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Bourque Sent Down

With Chris Clark set to return to the lineup at Florida on Thursday, the Caps sent Chris Bourque to Hershey after last night's 5-2 loss to the Lightning.

Bourque got three games under his belt in his first NHL stint, and he looked okay in the limited minutes he played. But after skating 11:58 in his debut against the Thrashers, his ice time declined to 5:33 in Ottawa and 7:27 against the Bolts. As he found out, it's tough to find ice time when your team is fighting for its life.

The Caps, losers of five of their past six, are off today. They'll return to the ice for practice at 11 a.m. on Monday.

In the meantime, here are a couple of quotes from the Tampa Bay game that didn't make my gamer.

From Kolzig: "We have to play 60 minutes of solid hockey and not just for one game, but consistently every night. Not one period, but all three periods. We're just not consistent right now."

From Hanlon: "It's a disappointing, disheartening loss is what it is. I'm a little angry right now, but tomorrow we'll find a way."

By Tarik El-Bashir  |  November 10, 2007; 11:56 PM ET
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Next: Monday Morning Update


"but tomorrow we'll find a way."

Find a way to what? Find a way to give more ice time to Brashear??

Hanlon, if you're angry right now, imagine what the Caps fans feel right now about you. Whatever you do, don't look at any message boards on the Caps.

Posted by: wanggo | November 11, 2007 12:25 AM | Report abuse

Can someone explain to me why Hanlon keeps putting Brashear out on the power play?????

Posted by: Huh??? | November 11, 2007 12:29 AM | Report abuse

Bring a prospect up, play him 5 to 7 minutes a game, send him back down. Skate around, don't shoot enough, take stupid penalties, lose an important game.

Long-time fans such myself will recognize these as familiar Caps traits. Are they disturbing? Sure!

But not nearly as disturbing as Hanlon's reaction to Tampa knocking the goal off its moorings TWICE, with no call. Once again, we saw the old deer-in-the-headlights look -- it's sure to be the same look that's in his eye when he is fired.

And if the Caps don't make the playoffs this year, GMGM will be next.


Posted by: Oneal | November 11, 2007 12:34 AM | Report abuse

i fell asleep in the 1st period, i guess i dident miss much.

Posted by: timbers | November 11, 2007 12:35 AM | Report abuse

I attend a lot of Hershey Bear games and have not been impressed with the team. The Caps are not going to find anybody to make an impact for the big club this year. The Bears are an average team with average players, compared to years past. The Caps are so desperate, that they call up players, and then stick them on the first line, it doesn't make any sense. Motzko was demoted to the fourth line, before Friday's game. And here is the guy that Hanlon had on the top line and on the powerplay. If this would be a hockey hot bed, Hanlon and Mcphee would be long gone. Hanlon is not head coach material, and I don't think Mcphee is gm material. Do Leach and Evason have an impact on this team at all? I really don't know much about them.

Posted by: Pete Peeters | November 11, 2007 12:50 AM | Report abuse

Vogel has the infamous "Come in off the ledge", blog post from earlier in the season. I wasn't out there as soon as some people, started to open the window to come back in after Ottawa, but after tonight, that window is well shut again.

Seriously its just frustrating, to see the caps try so little in the second half of the hockey game. They looked pathetic.

Posted by: ajded80 | November 11, 2007 12:51 AM | Report abuse

I think that most of us that were portraying our emotions with more of a level-head were waiting for tonight's game before directly questioning the regime. It's painfully obvious something needs to be done and I refuse to spend any more money on this team in their current configuration.

Posted by: keef | November 11, 2007 1:02 AM | Report abuse

Motzko, now Bourque. Hanlon is slowly but surely convincing me he's got some Cassidy tendencies. We saw it all before with Ciernek & Doig and others, and Hanlon is now trying the same crap.

I didn't watch much of tonights game but was Brashear seriously on the PP??? That's hilarious!

Ted says revenues and sales are up - Caps fans sit and shake their heads and wonder how its possible when the product on the ice has sucked so bad for the past ten years...or - since Leonsis took over.

Posted by: Homer | November 11, 2007 1:03 AM | Report abuse


What's up with Emmie? He wasn't listed as a healthy scratch against TB and he's not on IR....

Posted by: Tracy | November 11, 2007 1:14 AM | Report abuse


Brash has been on the PP frequently this season - typically on the second line of it.

Posted by: keef | November 11, 2007 1:21 AM | Report abuse

This entire fiasco has become hilarious. I've been begging for regime change for more than a year. And, as a result I had to endure every kind of slur, personal attack, and insult imaginable. According to the majority of you, I was some sort of a malcontented nut, who hadn't a clue regarding their beloved Caps. My, my, look how the pendulum has swung. The things I was belittled for daring to say, are now accepted as being irrefutable facts. Is that incredible, OR WHAT!? Times really have changed.
Even "Level - headed" patrons like Keef have finally seen the light. It seems as though this last farce of a game, served as a kind of epiphany for him. Amazing. Simply amazing. Anyway, I guess it's distinctly better late, than never.
I realized several decades ago that most people that watch sporting events, do just that. They watch. Then there're those of us who actually UNDERSTAND what they're looking at. There's truly a world of difference between the two.
But, don't get me wrong, now. I'm not "Hating." On the contrary. I'm siting here with this disgustingly smug, satisfied look on my face. Because, I TOLD YOU SO!!!
Now, I'm going to take you to the next level. It won't help one darn bit if Hanlon is removed, yet gmgm isn't. That would be a monumental mistake. They BOTH must be relieved of their duties simultaneously! While it's true that Hanlon isn't much of a coach, the exact same charge is abundantly obvious regarding George Mc Phee as well. He's the architect of this underachieving, non - competitive, uninspired collection of "Good guys," --- to use Vogel's over - used, assinine expression.
Both gmgm and Hanlon must pay the piper immediately. Today! Yesterday! Last week!!!! If not, the few remaining loyal customers Ted still has, will begin abandoning ship at a truly alarming rate. Which is something I did right after they signed Poti, Kolzig, and Nylander.

Posted by: Puckguru | November 11, 2007 1:57 AM | Report abuse

Puck you whine more then everyone combined on this blog.

Posted by: Anonymous | November 11, 2007 2:41 AM | Report abuse

What a pathetic performance. Hanlon's handcuffing his players with that defense first mentality. Ugly. They were playing like a team that's trying to avoid a loss instead of wanting to win desperately. More often than not (like 11 out of 16 often) when you're not playing to win you're going to lose.
This can't go on. If I'm GMGM and I have to watch another game like that I'm brining up Bruce Boudreau the very next morning.

Posted by: Scai | November 11, 2007 5:38 AM | Report abuse

Tar and feather Hanlon and GMGM and get them gone! And whose payroll is Brashear on? Sabateurs, Unlimited?

Posted by: fed up | November 11, 2007 6:39 AM | Report abuse

Hanlon- mad? wow!
And how does Borgue get brought up for miniscule minutes? Was it meant to draw fans attention away from the loosing streak?
And how does Brash get put in, in vital parts of the game (accompanied by the usual sinbin visit)?
One good pt. - I thought Backstrom had a good game at center,again, with 3 shots.

Posted by: Hattrick23 | November 11, 2007 7:29 AM | Report abuse

Puckguru - did you mean Kozlov (not Kolzig)? Regardless, I don't get it - how could you jump ship over those acquisitions? They are what the Caps needed! Were you hoping for the very best (and most expensive) FAs out there? You can't go from where we were to that! I am just happy that they spent some money this summer and picked up three solid players.

RE: Hanlon, I think a lot of people were being patient with him (through last season) because the team was young and building. But now we have the talent to really do something. That is why people are getting impatient - the potential is there to produce more, but it is not happening. If it does not happen soon, I can only assume that Ted will get impatient, too.

Speaking in very general terms, personally I don't know why coaches are ALWAYS slaughtered in situations like this - the GMs pick the talent, the coaches work with what they are given.

Posted by: Boo! | November 11, 2007 8:15 AM | Report abuse

Please hanlon must goooooooooooo

Posted by: erick | November 11, 2007 8:23 AM | Report abuse

I don't really think talent is the problem on the team. We have a lot of talent and potential talent, the problem is that the players are just going out there collecting a paycheck b/c everyone has convinced them that its ok to lose and no one expects more out of them. That's a motivation issues. Clean out the front office already. I sure am not renewing my season tickets next year if this keeps up.

Posted by: k | November 11, 2007 8:24 AM | Report abuse

It is absolutely true that McPhee needs to go, but it's also abundantly clear that Leonsis seems to love him. But Hanlon needs to go as well.

It's not McPhee that has put Motzko and Borque out on the first line, alongside Ovechkin. It's not McPhee that decided that Backstrom, a center by trade, should play the first dozen games at the wing. It's not McPhee that is putting Brashear on the ice during the power play. It isn't McPhee that has placed Ovechkin at the point on the power play - etc. etc.

There are many things McPhee has done wrong, but that shouldn't excuse the things Hanlon is doing wrong.

Posted by: Tarrant | November 11, 2007 8:25 AM | Report abuse


So Hugs is angry and called out his checking line in a quote that Carey had, yet, as Vogs pointed out, he didn't match up Mo and Juice, especially after Tampa stacked the first line - is he angry with himself as well? what was his thinking on that? It would be an interesting question for him to answer. Champions respond to losing with re-doubled determination and focus, building on what works, not blindly throwing combinations out there hoping something sticks.

Posted by: Anonymous | November 11, 2007 8:35 AM | Report abuse

I like Hanlon and am pretty patient with coaches, but ...

I'm starting to be in favor of a change too. It might be silly reasoning, but I'd like a coach who appears to be visibly irritated and upset more often, especially with the way things have gone of late for the Capitals.

Posted by: DSCF | November 11, 2007 8:38 AM | Report abuse

That's precisely what I just said. But, the more I think about it, can we say with absolute certainty that Mc Phee hasn't had a direct say in many of these seemingly bizarre happenings? Huh? I'm not so sure that we can. Not so sure at all.

Posted by: Puckguru | November 11, 2007 8:38 AM | Report abuse

nananananana, hey, hey, goodbye
nananananana, hey, hey, goodbye

I can't wait to sing that song for Hanlon and George McPhake. This team does not respond to Hanlon and McPhake is a terrible gm -- too little talent for the picks he has had. Other teams has rebuilt MUCH faster, Philly and Pittsburgh. Hanlon allows his players to lose without much disciplinary action -- the Caps have a culture of losing, low expectations. Time to clean house and start with a whole new management and coaching crew. Nuff said.

Posted by: Jim | November 11, 2007 8:41 AM | Report abuse

"And if the Caps don't make the playoffs this year, GMGM will be next."

I think we can safely remove the word 'if' from your sentence. The team can come out and play a brilliant game against a top-notch team like Ottawa but follows it up with a stinker like last night. The Caps are unable to "string" together more than one win! They're 7 points lower in the standings than last year. They're not going anywhere this year -- again. We may be looking at their getting the first, or at least no lower than second pick in the draft.

There's no doubt that Hanlon needs to go. I still think that his being a goalie (and a very mediocre one at that) affects his decisions, planning and line combos. He has a limited vision of what this team can do, and, unfortunately, doesn't seem able to motivate them to achieve even that.

I won't reiterate what was said above except to say that I also think McPhee needs to go. It's time for Ted to take a hard look at his organization, clean house, and bring in some folks that are more hockey-savvy. The Thrashers made changes after 6 games. After 2 games, Toronto papers were already saying "There's always next year." Unless Ted acts now, we'll be saying that all season long and will only get the minor reward of the Caps getting the first pick in the draft.

Posted by: Puckdawg69 | November 11, 2007 8:47 AM | Report abuse

I'm not willing to wait til the offseason for more change, GMGM and Hanlon need to go Monday morning before practice.

Bring in Pat Quinn for GM and Head Coach be done with it.

Posted by: WW | November 11, 2007 9:24 AM | Report abuse

Just to be a little positive here, I'm really liking Flash. I'd love to see his ice time around 16-20 minutes a game to see what he can do with a regular shift.

And for those that are criticizing bourque, he got like 5 shifts. It's very difficult to make any impact in 5 minutes of ice time. Flash started out the season getting that type of ice time and of course he wasn't going to produce, but as soon as he started getting a bit more of a regular shift he's started burrying some nice goals. Flash is third on the team in goals scored. Not too bad for a guy thats been a healthy scratch twice I think and only gets about 11 minutes a game.

Posted by: Rob | November 11, 2007 9:29 AM | Report abuse

I "Jumped ship" because it made no sense ( To me ) to spend that kind of money on players THEIR OWN TEAMS showed virtually no interest in signing. Shouldn't that have made you feel just a little bit apprehensive? It made no sense to me, to offer DOUBLE what the Islanders had offered Kozlov. Why would George do that? Because he's Russian, for christ's sake? Please, don't tell me that was the reason. Because, Ovechkin recommended him? How irresponsible would THAT have been? The fact is that Kozlov has been an UNDERACHIEVER HIS ENTIRE CAREER!! But, you call him a "Solid" player. Geeeezz. And, then you turn around and expect this underachiever to suddenly be the 2nd. coming of who? Clark Gilles? Please.
Same thing with Poti. This guy had NEVER done anything to distinguish himself, unless you call playing 25 min. per game {"Distinguished service.") That reeks of the "Cal Ripken Mentality." Here's a palooka who, incredibly made the Baseball Hall of Fame based solely on the fact that he went to work every day. NOT, because his performance was outstanding. Which it most definitely was not. But, because he showed up ready to play. Not to mention the fact that in Poti's case, his abundance of minutes was a result of the deplorable situation ( Talent wise )in the Isles' D ranks.
And, let's certainly not forget Nylander, a guy his former team ( Rangers ) thought so little of, that THEY DIDN'T EVEN OFFER HIM A CONTRACT!! Wow! Shouldn't that make you just a little bit suspicious? And, we won't even mention the fact that he's already seen his better days as a player. He's 35 years old, for christ's sake! Oh, I know. They wanted him so he could baby - sit Backstrom. Holy Jebeezis! This is a true moron making these MULTI - MILLION DOLLAR DECISIONS. Yes, I would have fired the idiot last July. No question.
But, Ted thinks so little of you Caps "suckers" that he constructed a whole philosophy around "Making the playoffs." Not, winning The Stanley Cup, but merely making the playoffs. Now, if that's not selling the fans cheap, then I don't know what is. MY PHILOSOPHY is, "Making the playoffs is a given. Winning the cup is my intended objective." However, once he convinced the fans that merely making the playoffs was a goal worth pursuing, then being pleased with the acquisition of mediocre talent became acceptable. Wow! You guys certainly have lofty aspirations.
So, YES! I was Hoping for the very best ( Annd most expensive ) FA's out there." Why shouldn't I have been? The money I've spent all these years, is just as valuable as that of Flyers and Rangers fans. Don't EVER sell yourself cheap. Why not sign Drury, Briere, etc? Just look at what Philadelphia did. "Money talks. And, bs walks." And, that's exactly what we got. Bull!
If Ted wasn't willing to spend the big bucks, I'd have rather he kept his money and gone with the kids. I'd rather George had drafted Sam Gagner than this guy Alzner. We need centers a heck - of - a lot more than additional Dmen who ( Obviously ) management had ZERO intention of even giving a chance of making the big club this year. What a waste of a pick ( From that perspective.) But, again gmgm sold everybody another bill of goods with some more of his, "Down the road, in the future" garbage.
So, yes sir. Those July mistakes were the last straw as far as Puckguru was concerned. I gave up on gmgm at that point. It's the same as throwing good money after bad. And, I've thrown at least $ 17,000 down the drain in the last 33 years. And, what have I gotton for it. GETTING SWEPT IN THE FINALS ONCE. TEN TEARS AGO! That even SOUNDS ludicrous.
So, Ted go get yourself a bona fide, tried and true, SUCCESSFUL General Manager and Head Coach. Don't you dare replace Hanlon with another minor league coach ( Boudreau ). THAT'S totally unacceptable to me. Don't even dream about it. Step up to the plate and behave like one who really, truly wants to win a Cup. Not, one who'll be satisfied merely making the freakin' playoff. PLEASE. Get some dignity! Get some resolve. Surround yourself with proven winners -------- and I'll be back. If not, ------------

Posted by: Puckguru | November 11, 2007 9:40 AM | Report abuse

Puckguru, don't let the door hit you on the way out!

Posted by: Anonymous | November 11, 2007 9:49 AM | Report abuse

Tarik ~ any word on how Ovie's left hand is doing after his short shift of playing goalie in last night's game?

Posted by: Wanda | November 11, 2007 9:58 AM | Report abuse

I've had it with the excuses, and the on-going used-car sales approach that Ted keeps feeding us. This is my last season as a full STH. Next year, it shouldn't be any problem getting tickets, if I can't find anything else to do. Continuing to justify spending my hard earned money for this team is just too difficult to do. Even if they fire Hanlon, it will take a new person time to get used to the team, and then we'll be asked to be patient and give that new coach time to get used to the time. It's a no-win for the Caps and a no-win for the fans who have stuck by Ted and his doings all along.

Posted by: kenhockey | November 11, 2007 10:20 AM | Report abuse

Wooo............looks like some people woke up on the wrong side of the cave this morning..............

Posted by: hockeyrules! | November 11, 2007 10:33 AM | Report abuse

"I don't know why coaches are ALWAYS slaughtered in situations like this - the GMs pick the talent, the coaches work with what they are given."

So you're saying the Caps don't have talent this season?

Posted by: keef | November 11, 2007 10:34 AM | Report abuse

Wow - Hugs is finally "a little angry?" I wonder what it would take to get him truly pissed off?

When Olie was interviewed for the post-game show last night, he did more than talk about needing to play a full 60 minutes and start winning at home. He said that you can't tell players to get motivated -- the motivation has to come from within, and that is not happening right now. I would dearly love to know which players he was talking about (it was clear that he had specific teammates in mind). Of course, I have my guesses...

Posted by: Jill | November 11, 2007 10:55 AM | Report abuse

I was willing to renew my season tickets this year only after the Capitals agreed that if, at any time, I thought the team was not living up to its potential, or was thoroughly disappointed with their performance, I could cancel them and they would refund the cost of any and all unused tickets.

I'm not giving up on the team yet, but at the minimum there needs to be more coming from ownership and the front office than "We're trying hard, it's not going our way. " Leonsis needs to say more than just "I fully support management and the rebuild is over." At some point there needs to be anger - from players, from coaches, from management. Not just weekly platitudes. I believe the talent is there. I don't know what exactly is wrong (although the defense is certainly an issue). What I do know is that the same people have been in charge of fixing in for a while and it isn't getting much better.

Posted by: Tarrant | November 11, 2007 10:57 AM | Report abuse

Forgot to say, regarding Brash on the PP - he has been out there for several games now. Presumably the purpose is for him to set up a screen in front of the opponent's goalie. In reality he is making an inept power play even worse -- especially when taking stupid penalties in the offensive zone.

Enough of the Brashear power play experiment. Between that and putting Hershey call-ups on the power play (Motzko, Borque, whoever is next) it would seem all too clear the organization is not trying to improve on the man advantage. This is why you sometimes hear "Decline the penalty!" shouted out in the arena at the start of Caps power plays. It's pathetic.

Posted by: Jill | November 11, 2007 10:59 AM | Report abuse

get rid of gmgm (lower case because there should be no more capitals for you!) first b/c if you get rid of hanlon 1st, gmgm might have a say in who the next coach would be.

can't see how you can blame Bourque for this loss.

defense 1st approach makes some sense since defense is such a problem for the capitals. however, as the devils have shown, it doesn't always sell tickets. that said, a defense 1st approach sells more tickets when it works and less tickets when the team scores no goals and gets blown out.

Posted by: jim | November 11, 2007 11:31 AM | Report abuse

I hate to say this but it doesn't look as though Hanlon or McPhee will get fired anytime soon. In fact it doesn't even seem to me that Ted thinks theres a problem. Have you seen his blog from yesterday? Read it and let me know what you think!
Hey Tarik any way you could get in there and interview Ted and let him know his fans aren't as happy as he is and see what he has to say about it? I'm starting to feel as angry as Puckguru...can we give back the tickets we bought?

Posted by: K | November 11, 2007 11:32 AM | Report abuse

Well, we now know what the problem is with the Washington Capitals. It's not that they don't have the talent and it's not that they are missing a couple of guys to injury, it's simply a matter of them being BIPOLAR!!! That's it, I said it, the Capitals are BIPOLAR! Maybe if they would take their medicine on a regular basis we would be on top of the standings...not in the bottom.

Anyway, moving on. I don't think this team needs to be off today, but we've all had our say on that in the past and it's gotten us no where so I'll leave it be.

I was in attendance at last nights game and for the first 40 minutes I firmly believed the Caps had a chance of winning. Then the third period opened up and that was that. However, I do have another complaint and it has nothing to do with the team, but it has everything to do with the Verizon Center. Don't get me wrong, I really like the new scoreboard but can't they do something with the seating? I understand in the 21st Century the goal is to make things smaller to accomodate more. Like your IPod for instance...they make those the size of your pinky fingers to hold 2 million songs. That's cool, but I have a problem with small seats in a large arena. I'll admit, I'm 6'2 250, but I still fit into my seat with a couple inches of room on each side of my arm rests. However, I don't want to pay $95 a seat like I did last night to seat in a seat 6 rows from the ice with my knee's in my chest and my "neighbor" literally sitting on my lap for the entire game. You would think that the more you pay per seat the more room you would get. Wrong! Anyway, I just had to put that out in the open and get it off my chest. Have a great Sunday everyone and let's hope that Redskin's stick it to Philly!

Posted by: Mitch | November 11, 2007 11:41 AM | Report abuse

I'm shocked anyone would ever say Cal Ripken Jr. wasn't an amazing ball player.

18 time all star, 2 time all-star mvp, rookie of the year, AL MVP twice, 2 gold gloves and 8 time silver slugger winner. 431 homers and nearly 3200 hits (14th all time in hits). Plus he won a world series.

Puckguru, you should be banned from ever speaking about sports for the rest of your life for those blasphemous, ludicrous comments.

Posted by: Rob | November 11, 2007 11:46 AM | Report abuse

As for the Caps, I've said this before, if you take players like Clark and Semin off any team in the league, that team is going to struggle.

Semin and Clark were the Caps 2 and 3 scorers last year. I may not be a huge GMGM/Hanlon fan, but no coach is going to win if you take away two of their three best players.

Posted by: Rob | November 11, 2007 11:51 AM | Report abuse

On top of that, everyone expected Fehr to be a top line player. You can't blame a GM for a guy having a mysterious back/hip ailment.

Fehr has been a big time scorer at every level and I, and a lot of people, expected him to have a big year for the Caps. Injuries happen, but to abandon a team because of injuries is so lame. Have fun watching the Wizards.

Posted by: Rob | November 11, 2007 11:55 AM | Report abuse

i was looking at the G,A, & +/- columns and see no goals/ assists for Laich, Pettinger, Gordon. however, Laich is even in the +/- column, & Gordon and Pettinger are -1. Poti & OV both gave up 2 points. they kept the lightning off the boards for the 1st period. Is Hanlon not putting matching lines the consistently throughout the game? is he losing the matchup at home?

Posted by: jim | November 11, 2007 12:03 PM | Report abuse

Can't see how anyone could be happy with the 2nd period last night. Caps were outshot 18-6 in the second.

Also, where were the replays last night? Not a single replay was shown. Was someone asleep at the control panel??

Posted by: Jill | November 11, 2007 12:19 PM | Report abuse

Rob, as most of us have can't use injuries as an excuse. Do I think the team takes a hit without Clark captaining them? Yeah, I do. But they haven't played with Semin really this year, so there's no impact to their ongoing gameplan, he's just written out of it.

Leaving one empty hole (I think it was proven that Poti doesn't make much of a difference on or off the ice) to fill which shouldn't impact the team as much as it has.

They have the talent to backfill those slots, the talent's just going to waste.

Posted by: keef | November 11, 2007 12:23 PM | Report abuse

"Also, where were the replays last night? Not a single replay was shown. Was someone asleep at the control panel??"

Oh. You didn't hear? They're not doing replays since they kept running them during play. :)

Posted by: keef | November 11, 2007 12:24 PM | Report abuse

Rob, Fehr's injury was known about since April. The fact that he didn't get any better over the next 2 months should have indicated to the team that this could be long term. Instead, they ignore that fact, and try out Flush as the RW on the top line. No surprise, it didn't work. But there was no back up plan, except to take Clark off the 3rd line and reinstall him on the top line. The GM is a joke, it's time for Ted to fire him. Then again, it's been time for him to fire the GM, he just won't.

Posted by: n..n | November 11, 2007 12:27 PM | Report abuse



Posted by: LIVINIT | November 11, 2007 1:18 PM | Report abuse

Apparently you already are - get your fingers off the panic (capslock) button.

Posted by: keef | November 11, 2007 1:49 PM | Report abuse

Flash is starting to put it together.
It's about friggin time.

Kolzig cannot be relied upon to keep us in games like he used to. He is getting pretty long in the tooth.

Kozlov has been disappointing due to his lack of consistancy. He's great when he is "on" but it is not frequently enough.

Nylander is great for puck possesion, but we need to get the thing to the net more frequently. I'd like to see him shoot more often.

Brashear needs to stay on the bench until we need someone to be "dealt with" for taking liberties with our skill players.

OV is playing his little rooskie heart out.
Defense, Offense, Goaltender???
That kid wants to win.

Hanlon probably needs to go just to shake up the organization. He's eveidently a great guy, the players like him. I'm sure he's not a bad coach...but the time has come.

Posted by: pmoravek | November 11, 2007 2:04 PM | Report abuse

Clark, Fehr, Semin are all injured. That was hopefully going to be at least 80 goals for the team this year.

In the pipeline, the Caps have 2 good goalies, Bouchard, Alzner, Godfrey and hopefully Perrault all turn out to be decent players. Plus you never know about guys like Osala or Pokoluk or McNeil.

I mean, lets just be honest, the Caps aren't done rebuilding. They have drafted a lot of players, but it takes time to develop them. On top of that they got a big time injury problem (maybe they should fire their trainer).

If the Caps were losing because of injuries to Gordon, Steckle and Pettinger, I would say Hanlon is the worst coach in the league, but the team is built around getting goals from Semin, Clark and Fehr, and I'd bet a lot of money that Scotty Bowman himself couldn't have pulled a record above .500.

Posted by: Rob | November 11, 2007 2:05 PM | Report abuse

How can the team be built around getting goals from Semin and Fehr when both of them haven't played this season!?!?

The best laid plans....

A good front office would right the ship with what they have (because they do have what they need) and not rely on what could have beens.

Posted by: keef | November 11, 2007 2:21 PM | Report abuse

Rob, my only comment about your "fire the trainer" remark is that he has no control over the injuries sustained by Clark and Semin. With Clark, I think the right approach has been taken by keeping him off the ice until his equilibrium straightens out. With Semin, there I agree that maybe the trainer is not doing the best he can in getting Semin healed. Then again, with the Capitals being so tight lipped about injuries there could be something else wrong with Semin then just an ankle injury and we'll never know about it. I'm not sure firing the trainer is the correct move, but I also think that an entire facelift is needed for this team from the GM down to the Coach and eventually the players that put the uniform on every night.

Posted by: Mitch | November 11, 2007 2:22 PM | Report abuse

...and I'm still reeling from the notion of days off and "optional" practices. If this team was winning games and were playing like a unit, then yeah...give them some time off.

But Hanlon - THEY'RE NOT!

Get 'em on the ice (for more than an hour at a time for that matter) and get them working on setups, net noise, blocking shots, and shooting.

Posted by: keef | November 11, 2007 2:37 PM | Report abuse

Hanlon won't get fired. GMGM is walking around as confident as if his team just won a bunch of Cups. Ted says we're idiots and this is a "mass hysteria"... Stop speding your money to watch this team play! We have the right players, but the wrong front office!

Posted by: Finn | November 11, 2007 3:28 PM | Report abuse

Once again Keef, you and I see things the same way.

Days off would be used as a reward. Other than that, the guys still need to be practice, going over film, things like that.
If nothing else just being together for team-building purposes.

Posted by: pmoravek | November 11, 2007 4:17 PM | Report abuse

When are injuries not going to be an excuse anymore? Take 80 goals out of the lineup... How many times has Semin or Clark hit 30 goals? Once, by my count. Who's to say neither of them would have regressed? Ovechkin did slightly from his first to second year. The injury excuse is tired. The only way it becomes an excuse is if the Caps skated at 17 men vs 20. Then you can use it. Until then, there are others that have to pick up the slack, you know, the ones inserted into the line up. But please, keep moving like a top, and spin round and round.

Posted by: n..n | November 11, 2007 4:29 PM | Report abuse

Puckguru - if you really jumped ship, then why are you still so passionate about this? If you really did not care anymore, then why the intensity? And, frankly, why bother to post if you have moved on? Regardless, have you ever considered anger management courses?

Keef - RE: coaches getting slaughtered, I was speaking in very general terms, not necessarily about the Caps at this point in time. I do think they have some great talent, and that is what is so frustrating. They have had some INCREDIBLE play (even, despite what Puckguru wrote, players like Kozlov - he had a great game against the Sens!). They just lack consistency. If they can get it together, they can be a great team. I don't know what the magic formula is, but I hope someone taps into it soon!!!

Posted by: Boo! | November 11, 2007 4:34 PM | Report abuse

Dear Mr. Rob,
I too am shocked. Shocked that a supposed adult could become so totally unglued by another's opinion. Obviously, while you were growing up ( And that's debatable )no one informed you of the right of other's to have their own opinions, as well as the right to express them. It's called "Freedom of Speech" I may not agree with everything someone says, but I at least received the necessary home training ( Something you obviously missed out on )required to respect their right to express it.
Having said that, I don't agree that a career .275 Average, 20 Hr's and 80 rbi's is worthy of much Hall of Fame consideration. Of course, there've been quite a few people voted in, in the last 10 years or so, that I don't feel are worthy. That's just me. I've never been a fan of so - so mediocrity. Funny, but that's exactly the same reason I'm not enamored with your boys G. Hanlon, gmgm, and Ted. Who belong in The Hall of Shame at this point. Don't you agree.(smile)

Posted by: Puckguru | November 11, 2007 4:34 PM | Report abuse

@ Boo,
I've been a "Passionate" Caps fan since their inception. And, also a consistently disappointed one as well. and, my "Moved on" comment was concerning the money I am no longer contributing to Ted's coffers. I thought I made that crystal clear. Did you "Get it" this time?

Posted by: Puckguru | November 11, 2007 4:42 PM | Report abuse

Some observations from last night's game watching from the third row. First, there is no energy from the caps which I don't understand being a Saturday night home game-how hard is that to get up for? Maybe if the coach could get fired up by a blatant net dislodge and throw some sticks and water bottles at the ref this team might wake up but Hugs is too passive and his team has no energy; second, the caps take too long to shoot the puck. Forwards have a split second to shoot and if they hesitate the opportunity is lost as a good goalie will adjust his angle every time. Whether driving around the flank or shooting from the slot the caps have to fire before the adjustment is made. Third, Ted needs to sit amongst his season ticket holders because the level of negativity towards the caps is palpable. Wake up Ted! Shake it up or move along.

Posted by: FireTed | November 11, 2007 4:44 PM | Report abuse

Yes, I agree with most posters, Hanlon and McPhee need to go. It's amazing too because Hartley is sitting at home right now, I would love to see him in DC.

But alas, not to happen. Hanlon and McPhee will stay until the Caps suck it up with the full line-up, right now they have an excuse missing Semin and Clark.

Posted by: Down Caps Fan | November 11, 2007 4:57 PM | Report abuse

98.53% of baseball hall of fame voters picked Cal in his first year up for the hall. Highest percentage for a positional player ever. I'm sure you know more about hall of fame worthiness than the 98.53% of professional baseball writers.

And for your comment on how your going to stop wasting time and money....who cares. You're still reading this boards to see if anyone addresses your absurd statements. You say $17,000 over 33 years, so whats that, like 2 games a year for a family of 4? Thats only about $515 a year, and they gave you 33 years of entertainment and countless hours in front of your TV watching them. Plus, I'd love to see some sort of receipt for that calculation...who knows if you've ever even been to a game in your life. So go on fair weather fan, as was written before, Puckguru, don't let the door hit you on the way out!

Posted by: Rob | November 11, 2007 5:35 PM | Report abuse

Leonsis must go. Here is a guy who made his name by taking AOL from nothing to something, making millions or more in the Internet stock market speculation frenzy. The product wasn't very good, but because people bought it, Ted thought it was great. Time has shown that people catch on, yet I'm not sure Ted has. It takes more than a hot market to make a team better. Is Ted blaming fans for AOL's demise?

Most companies put in lots of money up front, hoping the investment pays off in the future. Even with the summer aquisitions, we still had room under the salary Cap to fill all, not just some of the holes needed. A proven coach was available (now coaching for the Bruins who are winnning), and several young solid goaltenders were available. The Caps are still near the bottom in payroll and Leonis wants fans to buy tickets to support his business goals?

A rising tide may lift all boats in the Internet stock market, but if all boats rise in the NHL, the Caps are still in last place.

Posted by: 121K | November 11, 2007 6:20 PM | Report abuse

Puckguru, I have to ask what criteria you are using for the baseball hall of fame. Cal not worthy? Forget about being the iron man. What about the gold gloves, 3000 hits, 450+ home runs, nearly 1700 rbi's.........?

Posted by: Steve R | November 11, 2007 6:35 PM | Report abuse

RE: the salary cap, do you think they were saving room for contract renewals for Ovie, Semin and company? Speaking of, any news on Ovie's contract? Still the great unknown?!?

Posted by: Boo! | November 11, 2007 6:52 PM | Report abuse

Last nights performance was very disheartening. I have been patient a long time. We as fans all have expectations to see our team perform well and win! We have seen glimpses of brilliance by the Caps this season but its not happening often right now. At the beginning of this season, I thought we finally turned the page and we could fight for the division title and playoff berths. Where are we now? Back in the basement. The good thing is that many of the teams in the league have not separated themselves enough from each other. The silver lining, there is still time to right the ship and play 60 minutes of solid hockey and win games. The bad thing is the Caps aren't playing even 20 minutes of solid hockey. If one player has an "off night", there isn't anyone to step up and fill the void. What is even worse right now, is we can't win at home. We have won what, two games? Ted and the Caps marketing crew are trying to fill up the seats and the current team doesn't seem to even have the heart of the '05-'06 squad. Yes that year was a rebuilding year and we were supposed to be awful, but at least opposing teams hated to play us because they played 100%. Now we are starting to look like the '03-'04 team prior to shipping all the high priced talent. Will bringing back Clark and Semin put us back on top? That would be nice, but I don't think the Caps are two starters away from winning many games the way they are playing right now. I hope Hanlon brings out the cattleprod and gets this team hustling for 60+ minutes per game. Otherwise Ted will have to learn how to use the cattleprod and use it on Hanlon and GMGM.

Posted by: the highlander | November 11, 2007 8:26 PM | Report abuse

thank god for puckguru. all these years i've thought i understood hockey. who know i only watched it. he so right about these silly free agents they signed. now i'm convinced that the rangers really didn't want nylander (all those silly assists to jagr were becoming boring). all along i thought it was because they were up against the salary cap. silly me. and yes, we should have signed briere and why not gomez. surely we don't have any superstars who might be RFAs this year and will get max salaries. why worry about that when we can overpay for these guys. cap shmap.

and this cal ripken guy in the hall of fame? just a couple of league MVPs a rookie of the year, 3100+ hits, 400+ homers, couple gold gloves, redefined his position...yeah, what a hack. surprised he even made it in the major leagues.

i'm going to miss you now that you are giving up on the team. because that means you wont be watching the team or reading about them or posting on this message board. really going to miss your spot on commentary on the days after the team loses. buh bye now

Posted by: Cap Fan 1 | November 11, 2007 8:53 PM | Report abuse

What a disappointment. I was away all day (at the redskins game... yeah...) and was hoping to come back to the news that Hanlon was gone.

Posted by: mauree | November 11, 2007 8:55 PM | Report abuse

Highlander: "glimpses of brilliance" - I could not have said it better myself! So bittersweet. It would almost be easier to swallow if there had been no glimpses at all ...

Posted by: Boo! | November 11, 2007 8:56 PM | Report abuse

Cap Fan 1 - AMEN!!

Posted by: Boo! | November 11, 2007 8:58 PM | Report abuse

I don't understand why you guys are all so down on Puckguru. He has the right to his opinions, and you have the right to disagree. The whole nature of this board is for us to discuss the team and it's successes (too infrequent) and it's failures (FAR too in-frequent)

Besides...isn't it more fun to talk about how effed-up Hanlon is?

Posted by: pmoravek | November 11, 2007 9:25 PM | Report abuse

By the way Mauree...
You are not allowed to attend anymore Skins games.
Evidently you bring some of the Caps inconsistency to the Skins games and the team finds themselves inexpicably subjected to the same things.
Untimely injuries,
Inability to play an entire game,
and speculation about the future of the Coaching staff.


Posted by: pmoravek | November 11, 2007 9:32 PM | Report abuse

lol I won't attend anymore Skins games this year. They too need a coach change (I can hear the gasps of Gibbs fans) - but that's material for another forum :D

I'm sad there's not even a small "rumor" of Hanlon going away. I hope that doesn't mean that he'll stay next year too...

If they put a real coach during this season, we should all go welcome him at a game - that would be kinda cool, Tarik could show us on tv when he's interviewed

Posted by: mauree | November 11, 2007 9:47 PM | Report abuse

pmoravek - I have nothing against puckguru. You are right - he is entitled to his opinion (but he could try to express it without flaming others). I think Caps Fan 1 made some solid points, so I am supporting those, not necessarily dis'ing puckguru. But, having said that, he started it ... ;-)

Posted by: Boo! | November 11, 2007 9:48 PM | Report abuse

Let me just add one thing....It's fine for Puckguru to say whatever he wants, but to speak ill of one of the great athletes of all time (Ripken) is just not cool to me.

As for Cap Fan 1, he put it very clearly.
"Redefined his position". Ripken changed the way everyone looks at a shortstop. How many athletes ever do that?

Back to hockey, when healthy, I believe the Caps have a decent team. A team, and farm system, that was put together by McPhee. If the Caps fire Hanlon, I think GMGM should get a chance to hire a real coach and see things out. It's a team he put together, and I have no problems with putting a lineup like this on the ice:

OV - Backstrom - Flash
Semin - Nylander - Kozlov
Pettinger - Gordon - Clark

This is the team that we expected at the start of the season, and I think it really could be a good team if they are healthy.

Posted by: Rob | November 11, 2007 10:30 PM | Report abuse

Rob, you play the games with the players you have (injured and not injured), not with the players you wish you have (not injured). Besides, we had the same lineup in Ottawa and we totally outplayed them.

Posted by: wanggo | November 11, 2007 11:09 PM | Report abuse

It sounds like the temprature of the room is this...
Fire Hanlon
Don't dis Cal

Does that sound about right?

Posted by: pmoravek | November 11, 2007 11:13 PM | Report abuse

In the past I have also been very frustrated w/ GM and Hanlon. But what everyone is failing to see is that we have 3 key injuries and we are not a deep team despite what GM and others said before the season.
Without Semin & Clark we have one good line w/ Ovie and whoever, and one line that is always changing. Until we get Semin and Clark back we are going to have to play great games to beat anyone. The injuries came at a bad time, because everyone was so excited about the acquisitions, but Kozlov has been not so good most nights, and Nylander wasn't really expected to be a scoring machine and well he isn't.
If we didn't have the injuries and still couldn't win I would be on board w/ firing everyone, but really Hanlon hasn't had the full team very much yet so I say stick w/ the 10 year plan.

Posted by: Capfan1 | November 11, 2007 11:18 PM | Report abuse

Hey Wango,
What you say is true...
You gotta play who you have.
But it does make you wonder how we could beat Ottawa so soundly and look so bad against the 'Ning.
You gotta feel like there is some intangible element out there that we need to learn how to tap every game.
I don't know what it is either, but then again I am not being paid to coach an NHL team that thousands of people pay their hard earned money to watch.

Posted by: pmoravek | November 11, 2007 11:19 PM | Report abuse

I think we are deep-er than we were last year. But we are a damned long ways from being "deep"
It also looks like Hershey is tapped out.
Anybody we call up is going to be warm body and that's it.
There is some truth to some of the other quotes on the board though, if we don't get this thing going with the amount of talent we have know, nobody of consequence is going to want to play here.
Read into that what you will...

Posted by: pmoravek | November 11, 2007 11:27 PM | Report abuse

Wango, I agree you play with the players you have, but if the players that are injured are two of your best three players, you're going to be in a bit of a bind, no?

And if you want to bring up the Ottawa game, let's be honest, even a blind squirl can find a nut sometimes. And Ottawa started Emery, who is playing like a 3rd string goalie this year. Not exactly a good sign that they were taking the Caps 100% seriously.

Posted by: Rob | November 11, 2007 11:43 PM | Report abuse

We agree on many points regarding the inabilities of the Capitals front office and the Head coach. However I will disagree w/ you on the comparison of Cal Ripken and Tom Poti. The Key difference is Cal played, Poti is a marshmallow.
Rob, complaining about the trainer for not getting injured players back is like complaining about the mailman delivering your bills. You spent the money. Maybe it should be looked at this way. Poti (yes I said he's a marshmallow) was out with a groin injury, Semin is out w/ ankle injury, watching Nylander take his skates off during the Ottawa game on the bench, OV and many other players are falling all over the ice. What could be the cause? Who's sharpening the skates? ........ Hanlon's guy from the AHL, look it up. BTW, does anyone else notice that Hanlon and Norv Turner have the same facial expressions?
Also, those who criticize Kolzig for being long in the tooth don't recognize that he has been standing on his head giving this team chances. Almost like auditioning for other clubs, and he should. The goals in the 3rd during the Tampa game he never, nor would any goalie, had a chance. BTW, why sign Semin to a $9 mill Ticket and leave OV and Kolzig waiting. Prediction, (which I hope does not come true, but think it will) Kolzig and Ov are gone before next season. WAY TO GO gmgm, PIGEON!
FORBES magazine says it best!

In closing, From Hanlon: "It's a disappointing; disheartening loss is what it is. I'm a little angry right now, but tomorrow we'll find a way." Said to the press, obviously followed in the locker room by "DAY OFF BOYS!"

Posted by: someone else who knows | November 11, 2007 11:45 PM | Report abuse

Hey Someone else who knows,
I called Kolzig long in the tooth. Although he has stood on his head on occassion this season, I'm sure even you would say he is not doing it with the regularity that he did in say...'98???
I don't know what the agenda is with the equipment guy thing so I won't comment in that area.
However, you, me and Keef all agree on one thing. DAY OFF???
(I'm sure there are others that agree)

Posted by: pmoravek | November 12, 2007 12:08 AM | Report abuse

Just a thought, Cassidy was fired after posting something like 8-16 record his last season. We're pretty close at that now. I think if Ted is looking for some benchmark or timeline to fire Hanlon, that would be it. Or he can do the right thing and do it now.

Posted by: wanggo | November 12, 2007 1:28 AM | Report abuse

"As you know, you have to go to war with the Army you have, not the Army you want," said Rumsfeld = you play the games with the players you have (injured and not injured), not with the players you wish you have (not injured)?

gm's job to provide depth.

Posted by: jim | November 12, 2007 1:35 AM | Report abuse

sorry should be quotes after the equal sign. corrected below.

"As you know, you have to go to war with the Army you have, not the Army you want," said Rumsfeld = "you play the games with the players you have (injured and not injured), not with the players you wish you have (not injured)?"

gm's job to provide depth.

Posted by: jim | November 12, 2007 1:36 AM | Report abuse

If you Guru haters only realized how much joy Puckguru derives from reading your passionate disses, I'm sure you'd stop. I truly believe that half of what he says is intentionally calculated to tick you off. Just my opinion.

Posted by: A friend of Puckguru | November 12, 2007 1:43 AM | Report abuse

Just for the record, Ernie Banks redefined the shortstop position! NOT, Cal Ripkin. And, to whoever asked, players like Willie Mays, Henry Aaron, Pete Rose, Stan Musial, Jackie Robinson, Juan Marichal, Sandy Kofax, Rod Carew, Roberto Clemente, Maury Wills, Bob Gibson, Mike Schmidt, Frank Robinson, Mickey Mantle, Joe Dimaggio, Willie McCovey, Babe Ruth, Pie Traynor, Lou Gehrig, Duke Snider, Nolan Ryan, Barry Bonds, Josh Gibson, Satchel Paige, Cool Papa Bell, Bill Mazeroski, and Robin Yount are the calibre players I agree should be in the Hall. Guys like Ripken don't belong on the same field with these immortals.
Whoever suggested that Cal Ripken "Redefined" the shortstop position, really, truly, honest - to - god doesn't know a thing about baseball's history. Making a statement like that is proof positive of that fact. Do your homework, son, before you embarrass yourself any further.

Posted by: Puckguru | November 12, 2007 2:05 AM | Report abuse

nice cut and paste puck

Posted by: Anonymous | November 12, 2007 3:43 AM | Report abuse

Someone else...

I agree about the Ovie contract. However, I have to differ about Olie. As much as I've liked the guy over the years, it's time for him to go. They shouldn't be resigning him to anything. The Caps need to move on. Also, just of interest, in case you haven't seen it, I found this bit on Spector's site. Many people don't like his site, but he still posts some interesting items sometimes. This deals with Ovie's contract:

- The Washington Capitals are having trouble re-signing RFA forward Alexander Ovechkin to a new contract. It's believed the Caps offered him a five-year contract similar to that of Pittsburgh's Sidney Crosby ($8.7 million per season) but it's believe the Ovechkin camp is seeking between $9-$10 million per season.

Spector's Note: Does anyone honestly believe the Capitals won't re-sign Ovechkin? I'd suggested a couple of weeks ago on the Faceoff Hockey Show that rumors about his contract talks would appear the longer it took the Caps to re-sign him. There's been nothing about this in the Washington media, which doesn't give the Caps the same coverage as its other major league teams, but contentious negotiatons between the Capitals and its star player wouldn't be overlooked or ignored. Perhaps he is seeking as much as Garrioch suggests, as he clearly holds the bargaining power, but it's not a question of "if" the Caps re-sign him to what he's seeking, but "when".


Posted by: Puckdawg69 | November 12, 2007 6:06 AM | Report abuse

I have a pic of Hanlon after the net was moved by Tampa

Posted by: mauree | November 12, 2007 7:06 AM | Report abuse

Forgot to comment on this - anyone see Roenick's 500th on Saturday? What a joke :-P

Posted by: Raber | November 12, 2007 7:08 AM | Report abuse


Great shot! LOL!!!

Posted by: Puckdawg69 | November 12, 2007 7:19 AM | Report abuse

I LOVE IT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Posted by: Wanda | November 12, 2007 7:22 AM | Report abuse

Mauree, sometimes a picture IS worth a thousand words! Um......Mr. Puckguru, sir, that is your opening...........still there?

Posted by: curious | November 12, 2007 8:00 AM | Report abuse

Dale Hunter and Barry Melrose have been contacted several times regarding replacing Hanlon. As stated before, Quinn is considered a retread. Truth in the matter, he's also GM material and GMGM won't hire a guy that could replace him if Theodore shows him the door.

Posted by: Fly On the Wall | November 12, 2007 8:03 AM | Report abuse

I expected to see a headline about McPhail and Hanlon gone. Since they aren't, my money for seeing the Caps is. Hanlon as benchboss = boycott of the Caps games. I hope Ted is getting the message.

Posted by: Jim | November 12, 2007 8:10 AM | Report abuse

once again i am so fortunte to have the opportunity to learn at the feet of the master puckguru. after reading his post, its clear that cal doesn't belong in the hall and me, and the 99% of the people who's profession it is to write about baseball and voted him into the hall in his first year of eligibility, are dead wrong. barry bonds deserves to be in the hall, but cal does not. got it.

i really do need to do my homework so that i can be as learned at the guru. i just hope if ted is looking for a new gm, he looks no further than this message board...same goes for dan snyder, stan kasten, abe pollen and whoever runs dc united.

Posted by: Cap Fan 1 | November 12, 2007 8:51 AM | Report abuse

What gives me loss of hope is the team putting Brashear out there. I've said it a million times before.... there is no need for him on the 4th line and definetly no need for him on the power play. Anyone who still thinks the team needs to have Brashear sitting on the end of the bench to send a message to the other team..... is still living in the pre-lockout NHL

Posted by: Roddy | November 12, 2007 8:55 AM | Report abuse

Puckguru, I find it interesting that amongst your immortals is listed Barry "better body through chemistry" Bonds. Do you think Barry will have his picture taken in the hall next to the * baseball?

Posted by: Steve R | November 12, 2007 9:11 AM | Report abuse

I am still waiting for the news that Hanlon is no longer the Caps' coach. When will it come?

Posted by: Finn | November 12, 2007 9:16 AM | Report abuse

Okay, so you want to field a team with, what, an average age of 23-24 on the D, and EXPECT to make the playoffs, when our payroll is still one of the 3 lowest in the league? Let's face it, we're hopeful, but we should not expect to make the playoffs. Don't give me that crap about injuries not mattering, particularly Semin - would Detroit miss Zetterberg or Datysuk?
Is Hanlon to blame? Not entirely - and don't go comparing him absurdly to Cassidy - for God's sake, that is ridiculous. The situations weren't remotely comparable.

Posted by: Shaggy | November 12, 2007 9:33 AM | Report abuse

Roddy, couldn't agree more on Brashear. Him on the ice during a power play is giving up the advantage. Him on the ice with a 5 vs. 5 puts us at a disadvantage..

Posted by: Steve R | November 12, 2007 9:43 AM | Report abuse

I think Dale Hunter would be a great coach for the Caps. Kind of like Sutter - a no non-sense guy. He wouldn't let the players play great one game and play half a sleep the next. I'm sure he admires OV with his play - skating hard and hitting anything comes near him.
He definitely wouldn't put up with the pillow checks Schultz gives.
I remember a playoff game against NJ. Things weren't going the Caps way - no momentum & no penalty calls. Their goalie goes behind the net to play the puck and Dale runs him hard into the boards and all hell breaks lose. The rest of the game the Caps are flying all over the place trying to be the first one to the loose pucks.
If the Caps needed a goal, Hunter found a way to get it done. Perhaps he can invoke the same attitude into the present team.
He never won a cup but he always was determined and gave 100% all the time. He played "CONSISTENTLY" hard! You got your monies worth watching he and his teams play. I'm sure he would coach the team the same way.
Glen it's time to step aside, thank you and good-bye!

Posted by: Comcast Sux | November 12, 2007 9:48 AM | Report abuse


You ARE the weakest link! Bye-bye!

Posted by: Finn | November 12, 2007 9:56 AM | Report abuse

Finn, I think we're going to have to suffer for a lot longer before we see Hanlon get his walking papers

Posted by: Steve R | November 12, 2007 10:08 AM | Report abuse

I did not renew my ST as I promised last year. I do feel for those having to suffer "in person" at the booth. I have to endure it at home. I still care. I am just not a masochist to pay for the pain I have to endure. But I do still care. And like a fool, I hope that things will change for the better.

Posted by: Finn | November 12, 2007 10:21 AM | Report abuse


Leaving aside the "should Hanlon be fired" issue for a moment..

This is when we need you to ask McPhee and/or Hanlon, "Why would you play Bourque 5 to 7 minutes a night and then send him down? Why not give him a legitimate shot of earning more playing time? What did you see in those 5 to 7 minutes that caused you to think he is not ready for NHL play?"



Posted by: Oneal | November 12, 2007 10:47 AM | Report abuse

Gee...I must be lost online. I thought this blog was about Caps HOCKEY, not baseball. Can anyone please tell me where the hockey blog is?

All right, boys and girls. We all agree that gmgm and Hanlon need to go. If anyone needs further proof (besides what was said above in the posts) is Hanlon's quote from Tarik:

"From Hanlon: "It's a disappointing, disheartening loss is what it is. I'm a little angry right now, but tomorrow we'll find a way."

A LITTLE angry???? A LITTLE??? You should be fuming, ranting, chair throwing, in their face, royally pissed off!

And how the hell do you "find a way" tomorrow when they DON'T PRACTICE???

The personnel on the ice that this team has should provide a competitive team, perhaps even a winning team (in terms of getting into playoffs). GMGM stopped too early on the UFA boards. We have a bunch of dead wood on the bench (Schultz, Brashear, the AHL'ers that for some inexplicable reason get put on 1st line).

I understand why Brashear was put on PP. In fact, I even said it would be a good experiment that couldn't hurt anything. If it worked, great. If not, take him off. Well, it's not working.

Posted by: Greg S. | November 12, 2007 10:55 AM | Report abuse


Posted by: Mitch | November 12, 2007 10:56 AM | Report abuse

Does anyone else have a problem with the self proclaimed 'experts'? They even include it in their screen names (show a little humility!). 'Puckguru' and 'Someone else who knows' clearly must have more access to the team than the average fan. How do we know, as mere fans, how the team is being handled and who is pulling the trigger on what? Do we really think that we know how to fix this? If so, that is a pretty pompous attitude.
But let's take a look at what is fact:

The team skated harder for 60 minutes last year than they are this year.

At times they seem to be chasing the puck and by the time they get there the puck is gone again (kind of like raquetball).

They rarely crash the net. How many times have our players taken the net out like Tampa did the other night.

They seem very slow with only an occassional speed outburst.

Now what does this tell us?

Either they are not talented enough to get it done, are poorly coached and/or have bad attitudes (has Hanlon lost the room?) or are so focused on working the 'system' that they can't let loose.

Do I know the answer? No. All I know is that I am beginning to doubt the merits of taking a family of four to a game on Saturday night, as I did this past weekend. If they skate hard for the ENTIRE game and lose, I can deal with that. But not working hard, not hitting people, having no fire is not acceptable. These things are evident on the ice.

"The wind that blows hardest is self evident and therefore can be ignored"

Posted by: kenwood | November 12, 2007 10:57 AM | Report abuse

Cap Fan 1,
The last thing an intelligent person does is attempt to justify his position with some "Mythical" poll. Polls are merely the compilation of opinions. And, you know what they say about opinions. "They're like As----es, everybody has one."
A couple of years ago, some peoples' polls indicated the vast majority of a certain segment of the population ( Need I say WHICH segment? )believed that 911 was orchestrated by some guy hiding out in a cave, on the other side of the world. Fortunately, there're many less people so naive today.
Up until, and including today, most of these very same people find it convenient, and somehow satisfying to believe O.J. Simpson murdered his wife. THAT CERTAINLY DOESN'T MAKE IT TRUE!! It simply means that a significant # of people BELIEVE it's true. And, unless I've truly misread you, I'm more than certain YOU'RE one such person. But, that's fine. This is the good ole U.S.A. And, I'll defend your right to YOUR opinion ( Regardless of whether or not I agree with you ) to the death.
What's so ironic about most of you, is that while, I'm sure, you profess to "Loving" this country and what it stands for, your behavior most definitely contradicts that which you proclaim to believe in. Which is tolerance and respect for others Where I come from, we call that exactly what it is ------ HYPOCRISY!! But, that's nothing new in this country. People have been proclaiming to believe one thing, while doing the exact opposite for the last 400 years. I suppose bad habits don't die easily. In a couple of weeks people will again celebrate Thanksgiving. The celebrations origins are rooted in the thanks the first "Settlers" gave the so - called "Indians" for teaching them how to survive. Then, they murdered, diseased, raped, and destroyed their benefactor. so, you Mr. Whatsyourname, can take your polls and shove em. Because you're a misguided, confused, insecure little boy, masquerading as a man. "Happy holidays."

Posted by: Puckguru | November 12, 2007 10:58 AM | Report abuse


Is there a practice today? If so, what's going on there? Is Hanlon still the coach?

Posted by: Finn | November 12, 2007 10:59 AM | Report abuse

Puckguru - you forgot to take your pills.

Posted by: kenwood | November 12, 2007 11:03 AM | Report abuse

5 minutes for fighting to puckguru.

Posted by: Clarendon | November 12, 2007 11:03 AM | Report abuse

Oh, yeah...forgot.

Second period Nylan is taking the puck into the offensive zone on a 3-2 break, and Hanlon calls a LINE SHIFT??

Refs were god awful, and not a peep from Hanlon, either.

Posted by: Greg S. | November 12, 2007 11:05 AM | Report abuse

Puckguru - you forgot to take your pills.

Nah, he just forgot to put on the tin-foil hat today. The aliens got to his one brain cell.

Posted by: slappy | November 12, 2007 11:10 AM | Report abuse

5 minutes for fighting to puckguru.

More like a game misconduct and match penalty.

Posted by: Schultz for Calder | November 12, 2007 11:18 AM | Report abuse

Now that was a rant. I thing Puckguru has been watching Jack N: "You want me on that wall! You NEED me on that wall!"

Posted by: bobo | November 12, 2007 11:21 AM | Report abuse

 for(content in capitalsinsider ; hit refresh every 10 seconds)
   HURRAY =  search ("New Coach" || "Hanlon Fired" )
 if(HURRAY) then
   call mauree cellphone
   place_order Champagne
   place_order Caps Tickets
   if(supply = low)
   place_order Tums & Antacid


Posted by: mauree | November 12, 2007 11:27 AM | Report abuse

Puckguru forgot to mention the grassy knoll in Dallas & that NASA faked the moon landings

Posted by: bobo | November 12, 2007 11:28 AM | Report abuse

@ mauree


Posted by: Greg S. | November 12, 2007 11:30 AM | Report abuse

puckguru=biggest hypocrit EVER
and are you really suggesting OJ DIDNT kill his wife? you really are a crazy idiot with a severely distorted view of himself and the world.

Posted by: sheesh | November 12, 2007 11:52 AM | Report abuse

C'mon, let's face it: the Lightning were the 8th seed in last year's playoffs, the last team to qualify. Looking at the Cap's roster next to Tampa's, guys like Lecavalier (Rocket Richard trophy winner), Marty St Louis (Lester Pearson MVP award winner), and Brad Richards (Conn Smythe trophy winner), it's clear that we're not built like a playoff team if we don't compare favorably even to the 8th seed. We have a young team who has miles to go to rise to the level of a playoff team. With a young team, we need a more emotional coach, someone who can inspire or intimidate players to show up every night. And that ain't Hanlon.

Posted by: hockeytown | November 12, 2007 12:16 PM | Report abuse

yes, again i am humbled by the all knowing puckguru. the voters for the baseball hall of fame are truely mythical and not the actual, credentialed, experienced, carbon based life forms i had always thought they were. in fact, i'm not sure the hall of fame really exists as i haven't actually been there.

i too was fooled by believing that 911 was mastermined by someone in a cave far away. and it wasn't oj since he was out looking for the real killers. all this must have been due to my hatred of the USA. thanks guru for again setting me straight.

ps. to everyone else, how many more of these posts until puckguru has an anurism..if he hasn't already.

Posted by: Cap Fan 1 | November 12, 2007 12:20 PM | Report abuse

Wow puckguru, in addition to your offbase and incoherent sports ramblings, you're a 911 conspiracy nut too? That sounds about right for you....

Posted by: hockeytown | November 12, 2007 12:42 PM | Report abuse

i feel bad for his adult children

Posted by: embarrassing | November 12, 2007 2:54 PM | Report abuse

I've been following hockey since the early 60's,when Bobby Hull flipped a puck (I still have it),during a pre-game skate at MSG.I've watched the Caps suffer with the worst start in NHL history,suffered through the heart-wrenching losses to the Islanders in the 80's,and the blown 3-1 leads against the Pens,but I have NEVER known frustration and anger as I do now towards the incompetent owner,GM,and coach.Anyone who drafts Brian Sutherby and Boyd Gordon in the FIRST round,and ends up with "good checkers" doesn't know what first-rounders are for....SCORING!Anyone who knows hockey(cetainly not Hanlon),knows the HOME team has the last match-up,not the visitor.He is by far the WORST coach I've ever seen at line match-ups.That's why our record is SO BAD at home.

Posted by: roccky | November 12, 2007 4:26 PM | Report abuse

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