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CSN to carry Games 3,4,5 of Calder Cup finals

Hershey Bears fans will be able to watch the Caps' minor league affiliate in the AHL's Calder Cup finals live on Comcast SportsNet, the network announced today. Here's part of the news release:

Comcast SportsNet's live game coverage of the best-of-seven championship series will feature Hershey's three road contests from Cedar Park, Texas, which are scheduled for Monday, June 7 at 8:30 p.m., Wednesday, June 9 at 8:30 p.m. and Friday, June 11 at 8:30 p.m., if necessary. The broadcasts will feature Hershey Bears play-by-play announcer John Walton and Gregg Mace, who will serve as color analyst and sideline reporter.

The Texas Stars took a 1-0 series lead with Thursday night's 2-1 victory in Hershey. Game 2 is Saturday at 7 p.m.

By Lindsay Applebaum  |  June 4, 2010; 4:49 PM ET
 
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Next: Caps announce key dates

Comments

The Bears had an optional practice after the game 1 loss and John Carlson didn't participate. Lets hear those previous complainers about Ovie and Semin not skating in optional practices complain about Carlson.

Posted by: sgm3 | June 4, 2010 5:00 PM | Report abuse

How could anyone post anything negative about this??

Posted by: j3rockstar | June 4, 2010 5:08 PM | Report abuse

For your reading enjoyment - a short article about the incredible civility of Flyers fans:

http://articles.chicagotribune.com/2010-06-03/sports/ct-spt-0604-blackhawks-dan-mcneil--20100603_1_mother-places-moms

Posted by: DevilsCapsGal | June 4, 2010 5:20 PM | Report abuse

Posted by: DevilsCapsGal | June 4, 2010 5:20 PM | Report abuse

It's nice to see that there are just some things you can always count on . . .

Posted by: rbpalmer | June 4, 2010 5:31 PM | Report abuse

Sweet! Can't wait to see Hershey on tv!

Posted by: larryn703 | June 4, 2010 5:54 PM | Report abuse

That will be great... definitely going to watch those games!

Posted by: timmyv38 | June 4, 2010 6:29 PM | Report abuse

Definitely sweet! Will be watching.

Posted by: NovaCath1 | June 4, 2010 8:44 PM | Report abuse

IMHO, you need to accept as fact that some people here will agree with you and some won't, that those who don't agree with you may not necessarily be stupid or crazy or hockey-ignorant, and that neither agreeing nor disagreeing with one of your posts has any impact on its validity (or lack thereof).

In fact, I think all of us here--you and me included--would do well to subscribe to that concept.


Respectully,
Das Rhino

Posted by: Rhino40 | June 4, 2010 1:26 PM | Report abuse

rhinos are almost extinct but i hear ya brutha

Posted by: cstanton1 | June 4, 2010 9:40 PM | Report abuse

The lack of fighters on the Blackhawks blueline has surely killed them this season.

Posted by: sgm3 | June 4, 2010 2:14 PM | Report abuse

Chicago and the Flyers (and a slew of other teams) play a much grittier game than the Caps do. Erskine's one of our only players willing to mix it up. I'm pretty sure that was VermontCaps' overall point. And with respect to the Hawks, they may not be loaded with heavies on their blueline but they play things tough back there. We don't have a punishing defensive leader like Seabrook.

Posted by: cstanton1 | June 4, 2010 9:44 PM | Report abuse

even a smaller guy like Brian Campbell is more physical than all the Caps dmen with the exception of possibly Morrison. The two biggest weaknesses on our D is the willingness (notice I didn't say ability) to step up in the neutral zone and make a hit. And the general lack of urgency they show when a puck is loose in front of their net. Other teams perform better in those categories. And that kind of physicality comes into play more in the playoffs.

Posted by: cstanton1 | June 4, 2010 10:00 PM | Report abuse

Wow.... the vaunted Chicago defense, the one certain people here keep saying is the model the Caps should aim for, were responsible for 3 of Philly's goals this game. Sounds like a great example.

Posted by: timmyv38 | June 4, 2010 11:02 PM | Report abuse

LOL you can't just stand the fact that philly is better than you give'em credit for, can ya... kinda kills your whole matchup argument.

they're not supposed to do well against a high scoring team like chicago, they only do well against defense first teams?? so now you gotta blame their defense.

the series is tied at 2 and now we're gonna see which team is gonna crack at home first. but then again maybe it will turn out like an NBA series and the home teams will win'em all.. we shall see

Posted by: joek443 | June 4, 2010 11:20 PM | Report abuse

joe, try watching the games. On one goal, a Chicago defenseman wasn't watching where players around him were, and had the puck stripped when he was five feet from his own net, resulting in a goal. On another goal, a Chicago defenseman dumped a backhander right to a Philly forward who was in the slot - resulting in a goal. On the last goal, that was puckhandling that would even make Corvo look good - and it was done by a Chicago dman. Find out facts instead of making idiotic posts like that.

Posted by: timmyv38 | June 4, 2010 11:41 PM | Report abuse

"No one had been able to knock down the 6-foot-4, 257-pound Byfuglien without a wrecking ball during the postseason. But that's just what the Flyers have been doing since the playoffs started. Their 567 hits lead the League, as does their average of 28.4 hits per game"


err..hitting good (note to mcphee)

Posted by: cstanton1 | June 5, 2010 1:47 AM | Report abuse

Wow.... the vaunted Chicago defense, the one certain people here keep saying is the model the Caps should aim for, were responsible for 3 of Philly's goals this game. Sounds like a great example.

Posted by: timmyv38 | June 4, 2010 11:02 PM | Report abuse

yeah timmy you're right. We should go emulate a team like the BlueJackets maybe. Chicago shouldn't be emulated. Neither should the Flyers right?

The Caps are probably home curled up in a fetal position thanking their lucky stars they got bounced in the 1st round. They don't have the stomach to engage in a hardfought battle or to persevere thru a long playoff season. Probably the most overhyped mushyheaded team in recent history given their talent level. Its a pleasure to watch an evenly matched hardfought series by two teams who like to play things rough and fast. Instead of a dipsydoodling finesse team like the Caps. I wonder what lessons our GM and coaching staff are gathering up from watching this series.

Posted by: cstanton1 | June 5, 2010 1:51 AM | Report abuse

Joe, try watching the games. On one goal, a Chicago defenseman wasn't watching where players around him were, and had the puck stripped when he was five feet from his own net, resulting in a goal. On another goal, a Chicago defenseman dumped a backhander right to a Philly forward who was in the slot - resulting in a goal. On the last goal, that was puckhandling that would even make Corvo look good - and it was done by a Chicago dman. Find out facts instead of making idiotic posts like that.
---------------

the funny part in all this Timmy is you're making fun of a team that is 2 wins away from winning the Cup. Now that's comedy.

Posted by: cstanton1 | June 5, 2010 1:54 AM | Report abuse

Wow.... the vaunted Chicago defense, the one certain people here keep saying is the model the Caps should aim for, were responsible for 3 of Philly's goals this game. Sounds like a great example.

Posted by: timmyv38 | June 4, 2010 11:02 PM | Report abuse

what you posted there is the epitome of being IDIOTIC.

Just try being objective for once and imagine what the flyers would do against the Caps' defense... the hawks are a top 5 defensive team in the NHL and they have proved their worth in the playoffs.

what did the Caps' all world offense prove in the playoffs this year???

also I have seen Rod Langway look silly and defenseless against the likes of Mario Lemieux... does that mean the sec. of defense was worthless??

Posted by: joek443 | June 5, 2010 9:13 AM | Report abuse

Both defenses are better than ours. Right now at least. Give Alzner and Carlson a full year, then, we'll see.

Although, Duncan Keith was terrible last night.

Posted by: underpants2 | June 5, 2010 9:21 AM | Report abuse

Who said we need fighters on the blue line? There's a world of difference between having a fighter on the blue line for the sake of fighting, and having a tough, hard hitting/crease clearing defense. We need someone who can help this team develop a bit of an attitude, to help them play with a chip on their collective shoulders. With little exception, the make up of the Caps, from top to bottom, is soft on top of more soft. Do we need an enforcer? Yes, I happen to think we do, but not necessarily on the blue line.

Not that Pronger would have worked on this team, but if you can get someone in his mold, who's tough and nasty, but extremely responsible in his own end, and rarely out of position, that would be a good start.

timmyv38, as far as Chicago's defense, like joek said, even the best players are caught out of position from time to time. That's what great about the playoffs, most of these guys are banged up, tired from the grind of a long season. Sometimes, it's just about who wants it more. In my humble opinion, the Caps never wanted it badly enough.

Posted by: Fletch22 | June 5, 2010 10:05 AM | Report abuse

Posted by: greenmachine | June 5, 2010 12:03 PM | Report abuse

I would take Chicago's or Philly's blue line over ours ten times out of ten.

(Of course, salary situation(s) aside.)

Posted by: richmondphil | June 5, 2010 12:41 PM | Report abuse

Congrats to Hershey but I'm getting tired of winning the Calder Cup :P

How bout a Stanley Cup?

Posted by: CapaZorch | June 5, 2010 12:51 PM | Report abuse

That's a great article on Johansson..except for it's conclusion;

"In short, Johansson may turn out to be another Brendan Morrison, an effective 2-way, 2nd line center, but it won't happen overnight. The Capitals still have a vacancy at #2 center for next season. "

Now...when I think of effective two-way centers, BMo is at the very bottom of that list. BMo has never been effective as a 2nd liner anyway, he put up his points when he played on the 1st line with Bertuzzi and Naslund in their prime. He failed at 2nd line in Anaheim, Dallas, etc, etc, and he even failed here one could say.

Posted by: richmondphil | June 5, 2010 12:52 PM | Report abuse

That's a great article on Johansson..except for it's conclusion;

"In short, Johansson may turn out to be another Brendan Morrison, an effective 2-way, 2nd line center, but it won't happen overnight. The Capitals still have a vacancy at #2 center for next season. "

Now...when I think of effective two-way centers, BMo is at the very bottom of that list. BMo has never been effective as a 2nd liner anyway, he put up his points when he played on the 1st line with Bertuzzi and Naslund in their prime. He failed at 2nd line in Anaheim, Dallas, etc, etc, and he even failed here one could say.

Posted by: richmondphil | June 5, 2010 12:53 PM | Report abuse

Damn..Seideinberg just signed an extension with Boston.

We can all scratch him off our list.

Posted by: richmondphil | June 5, 2010 12:55 PM | Report abuse

http://www.hockeybuzz.com/blog/Eklund/SourceAlex-Semin-may-be-involved-in-MAJOR-Swap-Watch-Caps/1/28660

For what it's worth. I am glad Seidenberg signed. I think McPhee is gonna be looking to win the summer by making some splashes. At this point, his job probably depends on it.

Posted by: underpants2 | June 5, 2010 1:35 PM | Report abuse

Who said we need fighters on the blue line? There's a world of difference between having a fighter on the blue line for the sake of fighting, and having a tough, hard hitting/crease clearing defense
---------------------------------

that's just an argument made by fans who like to pretend they don't know what the real issue is. We say we need more overall toughness and grit, and then certain fans will pretend that we're saying we need more fighters. Fighting is PART of grit but it certainly doesn't mean anyone is saying we need to add 4 thugs to the blueline. Just a silly way to try and win a debate imo. Sometimes playing tough D will involve dropping your gloves. But it doesn't mean we need fighters per se, or that fighting alone will provide sufficient grit. The way Pronger has been playing (hitting guys into the post, getting his glove in their face, slashing etc), that's an element of grit that we don't currently have.

Posted by: cstanton1 | June 5, 2010 2:04 PM | Report abuse

if Marcus ends up as BMo, i'd say he's an official bust prospect.

Not surprising that yet another Euro prospect of ours doesn't come with a gritty label.

Posted by: cstanton1 | June 5, 2010 2:07 PM | Report abuse

I love how some people on here are now trying to call Chicago's defense a hitting defense. We all know those who are desperate to prove that a team must have a hard hitting defense to be good. But call a spade a spade.

Chicago has a great defense. But it is not great because of hitting. Someone posted earlier about the number of hits Chicago's defense had this season and it was signifcantly less than the Caps small hitting defense.

Chicago's defense is known as a fast, puck moving D. Here's a quote from Darren Eliot about Chicago's D:

"Placing emphasis on a puck-moving, mobile defense led by Keith, Brent Seabrook, Brian Campbell and Niklas Hjalmarsson is exactly what is needed in today's game: move the puck, move your feet, defend with quickness and abet the attack with swift skating."

It is what it is.

However, I do believe the Caps need to pick up a top notch defender in the mold of a Volchenkov to have more balance on the team. I think balance is key and the Caps have too much money spent on forwards and not enough on D. It is important to have a shut down defensive pair to matchup against other teams top lines.

Posted by: sgm3 | June 5, 2010 2:14 PM | Report abuse

if Marcus ends up as BMo, i'd say he's an official bust prospect.

Not surprising that yet another Euro prospect of ours doesn't come with a gritty label.

Posted by: cstanton1 | June 5, 2010 2:07 PM |

I think you misconstrued the point. Marcus is sort of labeled as being a good two-way center and somewhat gritty. BMo is not. So I just found it weird that after all that article said, it concluded he would be like BMo.

Posted by: richmondphil | June 5, 2010 2:19 PM | Report abuse

Here is an interesting take from E.J. Hradek on Matthew Lombardi:

"If Lombardi's hands could keep up with his fast feet, he could be a top pivot in the league. Still, he's a great skater who plays a nice two-way game. I'm sure the Coyotes would love to keep him. They'll have to give him a bump from his $1.817 million cap hit. If he hits the market, smart managers will take a good long look at him."

A fast, two-way center could be a nice fit for the Caps. His cost does not seem like it will be too high either.

Posted by: sgm3 | June 5, 2010 3:33 PM | Report abuse

If the rumor is accurate as far as Semin being traded for a big name goalie (and I guess Eklund is famous for being wrong), what would make sense? Maybe Boston and Tim Thomas? Boston desperately needs offense.

Posted by: zmega | June 5, 2010 4:34 PM | Report abuse

Just try being objective for once and imagine what the flyers would do against the Caps' defense... the hawks are a top 5 defensive team in the NHL and they have proved their worth in the playoffs.

what did the Caps' all world offense prove in the playoffs this year???

also I have seen Rod Langway look silly and defenseless against the likes of Mario Lemieux... does that mean the sec. of defense was worthless??

Posted by: joek443 | June 5, 2010 9:13 AM

joe, have you ever heard of facts? You might want to look into them, so I don't keep having to point out all your mistakes. You are asking what the Flyers would have done against the Caps defense? Simple: lose. In 4 games this year, the Caps outscored the Flyers 22-13.

As for the lame Langway/Lemieux comment, show me one player on the Flyers who's even half as good as Lemieux on offense. Players like Lemieux, Gretzky, and Ovechkin can make single defensemen look silly all the time. But yesterday, the entire defensive squad of Chicago looked like amateurs.

Posted by: timmyv38 | June 5, 2010 4:37 PM | Report abuse

Anyone see Eklund reporting Semin could be gone in a blockbuster for a goaltender, among others?!?!?!?

http://www.hockeybuzz.com/blog/Eklund/SourceAlex-Semin-may-be-involved-in-MAJOR-Swap-Watch-Caps/1/28660

Posted by: pivo20 | June 5, 2010 4:44 PM | Report abuse

@zmega

I'd be shocked if it was Thomas because the post said it was for a goalie who was deemed untradeable. It got me thinking and I can't really think of an untrradeable goalie. The only name that came to my mind was Lundqvist because the Rangers desperately want more offense. But I couldn't see any way in which he would be traded.

If the Caps traded Semin for Thomas that would be a horrible trade for the Caps, IMO. The post did say it was a rumored 5 player deal, so the other players may have an impact also.

Posted by: sgm3 | June 5, 2010 4:51 PM | Report abuse

@sgm - Yeah, Boston would have to throw in something else, especially considering Thomas' contract amount and remaining years. A second line center? I was very impressed by Bergeron in the Olympics, especially on the PK, and Krejci isn't bad.

Posted by: zmega | June 5, 2010 5:06 PM | Report abuse

I'm watching Game 2 of the Calder Cup Finals on atdhe.net right now. Period 1 is almost done.

Posted by: youaresquishy | June 5, 2010 7:29 PM | Report abuse

If the rumor re trading Semin for a goalie is true, the "star goaltender most would think is untouchable" that makes the most sense to me is Tomas Vokoun.

It would have to be a crazy good goalie, and Vokoun seems to qualify. He was 3rd this year in save percentage amongst those listed at ESPN.

Also, Vokoun has recently stated that he would like to be traded to a winning team, and would be willing to waive his no-trade clause.

Also, Vokoun is under contract for only one more year, which is how long Semin is under contract. Plus I don't see why the Caps would want a goalie that is under contract for much longer than that because it seems like Varlamov is destined to take over at some point, and Neuvirth seems like he might be good one day too.

"Goalie Tomas Vokoun said Sexton still hasn’t approached him about any trade involving him. He said he’ll consider waiving his no-trade clause if the trade is to 'a good team, a good organization and I have a chance to be on a winning side.' "

http://blogs.sun-sentinel.com/sports_hockey_panthers/2010/04/florida-panthers-the-day-after.html?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed:+panthersblog+(Florida+Panthers+|+Sun-Senti

Posted by: youaresquishy | June 5, 2010 7:43 PM | Report abuse

@ timmyv38

your insistence on going back to what happened during the regular season is absolutely laughable. if that means anything, why aren't the Caps still playing??

shouldn't it be the Caps vs. the Sharks in the finals??? unfortunately the big boys who really want to win the Cup come to play in the playoffs, unlike a bunch of floaters who act like rock stars instead of hockey players.

whatever flaw there is with these two teams, they were good enough to make it to the finals and now it's a best of 3. I'll take this over what happened to the Caps who you apparently think are just flawless.

these two teams are BETTER than the Caps, get over it.

Posted by: joek443 | June 5, 2010 7:47 PM | Report abuse

@youaresquishy

I think Vokoun makes too much sense to be the goalie in the rumor.

The rumor said the goalie is considered by most to be untouchable. It is known throughout hockey that Vokoun could very easily be traded this offseason. Therefore he wouldn't be considered untouchable by most people.

Posted by: sgm3 | June 5, 2010 8:17 PM | Report abuse

As to the implied suggestion made above that the Capitals try to acquire Chris Pronger, I wouldn't want Pronger on the Capitals. I don't even want him in the NHL. I am pretty sure that he is the dirtiest player in the league.

I have seen him several times trying his best to harm good opposition players when the refs are not looking, and I don't even regularly watch him. He elbows people in the face and head with the intent to injure them, which I've recently seen him do to Kane, I think in game 2 or 3. I've seen him stomp on a player's leg with his skate blade, clearly trying to slice the guy's leg open.

In my opinion, and for what it's worth I did major in psychology, Pronger is psychotic. I believe he should really be in prison, because civil society needs to be protected from him. I don't care how good he is at playing hockey. Hiring Pronger would be morally wrong, in much the same way as arming the Capitals players with handguns and directing them to shoot opposition players would be wrong.

Here's a small sample of some of Pronger's greatest hits:

http://nhl.fanhouse.com/2009/05/06/video-chris-pronger-nhls-dirtiest-player/

Apparently, the NHL's players agree that he is the dirtiest player, although they said he was tied with Steve Ott. http://www.thehockeynews.com/articles/25974-Pronger-Ott-named-NHLs-dirtiest-players-in-Sports-Illustrated-poll.html

Posted by: youaresquishy | June 5, 2010 8:24 PM | Report abuse

@joek443

The better team does not always win in sports. That's what makes it so entertaining to watch.

Villanova was not the best college basketball team in 1985.

The US Olympic Hockey team was not the best team in that torunament.

But they won, they each played some great games and beat teams who were better than they were.

To understand how the better team can lose in the playoffs you look at simple statistics.

If team A plays team B 100 times and team A wins 60 while team B wins 40, team A is better than team B. However, it is more than likely that during a 7 game stretch in those 100 games that team B won at least 4 games in that stretch. If that stretch occurs in the playoffs then team B beats team A even though team A is better.

The playoffs are such a small sample size that statistics show that the better team (the team with higher percentage of winning) will not necessarily win. Especially when the better team is not signifcantly better than opposing teams (maybe 55% chance of winning). The better team never has a 100% chance of winning games. That would be the only way for the better team to always win.

It's simple statistics.

Posted by: sgm3 | June 5, 2010 8:28 PM | Report abuse

Bears 2 - TX 2 after 2

Pinizzotto and Bouchard

Posted by: ralCapsFan | June 5, 2010 8:37 PM | Report abuse

@sgm3

Well, you've got a linguistic point, for sure. Really, if we could be sure that "untouchable" was being used correctly, Vokoun wouldn't qualify.

But it could have just been used as a synonym for "really good." Or, the person who made that statement might not know that Vokoun is likely going to be traded and might think that any team would be crazy to trade him or something like that. Or, the person might be taking into account that Vokoun has a no-trade clause.

I do not think there is anyone else that is all that great a goalie that is not under contract for a long time.

If the Capitals don't want to bet a lot on Varlamov being a consistent #1 guy soon, or if for whatever reason they want a great goalie under contract for several years, I guess maybe the Caps could extend Semin's contract and then trade him for a goalie with a longer contract (i.e. a sign-and-trade thingy), but there are so many rules about when players can sign which kind of things I don't even know if that would be legal.

Or maybe Varlamov would be part of the deal?

I hope it is Vokoun, Ryan Miller, or Lundqvist. Anyone else, and I'm probably not going to be happy about losing Semin, even though he's under contract only for this one upcoming year. I'd really like to see him on the team for as long as possible. I love Semin, and I always will.

Posted by: youaresquishy | June 5, 2010 8:41 PM | Report abuse

I'd like Luongo obviously (at least I think it's obvious, since he's very possibly one of the best three goalies ever), but he's under contract for just about forever, so I'm thinking getting Luongo is completely impossible.

Posted by: youaresquishy | June 5, 2010 8:43 PM | Report abuse

Perreault or somebody should probably score soon.

Hershey is losing, 3-2, early in the third period.

Probably they shouldn't lose both of the first two games, especially since both of them are/were in Hershey.

Posted by: youaresquishy | June 5, 2010 9:00 PM | Report abuse

Texas power play. I think there will be 10 minutes remaining in regulation time after it's over, assuming Hershey kills it. Still 3-2 Texas.

Posted by: youaresquishy | June 5, 2010 9:04 PM | Report abuse

Luongo's contract is too restrictive. I think Vokoun is very good but I would rather have Semin and Varly then Vokoun next year.

When I think about goalies who are untouchable I think(the last three I'm not so sure about):

M Brodeur
R Miller
R Luongo
H Lundqvist
J Hiller
M Kipprusoff
I Bryzgalov

There is no way Buffalo ever gets rid of Miller. Lundqvist is definitely untouchable in my mind and the need for scoring for the Rangers makes sense and then Glenn Sather's desire to do crazy trades for guys who have big contract. My guess it is a rumor with little to no weight behind it. But who knows.

Posted by: sgm3 | June 5, 2010 9:06 PM | Report abuse

Bears tie it up at 3 with 9 min to go...Gordo

Posted by: ralCapsFan | June 5, 2010 9:06 PM | Report abuse

GOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOAL!

GOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOAL!

GOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOAL!

3-3. Andrew Gordon on a rebound.

Posted by: youaresquishy | June 5, 2010 9:07 PM | Report abuse

bears score with under 10 left in 3rd to tie it at 3
they've scored to tie at 1 (in the 1st) and 2 (in the second)

Posted by: Capt_Kirk_in_AZ | June 5, 2010 9:08 PM | Report abuse

5 on 3 for 30+ seconds
double minor high sticking on stars

Posted by: Capt_Kirk_in_AZ | June 5, 2010 9:11 PM | Report abuse

@ sgm3

with all due respect you sound like one of those loonies who are against giving grades in school.

sports are the ultimate meritocracy, whoever holds the trophy or goes further in any tournament is the BETTER team.

I don't really give a rats a$$ who would win more if they played a hundred times. if you really feel that way, why bother watching any sporting event?? whoever wins in the playoffs isn't really the better team, really???

I'm racing fan and often times the best car isn't the first car to cross the finish line when the checker flag waves but you know what? the objective of any racing is to get the checker, NOT to lead the most laps.

the objective of any NHL team is to win the SC tournament & the Cup, not to win the most regular season games and get the Prez trophy.

Posted by: joek443 | June 5, 2010 9:12 PM | Report abuse

bears get called for double minor spearing
less than 5 to go 3-3

Posted by: Capt_Kirk_in_AZ | June 5, 2010 9:17 PM | Report abuse

With Varly and Neuvy is a trade for a goalie really needed? Don't get me wrong, I am no Semin defender, but just watch, he'll be traded and then lead the league in scoring or something. That is the Caps curse...

Posted by: kcbrichmond | June 5, 2010 9:18 PM | Report abuse

joek: That's a joke, right - the Flyers are "better than the Caps?"

No, they aren't. If the Flyers win the Cup, they will likely be one of the worst teams in NHL history to have done so.

Let's recall they were a shoot-out goalpost away from not even making the playoffs.

No, the Flyers got hot at the right time.

Next year: Caps will outpoint them by 10, 15, 20 pts. This is an aberration. Don't take an aberration for fact. Even Gerald R. Ford became President. Does that mean he was the best candidate? No, in fact, he wasn't even a candidate.

You can go to Las Vegas and put down $1000 on the roulette wheel and your number can come up (about 1 in 37 chance). Does that make you the best gambler?

I'd take about half the Flyers on our team in exchange for half our team if no cap consideration. The Flyers aren't a better team though.

Posted by: tominsocal1 | June 5, 2010 9:18 PM | Report abuse

at this point Varly is more of a proven commodity than Vokoun in the PLAYOFFS so why would anyone in their right mind give up Varly plus Semin for him??

if this year's playoffs proved anything, it's that you do NOT need a high-priced goalie to win in the playoffs and that the defense in front of him is a lot more important than who's between the pipes. just look at how many shutouts Leighton has had so far and he's only been in half the playoff games.

Posted by: joek443 | June 5, 2010 9:19 PM | Report abuse

Well, I think it makes some degree of sense to trade Semin for Vokoun. Other than that, I can't see a one-for-one deal involving Semin for a goalie.

I'm assuming Brodeur is a complete impossibility, but he's only got two years left on his contract I think.

Hiller is under contract for three or four more years I think.

I think maybe Bryzgalov has only one more year left on his contract though, but I dunno how "untouchable" he really is, just because I don't know how great he really is. Semin is definitely higher in my list of best forwards to have for one year than Bryzgalov is in my list of best goalies to have for one year.

Despite the use of the word "untouchable," I think Vokoun makes the most sense.

Posted by: youaresquishy | June 5, 2010 9:19 PM | Report abuse

Stars score with 45 sec left to take 4-3 lead

Posted by: ralCapsFan | June 5, 2010 9:21 PM | Report abuse

stars score with 45 seconds left to go up 4-3

Posted by: Capt_Kirk_in_AZ | June 5, 2010 9:21 PM | Report abuse

@joek

Agreed that Varly + Semin in exchange for one year of Vokoun would be insane.

Semin in exchange for Vokoun would not be insane though.

Texas up 4-3 with not much time left. Ouch.

Posted by: youaresquishy | June 5, 2010 9:22 PM | Report abuse

Well, it will be quite a story if Hershey wins the Calder this year. Down 0-2, heading to Texas.

Posted by: youaresquishy | June 5, 2010 9:25 PM | Report abuse

@ tominsocal1

the flyers were about the best team in the real early part of the season then after Emery went down, they began to sink. then Emery came back, probably too soon just about the time when Laviolette was hired. Also many experts picked them as the favorite in the east before the season started even if they barely made the playoffs. they've got good players and great defense, it's not like they're doing this with a bunch of rejects. their goalies are rejects, not their skaters.

anyway this ain't a BEAUTY contest. The flyers are still playing and that fact alone makes'em a better team than the Caps. Not to mention they disposed of the Habs in 5 and the Caps LOST a 3 games to 1 lead.

Posted by: joek443 | June 5, 2010 9:28 PM | Report abuse

@ youaresquishy,

trading Semin for ANY goalie would be insane because no goalie could overcome this defense.

to me trading for a goalie would be like put a bandage around a gun-shot wound. if you wanna really treat the wound, you would have to take the bullet out. taking out the bullet would be like trading for a shutdown D-man.

Posted by: joek443 | June 5, 2010 9:35 PM | Report abuse

bears get called for double minor spearing
less than 5 to go 3-3

Posted by: Capt_Kirk_in_AZ | June 5, 2010 9:17 PM | Report abuse

Actually according to the offical game sheet it as an attempt to spear. So he didn't actually do anything but the ref thought he was trying too. I was at game one and the refs missed about 6 calls including one where two Stars came off the bench and started a fight and only one got 2 minutes and the other got nothing. I for the life of me can't figure out why, at least for the playoffs, the AHL can't use 2 refs. I have been to two of the games in the last two series and the players just keep taking cheap shots at each other behind the play when the ref is skating hard to just try and get in position at the other end of the ice. If they don't change it soon someone will get hurt on a Tood Bartizzi like cheap shot.

Posted by: icehammer97 | June 5, 2010 9:35 PM | Report abuse

@joek443

First, your statement about giving grades is not well founded. The difference between me and you is that you would take the last test to determine who is "smartest" while ignoring all the tests throughout the school year. I'm for giving everything weight and looking at everything as a whole to determine who gets ranked where.

Your last statement just proved my point. You are absolutely right that the objective of the NHL is to win the Stanley Cup. The goal in American sports is not to be the best team but is to win the tournament at the end.

The reason for this is because sports is entertainment and the playoffs with all the possibilities for upsets is more entertaining than a 120 game season where the team with the best overall record is crowned champion.

If the goal of American sports was to prove who the best team is, every team would play all other team an equal amount of times. There would be no playoffs and the team with the best record at the end would be crowned champion. That is the best way to determine who is the best because it is not a small sample size and diminishes statistical aberrations.

But that wouldn't be entertaining and would not create drama and thus high viewership. Teams not in the top 5 in the league in record at the midway point would basically have their season end. Viewership would decline, etc, etc.

So if your question is "who was the winner" this year it is obviously the SC champion.

But if the question is "who was a better team" then you must look at everything as a whole and take the large sample size to reach a conclusion.

Again, the winner is not always the best team.

Posted by: sgm3 | June 5, 2010 9:41 PM | Report abuse

@Ice

I believe that the AHL is going to the 2 ref system next year. Also was at Game 1 and that dude missed buku calls agreed...still unclear why the Stars Dman who came off the bench to fight did not get a penalty let alone thrown out OR why French and the Bears said they would not seek supplementary discipline.

Posted by: ralCapsFan | June 5, 2010 9:42 PM | Report abuse

the flyers are two games away from winning the Cup with Michael F*ing Leighton in net.

if you feel that the Caps need a 5 or 6 mill/year goalie to get to that level, then isn't that like admitting the fact that the Caps aren't anywhere as good as the Flyers??

Posted by: joek443 | June 5, 2010 9:46 PM | Report abuse

@ sgm3

I live in a real world, not a fantasy one like you apparently do. that ship has sailed already, even baseball has 3 rounds of playoffs now.

Posted by: joek443 | June 5, 2010 9:52 PM | Report abuse

tominsocal; so what if the Caps outpoint the Flyers next year by 20 points? They were 33 points ahead this year. If both teams get in the playoffs, anything can happen as we saw against the Habs. And yes, as of right now, this year, the Flyers are a better team than the Caps. I'm not sure what more proof some of you guys need. Just because they don't have a superstar like Crosby/Malkin, OV or Zetterberg doesn't mean then go down as one of the worst team. In fact, I'd say they'll go down as one of the best.

They've played musical goalies for 2 months, lost two of their top players to broken feet, a solid role player to a brain contusion, came back from 0-3 against Boston, down 3 goals in game 7, on the road, and then found a way to beat Halak in 5 games. They believe in each other, and will do absolutely anything to win. They are the very definition of a team. One that right now is better than the Caps.

Posted by: Fletch22 | June 5, 2010 9:56 PM | Report abuse

also the only way the regular season could really mean something would be to become like the NFL and reduce the amount of games to somewhere around 40 games/year.

I wouldn't hold my breath.

Posted by: joek443 | June 5, 2010 9:57 PM | Report abuse

the flyers are not a better team than the caps this year. still being in the playoffs doesn't make you a better team - it just means you haven't lost 4 of 7 yet

Posted by: Capt_Kirk_in_AZ | June 5, 2010 10:03 PM | Report abuse

the "who's the better team" argument only belongs in college football, not in NHL hockey where that argument gets settled on the ice.

Posted by: joek443 | June 5, 2010 10:03 PM | Report abuse

joek, your arguments are hilarious. Your attempts to make Philly into a better team than the Caps are some of the most illogical arguments I've ever heard - and that's saying a lot, with some of what gets posted on here. The Flyers were lucky to make the playoffs, they got lucky matchups in the playoffs, and the only thing to their credit is that they took advantage of all the favorable matchups. Did the Caps underacheive? Yes. That fact can't even be argued. Does that make Philly a better team? No.

Posted by: timmyv38 | June 5, 2010 10:19 PM | Report abuse

And joek, you said the Flyers were one of the best teams in the NHL until Emery went down? They only had won 14 of their 27 games up to that point. They are a mediocre team who got lucky.

Posted by: timmyv38 | June 5, 2010 10:27 PM | Report abuse

@ timmyv38

I don't have to make philly look like anything... EVERYONE outside your little world knows already that they're a better team than the Caps.

Posted by: joek443 | June 5, 2010 10:31 PM | Report abuse

also you're the only one making ARGUMENTS, I don't have to do a darn thing because philly is still playing and two wins away from the ultimate goal of EVERY NHL team.

you're the one being HILARIOUS saying the Caps are a better team... try making that argument elsewhere and you will be LAUGHED off the board.

Posted by: joek443 | June 5, 2010 10:34 PM | Report abuse

@youaresquishy: I totally agree with you about Pronger being one of the (if not THE) dirtiest players in the NHL. He's vicious. Yet, he gets accolades from the announcers and free passes from the referees. (Some of the reporting I have read is of the "nudge nudge wink wink" variety---like, Pronger does bad things and gets away with it, isn't that cute?) I don't understand why the playoffs/finals are called differently (more loosely) than the regular season. I think that becomes a bigger factor in the playoffs than many would admit.

I hope Chicago can find their way, mentally and physically, to beat the Flyers.

Posted by: dccitizen1 | June 5, 2010 10:36 PM | Report abuse

I really don't wanna see philly win the Cup but right now I'd rather see them win just to see how you would react.

you would sound even more ridiculous saying the Caps are a better team and philly is just a lucky team... LOL yeah luckey to get 16 wins in the playoffs while the Caps only got 3.

Posted by: joek443 | June 5, 2010 10:40 PM | Report abuse

@joek443

No fantasy world here. I'm using statistics and reasoning to show my conclusions. My point is not to disagree with any of the answers you have come to it. It is to point out how you used an incorrect method to reach your answers.

You are the one who raised the question of who is a better team. The definition of a better team when comparing two teams is who has a higher percentage chance of winning hypothetical games. If a team had a 51% chance of winning they would be the better team yet would lose 49 games out of 100. Therefore it is not correct to determine an answer on who is a better team by only looking at a small sample size of games(the playoffs).

In the end, does it really matter who is the better team? Probably not. Every fan just wants their team to win the Stanley cup.

But if you are going to raise a question don't get mad at people who give you an answer based on facts, math, and logic.

Also, do you really think the goal of these leagues is to determine who the best team is? No, it is to provide an entertaining product. Playoff tournaments provide great drama and entertainment for 16 teams and cities. That is the point of them. That is why baseball expanded the playoffs. Not to determine who the best team is, but to provide more entertainment and in turn make more money.

@Fletch22

Check my 8:28 pm post detailing how the best team may not win a 7 game series.

Posted by: sgm3 | June 5, 2010 10:41 PM | Report abuse

@ sgm3

go check the facts first, I didn't start this whole "who's the better team" argument.

it's timmy who started it by posting last night how ridiculous it was of some of us to think the hawks defense was better than that of the Caps.

I've got a stat of my own that even some of you people can understand - 14 wins is better than 3. both philly and the hawks have 14 wins and 2 away from winning the Cup and compare that to 3. now try telling me how much better the Caps truly are than either of these teams.

Posted by: joek443 | June 5, 2010 11:00 PM | Report abuse

joek: There are onl two poitns of fact that may not be disputed:

1) The Caps were a better regular season team than the Flyers.

2) The Flyers were a better Playoff team than the Caps.

Everything else is personal opinion. Naming the Flyers a "better team" in absolute terms is just as unproveable as saying the Caps would have beaten the Flyers had they met in the Playoffs.

My personal opinion: The Flyers are a mostly mediocre team that got hot at the right time and the Caps are a very superior team that needs to be tweaked in order to be successful in the Playoffs.

BTW, I agree with 80-90% of what you say but sometimes disagree when you take playoff performance too much and regular season performance not enough.

Posted by: tominsocal1 | June 5, 2010 11:09 PM | Report abuse

Yes, Philly is, unquestionably, having a much more successful postseason than the Caps. 14 wins is signifcantly better than 3. Playoff wins alone determine what team is more successful in the playoffs.

But playoff wins do not determine what team is better. Those are two seperate questions. The playoffs is only a very small sample size to see who is better. It is not large enough to show what team is better. You must look at the season as a whole (regular season and postseason) to help reach a conclusion (which is what team would have a greater chance of winning).

Posted by: sgm3 | June 5, 2010 11:14 PM | Report abuse

With apologies to Lindsay, here's the tominsocal1 survey question:

Bill Gates puts up $100M (God knows why, but humor me and assume he does it) for winner take all Caps vs Flyers first team to 25 wins.

Which team wins the $100M and how many games do they play?

tominsocal1 opinion: Caps win 25 games to 18.

If you have an opinion, please post. Best of 7 is too short a barometer to declare "best team," even if that is the length of series that is used. In statistics, the more chances you put into the equation, the more of a chance that things even out.

Posted by: tominsocal1 | June 5, 2010 11:20 PM | Report abuse

@ tominsocal1

as far as I and most of the hockey world that I'm familiar with is concerned, the regular season only exists to weed out the 14 non-playoff teams. among the 4 major sports in north america, the playoffs in hockey are the least predictable because you can't really measure all the intangibles needed to win in the playoffs based on the regular season perfomance.

as long as I've been watching hockey, it has always been that way. playoff veterans like Pronger and Gill know how to pace themselves during the season and how to turn it on in the playoffs.

the problem that I see is what you get from the Caps during the season is about the same that you get from them in the playoffs. they either don't know how to raise their level of play in the playoffs or that's about the best they can do while every other team raises their level of play in the post-season.

Posted by: joek443 | June 5, 2010 11:30 PM | Report abuse

it's timmy who started it by posting last night how ridiculous it was of some of us to think the hawks defense was better than that of the Caps.

Posted by: joek443 | June 5, 2010 11:00 PM

joek, there's a reason so many people on here have such a low opinion of you. It's because you never bother to check your facts. Here is what I ACTUALLY posted:

"Wow.... the vaunted Chicago defense, the one certain people here keep saying is the model the Caps should aim for, were responsible for 3 of Philly's goals this game. Sounds like a great example.

Posted by: timmyv38 | June 4, 2010 11:02 PM |"

I never said the Caps were better than the Hawks, or that the Caps defense was better than the Hawks defense. I just pointed out that the defense that so many people here hold up as an example was directly responsible for 3 of the 5 goals their team gave up.

As for who's better, Flyers or Caps, any hockey expert would say Caps.

And if the Caps had continued to play at their regular season level during the playoffs, they'd be in the Finals right now. The problem is, their level of play dropped - and specific players, such as Green, Laich, and BMo, were laregly responsible for that.

Posted by: timmyv38 | June 5, 2010 11:38 PM | Report abuse

And if the Caps had continued to play at their regular season level during the playoffs, they'd be in the Finals right now. The problem is, their level of play dropped - and specific players, such as Green, Laich, and BMo, were laregly responsible for that.

Posted by: timmyv38 | June 5, 2010 11:38 PM | Report abuse

I don't deal with ifs, I deal with reality. if you wanna know why those players and the team stink in the playoffs, check out my 11:30 post.

Posted by: joek443 | June 5, 2010 11:44 PM | Report abuse

joek: The problem where your argument fails the logic test is that the Flyers were a goalpost away from not even making the playoffs. You play 82 games and then a 5-minute OT and then a shootout and you win by one goal. Is this how Pronger "paces" himself? He waits until his team is in a do-or-die shootout? Did Pronger even get on the ice in the shootout? No, Pronger is d@mned lucky his team got by Lundqvist...and now, after pacing himself, he turns it up.

joek443, I don't buy your argument. You are writing your tale to match the ending. If it were the Pens, not the Flyers, or the Devils, in the Finals, you would be saying that the Pens or Devs know better than the caps how to "pace" themselves.

You could replay the 2010 playoffs a 1000 times starting with the beginning of OT in the last game Philly-NY and the Flyers would make the Finals maybe 10 times out of 1000. This is nothing more than an example of a "perfect storm" in sports.

The Flyers have grit and talent but any team that "paces" themselves to not turning it on until the 3rd shot in the shootout on the do-or-die last game and than waits until 3 game to none down and then down 3-0 in the third period tied 3-3 in games isn't good but lucky.

Posted by: tominsocal1 | June 5, 2010 11:47 PM | Report abuse

"the flyers are not a better team than the caps this year. still being in the playoffs doesn't make you a better team - it just means you haven't lost 4 of 7 yet"

Say what? They've won 3 series, and are eastern conference champs. ECC alone makes them better than the Caps. They're in the SC final. They're 2 wins away from being SC champs. So you're saying that should the Flyers win the Cup, we'll hear Doc Emerick say '....and the Flyers are the 2010 SC champs, but really, the Caps were a better team, sorry Philly'. The more I read here, the more I'm convinced some of you guys are are completely blinded by the loyalty you have to the Caps.

@sgm3, i refuse to go back and read something at 8:28 when your 11:14 post reads 'playoff wins do not determine which team is better'. That's exactly what playoff wins do.

@tom, why 25 wins? what is the significance of that? now we have to simply make up new tournaments? NHL, MLB, NBA all use 7 games for the finals, so that's the standard, and has been so for a long long time. there really can't be any other way to measure the better team....by the way, i'm not trying to pick on your posts, i read alot of what you write i think you're extremely insightful, i just think you're off the mark on this one.

Posted by: Fletch22 | June 5, 2010 11:52 PM | Report abuse

it's less about the level of play from those players dropping, it's more about the level of play of their opponents being raised and them not being able to keep up with it in the playoffs.

Posted by: joek443 | June 5, 2010 11:52 PM | Report abuse

joek443: To paraphase that old guy who ran for VP vs Dan Quayle, I've seen good hockey teams and the Flyers ain't one of them.

Let's put the 2010 Flyers into the playoff pool as the #7 seed every year back to league started with 16 teams. When was that, 1981? Whatever, make the 2010 Flyers the #7 team in the East for the last 30 years and how many times do they make the Finals?

Only this year is my guess.

Would they have gotten past Potvin and the Isles? The Flyers or Bruins in the late 80s early 90s? Lemeiux's teams? The Devils with Stevens?

Maybe the only examples of such a weak team making the Finals was the Caps in 98 and the Panthers in whatever year.

So, my conclusion, the Flyers this year is a one in 10 thing. Does that make them a great team? Were the 98 Caps a great team?

No, whatever the rresults, the best you can say for this year's Flyers team is a tough, opportunistic team. A team to emulate?

No.

Posted by: tominsocal1 | June 5, 2010 11:58 PM | Report abuse

@ tominsocal1

you think veteran players like Pronger and Gill go all out 100 percent every night 82 games/year like Ovi?

I've got news for you, they don't. if they did, they wouldn't have anything left in the playoffs.

Posted by: joek443 | June 5, 2010 11:59 PM | Report abuse

@ tominsocal1

if such a weak team like philly could make it to the finals and be 2 wins away from winning the Cup, shouldn't a "great" team like the Caps have just breezed thru the tournament?

both the '98 caps and the panther team that made the finals were SWEPT. philly could very well win it and right now if I had to bet, I'd bet on philly winning the Cup.

Posted by: joek443 | June 6, 2010 12:05 AM | Report abuse

Fletch: What I've said, in a million posts, is that the Caps have weaknesses that Martin preyed upon. Look, he let the Caps set up for a shooting gallery and had his guys clog up the slot - apparently just what Texas was doing to Hershey.

What the Caps lack is playmaking. Yes! Other than Backstrom, and he's just learning, who was there to draw the D and find the open winger?

Now, had the Caps played Montreal more games, the Caps talent would ultimately prevail. You CAN'T tell me the habs would have beaten the Caps best in 100.

No, my opinion, the Caps are the best "team" in the East, but not the best team configured for Playoffs. Two different things. I agree with joek I think we need a #2 center, a #3 RW and a #1 d-man. We need grit like Obama needs a clean Gulf. But, does this make the Flyers better - or maybe somewhat lucky?

All I'm saying don't make the Flyers and Prongers the Second Coming because they are in the Finals. Cudos to them but they were still way lucky to have even been invited to the dance. A shootout goalpost kinda lucky with Pronger watching.

Posted by: tominsocal1 | June 6, 2010 12:09 AM | Report abuse

The more I read here, the more I'm convinced some of you guys are are completely blinded by the loyalty you have to the Caps.

@sgm3, i refuse to go back and read something at 8:28 when your 11:14 post reads 'playoff wins do not determine which team is better'. That's exactly what playoff wins do.

Posted by: Fletch22 | June 5, 2010 11:52 PM | Report abuse

I'm all for loyalty but some of the stuff being said about "who's better" is just plain silly. this ain't no BCS.

there is NO need to argue about who's the better team. the last team standing will be the best team in hockey and the win total in the playoffs will dictate who's the better team.

Posted by: joek443 | June 6, 2010 12:15 AM | Report abuse

Oh so OV was tired during the playoffs and that's the reason for our collapse. So lets blame it on the leading point scorer and goal scorer in the regular season and playoffs for our team. Lets not look at the support players, lets go straight to the top and blame it on that guy! Yep sounds good to me.

Tom you're trying to talk logic to an illogical person. The only thing he has to support his argument is Philly is still playing. Doesn't matter that #7 seeds rarely get to the finals and they were a shootout goal away from NOT being in the playoffs. They're a superior team and one we should model ourselves after.

DON'T FORGET THIS, you're trying to talk logic to a guy who said, "IF we lose in this years playoffs GMGM needs to trade some of our EUROS"!

Posted by: pokerfaceI208 | June 6, 2010 12:17 AM | Report abuse

joek: You missed my point. Earlier you said a mark of Pronger's greatness was his ability to pace himself for the season and then the Playoffs. I pointed out he was only in the Playoffs because one single person on his team, while he was watching from the bench, scored the second and winning SO goal vs NY.

Pronger through nothing of his own doing could have been golfing a full two weeks before the Caps. Then maybe the Devils would be in the Finals and you'd be telling us that Langenbrunner knows how to pace himself, wouldn't you?

Where was Pronger pacing himself last year? And where was Hartnell? Hartnell was a bum this year up until Game 1 vs the Hawks. Do we suddenly say he's more valuable than Ovechkin becuase he seized the opportunity?

I ask joek443 that you consider what it is that really defines "best" in sports or anything for that matter. Can I coast all year at work and then "come up big" the night we are preparing the yearly summary charts? Does that make me better than the guy who plugs away all year putting out those boring but necessary reports?

Posted by: tominsocal1 | June 6, 2010 12:19 AM | Report abuse

Tom, I'm right there with you though, all things considered I'll take our team over any other team in the East and do it all over again and bet we come out on top. Like you said this team needs a "tweaking". Oddly enough our D and goaltending were NOT the reason we lost, it was our offense which was the most consistent and high scoring offense in the league all yr long. The one thing we knew was going to happen and the one thing that every team in the league feared went into a 3 game slump and cost us a Cup.

Last time I checked there are probably about 25 other teams out there that wish they were as flawed as we are.

Posted by: pokerfaceI208 | June 6, 2010 12:23 AM | Report abuse

And if the Caps had continued to play at their regular season level during the playoffs, they'd be in the Finals right now. The problem is, their level of play dropped - and specific players, such as Green, Laich, and BMo, were laregly responsible for that.

Posted by: timmyv38 | June 5, 2010 11:38 PM | Report abuse

I don't deal with ifs, I deal with reality. if you wanna know why those players and the team stink in the playoffs, check out my 11:30 post.

Posted by: joek443 | June 5, 2010 11:44 PM |

I did - what do you think I was replying to? Look at the numbers of the Caps players I named in the regular season, and then the playoffs. You'll see a huge drop. Your 11:30 post, like so many others, was wrong. The Caps lost to Montreal because their level of play dropped, not because they maintained the level they had in the regular season.

And the Stanley Cup winner isn't always the best team - just look at last year. In 2 out of the 4 series, the Pens needed the help of the refs to win.

Posted by: timmyv38 | June 6, 2010 12:27 AM | Report abuse

what I mean by pacing is that veterans like Pronger and Gill understand that the objective of the regular season is simply to be among the top 8 teams in the conference and just to make the playoffs.

they don't get excited over putting up great numbers, winning the prez trophy or anything meaningless like that.

once they make the playoffs, it's GAME ON. guys like Ovi, Green and Semin are like young, flashy racecar drivers who lead a bunch of laps early on in a race but have little left when it's time to go late in the race.

Posted by: joek443 | June 6, 2010 12:30 AM | Report abuse

OK, I see what you wrote above, greatness in hockey is only determined by last team standing in the Playoffs. How they got there or what transpired is irrelevant?

So Ray Bourque is only great because he got lucky enough to be traded to Colorado for his last year?

If you say, "Heck, no, Bourque rreally was great..." then you are giving him his greatness based on his non-Cup winning and truly great resume with Boston - but then you are digging away the foundation from that argument that you have spent a bazillion posts to construct.

Bourque was one the best players in the NHL over a 22-year period. That he only won one Cup, and was lucky to do that, is a coincidence. The fact that the Flyers are in the Finals and the Caps aren't this year is no more indictment against the Caps than an indictment against Bourque because Larry Murphy (a great but lesser defenseman) has like 4 Cups. We can't say Murphy was 4 times better than Bourque, can we?

Posted by: tominsocal1 | June 6, 2010 12:32 AM | Report abuse

And the Stanley Cup winner isn't always the best team - just look at last year. In 2 out of the 4 series, the Pens needed the help of the refs to win.

Posted by: timmyv38 | June 6, 2010 12:27 AM | Report abuse

LMAO now the truth comes out... the refs helped them.

you got excuses for everything, don't you... you should be a lawyer, a lobbyist or a politician if you aren't already.

Posted by: joek443 | June 6, 2010 12:34 AM | Report abuse

tom, we'll just have to agree to disagree. 100 games means nothing when that's not how the game is played. Not a car guy, but it's like losing a quarter mile race, saying that if the race was 10 miles longer, we would have eventually caught up. All well and good, but the other guy was better when it mattered.

pokerface, what is illogical about saying that either of the 2 teams in the SC final are better than the Caps? The best teams find a way to win in 7 games or less. We lost, and did so in history making fashion. We're now proposing 25-100 game hypothetical hockey tournements, but saying that the teams that are still playing are not better than the Caps is illogical?

Posted by: Fletch22 | June 6, 2010 12:34 AM | Report abuse

@ tominsocal1

I'm talking about teams here... when did I say anything about Ray Bourque or winning the Cup defining the career of any individual player?

I happen to think Ray Bourque is the greatest d-man not named Bobby Orr. Robert Horry won like 5 or 6 NBA titles, does that mean he was better than Charles Barkley or Karl Malone?

absolutely NOT.

Posted by: joek443 | June 6, 2010 12:38 AM | Report abuse

joek, your last post is contradicted by reality. The Flyers were 1 shot away from missing the playoffs - so what good would it have done Pronger to conserve himself if his team had missed the playoffs?

You say Ovie has "little left" when it comes to the playoffs - but yet, each of the last two seasons, he has averaged 1.5 points/game in the playoffs (21 in 14 games last season, 10 in 7 games this season). And Semin had one of the best performances of anyone in the 1st round, with his constant creation of scoring chances. But with no backup, he couldn't produce. And yes, I know he had no goals - no traffic in front of a goalie like Halak will do that.

I would agree with you about Green though, for the record.

Posted by: timmyv38 | June 6, 2010 12:40 AM | Report abuse

joek: I'm not being critical when I say that I can tell that you aren't in Finance or statistics for a living. What you are doing, if I may politely point out, a classic mistake, is you are drawing a conclusion from a single point of data that may or may not be related to the conclusion.

The example they used in logic 101: The captain turns on the seat belt signs on the plane, we begin to experience turbulence, therefore the captain turning on the seat belt sign caused the turbulence.

You have concluded, in likewise fashion, that the Flyers being one of two teams in the finals makes them one of the two best teams in hockey.

Even if I bought your argument, and I don't, I would say that all it proves is they are one of the two best teams THIS year.

However, because the Flyers haven't been in the Finals since Lindros got swept, this has no bearing on how the Flyers will do next year.

And you can't say it's "because of Pronger." Great player, but he's been in the Finals by my count three times in his career, and one of those was an 8 seed and one was now a 7 seed.

No, I doubt that Bettman will be petitioning the US gov't to put Pronger's gap-toothed smile and ski-sloped nose as the fifth face on Mt. Rushmore.

A great player...but, he got lucky this year.

Posted by: tominsocal1 | June 6, 2010 12:43 AM | Report abuse

you two are just unbelievable... I want both of you to go on espn board right now and try arguing that the Caps are better than either of these teams.

I wanna see how long before both of you get laughed off of there.

Posted by: joek443 | June 6, 2010 12:49 AM | Report abuse

timmy,
you discount the fact that Flyers were a complete mess before Laviolette. On and off the ice. Young guys didn't like the old guys, and vice versa. Stevens let the young players do whatever they wanted, and placed no accountability on anyone. I think Pronger probably played a part in his firing, and probably didn't expect to make the playoffs.

With respect to his play, Pronger is an extremely efficient skater, but has slowed a little bit. In terms of conserving himself, I think it's more in terms of his nastyness in the corners and in front of the net. He's hacking away, knocking guys around, hitting guys up high. I see a huge difference from the regular season games to now. His battles with Byfuflien alone have been particularly nasty.

It's not like he's suddenly skating like a wild man. But he's definately more intense.

Posted by: Fletch22 | June 6, 2010 12:50 AM | Report abuse

joek, how about actually answering a post with facts and logic rather than dumb comments like that?

Posted by: timmyv38 | June 6, 2010 12:50 AM | Report abuse

And, another thing joek443, I don't care how hard you try, but it is three hours earlier here. I can simply wait until you fall alseep and then I can get the "last word" and there's nothing you can do about it unless you plan to stay up forever.

You see, I have blog "grit."

Posted by: tominsocal1 | June 6, 2010 12:51 AM | Report abuse

Fletch, firing Stevens and hiring Laviolette was definitely a great move by the Flyers. I wouldn't dispute that. But I also fail to see what that has to do with any of my posts.

Posted by: timmyv38 | June 6, 2010 12:53 AM | Report abuse

joek, how about actually answering a post with facts and logic rather than dumb comments like that?

Posted by: timmyv38 | June 6, 2010 12:50 AM | Report abuse

why bother? I have a heck of an easier time trying to get attention of my deaf dog.

wins don't matter in the playoffs, the caps are still better than either of these teams??? good luck with that argument on neutral boards.

Posted by: joek443 | June 6, 2010 12:58 AM | Report abuse

joek: I said earlier that two points were indisputable:

1) The Caps were a better regular season team than the Flyers and

2) The Flyers were a better Playoff team than the Caps.

Both conclusions have to do solely with "this year."

Then I opinied that if the Caps were to play Philly in first to 25, for whatever, if anything, that is worth, Caps would win 25-18.

Would I get laughed off the ESPN board for that? Can someone prove that if the caps and Flyers had to play say 19 reg season games like the Yanks and Red Sox the Caps wouldn't prevail? Who can prove that? Does the Habs losing to the Flyers mean the Caps wouldn't have beaten the Flyers? You absolutely know better than to draw a simple conclusion that if team a beats team b and team c beats team a then team c must w/o doubt beat team b.

No, joek443, we can't even assume that the Flyers would have beaten the Caps. This, in the words of Howard Cosell, would be "pure conjecture."

joek443, you can argue on fact, and you can argue on opinion, but you may not argue that opinion counts as fact.

"I object, Your Honor."
"Based on what, tominsocal1?"
"Based on learned colleague joek443 is trying to lead the jury."

Posted by: tominsocal1 | June 6, 2010 1:03 AM | Report abuse

even if they win it, it's because they're lucky or the refs helped them do it???

LOL please go say that on espn board if you're man enough.

Posted by: joek443 | June 6, 2010 1:04 AM | Report abuse

timmy, i have no idea. LOL...my tired mind must have wandered....i'm sure I was trying to make a point about something....

Posted by: Fletch22 | June 6, 2010 1:11 AM | Report abuse

joek443: You have a deaf dog?

I don't mean to be insensitive, really I don't, but how does one know when they have a deaf dog? Because he tells you?

And what's this "man enough" business? Since when does posting a opinion define "being a man?" I suspect rather your definition of a man is black and white just like your definition of a good hockey team.

I don't mean to be critical. I have posted a million posts here over the last three years. One time I ridiculed your ID and soon thereafter apologized. I am only here for the cameraderie and to learn and because I love the Caps. However I feel it's very short-sighted to feel defending one's opinion on a blog has anything to do with being "man enough."

How we treat our fellow men or persons defines "man enough" or "person enough," not whether or not I can spew data on a blog.

Whether or not I have been "man enough" will be determined soley by when I die and who comes to speak.

joek443, you make some good points, but you are in a world that has absolutely no shades of gray and I can tell you, from my perspective in this life, it just isn't that way.

If this fails to make me a "man" in your book, then call me a "little boy" if it makes you feel better.

Posted by: tominsocal1 | June 6, 2010 1:15 AM | Report abuse

tom, but I think that you're assuming the Caps beat the Flyers 25-18. Isn't that too, pure conjecture?

Maybe I'm getting tired, but I think you just argued that no one could prove that the Caps wouldn't prevail in the best out of 19 games. Can anyone prove that they would prevail?

So confused.

Posted by: Fletch22 | June 6, 2010 1:23 AM | Report abuse

joek443: BTW, you and I shared opinions for a long time, maybe more than a year, and I figured by now we should be buds.

But how many times now have you asked me how it's going with the transition from tominfl1 to tominsocal1?

You know, I started work 29 March, and we are still in the Residence Inn for another two weeks or so. I'm not complaining, I could be in Iraq with missiles exploding outside my living room, but I have no Versus or hockey package so I've missed most of the games. Even as a kid in Detroit watching a snowy Ch 9 in Winsor ON I had better reception.

You know, if you cared, you would have asked.

Tom, your pal (or, trying to be at least)

Posted by: tominsocal1 | June 6, 2010 1:30 AM | Report abuse

the flyers were not/are not better than the caps this year

Posted by: Capt_Kirk_in_AZ | June 6, 2010 1:39 AM | Report abuse

Fletch, absolutely, it's my opinion, purely, that the Caps would beat the Flyers (starting tomorrow) in a "best of" series of 7, 9, 11, 15, 25, whatever.

The caps simply have better talent.

If the caps and Flyers were to line up tomorrow, in a best of series, 7 games or more, even odds in Vegas, I'll put my Benjamin on the Caps.

You or anyone can argue otherwise but we can't prove anything. The simple fact that the Flyers beat Montreal is irrelevant. We can find a million examples in sports (US beats Canada in the preliminary round; Canada then beats US in medal round) where success in one round doesn't equate to another round.

My only point, to belabor, in all this, is that we PLEASE don't elevate Pronger and the Flyers to God-like status because they took divine luck in getting into the Playoffs and then won three series. Please don't say that Pronger, in the Finals three times since the 90s, has proved that he can "pace" himself for Playoff success when he was incredibly d@mned lucky to even be in the Playoffs this year.

Yes, YES, YES!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! the Caps must be tweaked! But to be modeled upon the Flyers? Because of a few rounds of success?

Like Moses said to God when God asked Moses if he wanted to carry another tablet with five more commandments:

"No."

Posted by: tominsocal1 | June 6, 2010 1:46 AM | Report abuse

Capt Kirk! Dude! Speaking of Capt Kirk, I was hiking today at Vasquez Rocks State Park. Yes, that's right! The very spot where they filmed the Star Trek episode where Kirk fought the lizard-like Gorn captain!

So, there were all these screaming kids, squealing and what not, and I raised my arms like the Gorn captain and started making those lizard noises and said,

"Let me kill you! I promise to be merciful and quick!"

Man, but it took like 12 hours to get out of the police station after that.

Tomorrow we're going either to Malibu Beach if this nasty fog quits or else Frazier Mountain.

http://www.summitpost.org/view_object.php?object_id=517827

You care, I can tell. joek443 doesn't care. I'll send him a Christmas card anyway, but I'll sign it "Chris Pronger."

Posted by: tominsocal1 | June 6, 2010 1:59 AM | Report abuse

on the tablet moses choose not to carry:
#11: in the year of my son, 2010, the flyers from philly shall not be considered better than than the caps of washington - no matter how much further into the playoffs they shall go

Posted by: Capt_Kirk_in_AZ | June 6, 2010 2:02 AM | Report abuse

@Fletch22

I never said the playoffs didn't matter when determining who is a better team. I am re-posting my earlier post that is basically in full agreement with tominsocal1.

The better team does not always win in sports. That's what makes it so entertaining to watch.

Villanova was not the best college basketball team in 1985.

The 1980 US Olympic Hockey team was not the best team in that torunament.

But they won, they each played some great games and beat teams who were better than they were.

To understand how the better team can lose in the playoffs you look at simple statistics.

If team A plays team B 100 times and team A wins 60 while team B wins 40, team A is better than team B. However, it is more than likely that during a 7 game stretch in those 100 games that team B won at least 4 games in that stretch. If that stretch occurs in the playoffs then team B beats team A even though team A is better.

The playoffs are such a small sample size that statistics show that the better team (the team with higher percentage of winning) will not necessarily win. Especially when the better team is not signifcantly better than opposing teams (maybe 55% chance of winning). The better team never has a 100% chance of winning games. That would be the only way for the better team to always win.

It's simple statistics.

Posted by: sgm3 | June 6, 2010 2:28 AM | Report abuse

I always find it amazing when people (joek443 and Fletch22) reach conclusions on who is a better team based on a playoff tournament. Think about how fine of a line it was between success and failure for the Flyers and Blackhawks

Flyers: the shootout vs. the Rangers to get in. Then, down 3-0 to the Bruins. Getting absolutely hammered by a team that looked significantly better. Then David Krejci goes down with an injury. Then the Flyers win game 4 in OT where the Bruins had multiple glorious scoring chances to win. If Krejci doesn't get hurt(not because of Philly's play), Boston wins that series. If Boston gets a slightly better bounce in OT in game 4 Boston sweeps that series. If in OT when the Rangers hit the post, that puck bounces in, Philly doesn't make the playoffs.

Chicago(great overall team by the way): Game vs. Nashville. Sereis is tied 2-2. Nashville is up by 1 with about 40 seconds remaining and is on the PP. The Nashville guy has possession of the puck behind the net. It is basically a 5 on 3 because Kane is standing at the red line. For some stupid reason the Nashville player throws the puck out through the slot to a Hawks player leading to a rush and a Hawks goal. Hawks then win in OT. If the Nashville player just did a normal play then Nashville wins game 5, goes up 3-2 and may end up winning the series. Chicago won game 5, not because of a good play of their own but because of a horrible mistake by an opposing player.

To draw conclusions about who is the better team from that is not smart.

tominsocal1's example of the plane and turbulence is an excellent example. The statistical example I gave above is another example.

Have joek443 or Fletch22 ever taken any courses on probabilities or math in general?

Posted by: sgm3 | June 6, 2010 2:40 AM | Report abuse

To try and stop this pointless argument I will start another pointless topic. Hockeybuzz has this currently about the Caps. "a source has told me The Capitals are the center of a possible MAJOR trade. The five player deal would center around Semin and a "star goaltender most think is untouchable."" Has anybody heard from a credible source anything about this? And any guesses on what the trade is and if the goalie is going to or from the Caps?

Posted by: icehammer97 | June 6, 2010 2:43 AM | Report abuse

So let me pose this question, what if the flyers lost in the 2nd round are they still considered "a better team" than us because they made it past the 1st round?

Posted by: pokerfaceI208 | June 6, 2010 3:07 AM | Report abuse

icehammer- i saw that too. i'm not sure how much cred i'd put into that. the only goaltender i would think would be a possibility would be luongo as he's probably the most untouchable goaltender in the league. Needless to say getting Luongo would be huge. I guess i'm just not sold on the thought that gmgm would be targeting a goalie in return for semin. semin would command a great return and i don't think it would be in the nets with varly and neuvy ready to go.

Posted by: pokerfaceI208 | June 6, 2010 3:14 AM | Report abuse

As far as the argument on who's the better team, it's pretty pointless. Would we like to be playing now of course, philly has just taken incredible advantage of their opportunity and made the most of it. Nobody outside of Philly had them beating NJ for crying out loud.

The bigger point is our team currently constructed. If you watched the series and look at the stats, I'll be so bold as to say it was a "fluke" or something that is very unlikely to repeat itself. We were the highest scoring team in the league all yr long. We basically went wire to wire with the best pp. Everybody wants to harp on the D and the goaltending. That's the last place the blame should be. We lost this series in the last 3 games. In those games we lost 2-1, 4-1 and 2-1. Last time I checked you're not gonna win many games scoring 1 goal.

After you're done laughing at me for calling us losing a "fluke", look at these stats (I'm assuming we can at least agree the series was lost in the last 3 games).

In the last 3 games:

We scored 3 goals (lost 2 of those games 2-1)
We were 0-14 on the pp (season avg 25%+ so we normally would've scored at least 3)
Mon scored 8 goals which is 2.67 GPG avg (ours over the season was never lower than 3.5)
Mon PP was 2-14 so our pk% was 86% (far above our season avg)

So Caps fans it was our OFFENSE that sputtered in the last 3 games of the playoffs. No intelligent person would've predicted THAT would be the aspect that would falter in the playoffs. I'll go out on a limb to state that "it is unlikely to repeat itself". While we can't do it and it is in fact fantasy land, if we were able to play this series 100 times more over, we would come out on top the majority of the time.

So do we really need to fire GMGM? BB? Do we really need to say Ted doesn't want to win? Do we really need wholesale changes? Very doubtful.


Posted by: pokerfaceI208 | June 6, 2010 3:46 AM | Report abuse

One last point, while Philly was a shootout goal away from not even making it to the dance, we got the opposite end of the fortune rainbow with a goal that was disallowed to start the 3rd period in game 7. Can we all agree that that call was NEVER made during the regular season? I watch a ton of games during the season and I can tell you that not once all yr do I recall a goal like that taken back. I think we can all agree if that goal counts we're moving on to the 2nd round (I know that woulda tied the game but we have enormous momentum). Bad bounces happen though and what this YOUNG team has to learn is how to win in adversity. I dare say this is a painful learning process and when they do win the Cup I'm sure this will be one of the points made. So even with that butch of a call made and with our Offense disappearing for 3 games, we were that close to moving on.

Posted by: pokerfaceI208 | June 6, 2010 3:52 AM | Report abuse

To try and stop this pointless argument I will start another pointless topic. Hockeybuzz has this currently about the Caps. "a source has told me The Capitals are the center of a possible MAJOR trade. The five player deal would center around Semin and a "star goaltender most think is untouchable."" Has anybody heard from a credible source anything about this? And any guesses on what the trade is and if the goalie is going to or from the Caps?

Posted by: icehammer97

Not sure why we would trade for a goalie. Also, I wouldn't consider Vokoun untouchable. Florida is also trying to move Nathan Horton. He could be our second line center.

Semin, Neuvirth

for

Vokoun, Horton

Just a guess.

Also, I saw some speculating on Hockeybuzz that the Caps could be trying to corner the market on Nick Backstroms, so Minnesota is a possibility.


Posted by: underpants2 | June 6, 2010 9:16 AM | Report abuse

joek, how about actually answering a post with facts and logic rather than dumb comments like that?

Posted by: timmyv38 | June 6, 2010 12:50 AM | Report abuse

why bother? I have a heck of an easier time trying to get attention of my deaf dog.


Posted by: joek443 | June 6, 2010 12:58 AM

Yeah, I guess it is easier making posts like yours rather than finding out facts. Makes you seem foolish when you're shown to be wrong though.

pokerface, that call in Game 7 was made at times during the regular season - but not often, and not with regularity. However, it wasn't made during the 1st round until then.

Posted by: timmyv38 | June 6, 2010 9:22 AM | Report abuse

Saw a rumor.....5 player deal involving Semin and a star goalie who people wouldn't think would be traded.....any ideas? I would love to get Ryan Miller

Posted by: capsfan5252 | June 6, 2010 9:28 AM | Report abuse

To try and stop this pointless argument I will start another pointless topic. Hockeybuzz has this currently about the Caps. "a source has told me The Capitals are the center of a possible MAJOR trade. The five player deal would center around Semin and a "star goaltender most think is untouchable."" Has anybody heard from a credible source anything about this? And any guesses on what the trade is and if the goalie is going to or from the Caps?

Posted by: icehammer97 | June 6, 2010 2:43 AM

Someone posted that earlier. Problem is, no credible sources will talk about it since trades can't be done at this point. I would assume if something like that is in the works, the goalie would have to be coming to the Caps - Varly, Neuvirth, and Holtby are not in the "untouchable" category (or in the "star" category, either). I really hope there's no truth to this - an expensive goalie is the last thing the Caps need to waste their money on. They need a #2 center, possibly a #3 wing, and a #1 dman.

Posted by: timmyv38 | June 6, 2010 9:28 AM | Report abuse

underpants, I think the Florida/Caps trade you mentioned could be a possibility - but the article did say it was a 5-man trade. I would assume the 5th man would be a 3rd/4th liner, or maybe a prospect. Do you think, if your idea is correct, that the extra player would be going Florida's way?

Posted by: timmyv38 | June 6, 2010 9:36 AM | Report abuse

@timmyv38

I agree with you. An expensive goalie is the last thing the Caps need to acquire right now.

I'd say we need a 2nd line center or defenseman more.

As for any expensive goalie, we would have to ask ourselves (i.e. GMGM) if that particular goalie is good enough to "steal" enough games to get us to advance further in the playoffs.

Possibilities:

Vokoun -- no (he's a good goalie but ...)

Luongo -- no (Vancouver hasn't advanced to Round 3 with him and a good offense)

R. Miller -- best goalie in the business but would Buffalo trade him?

Posted by: CapsFan75 | June 6, 2010 9:45 AM | Report abuse

'I always find it amazing when people (joek443 and Fletch22) reach conclusions on who is a better team based on a playoff tournament'

I see, so it's just joek and I? I would argue that most of sports world would agree that the playoffs do in fact decide the best team. This is the first time anyone has tried to tell me otherwise. I have yet to hear anything about math or statistical probabilities on Sportscenter.

Why even have the playoffs then if that's your basis of your argument? Why not have the NHL, MLB and NBA stop the regular season as normal, and then have a bunch of mathemeticians gather in a room and tell us who would win. And then let's do what they do with the kids, everyone get's a trophy, or a day with the Stanely Cup, just so there's no hurt feelings. Cause everyone's a winner.

Posted by: Fletch22 | June 6, 2010 9:46 AM | Report abuse

underpants, I think the Florida/Caps trade you mentioned could be a possibility - but the article did say it was a 5-man trade. I would assume the 5th man would be a 3rd/4th liner, or maybe a prospect. Do you think, if your idea is correct, that the extra player would be going Florida's way?

Posted by: timmyv38

Not sure. Be nice if we could ship Erskine's contract out, since, in that scenario, we are taking on the brunt of the cap hit. If we do, we could still go after a guy like Hamhuis.

Horton would be a nice fit on this team.

Posted by: underpants2 | June 6, 2010 10:47 AM | Report abuse

I wonder whose brilliant idea it is to scheduled the NHL and NBA final at the same time tonight Bettman or Stern.

If the Caps trade Semin who will be the 2nd line scor-er?

Posted by: instinct227 | June 6, 2010 11:05 AM | Report abuse

I mentioned Vokoun on hockeybuzz regarding that rumor. He's about the only big name goalie I'd like the Caps to actually pursue.

Posted by: richmondphil | June 6, 2010 11:13 AM | Report abuse

semin would command a great return and i don't think it would be in the nets with varly and neuvy ready to go.

Posted by: pokerfaceI208 | June 6, 2010 3:14 AM

You really think Semin is worth more than a Kipper, Luongo, Vokoun, etc?

Semin does have tremendous value, but we'd definetely have to throw-in/take salary back to acquire a top-flight goalie.

Personally, I don't see what's wrong with Varlamov. That money would be better spent on a 2C and defenders.

Posted by: richmondphil | June 6, 2010 11:16 AM | Report abuse

underpants, after looking at the numbers, I can't see that trade happening. The Caps would be taking on quite a bit of extra salary - Horton (who I think would work as #2 center) gets $4M, and Vokoun gets $5.7M. If the Caps did send Erskine (or another ~$1M contract) along with Semin and Neuvirth, they'd be sending about $8M in contract. So they'd gain about $1.6-1.7M - which might be workable.

Instinct, if the Caps were to get a 25-30 goal scoring #2 center (Horton being an example) in a trade for Semin, they could have 3 20-30 goal scorers on that line, in Laich, Fehr and whoever they get. That would probably result in 70+ goals, which is plenty from a 2nd line.

Posted by: timmyv38 | June 6, 2010 11:16 AM | Report abuse

As to the implied suggestion made above that the Capitals try to acquire Chris Pronger, I wouldn't want Pronger on the Capitals. I don't even want him in the NHL. I am pretty sure that he is the dirtiest player in the league.

I have seen him several times trying his best to harm good opposition players when the refs are not looking, and I don't even regularly watch him. He elbows people in the face and head with the intent to injure them, which I've recently seen him do to Kane, I think in game 2 or 3. I've seen him stomp on a player's leg with his skate blade, clearly trying to slice the guy's leg open.

In my opinion, and for what it's worth I did major in psychology, Pronger is psychotic. I believe he should really be in prison, because civil society needs to be protected from him. I don't care how good he is at playing hockey. Hiring Pronger would be morally wrong, in much the same way as arming the Capitals players with handguns and directing them to shoot opposition players would be wrong.

_______________________________

Pronger has done this since he came into the league. He wasn't the first, and he won't be the last.

Posted by: richmondphil | June 6, 2010 11:19 AM | Report abuse

Horton isn't a center. Where did this idea that he's a center come from?

Posted by: richmondphil | June 6, 2010 11:22 AM | Report abuse

And I'm not trying to call you out timmy, I've just seen people citing Horton has the possible 2C for like 3 weeks now...but he isn't a center. Nor can he even flex play it, really.

Posted by: richmondphil | June 6, 2010 11:23 AM | Report abuse

He is a center, according to NHL.com. Seems as though Florida played him as a wing this season though.

Posted by: timmyv38 | June 6, 2010 11:26 AM | Report abuse

This season? He has played RW his entire career. He's definetely not a center.

I do like Horton, he's a gritty winger...like a cheaper D. Brown or Iginla...but he's not a center.

Posted by: richmondphil | June 6, 2010 11:28 AM | Report abuse

richmondphil, last season (2008-9) I think he did play center - seeing how he took over 800 faceoffs in 67 games. His faceoff% sucked though lol... might be why he wasn't at center this season.

Posted by: timmyv38 | June 6, 2010 11:28 AM | Report abuse

Actually, it seems like they did try to move Horton to center last season. He at least took way more faceoffs than he normally does. But it was only last season.

I'd rather have a guy who is a natural center, who's good at it, then a RW-convert. They moved him back this year to his RW position anyway..could be because they filled C through Free Agency...could be because he sucks at center.

Posted by: richmondphil | June 6, 2010 11:32 AM | Report abuse

Yeah, I just re-looked it up.

Still, he's not a natural center, and I think we could do better. I wouldn't be opposed to acquiring Horton, but I wouldn't want him to play 2C.

Posted by: richmondphil | June 6, 2010 11:35 AM | Report abuse

I see your point, and agree about getting a natural center instead of a winger-turned-center. Honestly, when there had been debates about acquiring a #2 center starting right after the Montreal series, his name came up a bunch - and I don't remember who brought him up.

Posted by: timmyv38 | June 6, 2010 11:35 AM | Report abuse

Fletch: I have been watching sports since the 60s, and I've heard 100s of times, "The best team didn't win."

Didn't the Marlins win the WS twice as wild card? They weren't near the "best" team, they were best in a 7-game series.

The Twins won 2 WS where they were home team for 4 games and had the incredible advantage of the homerdome. Colorado went to the WS once with an 82-80 record I think. They weren't best in NL, they just got hot for three weeks.

My point: Just because someone wins in the Playoffs, you can't just toss out the regular season. The Playoffs count most, but the reg season counts too.

As example, you can't arbitrarily say the Caps are "tied for 9th" for best NHL team and that all the 2nd round teams are automatically the top 8.

The Caps were best team in the league, regular season. It counts for something. Not really a whole lot, but something. It means they don't have to be blown up but tweaked. We need a second line center and a checking RW more than the half-dozen snipers we have now. We do need a #1 d-man, even though defense wasn't the reason we lost to Montreal, because defense would have been the reason in either Round 2 or 3. And we might need a vet goalie, but we'll get 110-120 pts anyway with varly and Neuvy so that could be had next March 1st. We can trade a second round pick for one since none of our second round picks ever work anyway.

Posted by: tominsocal1 | June 6, 2010 11:38 AM | Report abuse

If we weren't getting Horton as a #2 center, I don't see much point in getting him at all. Laich and Fehr an each put up as many goals as him (and in Laich's case, just as many points), and their combined salaries are about the same as Horton's salary is. The only positions we should be putting that kind of money on are defense and maybe #2 center.

Posted by: timmyv38 | June 6, 2010 11:39 AM | Report abuse

If we weren't getting Horton as a #2 center, I don't see much point in getting him at all. Laich and Fehr an each put up as many goals as him (and in Laich's case, just as many points), and their combined salaries are about the same as Horton's salary is. The only positions we should be putting that kind of money on are defense and maybe #2 center.

Posted by: timmyv38 | June 6, 2010 11:39 AM |

If Horton came in, more salary would go out. Like Semin goes for that 2C guy, Flash goes somewhere, and then Horton is acquired to play on the 2nd line. Something like that. Fehr or Laich gets bumped down to 3rd.

Posted by: richmondphil | June 6, 2010 11:42 AM | Report abuse

We do need a #1 d-man, even though defense wasn't the reason we lost to Montreal, because defense would have been the reason in either Round 2 or 3.

_____________________________
Eh, I think we lost mostly because of defense. For example, that second goal in game 7 by the Habs should have never happened.
Bundle that with an offense who won't adjust and a hot goalie, and we've got a recipe for disaster.

Posted by: richmondphil | June 6, 2010 11:45 AM | Report abuse

I think we could do the same without getting Horton. Although a 2nd line of Fehr-Horton-legit #2 center could be dangerous. I don't think many people would be happy if Laich got bumped to the 3rd line though. I just happen to think Fehr has more potential than Laich.

Also, the whole thing with acquiring Horton would have had Semin going in the trade for him. So the #2 center would have to come via FA or a different trade.

Posted by: timmyv38 | June 6, 2010 11:48 AM | Report abuse

I'm not saying to get Horton or anything, I just like the guy. I wouldn't dislike acquiring him, but obviously there are more attractive trade proposals out there.

Other guys I wouldn't dislike acquiring, even though we don't need them;

Dustin Brown
Jarome Iginla
Dustin Brown
Dustin Brown
Dustin Brown

Posted by: richmondphil | June 6, 2010 11:53 AM | Report abuse

Do you want Dustin Brown by any chance?

Posted by: timmyv38 | June 6, 2010 11:55 AM | Report abuse

I don't think it's any secret that I have a man-crush on Dustin Brown. :)

Posted by: richmondphil | June 6, 2010 11:57 AM | Report abuse

@sgm - Yeah, Boston would have to throw in something else, especially considering Thomas' contract amount and remaining years. A second line center? I was very impressed by Bergeron in the Olympics, especially on the PK, and Krejci isn't bad.

Posted by: zmega | June 5, 2010 5:06 PM |

Semin for Thomas/Bergy is almost worth it. Thomas's contract sucks, but Bergeron is a two-way center who can fill that 2C void easily.

Posted by: richmondphil | June 6, 2010 12:04 PM | Report abuse

Phil: It's hard to blame the D in a 2-1 loss where we outshot them like 50-16 with shots on goal and like 100-30 in shots attempted.

But, as cstanton1 points out, we have a collection of poke-checkers back there and we need some diversity.

I blame the three straight losses to Montreal more on BB's inability to divise a strategy to outwit Martin's strategy of having all his players stand in front of the net as human puck-blockers.

Posted by: tominsocal1 | June 6, 2010 12:07 PM | Report abuse

Semin for Bergeron/Thomas would cripple the Caps, unless they could find some way to either trade Thomas or dump a lot of salary. It takes care of one need, but kills them on cap space - and a lot of that would be for a overpaid player in a position we don't need in Thomas.

Posted by: timmyv38 | June 6, 2010 12:11 PM | Report abuse

You just can't look at the stats like that though. How many goals did they score in which Ovi, Backs, or someone else was floating at the top of the zone? How many goals were a direct result of a bad play by the defenders? I just feel like a fair amount of the Habs goals, and an especially crucial one in Game 7, should and could have been prevented rather routinely.

I put a fair amount of the blame on BB not changing the offense and on Jacques coaching, but neither of those affect Ovi not backchecking or Carlson committing to a play in which can only be described as lazy.

Posted by: richmondphil | June 6, 2010 12:15 PM | Report abuse

And before someone misconstrues what I said, no, I don't want to trade Ovi or Carlson.
However, some slight adjustments to his system by BB and some personnel who can defend will do wonders for everyone else.

Posted by: richmondphil | June 6, 2010 12:22 PM | Report abuse

The Bears are in dire straits, to say the least. Anybody go to the game last night? What's been the problem?

Posted by: zmega | June 6, 2010 12:39 PM | Report abuse

@Fletch22

Do you really think the goal of these leagues is to determine who the best team is? No, it is to provide an entertaining product. Playoff tournaments provide great drama and entertainment for 16 teams and cities. That is the point of them. That is why baseball expanded the playoffs. Not to determine who the best team is, but to provide more entertainment and in turn make more money.

The goal in American sports is not to be the best team but is to win the tournament at the end.

The reason for this is because sports is entertainment and the playoffs with all the possibilities for upsets is more entertaining than a 120 game season where the team with the best overall record is crowned champion.

If the goal of American sports was to prove who the best team is, every team would play all other team an equal amount of times. There would be no playoffs and the team with the best record at the end would be crowned champion. That is the best way to determine who is the best because it is not a small sample size and diminishes statistical aberrations.

But that wouldn't be entertaining and would not create drama and thus high viewership. Teams not in the top 5 in the league in record at the midway point would basically have their season end. Viewership would decline, etc, etc.

Posted by: sgm3 | June 6, 2010 12:44 PM | Report abuse

The only "untouchable" goalie that could make some sense is Lundqvist.

The Rangers have a desperate need for more offense and Glenn Sather has made enough crazy moves that it would shock no one if he made another. Other players involved in the trade could inlcude Flash, Dubinsky and/or Ryan Callahan.

Posted by: sgm3 | June 6, 2010 12:58 PM | Report abuse

sgm3: You have a good example there. The only time in sports where the championship round was truly essential to determine "winner" was AFL vs NFL before they merged and AL vs NL back when only the league champions advanced.

Now, as you say, the Playoffs are where the teams really make their money (if any is to be made).

To carry youe example further, it's like if you sent 100 marathoners on a race and then they picked the top 16 finishers and they went head to head in single-elimination quarter mile races to decide "best runner."

That said, due to the grind, I'd still say it's harder to win the 4 straight series and claim the Cup than to win the Prez Trophy.

I really think the top 2 seeds in each conference should get 5 home games out of 7. There should be more of a reward for coming out on top in the marathon. A good example is ACC tournament where top 4 get to skip a round.

tominsocal1 NHL playoffs if no constraints from time or money:

Round 1: 8's play 5's and 7's play 6's. Round 2: lowest advancer plays #3 seed and highest advancer plays #4 seed in each conf. Round 3 the #1 and #2 seeds play the two advancers in each conf and Round 4 is ECF and WCF. Naturally you can't do this but it would more fairly give higher seeds a reward.

Posted by: tominsocal1 | June 6, 2010 1:08 PM | Report abuse

I would think Miller and Brodeur are both untouchable as well. Untouchable to the point where no way in hell either gets traded.

Posted by: richmondphil | June 6, 2010 1:19 PM | Report abuse

sgm3, you make a fair point about the entertainment and money making in american sports. I guess my view on the playoffs differs from others. Fair enough, we'll agree to disagree. I do appreciate the fact that even 6-8 weeks later, Caps fans are still passionately debating back and forth.

About your last post, Dubinsky would be a great addition to the Caps team. He can provide an element of toughness up front that we sorely lack, and he scored 20 goals last year (44 points overall). He's good defensively and can maybe help show the way for some of the other forwards in terms of backchecking. I don't know as much about Callahan, but would take Dubinsky any day of the week.

Posted by: Fletch22 | June 6, 2010 1:27 PM | Report abuse

I'd take Callahan over Dubinsky. Callahan will cost less and he isn't relied on to score, like Dubinsky is.

Posted by: richmondphil | June 6, 2010 1:35 PM | Report abuse

I wonder when the Caps are going to start re-signing some of their soon-to-be free agents. Some of them, I couldn't care about - BMo, Flash, and Theo, for example. But some, like Fehr and Schultz, need to be re-signed within the next few weeks.

Posted by: timmyv38 | June 6, 2010 1:35 PM | Report abuse

I think Dubinksy would be a very good 2nd line center. Callahan would be a very good 3rd liner who is one of the best on the PK. I'd be happy if either were on the Caps. They are both in the mold the Caps need to have a more balanced team.

Posted by: sgm3 | June 6, 2010 2:15 PM | Report abuse

hey if the Caps ever win the Cup, who's to say they're the best team right? they might just win because they get lucky or the refs help them win like some of you keep harping on...

it goes both ways, so if the pens fans or any other fans say that, you shouldn't get upset, should you?

Posted by: joek443 | June 6, 2010 2:28 PM | Report abuse

this like an alternate universe that some of you people live in... championships don't matter, just because you win the Cup doesn't mean your team is better than mine

all to justify the Caps didn't totally blow it in the playoffs?? well they did so get over it, you don't have to put other teams down and poo-poo their accomplishments to make you feel better about your team... that's what your kids would do.

Posted by: joek443 | June 6, 2010 2:38 PM | Report abuse

@joek443: You're entirely correct that perceptions go both ways. However, if/when the Caps win the SC, I'll have to wait and see what the Rounds and Finals were like to make a determination if factors other than the "best team winning" were at play.

FWIW, I do think that the referees are favoring the Flyers in the Finals. And I think that is having an effect on the Blackhawks. I hope the Blackhawks shake it off and pull off a SC win.

Posted by: dccitizen1 | June 6, 2010 2:44 PM | Report abuse

And, joek443, I have a feeling you are hoping the Flyers win it all because you already consider them the "best team".

Posted by: dccitizen1 | June 6, 2010 2:46 PM | Report abuse

joek, no one here is saying, has said, or will say that championships don't matter. What has been said, and what s totally true, is that the best teams aren't always the ones that make it to the championship. If that was the case, the Flyers wouldn't be there. They've done a great job taking advantage of their opportunities, but that doesn't make them the best in the East.

And everyone is agreed that the Caps blew it in the playoffs, so stop being an idiot about that.

Posted by: timmyv38 | June 6, 2010 2:48 PM | Report abuse

I think Dubinksy would be a very good 2nd line center.

Posted by: sgm3 | June 6, 2010 2:15 PM |

Debateable. His big criticism is that he is streaky..not sure if he is ready for full 2nd line duties.

I'd like Dubi on the team too though, but Callahan would be my #1 choice.

Posted by: richmondphil | June 6, 2010 3:08 PM | Report abuse

i can't believe we all couldn't see during the season that the flyers and habs were the class of the east. it all makes sense now - the caps never really had a chance.
i hope someone can tell me next year which team will win it all so i don't bother rooting for a loser all year.

Posted by: Capt_Kirk_in_AZ | June 6, 2010 3:28 PM | Report abuse

I think Semin is gonna be gone for sure, which is smart. A trade to Florida, straight up for Horton, or a pick as well makes sense. Horton is nastier, can score 25, and is signed for a reasonable amount. Saves Caps money, and they could still sign a D and a 2C if the Caps don't want Horton to play there. Plus, Florida needs to fill the seats, and needs goals bad.

I am in agreement with most, we should not move for a goalie. Varly and Nuevy will have an extremely low cap number. If anything, they should move one of the 3 to try and improve somewhere else. No sense in keeping Holtby in Hershey.

The Caps have 3 huge chips this summer: Semin, Goalie, Cap Space. Once Kovalchuk and Marleau sign, teams will get desperate. The Kings need a scorer, so does Nashville, Edmonton, Wild, Panthers, Blues, etc... There is no reason McPhee cannot get the things he needs this summer. We shouldn't need to settle for marginal signings. We shouldn't resign any of our UFA's, and lose some RFA as well (Gordon).

Posted by: underpants2 | June 6, 2010 3:31 PM | Report abuse

Semin being traded can be smart, if we get value for him - especially a legit #2 center. Trading him for Horton would be a bad move though - Horton is a winger who was moved to center for one season, and wasn't very good there. We already have two players in Fehr and Laich who can each score as well as he can, and will cost as much together as Horton. But if Semin can be traded for a #2 center with good faceoff ability, and 20-30 goal scoring ability, that would be worth it.

Posted by: timmyv38 | June 6, 2010 3:42 PM | Report abuse

After some time to think about this rumor...trading for a good goalie might not be the disaster so many are forseeing. It can't hurt to have a solid and consistent goalie...it took the Habs pretty far, and I bet if this deal goes through it will clear at least a little cap space. We already have enough for a solid D man, then you add a great goalie, and Alzner and Carlson and we are looking much better than we did last season...the problem is that we would have to replace semin...if we don't have a solid 2nd line then every team will only have to prepare for Ov and Backs.

Posted by: capscoach | June 6, 2010 4:13 PM | Report abuse

I think Semin is gonna be gone for sure, which is smart. A trade to Florida, straight up for Horton, or a pick as well makes sense.
-------------------------------------------

Thank God you're not making decisions for this organization. Altho I'm sure Mike Keenan would do it.

Posted by: pokerfaceI208 | June 6, 2010 4:15 PM | Report abuse

As humbling as I am to admit it, I kinda want Philly to win too. The main reason is people talk about how Chicago should be the model organization now. Really? They have 15 players under contract next year and are $5M over the cap already. They won't be back to the dance anytime soon.

I like our model much better. I understand we didn't obtain the goal set forth but we'll have several cracks at it over the next few/several yrs whereas Chicago won't. They got ONE shot at it. Even though we came up short this year there is no reason to believe we won't be the favorite to go to the dance next yr and represent the east. Quite sure that same thing won't be said in the fall for Chicago.

Posted by: pokerfaceI208 | June 6, 2010 4:22 PM | Report abuse

@pokerfaceI208

I kinda agree,but if chicago wins then it might be worth it...and chance they'll give us Duncan Keith :)

Posted by: capscoach | June 6, 2010 4:38 PM | Report abuse

This is a defenseman the Caps could go after (I realize they do not have a 2nd round pick in 2011 but that could be acquired). Here is the espn rumor:

Restricted free agent Nicklas Hjalmarsson might have a hard time staying with the Chicago Blackhawks this offseason.

The Chicago Daily News writes, "It may be impossible for the Hawks to match an offer for Hjalmarsson, whose stock is soaring after a great playoff run. Any team could offer him four years at $3 million annually and only owe the Hawks a second-rounder as compensation."

Former Hawks GM Dale Tallon, now with the Panthers, will definitely come sniffing around, as will several other teams on the market looking for a d-man. These teams could include (but aren't limited to) the Pittsburgh Penguins, Washington Capitals, New Jersey Devils, Vancouver Canucks and St. Louis Blues.


Posted by: sgm3 | June 6, 2010 5:24 PM | Report abuse

I think Semin is gonna be gone for sure, which is smart. A trade to Florida, straight up for Horton, or a pick as well makes sense.
-------------------------------------------

Thank God you're not making decisions for this organization. Altho I'm sure Mike Keenan would do it.

Posted by: pokerfaceI208 | June 6, 2010 4:15 PM

Horton scored 20 last year in 60+ games, year before, about the same. The 3 years before that he was near 30 every year. This is on the Florida Panthers mind you, not exactly a good offense team. He is also signed for 3 more years at $4m, $2m less than Semin, who has only 1 year left until ufa. After that, he will be getting at least $7m, probably somewhere else. Keep in mind, I said Horton and a pick, so let's say that pick needs to be a 2nd.

So now, you have Horton. Granted, less goals, but a pretty good offensive player on a bad team. Also, you get $2m back to spend. Also, you have now made it the Florida Panthers problem to sign him to an extension. And on top of that, you still have that 2nd round pick. On draft days, GM's, especially those who are rebuilding, like those.

A deal like that makes some sense.

All I am saying is that if we go into this season with Semin's contract how it is, things will turn ugly because of it. It will become a distraction, it always does. During the season he may say, "I'm going to the KHL, I won't sign an extension." If he decides he wants to play in the KHL, and he may, we are hosed.

Posted by: underpants2 | June 6, 2010 6:05 PM | Report abuse

I assume joek44 is not prepared to argue that no matter what, which team is the best team at the moment the playoffs end is 100% determined by which team won the Stanley Cup.

I can imagine all kinds of hypotheticals in which we would find joek44 probably joining the rest of the world in saying that the best team did not win the Stanley Cup finals.

Here's one:

Say Chris Pronger poisoned every player on the opposition team just prior to game 1 of every playoff series, causing them all to perish in the first minute of the first period. The NHL and government authorities never develop any leads or suspects, and the murders are not solved then and never are. (I don't know what the rules say about this sort of thing, but I assume the opposition teams would use what would be essentially AHL teams at least for the remaining games in the series.) The Flyers go on to win the Stanley Cup by defeating four teams composed entirely of corpses and AHL players.

Yet no one in their right mind thinks that this means the Flyers are the best team, unless...

If all you are saying is that the winner of the Stanley Cup is, by definition, the best team, that's fine. That's the ultimate goal, as defined by the rules, and that makes sense. There's really nothing to argue about if that is what you are saying. The user of words is certainly free to define them in whichever way he/she chooses. I can use the word "mustard" to refer to the concept most people call "earthquake," and you can't really argue with me--all you can really do is either stop talking to me, or else maybe ask me, "Well, what word will you use when you want to tell me you want that yellow sauce that people always put on their hamburgers?" and just try your best to memorize and otherwise put up with my unorthodox definitions.

But, generally, when people are talking about the word "best," and using it to describe a team, they are referring to notions like "the team of the highest quality," or, "the team most likely to win any random game against any random opponent right now." Winning the Stanley Cup would be some amount of evidence. How much weight it gets--reasonable minds can and do differ on this. But I don't know that it fosters efficient communication to define "best" by merely looking to see who won the Stanley Cup. That is bound to lead to confusion, much in the same way that my referring to earthquakes as "enchiladas" would.

I say, let's don't do it that way. It's always easy to tell who won the Stanley Cup--we just look at the newspaper or whatever and it will tell us. Let's call them "the champion" or something like that.

Posted by: youaresquishy | June 6, 2010 6:07 PM | Report abuse

underpants, here's the problem with Horton you are either missing or ignoring - he just brings more of what we have. He is a 2nd line winger - including Semin, we currently have 4 players who can fill that slot. If we do trade Semin (which is far from necessary, as your scenario is very unlikely), it needs to be for a genuine need - either a good #2 center, or a #1 dman.

Posted by: timmyv38 | June 6, 2010 6:24 PM | Report abuse

Horton over Semin? hell yea. easiest decision ever. yeah who wouldn't want a 6f2 230 lb young center/wing who doesn't take a lot of penalties despite playing a strong game along the boards and in the crease. Until this org cuts ties with a player like Semin, it tells me they aren't ready to move away from a certain element and style that will not bring success in the post season. Cutting ties with Semin would be a very symbolic gesture, and the right one to make.

Posted by: cstanton1 | June 6, 2010 6:42 PM | Report abuse

Why would we not want Horton over Semin? Simple. Semin is the better player. He doesn't take nearly as many penalties as many of you guys seem to think - 66 PIM in 73 games. That's about 1 penalty for every 2 games, where Horton gets about 1 for every 3 (42 PIM in 65 games). Semin more than makes up for that by DRAWING more penalties than anyone else on the Caps. Plus, he is a much better goal scorer than Horton, a great PKer, one of the best puckhandlers in the NHL, and plays well defensively.

Horton does bring plenty to the table, but very little of it is what the Caps need. If he was a true center, then I'd be all for it - but he's not. He's a much better wing than center, and a 2nd line winger isn't what we need.

Posted by: timmyv38 | June 6, 2010 6:51 PM | Report abuse

Why would we not want Horton over Semin? Simple. Semin is the better player. He doesn't take nearly as many penalties as many of you guys seem to think - 66 PIM in 73 games. That's about 1 penalty for every 2 games, where Horton gets about 1 for every 3 (42 PIM in 65 games). Semin more than makes up for that by DRAWING more penalties than anyone else on the Caps. Plus, he is a much better goal scorer than Horton, a great PKer, one of the best puckhandlers in the NHL, and plays well defensively.

Horton does bring plenty to the table, but very little of it is what the Caps need. If he was a true center, then I'd be all for it - but he's not. He's a much better wing than center, and a 2nd line winger isn't what we need.

Posted by: timmyv38

Timmy, agreed, Semin is the better player, no doubt. However, Horton gives you goals, can play center if needed, and gives you cap space. He also is contracted at a reasonable $4m for 3 more years. Add this $2m to the additional cap space we have, we can sign a center and a D. The picture is much bigger than Semin for Horton.

I also agree with cstanton1, this team needs to be a bit more "North Americanized".

Posted by: underpants2 | June 6, 2010 7:14 PM | Report abuse

underpants, thing is, he is a horrible center when he does play that position. He is a decent goal scorer - but we have 3 who are being paid half as much who are just as good (two of whom can play center just as well). The only bonus to him is cap space - but why not trade Semin for a #2 center, who we need, instead? There are no advantages to trading Semin for Horton, as opposed to trading Semin for a #2 center.

Posted by: timmyv38 | June 6, 2010 7:18 PM | Report abuse

I like Horton. I think he fits better for our team than Semin. I'd rather Semin's tremendous value be traded for a 2C though, as timmy suggests. Semin also probably garners a bit more value than Horton.

Posted by: richmondphil | June 6, 2010 7:26 PM | Report abuse

underpants, thing is, he is a horrible center when he does play that position. He is a decent goal scorer - but we have 3 who are being paid half as much who are just as good (two of whom can play center just as well). The only bonus to him is cap space - but why not trade Semin for a #2 center, who we need, instead? There are no advantages to trading Semin for Horton, as opposed to trading Semin for a #2 center.

Posted by: timmyv38

Don't disagree. All is was doing was pointing out why it was a crazy idea. That being said, I think Horton could be good on this team.

Posted by: underpants2 | June 6, 2010 7:32 PM | Report abuse

underpants, the other thing is, you say Horton's $4M is "reasonable". How is that? Laich, who has very similar numbers, is getting just over $2M. He doesn't get quite as many goals or points, but he also doesn't miss nearly as many games. Horton has only had 3 seasons of over 70 games in 6 seasons (although I don't know if he was in the NHL for all of his 1st season or not), while Laich has never had less than 73 since he was brought up to the NHL. That money would be better spent on a center, as opposed to a winger who will probably miss 10-15 games of the season.

Posted by: timmyv38 | June 6, 2010 7:33 PM | Report abuse

I think Horton could be good on this team, but for the same money, you could get a #2 center (who we really need) or a #1 dman (who we also really need). It would be a waste of money to bring Horton over. Plus, I don't know about you, but I wouldn't want to be playing Semin 6 times a season.

Posted by: timmyv38 | June 6, 2010 7:37 PM | Report abuse

Instead of trying to trade Semin for Horton, try dealing him to Pitt for Staal. I suggested that about a week ago. Staal is a legit #2 center, also signed three more years at $4M per, and can play all situations. You put him between Laich and Fehr and there are your 75 goals, maybe 80 (more than you got from Semin, Flash and BMo).

You save $2M on Stall vs Semin plus the $3M space with the new cap at $58.8M and you have $5M to seriously upgrade the D. Then move Flash for a competent checking RW who can play PK with Staal. In that scenario, Volchenkov fits nicely and you move Erskine and you have $1M space for next year's deadline. Easy as 1, 2, 3.

However, getting someone from CHI instead of Volch isn't bad either. Maybe a three-team deal where we deal Falsh and Semin and we get Byfuglien and a CHI d-man and a pick.

Posted by: tominsocal1 | June 6, 2010 7:42 PM | Report abuse

@timmy

Yes, but Laich's contract is somewhat of a steal.

Posted by: richmondphil | June 6, 2010 7:49 PM | Report abuse

Instead of trying to trade Semin for Horton, try dealing him to Pitt for Staal. I suggested that about a week ago. Staal is a legit #2 center, also signed three more years at $4M per, and can play all situations. You put him between Laich and Fehr and there are your 75 goals, maybe 80 (more than you got from Semin, Flash and BMo).

You save $2M on Stall vs Semin plus the $3M space with the new cap at $58.8M and you have $5M to seriously upgrade the D. Then move Flash for a competent checking RW who can play PK with Staal. In that scenario, Volchenkov fits nicely and you move Erskine and you have $1M space for next year's deadline. Easy as 1, 2, 3.

However, getting someone from CHI instead of Volch isn't bad either. Maybe a three-team deal where we deal Falsh and Semin and we get Byfuglien and a CHI d-man and a pick.

Posted by: tominsocal1

I would agree, but I am not sure Pitts trades Staal. Also, Semin with Crosby would be scary.

Posted by: underpants2 | June 6, 2010 7:54 PM | Report abuse

Talk is that Fehr is going to get about the same - and his goals weren't much lower than Laich or Horton. I just don't see a winger who doesn't bring anything we don't already have as being worth $4M. Not when you can get a skilled #2 center for the same price.

Posted by: timmyv38 | June 6, 2010 7:55 PM | Report abuse

Laich's contract was signed when he was a RFA, after a half-a-good season where he ended with like 37 pts. He's a UFA after next year and should get between $3.5-4.0M based on comparable players like Horton.

Posted by: tominsocal1 | June 6, 2010 7:55 PM | Report abuse

Tom, sorry I'm not OK with sending our 2nd best goal scorer to the hated Pens! I don't care who we get in return. Haven't we gotten rid of enough talented players in this franchises history that come back to haunt us?

Posted by: pokerfaceI208 | June 6, 2010 8:00 PM | Report abuse

Fehr's season this year was very similar to Laich in 2007-2008 before Laich signed his current contract. If Fehr goes on the RFA market, he's another player who could see almost $3M a year as that only costs a #2 in comp. More likely the Caps will get him for two or three years at about 2-2.25/yr. McPhee has a history of paying a decent wage to avoid having to match a RFA deal.

Fehr was born late in his draft year so I don't think he becomes a UFA until July 1, 2013. A two-year deal is then likely as coming out of it he's still a RFA (like Green is when his deal is up).

Posted by: tominsocal1 | June 6, 2010 8:04 PM | Report abuse

underpants: I'm thinking Pitt is so overloaded at center and so needy at wing, and us being exact opposite, it almost makes too much sense.

Posted by: tominsocal1 | June 6, 2010 8:10 PM | Report abuse

underpants: I'm thinking Pitt is so overloaded at center and so needy at wing, and us being exact opposite, it almost makes too much sense.

Posted by: tominsocal1

It makes sense, I agree. And, I would love to have Staal. But Semin in Florida doesn't scare me. We will win the division anyway. Semin, with Crosby or Malkin, scares me.

Posted by: underpants2 | June 6, 2010 8:23 PM | Report abuse

Florida doesn't have anyone worth trading Semin for though. I wouldn't trade Semin for Staal either - a high-scoring winger is one of the few things Pittsburgh is missing.

Posted by: timmyv38 | June 6, 2010 9:01 PM | Report abuse

Semin for Staal..I would love that trade. It's more of a pipe dream though, it seems.

Posted by: richmondphil | June 6, 2010 9:22 PM | Report abuse

I dont think we need a #2 Center signed through x years, i think we need someone to fill the whole until M Johansson/M Perreault is set for that position. That's why i feel like S Koivu would be perfect pick up for us from UFA. Like i've written before, veteran leadarship, 50 pts, Good on the PK and in faceoffs, playoff experience etc..

And if i were to trade Semin (though i would like to keep him) it would be out west, but not for a goalie.
I think Neuvy can be used as tradebate also, along with flash.
J Hedberg would work for me as a back up to Varly, earned 1.1 mill last year with Atl and is UFA.

Semin+Flash+Neuvy could bring us back something really usefull in a trade from a team that needs scoring and has the cap space.

Posted by: Walle | June 6, 2010 9:35 PM | Report abuse

No way Pitt every trades Staal. He is a steal making only $4M/yr and they know that. I don't think they will trade a center this year, but if they ever do it will likely be Malkin in a massive trade.

Horton is a very nice player but I don't think he is the pure center the Caps are looking for. More would have to be in that deal for it to work.

Posted by: sgm3 | June 6, 2010 9:40 PM | Report abuse

I would much rather get Staal or someone of that calibre than gamble on Johansson. MJ has three years at $900K. Most likely from the write-ups he will make a very good #3 center. Maybe he will be #2, I don't know. You can afford though a $3-4M center along with MJ and Steckel. Say Koivu even three years $3M a year the 4 of them average 6.7+3+.9+1.1=11.7/4=2.9/each.

The average NHL salary based on 23 players and 58.8M cap is about 2.55. If you are going to go over average for any skater, center is it.

I would prefer though a top, 2nd tier center and then let MJ grow into whatever he will become. In the absence of a major deal, Koivu isn't a bad option. Plekanec I think is maybe spending too much as your top 2 centers would be near $12M, and at some point your average salary of d-men of $2.1M MUST be increased. It's like owning a Corvette and then putting 87 grade gas and Wal-Mart oil.

Posted by: tominsocal1 | June 6, 2010 9:58 PM | Report abuse

I dont think we need a #2 Center signed through x years, i think we need someone to fill the whole until M Johansson/M Perreault is set for that position. That's why i feel like S Koivu would be perfect pick up for us from UFA. Like i've written before, veteran leadarship, 50 pts, Good on the PK and in faceoffs, playoff experience etc..

And if i were to trade Semin (though i would like to keep him) it would be out west, but not for a goalie.
I think Neuvy can be used as tradebate also, along with flash.
J Hedberg would work for me as a back up to Varly, earned 1.1 mill last year with Atl and is UFA.

Semin+Flash+Neuvy could bring us back something really usefull in a trade from a team that needs scoring and has the cap space.

Posted by: Walle

This is pretty good. I would rather Lombardi, but still, I like the idea. Just curious, what do you think we can get for Semin+Flash+Neuvy? I agree, it should be a lot.


Posted by: underpants2 | June 6, 2010 10:00 PM | Report abuse

It's fun watching Pronger get abused. I guess he didn't "pace" himself very well today.

Posted by: tominsocal1 | June 6, 2010 10:41 PM | Report abuse

Looks like Hawks are going up 3-2. I think Game 6 will end it.

Posted by: timmyv38 | June 6, 2010 10:46 PM | Report abuse

LMFAO Tom!

Posted by: pokerfaceI208 | June 6, 2010 10:48 PM | Report abuse

Pronger out for 5 of 6 goals and the one he wasn't out for he was in the box. Anyone still think he is the best D man ever like many were making it out to be.

Posted by: icehammer97 | June 6, 2010 10:48 PM | Report abuse

Make that 6 of 7... Buff just shot that right past him.

Posted by: timmyv38 | June 6, 2010 10:51 PM | Report abuse

what do you think we can get for Semin+Flash+Neuvy? I agree, it should be a lot.

Backstrom, Schultz and Clutterbuck.

We'd have the market cornered on Nick Backstroms and #55 Schultz's.

Really, in one deal? That's a huge deal. What you would want, if that's what you did, is a #2 center, a #3 RW and a goalie. I think you would not do this in one deal but three deals. Somehow, either through the deal or from free agency, you must get the #1 d-man. That also means moving Erskine or, maybe, Poti. If you move Neuvy, you must get a goalie since Varly+Holtby can't be the goalie answer. A vet of some calibre would be needed. We are short on third line and over-stocked with snipers - Flash for a Clutterbuck or Lehtinen (in his younger days) type an ideal move. Semin must get you a #2 center, that's a fair trade as Semin is a #1 RW by all accounts if you get either a steal in a Staal or you get a draft pick along with that trade.

I don't think trading Neuvy is important. It's moving Semin, Flash and Erskine and getting a #1 D, a #2 C and a #3 RW. And, with $10M moved, it must be $10M (or less) coming back.

Posted by: tominsocal1 | June 6, 2010 11:00 PM | Report abuse

Rough night for Pronger for sure. Then again a rough night for many Flyers.

I guess we're not the only team to have a subpar performance in a crucial playoff game. Hmm and I thought it was a "Capitals" thing. I guess the rest of the league does understand.

Philly won't panic though. I expect them to come out strong in game 6. I'm thinking this will be a 7 games series. What the hell do I know though, I thought we'd beat Montreal too! LOL

Posted by: pokerfaceI208 | June 6, 2010 11:00 PM | Report abuse

Most of us Caps fans love the fact that Pronger was -5 tonight. In addition, he was in the box when Chicago scored one of their other goals.

(He may even have been on the ice when Chicago scored one of their other PP goals.)

The worst night in the life of Christopher Pronger. (Someone posted a gif of Byfuglin's hit of him tonight on Japers.)

Posted by: CapsFan75 | June 6, 2010 11:11 PM | Report abuse

Capsfan, Pronger was on the ice for 6 of the 7 goals and in the box for the other one. Rough night for him - and Byfueglin's hit didn't make it any better.

Posted by: timmyv38 | June 6, 2010 11:32 PM | Report abuse

But, generally, when people are talking about the word "best," and using it to describe a team, they are referring to notions like "the team of the highest quality," or, "the team most likely to win any random game against any random opponent right now." Winning the Stanley Cup would be some amount of evidence. How much weight it gets--reasonable minds can and do differ on this. But I don't know that it fosters efficient communication to define "best" by merely looking to see who won the Stanley Cup. That is bound to lead to confusion, much in the same way that my referring to earthquakes as "enchiladas" would.

I say, let's don't do it that way. It's always easy to tell who won the Stanley Cup--we just look at the newspaper or whatever and it will tell us. Let's call them "the champion" or something like that.

Posted by: youaresquishy | June 6, 2010 6:07 PM | Report abuse

if you want subjectivity in deciding who's the best in sports in a particular year or event, you should stick to figure skating or gymnastics.

I stick to sports in which the winner, the champion and the BEST team get settled on the field of play.

I have no problem arguing if this year's champ was better than last year's or this Caps team was better than the team 3 years ago, etc... it's just plain silly and ridiculous to argue that the team that only got 3 wins in the playoffs this year is better than the teams with 14 plus wins.

it's all about the results at the END of the year in professional sports, nobody cares how good your team was before the playoffs started.

Posted by: joek443 | June 6, 2010 11:34 PM | Report abuse

joke, you must not watch hockey then. Pity.

Posted by: timmyv38 | June 6, 2010 11:37 PM | Report abuse

joek443: I'm sorry, but you are wrong, wrong, wrong, wrong, wrong, wrong, wrong, wrong.

Look up "best" in the dictionary. It is a subjective word, not objective (like "fastest").

"Best" is defined, subjectively, as the thing that people define as most pleasing.

The Oscar is given to "best" movie. Is there an equivalent Stanley Cup for the best movie? Does one movie defeat the other in a series? No, people "vote."

"Best" restaurant - voted.

"Best" car - voted.

"Best" Caps blogger (me) - voted (by me).

"Best" anything - decided my majority opinion.

"Best" hockey team - people would vote.

"Champion" hockey team - decided on the ice.

Somehow, joek443, you have confused "champion" with "best." Champion is the one that wins and best is the one people like the most. They aren't necessarily the same.

"Champion" is an absolue term and "best" is subjective.

Look, joek443, you can argue with me until the end of time and you will never win. I don't argue unless I'm right; if I'm not right, I capitulate and keep quiet. I argue infrequently but based on facts, and you can't win this because you are misunderstanding the Webster's English language definition of the words you have chosen to employ.

joek443, you are a sharp person, but your world of black and white has obscured all gray and you must understand that most everything in life is but one of the thousand shades of gray that covered the 13 inch TV set that was my life as a youth.

I'll still send you a Christmas card, joek443. You're not bad, just misguided.

Posted by: tominsocal1 | June 6, 2010 11:53 PM | Report abuse

Re-reading my post, and, of course, it is one of abject clarity and intelligence, but I am thinking how nice it would be if the Oscars were decided in the same methodology as the Stanley Cup.

"Clooney has the puck, behind the net, and he dishes it to Damon, and Eastwood SLAMS HIM INTO THE BOARDS!!!"

I don't know about you, but that's way more exciting than, "The envelope, please."

Posted by: tominsocal1 | June 7, 2010 12:03 AM | Report abuse

Oh, and to expound, watching Meryl Streep and the ladies decide the Best Actress Oscar could only be compared to back in the day when Rachel Welch was in that roller derby movie.

BTW, Meryl Streep may well have portrayed Julia Child in one of the best perfomances since anything John Wayne did but I'll still take Rachel Welch as "best actress" in a best of seven series.

Give me Rachel in that 10,000 BC outfit, and all the actressses can just go home.

What does this have to do with Caps need for a stay-at-home defenseman? Do we really care?

Posted by: tominsocal1 | June 7, 2010 12:12 AM | Report abuse

Tom- you my friend are on a roll. Something tells me you have partaked (find that in the dictionary LMAO) in a few if not several adult beverages tonight.

Posted by: pokerfaceI208 | June 7, 2010 1:00 AM | Report abuse

pokerface: If it's not an adult beverage, I won't drink it.

BTW, mrstominsocal1 as reading the LA Times a bit ago and I realized John Wooden has died. I just read through the Sports and in the 88 game winning streak, the only game they onl lost was 65-64 win vs the Terps Dec 1973 me remembering that game as John Lucas (freshman) put a brick off the rim with one second left. That was when Lefty was saying he'd make Maryland the "UCLA of the East."

If anyone wants or cares to have this LA Times Sports edition John Wooden special, email tom_orem@yahoo.com with address and I will send it along.

Posted by: tominsocal1 | June 7, 2010 1:24 AM | Report abuse

I hate the Flyers as much as the next Caps fan, but how can anyone claim they are not the best team in the eastern conference? They won 3 best of 7 series, including beating the Habs in 5 when the Caps couldn't win in 7. Also, they lost Carter, Lappy, Gagne, and their starting goalie for stretches of the playoffs and still managed to win. The Caps didn't have any major injuries until Poti got hurt in game 6.

The playoff system was designed to determine the best team. Everyone agrees that the winner of the championship trophy is the best team that year. So how can anyone still argue that the Caps, who didn't make it out of the first round, were the best this year?

Posted by: ablake70 | June 7, 2010 1:25 AM | Report abuse

here is an article, from espn no less, about the worst championship teams.
http://espn.go.com/page2/s/list/readers/champions/worst.html

the 01-02 patriots topped the list - here are two quotes from the article.
"Oakland was by far the better team and just happened to be beaten by the elements and a rule that needs to be changed"
and
"Pittsburgh was a much better team than New England this season and just suffered an immaculate emotional letdown"

the 'best' team is not always the team that wins its last game of the season

Posted by: Capt_Kirk_in_AZ | June 7, 2010 1:33 AM | Report abuse

@ Capt_Kirk_in_AZ |

Those examples were single elimination games. There may be an argument that the best team doesn't win in those situations, though all teams know the criteria from the start. The Flyers won 3 best of 7 series.

Posted by: ablake70 | June 7, 2010 1:41 AM | Report abuse

ablake70:
http://www.daytondailynews.com/dayton-sports/hockey/major-upset-isnt-best-thing-for-nhl-playoffs-680177.html

"Without the best team moving forward, the NHL playoffs become less interesting to the casual fan"

i'm not the reporter from the dayton daily news. they seem to think the caps were the best team too.

Posted by: Capt_Kirk_in_AZ | June 7, 2010 1:47 AM | Report abuse

I've heard of beating a dead horse before but I think we've gone into the ancestry of the horse now too.

Of course Philly is the better team, 7 seeds make it to the finals regularly right? Top seeds rarely make it to the finals.

Last time I checked the best team in any tournament format always gets the 1st seed. Somehow in these particular playoffs the better team got the 7th seed, weird.

Next........

Posted by: pokerfaceI208 | June 7, 2010 2:05 AM | Report abuse

ablake70
the point was about better teams losing
i would agree that a single game elimination system will have more upsets
i don't think anyone here has argued that the flyers haven't won 3 of 7 series
even a 7 game series will result in some better teams losing - it happened to the caps with mtl.
better teams lose in the postseason - it happens in major sports leagues almost every year (regardless of single elimination, 3 of 5 or 4 of 7)
this year it was the caps. the 09-10 flyers are not better than the 09-10 caps. they are having a better postseason though

Posted by: Capt_Kirk_in_AZ | June 7, 2010 2:06 AM | Report abuse

pokerfaceI208:
i've never thought of myself as a dead horse beater - but i guess i am.
the weird thing is - it doesn't feel like the horse is dead yet :)

Posted by: Capt_Kirk_in_AZ | June 7, 2010 2:11 AM | Report abuse

@ Capt_Kirk_in_AZ

Casual fans don't understand the nature of the sport. They look at seeding and think it tells the whole story. For example, the Habs were an 8 seed, but most casual fans don't realize that team lost it's best defensemen and scorer for a large chunk of the season. Or a casual fan would say that Carolina sucked, without realizing that if not for some untimely injuries, they would have been a playoff team.

Everyone gave joek a hard time for saying that teams pace themselves during the regular season, but I agree. The belief that good players or teams give a 60 minute effort 82 games a season is false. They can't. The season is too long for that. The purpose of the regular season is to improve team play and get into the playoffs. For all the Caps regular season success, they never learned how to play as a team. If I were a casual fan and saw the Caps passing into skates and taking low percentage shots while a teammate had better position, I would think they just started playing together that day. The Flyers may not have any players as talented as Ovechkin, Backstrom, and Semin, but as the year progressed they played better as a team.

Posted by: ablake70 | June 7, 2010 2:37 AM | Report abuse

ablake70:
if the caps and flyers played 82 times - who do you think would come away with the best record?

Posted by: Capt_Kirk_in_AZ | June 7, 2010 2:44 AM | Report abuse

@ pokerfaceI208

I could see your argument had the Caps had a number of injuries, but they didn't. Each league set up a system to determine the best team in the conference/league. For the NHL, that is the Stanley Cup. Every team in the league has agreed that the winner of the Cup is the best team in that year. There is no way a team that lost in the first round can declare themselves better than a team that's in the SCF, especially when the team in the SCF destroyed the team the President's Trophy winner couldn't beat in 7 games. Or do you think the 2008-2009 Sharks were a much better team than the Redwings and the Pens?

Posted by: ablake70 | June 7, 2010 2:57 AM | Report abuse

@ Capt_Kirk_in_AZ

If the championship were decided by the 82 game regular season, I'd pick the Flyers. We have better top tier talent and goalies, but they have a much better defense, a better bottom 6, and more depth.

If the Flyers and Caps played 82 games in the regular season before the playoffs, I'd give the edge to the Caps.

Posted by: ablake70 | June 7, 2010 3:05 AM | Report abuse

@tominsocal1: thanks so much for giving me something funny to wake up to today!

Chicago looked great last night. Officials were better too. Blackhawks won, so that means they are the "best" team if the competition is stopped today. It really depends on when you want to count the clock for "best". "Best" in regular season? Best in the first round? Best against a particular team? Best looking? Best defense?

Whoever wins the Stanley Cup is the champion.

ablake70: I disagree that the Caps didn't learn to play as a team this year. I think there were a number of factors contributing to their awful first round loss. They played as a team all season but didn't adjust their "team" play against the Habs.

Posted by: dccitizen1 | June 7, 2010 7:29 AM | Report abuse

@ablake70

It's called randomness. The better teams do NOT win 100% of the time. They are better, which means they have a greater % chance of winning, but that does NOT mean they will win all the time. Especially over a best out of 7 game series. Which, for statistical purposes, is an incredibly small sample size.

The better team does not always win in sports. That's what makes it so entertaining to watch.

Villanova was not the best college basketball team in 1985.

The 1980 US Olympic Hockey team was not the best team in that torunament.

But they won, they each played some great games and beat teams who were better than they were.

To understand how the better team can lose in the playoffs you look at simple statistics.

If team A plays team B 100 times and team A wins 60 while team B wins 40, team A is better than team B. However, it is more than likely that during a 7 game stretch in those 100 games that team B won at least 4 games in that stretch. If that stretch occurs in the playoffs then team B beats team A even though team A is better.

The playoffs are such a small sample size that statistics show that the better team (the team with higher percentage of winning) will not necessarily win. Especially when the better team is not signifcantly better than opposing teams (maybe 55% chance of winning). The better team never has a 100% chance of winning games. That would be the only way for the better team to always win.

It's simple statistics.

Posted by: sgm3 | June 7, 2010 7:53 AM | Report abuse

"Best" Caps blogger (me) - voted (by me).

Congratulations Tom!

In this thread, I believe you may have outdone yourself.

Posted by: wtf_e_fehr | June 7, 2010 9:16 AM | Report abuse

pokerfaceI208:
i've never thought of myself as a dead horse beater - but i guess i am.
the weird thing is - it doesn't feel like the horse is dead yet :)

Posted by: Capt_Kirk_in_AZ | June 7, 2010 2:11 AM


Capt., this horse is as dead as Julius Caesar.

Posted by: wtf_e_fehr | June 7, 2010 9:22 AM | Report abuse

Caesar lives on through the salad named after him....Hail Caesar!!!

Posted by: PhilR | June 7, 2010 9:38 AM | Report abuse

And now...

INTRODUCING Caesar Cardini, the man credited with creating the Caesar Salad!

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Caesar_Cardini


...nice try PhilR!

Posted by: wtf_e_fehr | June 7, 2010 10:17 AM | Report abuse

sgm3: It comes down to semantics (as opposed to seminantics, which is how Alex fights). Some of the people here just refuse to look up "best" in the dictionary. It's subjective, and the definition is the "one the general will of the populace prefers."

There's an expression in sports: "May the best team win." Let's be anal and examine that expression. It doesn't say, "The best team is the one that wins." No, the expression is the hope that the best team, whatever "best" is, may prevail. The expression itself, however, clearly leaves room for not the best team to win, even though it gives the hope for that outcome.

I think we can all agree that the Flyers had the best postseason this year in the EC. Does this make them "best" in absolute terms as though ordained by God?

No.

I agree with ablake70 above, because I posted this the other day - if the caps and Flyers were to play a huge number of games - 25, 50, 82 - the caps would likely win more as the caps would figure out how to use their superior skill to win.

Really, the Caps lost to Monttreal because they clogged the zone and stopped us from passing the puck. The Habs weren't better, they were smarter.

Posted by: tominsocal1 | June 7, 2010 10:21 AM | Report abuse

Hail Creamy Caesar!

Posted by: tominsocal1 | June 7, 2010 10:23 AM | Report abuse

How the hell is this conversation still going on?

Posted by: richmondphil | June 7, 2010 10:28 AM | Report abuse

1st seed 7th seed who cares. If you understand hockey you can see with your own eyes that sometimes a top seed isn't worth much going into the playoffs. Or that a bottom seed would be tougher to play against than a better-seeded team. We probably would've lost in 6 games to some of the other teams.

reg season hockey v playoff hockey. That's the dead horse thats been beaten but it still rings true.

Posted by: cstanton1 | June 7, 2010 10:46 AM | Report abuse

ablake70: I disagree that the Caps didn't learn to play as a team this year. I think there were a number of factors contributing to their awful first round loss. They played as a team all season but didn't adjust their "team" play against the Habs.
----------------------------------

caps don't play hard enough consistently enough to deserve a deep playoff run. You can slice and dice it any way you want. You can tell the difference in grit and intensity from how the Hawks/Flyers play v how the Caps play. Our team doesn't finish enough checks, they don't play mean enough, our skill guys have up and down efforts, we don't play well enough away from the puck, and most importantly the Caps suffer letdowns once we get a lead. They relax, a true sign of an immature mentally deficient team.

Posted by: cstanton1 | June 7, 2010 10:49 AM | Report abuse

Chicago's defense is known as a fast, puck moving D. Here's a quote from Darren Eliot about Chicago's D:

"Placing emphasis on a puck-moving, mobile defense led by Keith, Brent Seabrook, Brian Campbell and Niklas Hjalmarsson is exactly what is needed in today's game: move the puck, move your feet, defend with quickness and abet the attack with swift skating."

It is what it is.
------------------------

The strength of their physicality lies with their forwards - Ladd, Eager, Brouwer, Buff etc. But Chicago's D is more than just a puck moving finesse corps. That's why little Brian Campbell stepped up to crush Leino in the neutral zone. That's why Seabrook demolishes everything in his path. That's why Boynton plastered Scott Hartnell into the boards yesterday. Even behind the play you'll see them give little shots to Flyer forwards. I forget who it was for the Flyers yesterday who dished off a puck and then about 2 seconds later got clobbered. Probably an interference penalty but one that won't be called very often by the refs, not in the Finals anyway. Chi does a good job of holding their own against a very aggressive nasty group for Flyer forwards. And those little knockdowns behind the play goes a long way to establishing a tone during a series and wearing down the opposition.

Chicago's defense may not be the most physical in the league but they play with more grit than our defense does. And they play with more urgency around the crease.

Posted by: cstanton1 | June 7, 2010 11:00 AM | Report abuse

And now...

INTRODUCING Caesar Cardini, the man credited with creating the Caesar Salad!

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Caesar_Cardini


...nice try PhilR!

Posted by: wtf_e_fehr


"shrug"

I tried! I got a chuckle out of it at least!

Posted by: PhilR | June 7, 2010 11:02 AM | Report abuse

And the Stanley Cup winner isn't always the best team - just look at last year. In 2 out of the 4 series, the Pens needed the help of the refs to win.

Posted by: timmyv38 | June 6, 2010 12:27 AM | Report abuse

haha! i meant..HAHAHAHAHAAHAA!

the Cup winner isn't always the best team...good stuff man! Let me guess, the Caps are the league's best team? Well in that case they should give McPhee an extension.

Posted by: cstanton1 | June 7, 2010 11:03 AM | Report abuse

'I always find it amazing when people (joek443 and Fletch22) reach conclusions on who is a better team based on a playoff tournament'
-------------------

perhaps we should use the exhibition season or the offseason to determine the best teams.

Who spewed this gem of a comment? Aside from obviously a delusional fan (or 2) here, I don't know anyone else who uses anything BUT the playoffs to determine the best team. That's why a nice big trophy gets handed out and cities put on parades ya know! Maybe the Caps should petition the league to give them some rings this year to celebrate their grand reg season.

Posted by: cstanton1 | June 7, 2010 11:10 AM | Report abuse

I have to agree with the posters on here that say that good and great team pace themselves during the reg season.

I scorekeep adult hockey games and also play and on the really good teams you can see the best players sometimes pacing themselves during a game against a lesser opponent. Now granted that the level of competition between teams can be much larger in adult rec leagues (like NHL vs ECHL)... that when the best players 'turn it on', they just waltz wide of the D and pull a 1-on-1... or they turn a D inside out (a-la 2 years ago Jeff Schultz) and make the D fall down and look like he broke his ankles.

The best teams do coast and it's easy to see when they are turning it on.

Posted by: FrankM73 | June 7, 2010 11:19 AM | Report abuse

@cstanton1

If you match anyone to your pre-set ideas after the fact, it is pretty easy to say "every D needs to be gritty to win". Every hockey analyst, all year, has described Chicago's D as a fast, pucking moving D. The number of hits they have show that.

The reason they are better than the Caps D is because those players are better at what they do than the Caps players. If Chicago lost to Nashville in the 1st round, and it was San Jose in the finals, you would be pointing to Chicago as an example of how a team with no "grit" on D can make the finals. It is an incredibly weak minded argument. Come up with something new.

The fact is that cstanton1 does not argue consistently hard enough which is why he comes up short on so many arguments. His lack of grit is obvious when compared to that of someone like tominsocal1. Just not enough intensity on cstanton1's part. Hopefully his GM will make the correct adjustments to add that required grit cstanton1 is clearly lacking compared to others.

Posted by: sgm3 | June 7, 2010 11:19 AM | Report abuse

I have grit?

I thought I was class clown. :)

Posted by: tominsocal1 | June 7, 2010 11:51 AM | Report abuse

How the hell is this conversation still going on?

Posted by: richmondphil | June 7, 2010 10:28 AM

the best i can figure is undead horses?!?!

Posted by: Capt_Kirk_in_AZ | June 7, 2010 11:53 AM | Report abuse

@ cstanton1

Fine...the Caps suck! They should just join the AHL...they are worthless players and coaches with no work ethic or heart. They will NEVER learn to play playoff hockey and in the dictionary the team logo picture is placed as the definition of loser!

Does this negative attitude make you feel better? Go find another team!

The Caps will learn, they are still young and have progressed in some way every season over the past 5 years. When we finally win the Cup, I will be at peace knowing that while I recognized some deficencies in their game, I stood by them and had faith that they would figure it out.

Posted by: capscoach | June 7, 2010 11:53 AM | Report abuse

the best i can figure is undead horses?!?!

Posted by: Capt_Kirk_in_AZ | June 7, 2010 11:53 AM |

Vampires or Zombies?

Posted by: richmondphil | June 7, 2010 11:54 AM | Report abuse

Vampires or Zombies?

yes!

Posted by: Capt_Kirk_in_AZ | June 7, 2010 12:00 PM | Report abuse

@ sgm3

don't you have anything original to say? you cut and paste the same stuff everyday.

nobody cares about the fact that the soviets were a better team than the miracle on ice team. that's why it's called a MIRACLE.

they beat'em, that's all that matters. THAT'S WHY THEY ACTUALLY PLAY THE GAME, not on paper.

Posted by: joek443 | June 7, 2010 12:03 PM | Report abuse

@joek443

Why do you have to be rude? Just because someone disagrees with your "ALL KNOWLEDGABELE" opinions and does not get convinced by your arguments doesn't give you the excuse to be rude...lets not pretend you have not been repeating the same points over and over...this is a DISCUSSION board.

Posted by: capscoach | June 7, 2010 12:08 PM | Report abuse

Does this negative attitude make you feel better? Go find another team!
-------------------------

wish it was that easy :)


"The Caps will learn, they are still young and have progressed in some way every season over the past 5 years"

baloney.

You can't learn a lesson to improve your competitive nature when the coach and GM espouse certain philosophies that contradict that lesson.

They're already behind other teams who started their rebuild at the same time or AFTER us. Chicago, Pittsburgh, and now the Flyers all started their rebuild around the same time we did or after. You can't fix something that's rotten at the top. So this team isn't going to "learn" anything if it hasn't been learned by now. Remember, this is the same argument many fans made after the LAST playoff season. This year, we took a step back. THIS was the year to prove that a lesson was learned.

Posted by: cstanton1 | June 7, 2010 12:11 PM | Report abuse

You know, it's funny.....people come on here screaming for civil hockey discussion and then berate those with different ideas than their own. Guess what folks, discussion involves differing opinions in case some of you did not know that!

Funny thing is the "negative" posters come on and say their peace and rarely attack someone personally. NO, it is the "positive" posters who were screaming for this "civil" hockey discussion that end up stooping to the name calling, saying someone is not a REAL fan, or just telling them to go cheer for another team.

Who exactly are the UNCIVIL one here??!!

Posted by: PhilR | June 7, 2010 12:13 PM | Report abuse

cstanton,

Come July 1, who would you like to see the Caps go after? Upgrade D or 2C, or both?

Posted by: Steve_R | June 7, 2010 12:15 PM | Report abuse

@joek443

Why do you have to be rude? Just because someone disagrees with your "ALL KNOWLEDGABELE" opinions and does not get convinced by your arguments doesn't give you the excuse to be rude...lets not pretend you have not been repeating the same points over and over...this is a DISCUSSION board.

Posted by: capscoach


I suggest you take a look at some of the comments made by your fellow "positive" posters and rethink your above comment.

Posted by: PhilR | June 7, 2010 12:15 PM | Report abuse

maybe they should put an asterisk on every entry for the Cup. Something like

2009 "Chicago BlackHawks" (not as good a team as the Caps but somehow thru a series of coincidences and lucky quirks, they were able to win the Cup).

2008 "Pittsburgh Penguins" (beneficiary of some timely officiating)


There's always opinions that get floated around here. But to even argue that the best team somehow is not equivalent to the team that actually wins the Cup - that's mind boggling. That's a total reinvention.

SGM, why not just put the words "on paper" after the best team comment. Then maybe you'll make a little bit of sense. You know..the Caps are the best team..on paper.
The Hawks or Flyers are the best team..not on paper.

Posted by: cstanton1 | June 7, 2010 12:16 PM | Report abuse

@cstanton1

The PLEASE go find another team!!!!! Just because you only have the ability to look at the bad, why do you feel the need to bring others down with you? and our rebuild was more extreme than most of those other teams. And only 1 team can win every year! that means at least a few other good teams are going to have to lose. And lets not pretend that the Caps were a BAD team. We have things to work on for sure, but part of that round 1 loss had a bit to do with some bad luck (not that I am excusing their play) but you have to be a good team to win...and you also have to be a bit lucky.

PLEASE go find another team...I hate to think that you would spend the rest of your life such a defeatest!

Posted by: capscoach | June 7, 2010 12:18 PM | Report abuse

121 points was a "step back?"

Don't be so quick to toss the Caps into the dung heap. A few years ago, Detroit got 126 pts and then got bounced in the first round. Holland kept the squad together and they came back the next year I think to win the Cup. It can be done.

The Caps, plain and simple, need less Flash and more Knuble. They need defensemen who don't just pokecheck (as you pointed out). And we need forwards who do more than snipe.

Semin, Flash and Erskine out...Staal, Volchenkov and Clutterbuck (or their equivalents) in...then you get not only 121 reg season pts but you should be constructed for the tougher playoff grind.

121 pts was not a mirage and it wasn't smoke and mirrors. There's talent there.

Posted by: tominsocal1 | June 7, 2010 12:19 PM | Report abuse

Who exactly are the UNCIVIL one here??!!

___________________________

I don't really know or care, but this discussion has been going on for far too long. Armchair GMing was a much better topic of discussion.

Posted by: richmondphil | June 7, 2010 12:19 PM | Report abuse

@PhilR

I saw that one comment and responded...I don't think I have ever (maybe 1 or 2 slips) have attacked another poster personally, so positive or negative...I think people should be civil.

Posted by: capscoach | June 7, 2010 12:21 PM | Report abuse

I'd be very happy if next year the percentage of ugly goals increased. Less off the rush and more through working their butts off.

Posted by: Steve_R | June 7, 2010 12:22 PM | Report abuse

It's called randomness. The better teams do NOT win 100% of the time. They are better, which means they have a greater % chance of winning, but that does NOT mean they will win all the time. Especially over a best out of 7 game series. Which, for statistical purposes, is an incredibly small sample size.

The better team does not always win in sports. That's what makes it so entertaining to watch.


I disagree. Unless there are significant injuries or some other malfeasance, the best team always win. It doesn't matter if the losing team had a better record or better individual (star) players, winning the game(s) that count makes you the best.

The powers that be of the NHL decided that the SC playoffs determine the best team and every player, coach, gm, and owner knows it. It is only during the playoffs that all teams bring their best effort. Guys play through injuries during the playoffs that would sideline them for months during the regular season. The playoffs are the only time every team leaves it all on the ice.

Posted by: ablake70 | June 7, 2010 12:26 PM | Report abuse

I don't really know or care, but this discussion has been going on for far too long. Armchair GMing was a much better topic of discussion.


Posted by: richmondphil


Absolutely agree, I just get fed up with the holier than thou crowd bashing someone else for simply having a different opinion than their homer views.

Posted by: PhilR | June 7, 2010 12:28 PM | Report abuse

Buffalo knows all about malfeasance.

Posted by: richmondphil | June 7, 2010 12:28 PM | Report abuse

cstanton,

Come July 1, who would you like to see the Caps go after? Upgrade D or 2C, or both?

Posted by: Steve_R | June 7, 2010 12:15 PM | Report abuse

same thing i wanted last year, and the yr before last.

Size and competitiveness at center. And two defensive dmen.

I would package a deal involving Semin and Flash and "possibly" Schultz. I would look for competitive hockey players who can play on a 2nd or 3rd line (i.e Dubinsky/Sharp, Clowe, and dmen like a Wisniewski, Sarich, Giordano). I would add Andrew Gordon and Steve Pinizotto from the Bears. I would hold off on Karl Alzner (and maybe include him in a deal). I would not bring back Boyd Gordon (moreso to free up room than anything else). I would keep Erskine around for depth. I would look into acquiring a Brandon Prust type for toughness and the fact he can skate a regular shift. And I'd dump either BMo or Belanger but not both. Keep one of em around for one more year before replacing them. Unless MP can unseat them.

So the roster next year would look something like this:

AO-Backs-Knuble
Laich-Dubinsky(type)-Fehr
Chimera-Belanger/MP-AGordon
Prust(type)-Steckel-Pinizzotto/Bradley

Should be able to get another player back in the trade also but if you're stacked upfront, then you can try and fill a need on the backline.

Whether they go after AV or not, they still need to add 2 solid defensive blueliners to the squad. One could be via FA, one via trade. Esp since they'll let ShaMo walk.

Posted by: cstanton1 | June 7, 2010 12:31 PM | Report abuse

I'm back to armchair GMing. I want to talk about a player I always say should be traded: Tomas Fleischmann.

Flash, as a #2 and 3 line player, was tied for 71st in goals this year. And he missed 10-12 games. The NHL has openings for 90 first line forwards. This means Flash, on the right team, could be a #1 LW. Not in DC though. The best thing for Flash, and the Caps, is to trade him so he can get "promoted" to a top line. There, his lack of grit wouldn't be such an issue. he could possibly be paired with grittier teammates. And, in return, the caps can get a solid player who would bring the grit and nastiness that we lack.

Semin is the same situation except on a much higher value scale than Flash. Semin could be #1 winger on about every hockey team except the Caps and a few others. Think Buffalo and Vanek - Semin could be that player for some team and they'll pay him $7M to do it. He'll never be worth as much to the Caps as to a team in dire need of a true #1 winger.

Posted by: tominsocal1 | June 7, 2010 12:35 PM | Report abuse

Sarich makes like 3.6 mil/yr cap hit and is considered the Flames "Nylander". He's only gone if Sutter takes salary back.

Posted by: richmondphil | June 7, 2010 12:35 PM | Report abuse

Posted by: Capt_Kirk_in_AZ | June 7, 2010 12:37 PM | Report abuse

What happened to the rumor that Calgary was shopping both Regher and Iginla?? Could we put a package together to land that pair and the bigger question....could we afford it cap wise tominsocal1 O salary cap guru??!!

Posted by: PhilR | June 7, 2010 12:46 PM | Report abuse

@ablake

Have you ever taken a class in probabilities and statistics?

Going into a series you have two teams. Team A and Team B.

When Team A plays Team B in a game, Team A wins 55% of the time and Team B wins 45% of the time. Therefore, Team A is a better team than Team B(higher % chance of winning).

Then we are going to run a simulated 7 game series where Team A has 55% chance of winning every game and Team B has a 45% chance of winning every game. While Team A would win more series' than Team B, Team B would still win a fair of the series' conducted. So for any single series(i.e. the playoffs or whatever) Team B will still win the series a decent amount of times even though they are statistically worse than Team A. Just because they win a series does not mean they are "better" than Team A.

As much as people do not want to believe, probabilities occur in everything that happens in life. Having certain players may increase or decrease the probability of a team winning, but it is never 100%. Since it is never 100% you cannot say for certain that a winning team is always the better team as probabilities dictate that a "worse" team will win on occassion.

This is not a hockey concept, it is math. This is true, the math is correct. To disagree with it would be wrong.

Posted by: sgm3 | June 7, 2010 12:50 PM | Report abuse

Regehr would be awesome. Iginla would be as well, but he makes a lot of money.

Posted by: richmondphil | June 7, 2010 12:50 PM | Report abuse

Regehr would be awesome. Iginla would be as well, but he makes a lot of money.

----------------------------------------

I know he makes a lot of money but if Semin were part of the deal that would take a good chunk of that salary, include Flash and it is covered entirely for next year. The part I was unsure of are the two remaining years on his contract....would they be able to fanagle the cap to stay under?

Posted by: PhilR | June 7, 2010 12:58 PM | Report abuse

Iginla is $7M through 2013. Regehr is $4M through 2013.

You can afford Iginla if you trade them Semin. You couldn't however afford then your second line center as cap space is $3M next year with 58.8 cap and that three million has Backie, Perreault, Gordon and Steckel as centers and Iginla eats $1M more than Semin already.

As for Regehr, he fits next year if you send them Flash and Erskine and then use another million for a replacement winger. But, almost no cap space after that.

The following year, Poti falls off, and that money pays the raise for Laich and Fehr but it gets dicey with Varlamov.

Posted by: tominsocal1 | June 7, 2010 1:05 PM | Report abuse

he Caps, plain and simple, need less Flash and more Knuble. They need defensemen who don't just pokecheck (as you pointed out). And we need forwards who do more than snipe.

Semin, Flash and Erskine out...Staal, Volchenkov and Clutterbuck (or their equivalents) in...then you get not only 121 reg season pts but you should be constructed for the tougher playoff grind.

121 pts was not a mirage and it wasn't smoke and mirrors. There's talent there
-------------------

of course there is, and no one disagrees about the talent level. Hence the "best team on paper" comment.

But how anyone can just assume this team will get better by learning valuable lessons is beyond me. Those lessons don't get learned in a vacuum. They get propagated down from the top. And the "top" doesn't get it. You think Bruce and McPhee will suddenly change the direction of the org and team playing style away from what they know and intrinsically believe in? How do you know that the Caps front office shares the same "lessons learned" that you or I do?

Posted by: cstanton1 | June 7, 2010 1:05 PM | Report abuse

Sarich makes like 3.6 mil/yr cap hit and is considered the Flames "Nylander". He's only gone if Sutter takes salary back.

Posted by: richmondphil | June 7, 2010 12:35 PM | Report abuse

i have no idea what that means. But based on what I know about Nylander, I'd disagree. Sarich brings a lot more to the table. If you mean he's overpaid and getting up there in years, perhaps there's some truth there. But based on what he does on the ice, I wouldn't turn my nose up at him.

Posted by: cstanton1 | June 7, 2010 1:07 PM | Report abuse

Iginla and Regehr make over 10 mil/yr. Probably more like Semin, Poti, Flash would have to go.

Posted by: richmondphil | June 7, 2010 1:07 PM | Report abuse

If you mean he's overpaid and getting up there in years, perhaps there's some truth there. But based on what he does on the ice, I wouldn't turn my nose up at him.

Posted by: cstanton1 | June 7, 2010 1:07 PM |

He's way overpaid, and like I said, the only way any GM makes a move on Sarich is if Sutter takes salary back.

Posted by: richmondphil | June 7, 2010 1:12 PM | Report abuse

i love Regehr and yes he's be a good asset to have. But this past year he looked old on the ice. He's played a very rugged style his entire career and he's got more playing years on him than his actual age. He also broke both his legs when he was around 19. And I bet some kind of arthritis is probably setting in from that. Since Semin is our biggest potential trade value, I'd hold off on a better player. And Giordano despite his size, is a better player than is Regehr. He's younger, he's tough, he skates better, he hits, he fights, he plays on the PP, and has a lot of character to his game.

Posted by: cstanton1 | June 7, 2010 1:12 PM | Report abuse

Gio had a good year, the best of his career. He has one year left on a nothing contract.

The real question is, why would the Flames want to trade him, over Sarich or Regehr?

Posted by: richmondphil | June 7, 2010 1:17 PM | Report abuse

As people are talking about Semin. A possible reason to keep him, on top of his scoring, is his ability to excel on the PK. Pretty amazing.

From Jasper's Rink:

"But it wasn't all offense for Semin, who was a fantastic penalty-killer in limited ice time (to the surprise of no one). Impressively, he was only on the ice for three 5-on-4 power-play goals against all season long in more than 71 minutes of SH TOI. Even more impressively, Semin was on the ice for three 4-on-5 goals for (he led the team with two shorthanded goals), meaning that in more than three-and-a-half total periods of short-handed hockey played, Alex Semin's Caps scored as many goals as they surrendered. And while we'll deservedly bemoan his discipline below, it's worth noting that only 12% of his penalty minutes came after the second intermission, which is a bit mitigating, and that he drew more penalties and at a better rate than any other player on the team (with the exception of Mathieu Perreault in that latter grouping), which is hugely mitigating."

Posted by: sgm3 | June 7, 2010 1:21 PM | Report abuse

And just in case that gets misconstrued, I'd certainly want Giordano over Regehr. But there's really only a chance that one of them gets traded this off-season. Then again, Sutter made some stupid moves last year, so who knows. He might trade his best defenseman, and ironically one of his cheapest, instead of the two bigger contracts in Regehr and Sarich. JayBo obviously isn't going anywhere, they're stuck with him.

Posted by: richmondphil | June 7, 2010 1:26 PM | Report abuse

Iginla, really, wouldn't be the best fit for the Caps. Much of what he brings, Ovechkin brings. Plus you already have Knuble for this season.

I think $7M is better spent upgrading C and D.

Posted by: tominsocal1 | June 7, 2010 1:33 PM | Report abuse

Guys like Regehr, Sarich, Rivet etc ar all examples of players the Caps need on their blueline. Unfortunately they're all on the downswing so you couldn't count on them to be a significant contributor for more than 1-2 yrs. The Caps need to go find some younger versions of those types of players.

Posted by: cstanton1 | June 7, 2010 1:33 PM | Report abuse

@tominsocal1

I agree. The Caps need to balance out their spending and use the extra money on D and centers.

Posted by: sgm3 | June 7, 2010 1:36 PM | Report abuse

The real question is, why would the Flames want to trade him, over Sarich or Regehr?

Posted by: richmondphil | June 7, 2010 1:17 PM | Report abuse

they wouldn't, unless we offer them a sweet deal. The Flames have what we don't have. They have depth at grit - both on the blueline and upfront.

What they need desperately is skill.

So maybe Flash plus Semin brings back Nystrom plus Giordano.

The reason they were able to trade Dion was the emergence of MG. They value him highly. So yeah it would take something they need (top end skill) to get them to part with a guy like MG.

Posted by: cstanton1 | June 7, 2010 1:36 PM | Report abuse

Isn't Nystrom a UFA?

Posted by: sgm3 | June 7, 2010 1:40 PM | Report abuse

When I watch Semin on the penalty-kill, I see a guy who is all or nothing. He's either making a brilliant play, or he's making an awful one. No team needs that kind of inconsistency esp on a PK unit. Semin doesn't support his fellow PKers, he doesn't play as part of that unit. He just freestyles. What I mean by that is he doesn't do the basic things you need a PKer to do. He doesn't effectively block passing lanes, he doesn't put pressure on the point man, he doesn't chew up space on the halfwall and jam the boards to get a puck out. He's all about the stickhandling. And sometimes it works magically. But usually a good PK forward needs to revert to a simple play rather than a highrisk one. More than any other player, Semin will get the puck and then lose it right back to the other team on a PK inside our zone because he opts not to make the simple chip clear.

Posted by: cstanton1 | June 7, 2010 1:41 PM | Report abuse

They were trying to move Dion before the season even started. They had like 234235255 million dumped into their blue line, someone had to go and it's not going to be JayBo. That would be like Sutter admitting to his mistake. I think the Flames want to try to re-sign White as well, so Regehr and/or Sarich have to be out.

That trade proposal is low-balling the hell out of Semin's value. I understand we'd have to overpay to acquire Gio, but damn.

Posted by: richmondphil | June 7, 2010 1:44 PM | Report abuse

Isn't Nystrom a UFA?

Posted by: sgm3 | June 7, 2010 1:40 PM | Report abuse

even better. But I don't see us going after him. He's a tweak to our lineup more than a core addition type of player. And I don't see McPhee adding that this offseason.
Montreal went and got Travis Moen last off-season. I wouldn't be surprised if he ends up on a team like the Pens.

Posted by: cstanton1 | June 7, 2010 1:45 PM | Report abuse

What about Semin to Minny for Burns and Clutterbuck? Or what about PM Bouchard, or is he damaged goods at this point?

What about the Blues? Is Backes ungettable? Can he play center? He is a UFA after this year. The Blues need scoring, but they need a good young goalie even worse.

Posted by: underpants2 | June 7, 2010 1:47 PM | Report abuse

I was just throwing a rumor out that I had heard but tom has shown it is not possible due to cap restraints. O well, just trying to see what trading partners are out there and who is available....this is going to be a very interesting offseason for sure.

Posted by: PhilR | June 7, 2010 1:48 PM | Report abuse

That trade proposal is low-balling the hell out of Semin's value. I understand we'd have to overpay to acquire Gio, but damn.

Posted by: richmondphil | June 7, 2010 1:44 PM | Report abuse


i don't think its a massive lowball. Maybe a slight one. But you have to look at Semin's value. Your comment implies that he has no baggage. That kid is all baggage. If not for his baggage, he'd be a franchise type of player. Any team who gives up a lot to get him is taking a huge risk. Will he fit in with his new teammates? Will he speak English? Will he sulk and pout if the new coach is hard on him? Will the org be willing to treat him with kid gloves? Will they accept the way he plays hockey -inconsistently brilliant. What if he decides to leave for Europe after a season? I don't think you can expect a great return for Semin, just a good one.

We're not talking about a guy with a great track record and work ethic. We're talking about a player who is simply the sum of his statistics, great as they are. There's a huge difference between a Semin and a guy who scores the same# of points and is young, but also doesn't bring the baggage that Semin brings.

Posted by: cstanton1 | June 7, 2010 1:50 PM | Report abuse

Brent Burns sucks and is injury prone.

Greg Zanon is better and cheaper.

Posted by: richmondphil | June 7, 2010 1:52 PM | Report abuse

What about the Blues? Is Backes ungettable? Can he play center? He is a UFA after this year. The Blues need scoring, but they need a good young goalie even worse.

Posted by: underpants2 | June 7, 2010 1:47 PM | Report abuse

Question is, when your two big concerns are center and D, can you afford to dangle your best trade bait for a RW? I love Backes but realistically I don't see us going after a RWer. Now maybe if we package Semin and Fehr for Backes, TJ Oshie and Jackman....but that would take some creative thinking :)

Posted by: cstanton1 | June 7, 2010 1:57 PM | Report abuse

Nystrom is a good player and would be nice to have but not for how much he is expected to get in the market. If you look at most teams, they are unwilling to spend much more than $1M for the "gritty" guys because they are generally replaceable.

Cooke only made $1.2M for the Pens last year and rumors are saying the Pens want him back but are not willing to pay any more than $1.2M for him because Shero does not believe those type of players are worth big contracts.

So if Nystrom is going to get more than $1M then it probably won't and probably shouldn't happen with the Caps.

Posted by: sgm3 | June 7, 2010 1:58 PM | Report abuse

Then we are going to run a simulated 7 game series where Team A has 55% chance of winning every game and Team B has a 45% chance of winning every game. While Team A would win more series' than Team B, Team B would still win a fair of the series' conducted. So for any single series(i.e. the playoffs or whatever) Team B will still win the series a decent amount of times even though they are statistically worse than Team A. Just because they win a series does not mean they are "better" than Team A.
----------------

my head is spinning. Just tell me this, what are the probabilities that either McPhee or Bruce will be fired after the next playoff collapse?

btw, your statistics are based on a flawed assumption. You are (I think) basing one team's chances of winning over anothers based on how each of those teams did in the regular season. That's irrelevant in the playoffs since it takes a different set of intangible qualities to succeed in a single or multiple drawn-out playoff series. Those intangible qualities don't come into play quite as much when you're dealing with singular games as are played in the reg season.

Posted by: cstanton1 | June 7, 2010 2:04 PM | Report abuse

@cstanton1

I think your view of Semin as a PKer this year might be a little skewed.

It's hard to argue against his productivity on the PK, especially considering how bad the Caps PK was overall. I mean, letting in only 3 goals for over 71 minutes of PK time. That is awesome. Then include in the fact that the Caps scored 3 goals when Semin was on the PK.

So for over 71 minutes of PK over the entire season, the Caps PK was EVEN! Otherwise it was terrible.

However Semin played on the PK, he was amazingly productive. It's hard to argue with those results. I would LOVE to have those results of any and all penalty killers the Caps have on their team next year.

Posted by: sgm3 | June 7, 2010 2:04 PM | Report abuse

Our PK woes stem from our defenders than whichever forwards seem to be out there.

Just my observations, but they constantly screen our goalie, don't win corner battles and clear the puck, etc, etc, etc.

Posted by: richmondphil | June 7, 2010 2:07 PM | Report abuse

Cooke only made $1.2M for the Pens last year and rumors are saying the Pens want him back but are not willing to pay any more than $1.2M for him because Shero does not believe those type of players are worth big contracts.

So if Nystrom is going to get more than $1M then it probably won't and probably shouldn't happen with the Caps.

Posted by: sgm3 | June 7, 2010 1:58 PM | Report abuse

i doubt Nystrom would ever be pursued by the Caps regardless of what he wanted. He doesn't generally fit the mold of what they go looking for in a player. Going after Knuble last year was a specific (and good) decision made based on the fact they sorely needed someone who had experience skating on a top line as a complement player who could crash the net. Nystrom is just a strong aggressive winger who plays on a checking line and can pot some goals. We don't generally go after tough checking wingers. That's more a Flyer mentality.

Posted by: cstanton1 | June 7, 2010 2:09 PM | Report abuse

I think some of our forwards are capable penalty killers. But for the most part, they need to keep Flash and Semin away from the PK (in that order).

When you get the puck on your stick inside your own zone on the PK, AND you're a forward who is inches away from the blueline, there is no excuse to cough up that puck to the other team. That just negates the work your entire unit did to try and clear that puck. I've seen Semin do it more than anyone else. Maybe it didn't lead to goals that can be measured on a statsheet. But it did lead to extended scoring chances and our PK unit getting worn down.

Again, cutting ties with Semin would be a great symbolic gesture made by this org. It would mean they are finally admitting that their current philosophies are unbalanced. And that they are willing to pay more than just lip service to concepts such as DEFENSE and ACCOUNTABILITY vs the freewheeling style they rely on to pull out games.

Posted by: cstanton1 | June 7, 2010 2:13 PM | Report abuse

I would consider Ovechkin to be a tough checking winger. I think Kunble is a tough winger. I think Chimera is a tough winger. I think Bradley is a tough winger. I think Scott Walker is a tough winger. I think Laich is a medium tough winger who could improve upon that.

Either way, those are all tough winger who were on the Caps last year. So there goes the thought of Caps not pursuing tough wingers.

Maybe they should sign Ponikarovsky. He is a pretty tough winger, don't you think?

Posted by: sgm3 | June 7, 2010 2:14 PM | Report abuse

i liken the Caps to the Redskins regime under Steve Spurrier. Too many wide receivers, not enough quality line play on both sides of the ball. The reg season successes of the Caps don't disprove that. I've seen other cases of reg season teams who rack up impressive point totals but who aren't built for playoff hockey. Doesn't happen very often but it does happen.

Posted by: cstanton1 | June 7, 2010 2:17 PM | Report abuse

@richmondphil

I agree with yout that the PK woes mostly stemmed from poor D play. I also am not a big fan of Steckel on the PK. He has a good reach but it a little too slow.

@cstanton1

In over 71 minutes of Semin being on ice for PK time the Caps were EVEN. The Caps team let up three goals total while Semin scored two himself. So you are saying the Caps were lucky during the entire season while Semin was on the PK?

You don't think you may have already reached a conclusion on Semin and his ability on the PK but then later found out evidence that contradicts your conclusion. And instead of admitting you may have been wrong you are just rationalizing. Semin is good on the PK. The results over the entire season show that. These aren't stats from a two week period but are taken from the entire season.

Posted by: sgm3 | June 7, 2010 2:21 PM | Report abuse

@cstanton1

I agree that the Caps need more balance.

Acquiring a defender in the Volchenkov mold so the Caps can have a shut down defenseive pair is very important. Acquiring a very good 2nd line center who is very good at both ends of the ice is also very important. The Caps have had too much money spent on wings and not enough on Ds and Cs.

I think they will address that this summer.

Posted by: sgm3 | June 7, 2010 2:24 PM | Report abuse

And to all those who are saying how great the Flyers D is.

In their first series against a team with a good offense (Devils, Bruins, and Habs don't exactly light it up) the Flyers have let up 21 goals in 5 games. That is over 4 goals a game. Not very good.

Posted by: sgm3 | June 7, 2010 2:27 PM | Report abuse

i wrote a reply to your post about "tough wingers" but it got swallowed up somehow.

basically, Ovechkin doesn't qualify because he was never brought in for his toughness. He was brought in for his talent and his grit was an added benefit. Doesn't support the theory that the Caps value tough wingers.

Also, I referred to tough "checking" wingers. Big difference there. The only players who qualify as that on your list are
1) Chimera (not tough at all except when he's yapping
2)Bradley (semi-tough but a terrible fighter)
3)Laich (provides character and some grit, definitely not even in Nystrom's league with regards to hitting or fighting and Nystrom himself isn't that tough to begin with)

Knuble was not brought in as a checking winger but regardless, he does provide grit in the way of some leadership and his crease-play. His hitting is inconsistent and his fighting is non-existent. Good supplement player to have but he's not exactly what I was referring to in my statement. I'm referring to those 3rd and 4th line guys around the league who are strong board players, crash and bangers, fight periodically when needed, and can play a regular shift.

Posted by: cstanton1 | June 7, 2010 2:39 PM | Report abuse

basic list of tough checking forwards in hockey w/some variations (left the tough guy enforcer off this list because that's not who I'm referring to):

Brad Winchester
BJ Crombeen
Mike Brown
Carcillo
Konopka
S Thornton
Clarkson
Eager
D Powe
C McLeod
C McCormick
P Gaustad
A Mair
T Moen
Prust
Voros
Clutterbuck
Neil
Begin
Boll

etc etc etc

now that we have a baseline for comparison sgm, please restate your rebuttal that the Caps pursue tough checking wingers.

Posted by: cstanton1 | June 7, 2010 2:49 PM | Report abuse

You don't think you may have already reached a conclusion on Semin and his ability on the PK but then later found out evidence that contradicts your conclusion. And instead of admitting you may have been wrong you are just rationalizing.
---------------

considering I made the same comments about Semin on the PK all season long (i.e. prior to you breaking out your stats), I am being very consistent in what I think and believe. I'm not changing my comments and observations to rationalize anything. He played one shift a game in the playoffs on the PP and he played the equivalent of less than 2 PK shifts a game during the reg season on the PP. I think his PK #s would be less impressive if there was a larger sampling of data to choose from. He also got some PK time in the 3rd periods of games that the Caps were trying to come back in. Which means his presence there was to provide offense rather than defense. Like when you pull a goalie at the end of a game. You take the risk of giving up an empty net goal in the effort to tie things up.

He does not have good defensive instincts. He doesn't understand what he needs to do to clear the puck or impede the flow of a PP unit which a lot of times requires a forward to create chaos at the point or attack or jam a puck out along the boards using your body. He doesn't engage in plays like that.

Posted by: cstanton1 | June 7, 2010 3:03 PM | Report abuse

cstanton: You didn't put Steve Downie. I've actually proposed trading Semin to Tampa for Downie and the 6th overall pick. You do that and sign Volchenkov to a $5M contract and it is cap neutral; we get a gritty and young 3rd line forward; and we fill the pipeline with another young player.

Tampa meanwhile must then sign Semin as the #1 RW to replace St. Louis.

Posted by: tominsocal1 | June 7, 2010 3:07 PM | Report abuse

Plus, I don't know about you, but I wouldn't want to be playing Semin 6 times a season.

Posted by: timmyv38 | June 6, 2010 7:37 PM | Report abuse

unless its in the postseason, right!? lol

Posted by: cstanton1 | June 7, 2010 3:08 PM | Report abuse

I hate Downie, but he really blossomed last year into an aggressive pest who can actually contribute some actual shifts of hockey. I would take him on.


Use that 6th pick for NINO NINNENMENENERATER!

Posted by: richmondphil | June 7, 2010 3:10 PM | Report abuse

cstanton: You didn't put Steve Downie. I've actually proposed trading Semin to Tampa for Downie and the 6th overall pick. You do that and sign Volchenkov to a $5M contract and it is cap neutral; we get a gritty and young 3rd line forward; and we fill the pipeline with another young player.

Tampa meanwhile must then sign Semin as the #1 RW to replace St. Louis.

Posted by: tominsocal1 | June 7, 2010 3:07 PM | Report abuse

i left quite a few off the list. But yeah thats a trade I'd consider making.

Only problem is, a guy like Downie probably wouldn't fit in with the current Caps mentality. Boudreau would have an aneursym each time Downie would take a slashing or roughing call. The Caps generally stay away from chippy hockey players. It goes against what McPhee believes in. Boudreau I think could be persuaded though - he had Louis Robitaille in Hershey.

But some of our current hockey players would likely play with more of an edge in a different system. Downie would be reined in too much to be as effective as he was under Tocchet.

Posted by: cstanton1 | June 7, 2010 3:13 PM | Report abuse

I still see, more than anything, a deal between DC and the Wild that involves Flash and Clutterbuck. I invented that one and I'm sticking to it. Clutter becomes the much-needed 3L RW and Fehr gets his well-deserved promotion to #2RW.

Then, if nothing else, the $2M savings from that deal in cap space plus you trade Gordon out of the equation saves $1M and right there you can afford Koivu for two years, $3M/yr. Your centers are Backie, Koivu, Perreault (not an ideal #3 center) and Steckel. Your RW are Knuble, Fehr, Clutter and Bradley. Not bad. LW are Ovi, Semin, Laich and Chimera (yes, Semin can play LW).

The team is still deficient at that point on D and the only way to fix that is to move your 2nd line LW at $6M and get a #1 D.

Posted by: tominsocal1 | June 7, 2010 3:15 PM | Report abuse

We should trade for the rights to Hjalmarsson and sign him. CHI needs to dump for picks/prospects/non-salary, and we have some of it.

Just an idea..I think someone else threw the idea of trying to match his offer sheet, but it would be far better and easier to trade for his rights.

Posted by: richmondphil | June 7, 2010 3:21 PM | Report abuse

I'd rather the Caps change or adjust their philosophies a bit before bringing in some pest/agitator/chippy types. Nothing more discouraging to see your team finally bring in a player or two who provide a certain missing element, only to then see the team misuse those players. Gotta break a few eggs to make some omelettes.

Can anyone think of teams in the league that play a less chippy abrasive style than do the Caps? We're definitely in the bottom third of the league in that vein.

We never initiate and we rarely push back. There's something to be said for having a battle-hardened team going into the playoff season. One of the great things about watching teams like the Hawks or Pens is that they bring a lot of talent to the ice but they also don't concede any physical battles to tough teams. The Hawks last night were still throwing big hits late in the 3rd pd. Pronger got flattened a few times. Just seeing that probably lifted the Hawks bench up a few notches. There are ways to finish a victory, and then there are WAYS to finish a victory. Its all about establishing some carryover.

Posted by: cstanton1 | June 7, 2010 3:24 PM | Report abuse

cstanton: You didn't put Steve Downie. I've actually proposed trading Semin to Tampa for Downie and the 6th overall pick. You do that and sign Volchenkov to a $5M contract and it is cap neutral; we get a gritty and young 3rd line forward; and we fill the pipeline with another young player.

Tampa meanwhile must then sign Semin as the #1 RW to replace St. Louis.

Posted by: tominsocal1

Tampa needs to shed salary. Next Year they will need to sign Stamkos, and Vinny makes a ton. They cannot make that deal unless they move Vinny, which might be impossible.

One more scenario:

Sign Volchecnkov - 5 years, $25m
Trade Semin and Schultz to NSH for Suter and Arnott.

OV/Backs/Knuble
Laich/Arnott/Fehr
Flash/Perrault/Chimera
Bradley/Steckel/Hershey Bear

Green/Volchenkov
Alzner/Suter
Carlson/Poti

Posted by: underpants2 | June 7, 2010 3:38 PM | Report abuse

Some comments about old time hockey - I watched the NHL network's rebroadcast of the Wings v Maple Leafs game 6 of the 1964 finals. (Anyone else see it?) Gordie Howe played in that game and his style of play was, well, Semin-ish. He didn't take hits because he was smart enough to dish the puck before someone could hit him. Throughout the game, I didn't see him throw a single check. In fact, the physical play in that game was almost nil, and the refs actually called penalties. Makes me wonder what Don Cherry and them mean when they say "old time hockey"...

Posted by: RedLitYogi | June 7, 2010 3:42 PM | Report abuse

I still see, more than anything, a deal between DC and the Wild that involves Flash and Clutterbuck. I invented that one and I'm sticking to it.
------------------

aha, that was you? i was wondering where that came from. The Wild are already trying to dump Boogaard so I doubt they'll get rid of Clutterbuck.

And yeah i'd take Nik Hjalma___
Tough swede. There was a fight where Backes kept beating on him and he wouldn't go down. Any player we acquire from this point onwards should have one trait at least - a real intense competitor. Someone whose mentality you don't have to speculate about, it should be clear and in the open. We need to get enough of those guys in here and our coach needs to adjusts his idea a bit on what it takes to win in the playoffs.

Posted by: cstanton1 | June 7, 2010 3:42 PM | Report abuse

Flash/Perrault/Chimera

--yuck

Posted by: cstanton1 | June 7, 2010 3:44 PM | Report abuse

Gordie Howe played in that game and his style of play was, well, Semin-ish. He didn't take hits because he was smart enough to dish the puck before someone could hit him.
---------------------

Howe played like Messier did. Players were afraid to hit him because he'd usually throw some devastating elbows in retaliation. Messier established early in his career that if you took even a clean shot at him you'd pay dearly. Howe was the same way. And he was a good fighter and he'd jump you. Its all about establishing some room for yourself.


As to Cherry's old time hockey remark - I'd say roughly 1975-1995 roughly is what I'd personally call old-time hockey. That's where the hitting, goonery, and linebrawls picked up. And you had teams like the Flyers, Rangers, Bruins, Isles Canadiens (mid to late 70s) and then other teams like the Oilers, Flames kicked in in the early 80s and then joined by a slew of other teams in the mid to late 80s.

Posted by: cstanton1 | June 7, 2010 3:49 PM | Report abuse

aha, that was you? i was wondering where that came from. The Wild are already trying to dump Boogaard so I doubt they'll get rid of Clutterbuck.

And yeah i'd take Nik Hjalma___
Tough swede. There was a fight where Backes kept beating on him and he wouldn't go down. Any player we acquire from this point onwards should have one trait at least - a real intense competitor. Someone whose mentality you don't have to speculate about, it should be clear and in the open. We need to get enough of those guys in here and our coach needs to adjusts his idea a bit on what it takes to win in the playoffs.

Posted by: cstanton1

Clutterbuck isn't a fighter, he does not get that many penalty minutes. He's a hitter.

Posted by: underpants2 | June 7, 2010 3:50 PM | Report abuse

underpants: I see where you're going, but I think Koivu at $3M if that can be done is better than Arnott at $4.5M

And, I agree with cstanton - any 3rd line grouping that includes Flash is "double yuck," especially when you have Perreault. That line has almost no checking ability to speak of.

Posted by: tominsocal1 | June 7, 2010 3:52 PM | Report abuse

@cstanton1

The Caps had 176 more hits than Chicago this year. Chicago was 25h in the league in hitting. (Wash was 19th). I agree, the Caps were not a chippy team this year. But neither was Chicago. No matter how many times you want to say they are, that isn't true.

You just want to assign them the title of "chippy" after the fact because you know the evidence contradicts your theory. That's why you keep on repeating cliches like "gritty" and "chippy" and assigning them to players who have never been called that before.

Again, please tell me how "chippy" Chicago is and how their style is "chippy" because the statistics and watching them play says otherwise.

Chicago is a great team, and is probably the best in the NHL this year(great offensive, great defensive, great team speed, great speed and passing ability on D, soilid goaltending, great backchecking, great defensive pressure from their forwards). But they were not "chippy".

Posted by: sgm3 | June 7, 2010 3:53 PM | Report abuse

@cstanton1

The Caps had 176 more hits than Chicago this year. Chicago was 25h in the league in hitting. (Wash was 19th). I agree, the Caps were not a chippy team this year. But neither was Chicago. No matter how many times you want to say they are, that isn't true.

You just want to assign them the title of "chippy" after the fact because you know the evidence contradicts your theory. That's why you keep on repeating cliches like "gritty" and "chippy" and assigning them to players who have never been called that before.

Again, please tell me how "chippy" Chicago is and how their style is "chippy" because the statistics and watching them play says otherwise.

Chicago is a great team, and is probably the best in the NHL this year(great offensive, great defensive, great team speed, great speed and passing ability on D, soilid goaltending, great backchecking, great defensive pressure from their forwards). But they were not "chippy".

Posted by: sgm3

Last night they hit everything that moved. Byfuglien and Hossa are extremely physical forwards. It was fun to watch.

"Chippy" really refers more to penalty minutes. After the whistle type stuff.

Posted by: underpants2 | June 7, 2010 3:59 PM | Report abuse

Byfuglien is a very physical forward.

I wouldn't necessarily call Hoss a very physical forward, but he is a great all around defensive forward. He is so often in the right position, he steals a lot of pucks, he knows how to block passing lanes. He is just a great defensive forward (and good offensive too). He will get physical, taking and giving out some hits.

Posted by: sgm3 | June 7, 2010 4:04 PM | Report abuse

i wonder if Karl Alzner wasn't such a high pick, if he'd even be on the radar for most fans. He gets to be on Hershey's top pairing although frankly he doesn't play like one of their top 2 defensemen on many nights. I can understand the org giving him every chance to succeed but he looks too weak physically and he has no explosion in his skating stride to be penciled in as part of our solution on D.

Posted by: cstanton1 | June 7, 2010 4:09 PM | Report abuse

Alzner was the best available guy at #5 spot at the 2007 draft, can't really blame management in hindsight.

Gagner at 2C would look a bit more attractive though.

Posted by: richmondphil | June 7, 2010 4:24 PM | Report abuse

I remember watching draft on TV. Alzner was the highest rated defensive defeseman of his class. He captained everything, jr team, Canadian under 20 team, whatever. He has the pedigree, the coaching and the experience. If he has really fallen off like that, there should be an explanation. He was WHL d-man of the year his last year in jr. Those guys usually go on to become solid NHL players.

Posted by: tominsocal1 | June 7, 2010 5:10 PM | Report abuse

Interesting aricle on the Caps line-up next season and the draft and prospects.

http://www.hockeybuzz.com/blog/Steven-Hindle/With-the-26th-overall-pick-in-the-2010-Draft-the-Capitals-will/98/28688

Posted by: capscoach | June 7, 2010 5:15 PM | Report abuse

Re: who's better Flyers or Caps?

It wasn't that the Caps were a little better than the Flyers, Canadiens, etc this year. We were 30 points better than those guys, so much better that I believe it hurt us, psychologically. The Flyers almost certainly would've lost to the B's (the #6 seed) if Krajeck hadn't been injured. The regular season accomplishments of the Caps this year are far less common, actually, than winning a Cup: 14 games in a row (only been done twice) and over 120 points.

If you gave Holmgren the choice of taking any 7 players on the Caps for any 7 on the Flyers, anyone in the world would prefer the Caps' top 7 (and definitely the Flyer's brass). But I have to give Philadelphia credit - they are the deepest team. Their best players don't rate much more than an 8, but they are loaded with them.

Playoffs are important, but luck is a big part. Injuries, matchups, hot goalies, all of that plays a part. In the East, we had a finals of #7 v #8. And the #7 played the #6 to get there.

Posted by: RedLitYogi | June 7, 2010 5:30 PM | Report abuse

@RedLightYogi

In addition, if the NHL did their playoffs like the NFL (only 6 participants with 2 byes) then the Habs and Flyers would not have made the playoffs. If the playoffs prove who is best then why don't all leagues use the same system.

Why does baseball only use 4 teams in each league, and used to only have two from each league as early as the early 90's and before that only each league champion made the finals.

Those were all considered fine ways to determine the champion (and "best" according to some people on here). But if the NHL followed those leagues then the Flyers would never have made the playoffs.

Posted by: sgm3 | June 7, 2010 6:01 PM | Report abuse

@ Underpants and Tominsocal1

No, i don't think it has to be a blockbuster deal including all of them at once, cant find any team that would fill all our needs and profit from dealing with us.

Players i want to get rid of is: Flash, Schultz, Erskine, Steckel, BMo, ShaMo, Walker and Corvo. Semin and Belanger is "maybes" for me.

This is one suggestion, with some lite trading and pick-ups..

1-Alexander Ovechkin $9,538,462
1-Nicklas Backstrom $6,700,000
1-Mike Knuble $2,800,000
2-Alexander Semin $6,000,000
2-* Saku Koivu $3,200,000
2-Brooks Laich $2,066,667
3-* Eric Fehr $2,100,000
3-Mathieu Perreault $716,667
3-Jason Chimera $1,875,000
4-* Cal Clutterbuck $1,400,000
4-Matt Bradley $1,000,000
4-* Boyd Gordon $900,000
* Quintin Laing $500,000

DEFENSEMEN
Mike Green $5,250,000
* Willie Mitchell $3,800,000
Tom Poti $3,500,000
* Niklas Hjalmarsson $2,100,000
Karl Alzner $1,675,000
John Carlson $845,833
Tyler Sloan $700,000

GOALTENDERS
* Johan Hedberg — $1,100,000
Simeon Varlamov — $821,667

this, if the cap goes up like predicted $58,589,295

Oooor, I could i.e. trade:
*Semin for Mike Fisher (4,2 x 3 yrs) + Jarkko Ruutu (1,3 x 1 yr)

*Flash for Clutterbuck

*Neuvy for Hjalmarsson

Haha, this is seriously impossible :)

Posted by: Walle | June 7, 2010 6:24 PM | Report abuse

given chicago and its caps troubles. would a number 1 plus flash get us big buff from chicago. He will have the pleasure of playing against pronger in the east for years to come

Posted by: samb99 | June 7, 2010 6:38 PM | Report abuse

Byfuglien has one more year at $3M. Flash with 23 goals will likely get $2.5-3.0M in arbitration. Chicago really doesn't save with that deal.

If you want Buff, give them your #1 pick. Then move Flash to Minn for their #2 and you have effectively offloaded a finesse winger for a grit winger with little/no cap hit. A possibility.

You still need a #2 center in that scenario. Move Semin for Staal. Laich, Staal and Buff would make a wonderful line. I know, I'm dreaming.

Posted by: tominsocal1 | June 7, 2010 6:57 PM | Report abuse

My list of what the Caps need to do:

Get rid of (either by not re-signing or by trading): Flash, BMo, Theo, Jurcina, Nylander (I believe he is still on the roster), Semin (if a trade comes up that can get us a #2 center or #1 dman), possibly Erskine and Gordon

Re-sign: Schultz, Chimera, Fehr, Belanger

Acquire: #2 center (20-30 goals and good faceoff %), #1 dman, #3 winger (good checker)

Lineup:

Ovie-Backs-Knuble
Laich-#2 center-Fehr (if Semin is traded)
#3 winger-Belanger-Chimera/Hershey player
Bradley-Steckel-himera/Hershey player

#1 dman-Poti
Green-Schultz
Carlson-Alzner (or switch Carlson and Poti)

Varly and Neuvirth

As for ideas for #2 center/#1 dman/#3 winger, plenty of ideas have been put out there, so I'm not going to go into a list.

Posted by: timmyv38 | June 7, 2010 6:58 PM | Report abuse

For the record, I do think Semin needs to be traded to make enough cap space for next season. However, we need to get good value back in that trade, because we lose a lot with Semin.

One thing I forgot to mention with the #2 center and #3 winger - they need to be two-way players (at least the center does, winger should be though).

Posted by: timmyv38 | June 7, 2010 7:01 PM | Report abuse

@timmyv38 Chimera is signed until the end of 2011/2012 so that is already done. Also if we do get a top defensive Dman I would put him with Green and have Shultz play with Poti. I think the new Dman could (hopefully) cover for Green better and having a decent defensive Dman with him, Poti could be a little more aggressive and play more of his natural style which I think will make him a better player overall. I don't think we need a center who gets much more then 20 goals, the important thing isn't the goal scoreing it is the setting up of his wingers be it Semin, Flash, Fehr, or Laich. These guys are all either scorers or guys who score by crashing the net. None of them create the was Backstrom does and that is the kind of player we need on that second line. I think our third and forth lines are set pretty well right now assuming we don't trade Semin and can keep our RFAs and resign Belenger. The last two lines would have Belenger, Fehr, Flash or Laich whoever isn't on the second line, Chimmy, Bradley, Gordon, Steckel, and Hershey guys like Bourque that can come up if needed so I don't see a third line winger as a major need. This is even more true if the second line center we get can do well on the kill. Then we would have Backstrom, Belenger, Gordon, the New guy, and Steckel who all can kill if needed. And that doesn't include Knuble who killed in the playoffs and scored a short handed goal.

Posted by: icehammer97 | June 7, 2010 7:46 PM | Report abuse

I actually think Schultz is the perfect compliment to Green. He is a stay at home defender who always thinks defense first and he rarely takes chances. The key will be that the Green/Schultz pairing will no longer have to face an opposing team's top line.

Schutlz and Green are both still improving too. While Green still needs to get better with his defensive awareness, he did improve a lot from the season before. Schultz improved by leaps and bounds and there is no reason to believe that he will not continue to improve. Especially with someone of his size, it usually takes longer for them to fill out their bodies and fine tune their stick handling.

In addition, they played so well together last year(excluding playoffs), I think another full year together will make them only better together.

Volchenkov would not be a good pairing D for Green. Volchenkov is known as a guy who likes to take chances (defensive chances) to make plays by either hitting or blocking shots. From what I've read, almost everyone agrees that for Volchenkov to excel he needs his partner to be a guy who is always in the right position(i.e. Chris Phillips). I think Poti or Alzner could fit this role. While neither is clearly Chris Phillips, both guys have are almost always in a good position defensively.

Posted by: sgm3 | June 7, 2010 8:23 PM | Report abuse

GO BEARS!!!

Posted by: wtf_e_fehr | June 7, 2010 8:34 PM | Report abuse

Schultz and Green were among the best defensive pairs in the NHL last season - why break that up? They complement each other very well. Whatever new dman we get would be best paired with Poti - he is the best defenseman the Caps have, and could be a top pair with a good dman.

My lineup was assuming both Semin and Flash are gone, so 2nd would be Fehr/Laich on the wings, and 3rd/4th would have Belanger, Chimera, Steckel, Bradley, and possibly Gordon - although if he was not to be re-signed, that would leave more space for other signings that need to be made. That leaves 1, maybe 2 spaces in the 3rd/4th lines. After #2 center and #1 dman, a true checking winger (who would be 3rd line) is the next need - although a lesser one.

As I said earlier, I think Semin needs to be traded for cap reasons - we could use the money from him to pay a #1 dman and part of a #2 center's cost. We should get rid of Flash for the simple reason that, for the Caps, he is useless. He isn't a consistent enough scorer to edge Laich or Fehr out of the 2nd line, and he has no physical play at all, so he's no good on the 3rd. Keeping him would be a waste of a roster slot and cap space.

Posted by: timmyv38 | June 7, 2010 8:41 PM | Report abuse

When I said "best defensive pair" in reference to Green and Schultz, I am referring to their effectiveness - as in a combined +89. I don't view them as a #1 pair though - but they're a good combo.

Posted by: timmyv38 | June 7, 2010 8:53 PM | Report abuse

The Bears look awful.

Posted by: alanb1 | June 7, 2010 9:04 PM | Report abuse

Can someone explain to me how Jamie Benn who played all 82 games for the (NHL) Dallas Stars is allowed to play in the AHL playoffs? If it is just because he has a two way contract why didn't we send down Flash and Fehr to the Bears once we were out of the playoffs? There is no way someone who didn't play a single game in the AHL this season should be allowed to play in the playoffs.

Posted by: icehammer97 | June 7, 2010 9:17 PM | Report abuse

That's a really good question... I thought the rules said to be in the AHL playoffs, you had to be down at the AHL for a certain amount of time.

Posted by: timmyv38 | June 7, 2010 9:20 PM | Report abuse

* Semin should be traded for a good D and maybe a talented young winger, not for a center. We got that coming from within. if you add someone/thing (maybe a 1st rounder, but pref. Erskine or both) to the deal, for Backes and E Johnson from STL in return (not very likely though)

* a #2 C can be picked up from UFA, preferably a veteran with some two-way skills, for a year or two (S.Koivu)
* Flash for Clutterbuck
* Steckel for a pick

Ovi-Backs-Knuble (Top-line in the NHL)
Fehr-Koivu-Laich (decent second-line)
Backes-MP-Clutterbuck (Great Energy-line)
Bradley-B.Gordon-Chimera (Grinding-line)
A.Gordon (Bourque)

Poti-Johnson
Green-Hjalmarsson
Alzner-Carlson
Sloan
(all solid puckmoving D:s with good balance in each pair)

Varly-Neuvy

Capspace $55,616,962 (est. Fehr 2.1, Koivu 3.2, Backes 2.5, Clutterbuck 1.4, B.Gordon 0.9, Johnson 4.5, Hjalmarsson 2.1)

And if the CBA goes up i would trade Fehr for some scorer with PK-skills, like a Malone, Burrows, Versteeg, D. Brown kind-of-guy.

Man, i feel really good about this one!! What do you think?

Posted by: Walle | June 7, 2010 9:22 PM | Report abuse

Benn Started the year assigned to Texas and he is a rookie, so that is hwy he is allowed to play

Posted by: cocorules | June 7, 2010 9:26 PM | Report abuse

I would have no problem trading Semin for a dman instead of center - I think there are good #2 centers in free agency. But that 3rd line of yours isn't much good - MP is too small to be on that kind of line. Plus, one of your defensive pairs should be Green-Schultz.

I like your 1st, 2nd, and 4th lines though, and most of your defensive pairings are good.

Posted by: timmyv38 | June 7, 2010 9:28 PM | Report abuse

Also, I wouldn't trade Fehr - he will probably be a Knuble-type player in a few years.

Posted by: timmyv38 | June 7, 2010 9:31 PM | Report abuse

cocorules so in Ovechkin's rookie year we could have but him in Hershey for the start of the year but never had him play a game in the AHL and we could have had him in the AHL playoffs? They have got to make it so a players actually has to play in the AHL for some real part of the season for him to be eligible to play in the playoffs otherwise teams will start putting their top picks in the AHL for the start of the season call them up before the first NHL game and have them play in the AHL playoffs when their team is done for the year. Could you imagine if TB did that last year with Stamkos or if the Hawks did it with Kane or Towes when they were rookies? The guys who played all season to get you in the playoffs should be ther only ones allowed to play in the playoffs.

Posted by: icehammer97 | June 7, 2010 9:37 PM | Report abuse

icehammer, that could only work if your team didn't make it to the playoffs. However, I am in agreement with you - and I thought that was what the rules said.

Posted by: timmyv38 | June 7, 2010 9:40 PM | Report abuse

The Bears are looking horrible, especially Neuvirth and Carlson. Neuvirth made a horrible give-away leading immediately to a goal and Carlson is again not making much effort to get back defensively, as was the case against the Habs. The talk about the Caps trading for a goalie makes more sense now having seen Neuvirth play. Carlson looks not NHL ready - someone needs to light a fire under his butt and not just tell him how great he is.

Posted by: zmega | June 7, 2010 9:44 PM | Report abuse

I'm not a big fan of Schultz, so he could be resigned and use his +50 to get the Stl-deal done.
Hjalmarsson is for me an upgrade over Schultz, especially on the PK which HAS to improve for next year. He's faster on his skates, better GvA-TkA ratio, more blocked shots (barely) etc..

MP isn't big, but his speed and energy will win him a lot of puckbattles. Backes and Clutterbuck would do all the hitting (ranked 5th and 1st in hits). And MP's good hands could set up Backes for some offensive contribution also. He has to improve on the face-offs though!

Belanger is an option, but more expensive and i would like to see MP with the big guys. A third line center can be acquired at the trade deadline if it doesn't work.

Posted by: Walle | June 7, 2010 9:47 PM | Report abuse

I am really liking that the whole blog is echoing my Flash for Clutterbuck dream deal. The product of a bottle of Napa cab, and next thing you know LeBrun will say he invented it.

I can't remember if it was me or someone else who started the Koivu thing, but that one has merit too.

re: Jamie Benn. Seems as if back in February the Caps were keeping Alzner and Neuvy down on the farm to get in a specific number of AHL contests to be eligible for the Calder Cup playoffs. So I don't know how on God's white ice sheet Jamie Benn could play all 82 with Dallas and then be in the AHL playoffs. Something is rotten in the state of Denmark.

BTW, no better "line combo" than Hershey's dark chocolate centering potato chips and cashews.

Posted by: tominsocal1 | June 7, 2010 9:51 PM | Report abuse

bears get a PP goal (now 1 of 8) with 7:30 left in the second. 3-2 stars

Posted by: Capt_Kirk_in_AZ | June 7, 2010 9:54 PM | Report abuse

Your logic with MP makes sense - his energy level definitely is one of his strong points. But his faceoff % wasn't very good, and that worries me.

I still have to disagree with you on Schultz - even if you get Hjalmarsson, Schultz should still be paired with Green, due to their incredible effectiveness. Either pair Hjalmarsson with Poti or Carlson.

Posted by: timmyv38 | June 7, 2010 9:55 PM | Report abuse

timmyv38 How often do guys get a pick like Towes or Kane ect and make the playoffs the next season? It is actually more likely that the AHL didn't make the playoffs rather then the NHL team making it.

Posted by: icehammer97 | June 7, 2010 9:56 PM | Report abuse

bears tie it at 3 with 6:05 to go in the second

Posted by: Capt_Kirk_in_AZ | June 7, 2010 9:57 PM | Report abuse

tom - Flash for Clutterbuck makes a lot of sense. Minnesota needs scoring (plus Flash isn't bad on defense, which would work in their system), and the Caps need a big hitter. It was a brilliant idea - hopefully GMGM noticed it!

Posted by: timmyv38 | June 7, 2010 10:00 PM | Report abuse

could benn have put in some time at texas during the olympic break to make him eligible?

Posted by: Capt_Kirk_in_AZ | June 7, 2010 10:01 PM | Report abuse

icehammer, I wasn't saying it was likely - just pointing it out. As I said before, I'm with you - Benn shouldn't be in the AHL playoffs.

Posted by: timmyv38 | June 7, 2010 10:02 PM | Report abuse

Walle, just wondering - why Erik Johnson? I don't see the Blues often, so I haven't seen him play much. His numbers aren't very impressive though - although I don't know how much of that is from being on the Blues.

Posted by: timmyv38 | June 7, 2010 10:05 PM | Report abuse

high sticking on the stars (benn) - bears will close out the second on a PP

Posted by: Capt_Kirk_in_AZ | June 7, 2010 10:07 PM | Report abuse

bears will have 1:08 PP time left to start the third

Posted by: Capt_Kirk_in_AZ | June 7, 2010 10:11 PM | Report abuse

We were having the same conversation at Giant Center on Saturday. Jamie Benn did not play a single game for the Stars in the regular season. The rule used to be that a player had to play a minimum number of games (I think 10) regular season to qualify for playoffs. I don't know when that changed. It had to be a recent change because I remember Mike Green coming down to Hershey in the last month of the 2006-07 season so that he could play for us in the playoffs.

Posted by: tess2201 | June 7, 2010 10:19 PM | Report abuse

BTW here was my reasoning with splitting up Green and Shultz in my lineup. Poti and Green play very similar styles so Shultz should work well with him as well and it was only if we got a true shut down guy who can be what Shultz was with Green only better and faster. If for some reason the Caps cannot get a Volchenkov or similar type player (who is an upgrade over Shultz) to go with Green then keep them together and have whoever we get play with Poti. The good thing is if Green and the new guy don't work well togeter they can always put him back with Shultz.

Posted by: icehammer97 | June 7, 2010 10:22 PM | Report abuse

icehammer - I understand your reasoning, but I would still disagree. It very well might be worth a try. I would put Poti with the shutdown guy though, to get the best possible defensive pair.

Posted by: timmyv38 | June 7, 2010 10:27 PM | Report abuse

a star dman broke his stick and then knocked the net off for a 2 minute minor

Posted by: Capt_Kirk_in_AZ | June 7, 2010 10:30 PM | Report abuse

bears take an interference penalty. 1:10 of 4 on 4 then a :50 PP for the stars

Posted by: Capt_Kirk_in_AZ | June 7, 2010 10:32 PM | Report abuse

What a great play by Pinizotto... way to throw your body in to clear the puck!

Posted by: timmyv38 | June 7, 2010 10:34 PM | Report abuse

timmyv38 another point of my reasoning is that if the new shutdown guy if on the "second pair" with Poti that will take away ice time from him since BB likes playing Green too much. I guess if he has a top guy on the second pair he might have more confidence in a second pair and would play them more and would make it so Green wasn't as tired then I would keep them apart. It mainly depends on how BB manages the lines if they are split.

Posted by: icehammer97 | June 7, 2010 10:34 PM | Report abuse

pinizzotto had a great diving clear during the PK

Posted by: Capt_Kirk_in_AZ | June 7, 2010 10:35 PM | Report abuse

Ah... I understand. Very good point. Poti was almost 200 minutes behind in even strength situations - and I don't see that changing.

Posted by: timmyv38 | June 7, 2010 10:37 PM | Report abuse

A Gordon - bears up 4-3

Posted by: Capt_Kirk_in_AZ | June 7, 2010 10:38 PM | Report abuse

The more I see Pinizotto (this is only the 4th game) the more I like the guy. Those who watch much more Bears hockey then I do is this a guy playing great in the playoffs or is this how he always plays?

Posted by: icehammer97 | June 7, 2010 10:40 PM | Report abuse

A very "Caps"-like comeback for the Bears.

Regular Season version that is.

Posted by: wtf_e_fehr | June 7, 2010 10:40 PM | Report abuse

Speaking of Gordon - do people think he might be a good 3rd/4th liner this coming season for the Caps? Depending on their offseason moves, they might need to bring up someone from Hershey - they have plenty of talent there, and need to try some of them in the NHL.

Posted by: timmyv38 | June 7, 2010 10:41 PM | Report abuse

now that MP goal was beautiful

Posted by: wtf_e_fehr | June 7, 2010 10:43 PM | Report abuse

matty p - 5-3 bears

Posted by: Capt_Kirk_in_AZ | June 7, 2010 10:43 PM | Report abuse

Bears are playing Bear hockey!

Posted by: gonchpup | June 7, 2010 10:44 PM | Report abuse

bears rolling son!

Posted by: AreYouKiddingMe1 | June 7, 2010 10:44 PM | Report abuse

John Walton sounds pleased with the Bears' play. He says they're doing everything the Stars did to them at the Giant Center. They're camping out in front of the net and getting second chances. Perhaps, a change of scenery is all they needed?

(Bears score again! It's Bears 5 - Stars 3!)

Posted by: Terptwin | June 7, 2010 10:44 PM | Report abuse

B-E-A-R-S BEARS, BEARS, BEARS, B-E-A-R-S BEARS, BEARS, BEARS, B-E-A-R-S BEARS, BEARS, BEARS, WHHHHOOOOOO!

Posted by: icehammer97 | June 7, 2010 10:45 PM | Report abuse

icehammer97:
In my opinion (and I've seen a ton of Bears hockey) Gordon, Perreault, and Pinizzotto all would fit very well in DC.

Posted by: tess2201 | June 7, 2010 10:46 PM | Report abuse

All 5 Bears goals scored within a stick length of the net.

Posted by: icehammer97 | June 7, 2010 10:47 PM | Report abuse

(I really need to start watching this series. I just need to figure out how to do that from Atlanta.)

Posted by: Terptwin | June 7, 2010 10:47 PM | Report abuse

icehammer97
I forgot to add Beagle to that list.

Posted by: tess2201 | June 7, 2010 10:48 PM | Report abuse

timmyv38 - I, for one, think Gordo is more than adequate as a 3rd/4th liner. He earns more merit with his PK, face offs, etc... I've always liked seeing him out there with Bradley.

Posted by: gonchpup | June 7, 2010 10:49 PM | Report abuse

lol... this is the first game I've been able to see. Thank you, CSN!!

Posted by: timmyv38 | June 7, 2010 10:49 PM | Report abuse

i turned the game on with a little more than 10 minutes left in the second (bears were down 3-1). they have carried the play the whole time i've watched - i'm not sure how they lost the first two

Posted by: Capt_Kirk_in_AZ | June 7, 2010 10:49 PM | Report abuse

Alzner!!!

Posted by: gonchpup | June 7, 2010 10:50 PM | Report abuse

gordon with a re-direct off of an alzner shot 6-3 bears

Posted by: Capt_Kirk_in_AZ | June 7, 2010 10:50 PM | Report abuse

gonchpup - I meant Andrew Gordon, sorry. I didn't say first names. But I agree with you about Boyd Gordon.

Posted by: timmyv38 | June 7, 2010 10:53 PM | Report abuse

They are in that Stars goalie's head big time.

Posted by: wtf_e_fehr | June 7, 2010 10:54 PM | Report abuse

Wow, that's makes 5 straight goals for the Bears.

Posted by: Terptwin | June 7, 2010 10:55 PM | Report abuse

The Bears should have found a way to win game 2. They had the much better play than the Stars and definitely showed more depth. Their PK was great. Half the Bears forwards show NHL potential as opposed to just a few on the Stars (my opinion...).

Posted by: gonchpup | June 7, 2010 10:56 PM | Report abuse

@Walle

Are you aware of the tremendous value E. Johnson is worth? He's not going anywhere anyway.

Posted by: richmondphil | June 7, 2010 11:00 PM | Report abuse

richmondphil, is there something I'm missing with Erik Johnson? I don't see the Blues play much, so I haven't seen him. But his numbers don't seem to be that good.

Posted by: timmyv38 | June 7, 2010 11:02 PM | Report abuse

this is a the kind of game that can totally change the complexion of this series.

That goalie might not bounce back from this.

Posted by: wtf_e_fehr | June 7, 2010 11:02 PM | Report abuse

bears have to kill a :09 penalty to close this one out

Posted by: Capt_Kirk_in_AZ | June 7, 2010 11:08 PM | Report abuse

Good win by the Bears. Though 8.5 played well hope he make the Caps roster next season.

Posted by: instinct227 | June 7, 2010 11:11 PM | Report abuse

tess2201 thanks. With school I don't get to go to any Bears games during the regular season but I do follow how they are going so other then stats I don't know how players actually play. I went to game 2 in the last series and game one in this series and Pinizzotto impressed me in those two games and tonight. Gordon has looked good but he has not done much when he has been called up the few times and Perreault I really liked when he comes up to the Caps.

Posted by: icehammer97 | June 7, 2010 11:13 PM | Report abuse

MP was good when he was with the Caps, although a bit streaky - but that's not a surprise with a rookie. He did quite well. Gordon I haven't really seen - I think a couple times in preseason, but that was it. One Bear who I think could be a good 3rd/4th liner for the Caps would be Bourque - he's high-energy, plays a fairly physical game, and is good at causing chaos with the other team.

Posted by: timmyv38 | June 7, 2010 11:21 PM | Report abuse

richmondphil, is there something I'm missing with Erik Johnson? I don't see the Blues play much, so I haven't seen him. But his numbers don't seem to be that good.

Posted by: timmyv38 | June 7, 2010 11:02 PM |

Erik Johnson is really good. He was a #1 overall draft pick. Great in his own zone, physical, and has a very good shot and pass.

Blues aren't trading him, which is the real reason any trade proposals involving him don't make too much sense.

Posted by: richmondphil | June 7, 2010 11:32 PM | Report abuse

Ah... ok. Saw his numbers, and I didn't understand the big deal - 10 G, 29 A, +1. But he seems to take a lot of penalties - 79 PIM. How much of his poor numbers is due to him being on the Blues?

Posted by: timmyv38 | June 7, 2010 11:35 PM | Report abuse

Basically, he's a franchise defender someday. Someone we don't really need to go for.

Roman Polak, Barrett Jackman, or Mike Weaver, three other Blue defenders, are more likely targets.

Posted by: richmondphil | June 7, 2010 11:36 PM | Report abuse

Just saw - 6 of Johnson's 10 goals were PP. Not bad.

Posted by: timmyv38 | June 7, 2010 11:37 PM | Report abuse

I think I remember hearing Polak and Jackman being talked about at the trade deadline. Are either of them really worth it, with some od the dmen available?

Posted by: timmyv38 | June 7, 2010 11:39 PM | Report abuse

Ah... ok. Saw his numbers, and I didn't understand the big deal - 10 G, 29 A, +1. But he seems to take a lot of penalties - 79 PIM. How much of his poor numbers is due to him being on the Blues?

Posted by: timmyv38 | June 7, 2010 11:35 PM |

The real problem with him has been that knee injury. But he's truly a franchise defender.

If he were on the Caps, I bet he would put up similar numbers to Mike Green given the same ice-time. And he can defend better.

Posted by: richmondphil | June 7, 2010 11:42 PM | Report abuse

So, lots of talent, bad team? And when I looked back over his PIM, it wasn't really that bad - 15 in one game, 64 in the other 78 games. That's about ShaMo range in PIM. I'd love to see him play more - don't get to see nerly enough NHL games.

And the knee injury - is that why he didn't play in 2008-9?

Posted by: timmyv38 | June 7, 2010 11:44 PM | Report abuse

I think I remember hearing Polak and Jackman being talked about at the trade deadline. Are either of them really worth it, with some od the dmen available?

Posted by: timmyv38 | June 7, 2010 11:39 PM |

Probably not, but I beleive Weaver is a pending UFA and could be had for cheap if he doesn't re-sign with the Blues. He's physical...sort of like a more skilled Erskine. He can actually skate decent. Doesn't provide any offense though.

Posted by: richmondphil | June 7, 2010 11:46 PM | Report abuse

Sounds like the type of dman the Caps could use. They don't exactly need offense from their dmen - although a bit more from Poti and Carlson would help.

Posted by: timmyv38 | June 7, 2010 11:52 PM | Report abuse

I'm not so sure if Weaver is much of an upgrade though, myself. Maybe if ShaMo doesn't get re-signed, he can be looked at to replace him. They're about the same ilk.

Posted by: richmondphil | June 7, 2010 11:52 PM | Report abuse

Interesting article about making offers to RFAs. Their take on Schultz makes me start to believe even more that some people on this board are too hard on the guy.

http://www.coppernblue.com/2010/6/7/1481228/cashing-in-on-dual-offer-sheets#storyjump

Posted by: sgm3 | June 8, 2010 1:15 AM | Report abuse

Sorry, i live in europe, hence why i couldn't answer, had to sleep (it was close to 4 a.m.).

I know that Eric Johnson probably isn't going to be traded, but one can dream can they. I read that the Blues aren't 100 % commited to signing him longterm yet, thats why i got my hopes up a little.

But my point was to acquire a dependable D and a gritty winger with some scoring touch for Semin. We have picks (that we dont really need right now) and surplus players to make a deal like that.

And i like to think that I was a part of the Koivu-rumor starting to circle.

Posted by: Walle | June 8, 2010 5:43 AM | Report abuse

I was screaming for Koivu all the way back to the trade deadline and am still on board for bringing him in. The day after the playoffs so rudely ended I suggested signing him this coming year as a stop gap to the kids in Hershey and was berated by a few posters due to Saku's age. Sign him to a two year deal, he has at least two more years in the tank!

Posted by: PhilR | June 8, 2010 7:23 AM | Report abuse

I'd love to know the ratings on CSN for the game last night. Is this something that's public information?

I'm not a lawyer- but I sometimes play one in real life.

Posted by: Fro_ | June 8, 2010 8:29 AM | Report abuse

That article that sgm3 posted shows how important it is that the Caps re-sign both Schultz and Fehr before July 1. Both are valuable to the organization due to how well they fit in key positions.

Posted by: timmyv38 | June 8, 2010 9:35 AM | Report abuse

One more Semin scenario:

Semin
Flash to Edmonton

Whitney
Penner to Washington

Then we still go sign Lombardi to play 2C.

OV/Backs/Knuble
Penner/Lombardi/Fehr
Laich/MP or MJ/Chimera
Bradley/Steckel/Hershey Bear

Green/Schultz
Whitney/Alzner
Carlson/Poti

If we want to revamp one other position, we trade a young goalie.

Penner is huge, and a 30 goal scorer. When you consider Flash needs to resigned, this ia almost cap neutral.

Posted by: underpants2 | June 8, 2010 9:49 AM | Report abuse

If we could get that trade to go, that would work for me. Even if Lombardi was changed for another center, that line still has a lot of potential. And while Whitney might not have been what most people were looking for in a dman, I would view him as an upgrade.

The pair of them are due to make $8.25M next season, so the cap hit isn't that much.

Posted by: timmyv38 | June 8, 2010 9:58 AM | Report abuse

What are their contract situations? Length and cap hit.

I'm not the biggest fan of Whitney. I think he is a good player but is overpaid.

I don't know enough about Penner.

Without knowing too much about Edmonton my guess is that they are trading for young guys and prospects in their massive rebuild. I'd be surprised if they were a player with Semin.

Posted by: sgm3 | June 8, 2010 10:13 AM | Report abuse

sgm3 - Penner, 2 more years at $4.25M/yr. Whitney - 3 more years at $4M/yr.

I have not seen Penner play much (he's only been on the Ducks and Oilers) but he's put up pretty solid numbers - generally, 25-30 goals, 60 or less PIM, has missed very few games.

Posted by: timmyv38 | June 8, 2010 10:21 AM | Report abuse

Honestly, I don't think that trade would work, simply because it doesn't seem like Edmonton is getting enough out of it. I think the only teams that would trade for Semin would be either ones where getting him would be enough to make them into serious contenders, or current contenders who need more goals. He quite possibly would only be wherever he gets traded for next season.

Posted by: timmyv38 | June 8, 2010 10:36 AM | Report abuse

sgm3: I have been saying for months (and been getting laughed at) that Schultz, Flash and Fehr could all receive offer sheets up to $3M. The comp is only a #2, the cap is rising and some teams have the money. I can easily see a team offering Fehr $2.5M for like 4 years and hoping he does as expected and becomes a regular 25 goal scorer (if given regular minutes). Schultz, too, is surely an adequate #2 defender and the price is not out of line for him. And Flash, as much as we all want to trade him, could actually be the #1 LW on some teams.

Posted by: tominsocal1 | June 8, 2010 10:48 AM | Report abuse

@timmyv38:

I am of the opinion that A Gordon gets a full time gig in DC next year. His ELC is up (as is Bourque and a few others) and there's no way GMGM does not resign him... and I think he'll stick with the caps this year... as will Bourque...

and yes, I know, 2 non-UFA have to open up... one is Flash, the other is Steckel or Gordon...

Lineup could very easily be something like this:

2010-11 WASHINGTON CAPITALS
CAPGEEK.COM CAP CALCULATOR

FORWARDS
1-Alexander Ovechkin ($9.538m) / Nicklas Backstrom ($6.700m) / Mike Knuble ($2.800m)
2-Brooks Laich ($2.067m) / * Lombardi/Belanger/etc ($2.250m) / Alexander Semin ($6.000m)
3-Jason Chimera ($1.875m) / Mathieu Perreault ($0.717m) / * Eric Fehr ($2.000m)
Matt Bradley ($1.000m) / * Boyd Gordon ($0.900m) / * Andrew Gordon ($0.667m)
Scratch: * Chris Bourque ($0.635m)

DEFENSEMEN
1-Mike Green ($5.250m) / * Jeff Schultz ($2.300m)
2-Tom Poti ($3.500m) / * Pavel Kubina ($4.400m)
3-Karl Alzner ($1.675m) / John Carlson ($0.846m)
Scratch: John Erskine ($1.250m) / Tyler Sloan ($0.700m)

GOALTENDERS
Simeon Varlamov ($0.822m) / Michal Neuvirth ($0.822m)

CAPGEEK.COM TOTALS
(no bonus cushion is used in these calculations)
ROSTER: 23
CAP:$58.8m
PAYROLL: $58.713m
CAP ROOM: $0.087m

Thoughts?

Posted by: FrankM73 | June 8, 2010 10:55 AM | Report abuse

I would have two main changes. First, drop Kubina. Second, trade Semin for a #1 dman. If those were to happen, Bourque could be used on the 3rd - he's the right kind of player. Or, a 3rd line winger could be gotten through free agency.

Posted by: timmyv38 | June 8, 2010 11:01 AM | Report abuse

regarding players on the Blackhawks that might be had, I'd be more inclined to go after David Bolland @ 3,375,000 for 4 more years.

he's having a good playoffs, has recovered fromo back surgery, and could be a good move...

something like Bourque, Erskine and either a pick or Bouchard for Bolland and Sopel

that works in getting us a 2nd line center, upgrades the 6th D position...

thoughts? maybe too much salary coming back? even value for the Hawks position? or no?

Posted by: FrankM73 | June 8, 2010 11:25 AM | Report abuse

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