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Posted at 2:30 PM ET, 11/29/2010

Afternoon roundup: Cody Eakin invited to try out for Canada's junior team

By Lindsay Applebaum

The Caps are off today and so is this blog, for the most part, but here are a few items of interest:

*Caps prospect Cody Eakin was invited to try out for Team Canada ahead of the 2011 World Junior Hockey Championships in Buffalo. The Caps drafted Eakin, 19, in 2009 (3rd round, 85th overall) and were impressed with his preseason performance in Washington this summer.

*Puck Daddy explains why Eric Staal would be a safe bet to be named a 2011 NHL All-Star Game captain.

*Is Alex Ovechkin evolving into a setup man rather than a scorer? (Video, NHL.com)


*The Caps move up a spot to No. 2 in ESPN's power rankings, and they jump from No. 4 to second on TSN's list.

*It's Cyber Monday. If you're buying NHL-related gifts, do it today.

*Things get back in full swing tomorrow with practice at 11 a.m.

By Lindsay Applebaum  | November 29, 2010; 2:30 PM ET
Categories:  Cody Eakin  
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Next: Alex Ovechkin fourth in All-Star fan balloting after two weeks

Comments

I wish Eakin good luck and I hope he makes the team.

Posted by: BetterOffWithFedorov | November 29, 2010 2:52 PM | Report abuse

Congrats to Eakin and hope he makes the team. Would be great experience for him going into next training camp......it certainly seemed to help Carlson.

Posted by: PhilR | November 29, 2010 2:53 PM | Report abuse

The reality is that the smart hockey move is to keep Ovechkin or Semin, not both.

You don't tie $16 million or so into a couple of wings, no matter how talented they are.

Since nobody would even contemplate trading Ovechkin, unless Semin stays for much less than he's making this season, it would be a bad hockey move to sign him long-term. And Semin won't stay for $3-4 mil which is about the most you would want to pay given Ovechkin's contract.

Our best chance to win with Ovechkin + Semin + Backstrom + Green was probably last season where Backstrom's cap hit ($2.4 mil) was well below his actual value.

That's obviously a big key in the cap era -- to maximize actual value per cap dollar hit.

Going forward, Green will get another raise and you just can't afford to build a balanced hockey team with those 4 players making nearly $30 million per season collectively.

When the Penguins and Hawks won their Cups over the last 2 years, they had top end players with cap hits far below their actual values in Malkin ($3.8 mil), Kane ($3.7) and Toews ($2.8). Once those key players' cap hits began to reflect their actual values, their teams had to give up depth and you saw the Penguins bow out last season while the Hawks don't look likely to have the depth to repeat this season.

The importance of quality role players is really showing early this season with the directions that Atlanta and Chicago are heading in but we'll see how things shake out when all is said and done. It's still a small sample size.

Back to the point, I like Semin and it's nice to think about keeping his elite skill in D.C. but if the goal is to win a cup, you probably need to trade him to fill multiple other needs and create more depth and balance.

I get that we have a good record so far this season but I also get that we have kids playing at a bunch of crucial positions... and that there is a lot of season left... and that this team has repeatedly come up short over the last few seasons... and I don't think tying up over 25% of your cap into wing players long-term is the solution.

Posted by: tmac2yao | November 29, 2010 3:04 PM | Report abuse

Are we trading right now?

Posted by: cotelloer | November 29, 2010 3:11 PM | Report abuse

tmac,

I kindo of agree with you on this one although I think we are in disagreement as to what we could get for Semin. What team is going to trade numerous veteran assets for an enigma who is only signed through this year and that they will most likely have zero chance of resigning? If Semin is traded he will either become a Cap once more in free agency or go play in the KHL where he can still make serious money and be surrounded by his countrymen.

Posted by: PhilR | November 29, 2010 3:14 PM | Report abuse

As far as Eakin, I hear a lot of people singing his praise between the Caps' organization and fans but as somebody who has barely seen him play and has only read bits and pieces about him, what does he project to be at the next level?

Does he have the offensive upside and total game to be a legit 2C?

Does he have the defensive upside to be a legit 3C?

I've read that his defense needs work but that's always the case with young players. The question is whether he has the attributes to develop into that kind of role down the line.

Similarly, does he have the attributes and total skill set to be a 2C at the NHL level?

My meaningless impression is that he may never have the skill and total game to be a 2C and may not have the defensive potential to be a 3C.

Posted by: tmac2yao | November 29, 2010 3:15 PM | Report abuse

Trading Semin would be a BIG mistake. Hopefully GMGM sees this, otherwise I will be forced to leave my current position as a Fence Sitter and convert fully to the Dark Side...

Flash for D man should be more than enough. Gordo would make sense too, but when he's healthy, he's decent enough. The key word there being WHEN he's healthy.

Posted by: SeminAllOverTheIce | November 29, 2010 3:16 PM | Report abuse

from previous post:

In the day and age the last thing you need is a goalie you have to pay more than $5, 6 mil/year...

what did the Hawks do with the goalie who got them the first Cup in a half century??

enough said.

Posted by: joek443 | November 29, 2010 12:25 PM | Report abuse

5th place in the Western Conference (by 1 point) with all other teams having played 4-5 games fewer than Chicago...meaning, I doubt they would be in the playoffs this year based on this trend.

Now, I would not want to pay a goalie 5-6mm either but I don't think Chicago made the right choice here.

Posted by: CTCapsPhan | November 29, 2010 3:14 PM | Report abuse

Posted by: CTCapsPhan | November 29, 2010 3:16 PM | Report abuse

@cotelloer:
A King's blogger with supposed insider info says "Kings have made an offer to Washington that they apparently like. May happen after the Ducks game/tomorrow."
http://twitter.com/hockeybuzzbarry

Other places are mentioning Regehr (sp?) and Bieksa.

Bieksa has been linked most of the season (off and on) for Fleischmann.

something like this would work for me.

Bieksa
for
Flash + 4th

Maybe a D on LA's roster?
Matt Greene maybe? he'd cost too much I'd think! and his contract is 4 more years...

Posted by: FrankM73 | November 29, 2010 3:17 PM | Report abuse

additional article titled "Capitals zeroing in on trade?"
http://www.thefourthperiod.com/news/was101129.html

Posted by: FrankM73 | November 29, 2010 3:19 PM | Report abuse

tmac2yao:
i get what you're saying.
i believe that the trend going forward for building a team will be to have those core skilled players that eat up a majority of the salary cap and fill in the rest of the team with cheaper vet leadership and entry level contract players - at least that is how i see the caps going forward.
every offseason i would expect to see an evaluation of RFA/UFA against what you have in your system - then base the contracts you hand out on that.
i think this is exactly what they did with flash this year - if he gone to arbitration and came in over $3m (as opposed to the $2.6 signing), i think the caps would have said - nice to have known you - good luck in your new endeavors.
if this is indeed the case with the caps - i do not see them parting with anything in the org that they think can play at the NHL level.
i have no idea if this could work over time - it's just how i see the caps managing their roster.
i really don't see semin getting moved - but i could be wrong.

Posted by: Capt_Kirk_in_AZ | November 29, 2010 3:20 PM | Report abuse

Yea, I didn't really put much thought into what we could get for him. You're probably right.

My main point was just that I don't think we can afford to keep him and build a balanced team.

If that is true, how we part ways with him would be a separate discussion.

The point is that even in the scenario where we straight up let him walk, it frees up a lot of cap space to pursue other needs.

Posted by: tmac2yao | November 29, 2010 3:20 PM | Report abuse

Possible targets:
Bieksa (VAN, $3.8/this year)
Regehr (CAL, $4.02/2 more yrs)
Greene (LA, $2.95/3 more yrs)
...just throwing Greene out there since there are rumors about Caps and LA making a trade... Greene would fit the physical mold... but the trade price would be steep since he's recently locked at 2.95 for 3 more years after this!
Hedja (CLB, $2/next year)
...sad part is that Columbus is IN PO contention and have no reason to trade him

Posted by: FrankM73 | November 29, 2010 3:26 PM | Report abuse

@Frank

I honestly think its going to be a deal for Regehr. GM Sutter was at the Hershey game yesterday and he told people he was only there to watch Sutter playing for Charlotte, but come on. I think Flash and a prospect are heading to Calgary.

Posted by: ThePat | November 29, 2010 3:28 PM | Report abuse

Man, I'm trying hard not to, but this trade talk has gotten me out of the Cave and checking around on all kind of blogs and trade gossip sites. Damn. I said I wasn't going to get caught up in this stuff again, only to see GMGM do nothing. A little Kool Aid with tiny marshmallows anyone?

Posted by: kcbrichmond | November 29, 2010 3:37 PM | Report abuse

5th place in the Western Conference (by 1 point) with all other teams having played 4-5 games fewer than Chicago...meaning, I doubt they would be in the playoffs this year based on this trend.

Now, I would not want to pay a goalie 5-6mm either but I don't think Chicago made the right choice here.

Posted by: CTCapsPhan | November 29, 2010 3:14 PM | Report abuse

The reason Chicago is struggling has next to nothing to do with the goalie situation. It has almost everything to do with how many key players they lost elsewhere because they could no longer afford those players. I think that is the real issues, not a "cup hangover" or goalie issues or anything else. They went all in last season and it paid off. Now, they're a good team but no longer as dominant.

If Niemi was still there and everything else was the same with this current roster, they'd be struggling just as much. Niemi has been pretty bad so far this season for San Jose.

Chicago's great defensive numbers last season stemmed largely from their team defense and a bunch of key role players they lost were a big part of that.

Posted by: tmac2yao | November 29, 2010 3:39 PM | Report abuse

@ThePat:
Dude, you're always full of good info! Thanks

question is: who?
please not Perreault or A.Gordon (he's a total Cap keeper come next season, imho) but those are our two top prospects in Hershey... or Holtby... ug, no!

I'd rather just keep Flash and deal with it then trade either of those three!

Posted by: FrankM73 | November 29, 2010 3:40 PM | Report abuse

I don't want Greene solely because I don't want to hear "Our D is a little Green(e) tonight" or some other terrible line every time Green and Greene are on the ice together.

Posted by: aglatfelter | November 29, 2010 3:42 PM | Report abuse

@Frank

Im in the minority probably but I wouldnt mind trading MP. At some point we have to trade the prospects to get what we need. We have drafted other C's and I believe MP is not an every night NHL player. Of course Sutter could really have been there just to watch Charlotte and I am completely wrong.

Posted by: ThePat | November 29, 2010 3:50 PM | Report abuse

@aglatfelter

You mean like, other people might get green with envy over our D?

=)

Posted by: SeminAllOverTheIce | November 29, 2010 3:50 PM | Report abuse

I disagree Caps can't keep Semin past this year. The price tag of course is you can't have another $5M defenseman. People need to consider the cap has been rising I think avg of like 9% a year. It started in 2005-6 I think around $40M. We have a new deal for TV in the near future. Even 7% a year for three more years is $72.8M. Ovi, Backie and Semin at 6.7 are not overpaid in that scenario. That means you can have Laich at 3.5, Green at 6.5, Carlson at 5.0, etc. Also two goalies at $6M in total. It all fits as long as the cap keeps going up and you keep rotating in younger players on EL contracts. And you absolutely must find one or two Matt Hendrickes every year.

Posted by: tominsocal1 | November 29, 2010 3:51 PM | Report abuse

@Frank. I would not say that Greene is too expensive. Yes he has a cap hit of 2.95 but Flash's is 2.6 so it is not that much higher and with him being signed for several years we will most likly let Erskine go since Greene is the same type of player and we will just have Sloan be 7th D. So we will cover the rest of the gap with Erskine's cap with about a million to replace Flash which is more then enough because we can move either MJ90 or Fehr to 2nd line and even Hendricks to 3rd line so we could just replace him with a 4th liner or 3rd at worst.

Here is a straight guess of what the lineup could look like next year with Greene on the team.

FORWARDS
Alexander Ovechkin ($9.538m) / Nicklas Backstrom ($6.700m) / Brooks Laich ($3.500m)
Alexander Semin ($8.000m) / Marcus Johansson ($0.900m) / Eric Fehr ($2.200m)
Jason Chimera ($1.875m) / Mathieu Perreault ($1.000m) / Matt Hendricks ($1.000m)
D.J. King ($0.637m) / Dave Steckel ($1.100m) / Matt Bradley ($1.000m)
/ Cody Eakin ($0.660m)

DEFENSEMEN
Mike Green ($5.250m) / Tom Poti ($2.875m)
Jeff Schultz ($2.750m) / John Carlson ($0.845m)
Tyler Sloan ($0.700m) / Matt Greene ($2.950m)
/ Karl Alzner ($1.805m)

GOALTENDERS
Michal Neuvirth ($1.150m) /Semyon Varlamov ($3.000m)

And that is if we give Semin $8m which I don't see happening since even guys like Gaborik and Heatley are only at $7.5m. Also I don't think Perreault or Hendricks will get up to an even $1m next year but this was just a what could it be look. Also for Varly I gave him a little bit more then what Price got this year but I think he could get less since when the Habs signed Price they had no other option and we have Neuvy already signed so we are in a better position then the Habs were. Now with this we would be slightly into the bonus cushion but like I said for a lot of the guys this is more than I think they will get. Like I said things may look different but this was just to show we could still have a very strong team next year even with Greene and it also wouldn't mean for sure that we couldn't resign Semin.

Posted by: icehammer97 | November 29, 2010 3:53 PM | Report abuse

Oh by the way we would only be in the bonus coushion on what I have above if the Cap doesn't go up.

Posted by: icehammer97 | November 29, 2010 3:56 PM | Report abuse

@ThePat:
I wouldn't begrudge anyone of their right to an opinion but I really think MP in the #3C spot would just make like miserable for the opposition!

Wrap your mind around this!
Ovechkin-Backstrom-Semin
Laich-Johansson-Fehr
Chimera-Perreault-Knuble

add to it the D:
Green-Schultz
Poti-Regehr/Bieksa
Carlson-Alzner

you now have solidarity throughout the roster

and oh yeah
Neuvy and Varly in net!

:-O I think I just did a little Semin in my pants, DOH!

Posted by: FrankM73 | November 29, 2010 3:58 PM | Report abuse

The Semin / cap issue is a tough nut to crack. Most trades assume at least some sort of relative dollar (contract) swap and if a team is going to take on the pro-rated portion of Semin's $6m contract this year they'll most likely want to move at least an equal amount of salary back. Not many teams with millions floating around under the cap. It's become much more a money-driven train than talent.

What's hard to see is giving up Semin at $6m per year (this year and possibly over the next few, either here or somewhere else) and bringing back $4m in salary. I would be nice to have an extra two mil floating under the cap but fans would be a bit upset - especially if those potentially growing players don't pan out.

I don't actually have a solution to the Semin contract. But my best input would be to try to sign him to a 3 or 4 year deal at $6m per year. We are making it work now at the price. We have some contracts (Knuble, Flash) that may not be picked up next year along with Nyls money that finally disappers - that's about $8.5m to play with for those we do want to resign. Bringing up young Bears next season and with the cast out there I think it can work...at the current price. Length of contract is the key.

Posted by: saintex | November 29, 2010 4:01 PM | Report abuse

Misfired on Nyls. Forgot that number came off the cap this year....

Posted by: saintex | November 29, 2010 4:11 PM | Report abuse

@SAOTI: ::rolls eyes:: exactly like that

You know JoeB and Locker would have a field day. The joke would come right after they explain that Green and Greene arent related.

Posted by: aglatfelter | November 29, 2010 4:12 PM | Report abuse

@icehammer97:

When I said "he'd (Greene) cost too much", I was referring to what it would cost us in the trade assets.

he's 27yo, 6'3", 237, with 59 hits in 16 games... but... with no points, a -1, and averages 17:46 a game in ice time... good for 6th on the Kings and as well as the Caps.

I doubt he's the rugged win now, veteran, big upgrade that GMGM will go after... even though I threw his name in the ring!

Bieksa plays 21:53 a game and 2:37 (2nd most) on the PK
Regehr plays 20:32 a game and 3:47 (2nd most) on the PK
Greene plays 17:46 a game and 2:51 (3rd most) on the PK

Bieksa or Regehr would be acceptable D on the caps... but Bieksa would COST LESS in a trade compared to Regehr (IMHO)

Posted by: FrankM73 | November 29, 2010 4:14 PM | Report abuse

icehammer: Good numbers there. I would put Alzner much lower. His money this year includes bonus that I think doesn't get factored into Caps qualifying offer for next year. I'm thinking $1M for Alzner based on Schultz making $700Kish over last two years before this one. Varly is a tough one to figure out. Depending on his play/lost time for injury could be as low as $1M or as much as $3-3.5M. You have created a good team there with good numbers, although I hope they can get Semin signed for less.

Posted by: tominsocal1 | November 29, 2010 4:15 PM | Report abuse

i believe that the trend going forward for building a team will be to have those core skilled players that eat up a majority of the salary cap and fill in the rest of the team with cheaper vet leadership and entry level contract players...

Posted by: Capt_Kirk_in_AZ | November 29, 2010 3:20 PM

I agree to an extent. At one time or another, most every team is going to build around a core of a few players who make a significantly disproportionate amount of the cap.

As far as going forward in the cap era, I think the objective and trend from a dollar standpoint will remain the same - get as much actual value as you can per cap dollar.

That's a "duh" statement in and of itself but the point I'm making is that one very good way for a contending team to get a real advantage over other contending teams is to have young elite players like Malkin, Staal, Kane, Toews, Backstrom etc... making less than their worth. I don't see that changing anytime soon.

There are other things you can obviously do to gain a financial edge, most notably being the cap circumvention contracts that Detroit, Chicago, Philly, NJ and other teams have taken on recently.

Basically, Chicago had three key financial advantages last season between Kane and Toews making far less than their worth and Hossa being on his front-loaded contract. They lost two of those advantages this season and the added, trickle-down effect was losing a lot of key role players.

The Caps had one key financial edge last season when Backstrom was making far less than his worth. That is no longer the case and, for better or worse, McPhee never pulled off a Hossa or Pronger type contract.

One or more of Carlson, Alzner and Johansson "could" end up overperforming per cap dollar but it's a long season. Let's see if that's the case by year's end.

So yea, pretty much every team builds around a core of players who make a lot of money but the real trend, at least over the past two seasons, has been to have one or more young, elite, core players making far less than their actual value(s).

Does that mean that every team going forwards is going to resemble the last two champs? No, but it clearly creates a huge advantage when you have that situation.

Signing Semin long-term won't preclude us from having those kinds of contracts but the whole point is that those kinds of contracts allow you to build a balanced roster while having a core, franchise-type player or two making relative chump change.

We may still end up with a young player or two outplaying their contracts but if we sign Semin for several years for anything near what he's worth, we'll need 3, 4 or 5 secondary players significantly outplaying their contracts to create anything like the situation in Pittsburgh and Chicago the last two seasons.

Again, there is no one model but value-per- dollar is they key and paying over 25% to a couple of wings just seems risky and could hurt us long-term.

Posted by: tmac2yao | November 29, 2010 4:19 PM | Report abuse

I heard all our trades hinge on signing Belanger.

Posted by: SeminAllOverTheIce | November 29, 2010 4:24 PM | Report abuse

How long does Johnny E. have left on his contract?

Posted by: fesslercw | November 29, 2010 4:28 PM | Report abuse

Pretty sure this is his last year fesslercw.

Posted by: SeminAllOverTheIce | November 29, 2010 4:32 PM | Report abuse

I think the chances of Semin getting moved this year are almost zero.

Two reasons:

1) He is playing as one of the best players in the NHL so getting back equivalent talent is highly unlikely. Especially considering he is in a contract year.

2) He is very good friends with Ovie and Backstrom and it seems others in the room too. That could make many of the Caps players very disgruntled and break up team chemistry. It is one thing to let him leave in free agency if another team signs him to huge contract. It is another thing to trade him mid-season when they are competing for the SC.

There is almost no chance Semin moves anywhere during this season.

Posted by: sgm3 | November 29, 2010 4:36 PM | Report abuse

Erskine is a UFA at the end of the season.

Capgeek is my friend! :-)
http://www.capgeek.com/charts.php?Team=30

Posted by: FrankM73 | November 29, 2010 4:38 PM | Report abuse

Based on the recent model for success, the team that looks really dangerous to me is none other than TB.

One big key key is how well Lecavalier plays when he comes back given how much he makes (although his cap hit is not nearly as bad as his current salary). If he somehow plays anywhere near his worth, even though he hasn't in recent seasons, they have Stamkos and Hedman - the future cornerstones of their franchise - representing ($3.7) and ($3.5) cap hits.

If those 2 kids can indvidually and/or collectively outperform their collective contracts, which they absolutely have the potential to do, particularly Stamkos, TB could end up most closely reflecting the last 2 Cup winners from a financial perspective.

Posted by: tmac2yao | November 29, 2010 4:39 PM | Report abuse

tmac2yao:
you've been much more succinct than i was.
i guess my main point was i see the caps attempting to 'fill out' there roster with hershey (to include EL contracts) and the $1-$2M 'vets'.
it will almost always be a roll of the dice - hoping you strike the right balance any given year.
based on how bad some recent contracts have been (huet, pronger, etc.) - i see the caps sticking to 'build from within' and pull the plug on role players that are pricing themselves out of a job - even if they are fan favorites (re: laing)

Posted by: Capt_Kirk_in_AZ | November 29, 2010 4:40 PM | Report abuse

@sgm3:
I respectfully disagree!

...
...
He could move into a bigger house!

nyuck, nyuck, nyuck!

Posted by: FrankM73 | November 29, 2010 4:41 PM | Report abuse

BXӘ! BXӘ! We Want BXӘ!

Posted by: Rhino40 | November 29, 2010 4:42 PM | Report abuse

And specifically not just outperform their cap hits but greatly outperform them because of their talent...

Posted by: tmac2yao | November 29, 2010 4:43 PM | Report abuse

@tmac2yao

Yeah, but Tampa's goaltending has been horrible all season. Smith and Ellis each rank near the bottom in most statistical categories. Neither are very good goalies.

Posted by: sgm3 | November 29, 2010 4:46 PM | Report abuse

@tom. I was going for a bit of a worst case projection which is why I have guys like Hendricks higher then I think we will get. Anyone signed for less just helps us more.

Posted by: icehammer97 | November 29, 2010 4:47 PM | Report abuse

If Semin agreed to Jeff Carter's contract right now, I would give it to him...

I'm actually fine with him making 6 mill/year for us...in keeping with the locker room, I wouldnt give him more than Backstrom cause he isnt as good as Backstrom...

even though...is he better than backstrom? Last year, I would clearly give the edge to Backstrom, but this year...Semin's really, really good...

Ovechkin needs to score some goals, I know he will, but if we could get him hot for the month of december that would really help us out in terms of Semin's contract extension which should really kick into gear after Jan 1.

Posted by: cotelloer | November 29, 2010 4:47 PM | Report abuse

Based on the recent model for success, the team that looks really dangerous to me is none other than TB.

Posted by: tmac2yao | November 29, 2010 4:39 PM

i think tom mentioned this a week or so ago - TB reminds me of the caps from 2 yrs ago. until i see it, i don't know if they have the makeup for the 'real season' yet - but they will make plenty of noise during the regular season.

Posted by: Capt_Kirk_in_AZ | November 29, 2010 4:48 PM | Report abuse

Ah, I forgot about capgeek...big thanks.

So you think Big Erskine is offered another tour in D.C.? Esp. with his play this year.

Posted by: fesslercw | November 29, 2010 4:50 PM | Report abuse

Capt Kirk: Yes, I mentioned that just after we mauled the Bolts. They as a team seemed intimidated by us. Their D isn't really strong and goaltending highly questionable. Lecavalier has not performed near to his contract. I posted this - other than St. Louis and Downie, who on their team can be counted on the step up for the Playoffs?

I do not believe anyone can state Tampa is more of a Playoff favorite than the Caps.

Posted by: tominsocal1 | November 29, 2010 4:57 PM | Report abuse

@fesslercw:
I would say Yes... but if he brings in Regehr there might not be enough money...
if it's Bieksa, then probably...

Posted by: FrankM73 | November 29, 2010 4:58 PM | Report abuse

Pronger was in the finals last season even if he did play poorly and even if Philly did squeak into the playoffs.

He finished the regular with 10 G, 45 A and a +22 in the reg. season. That was the best among their top 4 d-men.

And he went 4 G, 14 A and +5 in the playoffs despite the criticism. That was better or just about as good as any of their other top d-men.

Plus, who knows what kind of impact he had on the younger defensemen and his teammates? Maybe he had a lot to do with them pulling off what they did.

I'm not saying I like his contract but his cap hit is only $4.9 mil and I think there is some kind of buyout toward the end. Poti, who we just extended, has a cap hit hit of $3.5 million for the sake of comparison.

Even if Pronger's contract turns out to be bad, there have been quite a few upper echelon teams and teams that made the finals in recent years that have handed out such contracts. Call it exploiting the system or "cheating" if you want, but I say use all available resources to gain an advantage. McPhee didn't. Let's hope his vision pays off. So far, it hasn't.

Posted by: tmac2yao | November 29, 2010 5:11 PM | Report abuse

Yeah, but Tampa's goaltending has been horrible all season. Smith and Ellis each rank near the bottom in most statistical categories. Neither are very good goalies.

Posted by: sgm3 | November 29, 2010 4:46 PM

I remember all those concerns about Chicago's goaltending throughout last season.

Not saying this is the same story.

Just sayin'...

Posted by: tmac2yao | November 29, 2010 5:11 PM | Report abuse

Ovechkin needs to score some goals...

Posted by: cotelloer | November 29, 2010 4:47 PM

Yea, perhaps, but we know he has that skill and like you said, the goals will come.

What Ovechkin really needs to do is improve his play off the puck, offensively and defensively.

Posted by: tmac2yao | November 29, 2010 5:15 PM | Report abuse

This is Semin's contract year, don't be a fool and expect that he will play like this every year... time to trade him to the highest bidder.

Look how much better off the Thrash are without Kovalchuk, GMGM should be able to get the same deal for Semin.

Posted by: joek443 | November 29, 2010 5:15 PM | Report abuse

I have a theory that the Caps are going after Souray somehow.

Posted by: pkme | November 29, 2010 1:35 AM |


@pkme:

I have a theory that you have not been paying attention.

Now, before you get your panties in a bunch, please note that I AM NOT attacking your intelligence, nor did I attack your Caps Fan Cred or Knowledge of Hockey...just questioning whether you were aware of the previous discussions regarding Souray.


Souray has been discussed numerous times on this blog. As much as many of us might like to see him (and his 2.2 Km-wide mean streak) rocking the red, the current CBA situation makes it--at best--highly unlikely to happen. Yes, he is on loan to Hershey, but the Oilers still own his contract. A number of flaming hoops and pigs-flying scenarios would have to occur before the Caps could claim him, including (but not limited to):

1) He must clear re-entry waivers (EDM must pull the trigger to make this happen).
2) Once this happens, Caps would have next-to-last dibs, not first, so any of 28 other teams would have a crack at him before the Caps would.
3) If Souray then goes unclaimed to the point where the Caps can grab him, one feels complelled to ask: Why?, and if nobody else wanted him, should we?

Just saying, dude.

Posted by: Rhino40 | November 29, 2010 5:26 PM | Report abuse

This is Semin's contract year, don't be a fool and expect that he will play like this every year... time to trade him to the highest bidder.

Look how much better off the Thrash are without Kovalchuk, GMGM should be able to get the same deal for Semin.

Posted by: joek443 | November 29, 2010 5:15 PM | Report abuse

Not trying to be argumentative with you today, but I think the Thrashers were a worse team with Kovy. Without Semin this year, we would not be at the top of the Eastern Conference. He has made us a better team and I do not think it is only based on it being a contract year. He probably realizes he is not going to make much more than the $6mm he is getting this year.

Posted by: CTCapsPhan | November 29, 2010 5:26 PM | Report abuse

Once again, all the "trade chatter" about upgrading the defense and Johnny E. gets nothing but disrespect from everyone here. Our problem on D isn't w/Erskine in the 6th spot, so if we get that "upgrade" all you posters here would bump him off the roster...I'd take Erskine over Bieska and all the other dmen mentioned....where's the talk about dumping heartless wonders shultz, poti, alzner, or sloan?? (at least green and carlson have some "O" to their game)...I'm sure SAOTI will still be rooting for Semin if/when he wears another jersey, and I'll be doing the same for big #4. (There will be something perverse in seeing #4 wearing Philly orange, Pitts black, or NYR blue and putting a hurt on our passive offensemen, and no one on the Caps to deter or prevent him from doing so)

Posted by: vermontcaps | November 29, 2010 5:27 PM | Report abuse

Not worried about Ovi. He's moving his feet, he's getting chances. It's not going in for him right now, but that doesn't really matter. It'll come and in the meantime Semin's turned into the finisher on that line. When teams start respecting Semin, they'll have to stop triple-teaming Ovi, and then we'll start seeing the goals.

Posted by: kittypawz | November 29, 2010 12:30 PM

@kittypawz: Well said!

Posted by: Rhino40 | November 29, 2010 5:28 PM | Report abuse

Here is the Pronger contract:

http://www.capgeek.com/players/display.php?id=316

It goes on for six years after this one has been ruled by the league as a +35 contract that Flyers must pay full cap hit to the end (no escape due to retirement). A fine deal this year maybe but an albatross down the road.

Posted by: tominsocal1 | November 29, 2010 5:29 PM | Report abuse

And all this talk about Ovechkin's newfound playmaking skills is kind of comical.

The media runs a headline and it become a talking point throughout the hockey world.

What they don't point out is that Ovechkin made about 4 or 5 horrible passes that players in juniors don't even make in the first 10 minutes of that same game.

All players make a bad pass here and there, even elite centers, but Ovechkin does not have great vision and does not see the ice to where he's suddenly a great playmaker.

He is good to very good on the PP at times (bad to very bad at others) and he'll make the occasional clever pass but I would hesitate to call him any more than average when it comes to passing skills/vision/playmaking and that's just among his winger counterparts.

Semin has far better vision and passing skills for a wing but, to be fair, he may be one of the best in the league in that area.

Semin is also a far better defensive player, has better hands, has higher hockey IQ...

Hey, maybe we should keep Semin and trade Ovechkin! Heh...

Posted by: tmac2yao | November 29, 2010 5:29 PM | Report abuse

This is Semin's contract year, don't be a fool and expect that he will play like this every year... time to trade him to the highest bidder.

Look how much better off the Thrash are without Kovalchuk, GMGM should be able to get the same deal for Semin.

Posted by: joek443 | November 29, 2010 5:15 PM

he doesn't need to play like this every year - his role is to get 30-40 goals and pick up the slack if/when ovi is out of the lineup.

so you think if atlanta is in dire need of scoring that they would give up forwards bergfors and cormier, defenseman oduya and a first-round pick for semin?

semin isn't kovalchuk and most likely wouldn't want any other team to think he is. just remember - he is the enigma!!

Posted by: Capt_Kirk_in_AZ | November 29, 2010 5:30 PM | Report abuse

@ Steve_R

The whole article or rumor regarding Semin and Kings:
http://www.fanfeedr.com/nhl/2010/11/29/eklund-kings-want-semin-but-could-a-smaller-deal-come-from-talks
I don't comment much but read this earlier. Didn't think much of it. I would hate to see Semin go anywhere.

Posted by: nicety251 | November 29, 2010 1:08 PM


@nicety251:

A word to the wise, my friend:

Eklund's rumor percentage (number of verifiable rumors and/or actual occurrences divided by total number of rumors) is so abysmally bad that even a blind squirrel finds a nut more often.

Simply put: if Eklund said it, it's probably NOT going to happen.

Posted by: Rhino40 | November 29, 2010 5:31 PM | Report abuse

I see. I thought there was a buyout for some reason.

Still, getting away from one contract, the larger point is that whether it's young elite players on entry-level contracts or high-end players on front-loaded contracts, there are various ways to gain a value-per-dollar edge on the competition. It seems like a lot of successful teams in recent seasons have found ways to exploit both of those areas.

Posted by: tmac2yao | November 29, 2010 5:33 PM | Report abuse

Ummmmm... coaches do care. They care a lot. They want all faceoffs because believe it or not, no matter where you are on the ice, having control of the puck is important.

Posted by: rderr27 | November 29, 2010 1:09 PM

@rderr27:

Excellent point! Teams that do a good job controlling possession of the puck (e.g., by winning draws) can effectively nullify an opposing team's skill and/or speed advantages.

For a team that is as stacked on offense as the Caps are, being dominant on the puck-posession front is practically a license to steal (so to speak).

Make no mistake, people: Faceoffs do matter. Always.

Posted by: Rhino40 | November 29, 2010 5:35 PM | Report abuse

tmac2yao:
all valid points on ovi - but you're approaching biggamesid almost to the point of ovi bashing. he has areas of his game that need improvement - but the positive still far outweigh the negative

Posted by: Capt_Kirk_in_AZ | November 29, 2010 5:38 PM | Report abuse

@joek:
the caps don't need more role players or to fill out a D corps... they need Semin signed at a good Capitals cap friendly hit for long-term.

semin isn't the problem with not winning in the playoffs.

you sound very bitter at Semin and/or the cpas! Is it just because they didn't win it all?
----

@tmac2yao:
Pronger is a total d-bag. Listen to his interviews. He was a idjut to the reporter and comes across as someone that wouldn't mesh well with the Caps and management! but that's IMHO
----

@vermontcaps:
"where's the talk about dumping heartless wonders schultz, poti, alzner, or sloan??"

So because a player play positionally and doesn't throw himself out of position to make a crowd pleasing check (one that might get him in hot water with his coach), he's heartless?

Please explain exactly how schultz, poti, alzner, and sloan are heartless!

...because from where I'm sitting (as a hockey player), it sounds like you've never played the game, only watched it! Correct or Incorrect?

Posted by: FrankM73 | November 29, 2010 5:38 PM | Report abuse

If they do end up signing Semin long-term, maybe this would be their chance to frontload a core contract. He's about the same age as Kovalchuk and probably even a better player.

That would only slightly reduce the impact though and you'd still probably be putting too much into 2 wings.

Posted by: tmac2yao | November 29, 2010 5:39 PM | Report abuse

Hey, maybe we should keep Semin and trade Ovechkin! Heh...

Posted by: tmac2yao | November 29, 2010 5:29 PM

Apostate!
Heretic!!
BLASPHEMER!!!

Posted by: Rhino40 | November 29, 2010 5:39 PM | Report abuse

hey I'm all for keeping Semin if he signs the same kinda deal that Jeff Carter just signed with Philly but I think he wants considerably more than what he got.

Posted by: joek443 | November 29, 2010 5:41 PM | Report abuse

all valid points on ovi - but you're approaching biggamesid almost to the point of ovi bashing. he has areas of his game that need improvement - but the positive still far outweigh the negative

Posted by: Capt_Kirk_in_AZ | November 29, 2010 5:38 PM

I expect better, smarter and more complete play out of somebody that is making that much money and is critically tied to everything this franchise does for the next decade.

It's not just about shooting and hitting. It's how he thinks the game and what he does off the puck that concern me.

Posted by: tmac2yao | November 29, 2010 5:41 PM | Report abuse

I haven't heard anything about Neuvy. I thought it strange that Varly got three consecutive starts unless Neuvy still has some lingering issue.

Anyone heard or read anything?

Posted by: analyzerman | November 29, 2010 5:42 PM | Report abuse

hey I'm all for keeping Semin if he signs the same kinda deal that Jeff Carter just signed with Philly but I think he wants considerably more than what he got.

Posted by: joek443 | November 29, 2010 5:42 PM | Report abuse

Just for the sake of discussion, what do you think you get for Ovechkin in trade?

A very good player + a solid role player + multiple picks.

The team would become deeper and McPhee could continue on his "we wanna be great for a long time but never quite good enough" mission. Heh...


Posted by: tmac2yao | November 29, 2010 5:48 PM | Report abuse

I expect better, smarter and more complete play out of somebody that is making that much money and is critically tied to everything this franchise does for the next decade.

It's not just about shooting and hitting. It's how he thinks the game and what he does off the puck that concern me.

Posted by: tmac2yao | November 29, 2010 5:41 PM

ovi has plenty to work on as you have pointed out - however as far as the caps are concerned (backlash to follow this comment) - he puts people in the seats - because after all, hockey is just an entertainment business.

Posted by: Capt_Kirk_in_AZ | November 29, 2010 5:50 PM | Report abuse

Please explain exactly how schultz, poti, alzner, and sloan are heartless!
...because from where I'm sitting (as a hockey player), it sounds like you've never played the game, only watched it! Correct or Incorrect?

Posted by: FrankM73 | November 29, 2010 5:38 PM | Report abuse

I don't need to explain my pedigree to you but i don't mind, i've got nothing much going on at the moment :) suffice it to say i've been a Caps fan since their inception, played competively through high school myself, and now assist in the coaching of both my sons teams; i don't see a lot of nhl games in person anymore (i thank God for CenterIce), but do catch a lot of college (UVM, Middlebury, Norwich, and now Castleton State).....in a moment i'll detail for you how the players i mentioned are heartless

Posted by: vermontcaps | November 29, 2010 5:50 PM | Report abuse

don't worry about ovi, he's using the pass the set up the run... um, i mean, he's using the pass to set up the shot.

he's known to shoot more than pass, now goalies will be cheating a bit thinking about his pass.

that's my theory and i'm sticking to it.

Posted by: natresgroup | November 29, 2010 5:52 PM | Report abuse

The team would become deeper and McPhee could continue on his "we wanna be great for a long time but never quite good enough" mission. Heh...


Posted by: tmac2yao | November 29, 2010 5:48 PM

touché - that was good. i'm still laughing

Posted by: Capt_Kirk_in_AZ | November 29, 2010 5:53 PM | Report abuse

If we could fuse Varlamov's size/athleticism/reflexes together with Neuvirth's glove/positioning and Holtby's quirks, we'd have The Best and Most Interesting Goalie in the World.

Posted by: tmac2yao | November 29, 2010 5:53 PM | Report abuse

@tmacyao - agreed on the basic point that in this league, cannot pay four players superstar bucks at this cap level. I believe Semin would play here for less than 6.5 for a short term deal (3 years).

I think if Majo continues to improve and play well, the biggest plus for us will be it improving his trade value. Given that we have Eakin, Kuznetsov, Galiev, Perrault, Kugryshev, and Gordon as deputies right now, I think it a smart move to trade him and some other asset for a strong 2C player. Ideally, we'd wait until he is going out of contract but we won't be able to do.

Posted by: RedLitYogi | November 29, 2010 5:57 PM | Report abuse

Rhino

I understand your point and I certainly have never stated that I am knowledgeable on the inner workings of NHL contracts. So what you are saying is The Oilers can not just trade him to The Capitals in a normal fashion. Do I understand that correctly.

Also what is all of this man crush stuff on MP. he can not play defense, special teams, is weak and can not protect himself. Sure he looks good on the forecheck but we are not talking about Theo Fluerry. I have not been that impressed. Eakin looked better in my opinion.

Posted by: pkme | November 29, 2010 5:57 PM | Report abuse

Rhino

I understand your point and I certainly have never stated that I am knowledgeable on the inner workings of NHL contracts. So what you are saying is The Oilers can not just trade him to The Capitals in a normal fashion. Do I understand that correctly.

Also what is all of this man crush stuff on MP. he can not play defense, special teams, is weak and can not protect himself. Sure he looks good on the forecheck but we are not talking about Theo Fluerry. I have not been that impressed. Eakin looked better in my opinion.

Posted by: pkme | November 29, 2010 5:57 PM | Report abuse

So the Caps won, but they blew a lead... again. How many leads have they blown this season? Way too many to remember it seems.

As for Semin, there's no way the Caps should trade him. Not a chance. For one, he's OVI's best buddy and OVI won't take it well if they trade him away. Another is the Caps are trying to win a Cup. They won't get any where near the return equal to the value of Semin on this team and the team will really become a 1 line offensive team. Might as well just forfeit the season right now if they're going to trade Semin.

I can see Semin signing with the Kings, they REALLY, desperately need more offense and someone to play with Kopitar. Actually if you think about it, had Kovalchuk signed with the Kings, EVERYONE would probably be better off right now... the Kings, NJD, and Kovy himself.

Posted by: BigGameSid | November 29, 2010 6:00 PM | Report abuse

Another thing about Semin, he's a complete enigma in the eyes of the public. So who's to say he won't bolt to Russia if he can't get a contract done with the Caps? For all we know he doesn't care much about the NHL but just being able to play with OVI. Try figure that out...

Posted by: BigGameSid | November 29, 2010 6:01 PM | Report abuse

I suppose i stand corrected in my assertion that shultz, alzner, sloan, poti are "heartless" because, obviously, to make it to the nhl EVERYONE has heart to some degree. But once in the nhl, what separates those who have "heart" (erskine, bieska, reghr, etc) from those who are "heartless" (shultz, alzner, kovalev, etc) is the visible output of drive, determination, and intimidation. Inevitably, such tangibles only come out in intense/physical games. Heart isn't about beating someone up, it's about doing whatever the situation calls for. I would be happy to share with you the instances i've felt those players showed no heart...can you share with me, a mere FAN, what they've done to cause me to think otherwise??

Posted by: vermontcaps | November 29, 2010 6:02 PM | Report abuse

pkme:
if the oiler want to trade souray - must clear re-entry waivers first. during re-entry any team can grab him for half his salary and cap hit for the remainder of his contract. since the caps are at the bottom of the heap on claiming him upon re-entry - there's not really much of a chance to get him

Posted by: Capt_Kirk_in_AZ | November 29, 2010 6:03 PM | Report abuse

I'd consider putting Ovechkin on one of the PK units and take away a little of his PP and ES time.

He might be awful initially but it would force him to think and improve defensively.

I understand the risks for him and the team but I also understand the risk of a franchise player not developing and being too one-dimensional.

Even a wing needs to play a complete game in a good system and when that wing is making that much money and getting that much ice time, it's even more important.

The PK idea may be awful but something needs to be done to get him to develop in other areas. PKing doesn't cover all the defensive responsibilities that a wing has at even-strength but it still forces you to concentrate on your positioning, the positioning of opposing players and using your stick and body to win puck battles.

Posted by: tmac2yao | November 29, 2010 6:06 PM | Report abuse

@vermontcaps

So I am assuming you think Niklas Lidstrom has no heart as he plays a style of hockey similar to that of Karl Alzner.

Again, Alzner was named captain of the Canadian Junior team two years ago. Coaches do not name a player captain if they believe he has no heart.

The way you reached your conclusion to say that Alzner has no heart and is basically te Tin Man leads me to believe that you are the Scarecrow.

Posted by: sgm3 | November 29, 2010 6:09 PM | Report abuse

I would bet all the money I do not have that Semin will not be traded. No chance in this lifetime. All those people who wanted Semin gone would realize how much he means to the team once he left. He can play defense, forecheck, score, playmake, and is one of the best special teams players in the NHL. Oh and those that say this is new did not watch him last year. Sure he takes some bone headed penalities and has some bad games but I think that is applicable to most great hockey players. the guys on this team that would be moved upfront would be Fehr and Flash. Possibly Gordon. Forget the rest. Also these rumors always end up being BS.

Posted by: pkme | November 29, 2010 6:09 PM | Report abuse

The PK idea may be awful but something needs to be done to get him to develop in other areas.

Posted by: tmac2yao | November 29, 2010 6:06 PM

that is some 'outside the box' thinking. i don't think BB would ever do it - but your point is noted.

Posted by: Capt_Kirk_in_AZ | November 29, 2010 6:14 PM | Report abuse

I don't know if anyone else noticed, but BigGameSid put an intelligent, well-thought-out post above.

The Kings made a decent play for Kovy - something like 15 yrs and $84M. But Kovy wanted a contract total value that started with a "1." Not that he'll ever play all the years, he just wanted to see it when he signed. Kind of like a child looking at his haul Halloween night. Not that he could eat it all...

Posted by: tominsocal1 | November 29, 2010 6:18 PM | Report abuse

How would anyone know what is in Semin's heart? Most on this board probably do not know him personally. And if you did know him he would most likely keep his plans to himself. The KHL is a joke at this point. Bouncing checks, the competition is not nearly as fierce and it is not the real deal. The teams over there do not have very good organization. Why would you settle for hamburger when you can have a filet. Semin will play another ten years in the NHL then he will play in the KHL. He will want a seven to eight year deal with the Caps.

Posted by: pkme | November 29, 2010 6:18 PM | Report abuse

It's also obviously on the coaches and what they teach and demand from players as far as play off the puck.

I was listening to Babcock's postgame interview last night and it was interesting to hear his comments about Bertuzzi. He was talking about how Bertuzzi had the reputation of being poor defensively coming into their system but that he now thinks it was more a matter of focus and effort and buying into the right things.

Ovechkin and other forwards on this team can improve defensively and as complete players under the right guidance. More than is the case with offense, defense is largely about effort and desire and developing the right habits, individually and as a team. There are obviously skills and attributes involved but it's generally harder to turn a bad offensive player into a good one that a bad defensive player into a good one.

Posted by: tmac2yao | November 29, 2010 6:19 PM | Report abuse

I will say this Mcphee is so discreet in his dealings. I just think think he would not make a deal unti late December or early Jan.

Posted by: pkme | November 29, 2010 6:29 PM | Report abuse

@sgm3

Karl Alzner isn't Niklas Lidstrom (did he not lead nhl defensemen in scoring one year? can't remember). And to be named captain of Team Canada is certainly an honor (i won't revisit our previous blogs about living off past glory)...Alzner will no doubt be a competent nhl'er; but his penalty minutes alone, as a professionial, suggest an unwillingness to "do whatever it takes," a mantra often associated with those who play with heart....am i the only fan who believes "heart and soul guy" will never be used in the same sentence with Azner?

Posted by: vermontcaps | November 29, 2010 6:33 PM | Report abuse

If I really had to put it into a nutshell, my concerns with this team, aside from McPhee's roster building, are that they don't play "smart" enough hockey, even offensively. That's vague but take it for what it's worth.

It's not just Ovechkin. I just whine about him more often because he's so integral to our future.

I want to see them improve in a lot of subtle areas like their play off the puck, their positional awareness as individuals and a team, their grit and work ethic along the boards in all 3 zones (this is probably more of a personnel issue but the current group can improve), their puck support in all 3 zones (this ties into positional awareness), etc...

I want to see smarter passing plays in all 3 zones with forwards coming back more often on breakouts for shorter, simpler passes. This is particularly important since we have multiple d-men who either lack speed/puck-moving skills or great vision/passing skills. We get into trouble fairly often because forwards are breaking out too soon looking for the homerun pass. It works at times but do the risks outweigh the rewards?

Over the past couple of years, it seems like we've often gotten hemmed into our zone because of our poor team breakouts. That's partially on our defensemen and a player with Carlson's skill set should help over time but it's also on the forwards and the system.

You aren't a puck-possession team if you're spending so much time in your own end, which was very much an issue in the Pitt series starting about halfway through the 2nd game, even though we won that one. They just killed us with their forecheck and we were never able to adjust and counter it effectively enough. To varying degrees, this has been an issue throughout the last few seasons and into this one despite the success.

Posted by: tmac2yao | November 29, 2010 6:41 PM | Report abuse

@vermontcaps:
you come across as an arrogant SOB when you say "pedigree" but that's ok since I don't know you, probably never will and we're all just passionate caps fans.

I wholeheartedly agree with your statement of:
"Heart isn't about beating someone up, it's about doing whatever the situation calls for."
in my opinion Poti should have just bull Staal over near the end of the game WHILE tying up his stick and OT would have been a moot point. he didnt'! Does Poti have heart? yes! Why? playing through injuries, food allergies, and readjusting his career to be an overall D-man.

Do I wish Schultz would aggressively take the body on a Hartnell-type parked in front? yes, but he doesn't! what he does is play smart hockey and uses his tools (reach, positioning, anticipation) to play D. Any fool can maul Hartnell in front and take a penalty!

Alzner: see sgm3's point on Lidstrom for my view!

As for the "can you share with me, a mere FAN, what they've done to cause me to think otherwise??" part... Winning is winning and only 1 team a year gets to call itself the best, the winner of the Cup!
What did the players do? They played well enough in the regular season to be the best caps team ever. They fell far short in the playoffs... and as a team showed they had less heart than required to advance.
Individually, I don't think I could ever explain to you enough of what Schultz, Alzner, Poti and whomever do to convince you because you sound like one of those people that dislike non-physical players and label them with no-heart because of their style not matching your preference. Oh well!

@sgm3:
While I do agree with your analysis of Lidstrom and his lack of physicality as pertains to heart. There's really no reason to attack vermontcaps directly. We're all Caps fans here that just want to be able to cry one glorious day at our Caps winning the Cup. lord knows I've dreamt about it since I was a child!

Posted by: FrankM73 | November 29, 2010 6:41 PM | Report abuse

Schultz actually flattened some Cane last night. I remember because my wife laughed as I spewed out the beer I was sipping. Sloan plays with tons of heart, but his talent is AHL level. Alzner is good, not great. Carlson is very, very legit (and can hit too) and Green likes to throw a good hit, esp. this year. I would like to see 1 or 2 grit, mean, S@H blueliners, but I think these guys have heart and will hit. They are not OV wrecking ball nuts, much less Erskine, mean. And I see that you modified your post, vermontcaps. Plus, I am totally jealous of you living in VT and I am stuck in PA until next year, sigh.

Posted by: JIMALLCAPS2 | November 29, 2010 6:53 PM | Report abuse

@vermontcaps:

No one is suggesting Alzner will be the next Lidstrom, just that his game is about controlling the space around him with positioning, stickwork and smarts!

I'm just curious if you think Lidstrom's PIM's suggest a willingness to "do whatever it takes to get it done"? because the most he's ever had was 50 in 05-06. In fact, Lidstrom's PIM/G is 0.33 over 1400+ games... seems like he doesn't DO what's necessary to get the job done either right?

http://www.hockeydb.com/ihdb/stats/pdisplay.php?pid=3146

your point about PIM's argument doesn't make sense!

Alzner's career (thus far), his 22 PIM's in 76 games is a 0.29 PIM/G... strikingly similar to the type of player that Lidstrom is, positional!
http://www.hockeydb.com/ihdb/stats/pdisplay.php?pid=74658

Posted by: FrankM73 | November 29, 2010 6:54 PM | Report abuse

@vermontcaps. You have to have a lot of heart to put your body on the line to block a shot and Schultz is currently tied for the team lead right now. You want to know what he does for this team watch a 5-3 and see him taking away two guys down low by using his body. Is he hitting? No but he is using his size for good and that is what counts.

The reason to take off Erskine is how often he gets out of position when he makes his hits. Also I was taking him out of the lineup because in my situation Greene is on the team and filling the physical Dman position that Erskine currently holds.

@Biggamesid

Blown leads? The Caps are 11-0-0 when leading after 2 (Pens are 8-1-0) when leading after 1 the Caps are 7-0-2 (Pens are 6-3-0) so who is the one blowing leads? How about being able to overcome trailing? Caps are 9-5-0 when giving up the first goal (Pens are 6-6-2). The Pens have also yet to win a game they were trailing after 2. Also our second through forth lines have been scoring even when our top line has had Semin with Ovechkin and Backstrom so how will getting rid of Semin make us a one line team again?

Posted by: icehammer97 | November 29, 2010 7:21 PM | Report abuse

@frankm73

i intentionally lowered myself to use the word "pedigree" in response to you instead of writing "ooohhh, a "real" hockey player doesn't think i've ever played the game and thus my point is invalid"....it's all good :)

Posted by: vermontcaps | November 29, 2010 7:37 PM | Report abuse

@frankm73

Lidstrom is a future Hall of Famer who INTIMIDATES opponents because of what he has done. Alzner will never intimidate anyone because of his "solid positional play" and "big shot-blocking body." As for Lidstrom's lack of PIM, he's too revered and respected around the league that his mere presence on the ice is enough for teams to take notice. Alzner doesn't have the respect Lidstrom does, thus Alzner needs to do more. As for me using the word "pedigree", I'm sorry you took offense but look how you responded to me.....would you have rather me written, "Ooohhh, a "real" hockey player doesn't think i've ever played and thus my opinion means nothing." Talk about arrogance, but it's all good :)

Posted by: vermontcaps | November 29, 2010 7:45 PM | Report abuse

Lidstrom scored 60pts as a 22yr-old rookie, and 15 out of 18 complete seasons he scored 50+ points (a 16th season he had 49).....ALzner WILL NEVER have the offensive flair Lidstrom did and still does (20 pts in 21 games this year).....simply put, the comparisons between Lidstrom and Alzner CAN"T GO BEYOND the passive nature of both players

Posted by: vermontcaps | November 29, 2010 8:01 PM | Report abuse

Lidstrom is a future Hall of Famer who INTIMIDATES opponents because of what he has done. Alzner will never intimidate anyone because of his "solid positional play" and "big shot-blocking body." As for Lidstrom's lack of PIM, he's too revered and respected around the league that his mere presence on the ice is enough for teams to take notice

Posted by: vermontcaps | November 29, 2010 7:45 PM

i don't believe lidstrom was intimidating, revered or respected in his first year in the league as he is now. i don't see the comparison of alzner to lidstrom based on careers - but more on style of play. maybe in 15 years or so that could be done.

Posted by: Capt_Kirk_in_AZ | November 29, 2010 8:05 PM | Report abuse

To compare Alzner to Lidstrom who has played over twenty years in the NHL is insane. Lidstrom is one of the best defensemen in a generation.

Posted by: pkme | November 29, 2010 8:14 PM | Report abuse

@Capt_Kirk & pkme

I agree w/you both

Posted by: vermontcaps | November 29, 2010 8:24 PM | Report abuse

don't believe lidstrom was intimidating, revered or respected in his first year in the league as he is now. i don't see the comparison of alzner to lidstrom based on careers - but more on style of play. maybe in 15 years or so that could be done.

Posted by: Capt_Kirk_in_AZ | November 29, 2010 8:05 PM | Report abuse

Lidstrom scored 60 pts as a rookie and offense was, is, and always will be a trait of his game.....career or style of play, Alzner should never be compared with or to Lidstrom (not even in 15 yrs)

Posted by: vermontcaps | November 29, 2010 8:36 PM | Report abuse

vermontcaps:
then i should steer clear of the hunter to laich comparison i was working on? jk

Posted by: Capt_Kirk_in_AZ | November 29, 2010 8:40 PM | Report abuse

here is an interesting ranking of the top 15 defensemen with I think less than 160 games NHL experience. Carlson is number 2 and Alzner is 15. Not bad. His reporting is pretty good. Seems to have a lot of knowledge.

http://bleacherreport.com/articles/527441-quarter-way-rankings-top-15-rising-defensemen

Posted by: pkme | November 29, 2010 8:45 PM | Report abuse

No one was comparing Alzner to Lidstrom in terms of quality of play. As was stated, Lidtsrom is one of the best defensemen ever.

However, the Scarecrow stated that Alzner had no heart because of his STYLE of play. That he had no heart because of the way Alzner approached and played the game. Well, Lidstrom and Alzner have very similar STYLES of play. Especially defensively(which is what the Scarecrow used to determine that Alzner had no heart).

Therefore, using the Scarecrow's flawed reasoning, one would also conclude that Lidstrom had no heart.

That is clearly not the case.

Pointing out how much Lidstrom is than Alnzer is irrelevant. The quality of play was never used by the Scarecrow to determine heart. It was only style. This could not be more evident than his judgment that PIMs is a good indication of heart. Another person may very well state that PIMs is actually a good measurement of stupidity and undisciplined play rather than heart.

The Scarecrow also pointed to moments when guys "go all out". Well, usually a defenseman needs to make a diving stop or makes a desperate lunge to attempt to stop a scoring chance because the defenseman was out of position to begin with. You rarely see Lidstrom ever makes diving lunges for pucks because he rarely needs to since he is always in the correct position.

Alzner plays a similar STYLE, where he is in the correct position most of the time that allows him to make the right defensive play without a desperate lunge. Most people call this good defense. The Scarecrow calls it heartless.

Posted by: sgm3 | November 29, 2010 8:49 PM | Report abuse

I think we can stop comparing Alzner to Lidstrom. I think we can stop comparing anyone to Lidstrom.

I will though compare Alzner to Calle Johansson. I wasn't in position to watch Calle Jo much until he was already in the league three-four years, but from the style I remember I am thinking Alzner can be that kind of player. In fact he could be a perfect compliment to Carlson for the next 15 years.

Posted by: tominsocal1 | November 29, 2010 9:01 PM | Report abuse

@tominsocal1

I think Calle Johansson is a fine comparison. I also think Calle Johansson had plenty of heart too.

I love that BB is playing Alzner and Carlson against the opposing teams top lines right now. I think this is great. This is the best way to get them prepared for the playoffs and they are living up to it now. They will have a few bad nights this season, I am sure. But I think that facing the opposing teams top offensive talent, night in and night out will help Alzner and Carlson grow so much more this year.

It wouldn't surprise me to see them as the Caps go to pairing in the playoffs. There is an entire season to play out to see if they can sustain their play, but, IMO, I think they will.

This then will bump Green down to 2nd pairing status and take much pressure off of him as he will no longer face the opposing teams top line.

I like this move a lot.

Posted by: sgm3 | November 29, 2010 9:14 PM | Report abuse

i think with a little bit of hard work, dedication and some 1st pairing minutes - sloan could be the next bobby orr (or gordie howe if he hits the ice as a forward)

Posted by: Capt_Kirk_in_AZ | November 29, 2010 9:21 PM | Report abuse

Capt Kirk: I think Sloan needs to work on his diving through air skills before we make any Bobby Orr comparisons.

sgm: I wouldn't under your scenario relegate Green to "second pair status."

Ideally over time the Caps would have three pairs of D men with complimentary players. Green goes with Schultz just like Carlson goes with Alzner. Both of these pairs should be "multi-situational." Then you would have a third pair that might be defense first, maybe Erskine and Orlov or something.

I think Green does very well now on both ends. However, why use him so many minutes? Use the other two pairs for defensive draws so you can save Green for O-zone draws. The problem is BB doesn't yet trust the other players enough so Green gets stuck with 28 mins. This wears him down, makes him prone to injury and limits his offensive effectiveness.

At some point though one of your pairs has to be the shutdown duo that gets the predominate minutes late in close games. Will Carlson be such a player? Maybe, although unlike say many shutdown D he does have big offensive upside. Pronger? Could Carlson become a Pronger? He has the tools. I'm still not sure he's such a big banger, nor as mean, we'll see.

Your six D-men have to give you a full gamet of the game. Green and Carlson provide plenty of O. Schultz and Alzner will give you steady, good, positional play. Someone has to play with an edge. It could be Erskine, signed at like $1.3 for another few years, but ideally someone then paired with him would have that style but a touch more skill. Maybe somebody here can elaborate on Orlov, I really have no clue what he brings. There was a really nasty D we could have drafted a few years back (late first round), but McPhee traded the pick to the Sharks for an extra #2 the following year that I think he used in a deadline deal. I remember watching the draft live and thinking that one could come back to haunt.

Posted by: tominsocal1 | November 29, 2010 9:51 PM | Report abuse

BTW, what the Caps lack, in baseball parlance, and it was apparent last night, is a "closer."

The Yankees are up by one run in the ninth to win the World Series. Mariano Rivera trots out. Years ago it was Goose Gossage. The Orioles had a good one in Randy Myers. You put that guy out there and it was lights out.

The Caps are up by one with seven seconds left. Who does BB turn to? Steckel? He has some skills but, really...Poti...he's just not strong enough...Green...he's probably beat after 28 minutes already...Bradley/ Chimera? Boyd Gordon?

Actually of all the players on the Caps roster, Boyd Gordon is probably your best bet. He's the best we have now who approximates Konowalchuk. Do we have a winger like Kelly Miller or Ulf Dahlen, much less Bobby Gould? Not really.

If you're going to win 16 in the spring, most of those games will be close. You just can't allow a goal with 7 seconds left (OK, belatedly, I see the joek443 point).

She who rules just called: Dinner time.

Posted by: tominsocal1 | November 29, 2010 10:14 PM | Report abuse

@biggamesyd

When you're not watching the Pens, you should be watching the "The Pit" NBA team.
Why no NBA team ? "City of Empty Pockets ?"

Posted by: Hunterforcoach | November 29, 2010 10:24 PM | Report abuse

The Yankees are up by one run in the ninth to win the World Series. Mariano Rivera trots out.

Posted by: tominsocal1 | November 29, 2010 10:14 PM

2001 world series game 7 loser, came in with a one run lead in the eigth:
Mariano Rivera
sometimes - not even the all time best at their craft will perform up to expectations

give that draw to stecks again - he'll probably win ~60%, lose not clean ~35% and lose cleanly ~5%.
could gordon do better - maybe - but i wouldn't place any money on it.

Posted by: Capt_Kirk_in_AZ | November 29, 2010 10:40 PM | Report abuse

@tominsocal1

By 2nd pair status for Green I meant that he would not have to face the oppositions top line too often any more.


Like you said, he has been relegated to many defensive zone draws against the opposition and their top line. With Carlson and Alzner taking over that role, Green will be on the ice more facing the other 3 lines of the opposing team(mostly the 2nd line). This will also allow Green to be on the ice for many more offensive zone draws.

Green is a great all-around defenseman who will see plenty of minutes. His defense has improved greatly and is still improving. However, I still would feel more comfortable with him going against the opposing team's 2nd line for the majority of the night and be the 2nd defensive pair option to face the opposing team's first line.

I completely agree with you that is should be around 23 or 24 and not 28. I think it will start getting there now with Poti healthy, and will definitely get there if the Caps acquire a top 4 D-man.

Posted by: sgm3 | November 29, 2010 10:46 PM | Report abuse

@Capt_Kirk

Actually that Game 7 loss by Rivera was a one run lead in the ninth.

Rivera also blew a save in 2004, in game 4 against the Red Sox. That was when the Yankees were up 3-0 in the series and then lost the next 4 games.

So those were two very big blown saves by Rivera. But he is, by far, the best closer in MLB history. Even the best of all time lose some times.

"give that draw to stecks again - he'll probably win ~60%, lose not clean ~35% and lose cleanly ~5%.
could gordon do better - maybe - but i wouldn't place any money on it."

I almost agree completely on this statement. Although I would say Steckel will lose the draw cleanly about 10%-15% of the time. Probably the best in the league(or at least top three).

Posted by: sgm3 | November 29, 2010 10:53 PM | Report abuse

Every once in awhile I feel the need to expound. Maybe it's the wine; maybe it's something someone else has posted; maybe it's just that I need to let all the hot air out.

The Caps are really lacking on "defensive presence." This doesn't mean to imply they have no defensive skills. It just means when it's all on the line, they don't have the ability to shut down the other team.

Fans always think in sports because the team that scores the most wins that offense is most important. It isn't. Even though scoring the most wins, the team that stops the other team best usually wins in the end. Did the 1970s Steelers win because of Bradshaw or the defense? Go look up Bradshaw's record - a 50% lifetime completion percentage and almost as many interceptions as TD passes. In the end, no sporting contest ends until one team (the champ) stops the other team one last time. It almost never ends with a walk-off homer, a last-second Jordanesque jumper or an Immaculate Reception.

People get duped in life because they see what an offense can do. In 1939-1941, citizens of the world watched in horror as the Nazi juggernaut bowled over Europe. What need for defense when your offense can just destroy? Ha! Did the Nazis win? Just because they had a huge halftime lead, we know the answer to that one.

At this point one should place a call to Mrs. Tatiana Ovechkina and ask her about her family's contribution to the second world war. She will tell you, besides that you "should read some books," that the Russian nee Soviet soldiers retreated from the Polish border all the way to a line that stretched from Moscow to Stalingrad. The Russians retreated so far back that St. Petersburg was left under siege for over three years. 20M Russian lives were lost. But, in the end, as is always the case, the stout defense held off the supposedly unstoppable offense. The Russians dug in and held on and after refusing to yield another foot of their beloved homeland they turned the tide, in 1943, when like 650,000 Nazi soldiers were trapped and captured I think it was in the Kiev Pocket.

We can compare sports to real life recognizing no true comparison can ever be made. What the Russians, French, Poles, English, Greeks, etc did in the 1940s while their lands were being constantly attacked and occupied is not like anything any of us in this priviledged land have ever experienced. The point though, and I admit it's been a long time coming, is that matter how good an offense any country has ever had in the history of Earth, the defense has ultimately triumphed. Ultimately.

Dave Steckel and Tom Poti didn't get the job done. I'm not sure they ever will.

Next man up.

Posted by: tominsocal1 | November 29, 2010 10:56 PM | Report abuse

@tominsocal1

Your comparison of sports to war is weak and poor. The similarities between the two is basically zero.

Posted by: sgm3 | November 29, 2010 11:02 PM | Report abuse

Actually that Game 7 loss by Rivera was a one run lead in the ninth.

Posted by: sgm3 | November 29, 2010 10:53 PM

true - but he entered the game to start the bottom of the eigth inning

Posted by: Capt_Kirk_in_AZ | November 29, 2010 11:04 PM | Report abuse

You don't get it. It wasn't just that Steckel lost the draw. That's not it at all. Up by one with seven seconds left, Steckel lost the draw, let his man (Staal) get free to go to the net and then Staal overpowered Poti to get the goal.

I posted last night when it was happening that I was saying, as the puck drops, you need to gouge out their eyes if necessary to win. Punch. Tackle. Trip. Doesn't matter. Seven seconds left. The Caps didn't just lose a draw - they were BEATEN on the play to a pulp with seven seconds left. It's one thing when a continuous play lasting 40-50 seconds culminates with a team scoring with 2.2 secs left. But this wasn't the case. Faceoff with seven seconds. This isn't baseball where you get three outs no matter how long it takes. Faceoff with seven seconds left. You can lose the draw, but you gotta stop em. Even if you have to gouge their eyes out. This isn't something that can ever happen in spring if you want to win 16.

Posted by: tominsocal1 | November 29, 2010 11:08 PM | Report abuse

i believe it was referred to (by the germans) as 'der kessel'

Posted by: Capt_Kirk_in_AZ | November 29, 2010 11:09 PM | Report abuse

Dave Steckel and Tom Poti didn't get the job done. I'm not sure they ever will.

Next man up.

Posted by: tominsocal1 | November 29, 2010 10:56 PM

i still see what happened as the exception - not the rule. but your point is taken - it was a major failure to allow it to happen. if they played those 7 seconds a hundred times - 99 times the game ends 2-1. if that were to occur in a playoff game - i'd expect more than one 'healthy' scratch the next game (barring it being another 3 games to 1 lead - epic seventh game loss)

Posted by: Capt_Kirk_in_AZ | November 29, 2010 11:18 PM | Report abuse

sgm: I will ignore that nasty comment you just made :). Simply accept the fact that tough D almost always overcomes the seemingly unstoppable O.

Oh, by the way, sports was invented as a simulation of war.

Capt Kirk: Here, I will give you a football comparison to what happened vs Canes last night:

Super Bowl. New Orleans leads Indianapolis 21-14. The Colts just took a fair catch at midfield with 25 seconds left. Peyton Manning trots out, needing a TD to force overtime. 25 seconds. He needs one incredible play or 2-3 great plays in succession to tie it up.

Bottom line: If you are going to win the Super Bowl, and you are the Saints, you have to stop him. Or else you can't be Champs.

It didn't have to be Steckel, but someone on the Caps needed to stop them and they didn't.

Posted by: tominsocal1 | November 29, 2010 11:19 PM | Report abuse

It didn't have to be Steckel, but someone on the Caps needed to stop them and they didn't.

Posted by: tominsocal1 | November 29, 2010 11:19 PM

i concur 100%

Posted by: Capt_Kirk_in_AZ | November 29, 2010 11:27 PM | Report abuse

OK, Capt, I see your point, 1 of 100 occurrence. There's something to be said for that, BUT, it isn't dice we're talking about.

Steckel lost the draw; that will happen 40% of the time.

Poti though got beaten like a sports car in an action movie.

To revert to my war analogy (SORRY SGM), but you have to have a back-up plan if the enemy punches through your first line of defense.

Staal's plan: "If I win the draw, I head to the net and whip Poti like he isn't even there."

There actually is another example of this from military history (SORRY SGM):

It was called the Maginot Line.

Posted by: tominsocal1 | November 29, 2010 11:32 PM | Report abuse

Posted by: Capt_Kirk_in_AZ | November 29, 2010 11:35 PM | Report abuse

tominsocal1:
from the caps side - a lot of things had to go wrong (be played wrong) to give up a goal in 5 seconds - and they did.

i'd still contend that losing the draw cleanly 100 times in a row - the game still ends 2-1 around 95 times.
bad luck, bad bounces or just plain bad play on d - it better not happen in the playoffs.
the good fortune, if you will, is that it happened in a regular season game where they still ended up with 2 points - i say (and hope) lesson learned.

Posted by: Capt_Kirk_in_AZ | November 29, 2010 11:41 PM | Report abuse

OK, Capt, I relent. It's obvious that Poti is the object of my ire. Four years now and he gets beaten on every single play it seems. Can you picture Green, Alzner, Schultz or Carlson allowing Staal to waltz in like Fred Astaire and score like that?

BTW, check your email, someone named Mary wants to come to the game in PHX.

Poti has NO PHYSICAL STRENGTH. Maybe compared to an average human, but not compared to an average NHler. Crimany, Crosby owned him like a tramp owns a rich old man back in the '09 playoffs.

Another horse beaten to death and then to a pulp and then to a cloud of dust in the California desert.

Tomorrow I'm sure we'll find another horse to whip. "Willlllburrrrrrrrr."

Posted by: tominsocal1 | November 29, 2010 11:45 PM | Report abuse

tom:
i think we understand each others point - i'm just bored - let me know when the horse is dead and i'll stop beating it :D

Posted by: Capt_Kirk_in_AZ | November 29, 2010 11:46 PM | Report abuse

ok - you win by one minute (or does that mean i win?)

i should be talking to the yotes rep with an update by the end of the week - i'll check my e-mail
thanks

Posted by: Capt_Kirk_in_AZ | November 29, 2010 11:50 PM | Report abuse

I still think Hendricks was the man to blame for this. With about 20 seconds left the Caps would have cleared the zone if Hendricks assisted Ovie in clearing the puck when Ovie made a diving poke check near the blue line. However, Hendricks ignored his responsibility and made a break up ice.

If Hendricks did what he was supposed to do the Caps clear the zone and there is no offensive zone faceoff.

If that was many other Caps player(i.e. Flash, Semin, Green, Poti, Alzner, Fehr, BGordon, Chimera, even Ovie) they would have been villified.

Hendricks made the bigges blunder.

After the faceoff, the biggest mistake was by all the Caps players to not take a penalty. With a lead and under 10 seconds remaining it is best to just hold a player's sticks, hook a player, and do whatever to prevent a scoring chance. Hopefully they will do that next time.

However, Staal made a nice play. He is a very good play who made a very nice play. He deserves credit as well. Remember, the other players are also pretty good and are being paid too.

Posted by: sgm3 | November 30, 2010 12:40 AM | Report abuse

@tominsocal1

Yes, the Saints needed to stop Peyton Manning, but they were also beat by him on more than one occasion. The Saints also needed to attack the Colts D. This was also done with a very risky move in using the onside kick.

On your war analogy, you do realize that no territory is ever taken without an attack. Just sitting back and playing defense will get you nothing. It may hold off the opposing forces from taking you over, but at some point you must attack. So to win, you must have some offense.

In addition, the Blitzkreig strategy was highly successful for a long while. That offensive mentality was about as successful as an attack employed by any army over the past 300 years. Yes, it ended up failing. But when you look at the amount of territory taken over by the Blitzkreig in such a short amount of time, it was quite evident that it worked. Germany just got a little too greedy and felt it was invincible. If they knew they had some limits, they may not have lost. It was less a fault of their war strategy, which was quite amazing, and more a fault of their ideology in thinking they were predestined to win regardless of what they did.

So, as the Blitzkreig showed, offensive strategies do work in many battles. And if you draw an analogy from war to sports, and a game to a battle, an offensive barrage can most definitely win.

Posted by: sgm3 | November 30, 2010 12:51 AM | Report abuse

the url says it all (with video)
http://sports.yahoo.com/nhl/blog/puck_daddy/post/Video-Sidney-Crosby-s-slew-foot-on-Callahan-to;_ylt=Apr5KEF2vBpsbaPRNZVO7f17vLYF?urn=nhl-290193


Posted by: Capt_Kirk_in_AZ | November 29, 2010 11:35 PM | Report abuse


And $50 says that the league does nothing but if it was Ovechkin he gets at least two games.

And BigGameSid don't give me anything about Sid being a first time offender because he isn't the league just never suspends him no matter what he does.

Examples

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4wqR17KrLKw

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dhDVXtlhF4Y&feature=related

The league has been hyping Crosby as the good to Ovechkin's evil but Crosby is far from good and it is getting crazy that he has never been suspended. There is a reason why he is voted biggest whiner every year by the NHL players and why they keep voting Ovechkin as their MVP. Mark my words there will be a time soon where he does another cheap shot and someone will come after him and the Pens will have to come to his rescue.

Posted by: icehammer97 | November 30, 2010 1:18 AM | Report abuse

I know it probably won't happen, but what do we think of Fleishmann for Drewiske? Thats the latest rumor I heard.

Posted by: capscoach | November 30, 2010 8:16 AM | Report abuse

Ok...just looked him up, and I gotta believe Flash is worth more than him.

Posted by: capscoach | November 30, 2010 8:23 AM | Report abuse

If anything is going to happen it will happen today because I am in a meeting all day and will have no access to internet.

Posted by: PhilR | November 30, 2010 8:28 AM | Report abuse

The NHL should be ashamed of itself. This undermines any credibility it thinks it has. I'm not really mad at crosby... he has his moments, but he isn't really a dirty player. It's more about the way the league has different standards for different players. This is the smoking gun. The NHL should apologize to the Rangers and suspend crosby for 1 game.

Posted by: griz0615 | November 30, 2010 8:33 AM | Report abuse

@PhilR

Thats the way the cookie crumbles:) you'll still get the text though!

Posted by: capscoach | November 30, 2010 8:38 AM | Report abuse

Interesting slew foot by Crosby. I just compared it to Ovi's slew foot on Peverly last year and they seem fairly equivalent.

Crosby: http://sports.yahoo.com/nhl/blog/puck_daddy/post/Video-Sidney-Crosby-s-slew-foot-on-Callahan-to?urn=nhl-290193

Ovechkin:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=m0QGStjCKRw

Posted by: Justafan | November 30, 2010 9:05 AM | Report abuse

@BigGameSid

Grrr, why did you have to go and make a rational and logical post. Now I am forced to agree with you. You made excellent points about Semin and the impact of losing him. Not sure why people jumped at you for that post (compared to some of your other posts), but more posts like that and possibly a handle change, and we might find use for you yet. =)

@vermontcaps

I'd much rather see Erskine play than Sloan that is for CERTAIN. To me, Sloan (Esskay) is a waste of a roster spot and cap room. So if we got another Dman via trades, I'm banking that Esskay gets bumped, not Erskine. Let Esskay munch on hot dogs down in Hershey. The only thing he has going for him is that his girlfriend is hot (saw them on the metro after the blizzard game). So I guess if the scenario ever presents itself that if Esskay sits in the press box, his gf sits in my extra seat, then I may be forced to push for Erskine to get bumped instead. =)

@tom

Thanks for the fun reads. You night time posts always help me push past that first hour at work. haha

Posted by: SeminAllOverTheIce | November 30, 2010 9:06 AM | Report abuse

Haven't seen the alleged slew footing by Crosby, but here's the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette's account with some laughable quotes by Crosby regarding being a dirty player. Man, he sure is ultra-sensitive--perhaps the truth hurts:

About the only point of contention surrounded an incident 15 minutes into the first period, when Crosby was accused of "slew-footing" New York forward Ryan Callahan. Basically, of kicking Callahan's feet out from under him.

The only penalty assessed during that sequence, which occurred while Crosby and Callahan were grappling as they skated toward the New York end, went to Callahan for interference.

Replays suggested that Crosby could have been called for tripping Callahan after hitting Callahan's skate with his. Crosby, however, did not sweep Callahan's leg with his own as they battled while skating toward the New York end, which is the kind of act that generally results in a "slew-foot" call.

New York's Brandon Dubinsky reportedly called Crosby a "dirty player" during a between-periods interview on the Rangers telecast, a charge Crosby rejected instantly and emphatically.

"How many penalty minutes do I have this year?" said Crosby, who has 15. "I'm not dirty. Please. Show me all those dirty plays. It's a battle. He falls.

"I think [Dubinsky] has done his fair share of things out there that are questionable. I guess he's talking again. I'm not surprised.

"It's a battle. He's holding me going up ice, and I'm trying to push him off. Is it that calculated? I'm trying to get to the net. I'm not worried about that kind of thing. I'm trying to get to the net and push him off. If I tripped him, I tripped him.

"But am I a dirty hockey player? Come on. I think [Dubinsky's] smarter than that."

Posted by: redrocker2 | November 30, 2010 9:25 AM | Report abuse

Posted by: Justafan | November 30, 2010 9:32 AM | Report abuse

I really HATE crysby, and that was clearly a slew foot, but I would not call crysby a "dirty" player...a whiner yes, a bad sport yes...but dirty no.

The slew foot should have been called but I am not convinced he did it on purpose.

Posted by: capscoach | November 30, 2010 9:37 AM | Report abuse

LOL that could be an attached video on Wikipedia for the definition of a "Slewfoot".

And his retort is comical. I'm not sure there is enough space on any site to list the links to videos of Crobsy's dirty plays. I guess he is one of those clueless cowards that think he is just playing tough/hard.

By the way, the "C" on Crosby's chest stands for "Cheater". It's his scarlet letter.

Posted by: SeminAllOverTheIce | November 30, 2010 9:41 AM | Report abuse

I am of course not a Crosby nor Penguins fan but I watched the NHL on the Fly discussion on the two incidents. I can't remember the name of the young guy that sits the desk on some evenings said but he at the end, even though he admitted the incidents were the definition of a slew foot, he justified it by saying that Sidney is victimized by dirty plays all game every game. That is of course not a quote, but a general recap. Crosby has done this before and is famous for the spears when in close with fellow players. The next time you go to a Caps game pay close attention to the pre-game video because there is a clip of Crosby face to face with Laich I believe and the clip breaks away just as Crosby spears Laich.

Now, the league can keep Crosby from getting suspensions because they can continue to say he is not a repeat offender. To the league a repeat offender is someone who has been suspended for acts in the past. Well, what better way to keep Crosby from being a "repeat" offender? Just don't ever suspend him and he never, by definition, becomes that repeat offender.

Posted by: fanohock1 | November 30, 2010 9:58 AM | Report abuse

How was that play by Crosby not dirty or dangerous? Give me a break. I like Crosby but it appears because he is Canada's sweetheart the rules need not apply. I am outraged. Horse apples. Dubinsky is right. Lets be honest Crosby always plays a little chippy and he gets away with a lot. Refs do not call him for many things.

Posted by: pkme | November 30, 2010 10:59 AM | Report abuse

Fleishmann traded for Scott Hannan!

Katie -- Where is your update??

Posted by: Political_Stratgst | November 30, 2010 1:56 PM | Report abuse

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