Network News

X My Profile
View More Activity
On Twitter: kcarrera and PostSports  |  Facebook  |  E-mail alerts: Sports and Redskins  |  RSS

Caps practice update: power play the focus

A quick update before I start writing my story for the paper:

*Coach Bruce Boudreau sounded hopeful that both Shaone Morrisonn and Joe Corvo will be able to suit up tomorrow after skipping practice today with undisclosed ailments.

*Boudreau also spent the majority of practice working on the power play, which is 0 for 14 in these playoffs and a season-worst 0 for 21 dating back to the regular season. Today's units were: Brooks Laich, Alexander Semin, Nicklas Backstrom, Mike Green and Alex Ovechkin; and Eric Fehr, Mike Knuble, Tomas Fleischmann, Tom Poti and Brendan Morrison.

The practice focused mostly on puck movement and positioning since there were no penalty killers (Boudreau doesn't want anyone to get hurt blocking a shot). But the session was also cut short when Coach Bruce Boudreau noticed one of Montreal's "head coaches" watching from the stands.

"There were other people watching and I didn't want to see what we were working on," Boudreau said. "I saw one of their head coaches on the other side. I don't know if he was watching, but you want to [practice the power play] when you're amongst your own guys."

"He was out there talking to someone else, not paying much attention to us at all," Boudreau added. "But it was brought to my attention that he was out there then I stopped ..."

It's not uncommon for a coach, or an entire staff, to watch the other team's morning skate from the stands. It's more rare for coaches to watch another team's practice in the NHL, though there are no rules prohibiting it.

"I don't even know when they practice or where they practice," Boudreau said when asked if he planned to have any of his staffers at Montreal's afternoon practice at Centre Bell. "We won't have anybody there."

*Alex Ovechkin had the line of the day today. Jose Theodore was speaking to reporters and drinking water from a bottle in the dressing room when the two-time MVP walked past. Ovechkin smiled and said, "Is your hand shaking?". It was, of course, a reference to his comment earlier this week about Jaroslav Halak and totally appreciated by Theodore, who cracked up.

*Speaking of Theodore, he seemed at ease this morning.

"The last 25 games, I didn't play more than 25 games in a row," he said. "He uses both guys and he felt he needed a change. So far it's been working. But I'm going to be ready because it goes both ways. It was like that all year and we finished first."

"Varly stepped in and is doing a great job," he added. "And when I'm ready, I'm going to do a good job."

*Varlamov declined to speak to the big media hoard, but he later relented and spoke to me in English in the hallway outside of the room. His English, by the way, has come along to the point where he's completely conversational.

"The first period was difficult for me and for the team because Montreal starting power[ful]," he said. "I had to play well."

Varlamov also said there was the silver lining to the groin and knee injuries that cost him two months this season was that it allowed him to work hard with the team's strength and conditioning coach to build up his core and leg strength while increasing his already impressive flexibility. That, he hopes, will help in guard against future injuries.

By Tarik El-Bashir  |  April 20, 2010; 1:59 PM ET
 
Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   Del.icio.us   StumbleUpon   Technorati   Google Buzz   Previous: Morrisonn, Corvo not practicing
Next: John Carlson is a star in the making

Comments

first

Posted by: chrisclarksucks | April 20, 2010 2:07 PM | Report abuse

Oh man is tomorrow big....Friday night will be insane if we're up 3-1....the boys are focused to shake hands at home....got to get it done tomorrow and the fans will be ready on Friday.

Posted by: SA-Town | April 20, 2010 2:09 PM | Report abuse

second

Posted by: alutz08 | April 20, 2010 2:12 PM | Report abuse

Le Habs. Le cheat!

Posted by: phknlwyr | April 20, 2010 2:13 PM | Report abuse

I'm with you S-A...totally thinking along the same lines.

Trying not to be greedy, but let's be in position to finish them at home...

Posted by: SoaringCaps | April 20, 2010 2:15 PM | Report abuse

Johansson

Posted by: SoaringCaps | April 20, 2010 2:21 PM | Report abuse

good job jose. Acting like a true pro

Posted by: _stevo | April 20, 2010 2:23 PM | Report abuse

"Varlamov declined to speak to the big media hoard, but he later relented and spoke to me in English in the hallway outside of the room."

Well Well, aren't you special Tarik. And in english no less.

I think Tracee Hamilton said it best when she wrote "Keep you skates on their throats!".

Posted by: Big_Pushy | April 20, 2010 2:24 PM | Report abuse

I guess that I just don't understand the all-too-frequent broad bush painting of Erskine as "too slow for the Canadiens" as the reason for not playing him. Most bloggers on this site would agree that Erskine was one of our strongest (if not the strongest) D-men vs. the Rangers in last years playoffs. One of the fastest Canadiens, Scott Gomez, was on that Rangers team last year and Erskine did very well against him. In addition, Callahan, Dubinsky, and a few other Rangers on that team are very fast skaters as well. And Erskine did just fine.

Erskine is fully aware of his limitations and thus has adapted his game to make sure that his personal limitations are not a team liability. For example, if you watch Erskine closely he will almost always make the safe play, rarely the risky one. When he has an opportunity to clear the zone, he clears it. He uses the glass very well. He doesn't try to stickhandle through traffic ... because he can't. But his giveaway total is very small because he doesn't take risks. The Caps have plenty of other D-men who can trigger the offense. But we don't have other defensemen except for Morrisonn (and occasionally Poti) who will clear the crease. And if Morrisonn is out, I think Erskine is the smart choice to take his place.

My two cents ...

Posted by: coveredwithhisdust | April 20, 2010 2:27 PM | Report abuse

coveredwithhisdust = Erskine

Posted by: SA-Town | April 20, 2010 2:28 PM | Report abuse

Yeah, Green was left off of Team Canada because he can't play defense. Booooooo So I guess Team Canada selected Boyle because he can score on his own goaltender with a wicked backhand. Soaringcaps, you should have kept your original handle as sinkingcaps because you are another one of the friggin' complainers on this board.

Posted by: fanohock1 | April 20, 2010 1:15 PM | Report abuse

Fanock at it again. First of all, Green was left off deservedly. If you had any clue you'd know that Green himself credited being left off that team as the spark that motivated him to start playing defense. Its not that he CAN'T play defense. Its that he chose not to, so he got left off. He said a lightbulb went off in his head and he decided to start playing a different style of hockey.

So instead of being mad at Yzerman, we should all send him a huge thank-you for waking up Mikey. Its been a pleasure to watch him actually give a damn in his own end. He's not perfect by any means but you can see his desire to play D. There was a play in yesterday's game where he could easily have jumped up but decided to wait to make sure the puck cleared the zone. It didn't clear and he was back in time to defend the goal. Its not a play he would've made prior to his snub off the Olympic roster.

Its just funny that an outside entity like Yzerman indirectly gets thru to Green but our coach and GM were unable to. Or didn't care to.

Posted by: cstanton1 | April 20, 2010 2:29 PM | Report abuse

He-he-he. Excuse me, "broad brush painting" not "broad bush painting" ...

Posted by: coveredwithhisdust | April 20, 2010 2:29 PM | Report abuse

and get Semin and Flash off the PP (at least temporarily) and throw maybe a Chimera in there. Part of our PP issues is our wingers are losing the puck along the half-wall and its resulting in an easy clear. Chimera's strong enough to handle the puck. He may not have the pure skill but he adds something different to the PP unit. Right now, you have guys like Knuble and Laich planting themselves in the crease but the other winger isn't doing their job to maintain puck possession.

Posted by: cstanton1 | April 20, 2010 2:32 PM | Report abuse

@coveredwithhisdust -- well stated. I'm not convinced Erskine should be out there above any of our other D at the moment but he had a strong post-season last year and we will see him during this one.

Posted by: Justafan | April 20, 2010 2:33 PM | Report abuse

Posted by: chrisclarksucks | April 20, 2010 2:07 PM |

You really need to change that name. All CC did was try his hardest. I don't think he asked to be Captain.

We don't need that kind of negative karma, especially now.

Posted by: hockeypuck1 | April 20, 2010 2:33 PM | Report abuse

coveredwithdust

My sentiments exactly....

This whole "Erskine is slow" cliche is just getting annoying. Schultz is slow too. Green can't really skate backwards. And Erskine is slow..He still is going to eliminate space on the rush and clear our crease.

Posted by: richmondphil | April 20, 2010 2:34 PM | Report abuse

@SA-Town

You got me. Exposed. I have to find some way to get back on BB's radar screen ...

Posted by: coveredwithhisdust | April 20, 2010 2:37 PM | Report abuse

I thought BB was saying that he did not want Green to abandon his offense and focus entirely on defense. BB still wants him to look for those spots to step up and look towards the offensive end. He has been much better defensively since the olympic snub and aside from a few glaring slip ups, he is been pretty solid overall. I choose not to define him by the mistakes alone, but rather by the whole of his game.

Posted by: _Mark | April 20, 2010 1:14 PM | Report abuse

i sure hope BB isn't dumb enough to try and get MG to focus more on his offensive game. Green finally self-motivates to play some D and his head coach is already diminishing that achievement. Its crazy. MG hasn't abandoned his offense. He's just playing a better 2 way game. If he senses his coach isn't happy with his overall game because he's not scoring as many points, thats just wrong to do that to a player who is finally trying to bring some balance to his game.

we don't need any more D jumping up in the play please. Let our forwards worry about that part of the game. Our D jumps up plenty as it is.

Posted by: cstanton1 | April 20, 2010 2:38 PM | Report abuse

I am going Fri night, I intend to listen repectfully to the Canadian anthem and applaud the person who sings it. Let's show them class. eh?

Posted by: billd2 | April 20, 2010 2:38 PM | Report abuse

This whole "Erskine is slow" cliche is just getting annoying. Schultz is slow too. Green can't really skate backwards. And Erskine is slow..He still is going to eliminate space on the rush and clear our crease.

Posted by: richmondphil | April 20, 2010 2:34 PM | Report abuse

Erskine skates about as well as Matt Greene does. And Greene's certainly not looked down upon.

Posted by: cstanton1 | April 20, 2010 2:39 PM | Report abuse

The Caps have plenty of other D-men who can trigger the offense. But we don't have other defensemen except for Morrisonn (and occasionally Poti) who will clear the crease. And if Morrisonn is out, I think Erskine is the smart choice to take his place.

My two cents ...

Posted by: coveredwithhisdust | April 20, 2010 2:27 PM | Report abuse

Actually I'd say Green lately and even Carlson clean up their crease pretty well. Poti for all his mistakes does do a decent job of getting his nose in there as well. Either way, I hope Mo isn't out.

Posted by: cstanton1 | April 20, 2010 2:42 PM | Report abuse

"The last 25 games, I didn't play more than 25 games in a row," he said.

is one of these numbers a typo?

Posted by: joe_hill | April 20, 2010 2:45 PM | Report abuse

@joe

No, I think he means that it's not like he played all 25 games. I think...

Posted by: richmondphil | April 20, 2010 2:48 PM | Report abuse

Little curious at the Habs coach watching our practice. I know last year Ovi caught all kinds of flak for watching a Rangers practice, so I'm just curious as to how he got away with doing so

Posted by: breaklance | April 20, 2010 2:50 PM | Report abuse

I was trying to clarify a question earlier by letsgocaps3. I think BB was trying to make the point that he did not want Green to give up on his offensive tendencies entirely because he got burned a couple times. I like that Green has improved on the defensive end, regardless of what motivated him. There are too many here that don't seem to recognize his improvement in his own end and tend to focus only on mistakes. He is a huge asset on both ends of the ice.

Posted by: _Mark | April 20, 2010 2:53 PM | Report abuse

@Rhino40

Champps in Reston can be decent for watching - been there a few times. I'd be good with a viewing party - need to check on Wed, but in theory, I like the idea.

As for Erskine, I LIKE ERSKINE. He does what we ask him to. His biggest problem is being right-handed, because it would be ideal to pair him with Green -- Mike could press and John could stay home abusing enemy forwards.

Erskine clears the crease, hits hard, makes reasonable outlet passes, almost never saucers the puck to opposing forwards in our own zone (see Jurcina, Milan), and is a steady player. He had a better +/- than all D except Poti, Green and Schultz - and that's being paired with the likes of Sloan and such. Frankly, losing Pothier was a shame for Erskine, because that was a solid pairing.

Posted by: EricinReston | April 20, 2010 2:54 PM | Report abuse

CStanton, I agree that Flash has not been getting it done. But, above all else, you need skilled passers on the PP. I would put Semin second only to Backstrom in that regard. Semin handles the puck a lot on the power play and does so effectively. Just don't put him out on the point where he has a tendency to make dangerous cross ice passes.

If you take Flash off the second PP unit, who serves the role of quarterback from the half-wall? With Poti and Morrison on the point, I don't think Fehr is that guy. And I certainly don't think Chimera is that guy.

Posted by: zmega | April 20, 2010 3:02 PM | Report abuse

No one's comment on Poti's game last night or on the third star being awarded to Poti. Personally, I'm not sure I caught what the media apparently did last night, but congrats to an oft-maligned Cap.

Posted by: Justafan | April 20, 2010 3:03 PM | Report abuse

I think the beef with Ovi was he was sitting on the playerd bench. They told him he could sit in the stands, IIRC.

Posted by: oldtimehockey | April 20, 2010 3:04 PM | Report abuse

@Breaklance, IIRC, the beef with OV was that he was on the player's bench (i.e., where he could hear everything). They told him he was welocme to go sit in the stands if he wanted to.

Posted by: oldtimehockey | April 20, 2010 3:06 PM | Report abuse

As good as Gordo was....(let me put on a flame suite)....lets take him out and put Walker in for a game. Keep everyone hungry/fresh and ready revving to get in the line-up.

If ShaMo isnt 100% , put the luberjack in. I am sure he is itching to get some gametime in.

Posted by: Capsfannmiss | April 20, 2010 3:07 PM | Report abuse

luberjack?? = lumberjack

Posted by: Capsfannmiss | April 20, 2010 3:10 PM | Report abuse

No way you take either Semin or Flash of PP. Chimera on PP?! Seriously, what's next - bring up AGordo?!

Both Semin and Flash are streaky and moody players. Nothing new there. The best way to get those two going is to give them PP time.

btw, I don't think Semin has been on the ice for even one even strength goal against so far. He is not a hitter, and never will be; but there is much more to playing defense than just knocking people down.

Posted by: igor_k17 | April 20, 2010 3:26 PM | Report abuse

@Capsfanmiss

Gordon is a center while Walker is a wing. So that substitution would have other ramifications. I say trot out the exact same forward lines for game 4.

If ShaMo is out it will be Erskine filling in. I hope he does well. He will probably be paired with Corvo so you would have one D man with speed and the other with good size.

Posted by: sgm3 | April 20, 2010 3:28 PM | Report abuse

The only complaint I have about Semin is his desire to carry the puck over the blue line and create offense himself. He constantly gets stripped of the puck on the initial rush.

If he has no space to maneuver, which he does very well, he needs to just dump it into a corner.

Other than that, I haven't really had any complaints about Semin. Him and Chimmy are getting tons of scoring chances, just no finish yet.

Posted by: richmondphil | April 20, 2010 3:30 PM | Report abuse

@igor_k17

I agree. Semin made 2 or 3 great back checking plays in the first period that broke up potential good scoring chances for the Habs. Semin was often the first forward back on his line.

While it doesn't matter now, I think Ovie needs to practice keeping pucks in on the PP. Especially when they are coming along on the wall and he has to play it with his bakchand. He often seems to fumble with the puck in those situations and that slight delay often leads to the puck clearing the zone or even good scoring chances for the opposing team.

He needs to just practice that over and over again.

Posted by: sgm3 | April 20, 2010 3:32 PM | Report abuse

Yeah, Green was left off of Team Canada because he can't play defense. Booooooo So I guess Team Canada selected Boyle because he can score on his own goaltender with a wicked backhand. Soaringcaps, you should have kept your original handle as sinkingcaps because you are another one of the friggin' complainers on this board.

Posted by: fanohock1 | April 20, 2010 1:15 PM


@fanohock1:

Ø HEY!! Did I give you permission to use my ATF (Anti-Troll Flamethrower)!?!? Ø

(note "sarcasmé" symbols).

Seriously, though: way to put that guy in his place. LMAO.

@tominfl1: Have you finished the paperwork assigning SoaringCaps to Company G? He might even qualify as a sqad leader or NCO. In fact, could you maybe find time to prepare a comprehensive TO for our future reference?


Posted by: Rhino40 | April 20, 2010 3:34 PM | Report abuse

Posted by: tess2201 | April 20, 2010 3:45 PM | Report abuse

gotta keep everything simple in the playoffs and guys like Flash and Semin can't seem to adapt to playoff-style hockey... Flash almost made a costly mistake when he tried to make a cute pass to one of the trailers, ended up turning the puck over and they had a two on one the other way in the second period.

whenever you get a chance to shoot, you just gotta shoot... there is no such thing as a bad shot in playoff hockey.

if they don't change their way, they're gonna end up like Mike Gartner who wss a HOF player during the regular seasons but just an average player in the playoffs. someone suggested trading Semin for St. Louis last night on the espn board and I'd make that trade in a heartbeat.

Posted by: joek443 | April 20, 2010 3:48 PM | Report abuse

Semin's pt/game pace in the playoffs is really horrible. (This series aside)

Posted by: richmondphil | April 20, 2010 3:55 PM | Report abuse

Rhino40: Not only soaringcaps, but cstanton is again on paper-thin ice with his, "I hope BB isn't dumb enough..."

I seriously doubt anyone here can judge BB's hockey knowledge.

BTW, anyone who can't watch tomorrow's game, the NHL Network replayed last night's at 4 am this morning and they will likely do a similar replay Thursday am. It's the TSN feed and we are watching it now.

Posted by: tominfl1 | April 20, 2010 3:57 PM | Report abuse

Also, Rhino40, I didn't go back and check who made the "BB can't manage goaltenders" comment yesterday, but that poster has been made general-in-commmand, Special Ops Elite Doofuses (aka Special ED).

Posted by: tominfl1 | April 20, 2010 4:01 PM | Report abuse

While it's tough to change the line-up after a 5-1 a$$-whuppin' but I still say Chimmer or Fehr on the second line, sit Flash and insert Walker on the 4th. Someone posted that Walker was slow a while back. I have to say I haven't seen it, he seems pretty quick to me. He's a high energy guy who will battle relentlessly along the boards and has lots of playoff experience, two things Flash lacks.

Posted by: Moose33 | April 20, 2010 4:07 PM | Report abuse

I would like to see Backstrom carry the puck in more often 5 on 5. Ovechkin likes to skate ahead of the rush so he get the pass in the neutral zone. Then he tries to beat 3 defenders and either loses the puck or hits the D-Man shin guard with a shot. Ovie needs to try something different to generate more shots on net.

Posted by: Caps4Life1 | April 20, 2010 4:07 PM | Report abuse

I remember who made that comment, because I responded to it. I'll let him wallow in his shame though and not call him/her out. :)

Posted by: richmondphil | April 20, 2010 4:07 PM | Report abuse

I would like to see Backstrom carry the puck in more often 5 on 5. Ovechkin likes to skate ahead of the rush so he get the pass in the neutral zone. Then he tries to beat 3 defenders and either loses the puck or hits the D-Man shin guard with a shot. Ovie needs to try something different to generate more shots on net.

Posted by: Caps4Life1 | April 20, 2010 4:07 PM |

Same can be said about Semin though too.

The different thing to do would be just to dump the puck to a corner.

Posted by: richmondphil | April 20, 2010 4:09 PM | Report abuse

someone suggested trading Semin for St. Louis last night on the espn board and I'd make that trade in a heartbeat.

Posted by: joek443 | April 20, 2010 3:48 PM

brilliant - throw in Backstrom, with Vinny coming this way, and get a DB draft notice from the tominfl1!

Seriously - Marty has been a terrific NHler for almost a decade. In his prime, he is probably as good or even better a player as Semin will ever be, surely more complete one. But unless you can somehow turn the clock at least 6 years back on St. Louis, you and that someone on espn board are the only two in the world who would ever consider a trade like that.

Posted by: igor_k17 | April 20, 2010 4:12 PM | Report abuse

Posted by: richmondphil | April 20, 2010 4:15 PM | Report abuse

@ Moose33

I don't think Walker being slow is a good excuse to keep him out of the line up. Knuble is slow and does just fine. Flash is fast and that is all I'll say about that. Either way, I would really like for BB to stick with these lines for a while.

Posted by: ablake70 | April 20, 2010 4:15 PM | Report abuse

richmondphil

agreed with Semin. He is starting to curl off like Nyls did in the past just inside the blue line and trying to make passes across the the rink. Dangerous to do, but when the connects it is pretty special to see. I will take their very few issues with having some of the best NHL'ers in the game.

It comes down to both of them having extreme skill levels and trying to make special things happen and we have all seen them happen. GO CAPS.

Posted by: Caps4Life1 | April 20, 2010 4:19 PM | Report abuse

@Moose33

Substituting Walker for Flash would be substituting a RW for a LW. That would then upset a few lines.

Moving Fehr to LW is not a good idea because he has played RW for a very long time. I'm not in favor of switching guys position in the playoffs unless it is an absolute necessity. Then you have Walker playing on the third line and I'm not too crazy about that because that 3rd line goes from a good scoring threat with Laich/BMo/Fehr to a considerably less scoring threat. I like Walker but he is a 4th line player.

If you move Chimera up then Walker is playing LW which he isn't. Also, the 4th line becomes worse because Chimera is no longer on it. I think the fourth line is great with Chimera/(Gordon or Steckel)/Bradly. Especially with the chippiness Chimera has been playing wtih. I don't think you want to upset that.

Posted by: sgm3 | April 20, 2010 4:22 PM | Report abuse

Well, Ovi did make that great pass to Backs in the 1st period, giving him that great back-hander opportunity. Then we got a PP from it, as we drew a penalty.

Ovi also was stood-up at the blue line, but got it deep (ie; dumping it into a corner) to Backstrom at the corner, who dug it out and passed it right to Ovi for that beautiful one-timer.

I don't necessarily want Semin and Ovi to change their game, but if they are unable to stick handle their way on the rush, just make the simple play and dump it. It payed of for Ovi with a goal. Semin is probably a bit more guilty of this so far this series than Ovi, but they both do it. They're just so used to scoring off the rush, I guess.

Posted by: richmondphil | April 20, 2010 4:23 PM | Report abuse

Trading Semin for St. Louis would only be good for Tampa. St. Louis used to be elite, and still is great - but at this point, Semin is better. He is one of the two best puckhandlers on the team, the second best shooter, one of the best passers, and might be the best defensive forward we have.

Posted by: timmyv38 | April 20, 2010 4:23 PM | Report abuse

http://lh6.ggpht.com/_jcFwXlyQy9g/S80knirGySI/AAAAAAAABkk/gvqf9OBaFC4/Gorges_Ovechkin.jpg

Hahahahahaha.

Posted by: richmondphil | April 20, 2010 4:15 PM

Immovable object meets narcolepsy. That might explain the score.

Posted by: Moose33 | April 20, 2010 4:23 PM | Report abuse

@cstanton - completely agree about Carlson, he's much more physical than he's given credit for. And he'll only get stronger.

And I like Ersine but are you saying that he skates as well as Matt Green, from NJ? No disrespect, but Green almost made Team USA - actually he did but injury kept him off. And IIRC he QB's NJ's 2nd pp unit. Speaking of PPs, if you pull Flash off our 2nd unit, who on earth do you replace him with?! Which of those other guys can complete a pass? Crisp passing is crucial on the PP.

Posted by: Timbo_1 | April 20, 2010 4:25 PM | Report abuse

whenever you get a chance to shoot, you just gotta shoot... there is no such thing as a bad shot in playoff hockey.

Posted by: joek443 | April 20, 2010 3:48 PM

there we go again... 1st game, how many shots we had - almost fifty? Sharks last game - how many shots - over fifty!

last night we had the lowest number of shots - anybody thinks it was not the best game we have had so far?

Posted by: igor_k17 | April 20, 2010 4:26 PM | Report abuse

@timmyv - you're right about Semin, JR and others love to just kill the guy but he is one hell of a hockey player. I just wish he trusted his linemates a little more and played more give-and-go sometimes, but freaking A the guy never plays two shifts with the same guys it seems like. I really like the line from last night; Flash and Belanger both pass well and can get open, key for Semin. I just hope BB has a little patience and lets them play together for more than one shift at a time.

Posted by: Timbo_1 | April 20, 2010 4:30 PM | Report abuse

@richmondphil

Josh Gorges being put to sleep by the Caps for the second time this season.

Posted by: coveredwithhisdust | April 20, 2010 4:30 PM | Report abuse

And there is such a thing as a bad shot in the playoffs. See; game 1 and game 2. Shooting the puck from way outside the slot, where it has like a 99% of getting blocked anyway would be an example of a bad shot.

We saw it against the Rags last year for the first 2 games, and we saw it in game 1 and half of game 2 this year.

Posted by: richmondphil | April 20, 2010 4:31 PM | Report abuse

@igor - totally agreed. The Bruins have outshot every opponent for the last 40 years - case in point. It ain't the quantity of shots, it's quality - in most cases [for your 4th line, and most teams' 3rds, yes, it's all about quantity].

Posted by: Timbo_1 | April 20, 2010 4:36 PM | Report abuse

any updates on Jurcina? Will he be healthy for round two and would BB use him? Who would he sit for him?

Posted by: capsfansince74 | April 20, 2010 4:36 PM | Report abuse

[Semin] might be the best defensive forward we have.

Posted by: timmyv38 | April 20, 2010 4:23 PM

Ok, that's going a bit too far... let's just say of the three "skilled" wingers we have (8, 28 and 14) Semin is by far the best defensively.

Posted by: igor_k17 | April 20, 2010 4:37 PM | Report abuse

I'm going to offer the opposite argument that might SUPPORT trading Semin for St. Louis.

1) If Caps sign Flash and plan to extend Laich, along with Ovie, Semin and Fehr, we have five forwards for the #'s 1 and 2 lines - one extra.

2) We have only Backie for first two lines at center.

3) Does McPhee's long-term plan include signing Semin at a reasonable price? Semin has one year before UFA at $6M and St. Louis also one year before UFA at $4M (cap hit $5.25M).

4) St. Louis had a super year this year and ought to have at least one more top season left. If both are going to be UFA anyway next season, and you are signing Flash, which player has a bigger impact on the 2010-11 Caps, a top-flight #2 center or an additional top-flight winger?

Bottom line: If Semin is willing to sign long term at $6.0-6.1/year (Cammaleri and D. Sedin make that amount and as LW they match Semin's stats closely but for injury this year), the trade doesn't make sense (you trade Flash instead for a #2 center). But, if you are going to lose Semin after next year because he wants too much, you move him for a center or a Volchenkov type d-man.

That's my two cents.

Posted by: tominfl1 | April 20, 2010 4:40 PM | Report abuse

Semin has made some good charges toward the goaline from the blue line.

In the third period it was the time he dumped by Hal Gill and then went hard after it along the boards causing Gill to hit him and get an interference penalty.

Then last night in the 3rd period (yes the game was sort of over) he went by a defender and went towards the goal and almost scored. He just didn't get the puck high enough.

But I do agree that he does travel east/west a little too much near the offensive blue line.

Posted by: sgm3 | April 20, 2010 4:41 PM | Report abuse

@sgm3,

I don't think switching sides is that big of a deal. There has been alot of line tinkering not only leading up the playoffs but throughout the year with players playing out of their "natural" position.

If you put Chimera on the 2nd line then the only person playing out of position would be Walker on the 4th line. All these guys have played multiple positions throughout their careers. It's not like making a wide receiver a linebacker where it's competely different.

Like I said, after a 5-1 win, it's nitpicking to ask for a line change but 14 has not looked good.

Posted by: Moose33 | April 20, 2010 4:43 PM | Report abuse

Tom, St. Louis isn't a center.

Posted by: richmondphil | April 20, 2010 4:44 PM | Report abuse

@ tominfl1

How much do you expect Flash, Fehr, and Laich to get?

Posted by: ablake70 | April 20, 2010 4:50 PM | Report abuse

in the middle of a playoff series, why would we be talking about trading semin for st. louis?

Posted by: _stevo | April 20, 2010 4:51 PM | Report abuse

in the middle of a playoff series, why would we be talking about trading semin for st. louis?

Posted by: _stevo | April 20, 2010 4:51 PM |

Because apparently it was mentioned in a espn forum and poster joek443 would "do it in a heartbeat."

Yeah...I don't know why either....

Posted by: richmondphil | April 20, 2010 4:55 PM | Report abuse

whatever floats your boat i guess

Posted by: _stevo | April 20, 2010 4:56 PM | Report abuse

I think Semin's going to bust out for a few. He also played some solid D and drew a penalty last eve.

Posted by: Justafan | April 20, 2010 4:57 PM | Report abuse

I don't think Flash is going to make nearly what we thought he would make a few months ago.

His value will not just be determined by his stats because the counter argument to that is he got most of his points as a result of the play of his teammates.

Unless Flash can move to center and be a productive 2nd line center (which is possible with an entire off-season and next season practicing it) I think he will be the one gone.

You have Ovie/Laich as LW, Semin/Fehr as RW and Backstrom at Center. I don't see the Caps paying too much for a 3rd line LW and will likely turn to Chimera for that role and a young player as the 4th line LW (or switch roles if the young guy is offensively minded).

Using that money on a 2nd line center is imperative. I wonder how much it would take to re-sign Belanger. He is a good fit on this team.

Posted by: sgm3 | April 20, 2010 4:59 PM | Report abuse

in the middle of a playoff series, why would we be talking about trading semin for st. louis?

Posted by: _stevo

Because he hasn't scored in 3 games and Caps fan are reactionary. After the Pens series last year, they wanted to sign Steckel to a lifetime deal at $4 million per.

Posted by: ablake70 | April 20, 2010 5:00 PM | Report abuse

Tom, St. Louis isn't a center.

Posted by: richmondphil | April 20, 2010 4:44 PM

I guess I need to send myself to teh Doofus Brigade.

@ tominfl1

How much do you expect Flash, Fehr, and Laich to get?

Posted by: ablake70 | April 20, 2010 4:50 PM

Flash = $10M over three years 2010-13
Fehr = $4.5M over two years 2010-12
Laich = $16M over 4 yrs 2011-15

I apologize sincerely to anyone who absolutely despises it when we talk about anything but the next game. Sowwy.

Posted by: tominfl1 | April 20, 2010 5:02 PM | Report abuse

@tominfl1: good one :)

Don't be too hard on cstanton1, though.

While I don't always agree with him, I do recognize that he does offer a well-reasoned and insightful post from time to time. Hence, I don't consider him to be your garden-variety troll.

You have to admit that cstanton1 does often bring good facts to the table--something a troll doesn't do.

Those who would relegate him to the Doofus Brigade unfortunately may not see past the facts that:

1) His interpretation/analysis of those facts may not be entirely accurate, and

2) He can occasionally get to be a bit of a blow-hard when someone disagrees with those analyses.

That said, I wouldn't be too quick to "assign" him, if you know what I mean.

Posted by: Rhino40 | April 20, 2010 5:04 PM | Report abuse

I think Flash could adjust to being a center, given an entire offseason to work on it. Hell, the guy hadn't played it since PeeWees, and helped ignite a record winning streak, so he couldn't have been doing too much wrong. People get on him about draws, but faceoffs - with some obvious key exceptions - are often an overrated stat.

Posted by: Timbo_1 | April 20, 2010 5:07 PM | Report abuse

Flash got, what, 30 goals this year? Go look up the list of players age 26, one year from UFA, and see what the get in arbitration and deals signing them long term to avoid UFA. I have on my excel spreadsheet (at work though) the list of Flash comparable players (Olesz is one) and they average almost $4M. A I agree I don't think he's worth that much, but in arbitration he would get close to that. Plus if he goes RFA a team can offer him about $3.1M/yr and the comp (if Caps don't sign) is only a #2 pick. Fehr is much easier to sign because of his age and only 20 goals. But, with less stats than Fehr, Laich got $6.3M over three years. In order to say, "This guy is worth whatever," you might check the salary cap sites. You'd be shocked what some of the players get. You can declare them overpaid, but each salary sets the market for every other salary.

Posted by: tominfl1 | April 20, 2010 5:09 PM | Report abuse

@Tom - I don't think Flash hit 30 - but then again he missed a good chunk of games. And he's a great passer.

But, if you see Fehr a 2nd-liner - well, his linemates better be able to freaking fly. He does have terrific hands, and a big body - which he needs to use more of.

Posted by: Timbo_1 | April 20, 2010 5:13 PM | Report abuse

He had 23 goals this year.

Posted by: richmondphil | April 20, 2010 5:15 PM | Report abuse

For comparison's sake, Fehr had 21 goals.

Flash had way more ice-time and has way more assists though.

Posted by: richmondphil | April 20, 2010 5:16 PM | Report abuse

http://lh6.ggpht.com/_jcFwXlyQy9g/S80knirGySI/AAAAAAAABkk/gvqf9OBaFC4/Gorges_Ovechkin.jpg

Hahahahahaha.

Posted by: richmondphil | April 20, 2010 4:15 PM

@richmondphil:

But dontcha know that everyone loves Ovie?

LMAO

Posted by: Rhino40 | April 20, 2010 5:19 PM | Report abuse

Also, about Laich, he's considered a responsible two-way defensive forward. I'm sure the intangibles (which Fehr and Flash lack) come into play a bit.

Posted by: richmondphil | April 20, 2010 5:20 PM | Report abuse

Flash = $10M over three years 2010-13

Posted by: tominfl1 | April 20, 2010 5:02 PM

Versteeg last summer 3 years $9.3M... followed by Mr. Talon's "retirement" - if Flash gets that much his agent is a genius.

Posted by: igor_k17 | April 20, 2010 5:21 PM | Report abuse

I think Flash had 23 goals.

I don't see any team giving Flash $3.1M/year AND a 2nd round draft pick. I think most GM's would shy away from that. Again, GMs rarely offer contracts to other teams RFAs. It just doesn't seem to happen in the NHL with a few exceptions that created grumblings throughout the league. (I do have a fear that Brian Burke will try something on Backstrom if he isn't re-signed by July 1. He is one of the few GMs who doesn't have a problem offering RFAs contracts. But luckily he doesn't have a 2011 1st round pick so he would have to get one of those before he could offer Backstrom a contract)

I think Flash will be signed in the high two's becuase his goal scoring value will get diminished some due to the production of his linemates and the system of the team.

Posted by: sgm3 | April 20, 2010 5:25 PM | Report abuse

@ igor_k17

did you see the turnover which resulted in a shorthanded 2 on 1 break by the Canadiens in the second period?

that play is exactly why every hockey coach in this part of the world always tells his players to SHOOT puck in the playoffs... Flash's refusal to shoot the puck in that instance could have easily had a huge impact in last night's game because the game was still scoreless or 1-0 at that point.

and till Semin can have the same kinda impact as he does in the regular season, he's just another Mike Garnter... and why do you think the Caps traded away their all-time leading scorer at that time for Dino Ciccarelli??

Posted by: joek443 | April 20, 2010 5:34 PM | Report abuse

@ chrisclarksucks | April 20, 2010 2:07

What kind of moron are you to post "first"?

Your "chrisclarksucks" moniker speaks volumes of what a low life you must be.

Grow up!

Posted by: capper3 | April 20, 2010 5:41 PM | Report abuse

@sgm - Flash hit that #, but he also missed a bunch of games. He also played on the top PP unit - and with Semin - than did Laich, at least on a consistent basis.

Posted by: Timbo_1 | April 20, 2010 5:44 PM | Report abuse

Sorry - should read, "played less" on the top PP unit. His TOI was usually significantly less, as well.

Posted by: Timbo_1 | April 20, 2010 5:45 PM | Report abuse

I've wondered about the Caps policy of open practices. Do other NHL teams do that? What is to prevent an opposing scout or coach to watch a practice?

The NHL is the only major sport to do this. Can you imagine trying to get into a Redskins or Wizards practice?

Posted by: MKadyman | April 20, 2010 5:47 PM | Report abuse

He had 23 goals this year.

Posted by: richmondphil | April 20, 2010 5:15 PM

Got me again, once again I must dispatch myself to the Brigade. I had calculated Flash salary based on 30 goals as a percent of 82 games and I did it before moving. 23 goals = 26 or 27 if no injury. He tailed off at end. Still, he's one year from UFA and that's when they get locked up. My barometer is $2M for 20 goals at that age and an extra $200K per goal up to $6M for 40 goals (Semin) and, before anyone yells, it's not that simple, I know, due to assists, defense, etc. Looking back, I think I had put Flash $10M over 4 yrs earlier and that is likely more reasonable. Either way, I'll bet he gets between 2.5 and 3.3. Fehr at 21 goals and rising status should be the Laich deal, or close to it, $2.1M. Laich with 59 pts this year, maybe he waits until after next year (he is UFA July 1, 2011). I think he re-ups though this summer 3.5-4.0 for 3/4 years. Backie is rising also. Toews and Kane are 6.3 and Kopitar 6.8. I believe 11 yrs, $71.5M (6.5/annum) to match Ovi contract length.

What about Schultz? $2M? That's ShaMo money. $2.5M?

Posted by: tominfl1 | April 20, 2010 5:51 PM | Report abuse

@joek443

last time I checked BB was a coach in this part of the world.

very often just shooting the puck is exactly what the defender wants you to do.

On both VS and NHL network last night they went over what the Caps have changed from the first two games - it was the fact that they actually tried to carry the puck into the zone through the middle much more. Seems to me it worked.

Garts was not shy at all to shoot. And as much as I loved Dino, he was not a better player than Gartner.

Posted by: igor_k17 | April 20, 2010 5:54 PM | Report abuse

I think that is way too much for Schultz, but those other numbers look reasonable.

Posted by: Timbo_1 | April 20, 2010 5:55 PM | Report abuse

Schultz is where it gets scary going into arbitration. Lots of minutes, crazy +/-. I am afraid he may get close to $3M

Posted by: igor_k17 | April 20, 2010 6:01 PM | Report abuse

Garts was not shy at all to shoot. And as much as I loved Dino, he was not a better player than Gartner.

Posted by: igor_k17 | April 20, 2010 5:54 PM | Report abuse

Dino was a much better player than Garnter in the PLAYOFFS... go check their stats, they're not even close

Posted by: joek443 | April 20, 2010 6:01 PM | Report abuse

Gartner was a perimeter player much like Semin and that's why he NEVER could produce in the playoffs

Dino was the best playoff goal scorer the Caps ever had.

Posted by: joek443 | April 20, 2010 6:03 PM | Report abuse

Excellent point, Igor. Yikes.

Posted by: Timbo_1 | April 20, 2010 6:08 PM | Report abuse

I think Flash around $2.7 is about right.

I do agree that Backstrom has moved himself to at least equal to Toews/Kane and probably even a little ahead. This could go even higher with an incredible playoff run ending with a SC and maybe even a Conn Smythe (yes I know it's early, I'm not jinxing or predicting but just stating a possible condition that would change the contract).

Remember Toews/Kane did lead the Blackhawks to the WCF last year so their contracts were done after a good playoff run.

But I think the $6.5 guess is about right.

Posted by: sgm3 | April 20, 2010 6:12 PM | Report abuse

Gartner suffered greatly by the rules of the day, which allowed clutching and grabbing to offset his speed. He would be tremendous in today's game.

Can't have a good blog like this without guys like CStanton to present fact-based provocative opinions.

Posted by: zmega | April 20, 2010 6:13 PM | Report abuse

last night we had the lowest number of shots - anybody thinks it was not the best game we have had so far?

Posted by: igor_k17 | April 20, 2010 4:26 PM | Report abuse

they had 36 shots on goal last night and 41 during regulation in Game 1... are you trying to say they had a better game because they had 5 fewer shots???

Posted by: joek443 | April 20, 2010 6:17 PM | Report abuse

To make the money work for next year AND the following years, in order to evade a situation like Chicago. It is most definitely either Fehr OR Flash. Personally, I would pick Fehr...he projects as the 1st line RW once Knubs retires in two years, no? I mean he has developed nicely over the last two years, and has a very good take away/give away number, and has the wheels and mentality to keep up with 19 and 8. Flash was given 2nd line minutes all year and has 2 more goals then Fehr. I also think the need for reliable RW's is more important for this team than LW's. As someone said earlier the top two LW's on this team are established through at least 2011.

It goes unnoticed often, but GMGM has done a very good job of managing this teams cap.This season the THeo/Nyls money turns into Backstrom money, next year the Poti/Semin/Erskine/knuble/Laich money becomes Semin/Alzner/Laich money. He is going to be able to pick and choose who sticks around now that all the young talent is maturing.

Posted by: BACKS | April 20, 2010 6:18 PM | Report abuse

guys like Gartner needs about 10 good chances to score a goal compared to guys like Ciccarelli who needs just a few...

no matter how the games are called, you're just NOT gonna get as many chances to score in the playoffs as you would during the regular season

if you wanna score in the playoffs, you gotta go to the net.. it's that simple and if you hang around in the perimeter, you're just NOT gonna score as many, period.

Posted by: joek443 | April 20, 2010 6:23 PM | Report abuse

@joek443

Where was the Backstom OT goal scored from? How about Carlson's? How about Backstrom's first goal in game 2? How about the Ovie goal and Laich goal last night? How about most of Ovie's goals in the playoff last year against Pittsburgh?

I do absolutely agree that you have to go to the net and many playoff goals are scored there but there are still a good amount of playoff goals scored on rushes and outside shot.

You need perimeter scoring too. It's the combination of both that makes an offense lethal because it's extremey hard to cover both areas thoughout a game.

Posted by: sgm3 | April 20, 2010 6:31 PM | Report abuse

sgm3: If Backstrom were a UFA after this year, he'd be getting Staal money (north of 8). He's like #4 in the league in points and a real force. But, he has four years to go before UFA. That means a compromise salary. He isn't quite Crosby, Malkin or Ovi. Next class down is Kopitar at 6.8. Backie is better IMO. But, a longer contract that gives security usually means a little lower in salary. That's how I got the 6.5 figure. Really, though, if he plays like this forevermore, 6.5 would be a bargain. Especially if NHL signs a bigger network deal and the cap rises.

Fehr or Flash, I take Fehr.

Posted by: tominfl1 | April 20, 2010 6:38 PM | Report abuse

I do absolutely agree that you have to go to the net and many playoff goals are scored there but there are still a good amount of playoff goals scored on rushes and outside shot.

You need perimeter scoring too. It's the combination of both that makes an offense lethal because it's extremey hard to cover both areas thoughout a game.

Posted by: sgm3 | April 20, 2010 6:31 PM | Report abuse

the deeper you get into the playoffs, the closer in it seems you need to be to score goals. The perimeter shots/cheapies, don't come as easily. Playoffs are mostly about dirty goals.

Posted by: cstanton1 | April 20, 2010 7:42 PM | Report abuse

The comments to this entry are closed.

 
 
RSS Feed
Subscribe to The Post

© 2010 The Washington Post Company