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Boudreau on Knuble: 'He's Going to Fit In Perfectly'

I caught up with Bruce Boudreau earlier this afternoon and asked him a few questions about the Caps' newest member, Mike Knuble, and the void at second-line center.

As you might imagine, Boudreau, who often groused about his forward corps' reluctance to crash the net last season, is quite pleased with the acquisition of Knuble, whose knack for parking himself at the top of the opposing team's crease and banging in rebounds is well-documented.

But Boudreau said he also hopes Knuble will prove valuable in other areas, such as on special teams and locker-room leadership after the loss of Sergei Fedorov and Donald Brashear. The Caps' top six returning scorers are 25 or younger; Knuble is 37 and has seen it all over the course of 12 NHL seasons with four teams.

"We identified him as the guy who would be best suited for our team, we went after him and fortunately we got him," Boudreau said. "He goes to the net, he's a real professional, he's big, he's strong."

"I think he's going to fit in perfectly with our team," he added. "Everyone I've talked to the past couple of days tells me he's a tremendous person, too. It's difficult to replace Viktor, but I think Mike can do it."

Knuble was a key ingredient on a Flyers penalty kill that was ranked sixth last season -- 11 spots better than the Capitals' unit. With his long reach (he's 6 foot 3) and soft hands, he excels at getting the puck out of the zone and also ranked third among Flyers forwards in blocked shots with 48 (that would have been second among Caps forwards behind David Steckel's 52).

Boudreau also said he's looking forward to the added dimension Knuble will bring to the power play. The Caps' second-ranked unit lost Fedorov and Kozlov, but it gained a bona fide net crasher in Knuble, who ranked third among Flyers forwards (who played 30 games) in power-play time and banged in 11 of his 27 goals on the man advantage. That would have been third most among Caps forwards (behind Ovechkin and Backstrom).

"He's going to complement the power play really well," Boudreau said. "Mike is used to going to front of the net as he did with Philadelphia. It just gives us more options. And when you have more options, it makes it harder for other teams to defend."

Although the assumption the past few days has been that Knuble will start the season skating on the top line with Alex Ovechkin and Nicklas Backstrom, Boudreau said line combos won't be determined until training camp.

"Right now he is," Boudreau said. "But anything can change. Alexander Semin is obviously a very good right wing. You know me; I move the lines around a lot. I have a lot of time to figure that out."

On another subject, I asked Boudreau whether he felt Brooks Laich could fill the role of second-line center. To my surprise, he sidestepped the issue.

"I think we have a good team, even if there are no more moves," Boudreau said. "I don't know if Brooks would be the second-line center, but we've got July and August before we have to finalize it. I'm not worried about it."

So if not Brooks, then who?

"I don't know yet," he said. "I can move people around a lot. But we've got two months to fill that position. If we find somebody [outside of the Caps] who is the right fit, great. If not, we'll go with what we have."

Sounds to me Boudreau is still hopeful that GM George McPhee will find a way to add another center, perhaps through a trade.

That's it for now. I hope everyone has a happy and safe holiday weekend.

By Tarik El-Bashir  |  July 3, 2009; 3:08 PM ET
 
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Next: Jurcina Files for Arbitration

Comments

Knuble was one of the only Flyers I could tolerate. I always kinda liked him. I'm glad he's a Cap.

Posted by: reesem37 | July 3, 2009 3:11 PM | Report abuse

I read this as BB's way of allowing for the insertion of Nylander the lineup if he can't be moved. I'm necessarily in favor of that but if Nylander can adjust his game, perhaps BB can adjust his opinion.

Posted by: AleksanderOMunchkin | July 3, 2009 3:19 PM | Report abuse

I didn't think of Knuble as a Flyer so much as a future Cap.

Posted by: AleksanderOMunchkin | July 3, 2009 3:24 PM | Report abuse

Getting so excited for the season to begin. Are we there yet? Are we there yet?

Posted by: capsfan01 | July 3, 2009 3:30 PM | Report abuse

It's so appropriate that a guy born on July 4th (Knuble) is now on the Caps. Okay, he was born in Canada but grew up in Michigan (and has also played for the Red Wings).

Welcome Mike. Happy birthday. Mine was yesterday. BTW, July 2nd should have been the holiday since that's when John Hancock signed but it hadn't occured to Congress until the day after the 1st anniversary, hence the celebration was on July 4th.

Posted by: CapsFan75 | July 3, 2009 3:52 PM | Report abuse

Nylander is a great player. We may not know the whole story. I'm hopeful he'll be "back" next season.

Posted by: romicva | July 3, 2009 3:53 PM | Report abuse

@reesem37

Good tastes. (Another Flyer I wish we had is Mike Richards who was born the same month as my first born child.)

Posted by: CapsFan75 | July 3, 2009 3:53 PM | Report abuse

I like this move. Knuble seems to be saying the right things. I hope Bruce doesn't overdo his minutes though.

On a side note, very turned off by the Caps owner right now. Mr. Leonsis is writing Facebook messages to his customers - yes, sports fans are customers - saying disrespectful things to people.

Posted by: GoCaps08 | July 3, 2009 4:00 PM | Report abuse

GoCaps,

Did the customers disrespect Ted first? Without you offering up more info than that, I cry b.s.

Posted by: Steve_R | July 3, 2009 4:11 PM | Report abuse

Tarik, love the word groused, haven't seen it lately.

Posted by: billd2 | July 3, 2009 4:14 PM | Report abuse

We need to create a Nyls drinking game.

Take a sip with every circle
Take a sip with every East / West move causing an off sides

What else?

Posted by: Steve_R | July 3, 2009 4:16 PM | Report abuse

Don't think that was Ted writing those messages...I was just on his page, didn't really see anything out of the ordinary, save for all the bs about the ABH board being shut down on the caps website. Just go to japersrink for your information or stick with caps insider or the wash times. That should be plenty of coverage for all of us. Happy 4th everyone.

Posted by: reesem37 | July 3, 2009 4:22 PM | Report abuse

Steve:
I second that - Ted is not the type to go on the offensive, but he also is not afraid to stand up for himself, his teams and the fans. Frankly, I respect that - it is refreshing that he does not censor himself for the sake of being PC. And yet I've never seen him take it too far. But that's just my experience ...

Regarding the Nyls game, I'd add another sip if a circle turns into a figure 8, but it's a moot point if he doesn't play. :-X


Posted by: --Boo-- | July 3, 2009 4:30 PM | Report abuse

So that it's not a secret - what is Ted allegedly saying in those Facebook messages?

Posted by: DevilsCapsGal | July 3, 2009 4:31 PM | Report abuse

Boo,

How's Knuble of faceoffs?

Posted by: Steve_R | July 3, 2009 4:35 PM | Report abuse

Steve:
78%.

Posted by: --Boo-- | July 3, 2009 4:36 PM | Report abuse

Kinda makes you wonder, eh Boo?

Posted by: Steve_R | July 3, 2009 4:38 PM | Report abuse

Yes, especially given our quandary. So what do you see happening with Erskine next season?

Posted by: --Boo-- | July 3, 2009 4:47 PM | Report abuse

That's a tough one Boo. We've got a log jam of D-men, plus Alzner and Carlson waiting in the wings. If we don't trade somebody (Mo), what do you think about that move to wing to take Brash's spot?

Posted by: Steve_R | July 3, 2009 4:55 PM | Report abuse

Erskine the smooth skating winger eh?

Posted by: billd2 | July 3, 2009 5:03 PM | Report abuse

Hmm ... interesting. Well he is our next best thing to an enforcer, and his skating did pick up at the end of last season. Stranger things have happened (where have I heard that before?).

Posted by: --Boo-- | July 3, 2009 5:04 PM | Report abuse

Posted by: alexanderperlmutter | July 3, 2009 5:18 PM | Report abuse

Re:

@Boo,

Maybe Kozzie was more motivated to move the family to Russia since he is Russian himself. (I have no idea if his wife is Russian but would not be surprised if that is the case.)

Posted by: CapsFan75 | July 3, 2009 11:16 AM

+++++++++

It has been said that Mrs. Kozlov is Russian (St. Petersburg perhaps?) and she has wanted to return to Russia for a while now. With that pressure I wasn't surprised Koz signed with the KHL.

Posted by: pstenigma | July 3, 2009 5:23 PM | Report abuse

Steve: It was on another blog where someone posted the gist of the msg he supposidly left. I hope it's just a big misunderstanding; the ABH side going down has prompted some out of line threads. Ted has always been fan friendly so it does seem out of character. Maybe it was meant to be a joke. :)

Back to the Knuble signing, a great signing, but the Caps can't be done.I hope they find a way for a center.

Posted by: GoCaps08 | July 3, 2009 5:35 PM | Report abuse

I'm a little disappointed in the confidence they have in Laich. I like him a lot, his line did really well in the playoffs being a high energy line that crashed the boards and put a pretty substantial amount of points up. Laich got over 50 points playing 3rd line a fair amount of the season, that's more than Knuble did though I still am really happy with Knuble's acquisition. I'm hoping its just because the team is still looking to acquire a great center through trading Nylander and/or Theodore.

Posted by: breaklance | July 3, 2009 5:42 PM | Report abuse

Who said they'd like to have Mike Richards? The universe would explode you cannot put Mike Richards in the same town as the President. The energy released from the clash of TWO such great leaders would be catastrophic.

Posted by: Davethecapsfan | July 3, 2009 5:44 PM | Report abuse

And to be picky re:

BTW, July 2nd should have been the holiday since that's when John Hancock signed but it hadn't occured to Congress until the day after the 1st anniversary, hence the celebration was on July 4th.

++++++
The vote to declare independence was July 2. The wording of the Declaration was approved July 4 and the document went to the printers. Several official copies were signed over the next months, concluding August 2. John Adams stated that July 2 would become an important day for Americans, but the 4th ended up being celebrated instead because that was the day the Declaration was announced. Still, the 4th was sloooow to become a major holiday and the words of the Declaration didn't become revered by Americans for a long time either.

Posted by: pstenigma | July 3, 2009 5:49 PM | Report abuse

Latest Caps rumor is one we all expected.

Maxim interested in Caps...or vice-versa.

Posted by: richmondphil | July 3, 2009 5:58 PM | Report abuse

@pstenigma

Not surprised to learn that Mrs. Kozlov is Russian. No wonder Kozlov was happy to go back to Russia.

Posted by: CapsFan75 | July 3, 2009 5:58 PM | Report abuse

Ted's gone off the rails. He really needs to back away from direct interaction with fans.

Posted by: Hatfield223 | July 3, 2009 6:08 PM | Report abuse

Ted's gone off the rails. He really needs to back away from direct interaction with fans.

Posted by: Hatfield223 | July 3, 2009 6:08 PM |

Why? I dont know what you guys are talking about since I have no idea what this whole facebook/twitter thing is, but I like real people. Sounds like to me Ted is just keeping it real. Details would be nice.

Posted by: richmondphil | July 3, 2009 6:13 PM | Report abuse

Will someone PLEASE explain all these comments about Ted? What did he say? Or post a link.

Posted by: DevilsCapsGal | July 3, 2009 6:13 PM | Report abuse

PS;

KEEP MAXIM OUT OF WASHINGTON!

Unless it's a two-way contract worth like 800K for 1 yr.

Posted by: richmondphil | July 3, 2009 6:14 PM | Report abuse

@Davethecapsfan

Mike Richards and Obama in the same town would really cause the universe to explode? Or is it Richards and Ovi?

Posted by: CapsFan75 | July 3, 2009 8:00 PM | Report abuse

On the other hand, Crosby and Ovi on the same team WOULD cause the universe to explode. That would be like mixing up matter and anti-matter.

Posted by: CapsFan75 | July 3, 2009 8:02 PM | Report abuse

If Nylander and Clark remain healthy, do you think our forward needs are taken care off?

Posted by: richmondphil | July 3, 2009 8:29 PM | Report abuse

Hey all! I was on tour with my band in Europe/Japan from late May til a few days ago, had limited internet access while traveling, so missed all the fireworks about the Capitals message board and the removal of then ABH section. Can someone enlighten me? Thanks!

Posted by: MetalCapsFan | July 3, 2009 8:34 PM | Report abuse

Would any of you want any of these players (Kris Versteeg, Cam Barker, Ben Eager, Colin Fraser, Aaron Johnson and Troy Brouwer) from the Blackhawks? Apparently, the 'Hawks made a mistake when making the qualifying offers to these players. There's a small possibility they could be ruled UFAs.

Story here:

http://www.tsn.ca/nhl/story/?id=283634

Posted by: MetalCapsFan | July 3, 2009 8:39 PM | Report abuse

I read that.

Eager, Fraser, and/or Brouwer please.

Barker and Versteeg will cost too much.

Posted by: richmondphil | July 3, 2009 8:50 PM | Report abuse

On the other hand, Crosby and Ovi on the same team WOULD cause the universe to explode. That would be like mixing up matter and anti-matter.

Posted by: CapsFan75 | July 3, 2009 8:02 PM

++++++++++++++

LOL!!! Absolutely! It's a good thing they weren't drafted to the same team - total destruction.

Posted by: pstenigma | July 3, 2009 9:26 PM | Report abuse

My opinion: Brooks Laich, at this stage of his career, is not a 2nd line center on a Stanley Cup winner. HOWEVER, you can easily win the Cup with Laich as 3rd line ES winger, 2nd line PP winger and 1st line PP winger.

I have no problem with the Caps playing Nylander as 2nd line center to start the season. The team just got like 108 pts with very little production from Nylander and Federov, the supposed #2 & 3 centers.

Ovie-Backstrom-Knuble is as good a #1 line as anyone can dress. Flash-Nylander-Semin and then Laich-Steckel-Clark (with players switched by BB every other period) are fine for #2 and 3. The chances are very good that Flash plays up to his early 08 performance and that Nylander maybe rebounds somewhat. Either way, Nylander at #2 center doesn't stop the Caps from doing what we all know they should do - win the SE going away, again w/108 pts.

#4 line - Fehr/Gordon/Bourque - provides energy.

Players who outperform (Fehr?) move up; players who don't move down.

If Nylander doesn't work out, look for a deadline deal for the guy BB really wants.

I see Ersk in the regular rotation with Green, Poti, Pots, Alzner and one/or/other between Schultz and Jurcina, probably Jurcina stays. Sloan is extremely capable as a #7 d-man. Carlson comes up for injury and then full-time the following year when Pots is gone.

I think they trade Mo and Schultz. Both players are worth late #1s or a decent prospect, a guy maybe a year away.

Posted by: tominfl1 | July 3, 2009 10:06 PM | Report abuse

The Caps got 108 pts last year with:

Lousy defense, if you believe a lot of posters; lousy goaltending; and lousy production at center, save Backstrom and Steckel (relative to 4th line value).

Somebody must've done something right. The answer - a lot of the low-paid guys overperformed vis-a-vis their contract (Backstrom, Flash, Fehr, Steckel) and the performance of the Hershey guys can't be underestimated.

I believe this year the Caps will be a more coordinated style as the players mature. Instead of run-n-gun we will see more like Detroit, run-n-gun carefully.

The Caps last year attacked like a group of German panzers. It doesn't work when you meet Gen McAuliffe and the 101st Airborne. The Caps can be truly dominant and they can be better than Pitt. The team with the best player, all other things equal, has the best chance. We have the best player.

Posted by: tominfl1 | July 3, 2009 10:29 PM | Report abuse

Bruce is right on both counts.

Knuble fits the team well at right wing.

The Caps need to work hard to find a second line center because Brooks is not well-suited to play there full-time.

Remember it was his move from center to wing that revived Laich's career in the NHL and with Washington in the first place.

Why mess with something that's working?

Bruce was not going to come out and say it to put public pressure on McPhee, but he went ALMOST that far by saying we still have 'two months to figure this out'.

Posted by: leopard09 | July 3, 2009 10:47 PM | Report abuse

Ted's fan friendly? Is that before or after he attacked a fan at a game?

Ted Leonsis IS Mark Cuban, Jerry Jones and Dan Snyder, an egotistical person who is overly involved in the running of the on ice product of his team (see Jaromir Jagr). The only reason he got "brave" all of a sudden with respect to the message boards is because he only cares about the bottom line and now that he has a waiting list for tickets he is willing to alienate the longest tenured and most active fans, because even if they give up their tickets someone else will fill those seats. He sure didn't pull this stuff when 7,000 paying fans were showing up a night.

Maybe he should stop believing his own press...or better yet the DC sports media should actually start looking at what this man has accomplished...or failed to accomplish...during his tenure as an owner. 11 years 1 series win. Heck, Pollin stunk as an owner, but at least under his leadership the team actually made a Stanley Cup Final.

Posted by: freakinandpeakin | July 3, 2009 11:01 PM | Report abuse

Tarik, once again this is excellent coverage. Exellent writing and insights powerfully packed into 16 'graphs.

As for Abe Poulin, he was the owner during my time in D.C., and I believe the team now reflects the management style of Leonsis -- for the worst. It's all now about marketing and spin, so now the Caps may pack in more fans, but the on ice product isn't even as good.

Posted by: Jumpy66 | July 3, 2009 11:17 PM | Report abuse

My opinion: Brooks Laich, at this stage of his career, is not a 2nd line center on a Stanley Cup winner. HOWEVER, you can easily win the Cup with Laich as 3rd line ES winger, 2nd line PP winger and 1st line PP winger.

I have no problem with the Caps playing Nylander as 2nd line center to start the season. The team just got like 108 pts with very little production from Nylander and Federov, the supposed #2 & 3 centers.

Ovie-Backstrom-Knuble is as good a #1 line as anyone can dress. Flash-Nylander-Semin and then Laich-Steckel-Clark (with players switched by BB every other period) are fine for #2 and 3. The chances are very good that Flash plays up to his early 08 performance and that Nylander maybe rebounds somewhat. Either way, Nylander at #2 center doesn't stop the Caps from doing what we all know they should do - win the SE going away, again w/108 pts.

#4 line - Fehr/Gordon/Bourque - provides energy.

Players who outperform (Fehr?) move up; players who don't move down.

If Nylander doesn't work out, look for a deadline deal for the guy BB really wants.

I see Ersk in the regular rotation with Green, Poti, Pots, Alzner and one/or/other between Schultz and Jurcina, probably Jurcina stays. Sloan is extremely capable as a #7 d-man. Carlson comes up for injury and then full-time the following year when Pots is gone.

I think they trade Mo and Schultz. Both players are worth late #1s or a decent prospect, a guy maybe a year away.

Posted by: tominfl1 | July 3, 2009 10:06 PM | Report abuse

How can you exclude Bradley? He always plays his heart out. And you'd have to keep the "lunch bucket set" intact.

Posted by: wis193 | July 4, 2009 12:40 AM | Report abuse

Ted is Dan Synder???? Pal, you ain't freakinandpeakin, you're smokinandtrippin...

Posted by: CAP-lanta | July 4, 2009 1:05 AM | Report abuse

CAPlanta, you obviously don't know the full story. About a week ago, most of us were just like you.

Posted by: Hatfield223 | July 4, 2009 1:29 AM | Report abuse

Ted has gone off the deep end. I have had nothing but compliments for the caps in the past 4 years but since midseason last year things have changed. For instance, midway through last season I wanted to upgrade my lower level season fix to full season tix. I was told by the caps that there were no more tix available unless I committed to 3 seats at roughly $100/seat and oh by the way we can't change your 2 seat package to a full season plan because we can only sell you 3 seats together. Needless to say I bought season tickets through the acela club. I still get calls from the caps organization where I am told that I am not supporting the caps because my money is "going to the wizards and the wnba". 12k versus 4k, I choose 4k and the team I support tells me that I do not support the team... It is clear to me that the caps organization does not care about it's fans anymore but the bottom line. Combine this with ted's meltdown/agenda against fans and I am now embarassed that I even bought my season tickets. Alienating your fans is never a good idea Ted. (sorry for any typos, this was posted from a crappy iPhone keyboard)

Posted by: Dcgf05 | July 4, 2009 1:30 AM | Report abuse

Sorry but above it should read $100/seat/game

Posted by: Dcgf05 | July 4, 2009 1:33 AM | Report abuse

Also lower level season tix should read lower level 11game package seats. I apologize.

Posted by: Dcgf05 | July 4, 2009 1:35 AM | Report abuse

Sign Robert Lang to a one year deal. He can center Semin and Clark. Laich can play with Fleischman and Fehr. Steckel can play with Beagle and Gordon/Bradley. Lang would be a great replacement for Federov.

Posted by: diner99 | July 4, 2009 2:08 AM | Report abuse

Dcgf05,

Sorry you had such experience. Which is complete opposite mine. We wanted to switch from the goal Caps defend twice in the lower level to the Goal Caps shoot twice. And our Sales rep called us in a week and it was a done deal. But this will also be our 4th season as season tix holders.

Obviously when there were only 5000 season tix holders they went 3 extra miles to make sure we were satisfied. But at this point they have 14000 season tix holders and a waiting list its understandable. Compared to Redskins sales reps and service its not even close.

Keep couple of things in mine.

They lost about 5 mil this year with a higher payroll. At some point they have to increase the bottom line so we can stay competitive on and off the ice. Caps tix are some of the cheapest in the league. So if all the season tix are sold and they only have premium seats left then thats what they will be offering. At some point they will have to start showing profit or this team will not stay near the CAP MAX and end up taking Nashville route in terms of CAP.

Posted by: lightshow | July 4, 2009 2:17 AM | Report abuse

wis193 wrote: How can you exclude Bradley? He always plays his heart out. And you'd have to keep the "lunch bucket set" intact.

I agree 100%! tominfl1 has a great analysis otherwise. (maybe Bradley just slipped his mind?)

Posted by: dccitizen1 | July 4, 2009 7:39 AM | Report abuse

Ted is great. Anyone who says otherwise doesn't know what they are talking about. If they're upset at Ted that their message board was shut down then they really need to get out of the house more often.

Posted by: Randy_Hawkins | July 4, 2009 7:40 AM | Report abuse

If fans are longing for the days of Tightwad Abe, then they have some misdirected anger.

Posted by: Randy_Hawkins | July 4, 2009 7:42 AM | Report abuse

I don't know when exactly Leonsis attacked a fan but some of the idiots need to be attacked, especially those who went "whoop, whoop" every time Larry Murphy, Kevin Hatcher and Sergei Gonchar touched the puck while playing FOR the Caps. I'm sure he was one of those morons.

Posted by: joek443 | July 4, 2009 8:53 AM | Report abuse

Abe Pollin was never a true hockey fan. His first love has always been basketball. The Caps were just there to fill in his arenas while the Bullets/Wizards were away.

But he deserves credit for building two arenas with his own money while many of his fellow owners with more financial resources than him routinely extort local goverments to pay for their buildings.

Posted by: joek443 | July 4, 2009 9:01 AM | Report abuse

Caps fans...smell the coffee. Caps have the best player? Of course you do...in the regular season. O-Roid-kin has yet to get out of the 2nd rd.
O-Roid can collect all the Harts and Art Ross's he wants. Penguins collect Conn Smythes and Cups.

Remind me how 'best' O-Roid was in Game 7 this year against PGH? Someone had two goals when both teams were 'all in'. It wasnt #8. Caps have another Mike Gartner in the Ugly Caveman. Gaudy stats, no substance and no cups.

Good to read Caps cant wait for the season to start. Neither can Pens fans so we can circle the two road dates when we come in and take over the Verizon Ctr.

Posted by: laker2313 | July 4, 2009 9:32 AM | Report abuse

Definition of a loser: someone who's team has won the cup a month ago and yet still feels the need to troll on other teams' message boards with juvenile comments about what players look like.

Posted by: dfe1 | July 4, 2009 9:43 AM | Report abuse

you know it's amazing, the pens fans travel well but why is their team always on the brink of a bankruptcy???

they had the best player I've ever seen in mario lemieux and they have now arguably two of the best 3 players in hockey. so unless they have superstars like them, their team can't survive??? how PATHETIC is that???

Posted by: joek443 | July 4, 2009 9:57 AM | Report abuse

laker2313:
*yawn*

Posted by: --Boo-- | July 4, 2009 10:19 AM | Report abuse

It's "difficult to replace Viktor"? I guess if you don't have a cardboard cutout of a hockey player handy it might be hard to replace him, otherwise just about any warm body that can skate will do.

Posted by: spacecadetkid | July 4, 2009 10:19 AM | Report abuse

Unbelievable:

1. Pens fans have nothing better to do then jump on this blog...geez...you guys won the SC!...enjoy it instead of fulfilling the stereotype which are doing o' so well.

2. Can anyone who is slamming Ted about his conduct with fans recently, PLEASE provide some detailed info. Others here have asked for this but I have yet to see anything (maybe I missed it). Anyways...IMO Ted is the best owner in sports...PERIOD.

Posted by: ralCapsFan | July 4, 2009 10:28 AM | Report abuse

How does Pitt survive? Their fans have all migrated here for jobs. But, every so often, they go back home and visit their parents and other relatives (and while they're there, they'll catch Steelers and Penguins games).

Posted by: CapsFan75 | July 4, 2009 10:31 AM | Report abuse

@ralCapsFan

I agree with you. When has Ted been slamming fan behavior? He did post a link to comments on the board (which is no longer accessible).

In the whole controversy on the shutdown of the boards, preceeded by the shutdown of the "Anything But Hockey" section, I would have thought that most of the controversial stuff (and criticism) would be said in the "Talk About Caps Hockey" section. I figure the ABH is more the place for innocuous, non hockey related stuff.

Posted by: CapsFan75 | July 4, 2009 10:37 AM | Report abuse

@CapsFan75

Yeah...I don't get it. My guess is that a couple people got their feathers ruffled and are now bitter about it. Honestly...I have never visited the ABH site (shame on me...bad fan).


Posted by: ralCapsFan | July 4, 2009 10:42 AM | Report abuse

The ABH side was nothing more than a bunch of self-absorbed people talking about the most idiotic stuff and they thought they were the cool people. The people there thought that they were the most important Caps fans in the world because Ted invited them to dinner once or twice. They feel a sense of entitlement. Ted doesn't owe you anything.

Thank God for Tarik, TWT, Japers, HF Boards... Plenty of places to get Caps information without the drama. The Caps message boards were a good case study in the Internet making losers and shut-ins seem fulfilled, but it's time to move on.

Posted by: Randy_Hawkins | July 4, 2009 10:52 AM | Report abuse

My guess is that Ted kept it real, and the fan is mad now. Since no one still wants to tell us what happened. A lot of us do not do this whole facebook/myspace/twitter thing.

The irony....have an inactive owner, and people complain about being out of touch with fans. Have an active owner, and people complain about him being too direct with fans.

Jack Johnson to Pitts rumor is not good...for any team in the East. Don't know how they would go about affording him though.

Posted by: richmondphil | July 4, 2009 10:57 AM | Report abuse

I agree with whoever it was that cried BS on the whole Leonsis thing. I do not even know the details of whatever happened (because no one is providing it), but I think Leonsis has been very committed to both the fan base and improving the on ice product over the years.

I remember the days when he offered things like personally taking fans out to dinner when they purchased a ticket plan, and such. I mean, he has always been very committed to being there for fans new and old. As the on ice product has gotten better (in his tenure), the fan base has been getting larger. I am still impressed with all the reports from fans that to this day, most emails do not go unanswered, and many concerns do get addressed (whether in a personal or a collective manner).

I appreciate an owner of a professional sports franchise who remains very fan-accessible. He has always showed passion for both his fans and his "fandom" of the Caps (something which seemed sorely lacking under the Polin era). As a fan, he really makes you feel like you are truly part of something great....he wants what we all want.

I think some fans should really chill out and give the man a break. He has been nothing but great for this franchise. Its really fun going to games that are packed with fans.

Go Caps!

Posted by: The_Stanley_Caps | July 4, 2009 10:59 AM | Report abuse

ralCapsFan:

If you want some info on what's going on with the supposed Ted stuff, read some of the comments on Japers in regards to the message boards. SOmeone sent an E-mail to Ted and he responded (very politely, mind you) explaining what he saw. He seemed out of the loop when it came to the message boards turning to crap. Ted pulled the plug on the boards himself until the moderator comes back from vacation. I really don't think they're going to come back. Why should they? If people can't behave like civilized people, then it's time to pull the plug.

Of course people are turning their anger towards Ted but it was Ted that saved us from those people. Bravo, Ted. Bravo.

Posted by: Randy_Hawkins | July 4, 2009 10:59 AM | Report abuse

Caps fans...smell the coffee. Caps have the best player? Of course you do...in the regular season. O-Roid-kin has yet to get out of the 2nd rd.
O-Roid can collect all the Harts and Art Ross's he wants. Penguins collect Conn Smythes and Cups.

Remind me how 'best' O-Roid was in Game 7 this year against PGH? Someone had two goals when both teams were 'all in'. It wasnt #8. Caps have another Mike Gartner in the Ugly Caveman. Gaudy stats, no substance and no cups.

Good to read Caps cant wait for the season to start. Neither can Pens fans so we can circle the two road dates when we come in and take over the Verizon Ctr.

Posted by: laker2313 | July 4, 2009 9:32 AM |

lol.

Ovie had 14 pts in the Pens series. Only 7 other hockey players can say they paced 2 pts/game in one series.

If you want to rip our team apart, you should start with Nylander and Theodore/Varlamov's game 7 flop. Or start with Schultz. Or start with Green playing like crap.

Start with anything but try to attack Ovie, who paced better in the series than anyone else.

Posted by: richmondphil | July 4, 2009 11:01 AM | Report abuse

@Randy Hawkins

Thanks for the background on the ABH...had no clue really.

Maybe we can all get back to talking hockey

Posted by: ralCapsFan | July 4, 2009 11:05 AM | Report abuse

If fans are longing for the days of Tightwad Abe, then they have some misdirected anger.

Posted by: Randy_Hawkins | July 4, 2009 7:42 AM

TIGHTWAD ABE? The man who built two arenas with his own money, rehabilitated a slum area of Washington D.C., made this city a sports town by bringing hockey, both men and women professional basketball, and that is not including the many projects he has started and supported to help people in need? Remember that before Arenas got hurt he matched his score with a $1000 per point to go to a district school?
Yes, he is a tightwad, that is, if one think as a moron. Ted and the other team owners couldn't carry Abe's shoes when it come to philanthropies.
If you are talking about tightwad strictly on the sense of not expending money on his players, then obviously, you don't understand the hierarchy on sports management. Every owner depend on a select group of people to run the team; they have the authority to deal and wheel within the parameters set by the league, the owners trust and depend on these people to make the correct decisions for the betterment of the franchise, they are the ones who run and manage the teams with an occasional decision made in conjunction with the owners - such as "Tightwad Abe" overspending on Arenas and Howard, on what some consider was bad advice.

My apologies for rambling on, but I am disgusted with the treatment that Abe receives from some of the fans. I am thankful for all the things he has done for this city.

Posted by: opita1 | July 4, 2009 11:10 AM | Report abuse

I am a fan of Polin and Leonsis.

Carry on.

Posted by: richmondphil | July 4, 2009 11:13 AM | Report abuse

Few thoughts.

Bravo for Leonsis for shutting down the Caps message boards. They were inhabited by a few nitwits with no life, who loved to abuse newbies and fight with each other, mostly about non-hockey topics. The moderator was totally incompent.Good intent gone bad. Their existence was hurting the Caps more than helping them.

Absent considerable strengthening of the center position. The Caps take a step back next season.

Abe Pollin is scum who went out of his way to screw the Caps at every turn (vis a vis the Bullets) and has done so since Leonsis bought the Caps also.

Posted by: dcsportsdude | July 4, 2009 11:30 AM | Report abuse

I like tominfl1's assessment of the lines for next year, although I might put Laich on the second line if I am looking for net presence on the second line. It's my hope that Knuble's example will get Laich to go to the butcher more consistently.

Also, Fehr may not start the season given injury issues. So, I've got to keep LBS together for now, and list the final line as Bourque-Gordon-Clark.

Defense: Mo's gone, guys. Not a snowball's chance in a blast furnace GMGM pays him a dime over his QO with Alzner and Carlson waiting in the wings, not when if you extrapolate Tyler Sloan's stats to a full season of games, they look almost identical to ShaMo's and not when Sloan was solid in the playoffs for a third of the cap hit. (This is not suggesting that Sloan replace him so much as suggesting that ShaMo was equivalent to Sloan for 3x the cap hit.)

Schultz I think they keep for another year to see if he continues to develop. Who our last defenseman is depends entirely on training camp - a lot of folks are penciling Alzner in but I think not so fast. Carlson could jump Alzner, and depending on cap room and how they perform in camp, it's not impossible that Tyler Sloan could as well. Nothing's decided, everyone will have to fight for their spot. True that Alzner is the top runner right now, but I don't think it's a foregone conclusion.

Posted by: kittypawz | July 4, 2009 11:39 AM | Report abuse

opita1: you basically say it all about Pollin as a sports owner when all you can say about him is that he contributes money. So maybe he'll win the Mother Theresa award. I couldn't care less. What I care about is that he has one of the worst records ever as a pro sports owner and he screwed the Caps royally.

Posted by: dcsportsdude | July 4, 2009 11:43 AM | Report abuse

@kittypawz

"Also, Fehr may not start the season given injury issues."

++++++++

I'd forgotten about his shoulder surgeries. I'd rather he not be in the lineup at the start of the season. He'd better get as much healing time as possible and not come back too soon.

Posted by: pstenigma | July 4, 2009 11:45 AM | Report abuse

Regarding center ... remember that what we think we need in the offseason is not always what our needs end up being in the long run. When Nylander was signed, he was signed as a #1 center and was expected to hold that down. Nobody expected Backstrom to be able to step in as fast or as well as he did at just 20, nor did they expect the coaching change that made Nylander an ill-fitting part.

Last year, the consensus was that we needed help in goal. Answer: Theodore, since Huet got what he asked for and then walked to Chicago. (For my lights, we dodged a bullet there, but.) Who steps in when Theodore fails? First Johnny and then Varlamov. Nobody expected Varly to be quite that good.

So, now we have two albatross contracts on our cap, both coming from moves that we thought we desperately needed to make when it turned out that we had what we needed up and coming.

Now, we think we need help at 2C. Maybe, just maybe, we should sit back and see if someone will step up into that hole before we get ourselves bogged down into another albatross contract that we can't afford. We have enough to get us to the playoffs. Leave it for now, and that leaves us some flexibility to move at the deadline when we know what our real needs are.

Posted by: kittypawz | July 4, 2009 11:47 AM | Report abuse

@pstenigma: +1,000 on that. I want him to be fully healthy before jumping back in.

Posted by: kittypawz | July 4, 2009 11:49 AM | Report abuse

dcsportsdude,

have you ever heard of Donald Sterling?

LMAO, shows how little you truly know about sports.

Posted by: joek443 | July 4, 2009 12:08 PM | Report abuse

BTW why are we even talking about Abe Pollin today anyway? is he the flavor of the day? the man sold the Caps a decade ago.

was he the best owner in hockey? of course not, basketball is his first love.. everyone knows that. but to call him the worst owner or to say that he screwed the Caps is ridiculous..

Posted by: joek443 | July 4, 2009 12:13 PM | Report abuse

"O-roid-kin" haha. That's pitiful. Just like "Ovenchicken" or "Oblumpkin."

O-roid-kin sounds nothing like Ovechkin and he obviously isn't on steroids.

Ovenchicken sounds and looks kind of like Ovechkin but why would you call a person an oven chicken?

Oblumpkin looks and sounds nothing like Ovechkin and getting a blumpkin seems like a feat that could only be achieved by a very special person.

Caps haters fail yet again.

Posted by: wis193 | July 4, 2009 12:28 PM | Report abuse

Hey Laker, atleast out star player isnt gay!!!! HAHA

On Friday night Crosby babysitts Mario's Kids.

Crosby also customizes his jeans, lol who does that.

Crosby's point totals are inflated because of all the secondary assissts. Plus he's fragile, who sits out Game 7 because they have a minor injury? LOL.

You guys already lost Scuderi and Gil and havent made any moves.

Posted by: digster1013 | July 4, 2009 12:43 PM | Report abuse

Losing Gill actually helps them.

Posted by: richmondphil | July 4, 2009 12:54 PM | Report abuse

kittypawz made some very reasonable points at a previous post about the need not to rush and make big moves to acquire players we may be stuck with, before assessing how in-house talent and moves up from Hershey work.

Theo and Nyls are sticking out like sore thumbs--high-priced players who do not perform and do not fit--but perhaps the GMGM is wise not to act in panic.

One thing I am puzzled by is why Nyls is not moving heaven and earth to change teams. How could he possibly be happy when he is barely used, is not in an environment where he can play to his potential, and is a peripheral member of the team? I would be absolutely miserable and would prefer to be without a team than a marginalized player with an NHL salary. But maybe this is why I am not rich and famous. I still don't get Nylander's thinking. I wonder what he expects to get from enforcing the no trade clause.

Posted by: caraveli | July 4, 2009 1:26 PM | Report abuse

@caraveli

Totally agree. Have often thought that about Nyls. It must be SO awkard for him to be around the boys. It almost seems like BB treats him like a paraih. Would think he would want out. If he is around, I hope they find a way to get him involved.

Posted by: ralCapsFan | July 4, 2009 1:43 PM | Report abuse

I agree. Kittypaws made some great points. There's no point in panicking to fill our needs. That's how we got stuck with some bad contracts; eg. Nylander.

No matter what Theodore's weaknesses have been, he was only on a two year deal and it's done after this coming season anyhow. And there's a good chance that he'll get plenty of playing time even as a backup since Varlamov can't do every game.

Nylander was considered a logical choice at the time. But the price was too high. It was essentially show the fans that the Caps will spend money to get a free agent. He was fine for 1/2 a year, then got injured and didn't fit into Boudreau's system.

Posted by: CapsFan75 | July 4, 2009 3:09 PM | Report abuse

CapsFan75 et al,

In Russian, Mrs. Kozlov would be addressed as Mrs. KozlovA. Saying Mrs. Kozlov is like saying Mr. One adds an A to the end of one's sur name to address a Ms. or Mrs.

Ex. Sergei Fedorov's wife/mother/sister is Mrs./Ms. Fedorova.

Ovie's mother is Mrs. Ovechkina.

Just a note but I would not like nor would it be proper to be addressed as Mr. BerniewolfefanA.

Happy 4th Caps Fans!!!

Posted by: BernieWolfeFan | July 4, 2009 5:52 PM | Report abuse

JoeK: you are clearly a newbie fan and don't know much about the history of the Caps. Pollin viewed the team as the black sheep of the family from day one and acted on those beliefs. Pollin, is, in fact, one of the worst sports owners in the history of pro sports judging by the records if his teams and the number of championships won relative to how long he's owned the team(s). It is a fact.

Posted by: dcsportsdude | July 4, 2009 5:53 PM | Report abuse

I thought the Cleveland Indians ownership group was the worst in history, etc...

Posted by: BernieWolfeFan | July 4, 2009 5:58 PM | Report abuse

My anger towards Ted has nothing to do with the message boards. I think it was silly that he shut down the ABH side, but it is his business and I don't really care.

Someone asked how is he comparable to Snyder. He is comparable to Snyder, Jerry Jones and Mark Cuban. An owner who is solely interested in people jocking him and seeing himself in the media and injecting himself into the running of the team (see Jagr signing. Name me one other NHL team where you actually see the owner giving interviews about the needs of the team?

Jerry Jones's Cowboys have not won a playoff game since the 1996 season. The Skins have won two playoff games during Snyder's tenure. The Mavericks were never able to put together a championship team under Cuban and the Caps have won one playoff round, against a horrible Rangers team, during he entire Leonsis era.

As for Leonsis attacking a fan:

In the first home game for Washington since trading away superstar forward Jaromir Jagr, Leonsis reportedly grabbed a 20-year-old season ticket-holder by the neck and threw him to the ground after absorbing his taunts throughout the game.

As for anyone who wants to give him a pass for it. Ask yourself this, would Crosby get a pass if he did that?

Leonsis is a tool and a horrible owner, don't buy into the cult of personality.

Posted by: freakinandpeakin | July 4, 2009 6:08 PM | Report abuse

@dcsportsdude

I will never defend Abe Pollin, because he was/is a horrible owner. But he made one Stanley Cup Final. Won the NBA Championship and lost in another.

How many playoff series has Leonsis Caps won in his 11 years? The Mystics? Before you start jocking him look at his track record...it is of a loser.

Posted by: freakinandpeakin | July 4, 2009 6:10 PM | Report abuse

To me it's just surreal that Ted took time out of his holiday weekend to threaten an offensive message board poster not only with revocation of season tickets, but also to ban him from Kettler AND to contact his employer about offensive posts AND (noting the person's alma mater on his profile) threatening to tell the president of the University, whom Ted apparently knows personally.

I hope everyone involved just cools out. I much prefer to think of Ted as the jolly, friendly, passionate owner...

Posted by: Hatfield223 | July 4, 2009 6:27 PM | Report abuse

Hatfield: some of the tools on that message board DESERVE all that for the way they conduct themselves. Don't know the specifics of what you claim, but I DO know that some of the long time posters acted like they owned the board and regularly attacked Leonsis and McPhee personally. I say Bravo for Ted.
As for comparing him to Pollin, as freakin did, is just silly. Leonsis has owned the team for ten years. Pollin owned has owned the Wiz/Bullets for 46, not to mention all the years that he owned the Caps. Pollin has a miserable record. As for Leonsis, we'll talk in 36 years.

Posted by: dcsportsdude | July 4, 2009 6:33 PM | Report abuse

One comment to those nitwit "fans" who are p.o.ed because the message board is gone: It is all your fault that the board is history because you acted like you owned it instead of recognizing that you were the Caps GUEST on that board and conducted yourself according. Let's see you act on your silly anger and give up your tickets. There are plenty of people who would take them and appreciate it. Instead of having the lousy attitude you clowns do.

Posted by: dcsportsdude | July 4, 2009 6:51 PM | Report abuse

Abe would never spend the money on the team. Ted has shown that he will spend money to get players into Washington. It is night and day difference between the two owners. Ted is cares about hockey, Abe did not,although he grew to like hockey after a few years. Long time Caps fans love Ted.

Posted by: Capsfannmiss | July 4, 2009 6:51 PM | Report abuse

Personally, I don't believe Pollin ever liked hockey. It was strictly that he needed another tenant in his building. All bottom line.

Posted by: dcsportsdude | July 4, 2009 7:01 PM | Report abuse

@BernieWolfeFan

Don't worry, I know that Mrs. Kozlov would actually have the surname Kozlova but was going with the American convention for purposes of this board. Or should I call her Madame Kozlova?

Of course, in reality, the formal way to address Russians is first name and patronymic. Feds is Sergei Victorovich. Ovi is Alexander Mikhailovich. Semin is Alexander Valerievich. (Don't know the first name and patronymic of VK's wife.)

Posted by: CapsFan75 | July 4, 2009 7:39 PM | Report abuse

Dcgf05:

Sorry about your experience but mine was the exact opposite as well. I started before the season with a 6-game plan which I upgraded to an 11-game plan right before the season started. At the end of the season when fans with mini-game plans had to upgrade to full season ticket holders or lose their seats for next year and not be guranteed playoff tickets, I upgraded my ticket (1 seat) to become a full season ticket holder. Originally I missed the deadline to upgrade my seat and they had already sold my seat to another fan but when I inquired about keeping my seat the VP of ticket sales contacted the fan and asked the person if they would mind changing their seat so I could keep my same seat location which they didn't and I am forever grateful to him, as I have gotten to know the long-time Caps fans around me and would have hated to leave them!!

Posted by: theresa21 | July 4, 2009 8:22 PM | Report abuse

dcsportsdude

Don't be silly. There were a few troublemakers, true, but I think it's wrong to assign the blame to the well-behaved majority.

"Caps' guests"? Gimme a break. Not only does almost every NHL team have its own message board (the majority being better organized and moderated than the Caps') but this particular one is funded by a sponsor and contributes the majority of the the hits Ted needs to claim his "best NHL web site" year after year.

And do I need to mention that most of the regulars there are some of the Capitals' most loyal fans, STHs, etc.??

Posted by: Hatfield223 | July 4, 2009 8:23 PM | Report abuse

I think the Trashers now have a better defence than the Caps. McPhee had better do something aboot the defence, eh.

Posted by: alanb1 | July 4, 2009 8:33 PM | Report abuse

Nobody mentions Acoin who is a BB favorite He's a great AHLer who has shown some skill in the NHL. Maybe he's a late bloomer and ready to move up. You could also have a second line center by committee with Brooks, Nylander and Acoin. Might even work in the playoffs.

They've also drafted 2 centers with first picks in the last two drafts. Maybe one is ready to move up.

Posted by: dogit | July 4, 2009 10:44 PM | Report abuse

wis193 wrote: How can you exclude Bradley? He always plays his heart out. And you'd have to keep the "lunch bucket set" intact.

I agree 100%! tominfl1 has a great analysis otherwise. (maybe Bradley just slipped his mind?)


Posted by: dccitizen1 | July 4, 2009 7:39 AM

YES - I absolutely, positively forgot Bradley. He is definitely the other forward on the 4th line, Bourque and Aucoin, for now, being the 13th and 14th forwards. I expect Bourque to get an NHL contract out of the arbitration/RFA process, and Aucoin has an NHL deal for next year, so those two round out the roster, barring trade and injury.

Posted by: tominfl1 | July 4, 2009 11:19 PM | Report abuse

The addition of Knuble isn't going to shore up the porous defense, and the goaltending situation may very well be a disaster if Varlamov turns out to be anything less than a stud.

As a Flyer, Knuble often displayed the 'impressive' ability to kill power plays by taking dumb penalties in front of the net. By this time next year, Caps' fans are going to be cursing him and that cap hit they can;t get rid of.

Posted by: micron26 | July 4, 2009 11:41 PM | Report abuse

They've also drafted 2 centers with first picks in the last two drafts. Maybe one is ready to move up.

Posted by: dogit | July 4, 2009 10:44 PM |

Gustafson nor Johansson are ready, but Aucoin should be given a serious look.

Posted by: richmondphil | July 5, 2009 12:26 AM | Report abuse

I think the Trashers now have a better defence than the Caps. McPhee had better do something aboot the defence, eh.

Posted by: alanb1 | July 4, 2009 8:33 PM |

lol?

Thrashers swap out Exelby for Kubina and they have better defense?

Great insight.

Posted by: richmondphil | July 5, 2009 12:30 AM | Report abuse

Thanks, guys :) I feel like I'm a lone voice in a sea of cries for big moves saying "hey wait a minute?"

The defense needs work, but I am not convinced that throwing a different body at it will solve the problem that exists, and I'm even less convinced that we can afford to do so right now. I rather expect that ShaMo will be permitted to walk, simply because McPhee cannot afford to pay him what he wants under the cap and because his skill level is now replaceable out of Hershey. So that means that at least one Hershey D-man could make the big club this year. Let's see what Bob Woods does with the defense and how the new guy's presences affects it.

Someone mentioned that if Varlamov is anything less than a stud, we could be in trouble with goaltending. That's no more or less true of us than any other team, if you think about it. Very few teams have two goalies they can rely on unhesitatingly. Most backups are young and untested, and many aren't ready. I wouldn't sweat that.

Posted by: kittypawz | July 5, 2009 1:10 AM | Report abuse

@dogit: I like Aucoin, and he's certainly a possibility. The main knock on him is his FO %, and he seems to have problems in his own zone, which is bad in a center. So, they may not want to use him as a pivot.

Posted by: kittypawz | July 5, 2009 1:14 AM | Report abuse

So I'm confused, wouldn't the new defense coach possibly help the way the defense is played? Also, why is it some season ticket holders believe they have exclusive rights to criticize the management of their team? Clearly, if they do have problems with the "product" on the ice, don't buy the tickets. Simple enough, I think? And like someone said before, you have a problem with Leonsis, don't buy the tickets. Someone else will clearly buy them up and guess what? You'll be SOL and no matter how much b*tching and complaining you do on a message board like this, it won't mean diddly squat.

Just look forward to the new season and hope for the best. None of this bullsh*t that is supposed to pass as "constructive criticism" about Leonsis, McPhee, or whoever else in the Capitals management you want to blame for something that ultimately you can resolve by either s*cking it up or not buying the tickets. Go watch it at home.

Posted by: LeftCoastCapsFan | July 5, 2009 1:20 AM | Report abuse

@ralCapsFan and caraveli: The reason that Nylander makes no effort to move, despite spending the time in the press box, is that hockey is no longer the first thing in his life, or at least that's my guess. My bet is that his family takes a higher priority than hockey, and that he stays in the press box because it is in his kids' best interest not to be yanked out of school and moved around. It makes sense from a parent's perspective, especially when you consider that he's got six kids, one of whom is still in diapers (I think) and is too young to go unsupervised. Mrs. Nylander needs him around, so leaving his family where they are for 6-8 months a year while he goes elsewhere isn't a good option either.

Posted by: kittypawz | July 5, 2009 1:21 AM | Report abuse

Just curious of others opinions on this (and don't know if it was noticed and posted elsewhere). ESPN's Pierre LeBrun mentions that a "Caps source" said that the Caps are not interested in Derek Morris. And while I understand we're at the ceiling of the salary cap and can't really afford him, not to mention a full defense corps, why wouldn't we be "interested?" Seems to me that Morris would be an upgrade over some of the lower guys (like a Shultz or Erskine). Thoughts?

Link
http://sports.espn.go.com/espn/blog/index?name=lebrun_pierre

Posted by: stuffedinvader | July 5, 2009 3:51 AM | Report abuse

Morris blows.

Posted by: richmondphil | July 5, 2009 3:52 AM | Report abuse

@stuffedinvader: You said the reason yourself: Salary cap. They're not interested because they plain and fancy cannot afford him. Also, GMGM is of the opinion that we're fairly deep at defense, which is true enough - consider that we dressed 14 different defensemen last season and got away with it, and that December, where we had the most Hershey guys on the blueline, we also posted our best 1-month record of the season.

Could we use an upgrade? Quite possibly from this vantage point, but think about how we got into the Nylander and Theodore mess - using free agency to fill perceived holes that ended up being filled better by up-and-comers. I think it would behoove us to wait and see whether our existing contracts can do the job, if someone else steps in and blossoms, before going out and signing our souls away to someone we may not need in a year.

Posted by: kittypawz | July 5, 2009 8:18 AM | Report abuse

@LeftCoastCapsFan: So I'm confused, wouldn't the new defense coach possibly help the way the defense is played?

I'm very much of this mind, actually. :) Let's see what we've got and leave ourselves some wiggle room to make trades at the deadline if that's what we have to do, and see if Woods can fix the defense.

Posted by: kittypawz | July 5, 2009 8:20 AM | Report abuse

Hatfield: Stop misrepresenting what I posted. I didn't blame the "well behaved majority". The problem isn't trolls either. It is with a relatively small group of idiots (supposedly Caps "fans") who have posted there for years, have thousands and thousands of posts and act like they own and run it. And you are a "guest" on any public message board that you post on. That's a given. I certainly don't blame Ted for trying to get control of his board back. There is one thing we can agree on and that is that the moderator is weak and ineffective. The Caps ought to keep it shut down.

Posted by: dcsportsdude | July 5, 2009 9:51 AM | Report abuse

Left & kitty-

hit the nail on the head. Considering everything that Bruce (and Bruce alone, no real big player changes) has done for the team's development, I don't think you can deny the power of having a great coach. I think Woods is going to be the difference we need. Looking forward to see what he does with our dmen (and to stuffed- why would we want to get rid of erskine ie out sexy lumberjack? I think he def proved himself to be an asset)

Left- I also agree re: Ted, tickets, being a fan. True fans wouldn't be so fickle.

Hope y'all had a good weekend! I was in philthy territory and I
proudly heckled some people :)

Posted by: mrszilla | July 5, 2009 11:36 AM | Report abuse

2 thoughts/points:

1) Regarding Morris, he stinks. Did you see him with the Rangers in the playoffs? Me neither because he did nothing except be the source for blew bayou.

2) Pollin. I have been a fan of the Caps for over 3 decades. I appreciate what he has done for DC's people, but not the Caps or their fans. He is the one that made us almost lose the Caps. If it weren't for the fans and the save the Caps drive, we would not even be on this board. Also, in terms of not caring about hockey. All you have to do is look at our ice surface to see who does not want to put money into the arena to fix it.

Posted by: CTCapsPhan | July 5, 2009 11:47 AM | Report abuse

1) Regarding Morris, he stinks. Did you see him with the Rangers in the playoffs? Me neither because he did nothing except be the source for blew bayou.

_________________________

Exactly. Cap issue aside, I don't want this guy on our team.

Posted by: richmondphil | July 5, 2009 12:08 PM | Report abuse

"Thrashers swap out Exelby for Kubina and they have better defense?

Great insight."

Criticize my insight and offer none of your own. Well done. You've convinced me.

Posted by: alanb1 | July 5, 2009 4:51 PM | Report abuse

And btw Morris doesn't stink any more than half of our defense.

Posted by: alanb1 | July 5, 2009 4:57 PM | Report abuse

alanb1,

Yeah, so if your opinion is true than let's go spend millions of dollars for a non-upgrade.

Posted by: CTCapsPhan | July 5, 2009 5:08 PM | Report abuse

At 37 I think were fooling ourselves to think Knuble will play first line, PP and PK. He will be out of gas. I think he takes shifts with the first line but gets spelled early and often. Obviously he will play a lot of special teams but something has to give cuz 37 is gettin up there. We saw that with Federov last year.

Posted by: congero | July 6, 2009 12:58 AM | Report abuse


We saw that with Federov last year.
Posted by: congero | July 6, 2009 12:58 AM

U mean like how he out skated the rags to a loose puck & scoring on the rags with about 2 minutes left in the 3rd pd in the 7th game to send us into the 2nd round?

Just because u are running out of breadth doesn't mean these PROS are too.

Posted by: Rocc00 | July 6, 2009 11:46 AM | Report abuse

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