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Posted at 1:42 PM ET, 12/ 3/2010

First impressions of Scott Hannan

By Katie Carrera

One of the things Coach Bruce Boudreau said he noticed immediately about trade acquisition Scott Hannan when the veteran defenseman was on the ice in his first game with the Capitals Thursday night in Dallas is that he likes to talk. In addition to showing an ability to quickly pick up Washington's systems, Hannan directed traffic on the ice and made sure there was plenty of communication with his new teammates.

"One thing about Scott, and again it's first impressions, is he talks a lot. We don't have a lot of talkative guys back there," Coach Bruce Boudreau said. "John Erskine and Tom Poti are pretty quiet, and Jeff Schultz, between the three of them if you don't talk to them they're not going to talk to you. Scott's a guy that on the ice he's a director and a general and he did a lot of good things."

Said Hannan: "I like to communicate, looking around and trying to help the people out there on the ice as much as I can. It helps me out too when you're trying to read the play and you're trying to help out. The puck can go any place and talk can sort out a lot of things there on the ice. I was trying to do that as much as I can."

Boudreau said he was impressed with how quickly Hannan adapted to the Capitals' schemes both at even strength and on the penalty kill, where Hannan played a team-high 4 minutes and 50 seconds. Rather than go easy on Hannan, Boudreau opted to "throw him to the sharks" to see if he could swim with the abundance of shorthanded ice time and regular responsibilities.

Blending into the penalty killing unit Hannan said, wasn't too difficult because he's familiar with high-pressure strategies that have become prevalent across the league. Although there were some adjustments, for someone who has spent his career logging significant time on the penalty kill it was just a matter of getting out there.

"I liked it," Hannan said of Washington's penalty kill strategy. "Most penalty kills in the league now are a lot of pressure. I thought we did a good job of trying to stay on them and not let them make too many good plays. It's a little bit different when they're coming down on us, but it's a quick adjustment."

Boudreau said he didn't expect Tom Poti to miss anywhere near the amount of time he did earlier this season with this latest groin strain and when he's back in the lineup odds are he'll be paired with Hannan. With defensive pairings in Schultz and Mike Green, and Karl Alzner and John Carlson that are working well, Boudreau doesn't want to tinker with them much and he believes a tandem of shut-down veterans might suit the Capitals well.

"They're both experienced," Boudreau said when asked why he thinks Hannan and Poti will make a good pairing. "They both played a lot they both can play the right side and they're both really good defensive defensemen when they're on top of their game. I don't think they'll get rattled in a situation where everybody around you is going crazy, I think they'll keep their wits about them."

--The Capitals did not practice at Kettler Capitals Iceplex today but held some team meetings in preparation for Saturday's game against Atlanta. There was a new on-site addition at the rink, though, as the HBO camera crews for "24/7" have arrived a little early to begin their full documentation of the Capitals' run-up to the Winter Classic.

By Katie Carrera  | December 3, 2010; 1:42 PM ET
Categories:  Bruce Boudreau, Scott Hannan, Tom Poti  
Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   StumbleUpon   Technorati   Google Buzz   Previous: Despite loss, a 'full 60 minutes' from the Caps in Dallas
Next: More from Bruce Boudreau on coach's challenge


Hannan was not about to get gypped out his communications.

Posted by: nimrodrsp | December 3, 2010 1:57 PM | Report abuse

Good to see Hannan comfortable enough to communicate right away.

RE Last night: All I want to see is consistency.


1 is last night. 2 is probably an interference penalty for shoving Shaone in the back. 3 has two goals, the first of which is either a legit goal or goalie interference, but when they review it they're not allowed to call a penalty so once it's called a goal their hands are tied. The second the refs saw a replay on the Jumbotron and reversed a call they aren't allowed to review (even though they probably made the right call).

Posted by: Raber | December 3, 2010 2:05 PM | Report abuse

Team played well overall, considering the amount of time on the PK from the disproportionate number of calls against Washington last night.

But in the end Neuvirth gave up a bad second goal, one that an NHL netminder has to stop to help his team win.

Posted by: RoyHobbs4 | December 3, 2010 2:09 PM | Report abuse

Just a head's up... I'm sending any and all comments to Andy Alexander. Starting with the next one after mine.

Posted by: GFisher1 | December 3, 2010 2:13 PM | Report abuse

That was a good character loss last night...The team should be ready to go tomorrow.

Posted by: SA-Town | December 3, 2010 2:14 PM | Report abuse

GFisher1: That's a good idea. I wrote him originally, and he thanked me for my appreciation of the edit in the previous article.

On to hockey: I really think it is beneficial that the Caps have a guy who talks back there on the blue line. Just another ingredient that it sounds like they didn't have. A plus, in my opinion.

Posted by: django11 | December 3, 2010 2:21 PM | Report abuse

No real talking back on D, that blows. Green is up in O zone while Carlson/Alzner are noobs and seem quiet. I've played D in many sports and talking is essential as guys hear and reach, especially in a quick sport like hockey. Something so simple yet critical.

Posted by: flee001 | December 3, 2010 2:30 PM | Report abuse

I thought Hannan did a terrific job keeping some offensive zone plays going, while staying back otherwise. It seemed like he has a real good sense for it, not hovering in the zone but instead getting there when it's smart and needed.

Posted by: Justafan | December 3, 2010 2:35 PM | Report abuse

To be fair, you kinda gotta take it with a grain of salt when "Gabby" implies that people are too quiet . . .

Posted by: stevie_in_gp | December 3, 2010 2:41 PM | Report abuse;_ylt=AuA2oT0RNm3Tubz4pk0ykJR7vLYF?urn=nhl-291269

Speaking of communication on the ice. I read this article yesterday and wondered how the Caps communicated on the ice. Now maybe Hannon will get them to speak up or at least a "woo". :-)

Posted by: nicety251 | December 3, 2010 2:43 PM | Report abuse

Hey give this article a look with video regarding last night's bad call. Interesting perspective on why Carlson's diallowed goal was the right call.

Posted by: nicety251 | December 3, 2010 2:47 PM | Report abuse

I mean, a coked-up Fred Smoot on skates probably wouldn't talk enough on D for Boudreau . . .

(Apologies for the Skins reference on CI. Who in hockey is famous for talking "too much" besides Bruce Boudreau??)

Posted by: stevie_in_gp | December 3, 2010 2:53 PM | Report abuse

@nicety251: Totally agree with the blogger that the reason the refs made the call was the hand of Ovechkin on the defenseman. However, I also feel that the defenseman had put himself into the goaltender before Ovechkin touched him. Therefore, the correct call is that since the defender used his own momentum to interfere with his own goaltender, the goal should be good. On the other hand, I understand where the refs were coming from on a quick play without the benefit of a video review.

Posted by: django11 | December 3, 2010 3:00 PM | Report abuse

Sounds and looks like a leader finally on the back line...we'll see how it plays out.

Posted by: lylewimbledon | December 3, 2010 3:02 PM | Report abuse

Choking dogs, lyle?

Posted by: Fro_2 | December 3, 2010 3:10 PM | Report abuse

@realoldcapsfan: I'm shocked that as an individual with Romani blood, you find the word "gypped" acceptable. And I'm amazed that you would find it acceptable for use by a professional journalist. I think those Romani displaced and currently being prejudiced against in Europe would not share your opinion. Do you disagree?

Posted by: django11 | December 3, 2010 1:53 PM

I am going to apologize to all the rest for carrying this over, but I think I need to respond where django11 may see it.

I guess you would really have been offended if I said I was part Gypsy. I grew up proud of that fact, along with several other racial mixtures. That is most likely the main difference, I am proud of my heritage and not ashamed of it. You can only let others offend you if you already feel ashamed or some how inferior because of what you are. Pride is something that others can never take away from you, you must cede it yourself. Many of my Indian friends have no problem for example with "Redskins" while others do. That is their right, but they don't have the right to tell me what I can or can not say. Now terms like African-American, Italian-American, Mexican-American, etc offend the h*11 out of me. I am an American first and foremost. Now I do have an extremely diverse heritage but again, that is something to be proud of not ashamed of. I am proud to have Gypsy, Irish, English, Arabic, Welsh, Serbian, Indian, and a few other ethnicities in my past. However, no one will ever shame me on any of them.


Posted by: realoldcapsfan | December 3, 2010 3:11 PM | Report abuse

LOL @ stevie

Posted by: nicety251 | December 3, 2010 3:15 PM | Report abuse

Who in hockey is famous for talking "too much" besides Bruce Boudreau??

Posted by: stevie_in_gp | December 3, 2010 2:53 PM

Esa and his Tikkanese

Love the Wiki page:
Even fellow Finn Jari Kurri was not immune from the confusing language. During their tenure with the Oilers, Tikkanen let go with a particularly colorful pronouncement, after which another player turned to Kurri and asked, "What did he just say?" Kurri simply shook his head; "I have no idea."

Posted by: Fro_2 | December 3, 2010 3:20 PM | Report abuse


Absolutely choking dogs until next spring. None of these games really matter.

Posted by: lylewimbledon | December 3, 2010 3:21 PM | Report abuse

(Apologies for the Skins reference on CI. Who in hockey is famous for talking "too much" besides Bruce Boudreau??)

Posted by: stevie_in_gp | December 3, 2010 2:53 PM

See Avery, Sean...but for the wrong reasons

Posted by: Moose33 | December 3, 2010 3:25 PM | Report abuse

The message below is intended as response to realoldcapsfan out of respect for his insight on an important non-hockey topic. Apologies to all for the digression, and will return to Caps talk after the following:

@realoldcapsfan: I hear you loud and clear, and appreciate your explaining your point of view for our benefit. We can all learn from your example of being proud of your heritage. It sounds to me like you have rightfully reclaimed the so called slur in order to help deprive it of its misuse, and I say that as you have Romani blood it is your right. My sensitivity stems from the lack of education and exposure Americans receive concerning the history and issues related to the Romani. I know I never was taught anything about it in school--and I went to some good schools. We can read in many of the comments in the last post that some individuals seem not to take the Romani seriously. Such is the history of the Romani. It is this lack of education and flippant attitude towards ethnic groups that allows for racial slurs to stick around beneath the surface without people knowing about them, and many argue that when this happens society ends up with an invisible racism--one in which the effects are felt but never acknowledged. Since we are not just Americans but citizens of the entire world, I feel it is our responsibility as human beings to curb any of that wherever it may be. Prejudice exists against the Romani in Europe, and I would hope that we all consider their historic plight and remain sensitive to how we refer to the community, however casually.

Posted by: django11 | December 3, 2010 3:34 PM | Report abuse

Thanks Fro and Moose. Love the Tikkanen anecdote.

I always think of Dino as being pretty chatty on-ice (in the Avery way, presumably), but I could be way wrong: I was kinda too young to know/pay attention to such things when he was in DC.

Posted by: stevie_in_gp | December 3, 2010 3:39 PM | Report abuse

...would have loved to hear a mic on Tikkanen in an NBC afternoon game, then get Milbury's comments/interpretation. That would improve NBC's coverage. They should just get Tikkanen to be the "between the benches" guy, come to think of it. NBC hockey commentary would be endlessly fascinating.

Posted by: django11 | December 3, 2010 3:45 PM | Report abuse

Speaking of Milbury...

"Who in hockey is famous for talking "too much" besides Bruce Boudreau??"

Uh, yeah, a few less words from Mike might be nice. But I guess he's getting paid by the word so no matter how inane they are, we're stuck with them.

Posted by: perspective6 | December 3, 2010 7:41 PM | Report abuse

I totally thought of Milbury, persp, but had no idea if he'd been such a blowhard as a player.

Posted by: stevie_in_gp | December 3, 2010 7:59 PM | Report abuse

I laughed when, during Hannan's first shift, Locker gave his canned speech on him being a stay at home D while Hannan was skating behind the Star's goalie.

And he's got learn to interrupt his chatter when something significant happens on the ice, which is often in hockey.

Posted by: Bartolo1 | December 3, 2010 8:13 PM | Report abuse

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