Network News

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

Catching Up With Boyd Gordon

Some players leave tough losses behind at the rink. Others let tough losses linger for a few days.

Then there's Boyd Gordon.

After the Caps' stunning collapse in Game 7 against Pittsburgh, Gordon said he couldn't bring himself to watch another second of the NHL postseason until the Stanley Cup-deciding game between the Penguins and the Red Wings.

And even then, he said with a grimace, it was hard.

"It was a weird night," Gordon said of the Caps' season-ending 6-2 loss at Verizon Center. "We had come so far, came back won in overtime in Game 6. Then had a complete letdown. I still can't explain what happened."

"All of us, in our head, saw things going differently, but we weren't even in the game," added the player Coach Bruce Boudreau refers to as his "security blanket" among the checking line forwards. "That was the hardest part to swallow."

"I just sort of cut myself off from hockey. It was probably a good month that I couldn't even watch hockey. I couldn't think about hockey. I just had to get away."

Gordon has shifted his focus to the upcoming season, and just as in recent summers, the Saskatchewan native is among the first veterans to return to Washington.

Gordon acknowledged that the two-time Southeast Division champs lost a lot this summer when veterans Sergei Fedorov, Viktor Kozlov and Donald Brashear signed elsewhere. But Gordon said he considers the addition of Mike Knuble and Brendan Morrison a net gain, at least offensively.

"We lose Feds and Kozzie, two great players for us, and Brash's toughness," Gordon said. "But Knuble is a good player. He's a big body and a gritty kind of guy, and Morrison has good skill."

Gordon said he's particularly excited about the acquisition of Knuble, a player he hopes will establish better balance between skill and grit up front.

"He brings a different dimension to our team," Gordon said. "He can score those gritty goals."

Gordon also said he's curious to see how the season plays out without a designated heavyweight enforcer.

"Generally you have someone," he said, adding that John Erskine can step into the role if needed. "We definitely have a pretty skilled team. I don't know. Brash was great to have around. He was kind of our policeman. We'll see what happens this year. The game has kind of changed in that regard with the way penalties are called. If you have a good power play ... I mean, special teams is half the battle. So I guess if other teams want to take cheap shots, they are going to be in the box. So I guess that's the way [management is] looking at things."

Gordon's role, especially the past two seasons, has been well defined under Boudreau. But the 25-year-old former first-round pick, who ranked third in faceoff percentage (.561) and second in shorthanded ice time (3:39 per game) last season, said he believes he still has some untapped potential, especially at the offensive end.

Which is part of the reason he's already back to the grind at KCI, skating with a handful of local NHLers and prospects and working out with strength and conditioning coach Mark Nemish, even though training camp doesn't start until the middle of next month.

"I don't want to shut myself off yet," said Gordon, who had five goals and nine assists in 63 games last season, a campaign that was interrupted by back and hand injuries. "I want to get better and improve on things. I see myself doing more, but that's up to me.

"We've got a good team," he added. "For me, I have to bring something to the table every night."

On an unrelated note, Boudreau is scheduled to throw out the first pitch next week at Nationals Park. Click here for the details.


By Tarik El-Bashir  |  August 17, 2009; 1:28 PM ET
 
Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   Del.icio.us   StumbleUpon   Technorati   Google Buzz   Previous: Theo: 'I Don't See Myself as a Backup'
Next: Caps on Versus

Comments

Possible the Caps are under the radar? Seems like it when you read commetns about off season moves. Are the Bruins, Pens, Devils, Flyers, Canes all ahead of the Caps? I don't think so but most groups do ... good

Posted by: flee001 | August 17, 2009 1:35 PM | Report abuse

FWIW, the first pitch thing is THIS week (August 20), not next week. ("This" and "next" as based on the main post being dated August 17.)

Posted by: 1995hoo | August 17, 2009 1:36 PM | Report abuse

btw, first EVER (neat)

Posted by: flee001 | August 17, 2009 1:36 PM | Report abuse

Great to hear from Gordo, like his attitude.


Tarik, do you know if anyone on the team still calls him Muffins?

Posted by: superpaqman | August 17, 2009 1:38 PM | Report abuse

what?

Knuble is being seen as the best underrated signing of the off-season.

Gordon seems skeptical about not having a goon to back him up....

Posted by: richmondphil | August 17, 2009 2:46 PM | Report abuse

Definite Gordo fan and hope he finds a consistent spot on the roster. Love his face-off, penalty kill and forechecking skills. Would like to see a bit more goals/points from him this year even though that is not his primary responsibility.

Posted by: dsphvywght | August 17, 2009 2:46 PM | Report abuse

Need this guy to be Dan Cleary.

Posted by: thiazzi | August 17, 2009 3:21 PM | Report abuse

To bring the conversation over from the previous thread...

I was listening to last weeks Caps Report and Vogel made the perfect point about the Caps defense (starting about 19 minutes and 30 seconds into the podcast) that the Caps defense has lots of quantity, but it lack quality and maybe it is time to clean house a bit.

The Caps defense has included Schultz, Erskine, S-Mo, Jurcina, Green and Pothier for the past three seasons at some level. Other than Mike Green who has noticeably grown over the last three seasons can you say the same of any of the other defensemen? Four years running with largely the same defense that has not improved at the clip a young defense should improve by.

I'm still waiting for some responses as to how last years Caps team was better than the 1989-90 or the 1985-86 teams.

Posted by: freakinandpeakin | August 17, 2009 3:22 PM | Report abuse

i know it is just rumors and all, but hockeybuzz thinks we may be in the market for ivanans from the kings. could be nice to get a heavyweight

Posted by: _stevo | August 17, 2009 3:23 PM | Report abuse

freakinanpeakin you arent getting a response on how this caps team was better than the 80s teams you mentioned because this team isnt better. I would still take the 98 team over this one. A hot goalie gets you to the cup.

I would like to see Poti packaged with another player to bring in a top D. It won't happen but I wish.

Posted by: caps512 | August 17, 2009 3:59 PM | Report abuse

@superpaqman:Great to hear from Gordo, like his attitude.

Ditto

Posted by: whiteltng | August 17, 2009 4:11 PM | Report abuse

freakin, pothier and erskine are veterans so they are what they are going to be. i thought they were the best dmen we had in the playoffs. pots underwhelmed me when he got here, but was being asked to play top 2 minutes, which he's shouldnt do. i thought he was very good after he came back from his head injuries.

schults has been here for two full years. he's 23. he is better than he was, but not where he needs to be. but he's 23.

the d needs to be better. and i think vog's is probably hinting at what i suspect, that a trade is in the offing. too many guys, not enough grit.

last years caps were better than the 85-86 squad because they didnt lose to the rangers in the first round of the playoffs...which are all that matters after all.

Posted by: dcsportsfan1 | August 17, 2009 4:59 PM | Report abuse

Ivanans is a badass, but he offers nothing other than fists. We could easily have Beagle or somebody else that's willing to fight fill the role, and we'd get the benefits of a great forechecker at a lower cost.

Posted by: thiazzi | August 17, 2009 5:02 PM | Report abuse

GO BB!!! I'll be watching, hopefully he can throw better than Caron Butler. ;)

Posted by: rachel216 | August 17, 2009 5:25 PM | Report abuse

this is the 3rd capital whose comments echo gordo's with regards to not having an enforcer - they accept this is McPhee's new vision and direction, but they don't sound that thrilled about it...

to me, the players are the ones on the front lines who really know what they need on the team

Posted by: cstanton1 | August 17, 2009 5:27 PM | Report abuse

Love Gordo.

Goons can be helpful but the rules have turned them into dinosaurs. . . skill is increasingly going to be rewarded, which is a good thing, as far as the Caps are concerned.

I frowned when GMGM signed Schultz to another one-year deal, but it was only a one-year deal. . clearly he is on probation, as ShaMo is, too. Think about it -- we have two terrific newbies in Erskine and Carlson (he's NHL ready), then two guys who performed at a higher level in the playoffs in Jurcina and Erskine. Only need two out of the following to round out the D -- Pothier, ShaMo, Schultz, who else? Looks to me like Schultz will be wearing Chocolate next year. That's pretty good D that only going to get better next year.

And we'll be laughing heartily in a few months when we're kicking butt at the top of the Eastern Conference and Philly is fighting for the 8th and final playoff spot. No way Philly is better than the Caps, Pronger or not, no matter what Yahoo.Sports and other idiots say.

Posted by: Exile_in_Philly | August 17, 2009 5:33 PM | Report abuse

(from last thread): @freakinandpeakin: you can't have it both ways. It can't be Ovi falling into GMGM's lap and Shero wisely choosing Crosby. The Pens were in the rebuilding mode a few years earlier than the Caps and were able to get Fleury no. 1 pick, Malkin no. 2 pick, Crosby no. 1 pick and Staal, no. 2 (or was it 3) pick.

The ball did not bounce so well for us. Despite being just as much of a losing team, we only had Ovi no. 1 pick and Backstrom, no. 4 pick as our only top 5 picks. Our other first round drafts were farther down the list, and I think they were pretty good. Semin and Green are the obvious ones. Additionally we are now getting our young goalie at the end of our rebuilding process. Fleury has had many years to develop.

Personally I find there are a lot of similarities between the way our team and the Pens are being built, but they definitely have had a head start and some amazingly lucky ping pong ball bounces.

Second, to posters wishing to recap the Caps' glory days of the 80s and 90s, I'm glad you are die-hard Caps fans but geez enough already. The past is the past. And from all that I've read and heard, post lockout hockey is played differently with the hope for more speed and goal making, hence all of the new rules about hooking, holding, etc., etc., etc.. I would be more interested in reading commentary about the best defense players of today--and different defensive styles too.

The trend seems to be more of an offensive-defensive kind of d-man--at least to me that is. I already know that a lot of you disagree or disapprove. So respond and I'll happily read everyone's opinions, but keep it on current players PLEASE.

Posted by: newbiecapsfan07 | August 17, 2009 5:35 PM | Report abuse

the current roster of the Caps is the best the franchise has ever had because the Caps have never had an Ovechkin.

Ovi is the best player in the world, and also the most exciting player in the world. Not to mention -- he has the best attitude of any sports superstar I've ever seen.

If #8 doesn't win a Cup the Caps will never win one.

Posted by: ralph4100 | August 17, 2009 5:52 PM | Report abuse

@ralph4100

let me correct you. if the Caps don't win the cup Ovie never will either. not the other way around. don't get it twisted. ovie is a huge factor in the Caps but he is not the only player, people need to stop saying the only thing we have is Ovie, semin, backie, greeners, fehr, laich, stecks, gordo, brads would all disagree with you.

Posted by: capsfan387 | August 17, 2009 6:00 PM | Report abuse

dcsportsfan: Ask yourself this, if we were playing the Penguins and you said their best defensemen were Pothier and Erskine and they were supported by Poti, Schultz, Mo, Green and Jurcina what would you think of that defensive core? I completely get supporting your team, but at some point you have to look at what your team is and be realistic.

@newbiecapsfan, Ray Shero wasn't the GM who selected Crosby. Shero was hired in May 2006 and has been the GM for three seasons, after replacing Craig Patrick whose contract was not renewed after drafting all those players you named. In those three seasons Shero has been GM he took the team to two Stanley Cup Finals. So, in some respects you are correct that the Pens got some lucky bounces, but Shero has traded players and signed free agents that made that team successful and we are now entering a third full season of a defense that has underperformed and is basically the same.

As for trading Poti. No! He is the most experienced defensemen on this team with over 700 games played. The next most experienced defensemen is Mo with less than half that (or there about). What this defensive core needs is experience and trading the one d-man with experience would be a disaster.

As for those past teams. It isn't trying to re-live those past "glories". I forget who at this point, but someone said that last years team was the best Caps team in history. That simply isn't true. I named two teams, someone else named the SC Finals team of '98 as better teams than last years team. I tend to disagree about the 1998 team, but that is neither here nor there.

Posted by: freakinandpeakin | August 17, 2009 6:00 PM | Report abuse

freakinandpeakin

You can't compare the two teams with a straight face. The games are totally different now than back then. Rules are different, divisions are different, there are 8 new teams and several moved. There was a lock-out and a strike. Strategies are totally different.

There can be no comparison.

Posted by: Greg S. | August 17, 2009 6:26 PM | Report abuse

What I love about Gordo is he never hurts the team. Probably the smartest player on the team; never takes dumb penalties and dedicates himself to the PK. I think he'll chip in more offense this year.

Posted by: smarkley19 | August 17, 2009 6:42 PM | Report abuse

I never thought I'd see the day that an alleged Capitals fan would be as obnoxious and self-serving as a troll from another team. I'm mortified.

@ Greg S.: It's apples to apples, with regards to freakin's comparison. Who cares if the other apples are actually oranges wearing Capitals jerseys but let him continue. He'll get tired at some point, I hope. Save yourself the trouble, my friend. =)

Posted by: LeftCoastCapsFan | August 17, 2009 6:45 PM | Report abuse

This Caps than the team that went to the Finals in 1998. Talk about being blinded by being a fan. Our Caps were given a blessing every round. The Caps played the 5th, 8th, 6th seeds respectively. No Conference Champion ever had it that easy. The Red Wings were a rude awakening. The Caps finished with less points in the regular season than the 2007-08 Caps. I am friggin' shocked that Caps fans won't admit this team is good. WE LOST IN GAME 7 TO THE EVENTUAL STANLEY CUP CHAMPION. We are a better team this year simply with the acquisition of Knuble. If you don't like the Caps, don't watch them. If you want to self loathe become a Thrasher or Lightning fan.

Posted by: fanohock1 | August 17, 2009 7:02 PM | Report abuse

The one thing you CAN'T possibly debate is this is the best Caps team we have ever had. We are built to contend now and in the future. It's is done under Ted and GMGM NOT Poile and Abe.

Posted by: pokerfaceI208 | August 17, 2009 12:06 AM | Report abuse

I didn't make the comparison. Sorry I disagree and my knowledge of sports goes back more than 4 or 5 years. It's funny how because I disagree with the sentiment that last years team is the best Caps team ever I am an annoying troll.

You know what's even funnier from all you Leolems is that you obviously selectively read what you want. You go back and you will see that I have said this is "a very very good team" that I think they are a shoe in for the playoffs that they are going to easily win the division. That I think the offense is extremely good and didn't need the re-inforcements of Knuble and Morrison. The one thing I don't like is that GMGM misallocated his free agent money this past offseason and that he has failed to address a bountiful by average defense and I think that is going to prevent them from winning the Stanley Cup.

Posted by: freakinandpeakin | August 17, 2009 7:19 PM | Report abuse

@freakinandpeakin: he has failed to address a bountiful by average defense and I think that is going to prevent them from winning the Stanley Cup.

I see two major fallacies in this line of thinking:

1. The Cup isn't won in August. How do we know that GMGM is done? I think he's not - in fact, he commented in that fan call that he's got room to do "a few more things". Just because he hasn't done anything yet doesn't mean he doesn't plan to or that it will never happen. Remember that there is a trade deadline this season, and that GMGM will do trade deadline deals if they make sense for the club (see: Huet, Fedorov). Patience, grasshopper. I think you'll see a D move in the first half of the season if a team's blueline gets nailed with injuries, as always happens.
2. Did everybody forget that we changed defensive coaches? Dollars to doughnuts GMGM wants to see what Woodsy can do for the existing D before scrambling it up. I seem to remember a recent coaching change that had a significant effect ... refresh me here ... some dude named Gabby?

Patience, grasshoppers and grasshopperettes . We haven't lost the Cup yet - hell, the season hasn't even started yet and some of you are already writing it off? WTF, people. Let's see what effect Woodsy has on the D before we make that veteran D move you're all screaming for. GMGM is a canny dude, and if you hadn't figured this out, check out this series of videos. That's part 1 of 4; there's an annoying hum but it's the story of how we drafted Backstrom. If Woodsy can't clean up the D, then yeah, let's make a deadline deal and clean a little house, but let's give the man a shot before we go blowing the whole thing up. Sheesh. :)

Seriously, folks. We may be starved for hockey, but that's no reason why it should make us stupid. Calm down, go read Japers' series this week (hint: excerpts from Gabby's book), and let things happen in their own good time.

Posted by: kittypawz | August 17, 2009 7:49 PM | Report abuse

@freakinandpeakin: Oh, okay, fine, I see one more fallacy in your post. :P

That I think the offense is extremely good and didn't need the re-inforcements of Knuble and Morrison.

The hell it didn't. We complained all year long about guys who didn't crash the crease or go to the net, and that was how we were able to put 48 shots on net and lose 7-1 on a memorably painful occasion last season. We complained when Fedorov left that we had no more veteran presence. Knuble provides the former and hopefully influences Laich and Fehr when he's healthy to do the same. Both Knuble and Morrison provide the latter. We needed Knuble in a big hairy way, and BMo replaces a lost Fedorov (or is going to try).

As for how we're better than the '85-'86 or '90-'91 teams -- we got out of the first round, yes? With the fourth-most man-games lost to injury in the league? And took the eventual Stanley Cup winners to seven hard-fought games, and might have won if the bounces had gone differently? We set a franchise record for points in a regular season in an era where the scoring average is 1/3 less than it was back then?

Can we improve? Absolutely. There's always room for improvement. But it doesn't happen overnight, or all at once. Ask Glen Sather about those high-priced, high-profile purchases. Better yet, let's see what happens to Bob Gainey's team this upcoming season.

Posted by: kittypawz | August 17, 2009 7:58 PM | Report abuse

Bruce's book has a foreward by Don Cherry. Is that the peace offering?

Posted by: lornemyoung | August 17, 2009 8:03 PM | Report abuse

to be honest freakin, the pens defense from last year didnt scare me much, but they won the cup. btw, i never said pots and erskine were out best dmen, just that they played the best d in the playoffs. green was obviously hurt or he's our best dman.

i'm not arguing that this is the best defense in the league. they are good enough to take this team a long way in the playoffs with the offense in front of them and solid goaltending.

you are concerned that they didnt address the d other than qualifying their own guys. true. but the season hasnt started. also, you say that it wasnt necessary to sign knuble and morrison. well, who was going to step up in their place? they obviously were not going to get bowmeester or pronger or any of the other top dmen in the first week of FA. and at the prices for those guys, it made sense not to chase after them. so why not fill some holes in the offense at relatively cheap numbers for short terms until someone from hershey can take their place? both moves make perfect sense.

Posted by: dcsportsfan1 | August 17, 2009 8:08 PM | Report abuse

kittypawz, I've said it before. I was not anti-GMGM until his handling of this offseason.

1. Cup not won in August. True, but these trades for defense have been talked about for two years now and we are still waiting for those trades. Rarely do you see NHL defense traded for NHL defense. It just doesn't happen. Defense is traded for offense and/or young or prospect defense. That isn't just GMGM, that is in the NHL. The only defense of any long term quality he has acquired during his entire tenure was S-Mo and the pick of Schultz for Gonchar. But that kinda proves my point. We traded veteran defense for a young defensive prospect and a draft pick. In order to acquire that high quality veteran defense via trade we have to part with young prospects and likely young defensive prospects, but everyone here throws a tantrum at the suggestion of trading either Alzner or Carlson because they may be good in four years. And they are falling in line with GMGMs thinking. Which is fine, but I think is a huge mistake when you are a contending team today.

2. Bob Woods. We have gone through the Woods discussion before. I have no opinion on the quality of Woods as a coach. No one knows if he will be a good NHL coach. Even presuming he is a good NHL coach hno coach can make average defensemen better than being an average defensemen. For example, Jeff Schultz is slow, that is who he is. No amount of coaching is going to change that. I also cited the development of Mike Green under Leach and clearly some of these defensemen were able to improve, so I refuse to lay it all on coaching.

3. on the last fallacy. :P Also addressed before. But if Feds and Kozy had wanted reasonable money they both would have been re-signed and no Knuble or B-Mo. Feds and Kozy totaled 24 goals this past season. That "weakness" would not have been addressed and no one would be complaining about the inabilities of our offense. Yes, net presence was a weakness of this team, but McPhee IMO once again failed to address the biggest weakness in order to shore up a perceived weakness that would not have been fixed if he could have gotten the players back that he really wanted.

Posted by: freakinandpeakin | August 17, 2009 8:48 PM | Report abuse

@freakinandpeakin--I stand corrected on who did the drafting. I don't follow GMs and picked up Shero's name from your post, where you used him as an example of a successful GM.

I guess your point then is that the Pens former GM Craig Patrick got lucky with four no. 1 and no. 2 picks as did GMGM with Ovi. My essential point is still the same however--the Pens started their rebuild earlier and the face of their franchise was chosen later in their rebuilding process. So it's not really fair to keep on saying GM just got lucky with Ovi. He still had to build a team around him. Are you saying that the rest of the team isn't good--they were selected by GMGM. To that point, Kittypawz's link to the 2006 draft parts 1-4 when we got Backstrom and got Ovi to announce it is GREAT. Lots of strategic game-playing and negotiation. It's not a job for the faint-hearted--being a GM.

Posted by: newbiecapsfan07 | August 17, 2009 9:09 PM | Report abuse

Kittypawz, Please don't cite points earned of a team as an indication of which team was better. This isn't an anti-Caps rant as much as my hatred of the 3rd point awarded for OTL and awarded in the shootout. I can eliminate 7 points of the Caps from this season simply based on points earned that were not available in any way, shape, or form to those earlier teams. 4 points were earned in shootout victories and 3 points were earned in OT losses. I'd also question the equivalence of OT wins considering the teams are playing 4 on 4 today instead of 5 on 5. It is more likely that OT games were played to ties than games played 4 on 4 today, which is why the league instituted the 4-on-4 play. I'll also note that the 1985-86 team did it in 2 fewer games.

Looking at the playoffs from that year and you will see that the eighth seeds from 2009 were better than all but one or two teams in terms of points earned when compared to the 1985-86 teams. Some of the 85-86 point totals of teams in the playoffs would have been worse than the Islanders from this past season. And only three teams in 1986 had point totals high enough to be in this years playoffs, with the Nords being tied for the final spot.

1985-86 playoffs
Patrick Division: Philly (110), Washington (107), Islanders (90), Rangers (78)
Adams Division: Nords (92), Habs (87), Bruins (86), Whalers (84)
Norris: Chicago (86), Minnesota (85), St. Louis (83), Toronto (57)
Smythe: Edmonton (119), Calgary (89), Winnipeg (59), Vancouver (59)

All point totals are not created equally.

Posted by: freakinandpeakin | August 17, 2009 9:22 PM | Report abuse

Also, to whomever said that we were fine on offense and didn't need to spend on B. Morrison and Knuble especially, that's not what people were saying on this board during the year. I read over and over about how we needed to crash the net, too many Europansies who prefer to shoot from the outside, we need to have someone gritty who can get those dirty goals. Well that's Knuble--I still remember how effective he was in that playoff series against us.

And Freakinandpeakin, per my last post, I'm guessing you would respond that our offense is good but that it's our defense that's weak. I am not a Leolems as you refer to people who disagree with you, but neither am I and anti-Leolems. (Although I must point out I can't figure out if it's GMGM you despise or the owner Leonsis--you seem to conflate two in your comments).

I just prefer to feel positive about our team. I don't understand the doom and gloom. Why do all of the needs have to be addressed now. You seem to be most upset that no trades were made by GM before the last playoffs. How do you know that there won't be any trades before the upcoming playoffs. The experience of this past playoff loss will help us. This team will adapt. Changes have been made to the lineup and I don't doubt that more will come. I consider the new season to be just beginning.

Posted by: newbiecapsfan07 | August 17, 2009 9:28 PM | Report abuse

@newbiecapsfan, you are misreading what I am saying. I have said consistently that this is a very very good Caps team. I think GMGM has brought this team as far as he can take it and it is time for a new GM. Craig Patrick put together an excellent team in Pittsburgh, but they needed a fresh face and someone who had no emotional connection to the draft picks to take them over the top. This isn't uncommon in sports. GMGM is human and clearly has loyalties towards the players he drafted, which is why Kris Beech kept popping up in this organization. Shero came in to Pittsburgh and had nothing invested in the likes of Malone, Whitney and Armstrong and was able to trade them for other assets the team needed to put them over the top.

I think the classic example of this from the coaching standpoint is Tampa Bay Bucs in the NFL. No one will argue that Tony Dungy is a bad coach, or that Tampa was a bad team. He was fired from Tampa and they brought in Jon Gruden. The next season they won a championship. It was Dungy's team, but a new coach with no loyalties was able to come in and get more out of the team. Heck, GMGM did that when he came to the Caps. He took a Poile team made a few moves (Tikkanen and Bellows) got some breaks in the playoffs and got the team to the Stanley Cup Final in his first season. Sometimes change is good.

Fine, you want to say we are a year or two behind Pittsburgh. I won't argue that. Then explain Chicago, they are a year or two behind us and already made it to the Conference Final.

Posted by: freakinandpeakin | August 17, 2009 9:31 PM | Report abuse

Well, don't get me started on Ted Leonsis. People can praise his game day experience and fan access, but to me he is nothing but a meddling owner who would be villified by the media for his behavior and actions during his entire tenure if his last name were Snyder. So, yes I do speak of GMGM and Leonsis as one in the same, because by and large he is an owner who is overly involved in the running of the on-ice product and a GM who is beholden to that owner and his whims. I'll give examples if you want.

As for addressing all the teams needs now. Of course they don't need to all be addressed now. But I just find it interesting that the defense has been an issue for 3 or 4 years and hasn't really ever been addressed and yet any question about the offense is addressed immediately and the defensive issues are put off for another year.

As for trades down the road, let me make some predictions of things we will hear this season. Not really going out on a limb, just things we have heard before: 1) the player we wanted just wasn't available at the right cost; 2) he didn't fit into our salary cap structure; 3) we weren't interested in a rental player at that cost. 4) A player that would have made a difference just wasn't out on the market this season.

Posted by: freakinandpeakin | August 17, 2009 9:41 PM | Report abuse

Fine, you want to say we are a year or two behind Pittsburgh. I won't argue that. Then explain Chicago, they are a year or two behind us and already made it to the Conference Final.

Posted by: freakinandpeakin | August 17, 2009 9:31 PM | Report abuse

don't forget Philly - that was an organization who was considered light years behind us just 2 yrs ago. Then they hired Paul Holmgren who has stockpiled some very good young players in a short amt of time and pulled off some great trades like getting Coburn.

I agree, time for McPhee to bounce.

Posted by: cstanton1 | August 17, 2009 10:08 PM | Report abuse

I'm bored ... summer is not kind to hockey fans.

Posted by: --Boo-- | August 17, 2009 10:22 PM | Report abuse

So now the Flyers that finished 9 points behind the Caps in the standings and lost in 6 games to the Pens (losing a 3-0 lead in game 6) in the 1st round is better than the Capitals? They are going backwards. Paul Holmgren has an albatross named Briere in his stable which is his Nylander.

I'm tired of being considered a homer with blinders on because I have high expectations for the Capitals and am happy with the direction the Capitals are going. Some of the fans in here are like the gothic kids you see walking around that complain about everything because it's the cool thing to do.

The Capitals can't change you guys. When they do win the Cup the attitude by you guys will be that it's about time.

Give it a rest. Even as the Capitals sit now the experts at Hockey News have the Caps 3rd at the very worst. Teams like the Bruins and Devils laid bigger eggs than the Capitals last playoff season. Carolina knocked the Devils out by scoring 2 goals in the last 1 1/2 minutes, and the Bruins had a joke round 1 series against the Canadiens and lost in 7 to the Canes. The Pens went into the series with the Canes and trashed them which doesn't say much for the Bruins or Devils.

RELAX, you have a legit contender for the 1st time in team history. Enjoy the darn ride.

Posted by: fanohock1 | August 17, 2009 10:27 PM | Report abuse

Did someone say awhile ago that BB's book was now available? I only see it on pre-order. Has anyone actually gotten it?

Posted by: --Boo-- | August 17, 2009 10:33 PM | Report abuse

cstanton1, my problem with the Flyers is that they have constructed a regular season team. They are going to be tough as nails to play, but are going to take so many penalties and have to many tough guys to go deep in the playoffs. With Carcillo, Asham, Laperriere, Cote and Pronger there is at least 6 minutes a night in the penalty box and come the playoffs there bench is going to be to short with four forwards likely seeing no more than 4 or 5 minutes a game.

fanohock, why am I a "gothic kid" because I have high expectations and don't like the direction the organization is going? Just because you agree with the organizations direction doesn't mean you are right. And just because I don't agree doesn't means that I am right. It is an opinion and time will tell whose opinion is right.

I thought the organization was going in the right direction the past 4 years since the lockout. It has been this summer that has turned me against GMGM.

As for the Hockey News prediction. Want to put any money on the fact that they are going to comment about the defense being a question mark for the Caps?

Posted by: freakinandpeakin | August 17, 2009 10:47 PM | Report abuse

Need this guy to be Dan Cleary.

Posted by: thiazzi | August 17, 2009 3:21 PM |

Extremely wishful thinking there . :)

Posted by: richmondphil | August 17, 2009 11:02 PM | Report abuse

As for the Hockey News prediction. Want to put any money on the fact that they are going to comment about the defense being a question mark for the Caps?

Posted by: freakinandpeakin | August 17, 2009 10:47 PM |

I don't think anyone doubts that.

Look, I'm not the biggest GMGM fan. He is pretty hit or miss. We've gone over this before. I just don't know exactly what you expected to happen this summer. He filled our problems on the front end. The same problems as last year still exist concerning the blue line, this is nothing new. 29 teams had problems. He fixed 1 out of our 2 bigger problems. Net presence.

I don't really see how you are on course the past 4 years and then magically turn against him this off-season. Saying things like qualifying guys like Juice was a bad idea does not help your cause either, because no matter how you look at it, qualifying those guys was the best thing to do. If you really didn't just want to qualify him, then waive him and they will be picked up. No big deal.

Your concerns are valid, but you keep bringing up other points that just don't make too much sense.

Posted by: richmondphil | August 17, 2009 11:19 PM | Report abuse

There are things I agree with (forward signings), and things I don't agree with (not signing an enforcer.)

I don't see why you are pidgeon-holing everyone into "agreeing with the organization" or "disagreeing with the organization." You want to talk about blanket statements....

Just voice your concerns without the bitter, screw the machine undertone. It's not hard.

Posted by: richmondphil | August 17, 2009 11:25 PM | Report abuse

But if Feds and Kozy had wanted reasonable money they both would have been re-signed and no Knuble or B-Mo. Feds and Kozy totaled 24 goals this past season. That "weakness" would not have been addressed and no one would be complaining about the inabilities of our offense. Yes, net presence was a weakness of this team, but McPhee IMO once again failed to address the biggest weakness in order to shore up a perceived weakness that would not have been fixed if he could have gotten the players back that he really wanted.

Posted by: freakinandpeakin | August 17, 2009 8:48 PM |

Hey, guess what? Feds and Koz both did not want reasonable money. Why do you keep relying on hypothetical situations to substantiate your claims? "GMGM got lucky with Ovie."

And since you are relatively new here, believe me, there are TONS of posters who who would have reminded people that net presence is an issue if our forwards remained exactly the same.

Posted by: richmondphil | August 17, 2009 11:36 PM | Report abuse

Two Hypotheticals of our own:

1. If our team had the PP and first line net presence provided by Knuble, we would have scored more goals in the playoffs. Thus, we would have beat the Rags in 6 and the Pens in 6, after winning both OTs. Canes in 4, and then the Wings..who knows. Defense would not have helped us any farther then they got in real life.

2. Pronger, Neidermayer, Scuderi, Lidstrom, Fanoof, Chara is our blue line, but Varlamov let in 4 easy glove side goals in the 1st period. We lose to the Pens in 7.


This is fun.

Posted by: richmondphil | August 17, 2009 11:45 PM | Report abuse

@fanohock1

Agree with you on most points. NJ certainly laid a bigger playoff egg than the Caps. To blow a 1 goal lead in the last 2 minutes of Game 7 in Round 1 and and still lose in regulation. Not to mention San Jose who had the best regular season record and lost in Round 1.

And then there's the Bruins, who looked so good in regular season and had everything right. Offense, defense, goal tending, and looked great. Look what happened to them. Dumped in Round 2.

Granted the Caps aren't perfect. Their defense in Round 2 was worse than normal, betwen Green and the other guys being hurt. We had 2 guys with broken feet -- no wonder we had no speed. But there's hope.

Posted by: CapsFan75 | August 18, 2009 12:03 AM | Report abuse

*Bruins dumped by a team that was swept by the same team that we took to 7 and 2 OTs, mind you.

Of course, it's all about matchups, but just sayin.....

Posted by: richmondphil | August 18, 2009 12:18 AM | Report abuse

Kitty(good to hear from you again) - I think I'm done with Freakin. No matter what you say he has some hypernegative thing to come back with. Like I said, he choses to focus on the negative. When we win a Cup he'll be the first one on the board stating that we got lucky to get by with this D and it was handed to us b/c the other team was hurt or whatever. In other words nothing will ever make him happy. He doesn't understand the logic in getting the most bang for your buck in a salary cap environment. He's rather go sign another D just because he's better than 1 of the regular Dmen we've already got without taking into account how much more the new player would cost. He likes to compare 80's and 90's teams to today's teams which are like comparing the 80's NBA to todays NBA. Just aint happening. He'd like to think that a team with 4 HOF and 2 All star Dmen w/o a scoring threat is a better team than a faster younger team with scoring threats on every line, the 2nd best PP in the league, decent and young D and decent and young goaltending. So my only point to you and others trying to rebutt this guy is that it aint happening. He'll agree with 1 thing you say out of courtesy and then bash the rest of what you say. He fails to recognise that EVERY team comes into the season with question marks and that these can be addressed later in the season. He's rather GMGM no give QO's to Juice, SMo and Schultz to go sign a UFA (sounds to me like he likes the GMing Mike Keenan does). So continue on as you may but you'll never convince him of anything other than the sky is falling. Anybody who can't recognize that this is the best Caps team we've ever had is too narrow minded for me. Yes we've had decent teams and some fantastic D's and goaltending but we've NEVER been known as an offensive threat until now. NO OTHER Caps team has ever entered a season as a "Stanley Cup Contender" and I think we can all agree the window is now open and the opportunity is ours to lose vs. hoping the puck bounces good for us and we catch some breaks.

Posted by: pokerfaceI208 | August 18, 2009 12:20 AM | Report abuse

I think there's a major message in the post by TEB. Gordon made the observation the he thinks management is of the mind set that we don't need an enforcer type b/c if you're gonna take liberties at our players our PP will kill you. I think this is a huge issue especially coming from a player. Players see and recognize that we don't have that enforcer type of guy to keep things from getting out of hand so I think 2 big things are here. 1- some guys are gonna have to step up and get a bit more physical. I would see this coming from a Bradley or Erskine type unless somebody else is acquired before the season starts. 2- is the threat of our PP gonna stop people from taking shots at our players. I'm not so worried about OV as I think he can avoid much of the rough stuff but I also think he can hold his own. I'd be more worried about the likes of Backs and Semin. I think to a point our PP can deter most but what if we're up big, say 5-1 late in the game. Our PP can't really deter anything b/c the game is already decided so to say. So I think this is a big point that's getting overlooked a bit. We'll see for sure.

Posted by: pokerfaceI208 | August 18, 2009 12:25 AM | Report abuse

This board always has a good run of back and forth discussion and it gets side-tracked by someone going on a rant about the organization, whether overtly positive or negative. (usually negative)

I think we need to remain pragmatic here. Like it or lump it, we are a fan of the Capitals. Whether you or I agree with the organization or not, we are still going to be a Caps fan. We should approach issues with this perspective. (Unless of course you are prone to jumping shark, in which I say, make sure your Pens or Wings jersey is authentic.)

Posted by: richmondphil | August 18, 2009 12:28 AM | Report abuse

Gordon's comments made me feel sorry for all of our players. They have practiced refining their hockey skills all of their lives in order to PLAY HOCKEY. And now many of them will be forced to fight because our GM didn't sign an enforcer.

Posted by: capsfan01 | August 18, 2009 12:29 AM | Report abuse

@poker

Gordon seems skeptical about not having a goon to back him up....

Posted by: richmondphil | August 17, 2009 2:46 PM |


At least that is how I read it.


(Ah, some good discussion again...whether we need an enforcer or if we can rely on team toughness/PP)

Posted by: richmondphil | August 18, 2009 12:31 AM | Report abuse

Gordon's comments made me feel sorry for all of our players. They have practiced refining their hockey skills all of their lives in order to PLAY HOCKEY. And now many of them will be forced to fight because our GM didn't sign an enforcer.

Posted by: capsfan01 | August 18, 2009 12:29 AM |

wut.

No one will be forced to fight except Erskine and Bradley. Who both fought in the minors....

The problem is neither of them are real enforcers and one has concussions and the other sucks at fighting.

Posted by: richmondphil | August 18, 2009 12:33 AM | Report abuse

Also, there is a certain defense man who is basically the archetype for "stay-at-home, crease clearing tough d man" who is rumored to be wearing a Washington sweater come October. He is not a free agent, fyi.

Now, rumors are rumors, but I am intrigued, to say the least.

He has quite the cap hit, so it will be very interesting to see what goes down if this trade turns out to be true...

Posted by: richmondphil | August 18, 2009 12:42 AM | Report abuse

FYI, the trade doesn't make any sense to me and I think his cap hit is way to high (he is somewhat of an albatross), but if it's Nylander coming off the books, let's do it!

Posted by: richmondphil | August 18, 2009 12:44 AM | Report abuse

i was kind of sad to see brash go - i do think there is a need for that type of player on the team. now that he is gone - i'm hoping some of the timid players will stand up for themselves now that they don't have brash to rely on. i think we'll find out in the first dozen or so games if some of the young d will pick up the slack and start hitting a little harder - just to let the opposition know they're not scared
probably won't happen - but i hope so

Posted by: Capt_Kirk_in_AZ | August 18, 2009 1:00 AM | Report abuse

First, I'm far from a newbie. I've been on Tarik's blog since the beginning, well before you had to register. I've been on the OBs since the first incarnation, I am a member of the UOBs, that probably most of you don't know exist and probably can't find. I can go on with my resume if you like?

Second, pokerface it is funny how you are done with me and claim I am only negative. I'll state what I've said on this board again. They are a very very good team, Last sesasons team was one of (but not the) best team in Caps history. I think they are stacked offensively and wish GMGM had addressed the defensive issues than the comparatively minor offensive weakness of the team. The one thing I have been waiting for for four years is the management of this team to actually address the defensive problems of this team. I even have said that considering the road GMGM went down - not addressing the defense - that Knuble and B-Mo were good signings. I just don't agree that they should have gone down that road. I have even written that I think they are contenders and that the teams window to win is open now, but the one thing to make them close the deal is to improve there defense. I sound like an absolute hater.

It is your inability to see beyond the one issue I disagree with, which isn't even that the defense needs to be improved, but rather what GMGM should have done that this summer that you are now convinced I am purely negative.

...more coming...

Posted by: freakinandpeakin | August 18, 2009 1:04 AM | Report abuse

And we go right back off course.....


Not even a freakin Scott Hannan rumor gets you guys to shut up.

Posted by: richmondphil | August 18, 2009 1:13 AM | Report abuse

i was kind of sad to see brash go - i do think there is a need for that type of player on the team. now that he is gone - i'm hoping some of the timid players will stand up for themselves now that they don't have brash to rely on. i think we'll find out in the first dozen or so games if some of the young d will pick up the slack and start hitting a little harder - just to let the opposition know they're not scared
probably won't happen - but i hope so

Posted by: Capt_Kirk_in_AZ | August 18, 2009 1:00 AM |

I hope so too. Our guys need to hit more consistently anyway. If anything should lit a fire under them to pick up their physical game, it should be not having big bad Brash there to protect them.

I heard we signed an enforcer to Hershey though who can be called up. I guess we can tap his shoulder if really needed, but I am still weary about the the regular season wearing down some of our skaters.


Posted by: richmondphil | August 18, 2009 1:16 AM | Report abuse

What a bunch of overanalytical garbage. I have been a fan of this team since the mid seventies. Forget which team in what year is the best. Fact of the matter is, this team has more YOUNG talent than any team in Caps history. Forget the past, focus on the future.

Anyone that thinks Ted is a meddlesome owner is an idiot and has no clue as to what he is talking about. I'm sorry to come on so strongly but that is ridiculous. There is a reason he was recently named by a national publication as the fifth best owner in all of sports. One of his primary beliefs is to never meddle in the hockey affairs and he doesn't. What planet have you been residing on? Name some instances where he has poked his nose into GM's or BB's hockey decisions and do not speculate.

Posted by: croftonpost | August 18, 2009 1:17 AM | Report abuse

Crofton, though I agree with you on all points, I will point out Jagr as a case where ted meddled. :)

Seriously though, can we let this discussion die? Enforcer/no enforcer discussion or Scott Hannan rumor...two juicy things to divulge in instead of this discussion that has gone on too many posts...

Posted by: richmondphil | August 18, 2009 1:24 AM | Report abuse

I find it funny you want to talk about me bringing up teams from the 80s and 90s, considering it was you that stated, "The one thing you CAN'T possibly debate is this is the best Caps team we have ever had." I think it is debateable. I find it incredibly intresting that you disllike my opinion because I think a CAPITALS team was better than last seasons team. So now I can't even think former Caps teams from 20 to 25 years ago were better than a former Caps team from 1 year ago. That is absolutely ridiculous. I guess in your world if I don't think the right Caps team is the best ever I am being negative. This actually makes me wonder if you were even a fan during that time period. Well, were you? In your world if someone thinks Jack Nickalus was a better golfer than Tiger Woods does that mean they are being negative towards Tiger?

Your opinion seems couched in the terms that the future teams will be the best. How do you know? I certainly don't. They haven't played one game, injuries will happen, trades will happen. Does next years team have a chance to be the best Caps team ever, yes I don't doubt that at all. They have the ability to build on what they have and become better, chances are they might. But the prospects of a young defensive core and young goaltending does not equal the best team ever. They have amazing prospects, but I don't go to the bank with prospects. All I can do is compare teams that have actually played a game and see which was better and I don't think last years team was the best ever. But of course you know for a fact next years team will be the best ever.

Just to finish it off for you, I don't think that last years team was the best ever and it is beyond personnel issues, it is because the team rarely put forth 60 minute efforts, which was a problem in the playoffs too. It was game in and game out of this team playing for 20 or 40 minutes and having amazing comebacks, or hanging on. A great team jumps on a team and buries them and last seasons Caps team didn't do that regularly. Hopefully this season they will.

And just to correct your description of those 80's and 90's teams that were "w/o an scoring threat" Ummm...that 1985-86 team had HOFer Mike Gartner and his 708 career goals and 1335 points. That 1990 team had future HOFer Dino Ciccarelli and his 608 goals and 1200 points. Yeah, no offensive talent there. And to further clarify so you don't get all upset. Yes, the current incarnation of the this Caps team has a player that is just as good, if not better than Gartner and Ciccarelli.

Posted by: freakinandpeakin | August 18, 2009 1:25 AM | Report abuse

Seriously though, can we let this discussion die? Enforcer/no enforcer discussion or Scott Hannan rumor...two juicy things to divulge in instead of this discussion that has gone on too many posts...

Posted by: richmondphil | August 18, 2009 1:24 AM

Posted by: richmondphil | August 18, 2009 1:30 AM | Report abuse

croftonpost, You don't think Ted is meddlesome. Umm, he is responsible of bypassing the GM and trading for Jagr. He also bypassed GMGM and re-signed Jagr. Ted has regularly been on the radio and stated that GMGM has "full control" of hockey operations, except when it comes to Ovechkin. Sorry, but you take one thing out of a GM's hands and I don't think it is going oout on a limb to say this isn't the only place he is overly invovled in...especially considering his history of bringing Jagr to Washington. I'd also cite his meddling in bringing Michael Jordan to the Wizards, that was his deal. I think we can all agree that his history shows he is a jock sniffer and his current obsession is getting Obama to a game.

More meddling, but admittedly only a theory, but something that makes me very uncomfortable on how HIS organization is run, which means he has every right to do it, I just don't like it. How many owners of sports franchises actually go on the radio and speak openly and regularly about the teams roster and moves the team will and will not make? I know, you love his openness. I don't. I want the hockey people to talk hockey, not a non-hockey guy. Isn't that the complaint about Dan Snyder? Heck, imagine the villification if Dan Snyder physically assaulted a fan at his Stadium/arena! Ted did that.

Posted by: freakinandpeakin | August 18, 2009 1:36 AM | Report abuse

richmondphil:
i'm going to guess 'no' - it can not die without a wooden stake through the heart or maybe a silver bullet

Posted by: Capt_Kirk_in_AZ | August 18, 2009 1:52 AM | Report abuse

a nice short read if there are no new updates in the morning

http://www.japersrink.com/2009/8/17/992814/semyon-varlamov-i-dont-have-time

Posted by: Capt_Kirk_in_AZ | August 18, 2009 3:20 AM | Report abuse

You tried richmondphil.

If you pay attention during some of his interviews, then you know he uses the Jagr signing as an example of a lesson learned not a harbinger of things to come.

Ted uses the public chats as a sign of goodwill towards the fans and to show that he is a fan. It has worked. His popularity is one of the reasons for the Caps surge in this town. The fans believe in him and justifiably so.

I promise to end it here.

Posted by: croftonpost | August 18, 2009 4:40 AM | Report abuse

Um yes..Richmondphil. Many of our players will be forced to defend themselves/fight w/o an enforcer. They can not rely on Erskine or Bradley the way that they could w Brashear. Enforcers are not obsolete YET in the NHL. The Pens, Rangers, and Philly all carry tough enforcers for a reason.
Many on this board who think it is a good idea not to have an enforcer are going to be crying the blues when the season starts and our guys are pushed around. Refs don't always make calls.

Posted by: capsfan01 | August 18, 2009 4:41 AM | Report abuse

Can we put a two paragraph limit on "freakin" posts? If your post is longer than that of the WaPo member, then isn't that post too long?

My opinion is that if healthy (which can be said about any NHL team) the Capitals defense will be above average. The Caps used a lot of D-men due to injury last season, ehich will make for inconsistency anywhere. It'll be fine.

Posted by: lornemyoung | August 18, 2009 6:10 AM | Report abuse

Short and sweet:
1) our offense is fine with Knuble. Could win the Cup.
2) Our defense I think can't win the Cup w/o a first-pair defensive defenseman. Whether that player comes from within, from before season trade or deadline deal, that player is needed for the Cup.
3) The goaltending is a wild card. We'll see, love varly's attitude for being so young.
4) Don't need enforcer. Wings have 4 Cups in 12 years w/o one. Just need that Langway type on D.

Posted by: tominfl1 | August 18, 2009 7:50 AM | Report abuse

So what is the opinon of Hannan? The guy is making 4.5 mil for 1 year, looks like to get him we'd be having to give up 2 players (at least). Is he worth the trouble?

Posted by: superpaqman | August 18, 2009 8:33 AM | Report abuse

What do you mean the Caps don't have an enforcer?! Has everyone forgotten "Maddog Bongo Beatin'" Semin? :)

I guess I'm going to have to change my screen name. :(

Posted by: BetterOffWithFedorov | August 18, 2009 8:40 AM | Report abuse

Hannon would only be a good option if we can get rid of Nylander...He makes too much to have him and Nyl's on the books.

Posted by: SA-Town | August 18, 2009 8:49 AM | Report abuse

freakinandpeakin

This is SUCH a stupid argument:

You said: "Looking at the playoffs from that year and you will see that the eighth seeds from 2009 were better than all but one or two teams in terms of points earned when compared to the 1985-86 teams. Some of the 85-86 point totals of teams in the playoffs would have been worse than the Islanders from this past season. And only three teams in 1986 had point totals high enough to be in this years playoffs, with the Nords being tied for the final spot.

Seriously? On points??? They didn't have 3 point games back then.

Come on, man. This comparison just doesn't work! Just drop it.

It's just like comparing today's football to the 1920's teams in terms of offensive tallent. In the 20's they didn't have the forward pass. Totally different game.

Posted by: Greg S. | August 18, 2009 9:09 AM | Report abuse

Someone please answer this for me:

How many fights did Brash get into last year because of guys taking liberties with our delicate players? I mean directly related, no gray area enforcing?

I submit that the answer is "not that many," and that "we will be fine."

He didn't even do anything when Backes crosschecked Semin in the spine.

Posted by: thiazzi | August 18, 2009 9:13 AM | Report abuse

Being in Colorado I haven't heard anything about Hannan. That doesn't mean anything though b/c Pierre keeps things just as close to the vest as GMGM if not moreso. Hey I'm all for Hannan comin over. He would definately be an upgrade. I can tell you that even being on the 2nd worst team in the league Hannan always came to play and was a very quite conssitent type of player. He is very physical and clears the crease out better than most of our D. This trade actually makes a ton of sense for both teams. Colorado right now is in a rebuild mode and has A LOT of talent on D but no scoring at all beyond Statsny and Hejduk. They will loose Foote after this yr as he'll probably retire so I see them looking for a younger D and a forward and/or draft picks in return. I don't see it taking anybody major like an Alzner or Carlson to make this deal happen. I see somebody like a Schultz, Sloan type of D and a forward like a Gordo, Brads, or maybe Laing type of player and a pick to make this happen.

Like I said I haven't heard anything about this but this would certainly be a move that would make a lot of sense for both teams. Just curious, where did you see this RichmondPhil?

Posted by: pokerfaceI208 | August 18, 2009 9:22 AM | Report abuse

Heck, imagine the villification if Dan Snyder physically assaulted a fan at his Stadium/arena! Ted did that.

Posted by: freakinandpeakin | August 18, 2009 1:36 AM
------------------------------------------
Like I said, he likes to focus on the negative and bring up bad points about everything. It's not OK to make a mistake and learn from it. The fact you made a mistake makes you unforgivable. Sorry but I don't deal well with people that are so negative and think the sky is falling. I chose to be a happy person and look at the positive while recognizing the negative vs. harboring them. Trust me, if Hannan happens look for the bad side of that trade to come out of Freakin, it won't be good enough and we'll have given up too much. My bet is "all in" on that one. Good day to ALL of you.

Posted by: pokerfaceI208 | August 18, 2009 9:31 AM | Report abuse

@richmondphil: where did you read the rumor? He seems too expensive ar a second year of a four year 15 million contract tho' I just did a quick search and haven't verified that number (one can't believe everything they read!). Whatever everyone's opinion on defense, which can't be answered until the season unfolds, it seems to be that keeping enough in the bank to resign Backs and Semin is a priority. I consider them crucial to our core.

What do you think of the rumor?

Posted by: newbiecapsfan07 | August 18, 2009 9:32 AM | Report abuse

I don't think we need an enforcer. I think we have big enough guys to be sufficiently physically punishing to keep our opponents "honest". Especially so in our division, and in the short run that's all that's needed.

Playing outside our division but still in the east may be a different story. Philly, Rags, Buffalo and Boston have some serious bruisers on their teams.

I like the thinking of someone above that wrote that Detroit won 4 cups in 12 years without an enforcer. They did it with guys that will hit and hit hard throughout their lineup. If we would do that, and we can, there shouldn't be a problem.

Posted by: Greg S. | August 18, 2009 9:37 AM | Report abuse

@pokerface/208: interesting commentary--thanks for the info. I'm not a numbers person so I have no idea if it would work contract-wise, but he does sound interesting.

Posted by: newbiecapsfan07 | August 18, 2009 9:38 AM | Report abuse

Amen thiazzi: Brashear didn't "stand up" for anyone. He would square off with the goon from the other team. Momemtum swing, sure, protection for the players they don't fight, absolutely not. Don't get me wrong, I loved watching Brashear bash Cote in Philly but in the whole scheme of things it didn't have any bearing on the outcame of any of the games.

Posted by: fanohock1 | August 18, 2009 9:48 AM | Report abuse

Last comment I'm making on the owner issue. In general I support Leonsis because he loves this team and is passionate about hockey. That doesn't make me "drone"--I can disagree with him and still like the fact that cares about the Caps. This team is his priority for better or worse. And there is NO WAY I would prefer the Caps owner to be more like Snyder as some of you posters seem to suggest.

I do however consider GMGM and Leonsis to be separate people, and ultimately the responsibility for the success of this team lies with Leonsis. I am not of the mindset that he should fire GMGM now that he has gotten the team to this point just for the sake of change. Yes change is good but when it's needed. I don't see any sign of this team slipping yet. We are still in a forward momentum.

Further, according to Leonsis he NOW sets the overall strategy but stays out of the specifics--that that is GMGM's job. In in his discussion with Vogel Leonsis added that his involvement with the Jagr signing was a mistake and that he has learned, painfully, from that mistake, that he leaves those decisions up to GMGM. He noted that any player was tradable and wholly up to GMGM. When he added except in the case of Ovi, he was MAKING A JOKE. We all know that GMGM is not trading the Caps' biggest asset and the best and most exciting player in the league. Seriously whoever posted that as an example of him still being too involved in the details needs to get a sense of humor. Or listen to that interview again.

Posted by: newbiecapsfan07 | August 18, 2009 9:59 AM | Report abuse

This has nothing to do with our Capitals but I was reading the blurb by Hockey News "Ray Emery has a chance to be a big upgrade over Martin Biron." Does everyone know what Biron's season save percentage was? It was 91.5%, his GAA was 2.76. WE would have been a better team with a goaltender putting up those kind of numbers. His playoff numbers were better at 2.56 .919. He stole one of the playoff games against the Pens with a shutout too. Not sure why Biron has such a hard time keeping a job. His lifetime numbers for the regular season and playoffs are very solid.

We obviously don't need goaltenders, but I almost feel sorry for Biron. Heck, he's the reason the Flyers got past us in the 2008 playoffs. Maybe he'll be available as the back-up in a couple of years after the Varly or Neuvy riddle has been solved.

Posted by: fanohock1 | August 18, 2009 10:04 AM | Report abuse

i am squarely in the camp that a skills team is in need on a "policeman" as Gordo called it. not content to rely on the powperplay as the leveler in a situation where an opposing team is beating on our guys. intimidation and possile injury are sure to creep into the picture. people here can degrade Brash and his game all they want, he was / is still one of the best with his dukes in the NHL. and stop being silly about him not going out and punching the first opposing player he met on the ice. if that was the case all of you geniuses would be busting his chops for all of the dumb penalties he took.

Posted by: doughless | August 18, 2009 10:06 AM | Report abuse

The enforcer is an unnecessary expenditure these days. BRASHEAR ONLY FIGHTS THE OTHER TEAMS ENFORCERS!!!!! How does that keep people from taking cheap shots at good players? It doesn't. If you are going to kick my team-mates @$$ (my enforcer) because I laid out Backstrom in the corner, how does that keep me from laying out Semin my next shift? Again, it doesn't. Back when enforcers like McSorley grabbed the culprit and beat them to a pulp is when it was effective. It just doesn't happen anymore. Even though I like seeing fights, the league will be moving as fast as they can to make them a thing of the past. In the mean time players will continue to take liberties on players at the end of a blowout unless the league starts treating blatant late penalties the way they should, with suspensions. What the Caps need to do is fight for themselves if they are not injured if they have received a cheap shot. I laugh at Semin's "fight?", and couldn't believe my eyes when I was at the game. However, even though he plays the bongos when he fights, at least he flipped out and defended himself. The league claims that they won't frown on that type of spontaneuos fighting. It's the staged fighting between the Brashear's, Belak's, Cote's, Orr's, etc etc that they won't to do away with.

Posted by: fanohock1 | August 18, 2009 10:25 AM | Report abuse

The enforcer is an unnecessary expenditure these days. BRASHEAR ONLY FIGHTS THE OTHER TEAMS ENFORCERS!!!!! How does that keep people from taking cheap shots at good players? It doesn't. If you are going to kick my team-mates @$$ (my enforcer) because I laid out Backstrom in the corner, how does that keep me from laying out Semin my next shift? Again, it doesn't. Back when enforcers like McSorley grabbed the culprit and beat them to a pulp is when it was effective. It just doesn't happen anymore. Even though I like seeing fights, the league will be moving as fast as they can to make them a thing of the past. In the mean time players will continue to take liberties on players at the end of a blowout unless the league starts treating blatant late penalties the way they should, with suspensions. What the Caps need to do is fight for themselves if they are not injured if they have received a cheap shot. I laugh at Semin's "fight?", and couldn't believe my eyes when I was at the game. However, even though he plays the bongos when he fights, at least he flipped out and defended himself. The league claims that they won't frown on that type of spontaneuos fighting. It's the staged fighting between the Brashear's, Belak's, Cote's, Orr's, etc etc that they want to do away with.

Posted by: fanohock1 | August 18, 2009 10:27 AM | Report abuse

So nice he posted it twice!

Posted by: thiazzi | August 18, 2009 10:32 AM | Report abuse

I read this thread for a while but skipped to the bottom to put in my two cents. I love this team, but we were not playoff-ready this year (personally I credit the weak end of year schedule to some extent). If you take off your red-colored glasses and look at the Rangers series, we played that series horribly (with some notable exceptions like game 5) and we were very fortunate to win Game 7 after sleepwalking through most of it. We picked up the pace against the Pens, but despite going the distance in that series I don't think we were anywhere near championship ready.

I am in love with this team, excited about Knuble, but we've got to dump some folks (Shamo, please) and talent up our D (that's obvious, I guess, but true).

Posted by: Sonyask | August 18, 2009 11:08 AM | Report abuse

If the NHL had competent officials we wouldn't have to worry about players taking liberties with other players.

On a positive note, Kerry Fraser is retiring at the end of the season. One of us should apply for that job.

Posted by: lornemyoung | August 18, 2009 12:06 PM | Report abuse

What I find funny pokerface is that you try and slam me for saying things, but you tend to edit things out and fail to acknowledge that my comments are generally in response to a question someone posed towards me. Someone specifically asked why I disliked Leonsis and I set that out. But once again why let facts get in the way...because having a disagreement on philosophy isn't good enough for people like you. Eitehr agree with pokerface or ELSE! Give me a little hope, name one thing about Ted Leonsis' ownership that you dislike and I'll re-remind you of the things in these threads that I have said that I liked about his ownership.

I guess I should also ask you to call tominfl and Sonyask negative people who only see the bad side of things, because they have said basically the same thing about the teams defense as I did.

I do like how you ignored the point I raised about not knowing how good a future team is going to be when comparing the best teams in Caps history. Because you had no defense. As for the points issue, you have poor reading comprehension, if it makes it easier go to hockeyreference.com and look at the winning percentage of last years team as compared to the 1985-86 team.

Lastly, real mature at taking a shot at me about supposed trade rumors on which I haven't said anything. Does it make you feel like more of a man?

Posted by: freakinandpeakin | August 18, 2009 12:24 PM | Report abuse

Actually Brashear laid out Betts and injured him for the rest of the playoffs. Betts was NOT an enforcer.

Posted by: capsfan01 | August 18, 2009 12:27 PM | Report abuse

If we could get Bill McCreary, Don Koharski, and Paul Devorski to steer clear of the Caps we would get more evenly called games. Fraser's departure will be welcomed too.

Posted by: fanohock1 | August 18, 2009 12:29 PM | Report abuse

Wow don't read for a day and have more posts that can read over coffee. If you had asked before I started watching hockey I would have said I don't like fighting. And I am still not a fan of the staged fights. But some fighting is necessary--it is a momentum changer. I love the passion in the game, the way they leave it all out on the ice. But I do think that it requires more than just an enforcer. They all need to be ready to defend themselves--and to do it smartly. I loved the way Erskin challenged Avery to the first punch to get the PP in that series. I also think that Brash was well liked and respected by the team. It will definitely be an adjustment without him. Personally I'm glad he found such a good contract. Strange days during the summer--losing Brent to the Pens and Brash to the Rangers. Wonder how the Flyers feel about losing Knuble--he seems to be really respected by them.

Posted by: Capsyoungguns | August 18, 2009 12:31 PM | Report abuse

Brashear didn't fight Betts, and the hit on Betts was not in reaction to something Betts did to a skilled Caps player. Betts getting injured was key for us because he is considered one of the better PKers the Rangers have. It would be like losing Gordon or Stecks for us. Again though, the point I am trying to make in regards to an enforcer is Brashear will not grab OV and beat the Crap out of him if OV lays out Drury with a check this season. He would look for our enforcer, or Bradley by default. If they wouldn't go, he wouldn't do anything but skate around yapping and looking for a dance partner.

Posted by: fanohock1 | August 18, 2009 12:34 PM | Report abuse

And Brashear was third for hits on our team last year. That is a lot hits given that he didn't play as many minutes as the other players. He did more than just fight. The Caps were soft last year and they are going to be just as soft, if not softer this year.

Posted by: capsfan01 | August 18, 2009 12:34 PM | Report abuse

The Hannan trade rumor came from Ecklund so you can pretty much disregard it I think.....I read he is only right about three percent of the time!

Posted by: PhilR | August 18, 2009 12:40 PM | Report abuse

everybody forgets Brash's role on the 4th line. the guy was out there pounding anybody with the puck. who is going to take up that slack???

Posted by: doughless | August 18, 2009 12:44 PM | Report abuse

He was 4th on our team in hits because that is all he does. He go on the ice and tries to body check EVERYTHING that moves. He doesn't create, he hits. That's why Bradley is number 5 as well. OV is a freak of nature. Normally the goal scorers are not your hitters in this era of the NHL. If you watch though OV looks for hits, but often times he looks to be the victim as a play develops and then exploders on the hitter. That's why OV is exciting.

Posted by: fanohock1 | August 18, 2009 12:46 PM | Report abuse

regarding leonsis, i wish every sports owner in this town was like him. beyond his obvious desire to stay electronically connected to the fans (maybe too much!) he:

-admits mistakes such as going big on free agent signings
-is willing to take bold moves for the long term benefit of the team
-has a plan and sticks to it
-values his season ticket holders
-will spend $
-when necessary, will throw down with a heckler!!

perhaps he has stuck w/ GMGM too long, particularly after his first few years as owner. i think if this team doesnt make the conf finals at least, GM is gone.

as for him going on the radio, tons of owners of all sports to it. jerry jones, mark cuban, et al. he's promoting his product, whats wrong with that? and when has he ever talked specifically about moves the team would make or its roster? i have never heard or read him make any specific comments about his roster or what moves they are going to make. he is always deferring to GMGM or talking in the most obvious generalities. other than the jagr trade, there is no other evidence that leonsis has meddled in any personnel decisions for the caps. of course he's going to be involved in signing ovie to a $100M contract.

besides, would you rather hear mcphee drone on? even dan snyder shows up on tv once in a while.

call me a lemming for leonsis, but as a long time season ticket holder i couldnt ask more from an owner.

Posted by: dcsportsfan1 | August 18, 2009 12:46 PM | Report abuse

@freakin--per your comment to pokerface that you will point out where you have liked something about Leonsis--I have only read negatives from you. Posters have been pretty clear about they do like--and don't like. So what do you like about him?

Posted by: Capsyoungguns | August 18, 2009 12:47 PM | Report abuse

PhilR, thanks for adding that. I hadn't been following the discussion and went and checked it out. When I saw it was from Ecklund I just started laughing that it is even being discussed.

fanohock, you don't need to worry about Don Koharski he retired during last season. His last game was a late season match up between the Caps and Tampa in Tampa, his hometown.

Posted by: freakinandpeakin | August 18, 2009 12:47 PM | Report abuse

I'm sure the Caps will be able to fill those 4 minutes of ice time with someone. Brash was failing in his role, his role has been diminished by the NHL as a whole. He was also getting slow. So slow that he would get to hit target so late he would actually have to not throw a hit because it would have drawn a penalty for being late. Brash was a great guy. Where is now and what he endured along the way is a great story. Even though fans will miss him, and his team mates will miss him as a good guy in the locker room, he won't be missed on the ice.

Posted by: fanohock1 | August 18, 2009 12:52 PM | Report abuse

Thanks freakin'.

Posted by: fanohock1 | August 18, 2009 12:54 PM | Report abuse

I meant to say Brash WASN'T failing in his role, sorry.

Posted by: fanohock1 | August 18, 2009 12:56 PM | Report abuse

freakin: We get it. You're this uncelebrated hockey enthusiast who knows his sh*t better than anyone on this board and that when you speak and utter an opinion, we should be weary to criticize it and/or decide to tune you out.

Seriously, no one really said you didn't know what you're talking about. It's just that we don't care about what you have to say anymore. *shrug*

Posted by: LeftCoastCapsFan | August 18, 2009 12:58 PM | Report abuse

dcsportsfan, please go back and read who you compared Ted to, Jerry Jones and Mark Cuban. That kinda proves my point about the kind of owner I see him as.

Capsyoungguns, go back and read my stuff, it is all in there, but people don't seem to want to remember any of it, because I am vocal about what I don't like. I have specifically stated that he has put together a great game day atmosphere. I think what he offers as content on the teams website is the best in the league. I am not a huge fan of the podcast, just because it is to fly by the seat of the pants but I would give that a thumbs up also. I will give credit to Ted for spending money, I think his GM has misallocated some of it, but I think they have structured many of the contracts in a way as to always having large contracts coming off the books every season which allows some flexibility to fill holes.

See, I don't have to be negative. The discussion has centered around the one on-ice issue I think has been a total disaster for this team and I fear will prevent them from winning the Cup. It isn't an earth shattering thought, because even those that disagree acknowledge it is a weakness of this team, but because I want accountability and not Red Rockers I am the bad guy. Which is fine, I don't really care what fanohock or pokerface think of me (and I am sure they feel the same). I guess the big difference is that I have always disagreed with opinions, and on occassion they have decided to make it personal, but that's okay too.

It is actually a bit tiresome in that they only wants to see what they want and take things out of context to attack. The whole point issue is the perfect example. Go back and read the entire point I made regarding the points issue and see how pokerface selectively took something I said and misrepresented the point I was trying to make. When in fact, we were basically making the same point just coming to different rationals and explanations. But that is okay too.

Posted by: freakinandpeakin | August 18, 2009 1:01 PM | Report abuse

Another thing to remember folks is just about every coach selects their 4th line based on what they expect their opponent to do. If the enforcer for the other team wasn't expected in the line-up BB wouldn't dress Brashear, or he would just use him if we got a lead. He didn't have Brashear go out and pound some random guy if things weren't going well because that's unacceptable in today's NHL. The same will go for us this season. If we don't have a big time enforcer in our line-up a team like the Pens will use Godard's slot to insert a player who can contribute more than Godard.

Posted by: fanohock1 | August 18, 2009 1:02 PM | Report abuse

LeftCoast, disagree with my opinion all you want. I am holding a minority opinion and the majority, you included, attacks because I don't share your opinion.

Posted by: freakinandpeakin | August 18, 2009 1:04 PM | Report abuse

Tominfl1, you have summed up the situation quite succinctly and effectively. Thank you. Now to more important matters--we got our son for his birthday the Fathead lifesize wall decoration of Ovechkin in action-- 6'2" x 4'2". It is quite impressive and when I need a Caps fix I go check my son's room out.

Posted by: Capsyoungguns | August 18, 2009 1:05 PM | Report abuse

C'mon freakin', now you are just getting rediculous. It's not like the Red Rockers are there to entertain the fans because there is an inferior product on the ice. It is just the way things are done these days. The Hurricanes have their ladies, the Blackhawks have hot ladies scoop up snow during stopages instead of youth hockey players like here in DC. I enjoy the free stuff that has been there for years like horn guy and the Goat. The team is good and has to be tweaked for a Cup, yes, everyone knows that. Could we land a defenseman that could make the difference with the Cap space we had, no, absolutely not. Did we need a player like Knuble, heck yeah, and we got him relatively cheap, same with B Morrison. Everyone knows that unless we move Theo and/or Nylander the Caps cannot add the proven difference making defenseman.

That is why I am hoping, and I am sure the Caps are hoping, that at the very least Theo has a solid season. I say solid season, but not the guy we're leaning on down the stretch. That way we can move him next March (or earlier) get his salary off the books and fill him with a proven D-man for playoffs.

Posted by: fanohock1 | August 18, 2009 1:13 PM | Report abuse

@ freakin': No one on this board will be able to resolve any of your grievances and therefore, are subject to having to scroll through acres of your postings criticizing everything related to the Caps' management.

You accomplish permanently posting your complaints but that is all you're accomplishing. Admit that at the end of the day, all you're doing is sharing a unique opinion that hardly anyone shares or cares for. You can rest now. No one is going to change their opinion because you wrote 5 paragraphs trying to prove them wrong. I hope you find someone or some place that appreciates your comments but there doesn't seem to be too many of them here. Good luck to you.

Posted by: LeftCoastCapsFan | August 18, 2009 1:15 PM | Report abuse

@freakin--thanks for your response. You have been coming across as pretty negative but so have others. It is easy to get combative on this board because I think we all so desperately want the Cup to come to Washington, that it is the Caps and Ovi's time. We have the best player in the NHL but no Cup while the Pens have the Cup and the no. 3 player (ha ha)--that may be why so many Pen trolls come on this board--it kills them that Ovechkin is better. Truth be told a team with both Crosby and Ovechkin on it would be pretty scary. I am really hoping that Backs can develop into a center as good if not even better.

Posted by: Capsyoungguns | August 18, 2009 1:21 PM | Report abuse

freakin, why dont you go back to my post and read what i said about ted when compared to cuban and jerry jones. that they go on radio, so does mario and pretty much every owner who's not some corporate drone. i was not comparing ted's ownership style or competence to those guys. i will remind you that jerry jones has three championships to his name, which isnt bad despite the fact that i cant stand the guy.

you are falling into cheef territory. someone incapable of accepting facts that counter your perception of ownership/management. hate ted or GM all you like. your perogative. just try and keep an open mind that maybe, just maybe, you might be proven wrong.

Posted by: dcsportsfan1 | August 18, 2009 1:26 PM | Report abuse

freakinandpeakin:
you have every right to your opinion - just expect to get some negative feedback here when you come across like an *ss
it would have been nice if they had addressed the d weakness instead of replacing feds and kozlov - but since none of us really know the details of what GMGM thinks of 'making the right deal' is - we'll have to live with the moves he does make. i am not disappointed in the Bmo or knuble signings. you could be right that he did not need to make offers to all of the d-men - but do you know which of those d-men may or may not have accepted the offers? i believe he is doing his best to protect the instrest of the team. lets hope he can make a move to get a 1 or 2 dman (hell even a 3 or 4) to help out without giving up too much in return. the potential downside is ending up with someone like nlys whose contract does not equate to his production on the ice.
i would rather go with what we've got than to make a move 'just to make a move'

Posted by: Capt_Kirk_in_AZ | August 18, 2009 1:33 PM | Report abuse

The discussion was great and respectful until it became abundently clear that for every positive out there you have 5 negatives to counter it from minor league players all the way up to the owner. I've been able to read "War in Peace" faster than some of your rants.

Posted by: pokerfaceI208 | August 18, 2009 1:39 PM | Report abuse

As far as the Hannan thing, I understand taht it was Eklund which means that it probably isn't true but when you think about it, it would make sense for both teams.

I did fail however to point out that my proposal wouldn't actually work due to salaries etc so we'd probably put a Nyls in there or something like that. Maybe a higher salary Dman like SMo or something like that. Regardless it makes a lot of sense.

Theo for sure will not be included in this deal as the Avs have signed Craig Anderson as their #1 and have high hopes for him.

Posted by: pokerfaceI208 | August 18, 2009 1:41 PM | Report abuse

Wow. So much. Maybe I can summarize. For each d-man, I will give a numerical rating #1 thru #7 defenseman for ES Offense, ES Defense, PP and PK.

Green 1+, 3/4, 1+++, 4
Poti 4, 3, 4, 2
Pothier 3, 3, 3, 3
Shamo 5, 4, 5, 4
Jurcina 5, 4, 5, 4
Erskine 6, 3, 6, 4
Schultz 5, 4, 6, 4
Sloan 5, 5, N/A, 4
Alzner (incomplete)

Feel free to rate for yourself. Our defense is not Cup worthy as we are sorely lacking a #1 defensive defenseman and a #2 offensive defensman. We can't win the Cup with these ratings! But...that doesn't mean we break up the team! Much better to trade one excess asset (ShaMo, we are over cap anyway) and then see who steps up during the season. Pothier might surprise, and maybe also Alzner. There will be someone there at the deadline who can come in as a #2/3 defenseman. Carlson might actually step up - but he's very young and d-men don't develop that quickly. Best bet is we move Theo at the deadline - or even Nyles, since he would be close to losing his NMC - and get back a top pair guy from another team.

It doesn't matter who plays from now until next March 1st. This team will again get 108 pts and be a #1, 2 or 3 seed. It only matters who plays next year down the stretch and in the playoffs.

Posted by: tominfl1 | August 18, 2009 1:59 PM | Report abuse

OK, I overrated a little. Sloan should get some 7s maybe offense.

And when I say trade Theo or Nyles for top pair d-man, I don't mean in same trade. Say you trade Theo to Team X for picks and you get cap relief and then you have cap space for a defenseman from Team Y.

I was a little generous in some grades, but it's splitting hairs if a guy is a #6 or 7 defenseman on the PP. Either way, he's not what we need - a #2.

Posted by: tominfl1 | August 18, 2009 2:06 PM | Report abuse

Um yes..Richmondphil. Many of our players will be forced to defend themselves/fight w/o an enforcer. They can not rely on Erskine or Bradley the way that they could w Brashear. Enforcers are not obsolete YET in the NHL. The Pens, Rangers, and Philly all carry tough enforcers for a reason.
Many on this board who think it is a good idea not to have an enforcer are going to be crying the blues when the season starts and our guys are pushed around. Refs don't always make calls.

Posted by: capsfan01 | August 18, 2009 4:41 AM |

You completely miss my point.

It seems some of you don't know exactly how enforcers work i the NHL.


As for Hannan being an Ecklund rumor, I said rumors are rumors. Ecklund is no less wrong than any other rumor guru. Get over yourself freakin, really.

Posted by: richmondphil | August 18, 2009 2:10 PM | Report abuse

tom, your a tough grader. i think most agree that some upgrades on d are warranted. particularly of the stay at home type. but we also have to assume that our young dmen will improve given the experience they have through playing the past few seasons both regular and playoffs.

with the exception of poti, pots and erskine, they are all in their low/mid 20's (sloan might be high 20's). the team has to count on them to improve inorder for this team to go further. you cant dump these guys now just because at 23 or 24 they cant be expected to reach their potential.

Posted by: dcsportsfan1 | August 18, 2009 2:15 PM | Report abuse

The enforcer is an unnecessary expenditure these days. BRASHEAR ONLY FIGHTS THE OTHER TEAMS ENFORCERS!!!!! How does that keep people from taking cheap shots at good players? It doesn't. If you are going to kick my team-mates @$$ (my enforcer) because I laid out Backstrom in the corner, how does that keep me from laying out Semin my next shift? Again, it doesn't. Back when enforcers like McSorley grabbed the culprit and beat them to a pulp is when it was effective. It just doesn't happen anymore. Even though I like seeing fights, the league will be moving as fast as they can to make them a thing of the past. In the mean time players will continue to take liberties on players at the end of a blowout unless the league starts treating blatant late penalties the way they should, with suspensions. What the Caps need to do is fight for themselves if they are not injured if they have received a cheap shot. I laugh at Semin's "fight?", and couldn't believe my eyes when I was at the game. However, even though he plays the bongos when he fights, at least he flipped out and defended himself. The league claims that they won't frown on that type of spontaneuos fighting. It's the staged fighting between the Brashear's, Belak's, Cote's, Orr's, etc etc that they want to do away with.

Posted by: fanohock1 | August 18, 2009 10:27 AM |

Again, I'm not sure if you know how enforcers work.


Also, again, all you people keep telling me enforcers are a dying breed. Then why did Brash and Orr get huge contracts?

Posted by: richmondphil | August 18, 2009 2:16 PM | Report abuse

I wasn't trying to say one rumor guy is better than another richphil but lets just say Ecklund's track record does seem to be a bit worse than others. Just can't see Colorado wanting Nyls or Theo which is the only way they could clear the cap space required.

Posted by: PhilR | August 18, 2009 2:18 PM | Report abuse

Tom is tough because he is right. We have a crop of mediocre d-men.

Poti's not that great on the PK though, he's just the best we've got. Everyone likes to say that Poti and Gordon are expert Pkers, but the truth is, our PK sucked. Just because they had ice-time doesn't mean they were very effective.

Posted by: richmondphil | August 18, 2009 2:19 PM | Report abuse

I agree that there is a time and place for enforcers, they are still necessary in about a third of the games. The Caps will miss Brash this year, lets just hope the guy Hershey signed can come up for that third that we will need.

Posted by: PhilR | August 18, 2009 2:21 PM | Report abuse

with the exception of poti, pots and erskine, they are all in their low/mid 20's (sloan might be high 20's). the team has to count on them to improve inorder for this team to go further. you cant dump these guys now just because at 23 or 24 they cant be expected to reach their potential.

Posted by: dcsportsfan1 | August 18, 2009 2:15 PM

I agree wholeheartedly. That's why I said wait and see who steps up and make the deal at the deadline. Meanwhile though, to fit under the cap, at least one of them has to go. But, I doubt this group will grow enough this year to have us as a Cup-worthy D corps by next April. I put odds 1 in 4 or 5 that our D can be "as good as Detroit" say by next year's Playoffs. And that's how good you have to be.

Posted by: tominfl1 | August 18, 2009 2:21 PM | Report abuse

I wasn't trying to say one rumor guy is better than another richphil but lets just say Ecklund's track record does seem to be a bit worse than others. Just can't see Colorado wanting Nyls or Theo which is the only way they could clear the cap space required.

Posted by: PhilR | August 18, 2009 2:18 PM |

I understand that. Like I said, it is Ecklund. But to say some snappy condescending remark like, "oh, Ecklund??? I completely dismissed it after that" makes you look like an ass. I know you didn't say that, but freakin did. Like really..who would post here and not know what hockeybuzz/Ecklund is?

Hockeybuzz is what it is. Fun site during the middle of off-season. If I see the Caps on there, I am going to report here as a rumor.

Posted by: richmondphil | August 18, 2009 2:22 PM | Report abuse

Phil: I rerally think Poti rates as a top-pair (#2) for PK. Remember, he was overworked because he WAS the best, often coming back too soon from injury. His puck-clearing skills are very good and he has good poise. If the team had a guy like Langway to clear the crease, you'd be giving Poti a higher ranking because the Langway guy would make them all look better (just like Lidstrom does in Detroit). Whenever any team in any sport lacks a #1 at any position, they all look bad because everyone is stepping up and trying to do something they can't. It's like if my wife left and I had to cook. It wouldn't be pretty.

Posted by: tominfl1 | August 18, 2009 2:26 PM | Report abuse

And it was extremely fun reading for me during lunch rich.....man things are slow at work today, almost as slow as this offseason is going. sigh

Posted by: PhilR | August 18, 2009 2:26 PM | Report abuse

Good point. I am hard on Poti because of what I saw of him while he was in New York. Since he came here, i've always been hard on him. He is obviously better than the rest of our d-men, but across the league he is a 3-4 guy.

I just bring up the PK thing, because our PK was not very good last year. Especially in the first round against the rags..I specifically remember guys just skating to the high slot with the puck unbothered. One of Antropov's goals comes to mind.

Maybe all he needs is a steady partner

Posted by: richmondphil | August 18, 2009 2:33 PM | Report abuse

Phil: It was the same with Green. He was way overworked on the PK. A guy like Green should be saved so that every single blasted one of his minutes is ES and PP, and even then his minutes on ES should be concentrated to offensive zone faceoffs and transition. Him being average defensively and having all those PK minutes speaks volumes about the weakness. I do think the young players will improve over the course of the season, but not enough I feel to be "Cup worthy."

Posted by: tominfl1 | August 18, 2009 2:41 PM | Report abuse

The Defense is clearly a concern. The point has been made that except for Poti, Pothier, and Erskine that they are relatively young. I like to think that that the young guys will be better...or at the very least wiser.

I also like to think that if the D ain't getting the job done by Valentine's Day (which includes having given Alzner and maybe even Carlson a shot by then), that GMGM will make whatever move or moves that necessary to carry us through the playoffs. Even if it means parting with a top prospect like Carlson or Alzner. I think we all agree that now is the time!

Posted by: broud0 | August 18, 2009 2:42 PM | Report abuse

The fact our PK wasn't very good last year had not much to do with what players were out on the ice. It's the way we tried to kill them. We basically stood and watched. Our forwards rarely put pressure on the pointment with the puck. Our D-men were rarely pushing guys out of the crease and would rarely slide out to the corners. It was all standing and watching. Of course our PK is gonna stink.

The unit should be agressive all around. From clearing crease to attacking the guys with the puck. If you get burned that way at least you are putting forth an effort. And that is when your goalie needs to step up and make plays.

Posted by: ThePat | August 18, 2009 2:46 PM | Report abuse

Poti just looked old to me at times last year....I know he had a groin problem and that was a lot of it but I also seem to recall a lot of hockey players never being able to fully recover from groin injuries....becomes a chronic issue. I just hope he can stay healthy cause if that groin pops again there goes our one and only hope for veteran leadership on the blue line currently.

Posted by: PhilR | August 18, 2009 2:47 PM | Report abuse

I have been trying to flesh out this Hannan rumor. If they wanted to do it straight up for Nyls, then we gain our shutdown d-man. Problem is, Hannan sucked HARD last season. But he performs very well in the playoffs.

Problem with that is the Cap. Avs are trying to clear space as well, so why would they pick up Nyls and a d-man like Mo for Hannan? They don't gain any space.

Bring this idea into a 3-way perspective, and lots of doors open up...

Posted by: richmondphil | August 18, 2009 2:49 PM | Report abuse

Great discussion. I especially enjoyed the d-man rankings by tominfl1, very helpful in understanding strengths and weakness. Criticism without ranting is much better. I lose interest. I am going to check out Hockeybuzz now BUT I will take it with a huge grain of salt!

Posted by: newbiecapsfan07 | August 18, 2009 2:50 PM | Report abuse

The fact our PK wasn't very good last year had not much to do with what players were out on the ice. It's the way we tried to kill them. We basically stood and watched. Our forwards rarely put pressure on the pointment with the puck. Our D-men were rarely pushing guys out of the crease and would rarely slide out to the corners. It was all standing and watching. Of course our PK is gonna stink.

The unit should be agressive all around. From clearing crease to attacking the guys with the puck. If you get burned that way at least you are putting forth an effort. And that is when your goalie needs to step up and make plays.

Posted by: ThePat | August 18, 2009 2:46 PM |

I agree. It is why I brought up the Rags series. We let guys just walk the puck in the high slot repetitively. No matter who is out there, you aren't going to kill anything if you don't engage.

Still, personnel definetely is a factor.

Posted by: richmondphil | August 18, 2009 2:51 PM | Report abuse

No crease clearing Dman on the roster Pat, hate to say it but those are facts. Closest we have is Carlson and he isn't going to be ready this year IMO.

Posted by: PhilR | August 18, 2009 2:51 PM | Report abuse

Great discussion. I especially enjoyed the d-man rankings by tominfl1, very helpful in understanding strengths and weakness. Criticism without ranting is much better. I lose interest. I am going to check out Hockeybuzz now BUT I will take it with a huge grain of salt!

Posted by: newbiecapsfan07 | August 18, 2009 2:50 PM |

It's kind of a crummy site. It just has rumors and lots of Canadians telling other people how great their team is.

it is a GREAT site to use during the Free Agent frenzy though, and the Caps blogger there (Steve Hindle..who also happens to be the Avs blogger) usually has very interesting write-ups. He has tons and tons of articles about Nylander and his situation.

Posted by: richmondphil | August 18, 2009 2:54 PM | Report abuse

i fail to see the wisdom in our top skills guys fighting. push and shove yeah, but gloves off pummeling?? i don't think Ted would be happy with the idea.

Posted by: doughless | August 18, 2009 2:56 PM | Report abuse

I read The Code and have been watching hockey for a long time. I am very well aware of how enforcers work. Brashear and some of the other enforcers are more than just fighters who fight other enforcers. They hit hard (sometimes causing injury to a key player the way that Brash did to Betts), they antagonize and get other players off of their game, they intimidate, and sometimes even change the momentum.
While enforcers may be becoming a dying breed, they are not dead yet. Hence, Orr's four year $4 mil contract and Brash's two year $2.8 mil contract.
If it wasn't a big deal for the Capitals to have an enforcer, players (Gordon, Green, and Ovie) wouldn't have mentioned not having one as a possible obstacle.
And yes Ovie is an anomaly. He hits and scores. He is an incredibly exciting player.
As for Ted, do not even use his name in the same sentence as Dan Snyder. Ted has been great for the Caps and the fans. That is why he was on SI's best owners list and Snyder was one of SI's top five worst owners. Every organization has its faults.

Posted by: capsfan01 | August 18, 2009 2:58 PM | Report abuse

All we need is for Ovie to break his hand swinging and hitting a guy in the helmet in a fight. Out of action minimum of six to eight weeks and teams will attempt to antagonize him to fight, especially those with goons, cause we have no one currently who can intimidate them not to.

Posted by: PhilR | August 18, 2009 3:09 PM | Report abuse

i have yet to see anyone take a real run at OV or Semin or Backstrom, but my guess is that the first time it happens there will be many on this board who will be wishing Brash were still around.

Posted by: doughless | August 18, 2009 3:11 PM | Report abuse

Enforcers are not pests.

Why do you keep echoing my sentiments to argue with me? I only disagree with you that "other players will have to fight", because that is simply not true. Why does Backstrom have to fight again?

Posted by: richmondphil | August 18, 2009 3:11 PM | Report abuse

Again, I ask, who is the Red Wings' enforcer and how is they do without?

Posted by: tominfl1 | August 18, 2009 3:11 PM | Report abuse

Richmondphil--Thanks for your Steve Hindle recommendation. You and Tominfl1 among others always have excellent informative details. I'll just pop back over to that trashy Canadian rumor site now.

Posted by: newbiecapsfan07 | August 18, 2009 3:12 PM | Report abuse

Not syaing they will have to fight but a man can only be pushed so far. Not saying the other teams enforcers will be the ones doing the pesting, I'm saying goons like Avery are gonna take freedoms.

Posted by: PhilR | August 18, 2009 3:14 PM | Report abuse

There are teams without enforcers who did not do so well.

Red Wings being the Red Wings have absolutely nothing to do with employing an enforcer or not.

Posted by: richmondphil | August 18, 2009 3:14 PM | Report abuse

I would have to argue that the Wings get the calls from the refs more often than not. The Caps do not have that luxury, they are not the golden children of the NHL and seem to get screwed by refs more than most teams. Just my opinion.

Posted by: PhilR | August 18, 2009 3:16 PM | Report abuse

All we need is for Ovie to break his hand swinging and hitting a guy in the helmet in a fight. Out of action minimum of six to eight weeks and teams will attempt to antagonize him to fight, especially those with goons, cause we have no one currently who can intimidate them not to.

Posted by: PhilR | August 18, 2009 3:09 PM |

see: Derek Brassard.

Look, I agree with you guys. I am on board with "skepticism to not having an enforcer." I just don't see why Bradley or Erskine wouldn't be doing 99% of the fighting.

Posted by: richmondphil | August 18, 2009 3:17 PM | Report abuse

Wow guys! We are actually having a discussion.

Cue someone to come in and tell us GMGM sucks.

Posted by: richmondphil | August 18, 2009 3:19 PM | Report abuse

I'd rather the Caps find a replacement for Matt Cooke than for Brashear. Enforcement in the new NHL amounts to having a strong PP, and having someone who'll dish the same dirt on your Star that you'll deal to ours. That kind of semi-dirtball middleweight--a Claude Lemieux finalist, if you will--would be worth much more than Brash these days.

Posted by: redlineblue | August 18, 2009 3:22 PM | Report abuse

Let Avery take liberties. He took so many liberties in the Playoffs, he got benched.

You don't need an enforcer to stop Avery. Just give him some rope.

Posted by: tominfl1 | August 18, 2009 3:23 PM | Report abuse

there are two ways to make sure the other team doesnt take runs at your best players. make them pay on the power play or have a deterrent on the bench...or both. i think back to the game in MSG a couple of years ago when brash got tossed for sucker punching one of the rangers. might have been the same game that he fought shanahan. anyway, as soon as he's off the ice, orr takes a run at ovie.

ovie can take care of himself, but backs or flash or semin cant. (insert semin bongo joke here)

now, i dont necessarily think they need a pure pugilist on the bench, but they need a guy or two who the other team knows will be physical with their best player. i think you can do more harm through tough hard play then just dropping the mittens with the other teams enforcer. i'm thinking of guys like lucic in boston. he will drop em, but his biggest threat is that he will lay the lumber on you too.

guys like bradley, clark, steckel are going to have to take on that role, as will some of the bigger dmen. they are also going to have to rely on their PP to be effective. i also wouldnt be surprised to see them call up a situational enforcer from hershey.

Posted by: dcsportsfan1 | August 18, 2009 3:33 PM | Report abuse

If your guy runs Backstrom unpenalized, I'm not sending Brash out to fight your fighter. I'm sending [player needed!] out to invent the 10-minute elbow on your silkiest playmaker.
Then I'm sending a valentine to Colon Campbell, suggesting that he either do his job or get another. Referees are supposed to be the 'enforcers'! NHL officiating is Cindy's playoff beard. And you know that's pathetic.

Posted by: redlineblue | August 18, 2009 3:38 PM | Report abuse

Let Avery take liberties. He took so many liberties in the Playoffs, he got benched.

You don't need an enforcer to stop Avery. Just give him some rope.

Posted by: tominfl1 | August 18, 2009 3:23 PM

Just like Erskine did.

Posted by: newbiecapsfan07 | August 18, 2009 3:41 PM | Report abuse

i like the Lucic model, but i don't see someone similar on the current roster. Lumberjack and Brads can drop the mits. however, a little concerned with Lumberjack's concussion issue. if a bit more of the team would man up I wouldn't be so concerned about not having a Brash type to clobber someone (and no, i am not talking about our top skills guys trying to be bruisers).

Posted by: doughless | August 18, 2009 3:44 PM | Report abuse

Life got a little more interesting...

THN came out with their predictions for next season. Yesterday, there were just the top 3 slots left. I predicted we'd be 3rd with Pitts 2nd and Boston 1st.

3rd place was just announced. It's Pittsburgh. We're either 1st or 2nd. I never expected to see a Canadian rag select the Russian over a good ole Canadian boy! Grapes must be flippin' out!

Posted by: Greg S. | August 18, 2009 3:47 PM | Report abuse

i wish we had a lucic model...as do a lot of teams. does knuble like to mix it up? clarke will.

Posted by: dcsportsfan1 | August 18, 2009 3:47 PM | Report abuse

So what about tominfl1's question: how do the Wings win without an enforcer? I really don't know and am curious as to what others think.

I am still new to hockey so take my view as just that--my view. BUT I am of the opinion that more guys need to step it up so that the "enforcer" role is not one person. Physicality and fights are part of the game but I'm not too sure of the staged "mock" fighting. I prefer the emotion of the moment. Despite the humor of Semin's fight I like the fact that he got into that scuffle.

Posted by: newbiecapsfan07 | August 18, 2009 3:55 PM | Report abuse

RichmondPhil, I'm not echoing your sentiments. You're echoing mine... j/k w you. I guess we agree on most things dealing w the enforcer issue EXCEPT I think that the guys will be pushed or goaded into fighting now and will have to stick up for themselves w/o an enforcer to commit to that role. Also, other teams will take more liberties against the Caps. They might not mind risking a two minute just to injure Ovie and have him out the rest of the game.
My hope is that our boys will all stick up for each other. This season will be a good experiment.
Stop comparing the Caps to the Red Wings. The Red Wings are in a different division and conference. Many of the other teams in their division/conference don't carry an enforcer. This makes it easier for them during the regular season. Also, the refs show favoritism to the Wings.
I can see advantages and disadvantages to having an enforcer. I would prefer that we had a player like Lucic or Pronger over a one dimensional pugilist. But there aren't any on the market. And they are too expensive for us.

Posted by: capsfan01 | August 18, 2009 4:22 PM | Report abuse

newb, I think the Red Wings' system is their enforcer. They play pretty clean, hard-nosed hockey all over the ice. It's very hard to out-do their -disciplined- physicality, and UNdisciplined physicality exposes you to their voracious powerplay(unless you are Malkin).

Posted by: redlineblue | August 18, 2009 4:33 PM | Report abuse

I was just thinking that we get some posts that say what the Caps need is a defenseman like Langway. Well folks, we're talking about a Hall of Famer there. They don't exactly come along very often. I remain happy to wait and see our YOUNG d-men (read as Schultz is just 23) develop and step up. I'm optimistic by nature, but I think this team that was the #2 team in the east last year with much of the same players will be just fine. Injury and youth undid the Caps perhaps.

Posted by: lornemyoung | August 18, 2009 4:37 PM | Report abuse

the sharks stripped the C from marleau and the A's from whoever had them. someone in the past had asked whether this had ever happened, well, now it has. i also think dallas did it to modano. wasnt he their captain at one point after hatcher?

Posted by: dcsportsfan1 | August 18, 2009 4:38 PM | Report abuse

ThePat & Richmond - I can't possibly agree with you guys more. I've been saying this for a while as well. Our 2 most glaring weaknesses were D and the PK and not necessarily in that order. Our PK was brutal. Yes it went on stretches where it was OK but over an 82 game season that's bound to happen.

I think that with the 2 UFA signings that we got, a new D and PK coach in Woods and the fact that our D is yet another year experienced and we have 1 or 2 younger guys coming in to the mix, our D and PK WILL be better. Both BMo and Knuble kill penalties and Knuble especiall does it quite well. BMo has great speed which you have to have up top on the PK. So I'm completely with you guys.

I think GMGM wants to look at this group and see what they can do before he makes any moves. I think a minor move will be made before the season for cap reasons and then a more definative move will be made during the season after he has time to assess what he's got.

Posted by: pokerfaceI208 | August 18, 2009 4:52 PM | Report abuse

Yep Modano was the C and they removed it from him and gave it to Morrow. Modano seemed to take it pretty well but he's getting a little long in the tooth and it towards the end of his career anyway. Fantastic career that it was though.

Posted by: pokerfaceI208 | August 18, 2009 4:54 PM | Report abuse

call me a lemming for leonsis, but as a long time season ticket holder i couldnt ask more from an owner.


Posted by: dcsportsfan1 | August 18, 2009 12:46 PM
unless you say something bad about him and he threatens to tyake your tickets away

Posted by: whiteltng | August 18, 2009 4:56 PM | Report abuse

whiteling,
do tell. did this really happen?

Posted by: dcsportsfan1 | August 18, 2009 4:57 PM | Report abuse

if you are on the caps boards you know about this

Posted by: whiteltng | August 18, 2009 5:03 PM | Report abuse

As far as Detroit, they never had a Brash type of player but they did have McCarty, Draper, Holmstrom and others that were very physical and weren't afraid of the rough stuff. So I agree with the assessment that we don't need a Brash so long as we have our McCarty's of the world which we don't.

The other point I keep making about Detroit too is that they don't and didn't have a Pronger or Chara type of guy either. They had their #1 guy in Lidstrom who is the best in the business of course but he isn't the physically brutal guy that the Prongers of the world are. Which supports my idea that we don't need a Pronger type of Dman. Sure we could use a Hannan, Foote, Phaneuf, or Commodore type of guy. Don't forget that Detroit usually had 3-4 Dmen that could all play top 1-2 minutes so they had essentiall 2 pairs of 1-2 Dmen and so did Anaheim before they got rid of Pronger and they won a Cup with that formula as well.

Posted by: pokerfaceI208 | August 18, 2009 5:04 PM | Report abuse

Posted by: fedsfan91 | August 18, 2009 5:04 PM | Report abuse

@lornemyoung

It was me who put Langway's name. Yes, he's a hall-of-famer. Most Cup winners I think have a HOF on the blue line. I dunno, maybe half over the last 20 years. Last 12 years I know you had Lidstrom with 4 in Detroit and NJ had a couple with Stevens. Rob Blake won a Cup or two. HOF? Maybe. Bourque took one as an Av. Of course, we have Green, and he's a maybe.

OK. it doesn't have to be Langway. It could be Tinordi. Even it could be Glen Wesley. Point is, we don't have that player, very doubtfully, on the roster this year. So get a Glen Wesley or Tinordi at the deadline. That would make our D "Cup Worthy." Then maybe the following year the young guys are "Worthy" on their own. But, I'd like a decent shot this year and we kinda got ripped last year cuz no cap room at the deadline and then we lost to Pitt by a few lousy bounces.

Posted by: tominfl1 | August 18, 2009 5:14 PM | Report abuse

Steve Hindle just blogged on hockeybuzz that he feels the Caps will address the enforcer role before they address the top 4 Dman role. Sounds like some teams are out there trying to get picks for their tough guys and that's more than reasonable.

Interesting though, since we're over the cap a trade HAS to be made by the drop of the puck to start the season. It's just a matter of how big that trade will be. Stay tuned......

Posted by: pokerfaceI208 | August 18, 2009 5:16 PM | Report abuse

Yes, I forgot Ducks won with Niedermeyer and Pronger - two HOF D-men.

I'm not saying blow up the Caps - far from it (see earlier posts).

Mark Tinordi at the deadline would be fine. Move Theo, get picks, package picks with a prsopect, and get your rental d-man who's about to be a UFA. Get a guy with some Matt Cooke in him - we do lack pestiness.

Posted by: tominfl1 | August 18, 2009 5:18 PM | Report abuse

whiteling,
do tell. did this really happen?
Posted by: dcsportsfan1 | August 18, 2009 4:57 PM

if you are on the caps boards you know about this
Posted by: whiteltng | August 18, 2009 5:03 PM

Too coy. I stayed off that board--too much contempt for newbies.

Posted by: newbiecapsfan07 | August 18, 2009 5:29 PM | Report abuse

FedsFan91, thanks for the link. Varlamov seems like a nice kid. I don't know about the comments posted under the video. Yes, there are many fat Americans. More so than in Europe. But just because someone is skinny and bleached blonde doesn't make them pretty. I should know. I am from Russia. I think that their are many pretty American girls.

Posted by: capsfan01 | August 18, 2009 5:29 PM | Report abuse

@redlineblue--thanks for your analysis. I must admit I was very impressed by their clean sharp play in the playoffs. I definitely thought we needed more discipline in our play--too many turnovers and more consistent effective passing for example. Still trying to get a handle on the various "systems."

Posted by: newbiecapsfan07 | August 18, 2009 5:51 PM | Report abuse

"*Hannan: The Avalanche were apparently turned down by the Caps for a deal that could have sent Nylander to the Avs for Hannan. Hannan can be gotten apparently, which i frankly find rather surprising. Just last summer he was a great pickup and a huge loss for San Jose."

This was just posted by Eklund and I don't believe a word of it. I can't imagine GMGM not trading Nyls for Hannan straight up. It's essentially the same cap number but we get rid of a player who is consistently scratched for a guy who could play top minutes on D. I know we're full on D but we could then move some D for just picks and not have to worry about a player in return to fill a need so to say. Or some of our lower D guys for the enforcer I mentioned earlier.

Sorry but I'm not buying that we turned this down.

Posted by: pokerfaceI208 | August 18, 2009 6:32 PM | Report abuse

I would rather add a furious, physical winger than this mythical D-man we've fetishized. -This- Caps D is better than last year's: The kids are stronger, more experienced, more ticked off, and smarter than they've ever been before. We've seen the difference a coaching change can make. We've not seen what fully healthy Pothier can offer Caps. If you're a Caps D, the Bears D is one heck of an incentive program. Plenty of reasons to expect more D from "essentially the same corps".
Oh, I expect GMGM will get y'all the defenseman Caps so urgently 'need'. So, uh, how about that PK?

Posted by: redlineblue | August 18, 2009 7:09 PM | Report abuse

From PuckDaddy:

Goals: Alexander Ovechkin(notes), Washington Capitals, 56

AO's going for the Richard Trophy hat-trick, after leading the league in goals the last two seasons. (Vincent Lecavalier(notes) preceded his run.) The last guy to do that was a player with the same kind of sniper accuracy Ovechkin possesses: Brett Hull from 1989-1992. Hull had Adam Oates as his pivot for a good portion of that time; Ovechkin has Nicklas Backstrom(notes) (66 assists) and the off-season addition of Mike Knuble(notes) crashing the crease. Biggest Threat: Ilya Kovalchuk(notes). Chances for Repeat: As good as the chances that a Nationals fan will one day proclaim Stephen Strasburg "wasn't worth the money," even if he makes the Hall of Fame.


Shots On Goal: Alexander Ovechkin, Washington Capitals, 528

Ovechkin shoots slightly more often than a kid playing "Halo" on his seventh Red Bull. Biggest Threats: The lumber industry. Oh, threats to Ovechkin's shots on goal lead? Hmmm ... stumped. Chances for Repeat: As sure a thing as Ovechkin saying something sexually awkward (sex before and after a game) in a Russian-language interview.

Honorable mentions for the Caps: Backstrom as a threat for getting most assists (more than Malkin's projected 78). Dave Steckel beating Brindy on faceoff percentage (projected at 61%).

Also, Ovie for PP Goals over the 20 predicted for Vanek, and GWGs over Carter's projected 12.

Posted by: Greg S. | August 18, 2009 7:31 PM | Report abuse

Posted by: Greg S. | August 18, 2009 7:39 PM | Report abuse

if you are on the caps boards you know about this

Posted by: whiteltng | August 18, 2009 5:03 PM | Report abuse

well, there are a million caps boards so maybe you can do those of us who are interested a favor and clue us in.

Posted by: dcsportsfan1 | August 18, 2009 7:39 PM | Report abuse

OK, I will post this again. Not because I think I'm special, or my opinion "rates," but because I feel this is how the Caps defense performs:

Wow. So much. Maybe I can summarize. For each d-man, I will give a numerical rating #1 thru #7 defenseman for ES Offense, ES Defense, PP and PK.

Green 1+, 3/4, 1+++, 4
Poti 4, 3, 4, 2
Pothier 3, 3, 3, 3
Shamo 5, 4, 5, 4
Jurcina 5, 4, 6, 4
Erskine 6, 3, 7, 4
Schultz 6, 5, 7, 4
Sloan 7, 5, 7, 4
Alzner (incomplete)

I changed a few. Now, if you really and truly belive the Caps' defense is Cup worthy, equal to say, Detroit, or at least close, put your own ratings. Sports doesn't work by "I wish I may, I wish I might..." And Santa isn't going to ("Ho, ho, ho!") give you that Cup cuz you were a good boy or girl. (Although maybe Cindy did Santa a huge favor last spring!)

You win the Cup cuz you got the big goal when you needed it and the great save all along (See: Olaf Kolzig, 1998, he did all he could, even outplaying Hasek, and Oates did all he could, that injury to Jeff Brown and Tik missing the OPEN NET didn't help - but, the Wings WERE superior) and otherwise you just had enough tenacious D (from both forwards and rearguards) to keep the other team, just barely, at bay (see: Lidstrom missing tying goal Game 7 1 second left. Even Ian Fleming couldn't have written a more improbable finish.)

Posted by: tominfl1 | August 18, 2009 8:35 PM | Report abuse

RichmondPhil, I'm not echoing your sentiments. You're echoing mine... j/k w you. I guess we agree on most things dealing w the enforcer issue EXCEPT I think that the guys will be pushed or goaded into fighting now and will have to stick up for themselves w/o an enforcer to commit to that role.


Posted by: capsfan01 | August 18, 2009 4:22 PM |

haha. It's all good.

We've also got to remember that there is Brandon Sugden who Hershey signed. The guy can kick the sh** out of 95% of the NHL enforcers. He just sort of sucks at the game of hockey.

He will definetely be a "go-to" guy to call up if we need the extra muscle.

Posted by: richmondphil | August 18, 2009 9:07 PM | Report abuse

Richmondphil--Thanks. Steve Hindle's discussion of Nylander was fascinating and seemed pretty fair to all the parties involved. I do hope the situation gets resolved. When I get a chance I'll check farther into his archive. The rest of the site is as you say gossipy, but hey it's August--need something to read.

Posted by: newbiecapsfan07 | August 18, 2009 9:08 PM | Report abuse

i wish we had a lucic model...as do a lot of teams. does knuble like to mix it up? clarke will.

Posted by: dcsportsfan1 | August 18, 2009 3:47 PM |

I gotta say, Lucic is somewhat of a rare breed. It would be great to have a guy like him, but it's not necessary. We can get a 3/4 line guy who does what Lucic does on a much smaller level. Meaning all the pestery/nastiness, but not quite the complete package with the offensive ability too.

Posted by: richmondphil | August 18, 2009 9:14 PM | Report abuse

Hindle just posted a new one about the enforcer issue. (Does he read this blog? haha)

Posted by: richmondphil | August 18, 2009 9:16 PM | Report abuse

OK, now we're rating the forwards. I have devised a simple system. Naturally people will disagree, but my statistical approach to cost analysis, honed over 30 years in the Aerospace industry, as one of the most respected stisticians since Moses' assistant, DoubtingThomasinGalilee, told him the flood would be 40 days&nights and not 35 as advertised...so we have 30 teams and 3 forwards/line/4 lines = 360 forwards to be rated...the first 90 are "1st line" and the next 90 (91-180) 2nd line and so forth (based on pts, for simplicity).

Now, the "average team," completely average, would have one each 1, 2, 3, 4...12 forwards for 78 pts total (lower is better).

The first 30 forwards are "1st line - 1." The next 30 forwards are "1st line - 2." The next 30 (61-90) are "3" up until 331-360 are "12." Make sense? It's not perfect and I've tried to give defense some weighting and do your own at home if you want. I also give "Super" credit to OV and Backie - so good they make others perfoem better. Remember, like golf, lower is better.

Caps - 12 Forwards

Alexander Ovechkin "-1" (also Crosby and Malkin) 110 pts
Nick Backstrom "0" (he's in Top 10 forwards, or better expressed he's in the top 11% of the 90 forwards who are "first liners." 88 pts + good D.
Alexander Semin - "1" 79 pts #19 overall - top third of 1st line forwards.
Brooks Laich "4" - a top 2nd liner (surprise, surprise) with 53 pts #84 overall (in the top 90 of forwards, so technically a 1st liner) with good D on PK. We'll give him a "4," which is top winder on 2nd line.
Knuble "4" - 47 pts #107 for forwards, he's in the top third of 2nd liners sp therefore a "4."
Flash. Aren't the detractors surprised? 37 pts makes him #171 overall which makes him a "6," bottom third of 2nd liners.
Nylander. Shocked like a bad-boy aren't you? 33 pts makes him #184 overall = top third of 3rd line = 7 pts.
Fehr. 25 pts #231 = 8 pts = mid 3rd liner.
Stecks 19 pts #280 = 10 pts = top 4th liner.

That's 9 players and 39 pts. Let's just make Clark and Gordon and Bradley average 4th liners 11 pts each. And now we can add 'em up.

NHL: average is 78 pts (lower is better). Caps rate out at 72 pts. That says our forwards are 10% better than average, in total. Remember, now matter how you do the pts, the teams must average 78 (30 x 78 = 2340) pts per team.

Bottom line: Caps forwards are better than my rating, I think. Caps defense I rated as "average." Goaltending I have as "average," but tending to improve. The idea is to win the Cup or any trophy in sport you want to swap out a "6" and replace them with a "5," and so forth.

I'm suprised Brooks Laich rated out to a 1st line forward. Sometimes you need to look at the numbers and see what the tell you. Numbers often tell you more than people.

Posted by: tominfl1 | August 18, 2009 9:20 PM | Report abuse

"*Hannan: The Avalanche were apparently turned down by the Caps for a deal that could have sent Nylander to the Avs for Hannan. Hannan can be gotten apparently, which i frankly find rather surprising. Just last summer he was a great pickup and a huge loss for San Jose."

This was just posted by Eklund and I don't believe a word of it. I can't imagine GMGM not trading Nyls for Hannan straight up. It's essentially the same cap number but we get rid of a player who is consistently scratched for a guy who could play top minutes on D. I know we're full on D but we could then move some D for just picks and not have to worry about a player in return to fill a need so to say. Or some of our lower D guys for the enforcer I mentioned earlier.

Sorry but I'm not buying that we turned this down.

Posted by: pokerfaceI208 | August 18, 2009 6:32 PM |

One of the biggest reasons this site is for entertainment value only.
I want whatever his "source" who said we turned down Hannan for Nyls is smoking.

Posted by: richmondphil | August 18, 2009 9:28 PM | Report abuse

I don't think Caps are good as RedWings--so I'm comparing to another team:
This year's Caps can do anything last year's Penguins did. Anything.

Posted by: redlineblue | August 18, 2009 9:36 PM | Report abuse

(see: Lidstrom missing tying goal Game 7 1 second left. Even Ian Fleming couldn't have written a more improbable finish.)

Posted by: tominfl1 | August 18, 2009 8:35 PM |

To be fair, if you watch the replay, Lidstrom's shot would have went in. MAF dived and stopped it.

Pretty insane finish either way.

Posted by: richmondphil | August 18, 2009 9:38 PM | Report abuse

I would rather add a furious, physical winger than this mythical D-man we've fetishized. -This- Caps D is better than last year's:

Posted by: redlineblue | August 18, 2009 7:09 PM | Report abuse

LOL I don't know but isn't that what OV is??

Posted by: joek443 | August 18, 2009 9:43 PM | Report abuse

the bottome line for next season is this: unless they can improve their defense (GA, PK) to at least to top ten in the league, they're NOT going anywhere in the playoffs.

Posted by: joek443 | August 18, 2009 9:50 PM | Report abuse

So much is written about stats and comparing one team to another. Still, like in poker, we're not going anywhere without luck. The better a team is DOES create better opportunity, but I think fans should only go so far as expecting a team to be put together with a chance to win each night. We have that. On top of that, we have one of the most exciting teams to watch in the league. Too much criticism of players and management here. We have a good product. Sit back and enjoy it. The Cup will come with a bit of luck - that's how the friggin' Pens won it.

Posted by: gonchpup | August 18, 2009 9:51 PM | Report abuse

John Tonelli, furious physical winger. Alex Ovechkin, unclassifiable.
"Extreme Fetch": not a smart use of Alex LOL.

Posted by: redlineblue | August 18, 2009 10:03 PM | Report abuse

LOL right, they would have a lot better "luck" at winning the Cup if they didn't let guys like Crosby park himself in front of the net and take 3 or 4 swings at the puck without being touched by any Cap.

Posted by: joek443 | August 18, 2009 10:04 PM | Report abuse

tominfl1:
sometimes numbers are much more interesting to read than some of the bashing that goes on in here - thanks

richmondphil:
I gotta say, Lucic is somewhat of a rare breed. It would be great to have a guy like him, but it's not necessary. We can get a 3/4 line guy who does what Lucic does on a much smaller level. Meaning all the pestery/nastiness, but not quite the complete package with the offensive ability too.

is there any way juice can develop a mean streak that could include him in that model? i think he has the most potential to improve as the d-man we'd love to see - i'm not trying to call him lucic - just that maybe he crack the #3-#4 d-man most of want

Posted by: Capt_Kirk_in_AZ | August 18, 2009 10:15 PM | Report abuse

Anyone know anything about the Bears pickup of G Jason Bacashihua back in July?

I recall him vaguely from St. Louis but a pushing-30, former 1st rounder does not seem like a likely camp crasher. I'm thinking he's going to be a Crash Davis for Neuvy in Hershey for two seasons rather than a legitimate NHL backup after Theo leaves.

Anyone, anyone, Bueller?

Posted by: BernieWolfeFan | August 18, 2009 10:16 PM | Report abuse

You can't have it both ways. Our fans write that we need a bothersome, crease playing forward. Another team's top forward does it to us and our D is faulted. We're not going to win each battle. There were times when Crosby was successfully tied up and times when he won the battle. As much as he is scorned here, he IS one of the leagues top talents. When Ovie undresses an opposing D-man are we to think it's because he is great or because the opposition screwed up? The "luck" I am talking about are pucks hitting posts, refs seeing calls properly, good ice, health, etc... There are games where we can completely outplay a team without any noticeable gaffs and still skate away with a loss.

Posted by: gonchpup | August 18, 2009 10:21 PM | Report abuse

Capt, I think Juice and Schultz--yeah, I said it--will both show real strides this season. Fehr OR Flash, Juice AND Schultz, serving up some crow in 2009-10. Mark my w....

Posted by: redlineblue | August 18, 2009 10:24 PM | Report abuse

Thanks, Gonchpup. I was wondering how the Red Wings managed to lose the tin to PIT, even though DET lacks Caps swooning D and useless PK. Just lucky, I guess.

Posted by: redlineblue | August 18, 2009 10:27 PM | Report abuse

redlineblue - So you can honestly say that the Pens won it all without a few breaks?

Posted by: gonchpup | August 18, 2009 10:33 PM | Report abuse

is there any way juice can develop a mean streak that could include him in that model? i think he has the most potential to improve as the d-man we'd love to see - i'm not trying to call him lucic - just that maybe he crack the #3-#4 d-man most of want

Posted by: Capt_Kirk_in_AZ | August 18, 2009 10:15 PM |

I hope so. Jurcina was, in my opinion, our most consistent d man in the playoffs. Not to mention he had the second highest hit # behind Ovie. If he could just play like he did in the playoffs all year, he can be easily top 10 in the league in hits. He cleared the crease. He hit. He did everything we asked for all season more than anyone else. Granted, they all started to get burned by the quicker Pens offense and warped back into their let guys camp in our crease mode.

He is slow, but if he hits like he did in the playoffs, he can prove his value.

Posted by: richmondphil | August 18, 2009 11:12 PM | Report abuse

Please Richmondphil, tell me how enforcers work in the NHL these days. They are wasted space. Why did Brashear get a big contract? Because he signed with the Rangers, everyone lands a big contract with the Rangers. Don't tell me that a team got more pumped when Brashear beat the crap out of Cote than when Semin stood up for himself even though Semin looked like a fool. Enforcers do not have the ability to make the player that took liberties on a skilled player pay unless it was the other enforcer. You act like you know some ancient secret that makes enforcers a critical part of the game. The Caps will probably find someone to insert in the line-up to be the so called enforcer but it will be for the league minimum.

Posted by: fanohock1 | August 18, 2009 11:25 PM | Report abuse

>>Gonch- So you can honestly say that the Pens won it all without a few breaks?

Gonch, I'm saying the opposite: *No*body wins a cup w/o a nice little Guerin pickup here, a 'who-knew' performance from a character guy, and a blind linesman or two. I'm saying if we call that package 'luck', then next Caps could easily get just as 'lucky' as last Pens.

Posted by: redlineblue | August 18, 2009 11:46 PM | Report abuse

dcsportsfan, there are numerous rumors regarding Leonsis threatening people's tickets and threatening to call people's employment and/or universities based on negative posts made on the official boards (I'm not one of them). I haven't run with them here as additional reasons why I dislike Ted, because there is no way I can verify them. I will say that one longtime poster on the OBs was contacted by sales staff on his undisclosed cell phone based on things he posted on the boards.

redlineblue, I had a random run in with John Tonelli 6 or 7 years ago. I was on the 6 train going uptown in New York on my way home from work and was just standing next to this guy who had an insanely large ring on his finger. Someone on the train asked him about it and it was John Tonelli and it was one of his Stanley Cup rings.

Posted by: freakinandpeakin | August 19, 2009 1:09 AM | Report abuse

I just went back and looked at the last response to what I wrote. The best part is I wrote a whole response at the request of capsyoungguns concerning what I liked about the ownership and I did and listed a ton of things. The immediate response from many was that I only express hate. So, I have two or three things that I dislike about management and express them on this open forum and I get called an "*ss", which I am sure is a violation of the boards code of conduct. I am compared to cheef, which is laughable for those that actually know who cheef is. Sorry folks, but I don't know how many times I can list the things a like about the team and even some of the things about management and still be verbally assualted because I simply think the team needs defensive help, which is being expressed by many. But unless GMGM and Ted can do no wrong (and they would be the first humans to ever accomplish that) and I don't think last years team is the greatest team in Caps history you are a hater. So be it.

Posted by: freakinandpeakin | August 19, 2009 1:31 AM | Report abuse

@ freakin: I will assume you are human too and are vulnerable to making mistakes, like McPhee and Leonsis. Now imagine someone who doesn't know you whining and pointing out your mistakes to someone who say...might either know you personally or even casually and actually likes you, regardless of your imperfect persona. Now, this poor person has to listen to this other yahoo who's whining and pointing out your mistakes ad nauseum. So they suffer silently, occasionally trying to add that there's some redeeming qualities about you but they persist with their negative tirade. You are that annoying person now. Is it worth it really?

Please excuse us while we collectively agree to disagree with you. I say it again - no one is changing their minds because you say they're wrong. Save your breath. We don't care anymore.

Posted by: LeftCoastCapsFan | August 19, 2009 2:12 AM | Report abuse

RichmondPhil thanks for the info. I was unaware that they signed someone in Hershey who can be called up to fill the enforcer role if necessary. I am not familiar w the player. I will have to look him up.

Posted by: capsfan01 | August 19, 2009 3:35 AM | Report abuse

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VdLelH4hdDk

Orlov's hit on Svitov, few days ago

Posted by: Rambutan_ru | August 19, 2009 5:58 AM | Report abuse

Wow, there was actually civil hockey discussion on this board for the majority of yesterday afternoon and evening. What are the chances of that keeping up?!

Posted by: PhilR | August 19, 2009 7:46 AM | Report abuse

PhilR: If I may respectfully offer an answer to your very reasonable question, and to paraphrase a quote from John Lennon, "It's easy if they try."

Now, for those who found my ratings list for Caps forwards interesting (I'm sure all of you did, thank you), I forgot B. Morrison. His projected point total of 45 for this year coming makes him a "5," which is a mid-level 2nd line center. Put him in as 5 and take away one of the 11s I used and Caps rating goes down from 72 to 66, 78 being NHL average, so that puts our forwards 15% better than average and we are even better on PP (about 25% better than average I think).

When all you do is numbers and then you do a calculation incorrectly it kind of nags at you until it's fixed. I feel way better now.

Posted by: tominfl1 | August 19, 2009 7:59 AM | Report abuse

dcsportsfan, there are numerous rumors regarding Leonsis threatening people's tickets and threatening to call people's employment and/or universities based on negative posts made on the official boards (I'm not one of them). I haven't run with them here as additional reasons why I dislike Ted, because there is no way I can verify them. I will say that one longtime poster on the OBs was contacted by sales staff on his undisclosed cell phone based on things he posted on the boards.

Posted by: freakinandpeakin | August 19, 2009 1:09 AM | Report abuse

well, if the first part is true, that is a d1ck move. however, i would seriously doubt the caps would call some independent season ticket holder's employer based upon what they said on a message board.

i know ted/caps monitor the caps web site boards and have removed stuff in the past. defamitory stuff, not just "you suck" type of stuff. honestly, if someone was on a message board and posted defamatory, libelous stuff (i.e. posting that a player was arrested for DUI when they werent) then i dont have a problem with the caps making a phone call to that poster.

as you noted, these are rumors...

Posted by: dcsportsfan1 | August 19, 2009 8:35 AM | Report abuse

Guys, I'm setting up a free fantasy hockey league through ESPN right now. Please email me at thiazzi@gmail.com if you'd like an invite! I'm going to try to do 10 teams. Get back to me soon so I know that there's enough support for this thing :)

Posted by: thiazzi | August 19, 2009 9:22 AM | Report abuse

@freakin--I asked for your positives based on your post in which you said that no one paid any attention to the good things you say about Caps management and I honestly couldn't remember any. With your response, which I appreciated, I tried to tell you and others that sometimes the negative tone is all that is heard. I am always interested in different opinions but ranting is like yelling at someone. People yell back. No one's mind is changed. They just become entrenched in their positions. Nevertheless the postings after that became much calmer from everyone. Can we stay on that calm informative note. We all share the same desire for the Caps--and darn if that "product" isn't great--absolutely fabulous and exciting. I don't believe that it is an accident or just because of Ovi that we are considered a contender by so many outsiders. There are lots of ways to create an even better opportunity for success this season-- starting with experience and maintaining health.

Posted by: Capsyoungguns | August 19, 2009 9:53 AM | Report abuse

Hockey News just posted us as #2 behind Boston and ahead of the flightless fowl, in their predictions.

Posted by: billd2 | August 19, 2009 10:00 AM | Report abuse

i liked the discussion yesterday regarding the need for the Caps to have a tough guy in the lineup. I am in the camp that Caps would benefit from having a tough guy. I know most of you dislike Hockey Buzz, but as someone referenced yesterday the site has a piece on the need for the Caps to backfill for Brash. Here is the link: http://www.hockeybuzz.com/blog/Steven-Hindle/Washington-Still-Needs-a-Tough-Guy/98/22580

here are some names mentioned in the Hockey Buzz post:

Andrew Peters
Rob Neidermayer
Chris Gratton
Aaron Downey
Steve Ott
Daniel Carcillo
Raitis Ivanans

I wouldn't mind seeing Ivanans in a Caps sweater. Our new goalie coach could help get him pumped in his native language.

Posted by: doughless | August 19, 2009 10:23 AM | Report abuse

also from this morning Hockey Buzz for all you Nyls haters:

*Hannan: The Avalanche were apparently turned down by the Caps for a deal that could have sent Nylander to the Avs for Hannan. Hannan can be had apparently, which I frankly find rather surprising. Just last summer he was a great pickup and a huge loss for San Jose.

i think Nyls can be a huge help this year on second or third line. Bouds needs to get his head out of his abundant a$$ and find a way to get Nyls pointed in the same direction.

Posted by: doughless | August 19, 2009 10:26 AM | Report abuse

@ doughless: You might want to check out an earlier post that indicated there's a guy they hired in Hershey who people are contemplating may be brought up occasionally when the Caps need an enforcer type against a team.

As for your Nyls suggestion, I'd like to think that Boudreau hasn't been sitting on his abundant a$$ as you put it not trying to figure out how to make the guy a productive part of the team. But it's been said repeatedly that Nyls doesn't play the same style that Boudreau coaches. It always brings to mind that saying, "You can't teach an old dog new tricks." Maybe that's the case here with Nylander. =/

Posted by: LeftCoastCapsFan | August 19, 2009 10:34 AM | Report abuse

I don't know. Boston is $2.5M over cap if you count bonuses to Wheeler and the back-up goalie. And my buddy the Bruins fan says they'll take a step back w/o Yelle and Axelsson. We'll see starting Oct 1st.

Posted by: tominfl1 | August 19, 2009 10:38 AM | Report abuse

Left Coast:

on the Nyls thing, perhaps. but maybe the flip has some truth too: maybe Bouds should consider expanding his style to utilize what Nyls brings to the table. i mean how long will it take opposing teams to figure out a offensive style that is always the same?? i would say that the Rags did a pretty good job.

Posted by: doughless | August 19, 2009 10:42 AM | Report abuse

so SI says we are 11th in the league in their power rankings. largely due to not signing a crease clearing dman. so, if we were a top 5 team last year w/ essentially the same d, why the sudden drop? did all the teams get that much better? must be the loss of feds/koz 24 goals...

they also have the pens at number 1 despite the lack of another veteran d man.

i suppose thats why i dont read SI anymore

Posted by: dcsportsfan1 | August 19, 2009 10:42 AM | Report abuse

The rumor that the Caps turned down the trade with the Avs is entirely possible. It may be that the hitch in the trade was the NMC. I can't imagine Nyls wanting to go to the Avs and he controls where he can go.

Nyls is/was a great player and maybe not suited to the Caps "system". Perhaps lingering injury was a factor in him not adapting, but if he is on the roster when we start, he has to find a way and the Caps will have to utilize him somehow.

Posted by: _Mark | August 19, 2009 10:43 AM | Report abuse

LET'S GO CAPS!!!!!

Posted by: whiteltng | August 19, 2009 11:10 AM | Report abuse

@thiazzi

I call the kings !

Posted by: richmondphil | August 19, 2009 11:54 AM | Report abuse

Also, Why the hell would Steve Ott be available.

I wish. Talk about a pest I love, there he is.

Posted by: richmondphil | August 19, 2009 11:55 AM | Report abuse

For those who keep saying we need a agitator like Cooke, he has already been drafted and if he does not make the team this year, he will next. Dela Rovere. He is my darkhorse for making the team this year. And for the crease clearly D-fan or inforcer, he may be in camp already. Watch for Finley. Not sure how good a fighter he is yet, or if he has NHL skills, but he is one mean SOB from everything I have read about him. Can he be the missing piece that can fill both roles without being the #1 D-man we all agree we need, way to early to tell until he gets into a few fights in the pre season games against the Flyers.

Posted by: RichC3 | August 19, 2009 12:06 PM | Report abuse

Please Richmondphil, tell me how enforcers work in the NHL these days. They are wasted space. Why did Brashear get a big contract? Because he signed with the Rangers, everyone lands a big contract with the Rangers. Don't tell me that a team got more pumped when Brashear beat the crap out of Cote than when Semin stood up for himself even though Semin looked like a fool. Enforcers do not have the ability to make the player that took liberties on a skilled player pay unless it was the other enforcer. You act like you know some ancient secret that makes enforcers a critical part of the game. The Caps will probably find someone to insert in the line-up to be the so called enforcer but it will be for the league minimum.

Posted by: fanohock1 | August 18, 2009 11:25 PM |

First of all, I don't really care what excuse you give me, until tough guys don't get big contracts, I will say that enforcers are still needed. Rags sign everyone to big contracts? Oh...is that why more than half the team still employs 1 enforcer? And tons and tons employ more than 1? Oh...dying breed indeed.

I don't know any ancient secret that makes enforcers a "critical" part of the game. I have stated that enforcers are only needed for about 1/3rd of the regular season. I have also stated that I don't necessarily think we need an enforcer, because we can deter it with an overall team toughness; see Bruins. I have also stated that enforcers roles are significantly changing. So, instead of pidgeon-holing me into something, how about actually reading my posts.


I never called for a replacement of Brash. I said months ago when Brash left that, and even harped on it repetitively during the regular season..Brash is useless. There is no need to sign a player like him. The only "replacement" I called for guys like Carcillo, Godard, Ott, etc...tough guys who can actually play the game of hockey.

As for your last sentence, I already addressed this issue a million times. Brandon Sugden.

Posted by: richmondphil | August 19, 2009 12:09 PM | Report abuse

For those who keep saying we need a agitator like Cooke, he has already been drafted and if he does not make the team this year, he will next. Dela Rovere. He is my darkhorse for making the team this year. And for the crease clearly D-fan or inforcer, he may be in camp already. Watch for Finley. Not sure how good a fighter he is yet, or if he has NHL skills, but he is one mean SOB from everything I have read about him. Can he be the missing piece that can fill both roles without being the #1 D-man we all agree we need, way to early to tell until he gets into a few fights in the pre season games against the Flyers.

Posted by: RichC3 | August 19, 2009 12:06 PM |

I am excited about Della Rovere as well. Guy is a sparkplug. Just wish he was a bit further along in his development.

Posted by: richmondphil | August 19, 2009 12:12 PM | Report abuse

On Nyls, I would think that at this point knowing what we know about the situation, GMGM has gone to Nyls and asked him where he'd accept a trade to. Nyls doesn't want to be here anymore and we don't want him that's clear. I just don't see GMGM spending a lot of time putting something together only to have Nyls kabosh it. That doesn't make a lot of sense to me.

Posted by: pokerfaceI208 | August 19, 2009 12:18 PM | Report abuse

Hannan would have been great, if it was for Nylander.

He is overpaid sure, but he also never had the chance to shine in COL like he did in San Jose. Get him on a young playoff team like ours, and we have our #1 tough, stay at home, crease clearing, shutdown d man all in one.

Even Nylander and like Mo, sure. We gain space that way, and free up a roster spot on our coming very close to 50 max.

Posted by: richmondphil | August 19, 2009 12:22 PM | Report abuse

Yelle signs to Canes...in our division. For league minimum.

Damn it.

Posted by: richmondphil | August 19, 2009 12:24 PM | Report abuse

richmondphil:
you right about toughness. we don't need an 'enforcer' but someone that is willing to drop the gloves when the time comes. i think brash got about 7-8 min a game. i hope they can find a 'though' guy that can play 12-14 a game and contribute a little more than just crunching hits and fists.

Posted by: Capt_Kirk_in_AZ | August 19, 2009 12:28 PM | Report abuse

Youtube has a couple of Sugden's fight on there...that man is huge! We don't need to worry about signing an enforcer, just bring him up for the games needed....Flyers, Rags, Oilers(if we play them), Leafs, etc....

Posted by: PhilR | August 19, 2009 12:29 PM | Report abuse

@ redlineblue: The Pens game you're referring to is where Varlamov got smacked in the face by one of the Pens' sticks, p*ssing off Green and probably a number of the Caps who believe the referees conveniently had to check the time on their wrist watches at about the exact same time the hit was made and didn't make the appropriate penalty call, leaving the girly man to swinging at the puck. In any other sport, the whistle would have been blown and girly man's hacking at the puck would have ceased. It didn't.

I agree with Gonchpup. That was luck. The Pens were lucky that Crosby gave the referees that night signed copies of his pervy layout in GQ magazine.

Posted by: LeftCoastCapsFan | August 19, 2009 12:30 PM | Report abuse

Yelle would have been perfect. And I agree about Hannan but can't see us turning down a straight Nyls swap...that is why I think that report is hogwash. GMGM needs to get busy and move a couple of these Dmen to clear this logjam and give us a little room to sign the Yelle's of the world that are still out there.

Posted by: PhilR | August 19, 2009 12:32 PM | Report abuse

http://www.nhl.com/ice/news.htm?id=479780

What a joke. This article does not even mention Backstrom.

Posted by: richmondphil | August 19, 2009 12:33 PM | Report abuse

For those talking about the Nyls for Hannan rumor. Hannan also has a NTC. So its hard to imagine this deal ever being offered. Are the Avs trying to move him? Yeah but it woudl be to cut costs, thereby making that rumor even more doubtful.

Posted by: ThePat | August 19, 2009 12:35 PM | Report abuse

richmond, thats cause nick turns 22 in november. the article is about guys who wont turn 22 until 2010....

Posted by: dcsportsfan1 | August 19, 2009 12:41 PM | Report abuse

We already went through the logical reasons as to why it won't happen. We are just wishful thinking now..:)

@PhilR

I'm not as much mad that we didn't sign him, since we have Gordo and Steckel, but more the fact that he is going to be in our division.
(of course if for some reason we were short a forward, Yelle would have been a perfect pick up for only 500K)

Posted by: richmondphil | August 19, 2009 12:42 PM | Report abuse

richmond, thats cause nick turns 22 in november. the article is about guys who wont turn 22 until 2010....

Posted by: dcsportsfan1 | August 19, 2009 12:41 PM |

Oh. I can't read.

I figured it was just going off players under 21 right now. Nice call.

Posted by: richmondphil | August 19, 2009 12:45 PM | Report abuse

I'm sure Hannan would be more than happy to come to a contending team instead of being in a rebuild mode. I think we all agree that the rumor is wrong in that the Caps turned it down. This deal would make sense for both teams though. The Avs are very deep in NHL caliber Dmen and need offensive help and we're the opposite. I know we have a lot of D but Hannan would be an upgrade. The Avs D wasn't their weakness last year, it was goaltending and lack of offense. They couldn't win the 1 goal games either.

Posted by: pokerfaceI208 | August 19, 2009 12:50 PM | Report abuse

Well, it doesn't make that much sense for the Avs. They are trying to cut payroll, and Nyls would just equate it.

What I am saying in my fantasy world..3-way trade with the
Kings; +Nyls +ShaMo -Ivanans -2nd pick -Simmonds,
Caps; +Hannan +Ivanans -Nyls -ShaMo -Fehr
Avs; +2nd pick +Simmonds +Fehr -Hannan

Kings get a 2nd line center and a solid d man. Lose only Simmonds.
Caps get Hannan and tough guy. Lose nothing that can be replaced.
Avs save space and get younger.

Posted by: richmondphil | August 19, 2009 1:03 PM | Report abuse

Rich....get on the phone to GMGM!

Posted by: PhilR | August 19, 2009 1:08 PM | Report abuse

That trade is obviously in our favor. My Caps bias shining through.

I'll make it happen right away in my fantasy league, how about that. haha.

Posted by: richmondphil | August 19, 2009 1:11 PM | Report abuse

richmond, what do you think this is, the NBA?

Posted by: dcsportsfan1 | August 19, 2009 1:17 PM | Report abuse

Just watched some of the Sugedan fights on youtube. He is tough enough and definitely big enough to fill the enforcer role if needed. Now, if we could address getting a crease clearing D we'll be set.

Posted by: capsfan01 | August 19, 2009 1:34 PM | Report abuse

Just a question.

Has HockeyBuzz been right about any of their trades BEFORE they were announced anywhere else? I know they SAY they do, but I've seen a website about a month ago that railed them and documented their timing and picks. Some of the trades they said would happen were announced after the team made the trade. Their actual success rate is something like 2 or 3% of the time accuracy.

Might as well flip a coin.

Posted by: Greg S. | August 19, 2009 1:45 PM | Report abuse

I wonder if you want to trade with Kings, what about Frolov? Kings are loaded with young forwards and Frolov is UFA after this year. How close is it to get Frolov if you package Nyles and ShaMo? If it works out, re-sign for next year as the Nyles cap hit is gone for 10-11.

Posted by: tominfl1 | August 19, 2009 1:46 PM | Report abuse

Just a question.

Has HockeyBuzz been right about any of their trades BEFORE they were announced anywhere else? I know they SAY they do, but I've seen a website about a month ago that railed them and documented their timing and picks. Some of the trades they said would happen were announced after the team made the trade. Their actual success rate is something like 2 or 3% of the time accuracy.

Might as well flip a coin.

Posted by: Greg S. | August 19, 2009 1:45 PM |

It doesn't matter where rumors come from, they are all like that. Eklund is pretty bad, but I don't see the hype in him being worse than quoting any other place, other than TSN, when it's already been reported.

Where there is smoke, there is fire.....

Posted by: richmondphil | August 19, 2009 1:48 PM | Report abuse

@tom

Frolov is definetely rumored to be traded. His name pops up all the time. Don't know if he would fit here though.

A common one is Heatley for Frolov++++++

I will reiterate, smoke...fire.

Posted by: richmondphil | August 19, 2009 1:51 PM | Report abuse

Frolov is an awesome skill player. He's good in his own zone, as well. We could use a guy like that, but unfortunately I severely doubt he'll end up here.

Posted by: thiazzi | August 19, 2009 2:37 PM | Report abuse

Lefty, I was talking about hockey, not any one contest. Sure, it'd be nice if 'slashing Varlamov' drew penalties the way 'thinking unkindly about Cindy' does. But I don't think Colon Campbell swings that way, so the Caps will have to make some other kind of luck.

Posted by: redlineblue | August 19, 2009 3:36 PM | Report abuse

Richmondphil: Please don't try to make yourself look like a victim. You turned the discussion (over time) by stating that you don't think I know what enforcers are for, or something to that affect. If a team wants an enforcer, to pay a million or more per year for a Brashear/Orr type player is an unneccesary expenditure. That role can be filled by a player making the league minimum, or $725K for an enforcer like Belak. You know, the guy that ended Brashear's time in DC with one punch.

Brandon Sugden seems like he'd be a good guy to bring to DC when necessary. He's a Bear employee though, not a Cap in Hershey.

Posted by: fanohock1 | August 19, 2009 5:19 PM | Report abuse

I guess it's a sign we're getting old when Backstrom's too old to be mentioned in an article naming young stars. (In reality, he's too old for the cutoff by a little over a month as he turns 22 in late November of this year.)

Posted by: CapsFan75 | August 19, 2009 6:04 PM | Report abuse

The comments to this entry are closed.

 
 
RSS Feed
Subscribe to The Post

© 2010 The Washington Post Company