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Draft details

Since more than a few of you have inquired about June's draft and where the Caps will be selecting, here are the details:

The Caps have six picks, beginning with the 26th overall selection. After that, they've got picks in the third, fourth, fifth (two) and sixth.

The second fifth round pick was acquired from Phoenix in exchange for Sami Lepisto, who has become a regular on the Coyotes' blue line and ranked second on the team in plus minus (plus-14) this season.

Washington's second and seventh round picks were traded for Eric Belanger and Scott Walker, respectively.

The six picks, by the way, will be the Caps' fewest since 2003.

By Tarik El-Bashir  |  May 5, 2010; 7:48 AM ET
 
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Comments

It's time to "make it work".

Posted by: seraphina2 | May 5, 2010 8:20 AM | Report abuse

I posted on the Caps message board about Jarred Tinordi. If he's still there at #26, my guess is that he'll be taken. He's got the size GMGM likes, the system has a need for a defenseman like him, and he's a former Little Cap. Tinordi is ranked in the 25 to 40 area.

Posted by: thomas20 | May 5, 2010 8:39 AM | Report abuse

our system is so so so stocked right now that we are playing NHL caliber guys in hershey...if there was ever a time to consider trading a pick and a prospect (mid level) for someone who could help us now...i'd say doooooo it, doooo it now!!!

Posted by: carsonspence | May 5, 2010 9:02 AM | Report abuse

thomas20, any relation to Mark Tinordi?

Posted by: timmyv38 | May 5, 2010 9:35 AM | Report abuse

thomas20 - never mind, I just read an article on him. Mark Tinordi's son, and he's bigger than his dad. And in the U-18 tournament, he wasn't on ice for a single goal against - impressive. Seems like he needs to bulk up a bit before he gets into the NHL though.

Posted by: timmyv38 | May 5, 2010 9:41 AM | Report abuse

Should have never traded away Lepisto. The guy has become an NHL regular and is a way better option that Tyler Sloan. Stupid move, Phoenix robbed that Caps with that trade.

Posted by: madflava | May 5, 2010 9:44 AM | Report abuse

Jarred Tinordi is Mark's son.

Posted by: cadlecreek1 | May 5, 2010 9:44 AM | Report abuse

Re Lepisto, I don't think 1 goal and 11 assists in 66 games is anything to lust over (http://www.sbnation.com/nhl/players/54353/Sami_Lepisto).

He may be a regular there, but he looked quite lost in his few games with the Caps. Maybe he deserved more patience in Hershey, but it's doubtful he would've pushed the regulars for playing time here in DC. Besides, fans here are always whining we have too many "puck-moving defensemen."

Posted by: blackjack65 | May 5, 2010 9:50 AM | Report abuse

The thing to do is package Semin, and the 26th pick to move into spots 3 or 4. Florida and Columbus both need offense, and their fans need a reason to keep coming to the rink. We need a another young D man (Folwer or Gundbranson) Both of these guys are NHL ready, we would save a ton of money on the cap. Let either of those teams work out an extension with Semin. Adding a player like that with Carlson, Alzner and Green give us a great top 4 defense. We no longer need Semin on this team, and he walks after next year.

Time for McPhee to do his job. Get creative. He has a ton of assets (3 goalies, Semin, Flash, Della Rovere, etc...). The time is now. The 26th pick won't play in the NHL for 3 years if we are lucky. We need impact now, and going with the same group we went with this year would be the definition of insanity. I know I am going to catch hell for this, but we need to put more emphasis on the blueline, build back to front.

Posted by: underpants2 | May 5, 2010 10:09 AM | Report abuse

Mark Tinordi also has a son that plays forward who will be starting at RPI next year. That sons name is Matt, unbelievable hands, but was not blessed with size. Jarrod has Mark's height but he has a loooooong way to go to fill out the frame. He will be a freshman at Notre Dame this year so if he's drafted he will probably play 4 years and have a chance to fill out. Both Matt (through graduation) and Jarrod (his freshman year) used to play for Severna Park High School. Mark would show up to all of the games and I never saw him turn down someone asking for autographs, he was actually very nice about it. Should have asked for Jarrod's autograph too I guess. He would always stand there while his pop signed autographs, very polite, and never acted like he was annoyed that he was being stopped again because of his Dad.

Matt and Jarrod also played for the Washington Junior Nationals and Mark coached.

http://www.thescoutingreport.org/usntdp-u18-2010-draft-prospects/

"Tinordi has all the intangibles that would excite any scout. He’s huge and has great leadership abilities as he is wearing the “C”. Tinordi also seemed aware on the ice and has good hockey sense….defensively. Offensively, Tinordi struggled on the point as well. In addition to the blocked shots, Tinordi clearly does not have the agility that his fellow defenseman have. Tinordi is an awkward skater without good balance and footwork. He will need to improve upon his skating and puck skills when he’s at Notre Dame. He’s clearly a project that if he works out, will be a force on an NHL blueline. There is just a lot of work to be done."

Posted by: fanohock1 | May 5, 2010 10:16 AM | Report abuse

IMO Semin will become less streaky if the Capitals can get ahold of a true 2nd line center so Semin, already a proven 30+ annualy goal scorer, can have a line to call his own. It is very true that he did not perform in the playoffs in the Pens series last year and again this year. The two previous series', even against the very physical Flyers in 2008, he played very well. Think about it, during the playoffs this year, in a seven game series, Semin was centered by Flash, BMo, Belanger, and Backstrom. He needs a centerman.

Trading a someone capable of scoring 30-40 goals away to the likes of Florida is crazy, even for the #3 pick overall. At least Columbus would be in the West. My vote would still be no, but of course that's my opinion.

Posted by: fanohock1 | May 5, 2010 10:23 AM | Report abuse

Could the Johanson be that 2nd center? One of the things I hope the Caps learned this year, play the young guys all season and not worry about wining every single game. They are going to make mistakes, but that is how you learn and get better. That and not play anyone more than 20-22 minutes a game. There is no reason to play people 28-30 minutes a game in November and wear them out. When Green got two games off, he said he felt like he had new legs. Roll all 4 lines all game long, qualify for the playoffs and go from there. Also Look at San Jose this year, maybe they have figured it out finally after all of those early outs. Maybe the Caps can do the same next year.

Posted by: RichC3 | May 5, 2010 10:51 AM | Report abuse

Could the Johanson be that 2nd center? One of the things I hope the Caps learned this year, play the young guys all season and not worry about wining every single game. They are going to make mistakes, but that is how you learn and get better. That and not play anyone more than 20-22 minutes a game. There is no reason to play people 28-30 minutes a game in November and wear them out. When Green got two games off, he said he felt like he had new legs. Roll all 4 lines all game long, qualify for the playoffs and go from there. Also Look at San Jose this year, maybe they have figured it out finally after all of those early outs. Maybe the Caps can do the same next year.

Posted by: RichC3 | May 5, 2010 10:51 AM | Report abuse

One of the things I hope the Caps learned this year, play the young guys all season and not worry about wining every single game. They are going to make mistakes, but that is how you learn and get better. That and not play anyone more than 20-22 minutes a game. There is no reason to play people 28-30 minutes a game in November and wear them out. When Green got two games off, he said he felt like he had new legs. Roll all 4 lines all game long, qualify for the playoffs and go from there.

Posted by: RichC3 | May 5, 2010 10:51 AM | Report abuse

I agree that would be the best way to prepare the team for the playoffs but I don't think it's gonna happen anytime soon.

It took a very long time for BB to finally get his shot at being an NHL head coach so he doesn't exactly have the mindset or the job security of a coach like Scotty Bowman. so it's understandable that he wants to win every game no matter what the cost even if it may hurt the team in the post season.

when he realizes that he may not have the job much longer unless the team has playoff success, then he might start preparing the team for the playoffs from October rather than in late March.

Posted by: joek443 | May 5, 2010 11:07 AM | Report abuse

IMO Semin will become less streaky if the Capitals can get ahold of a true 2nd line center so Semin, already a proven 30+ annualy goal scorer, can have a line to call his own. It is very true that he did not perform in the playoffs in the Pens series last year and again this year. The two previous series', even against the very physical Flyers in 2008, he played very well. Think about it, during the playoffs this year, in a seven game series, Semin was centered by Flash, BMo, Belanger, and Backstrom. He needs a centerman.

Trading a someone capable of scoring 30-40 goals away to the likes of Florida is crazy, even for the #3 pick overall. At least Columbus would be in the West. My vote would still be no, but of course that's my opinion.

Posted by: fanohock1 |

Understand your point. In my opinion, it's worth it. But I guess my greater point is that we need to use this offseason to reshape this team. We have a great nucleus (OV, Backs, Green, Laich, Carlson, Azler, Neuvy and Varly) These are the guys we build around, and use guys like Semin, Flash and Schultz to make these guys more effective. Semin hasn't scored a goal in the last 14 playoffs games. His time here needs to be done.


DO NOT bring back ANY of the UFA's.

Posted by: underpants2 | May 5, 2010 11:13 AM | Report abuse

@joek - good point about BB's mindset, in all likelihood.

If Tinordi's son struggled skating-wise at that level, no way he should go in the 1st-round. Even guys who excel at lower levels, if their skating speed doesn't jump out at you, usually struggle in the NHL, at least for awhile [Fehr, Steckel, Gordon, etc. all went in the first round, and none would justify 1st-round status]. Even JS, at #5 overall - that's a reach, as is Erskine in the 2nd.

Management and scouting in this organization seem to overvalue two things - Height and Geography - which simply don't matter. What matters is whether you can play, not if you're from Saskatchewan or can dunk a hockey puck.

Posted by: Timbo_1 | May 5, 2010 11:20 AM | Report abuse

from previous thread, to clarify a point about finding talent, relative drafting position:

@stop-it: The point wasn't that Zetterberg is better than Ovi, Malkin or Crosby [although he certainly outplayed Crosby in last year's finals, no question, as did Malkin] - those guys were all #1 overall draft picks [ok, Malkin went #2 overall IIRC] - Zetterberg didn't go until the 7th-round. That was the point - every single team in the league passed on the guy, at least 6 times!!

And while we're at it, Datsuk went in the 6th, Lidstrom in the 3rd, etc. How come successful franchises uncover these hidden gems from Europe or Russia [or New England or Minnesota!]in the later rounds, and we never seem to?

Posted by: Timbo_1 | May 5, 2010 11:28 AM | Report abuse

I just want to register my amazement at all the whining about the disallowed goal in game 7.

To me, it looked like Knuble clearly interfered with Halak by initiating contact with Halak in the crease just before the would-be goal occurred, and the Rulebook clearly dictates that the referee disallow the goal in that situation.

If you read the entire rule 69, it's pretty clear that what Knuble did is interference on the goaltender. For example, Rule 69 states:

"Goals should be disallowed only if: (1) an attacking player, either by his positioning or by contact, impairs the goalkeeper’s ability to move freely within his crease or defend his goal..."

Incidental contact is permitted outside the crease. But Knuble contacted Halak in the crease. There's no "intentional or deliberate" element involved inside the crease.

The question is whether Halak's ability to move freely within the crease was impaired. Since Knuble actually contacted Halak, inside the crease, you can't possibly argue that it wasn't interference on the goaltender.

In fact, contact with the goalie inside the crease is considered interference even if the goalie is the one who initiates it, according to Rule 69.3: "If a goalkeeper, in the act of establishing his position within his goal crease, initiates contact with an attacking player who is in the goal crease, and this results in an impairment of the goalkeeper’s ability to defend his goal, and a goal is scored, the goal will be disallowed."

Posted by: youaresquishy | May 5, 2010 11:33 AM | Report abuse

It's not about "Capitals should have won the series before game 7" or "Capitals should have scored more goals in game 7." Capitals are entitled to wait until the last second of game 7 to win any given series if necessary. Winning the series at any time is just as valuable as winning it at any other time. If the Capitals had truly had a goal taken away from them, that might have decided game 7, that would be an incredibly unjust thing that everyone should complain about, no matter how the series got to game 7 and no matter which team they are playing against. But that is not what happened.

The fact that the right call in possible goaltender interference situations is often not made, whether it's because referees sometimes lack guts to disallow goals, or because it's a situation where apparent goals are presumed goals unless the referee clearly sees interference on the goaltender (and by its very nature it is difficult for a referee to keep track of the puck as well as possible interference), or because of both, does not justify whining about it when the correct call is actually made. The rule is really complicated and difficult to enforce. That's why it was changed a few years back so that goals would always be disallowed when any attacking player was anywhere in the crease--that made things easier on the refs and the calls more consistent. People didn't like that rule and it was changed to a much more complicated one, and inconsistency should be expected. And obviously it makes no sense to take the position that goals should be disallowed unless the ref clearly sees that the goalie wasn't interfered with. So of course you're going to see the refs missing the goaltender interference call plenty.

You can complain about the rule, and certainly about how complicated it is and how likely it is to lead to inconsistency, but the call was 100% correct.

And if you've been here a while, you know I've been a heartbroken Capitals fan since 1976, and I'm one of the first to complain about bad calls that hurt my team. I am not here to say I do not like complaining about bad calls. But whether the refs have as a matter of fact been consistent about disallowing goals in similar situations in the recent past has nothing to do with whether the ref should have made this call in this situation. The Caps did get unlucky in that this ref on this particular occasion happened to see the interference clearly, but the call was correct.

Posted by: youaresquishy | May 5, 2010 11:35 AM | Report abuse

@you - As a lifelong player [since I was five, started skating at two] and Level 3 USA Hockey Ref, what really ticked me off - and, I think most Caps fans - is the total inconsistency of the calls. As a player, ref, coach, whatever - what you want from the refs is consistency - just do your best to call it evenly, for both sides. That is the fundamental thing USA Hockey teaches - be consistent, be fair, work hard. Of course refs make mistakes - players, coaches [and fans and GMs] do too - but just be consistent, hustle, and work hard.

Does anyone in their right mind really think most NHL refs would have made that call, in that situation, against The Chosen One? Of course not...

Posted by: Timbo_1 | May 5, 2010 11:47 AM | Report abuse

Management and scouting in this organization seem to overvalue two things - Height and Geography -

-Last name. There are so many guys in this organization that are (were) here because they are related to good players. Seabrook, Kronwall, Borque, Gustaffson are just a few I can think. So if Mark Tinordi's son is still around at #26, I'm betting that he will be a Cap.

Posted by: ablake70 | May 5, 2010 11:48 AM | Report abuse

No, I know. I won't mind if the guy goes in the later rounds, sure, take a chance on a big body from a hockey family that likes to hit. I guess. But - for fawk's sake - NOT in the first round!!

We've already got enough 1st-rounders in this org who can't keep up with the pace of play, thank you very much.

Posted by: Timbo_1 | May 5, 2010 11:59 AM | Report abuse

@carsonspence
I agree a 100 percent with you. The caps have so many guys in the minor leagues, that are pretty much ready to play in the nhl. It is time for the caps to make a trade for a veteran defensive defensmen in turn for a pick and a prospect.

Posted by: Thomas32 | May 5, 2010 12:09 PM | Report abuse

What I find most disturbing in the playoffs so far is the number of boarding calls with a varying degree of penalties but not one suspension. I guess it has to be Ov to get suspended.

Posted by: nimrodrsp | May 5, 2010 12:10 PM | Report abuse

Maybe the answer for the Caps is already in the system? Here are the WHL stats for Joel Broda, drafted in 5th round,144th overall. He's a 6' 203lbs center.

http://www.hockeydb.com/ihdb/stats/pdisplay.php?pid=80383

Cody Eakin is another one. He's 5'11" but needs to add some meat since he's only 179, but he's also only 19. He's another center that lit it up in the WHL. He's in Hershey now but I doubt he gets much of a crack at his natural center position during these playoffs. Not with Aucoin, Matty P, Pinizzotto, and Beagle playing so well. He was selected in the 3rd round.

By the way Matty P, I realize he's small, but most on here agree he's darn good, was picked up in the 6th round.

Other names from Caps history that were drafted late...Peter Bondra (8th round), Michal Pivonka (3rd round), Richard Zednick (10th round). I know they weren't under GMGM, but as fans, we have experienced some diamonds in the rough.

A long hard look at players the Caps have drafted in the last 3 years, deeper in the draft, actually seem to ooze potential. As someone else suggested, it may be time to find out what these youngsters bring. We have the depth to see what a center can do without jeopardizing our ability to accumulate enough points to qualify for the playoffs next year.

Posted by: fanohock1 | May 5, 2010 12:10 PM | Report abuse

Green-Schultz
Poti-Sloan
Carlson-Alzner
Erskine

Doesn't look like a Cup winning blueline to me. Carlson and Alzner haven't even played a full year in Washington, Sloan is an AHL lifer, Schultz is still developing and Green has shown he's not ready for the pressure.

The Caps are in the Cup window. Right now, this team could use Chara, not someone who could be Chara in 7-8 years. If I were making a trade, it would probably be Schultz/Alzner + for a veteran blueliner, preferably with a Cup.

Posted by: ablake70 | May 5, 2010 12:13 PM | Report abuse

What I find disturbing in the playoffs so far are the number of boarding calls with a varying degree of penalties but not one suspension. Talk about consistancy.

Posted by: nimrodrsp | May 5, 2010 12:13 PM | Report abuse

yawn.

Posted by: doughless | May 5, 2010 12:26 PM | Report abuse

@fanohock - good call on Bondra, Pivonka and Zednick - but as even you admit, they were all from previous management, not under GMGM. GMGM did, on the other hand, use first-round picks for Steckel, Fehr and Boyd Gordon. And I like Alzner, but as a #5 overall? When Peter Forsberg doesn't go until #6? Ditto for Erskine, great work ethic - but as a 2nd-rounder? When guys like Lidstrom don't go until the 3rd? And Datsyuk not until the 6th, Zetterberg until the 7th?

And I don't really care about guys who "lit it up" in Canadien juniors, especially lesser leagues like the WHL. They are simply not the predictor of future NHL success that they once might have been, with the expanded talent pool now available overseas and here in the U.S. What hidden gems has this regime uncovered, especially from overseas?

Posted by: Timbo_1 | May 5, 2010 12:26 PM | Report abuse

Caps need more than a blueliner

Posted by: doughless | May 5, 2010 12:27 PM | Report abuse

Caps need more than a blueliner.

Posted by: doughless | May 5, 2010 12:28 PM | Report abuse

@ablake70 - I'd make that trade in a heartbeat. Other than when the pairing of Poti-Carlson was together, our D struggled - against not exactly an offensive juggernaut.

Posted by: Timbo_1 | May 5, 2010 12:32 PM | Report abuse

If you guys could have ANY D man in the league, who would it be?

Just curious.

Posted by: Jordan_Kitts | May 5, 2010 12:34 PM | Report abuse

@doughless - true, but that's a good start.

Posted by: Timbo_1 | May 5, 2010 12:34 PM | Report abuse

Oh, here are Cody Eakin's numbers.

http://www.hockeydb.com/ihdb/stats/pdisplay.php?pid=99396

The WHL has proven recently to be a very good league producing a lot of NHL ready players.

Posted by: fanohock1 | May 5, 2010 12:35 PM | Report abuse

@Jordan - do you mean around which to build a franchise? Or do you mean right now, the best all-around d-man in the league? Because those are two different answers, in my mind.

Posted by: Timbo_1 | May 5, 2010 12:37 PM | Report abuse

Zach Bogosian

Posted by: joek443 | May 5, 2010 12:40 PM | Report abuse

@ Timbo - The best all-around D man right now. Someone who will solidify our blueline.

I think Carlson-Alzner-Green are three guys we can build around.

Posted by: Jordan_Kitts | May 5, 2010 12:41 PM | Report abuse

@ Jordan_Kitts

I'd take Lidstrom. At this point, the Caps need a leader/mentor more than stats.

Posted by: ablake70 | May 5, 2010 12:42 PM | Report abuse

I agree that consistency in officiating is a good thing.

I do not particularly like the goaltender interference rule as it is currently written because it seems incredibly likely to lead to inconsistency. I preferred it when goals were disallowed whenever an attacking player was anywhere in the crease no matter what--that made things consistent. But lots of other folks said they didn't like it that way, and here we are.

It's hard to watch the puck, whether it goes in the net or not, whether it gets covered by the goalie or not, while simultaneously looking for interference on the goaltender and analyzing what you've seen through the very complicated rules for goaltender interference. You've got to expect refs to fail to clearly see lots of instances of goaltender interference during goals, and if they fail to clearly see it they can't call it, and I don't think it's fair to complain about the refs on occasions when they happen to clearly see it. I do think it's fair to complain about the rule itself, but it applied to both teams during the playoffs, and I think the Capitals were justly treated by the refs.

The issue isn't so much whether the interference is flagrant enough to justify a call given how it's been called in the past--the issue is about whether it's flagrant enough to get noticed and clearly seen. The rule has no kind of flagrancy requirement when it comes to actually contacting the goalie in the crease. Often, things which really ought to be called under the rule as it is currently written just aren't going to be clearly seen because they aren't flagrant enough. But that doesn't mean that refs should pretend they don't see it when they actually do happen to see it.

I also counted at least three penalty calls during the series on Montreal that, to me, seemed like total gifts, phantom calls, whatever you want to call it. Refs missed a couple things both ways, but all in all, I think the officiating favored the Capitals in this series. The Capitals did better while at even strength than they did on the power play, and that was really the story of the series.

Posted by: youaresquishy | May 5, 2010 12:45 PM | Report abuse

The WHL is not a lesser league, it has produced a lot of players in the last few years that have performed well at the NHL level in very short order.

Atlanta Thrasher- Evander Kane
Toronto Maple Leafs - Luke Schenn
Buffalo Sabres - Tyler Myers
Buffalo Sabres - Tyler Ennis
Phoenix Coyotes - Peter Mueller (now in Colorado)
Vancouver Canucks - Michael Grabner
Boston Bruins - Milan Lucic

Posted by: fanohock1 | May 5, 2010 12:51 PM | Report abuse

as far as the dream Dman, we need someone who blocks shots and hits more than the incumbents:

2nd Bogosian. Seidenberg? Volchenkov?

Posted by: mcintire_will | May 5, 2010 12:53 PM | Report abuse

there's not many 18-year old rookies making his NHL debut who would get into a fight with guys like Brashear as Bogosian did.

the Caps have d-men who are skilled and who are tough but they don't have anyone who is both tough and skilled.

Posted by: joek443 | May 5, 2010 12:54 PM | Report abuse

The names the caps took in the late rounds were taken late for a reason at least with Pivonka. He was behind the iron curtain at the time and had to sneak out, not sure the exact dates of Bonzi and Zed

Posted by: RichC3 | May 5, 2010 12:58 PM | Report abuse

If you want to check out Joel Broda set up your DVR to record game 4 of the WHL championship series. Looks like it will be on at 2am on FSNW, Directv 687 at 2am.

Posted by: fanohock1 | May 5, 2010 12:59 PM | Report abuse

Caps need a 2nd line, 2-way center and/or a tough 2nd line winger to replace the Caps' 2 pansy boys.

Posted by: doughless | May 5, 2010 1:05 PM | Report abuse

i like BMo, but he is a third line center, at best. I think Belanger has locked that spot. Semin and Flash are pushovers and can't handle playoff hockey.

Posted by: doughless | May 5, 2010 1:08 PM | Report abuse

also, Brooks Laich for captain

Posted by: doughless | May 5, 2010 1:10 PM | Report abuse

Everything kind of points to Marcus Johansson being ready for the Caps next season too. Not sure if 2nd line center will be his right away, but he certainly can fill the 3rd of 4th line center role.

Here's a good breakdown on him from last month.

http://thehockeychronicles.wordpress.com/2010/04/06/better-know-a-prospect-marcus-johansson/

Posted by: fanohock1 | May 5, 2010 1:13 PM | Report abuse

It looks like the majority agrees that we need blue-line help, along with a second line centerman and a couple of tough wingers.
Well...the bet here is that GMGM will get a puck-moving defenseman, along with one or two slick, stick-handling goal scorers, who let's say...would rather 'shy away' from the physical aspect of the game.
And, BTW, let's not listen to any new player joining our team who says that the Caps 'play the wrong way'.

Posted by: scmonty1 | May 5, 2010 1:31 PM | Report abuse

Guys like Volchenkov and Kubina are good at their positions, but the Caps have a lot of young blueliners who still need to learn the game. They need someone who can help them improve their positioning, decision making, and call them out for slacking. That person has to be someone that the players and Bruce respects in order to be effective.

@ doughless

I agree that the team needs a two-way 2C.

I also agree that the Caps need to add grit, but I don't think Flash and Semin were the problem. Outside of Ovi, Erskine (press box), Walker (press box until game 7, probably gone), ShaMo, and Jurcina (press box, probably gone) who else on the roster is feared by other teams?

Posted by: ablake70 | May 5, 2010 1:36 PM | Report abuse

hopefully we can draft a new GM

Posted by: cstanton1 | May 5, 2010 1:37 PM | Report abuse

@ Timbo re: late round picks. The Caps current leader in Goals and points is a man named Peter Bondra who was taken 156th overall. Yes Detroit has a few guys who went real late in the draft but I think that is more about their system and how guys like Zetterburg and Datsyuk came up and got to learn from Stevie Y and Feds. The Caps have great talent but it is all young. There are no top veterens to look up to. Yes there is Kunble and Poti to an extent but that is it. The Pens had Gonchar, Gill, Gurien (and before him Recchi) all of these guys had been around for a while but still be big parts of the team. Other then Knuble and Poti the Caps do not have that.

Posted by: icehammer97 | May 5, 2010 1:38 PM | Report abuse

I have no real complaints about the officiating in the Montreal series. It wasn't perfect, but it was far from the hosings that the Caps received in the Flyers series 2 years ago and the Pens series last year.

Posted by: zmega | May 5, 2010 1:45 PM | Report abuse

LOL! My Pens-fan co-worker just came into my office and declared that "Dan Bylsma is the greatest hockey coach in the world right now!"

Posted by: tess2201 | May 5, 2010 1:48 PM | Report abuse

Our next abrassive winger will probably be Stefan Della Rovere. Since he will be a role playing wing rather than a scoring line wing we may see him next year. He's chippy as heck considered borderline dirty. Probably a 4th line guy. He's pretty solid at 5'11" and about 200lbs. Definitely a cost savings option to let Walker walk this summer.

Posted by: fanohock1 | May 5, 2010 1:48 PM | Report abuse

draft steve yzerman. go get him, Ted!!

Posted by: doughless | May 5, 2010 1:50 PM | Report abuse

The only problem I had with the call on Knuble is that Gill saw that Knuble was going to cut behind him and in front of Halak. He backed into Knuble enough to guide him into Halak. That was of course visible from the replay behind the net on the side the Knuble and Gill were on. The official obviously could not see the contact because it was a very subtle move by Gill. There is not doubt that his big ol' rear end knocked Knuble into the paint.

Posted by: fanohock1 | May 5, 2010 1:59 PM | Report abuse

Brooks Laich for Captain? What has Laich ever done to warrant the position? Give a good interview? Change a women's tire? Speaks English as his 1st language?

Ovi lead the team in points, goals, and hits--regular and post season.

Laich had 9 hits, and 8 blocked shots this post season. By comparision, Flash, the "softest" member of the team, had 5 hits and 3 blocked shots in 1 less game. Brooks had 3 points and was -2 against the Canadiens and this was probably his best playoffs to date. The belief the Brooks Laich is a gritty, leader type is more myth than reality.

Posted by: ablake70 | May 5, 2010 2:09 PM | Report abuse

@Fano......Della Rovere very well could make the team, he is an element the team is missing. A young Matt Cooke(and we all liked him 2 years ago).

Posted by: RichC3 | May 5, 2010 2:11 PM | Report abuse

@tess2201

Unfortunately, we as Caps fans, really aren't in a position to be arguing with Pens fans about coaches/team/players. Bylsma came in mid-way through the year last year and brought them a cup. And the Pens are currently ahead in their 2nd round match up with the team that knocked us out- in the 1st round.

I know- it sickens me too.

Posted by: Fro_ | May 5, 2010 2:11 PM | Report abuse

@ice - yes we talked already about Bondra - but he was a product of previous management, not current. The question is, what hidden gems overseas has the current GM uncovered? I can't think of a single one. Maybe Orlov will turn out to be, but other than that...

Or American - we just won the WJC, and were the best [and youngest!] team throughout the 'Pics, start to finish - but other than Carlson at #27, I can't think of a single one. Steckel did NOT warrant 1st-round status. And how Carlson still being available was a total gift, obviously one I'm happy about but how could 26 other teams pass? Ridiculous. Repeat: geography does not matter! What matters is if a guy can play.

@fan - of course there are lots of W guys in the league, there's too many drafted not to be - but I'd wager that, outside of the Q, they also have the highest % of busts.

Posted by: Timbo_1 | May 5, 2010 2:15 PM | Report abuse

@doughless,

I understand what you are saying about Semin/Flash. I wonder if the Caps have plans to try to move Semin (for a proven player- possibly a d-man or 2nd line center) and give Fehr his well deserved shot on that 2nd line.

But who really knows what is going to happen this summer.

Posted by: Fro_ | May 5, 2010 2:15 PM | Report abuse

the quotes from Ovie since HIS team wiped out have demonstrated just out of touch with reality he is. he just expects everything to be turned over to him and the Caps. you know, other team should "give up" as Ovie said. he should spend more time focusing on improving his game and less buying a new Benz every week.

Posted by: doughless | May 5, 2010 2:16 PM | Report abuse

Caps should give Backie anything he wants and make that the PRIORITY. In Semin's twisted mind, i suspect he will be looking for similar money. if i'm Ted, I deal the guy. Caps can get plenty back in a trade deal (assuming GMGM is not looking for more Corvo types). Semin IS NOT worth Backstrom money to the Caps.

Posted by: doughless | May 5, 2010 2:19 PM | Report abuse

Doughless, I agree ovie needs to add some more moves, his game was stale after the olympic break and it is obvious people know how to defend it . . . he basically has chimchim's move, down the left side, but he actually has a killer shot. One thing you see from crosby is that he builds on each year. I know Ovie will be different next year. look out nhl.

Posted by: LettsDropThePuck | May 5, 2010 2:24 PM | Report abuse

I know that a lot of you like Matty P as I do. I just can't help but wonder if he is the answer as the 2nd line center. At the Junior and AHL level he was considered too small and proved everyone there wrong. At the NHL level he has been very effective but was only used as the 2nd line center for 1 game if memory serves. I rarely saw him lose puck battles and the only time he got his @$$ handed to him was when Armstrong took a run at him that earned Armstrong a suspension. He has put up good number getting 3rd to 4th line minutes.

Posted by: fanohock1 | May 5, 2010 2:24 PM | Report abuse

@ doughless

What is Ovi supposed to say? Everyone else screwed up, but my stat line is pretty good? He's the Captain! He's supposed to fall on his sword in the media to take the pressure off his teammates. To me, he's the only one that's displayed an ounce of leadership.

Posted by: ablake70 | May 5, 2010 2:24 PM | Report abuse

The only problem I had with the call on Knuble is that Gill saw that Knuble was going to cut behind him and in front of Halak. He backed into Knuble enough to guide him into Halak. That was of course visible from the replay behind the net on the side the Knuble and Gill were on. The official obviously could not see the contact because it was a very subtle move by Gill. There is not doubt that his big ol' rear end knocked Knuble into the paint.

Posted by: fanohock1 | May 5, 2010 1:59 PM |

fanochock1, OK, I think that is really the only viable argument.

The way it looked to me was that Knuble was trying to squeeze between an already-too-small-space between them. So, I didn't see it the way you saw it, but I could be wrong.

But, the part of Rule 69 that talks about that is: "If an attacking player has been pushed, shoved, or fouled by a defending player so as to cause him to come into contact with the goalkeeper, such contact will not be deemed contact initiated by the attacking player for purposes of this rule, provided the attacking player has made a reasonable effort to avoid such contact."

So if it was so subtle that it doesn't count as a "push" or a "shove" or a "foul" then even if you are correct on the facts it still wouldn't be enough for it not to have been interference. And then you'd still have to counter the argument that maybe Knuble didn't make a reasonable effort to avoid the contact. It's a pretty tough argument to make that there was no interference, given the wording of the rule, in my opinion, even if there was a subtle movement by the defender.

The way Knuble plays, y'know, you're going to get some goals disallowed. Bad time for that particular ref to happen to be really on top of his game.

Posted by: youaresquishy | May 5, 2010 2:28 PM | Report abuse

GMGM pulled off the Carlson deal at the draft. He wanted Carlson and was able to deal Eminger for Philly's pick and snag Carlson. You have to admit when GMGM has made some good moves too.

Posted by: fanohock1 | May 5, 2010 2:28 PM | Report abuse

Fehr as a top-6?! Yikes - that guy makes Knuble look quick by comparison. And Knuble at least crashes the net consistently. Yes, EF has terrific hands and big body [which he doesn't use enough btw] but he simply doesn't skate well enough to be a top-6 on an elite team. Going against other teams top-4 d-men [ie., not Corvo types], night in night out - whoa.

I realize he'll get every chance in the world because we threw away a first-rounder for him so BB will try to make his boss look good, but that guy is not a legit top 6 forward on a good team.

Posted by: Timbo_1 | May 5, 2010 2:30 PM | Report abuse

Everything kind of points to Marcus Johansson being ready for the Caps next season too. Not sure if 2nd line center will be his right away, but he certainly can fill the 3rd of 4th line center role.

Posted by: fanohock1

All signs point to Johansson staying in Sweden next season. In fact, if he does come over for the start of 2011, I believe he will not make the club right away. He's not a sure fire prospect.

Posted by: thomas20 | May 5, 2010 2:32 PM | Report abuse

leadership is commonly missing optional skates? leadership is acting like a basket case since the olympics when he should be squarely focused on the ultimate prize for any other NHL player? saying you wil Not change anything about your game? playing 2-way hockey??? look, Ovie is one of the best players in the world. it jus hasn't been on display much since the olympics. hopefully, while he is in russia this summer pissing some of his money away with trashy blonds, he will think about just how underwhelming he and the Caps were in the playoff.

Mike Knuble is a leader. I don't know much about Scott Walker, but some of his quotes from Tarik's interview struck me as something a leader would say. not so much from Ovie.

Posted by: doughless | May 5, 2010 2:32 PM | Report abuse

And, yeah, I apologize for being a little late about weighing in on the series. I was too depressed to really talk about it until now. I didn't want to completely not say anything though.

I'm still happy about the Presidents' Trophy, believe it or not, just as its own thing. It's hard to be better than all of the other teams over 82 games. It's easy to get a bad matchup or to face a hot goalie in the playoffs or to suddenly get into a funk (or choke) and lose any given series. Even so, rooting for the the best team and seeing them lose to the worst team in the playoffs is pretty depressing. So, I have mixed feelings--lots of happiness still mixed with lots of pain.

And I can't stop thinking about the Rangers in game #82 vs. the Flyers. It went to a damn shootout, and you'd think the Rangers would have the advantage with Lundqvist in net and stuff. If the Rangers had just won that shootout, Caps would've played the Rangers in round 1, Devils would've played the Canadiens, both the Caps and the Devils would probably have won, Capitals would probably be beating up on Boston right now, and everyone would be wondering whether the Capitals would get a rematch with the Penguins or a really interesting matchup against the Devils. That is what should've happened. That stupid shootout result is mostly what I'm having trouble letting go of.

Posted by: youaresquishy | May 5, 2010 2:32 PM | Report abuse

i will be glad when the focus is less about Ovie and more about the team.

Posted by: doughless | May 5, 2010 2:33 PM | Report abuse

OK fair enough - Carlson was obviously a terrific move, never mind that we had the pick for Eminger which makes it all the better. You have a point, I will admit. But: how on earth did 26 other teams pass on Carlson, in the first place - how was he still available?

But you're right, at least we got him. (And I did acknowledge this upthread, btw).

Posted by: Timbo_1 | May 5, 2010 2:34 PM | Report abuse

@Timbo_1

Ya I didn't really think about his speed when I was writing that. I was thinking more with his limited ice time, he was still able to put up 21 goals along with 18 assists. And I realize that 39 points is a huge step down from Semin's 84. Perhaps working with a good conditioning/skating coach this off-season will help him out.

Or maybe that 3rd line is exactly where he wants to be- which I guess would be ok with me.

Posted by: Fro_ | May 5, 2010 2:44 PM | Report abuse

CHOKING DOGS!

Posted by: lylewimbledon | May 5, 2010 2:45 PM | Report abuse

@Jordan - sorry about delay, had to step away. Obviously he's not available but Lidstrom if we could get him because of what he could teach our younger D, just like Feds did for our young forwards.

As far as guys who might be available, maybe Seidenberg. He was terrific for Germany, always going against the other team's top line and did very well. When He got to the Bruins he instantly took a ton of pressure off Chara until he got hurt; Chara was limping along for a bit after the Pics I thought and Seidenberg really helped alleviate that. But B's management doesn't seem as xenophobic as when Harry Sinden ran the show, so they might wise up and hold onto Dennis.

Tough not to like Volchenkov, just concerned about what we'd have to give up in return. He hits like a freaking freight train, in addition to everything else he does well [underrated passer on the breakout, and skates well, quick feet.]

Just spitballing but I wonder if, with the hullaballo surrounding PK Subban if Markov
becomes available down the line. Very underrated defender IMO - he skates so well, he's very tough to beat one-on-one - and is terrific on the PP. Clearly we have Green already, but the Rangers won a Cup with Leetch and Zubov back there for a reason. And I wouldn't mind seeing Ovie on the half-wall a la Malkin, or even down low/ in the crease with those terrific hands and giant rear end blocking the goalie's vision.

Posted by: Timbo_1 | May 5, 2010 2:47 PM | Report abuse

That stupid shootout result is mostly what I'm having trouble letting go of.

Posted by: youaresquishy | May 5, 2010 2:32 PM

Ya I tried to dissect it all too. But really what it comes down to is that we were the best team in the league in the regular season. We were playing the 16th best team in the league.

Elite teams are supposed to be just that. And the Caps- for whatever reason- were not.

And it sucked. Big time.

Posted by: Fro_ | May 5, 2010 2:48 PM | Report abuse

I agree ovie needs to add some more moves, his game was stale after the olympic break and it is obvious people know how to defend it . . . he basically has chimchim's move, down the left side, but he actually has a killer shot. One thing you see from crosby is that he builds on each year. I know Ovie will be different next year. look out nhl.

Posted by: LettsDropThePuck | May 5, 2010 2:24 PM | Report abuse

Ovi doesn't need to add more moves, he needs LESS. He tries to do it himself too much as it is.

99 percent of all the goals scored in the playoffs come outta simple plays. you only see a couple of highlight type goals like the one he scored against the Rangers last year in the playoffs every year.

Posted by: joek443 | May 5, 2010 2:53 PM | Report abuse

@Fro_
I didn't argue with him. I just told him that I will wait to pass judgment on that when we see how this series turns out. He seemed to think that last night's game was a real gem for the Pens. I told him I thought it was an evenly played game that could just have easily gone to the Habs.

Posted by: tess2201 | May 5, 2010 2:54 PM | Report abuse

@Fro - I probably came off too harshly, still pretty upset about the way things ended - and I'd kill to have hands half as good as EF's, to be sure. It just seems that on teams that go deep, there's a big drop-off from their top 3-4 d-men to their #5&6.

But, what do I know, the Boston freaking Bruins are still playing, and after Chara and with Seidenberg hurt, their D isn't exactly Orr-Lidstrom-Leetch-Gonchar-Fetisov.

Posted by: Timbo_1 | May 5, 2010 2:57 PM | Report abuse

joek443,

right not necessarily moves, but how 'bout just dumping the puck across the blue line and setting up by the goal, instead of trying to cram across the line on your own. don't know if posting up by the goal is a new move, but it certainly would be an added dimension to his game. but dougless is right, there are plenty of other players on the team that need to add "dimensions" to their games. My fault for focusing on ovi. it's a team game.

Posted by: LettsDropThePuck | May 5, 2010 3:01 PM | Report abuse

Why do people keep bringing up Steckel as a bad first round pick?

Wasn't he drafted by the Kings & he signed with the Caps as a free agent?

Posted by: TwoBuckChuck | May 5, 2010 3:01 PM | Report abuse

what Ovi also needs to do is become a better player without the puck.

Posted by: joek443 | May 5, 2010 3:03 PM | Report abuse

@ LettsDropThePuck

exactly right, the whole team needs to learn to play a simpler game in the playoffs.

as they say in football, punting the ball away isn't the worst play. it is boring but sometimes it is the best play available.

if nothing is there, just dump it in and force them to make a mistake... don't try to beat 2 or 3 guys all by yourself and turn the puck over.

Posted by: joek443 | May 5, 2010 3:14 PM | Report abuse

The guy was a healthy scratch [4 games] in more games than he played [3] in the playoffs. He's never had a single season of more than 8 goals, or more than 11 assists - and that's as a center. He's a 3rd or 4th-liner - and 3rd is a reach. He doesn't have very good hands, or foot-speed. He is not overly physical. Those are not the attributes successful franchises typically draft for, or look to acquire via free agency - although the unsuccessful ones DO look for things like height, or geography - both largely irrelevant in hockey. If it was the Kings who drafted him, they're hardly the model I'd strive to emulate when building a long-term successful organization.

Posted by: Timbo_1 | May 5, 2010 3:26 PM | Report abuse

ok, I'm not trying to argue that he's not a fourth line player - I was just pointing out that the Caps didn't waste a first round pick to get him.

Posted by: TwoBuckChuck | May 5, 2010 3:39 PM | Report abuse

what Ovi also needs to do is become a better player without the puck.

Posted by: joek443 | May 5, 2010 3:03 PM | Report abuse

@joek

COULD NOT AGREE MORE

Posted by: doughless | May 5, 2010 3:41 PM | Report abuse

ah, Tarik is back! good to see it.

@fanohock - agreed, what Semin needs is a capable center. Maybe it's Flash, he showed signs this last year. He'll be one year stronger, maybe can work on faceoffs. Semin wasn't the cause of the collapse. Note no Malkin, Crosby goals against Italy, er, I mean Canadiens these past two games. Pittsburgh won because MAF > Varly.

Also, earlier in the year, scouts were touting Kirill Grabanov as a second coming of Ovechkin. Alas, he's such a diva he may drop all the way to our pick. I think we take him if he's there. You take the skill guys with the early picks, the grinders later.

There are several good sites for finding who the UFA's are this year. Anyone seeing anything worth taking? (We won't get Plekanic, but that would be nice...)

Posted by: RedLitYogi | May 5, 2010 4:04 PM | Report abuse

@ablake70 - I guarantee the day before and the day of game 7, BL was on the ice for practice...unlike our captain.

Posted by: capsfansince74 | May 5, 2010 4:07 PM | Report abuse

@fanohock1

I thought Knuble call good by ref. He tried to cheat in between Gill and Halak and it didn't work out for him.

@timbo Re: carlson

I think that year was a very good one for d-men so he was there late. Some people said he might've been a top 7 had he been in the prior year's draft...

Posted by: RedLitYogi | May 5, 2010 4:08 PM | Report abuse

@ RedlitYogi, who said .... "Note no Malkin, Crosby goals against Italy, er, I mean Canadiens these past two games. Pittsburgh won because MAF > Varly."


I'm guessing you haven't watched much of this series. For one thing, Malkin had the GWG last night. Secondly, MAF hasn't been better than Varly. MAF's save percentage has been below .900, and going into last night's game, he was 15th out of the 16 playoff starters. Also about MAF, he had nothing to do with the first Pens win. Pens scored 6 goals in game 1, and would have won even if you or I were in the net. ;o)

Jeff

Posted by: PensFan98 | May 5, 2010 4:24 PM | Report abuse

@Timbo_1

After reading your post about Fehr not being able to handle top 6 duties- I was reminded of a conversation I had with my roommate a while back.

I was frustrated that BB didn't give him more ice time. I was saying how great he was with the amount of time he had to work with. Then my roommate pointed out that maybe the reason he was doing so well was in fact, BECAUSE of the limited time.

So to your point- I'd say the 3rd line is probably where he fits in best.

Posted by: Fro_ | May 5, 2010 4:29 PM | Report abuse

@youaresquishy: thanks for weighing in on the disallowed goal. (it's really understandable that you didn't comment before now---we're all still a bit sick in the stomach about the abrupt end to the Caps' playoffs.) Your expansion on the rules helped me to understand the ruling better. Of course, the league is totally inconsistent on this call.

I might have been viewing the replay of the goal with my homer glasses on (and turned up to High), but it looked to me like the puck went sailing past Halak right at or a little tiny bit before Knuble made contact. And Halak had committed to the butterfly position to play that puck. I really don't think there was any inability to play the puck for Halak, but I do think he didn't see how high the puck was going---but that's because he was screened.

I punished myself and watched the MTL/PITT game last night. I'm still feeling queasy. MTL looked great in the first period and were shutting down PITT in a big way. Then during the 2nd period they didn't skate as hard. Malkin had a great shot (and I believe it was on the pp) in the third that finally went in. MTL couldn't come back and took the chance by pulling the goalie, so that's why it ended up 2 to 0. But I don't think PITT really "solved" MTL yet.

Posted by: dccitizen1 | May 5, 2010 4:30 PM | Report abuse

i like the idea of volchenkov but he does not seem to fit the caps "profile" of a puck moving defensemen. Hopefully that changes....

i would be intrigued by the idea of dealing semin to calgary for jerome iginla someone like that. he give us instant toughness on one of the top 2 lines and he can still score 30+ goals. he also gives some veteran leadership by a player who is/was more on the level of our top players as opposed to a lesser one.

Posted by: dzee | May 5, 2010 4:35 PM | Report abuse

posted on the Caps message board about Jarred Tinordi. If he's still there at #26, my guess is that he'll be taken. He's got the size GMGM likes, the system has a need for a defenseman like him, and he's a former Little Cap. Tinordi is ranked in the 25 to 40 area.

Posted by: thomas20 | May 5, 2010 8:39 AM |

Yeah, I mentioned this a few months back when some NHL.com writer picked him as the Caps #1 choice.

Iginla is the man.

Posted by: richmondphil | May 5, 2010 4:38 PM | Report abuse

Just spitballing but I wonder if, with the hullaballo surrounding PK Subban if Markov
becomes available down the line. Very underrated defender IMO - he skates so well, he's very tough to beat one-on-one - and is terrific on the PP. Clearly we have Green already, but the Rangers won a Cup with Leetch and Zubov back there for a reason.

Posted by: Timbo_1 | May 5, 2010 2:47 PM |

Markov makes a ton of money and isn't underrated by any stretch of the imagination. He's a very, very good defenseman, capable of playing in both ends.

I don't think signing someone like him would work with the salary cap situation we have, barring nay trades. (Poti, Nyls contract to deal with still..)

Posted by: richmondphil | May 5, 2010 4:44 PM | Report abuse

Please no, not in the first round: if Tinordi's son struggled skating-wise at that level, no way he should go in the 1st. Even guys who excel at lower levels, if their burst / acceleration doesn't jump out at you, they usually struggle in the NHL [Fehr, Steckel, Gordon, etc. all went in the first round, and none would currently justify 1st-round status]. Even JS, at #5 overall - that's a reach, as is Erskine in the 2nd.

Management and scouting in this current regime greatly overvalue two things - Height and Geography - which simply don't matter. What matters is whether you can play, not if you're from Saskatchewan or can dunk on your tip-toes.

And yes, Iginla is indeed a beast. He saved Crosby's and Canada's collective ass against Team USA. My concern would be Calgary's asking price - and that he needs to be with the right linemates, not saying it was his fault but he and Jokinen did jack together.

Posted by: Timbo_1 | May 5, 2010 4:58 PM | Report abuse

Underrated defensively, I was trying to say. And I realize the salary, but that's also why I think Markov maybe becomes available at some point.

Re: the cap - I have to believe that Nylander's situation gets resolved this time around...right?

Posted by: Timbo_1 | May 5, 2010 5:03 PM | Report abuse

@Timbo_1

Nylander no longer has a no movement clause and can be relegated to the minors with no salalry cap implications on the Caps. That's what's going to happen. I guess it is possible a team or two would be willing to deal a 7th round draft pick for him. But either way, he won't be a cap problem next year.

Iginla is the man an I would trade Semin for him in a second. Unfortunately, Calgary isn't that stupid.

Posted by: sgm3 | May 5, 2010 5:16 PM | Report abuse

@sgm - thanks for the clarification, I forgot the NMC went away. Problem solved, it sounds like.

Yeah, probably right about Calgary unfortunately, I've always liked Sutter [IIRC it was he who coined the term "Forsbergian"; classic] and that would be a bank heist. Iginla is 32 though. But I hadn't realized he was such a good playmaker, I always thought of him as purely a sniper [well, a pretty damn physical one, to be sure]. He transformed Kristian Huselius' NHL career - fawk, how about Marcus Johannsson together? Yeah I know, probably not gonna happen.

Posted by: Timbo_1 | May 5, 2010 5:41 PM | Report abuse

Re: Ovi's leadership

As reported on this blog, Knuble missed the optional skate before game 6 and Backstrom missed the optional skate before game 7. Also, BB was not on the ice for the optional skate before game 7, according to a fan that was at Kettler. OH, WHERE IS THE LEADERSHIP? LOL!

Last week, I was upset about players missing optional practices until I was corrected by some posters. The short version: Just because players are not on the ice for optional skate, doesn't mean they at home loafing. A player could have off ice workouts with trainers or have an appointment with coaches to go over video. Also, players could be kept off the ice to hide injuries from the press. So just because Ovi, or any other player, wasn't seen on the ice doesn't mean that he did not meet with the team.

I think Laich is a nice guy, but I cannot understand why people think he is a better leader than Ovi. Ovi is a guy who does the little things that are barely noticed. For instance, a fan reported that Ovi came down from the press box to check on Gregory Campbell after he took a Pothier slap shot to the eye. Ovi was out with an injury and wasn't even Captain yet, but he made sure the team's opponent knew the Caps are a classy organization. Of course, he didn't run to the nearest reporter to recap the story, so it must not be important.

Ovi's not perfect. There is a lot of room for improvement in his game and his leadership. But just because you know he drives a Benz and think Crosby has a bus pass, doesn't mean he shouldn't be Captain.

Anyway, it doesn't matter what we think. We are not in the locker room, though I do think it is telling the Laich has never gotten an "A". But don't let the truth get in the way of a good rant.

Posted by: ablake70 | May 5, 2010 6:12 PM | Report abuse

Also, Flash, Semin and Green were getting blasted by the press. Players were saying, "We didn't work hard enough," and the press turn it into "Teammates are pissed at Flash, Green, and Semin for not working hard enough". So Ovi tried to deflected the blame from his teammates to himself. Would you rather he'd publicly thrown those three under the bus too?

Posted by: ablake70 | May 5, 2010 6:17 PM | Report abuse

@ablake70 - I completely agree. As perhaps the greatest captain in team sports - [note to Tracee Hamiltion: that would be Mark Messier (with 6 cups, 2 without Gretzky), and not Stevie Y, big fat zero without Federov] has noted, "young captains make mistakes." Ovie's a good captain, and he'll only get better.

As for Laich, he gives a good interview, has the right birth certificate, seems like a very nice guy and clearly GMGM loves him, but I don't get why anyone would even consider making him captain over Ovechkin. Other than say, Don Cherry. But "Grapes" is an idiot, who had one year of moderate success - one - coaching in the big show [with a talented Bruins team, at that], did squadoosh after that, and totally cashed in.

Then again, you might want to be careful - I recently questioned whether BL truly was a legit top-6 forward on an elite team [given ie., Detroit, etc.], and got flamed pretty good for it, so fair warning.

Posted by: Timbo_1 | May 5, 2010 6:25 PM | Report abuse

I loved how Ovie did that. And those three were indeed getting blasted.

Posted by: Timbo_1 | May 5, 2010 6:28 PM | Report abuse


Iginla is the man an I would trade Semin for him in a second. Unfortunately, Calgary isn't that stupid.

Posted by: sgm3 | May 5, 2010 5:16 PM | Report abuse

********

Well Calgary has been stupid a lot lately and we know they probably think its time for a change of scenery for Iginla. I would expect they would want Eric Fehr plus Semin and an exchange of draft picks to get it right. Good thing is they would make the financials work for us if they took those two players off our books.

Remember Calgary is set in net and on the blueline - they need offense and those two players (Semin & Fehr) would give them that on 2 lines and a PP.

Its all speculation but there is so much pressure on Calgary to compete and Fehr played his junior hockey out there where he used to score 50 goals. Imagine if he scored them 40 goals it would look like a great deal. (for them long term)

Posted by: yesisaiditfirst | May 5, 2010 6:45 PM | Report abuse

@ Timbo_1

I remember the flame war over Laich a few weeks back. Being well liked can make people forget how bad he's been in the Caps 4 playoff series. Of course, three weeks ago, anyone who suggested the BB wasn't a great coach was flamed. How times have changed.

Posted by: ablake70 | May 5, 2010 6:46 PM | Report abuse

Best defenseman available.

- Ray

Posted by: rmcazz | May 5, 2010 6:48 PM | Report abuse

@ yesisaiditfirst

You don't want to pay a 26 year old LW/RW $6 million for one year, but you want to pay a 32 year old RW $7 million for the next 3 years? And send Fehr?

Posted by: ablake70 | May 5, 2010 7:08 PM | Report abuse

"I might have been viewing the replay of the goal with my homer glasses on (and turned up to High), but it looked to me like the puck went sailing past Halak right at or a little tiny bit before Knuble made contact. And Halak had committed to the butterfly position to play that puck. I really don't think there was any inability to play the puck for Halak, but I do think he didn't see how high the puck was going---but that's because he was screened."

Posted by: dccitizen1 | May 5, 2010 4:30 PM

@dccitizen1:

If your perceptions were in accord with reality, then there'd be a good argument that the ref made the wrong call.

I sucked it up and managed to stomach a re-view of it on YouTube here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-ECXS_jb5FA.

What actually happens is this:

(1) Knuble contacts Halak in the crease,

(2) just as Halak is attempting to butterfly and is prevented from doing so at the moment he wanted to because of Knuble's contact and presence in the crease

(3) just after which the puck goes in.

All of this happens within the space of, I dunno, maybe a tenth of a second or two. It is really only possible to see the order of things on slow mo, and even then you will probably have to stop it at various points. But it is clear.

I really think the best argument for why it was a bad call was that it all happened so fast that, as a matter of fact, the ref couldn't possibly have known what order all of this happened in, therefore couldn't have actually seen the interference happen before the puck went by, and therefore shouldn't have called it just because he didn't actually see it. Because you aren't supposed to call it if you don't actually see it. The presumption there is goal unless the interference is actually detected.

But the ref was right there, he had good position, he's a professional, and he is used to looking at and interpreting very quick things. The fact that he happened to get it right isn't conclusive evidence that he actually saw what he said he saw of course, but it is some evidence. I think he probably did see it all just about as well as I see it on slow mo.

And, I really can't even watch Pittsburgh right now. I know they're not really going to have a problem with the Canadiens. The other team I'm interested in, the Red Wings, is having their own issues. This postseason has not been fun.

Posted by: youaresquishy | May 5, 2010 7:17 PM | Report abuse

@ablake70 - I completely agree. As perhaps the greatest captain in team sports - [note to Tracee Hamiltion: that would be Mark Messier (with 6 cups, 2 without Gretzky), and not Stevie Y, big fat zero without Federov] has noted, "young captains make mistakes." Ovie's a good captain, and he'll only get better.

Posted by: Timbo_1 | May 5, 2010 6:25 PM | Report abuse

Alan May told a nice story about Messier on CSN last week, how he would physically threaten some of his teammates perform...

maybe that's what Ovi should start doing... instead of always saying it's his fault, he should start making threats to some of the guys on the team :)

Posted by: joek443 | May 5, 2010 7:26 PM | Report abuse

Thanks, youaresquishy, for taking the time to review that disallowed goal and for your analysis. I will officially let it go now.

Watching the rest of the playoffs is not fun--you're right. But it's like a train wreck that I just can't stop watching. Boy, to me, the Philly/Boston series is a snooze. I'm watching the playoffs mainly to get a sense of players on other teams so I can follow the blog discussions better.

Posted by: dccitizen1 | May 5, 2010 7:46 PM | Report abuse

@Timbo_1

After reading your post about Fehr not being able to handle top 6 duties- I was reminded of a conversation I had with my roommate a while back.

I was frustrated that BB didn't give him more ice time. I was saying how great he was with the amount of time he had to work with. Then my roommate pointed out that maybe the reason he was doing so well was in fact, BECAUSE of the limited time.

So to your point- I'd say the 3rd line is probably where he fits in best.

Posted by: Fro_ | May 5, 2010 4:29 PM |

And, I agree that Fehr is a great third-liner. Still, I'd like to see him tried on a second line. He is a little slow, obviously, but I suspect he'd do well nevertheless.

If you take all the NHL players who got 20 or more goals this year, and divide their goal by their minutes of actual ice time, Fehr had the 8th most goals-per-minute in the NHL this year. Of course some of that is because opponents were focusing their defensive talent on the Caps' top two lines. But some of that is because Fehr has finally arrived, put his injury issues behind him, and is damn good at putting the puck in the net one way or another.

But, y'know, on the other hand, you can't exactly argue that Fehr had a lot of help from incredibly great linemates. Knuble was actually #9 in the NHL in goals-per-minute (again amongst those who potted at least 20 total), and I suspect just about everyone thinks that was mainly because his linemates are incredible hockey players.

Semin was #5 on the list, by the way. And the dropoff from #5 to #6 on the list is pretty big--#5 Semin scored more than 10% more goals per minute than #6 Gaborik. Inconsistent he may be, but an incredibly great goal scorer just the same. I think he mainly just got unlucky in the playoffs.

Ovechkin was #1 this year, which wasn't the case even last year (last year he was actually only #4). Ovechkin scored more than 5% more goals per minute than #2 Stamkos this year, and 11% more goals per minute than #4 Crosby. Selanne was #3.

My complete list of goals as a function of ice time (I did it per 20 minutes of ice time actually just so that the numbers were somewhere in the ballpark of goals per game) is here, if you want it: http://spreadsheets.google.com/pub?key=tk0fKffNHDUFI1sncBDkiog&output=html

Posted by: youaresquishy | May 5, 2010 7:59 PM | Report abuse

And if you're interested in points, Semin finished at #6 in the league this year in points per minute. My points per 20 minutes (minimum 50 total points, so Fehr won't appear at all actually) list is here:

http://spreadsheets.google.com/pub?key=tfJ9TRYZrgRkBEftCXWrUxg&output=html

Posted by: youaresquishy | May 5, 2010 8:09 PM | Report abuse

@yesisaiditfirst & @ablake70

Fehr and Semin together are a bit too much to cough up for Iglina.

Iglina's a very good player with very good character, from what I understand. But just on the wrong side of 30 with a high salary.

While we have an excess of wingers, I don't think letting both Semin and Fehr go is a very good idea, much less in the same deal.

If any of our wingers are expendable, it's probably Flash. While I personally like Flash, he is the most logical one to go being as he's essentially a "skill" player we don't really have room for on the top line.

Posted by: CapsFan75 | May 5, 2010 8:23 PM | Report abuse

You don't want to pay a 26 year old LW/RW $6 million for one year, but you want to pay a 32 year old RW $7 million for the next 3 years? And send Fehr?


Posted by: ablake70 | May 5, 2010 7:08 PM | Report abuse

*****

Thats what I think Calgary would want to make a deal. Iginla definitely needs a scenery change.

As for Semin - I think he is topped out at what he is right now. He is not getting any better. I doubt he will do 40 goals again and if he takes as many penalties as he does his real value is not his points - its much less.

I always think teams should get rid of players like that while there is a market for them. By signing a one year deal he already has diminishing returns once the puck is dropped in October.

Fehr is still considered a blue chip performer. They already know he can play in NHL and he is getting better - not sure how much better. There is no way GMGM trades him because he wont give up value like that. So were not getting Iginla.

Posted by: yesisaiditfirst | May 5, 2010 8:30 PM | Report abuse

What were Semin's points per minute in the playoffs? Time for him to go. We need to save money. Trade him for someone young. A D and a Center. Maybe both.

Posted by: underpants2 | May 5, 2010 9:43 PM | Report abuse

@ablake70: I agree. There has never been any question in my mind that Ovie should be a captain, and has always been the de facto captain of the team.

The only reason I can thing of for the little put-downs of Ovie that have been creeping up since game #7, is that when people are frustrated they need to find something or someone to direct their anger at. I can't think of another player more loyal to his team and more self-sacrificing--let alone more beloved and respected--than Ovechkin.

Posted by: caraveli | May 5, 2010 9:45 PM | Report abuse

Glad to be talking about the future of the Caps. It is interesting that BL has not been given an "A" - never thought of that - he seems to be a really good guy and a solid Hockey player - even before the life affirming tire change - I suspect that he is in a locker room full good guys.

NOTE - Silly TENNISLylePERSON - stop with your stupid repeating single comment on every blog site - you bore me.

Posted by: Slammo | May 5, 2010 9:50 PM | Report abuse

@Slammo

I think Brooks L. may have gotten the A for alternate once. Personally, I'd rather see him get the A than Backstrom. Not to take away from Nick's leadership abilties but...

Posted by: CapsFan75 | May 5, 2010 10:01 PM | Report abuse

What were Semin's points per minute in the playoffs? Time for him to go. We need to save money. Trade him for someone young. A D and a Center. Maybe both.

Posted by: underpants2 | May 5, 2010 9:43 PM

Who were his linemates in the playoffs? Let's see... pretty much anyone. You don't trade the 2nd best goal scorer you have, who is also the best defensive forward, just because they couldn't get a decent line with him. You want to trade a forward, trade Flash. He doesn't have the scoring touch to be on the top 2 lines, the physicality to be on the 3rd or 4th, and he is horribly inconsistent.

Posted by: timmyv38 | May 5, 2010 10:24 PM | Report abuse

I hope we don't repeat the same mistake as with Anton "Sasha Pokuluk" Gustafson. The guy has flamed out - all but an official bust. No SEL team wants him. DRAFTING A GUY JUST BECAUSE HIS DADDY PLAYED FOR THE CAPS. Tinordi is in that same camp. He is not a first round pick by any expert's assessment. He could have been the Belanger pick, but that belongs to the Wild now.

Also, this idea that you trade a 40 goal scorer to move up the gambling table that is the NHL Draft is moronic. Cam Fowler is just a name, Semin is a precious asset - most GMs would give a left nut for a $6MM 40 goal sniper with the most lethal wrist shot in the NHL.

The guy who will be in our pick's territory will be Alexander Petrovic of the Red Deer Rebels of the WHL. He plays with a mean streak. The 2nd rder from last year Orlov is another one - mean streak D-man. I don't see us with 4 rookies back there next year (2 are a done deal with Carlson and Alzner)...but I think if we can convince (or have Ovechkin and Varly speak some mother tongue with this guy) Orlov to come over - I think he makes our roster.

Posted by: Political_Stratgst | May 5, 2010 10:43 PM | Report abuse

My vote for No.2 center Tomas Plekanec UFA

Posted by: sporttraveler | May 5, 2010 10:55 PM | Report abuse

My vote for No.2 center Tomas Plekanec UFA. Made 2.7 mill this season.

Posted by: sporttraveler | May 5, 2010 10:58 PM | Report abuse

@ CapsFan75

I don't think Iginla would be a good fit. At his age, he's not worth that kind of money to this team with Ovi's salary and all the raises that are due over the next three years.

@ yesisaiditfirst

It's not like Semin scored 12 goals last year and jumped to 40 this year. The guy has been hovering around the mid to upper 30s in goals his entire career. It is very likely that he will score 40+ a few more times. Along with being a goal scorer, he is also a great passer, good defensively, and money on the PK. Each year the guy has added a new element to his game, and you think he's maxed out on potential? If Iginla for Semin and Fehr doesn't happen, it's not GMGM values the guy who's 3rd lowest in ice time as a "blue chip prospect".

And please stop with the "he takes too many penalties" argument. Yes, he takes too many penalties, but the benefits outweigh the negatives. The reigning Conn Smythe winner managed to rack up 100 minor penalty minutes in 67 games. I guarantee that if the Pens decided to dump him, 29 other teams would "Nylander" half their roster to get him.

Posted by: ablake70 | May 5, 2010 11:14 PM | Report abuse

On the disallowed goal. I really wish the NHL would put a small screen in the penality box so the ref who actually made the call could actually review the play that way you could also review the "intent to blow the whistle" plays because he would know when he intended to blow the whiste. If the totally anal guys who run baseball can allow thier umps to actually review games then why can't the NHL. Then they could also review these type of plays (only when a goal is in question).

@ sporttraveler yes he only made that much this year but he is due for a big raise. Using last years salery isn't a good argument, because then you could argue we need to keep Backstrom because he made 2.1 million or whatever the exact number was. Tomas Plekanec is going to get at least $4 million and probably closer to $5 if he doesn't care where he goes. I think a guy like Koivu would be a decent cheaper option but who knows if he would sign with us.

On D-men I think the Caps could go after Marc-Andre Bergeron. He showed he could shut down guys against us and he will come at a much lower price then someone like Volchenkov.

Posted by: icehammer97 | May 5, 2010 11:39 PM | Report abuse

@ablake70

Read your argument on Iglina. His age and salary are exactly why I hesitate about acquiring him. I'll also admit I don't really particularly want to part with either Semin or Fehr.

Semin has improved a lot on defense in the last two years and is one of our better 2 way forwards.

Yes, this was a bad playoffs for him but it seemed more like he was shooting in bad luck as opposed to not trying.

Posted by: CapsFan75 | May 6, 2010 12:06 AM | Report abuse

The Caps have gone young..young...and younger, and with only 6 draft picks this year GM GM will be scared to trade any of them.

That said - one thing missing from the Caps forward core is a veteran leader that can talk to the media, play good hockey, and mentor the team.

If they ever acquired Iginla - regardless of his salary he would do just that. Plus he probably gets a swing in his play with the change in scenery and a real chance at a Cup.

I know that adding Luc Robitaille and Brett Hull to the Wings team in the early 2000s was just the boost they needed and they were already full of vets.

It comes down to knowing what you can get.

We sort of know what Iginla will bring.

We disagree on what the 26 yr old Semin can offer going forward. I think many players peak out at between 26-28...really how much better can he get provided he fix the flaws in his game?

I know this much...they will lose him anyway next summer perhaps for compensation if he is restricted because he will want a long secure deal based on his production in 2010. It will be an impossible pill for the Caps to pay and if he does repeat his 2009-10 stats he will cost more than Iginla or expect too long a contract and both are bad deals.

I love Eric Fehr....but I know that in the summer other teams will try to get him. That's why there will be no blockbuster trades involving the Caps. I am pretty sure not every other team wants Fleishmann - just because we wouldn't mind giving him up instead of Fehr is not the way the system works...teams are never that accommodating.

Posted by: yesisaiditfirst | May 6, 2010 5:24 AM | Report abuse

On D-men I think the Caps could go after Marc-Andre Bergeron. He showed he could shut down guys against us and he will come at a much lower price then someone like Volchenkov.

Posted by: icehammer97 | May 5, 2010 11:39 PM | Report abuse

I don't think Bergeron showed much of anything other than the fact that he could shoot the puck and most people knew that already.

the d-man who showed in the series that he could shut down the top guys was Josh Gorges.

Posted by: joek443 | May 6, 2010 7:39 AM | Report abuse

Who were his linemates in the playoffs? Let's see... pretty much anyone. You don't trade the 2nd best goal scorer you have, who is also the best defensive forward, just because they couldn't get a decent line with him. You want to trade a forward, trade Flash. He doesn't have the scoring touch to be on the top 2 lines, the physicality to be on the 3rd or 4th, and he is horribly inconsistent.

Posted by: timmyv38

Same linemates Semin played will all year. He was also present on all power plays, still nothing. If this team is to get better, Semin should not be a part of it. He should be looked at as a valuable commodity for the Caps. If McPhee can't see that, he is clearly in over his head.

Posted by: underpants2 | May 6, 2010 7:40 AM | Report abuse

Is is September yet?

Posted by: Rhino40 | May 6, 2010 8:30 AM | Report abuse

I watched "61*" on HBO last night, about the race between Roger Maris and Mickey Mantle to surpass Babe Ruth's single-season home-run record. One thought kept running through my mind the whole time as I saw how viciously Maris was abused by the fans, the baseball establishment, and the NY baseball press:

Please, please let us not be like Yankees' fans. Please let us not treat our Caps that way.

Posted by: Rhino40 | May 6, 2010 9:13 AM | Report abuse

Rhino40: I saw that movie a few years back. I remember that Maris was so stressed out he was losing hair. For fans of any sport to assume that players don't care and they are just in it for the money are just being rediculous. To also state that they are professionals and they should just get it done right, every time, without error, and without being nervous is a unrealistic expectation. As professionals in things other than sports we have all had our share of misteps and moments of being nervous. For anyone that says their boss fired them for making a mistake here and there I feel sorry for them, and they are probably better off not working for a boss that operates like that. We all learn from our mistakes and become veterans or experts in our field. Let's just hope that our young talent doesn't let the media and unforgiving fans make them decide to take their craft elsewhere.

Posted by: fanohock1 | May 6, 2010 9:45 AM | Report abuse

Please, no - Bergeron was in danger of being a healthy scratch until 2 of the Habs' best D [Markov and Spacek] both got hurt. He gets exposed by any forward who is remotely quick. MAB has a boomer of a slap-shot and...well, that's about it.

I was really pulling for the Canadiens to beat Pitt but once Markov went down, my hopes did as well - he makes that PP go, and for an offensive d-man he could certainly show another offensive d-man I'm thinking of a thing or two about play in your own zone...

Posted by: Timbo_1 | May 6, 2010 11:23 AM | Report abuse

@fanohock1: amen to that!

Posted by: Rhino40 | May 6, 2010 11:54 AM | Report abuse

I am confused by comments here that criticize GMGM and use of draft picks, etc. Steckle was drafted by LA, not Washington, and way late in the round, BTW. Erskine, a second rounder, was drafted by Dallas, also not Washington. How is George responsible for another team's selection?

Posted by: capitalize | May 6, 2010 5:37 PM | Report abuse

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