well there actually. stafford is too.

hm. just whenever i talk to a BUF/NJ guy those two names pop up on their s*** list.

Posted by: richmondphil | March 2, 2009 1:07 PM | Report abuse

For all you Guerin to Washington speculators - the ONLY way this deal goes down is if it includes Nylander.

Guerin is a $4.5M cap hit. We can't fit him under the cap without moving Nylander, Ovie, Semin, Feds, Green, Poti, or Theo. Nylander is the only one on that list that's even remotely available.

Posted by: patrone | March 2, 2009 1:07 PM | Report abuse

what if the isles threw steit into the mix....

Posted by: richmondphil | March 2, 2009 1:10 PM | Report abuse

why would nyls waive his NTC to go to a team like the isles? (dont tell me its about wanting what best for the caps) sorry, i wouldn't do it if i were him. maybe after the season, but not now.

Posted by: dcsportsfan1 | March 2, 2009 1:11 PM | Report abuse

http://www.thehockeynews.com/articles/23944-Ovechkin-questions-officiating-in-Caps-loss-to-Panthers.html

Ovie is questioning officiating. You can't control it. Control what you can. Your teams play and discipline!

Posted by: ERHDC1 | March 2, 2009 1:11 PM | Report abuse

Hockey Buzz says Witt could return to D.C. I don't buy any of these rumor sites. They're all what-if's and personal scenerios.

Posted by: cappies | March 2, 2009 1:12 PM | Report abuse

Didn't we give one of our guys to Buffalo? Mike Grier I believe back in 2004. I think it's time they give us a guy. Rick Jeanneret
for a rental.

"Here's Laich, coming in he scoooooooores!
Oh my God!" Five minutes later he's still going, two other goals have been scored and he's missed them.
"The Population of Pominville is going crazy!"

Posted by: hockeynightincanada | March 2, 2009 1:12 PM | Report abuse

im hearing frolov for whitney ALMOST went down.

Posted by: richmondphil | March 2, 2009 1:19 PM | Report abuse

I guess my question is:
When has a D-mans role stopped including clearing people out of the crease, and standing up for your goalie? (yes I know there are way more than those two, but just asking the question when did these drop off the list).

I think Schultz is a good positional player by in whole for his age. I am just not used to seeing a defense that does not have a bit of a snarl to them. Going to Caps games since 1989.

And why hits are so important go directly to what you will see in the playoffs. Jersey, Philly and Boston all play physical games, but out west its a religion. Detroit and this year SJ's fore"check" are tenacious. To me Schultz gets pushed off the puck too easy and is a bit slow to recover from strong forechecks. Why did SJ come back and beat Boston in Boston? They picked up their physical play and started creating room for themselves. They hit everything the puck was near. That is playoff hockey and potentially goes directly to cup contending hockey. Checking someone wears more on the hittee than the hitter.
So, why do people think hits are an invaluable stat?

Posted by: caps28fan | March 2, 2009 1:41 PM | Report abuse

Could have sworn we were getting Guerin today? What's going on out there?

Posted by: lylewimbledon | March 2, 2009 1:41 PM | Report abuse

I like the idea of points-ing Schultz - and several other players as well. Why don't we each pick a Dman to watch and points them according to the list generated above (I think -10 is a bit much tho) and see what we come up with? Do that for say five games, and that'll give us a serious assessment of the blueline?

Honestly, I see some of what Ovi is saying about the officiating, and I see also that we do take too many penalties. I think there's love to go around both sides there. We've had some real questionable calls lately (calling roughing on Theodore when he's had his feet knocked out from under him comes to mind). I do think the refs try to even up games sometimes. Not all, but sometimes.

I'm not sold on the toughness thing - Detroit anyone - but leadership does sound like it's an issue. It does seem like we're coasting too much, and that's just frustrating in the extreme for everyone. Can we please get down to business? Top seed is good, folks, and New Jersey has become a monster with Brodeur back. We may have more issues with them than with Boston.

Posted by: kittypawz | March 2, 2009 1:43 PM | Report abuse

http://www.sportingnews.com/blog/rslover.tsn/185551/

Now he's staying on Long Island?

Posted by: patrone | March 2, 2009 1:43 PM | Report abuse

now ov starts to question referees in the print media.........how dumb is this guy ?
Federov needs to tell ov to shut up and play hockey.

Posted by: wendel2 | March 2, 2009 1:44 PM | Report abuse

Could have sworn we were getting Guerin today? What's going on out there?

Posted by: lylewimbledon | March 2, 2009 1:41 PM

Last I heard Garrioch in Ottawa is now saying the Caps are looking at Kari Lehtonin in Atlanta, but since it's Garrioch you should take that with a kilo or two of salt.

Personally, I'd like to see the Caps try for Derek Morris, I think he'd fit in pretty well here.

Posted by: m4ilm4n | March 2, 2009 1:46 PM | Report abuse

agreed Kitty,
with Brodeur not missing a step upon his return Jersey looks to be the hardest challenge.

Posted by: caps28fan | March 2, 2009 1:50 PM | Report abuse

@caps28

I think hits are a stat to be used with other stuff - it's not invaluable. I also agree that the playoffs will be damn physical so the Caps will have their work cut out from them every game but I think if we look at the Bruins game we played pretty physical against the top team in our conference. But again, hits can't be sole source for judging a players. Schultz needs to be stronger on the boards when there's a battle going on but there's other stuff he does that isn't in statistics. I'm very interested to see what happens in the next few days.

Posted by: saintex | March 2, 2009 1:51 PM | Report abuse

I wonder if Klee is available from Phoenix: He is a UFA next season and a low cap hit which means Caps wouldn't need to make any significant moves. He's also a +10 on the year. Sturdy, puck moving, mobile-would match up well with big forwards like Hartnell, Knuble, Lucic, as well as quick forwards like Lupul, Upshall, Savard, Parise, Gionta.

Posted by: meagle | March 2, 2009 1:53 PM | Report abuse

New reports are that Guerin is also a decent middle-reliever with a tight splitter and that the Diamondbacks are interested.

Posted by: SA-Town | March 2, 2009 1:55 PM | Report abuse

@ Saintex,
Without a doubt, I am not Schultz bashing here, nor do I think that hits are the only stats. Just trying to make a point that physicality needs to pick up going into the end of the season for everyone.
And no I don't want him to be on the trading blocks either because of his upside.

Consistency, less penalties and truly unleashing the fury in a physical sense also will better prepare the team for the playoffs.

Posted by: caps28fan | March 2, 2009 1:58 PM | Report abuse

Re: Officiating

Wendel2 - I agree that OV needs to shut up about officiating - he's not the one to make noise (GMGM or Gabby, if anyone).

I think Semin and to a lesser degree Ovie have a diving rap with the officials. Semin never seems to get a call, no matter what is done to him.

Feds needs to step up and lead this team. One of the reasons we got him last year is because of his playoff experience - and it paid off well. He needs to take his leadership to the next level -- he's been there before and his fellow Russians will listen to him. Team needs a veteran leader with Clark out and not playing well before that.

Posted by: hook99 | March 2, 2009 1:58 PM | Report abuse

@kittypawz

I tried to assign points to his plays - even though you know I don't like him I really tried to be un-biased.

He turned out terrible - which means probably that this is still a perspective issue :D

But if we agrees on the rules, we can watch him again tomorrow.

+2 when he steals the puck in the defensive zone
+1 when he makes any play that a NHLer d-man is supposed to make (this is really subjective)
-1 when he doesn't
-2 when he lose the puck in the defensive zone

It's the last item that killed him. In fact, every time he had the puck and was boarded, he lost it.

It's been a few games that I really want him to do good, and hunt for his intangibles. Can't find any :(

Posted by: mauree | March 2, 2009 2:00 PM | Report abuse

It's tough to like Schutlz given the fact that he doesn't do any of the things that most people want out of a defensman. Sort of like an offensive lineman in football. SChutlz was VERY bad yesterday, but the whol team was VERY bad. I myself see Poti out of position a lot when the other team scores. I think the biggest problem the team faces is offensive players staying out too long and not picking up the other teams 3rd foward, causing a goal. Maybe jay Leach (coaches defense) needs to go. Just an idea.

Anything the Caps get in the postseason this year is going to be experience. I for one do not think the Caps window of opportunity is just this year. They will be there for years to come.

Posted by: Leeguru | March 2, 2009 2:01 PM | Report abuse

I think the correct way to spell his name is Pylon or maybe Cone. Either one is appropriate.

Posted by: capsfansince74 | March 2, 2009 2:01 PM | Report abuse

@hook,

I agree. I also think Fedorov should wear the "C" for the remainder of the season. The dude is a legend, he knows what's what, and I'd much rather see him engaging the refs on the ice than AO - even though AO is perfectly entitled to do as the "A". You can see in how Feds skates, plans his game, and plays his shift, that he is the smartest player on the team. I'd like AO to be relieved of dealing with the refs. Everyone can gather around Feds on the lockerroom and learn what you need to do to win the Cup - it's something they need to be reminded and Feds is one to do it.

Posted by: saintex | March 2, 2009 2:04 PM | Report abuse

Score it like a fight card :)! Three volunteers anyone? A pro(-ish) Schultz GM, an anti-Schultz GM, and a neutral party?

Posted by: geauxcaps | March 2, 2009 2:05 PM | Report abuse

Hey, I'm in on tracking defensemen with the scoring system. Shall I be assigned one?

Posted by: saintex | March 2, 2009 2:05 PM | Report abuse

Ouch. OVI should not talk about that. Leave the whining to Crosby.

Posted by: mauree | March 2, 2009 2:06 PM | Report abuse

Of course, I'll be the pro-Schultz guy if needed.

Posted by: saintex | March 2, 2009 2:07 PM | Report abuse

I'll be the anti-Schultz :D
We need to record the time of the plays as well.

Posted by: mauree | March 2, 2009 2:10 PM | Report abuse

I'm in. I'll log time (by minute) and what happened. I'm a dork like that.

Posted by: saintex | March 2, 2009 2:12 PM | Report abuse

@patrone

You need to realise what the cap hit really is. Right now we can absorb about 1.5M in salary. With a salary of 4.5M there is a little less than 20 games left in the season so our "hit" would only be a little less than 20% of that salary which would be a little less than $900k approximately so we could take on this salary without moving another one. This is what makes the Pronger deal so realistic because our "hit" with Pronger would be a little less than $1.2M this year. Then next year Pronger would account for the $6.25M but we could trade or cut players to accomodate for that.
Not being critical, just a FYI.

Posted by: pokerface1208 | March 2, 2009 2:16 PM | Report abuse

@patrone

Sorry my math was wrong I said our cap "hit" would be a little less than 20% and I meant 25%. So the numbers change a little bit but it still within reach to do these deals. You certainly couldn't get Guerin and Pronger without moving a contract but we could get Guerin and another player. Not sure that's the plan but financially you can do it.

Posted by: pokerface1208 | March 2, 2009 2:18 PM | Report abuse

Did anyone else see Green's *neutral-zone turnover* 4 seconds before the first "Schultz's fault" goal? See, if this was a team sport or a system game, those two incidents could be related.
Watch ANY Caps D, for 3 shifts, using the same Walter Mitty Metrics you use on Schultz. At the very least, you'll stop fetishizing the kid. More likely, you'll be ready to trade the whole D corps for Brendan Witt and Anaheim's $6M Man...

Posted by: redlineblue | March 2, 2009 2:20 PM | Report abuse

until schultz gets 30 goals, that comparison doesn't make any sense.

Posted by: richmondphil | March 2, 2009 2:24 PM | Report abuse

@redlineblue

you have a good point - except for Green.

When Jurci was playing with Alzner, both would have survived the point thingie. Mo has his good games, but some really bad ones too.

Posted by: mauree | March 2, 2009 2:28 PM | Report abuse

Tarik's posted something new & exciting if you're a Mike Green fan.

Posted by: jmu_capsgirl | March 2, 2009 2:29 PM | Report abuse

@patrone
Ok so I got frustrated and broke out the calculator! LOL! The Isles have played 62 games (63 after tonight)& we've played 64. So lets say the trade is officially done tomorrow then Guerin is still owed 23.17% of his salary and that would be our hit UNLESS we get the Isles to pick up some of it. In this case they obviously wouldn't but i'm just using it for an example. Guerin I think makes 4.5M so we would be on the hook for 23.17% of that which is $1,042,650. Like I said we're 1.5M under so we could do this w/o trading a roster spot.
Hope that clears it up for ya.

Posted by: pokerface1208 | March 2, 2009 2:30 PM | Report abuse

@pokerface1208

You are absolutly correct - I didn't fully understand how the cap works. I wish it was more cut and dry - is it even possible to know where a team stands on any given day? I was using NHLNumbers.com but that isn't very useful past the off-season.

@mauree
Can you add a -3 for screening your own goalie? And a -5 for screaning your own goalie and deflecting the puck in to your own net? He had a very ROUGH game yesterday.

I also think you need to add a -1 for wandering around the defensive zone for the sole reason of looking at all the beautiful people in the stands - but that's just too mean.

I'm now officially on the anti-Schultz band wagon. I'm not checking the spelling of his name - I don't care enough to spell it correctly.

That said, Erscine has had a few decent games in a row. I'm hoping he keeps it up.

Jurcina should be shot for the stupid grins he makes when going to the penelty box. He's there at least once a game at this point - it's not funny. At least feel bad about being too inept to defend your own zone without taking a penalty.

Posted by: patrone | March 2, 2009 2:56 PM | Report abuse

I'm not a Schultz hater and haven't been all year. It is interesting that all of Schultz's weaknesses are exposed by being on the ice with Green...wonder why? I sport my Mike Green shirt, I love Mike Green, but as far as strictly defense and manning the point is concerned - manning the point, not shooting - he is one of the weakest defensive players we have. You know what, you stick any one of our dmen out there with Green and they are going to struggle to look good on the ice because they are covering 50% more of the ice than with any other defender. Is Schultz an a great player? Not yet. Is he as bad as we seem to think? Not even close. Seriously, Shultz is in the crease on on defense trying to either move another player out or holding the line and our response is that he shouldn't be there? He's too big? He's screening the goalie? How about he stand over near the circle and let the other team screen the goalie? I'm not a huge +/- guy but there are other numbers out there from last year's complete season that show his contribution is far greater then we think. And, as always, I'm pretty sure BB and GM2 know what they're doing.

Posted by: saintex | March 2, 2009 12:10 PM


Two point
1- Schultz's weaknesses have always been there.

2- agree that Mike Green for the most part has been a huge defensive liability. However, the last 2 weeks has shown a different side to him, he actually is working his butt off in the defensive zone now and playing much better along the boards.

Posted by: cstanton1 | March 2, 2009 3:03 PM | Report abuse

@cstanton,

I agree that Green has been better of late but man, I wouldn't want to be the last line of defense when he's my partner. No matter who it is, you're going to have to do some heavy lifting. Of course, the benefit to the team is the great O that Green brings. I think it's a fair trade off and I'll take some Schultz mistakes if he's taking the hits for being the only 'defense'men in his pairing.

Posted by: saintex | March 2, 2009 3:23 PM | Report abuse

Okay, you people got me -- #55 isn't a hitter -- but I felt the need to defend him. Alzner may even have what it takes to replace him. I just don't think Steckel has much job security outside of winning face-offs -- carry on.

Posted by: jgprentice | March 2, 2009 5:10 PM | Report abuse

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