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'Gabby' set to chat Tuesday

Two things this morning, folks.

First, happy Mother's Day. Second, don't forget that Coach Bruce Boudreau will be online Tuesday morning at 10 a.m. to discuss the Caps' 2009-10 season and their first round elimination from the playoffs.

Click here to submit your questions.

By Tarik El-Bashir  |  May 9, 2010; 6:35 AM ET
 
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Comments

From a previous post:

@timmyv38

Fehr is a fine player. But when mcphee took him, he passed on Getzlaf, Perry, Kesler, and Mike Richards. Is Fehr better than any of them? If we are gonna talk about who went after Gordon, then you need to look at who went after Fehr.

As for Gordon, I hope the Caps let him walk. He and Steckle play the exact same role, both 4th line centers, and average penalty killers. You cannot pay them both.

Posted by: underpants2 | May 9, 2010 6:55 AM

I agree with you about Fehr - there were players taken after him who are better. However, he is just now starting to show how good he can be. At this point, he is the type of player the Caps need - a big body who is willing to go in front of the net, which I think will only improve the more he is around Knuble.

With Gordon, the Caps should keep him. He was 61.0% on faceoffs in the regular season (the season leader was only 60.6%)and 67.9% in the playoffs. Having both him and Steckel play on the 4th line would just make it that much better. Plus, it's not like either gets much of a salary - $725K for Gordon, $512K for Steckel. It's not very often you can get 60% faceoff guys for that little.

Posted by: timmyv38 | May 9, 2010 11:20 AM | Report abuse

@timmyv38

Well put about Fehr, Timmy. We acknowledge that Fehr is a late bloomer but at least he is blooming now.

It would not surprise me to see him get 30 goals this year. Given that he topped 20 after missing over a month due to injuries. He could be following Knuble type career path. (Knuble has been a better player after age 30.)

Posted by: CapsFan75 | May 9, 2010 11:30 AM | Report abuse

Fehr is a fine player. But when mcphee took him, he passed on Getzlaf, Perry, Kesler, and Mike Richards. Is Fehr better than any of them? If we are gonna talk about who went after Gordon, then you need to look at who went after Fehr.

Posted by: underpants2 | May 9, 2010 6:55 AM

it is easy to go back after 7 years and say how a later pick turned out better than the one gmgm took. gmgm was not the only one who passed on these guys. do you think any gm/scout knew how these players would turn out in 2003?
again, outside of the first 5-10 picks in the first round, there are no sure fire picks.
if you get selective on what picks were good/bad after the fact - i'm sure a case could be made that every gm is the worst.
gmgm has made some very good moves (and not just ovi) - he has also missed the mark his share of times too.

Posted by: Capt_Kirk_in_AZ | May 9, 2010 12:45 PM | Report abuse

Why on earth would we keep both Steckle and Gordon. They are the same player, neither is very good at anything other than faceoffs. Bradley is on the 4th line, Chimera should be there too.

We have gone about as far as we can with this line up. The Caps will have money under the cap, more if they move Semin. This line up needs revamping.

Move Semin, bring in an accomplished D. Then sign a second line center, like Lombardi, and another wing, like Holmstrom or Bertuzzi. Saving $6mm on Semin, giving Backstrom $7.5mm, will allow you to make these other moves.

This team has the stink of failure all over it. We have gone as far as we can with this team. We are in a good position, we will be spending about $2mm total for both our goalies. Free agents will want to play here because they will believe they have a legit chance at winning the cup. McPhee needs to work like his job depends on it, he has not shown that up until now.

Posted by: underpants2 | May 9, 2010 1:51 PM | Report abuse

Semin will be a UFA at the end of the year. Are they gonna want to move him during the season, at the deadline? Probably not. You cannot go into the regular season with him still on the roster. The Caps will not resign him, and you cannot let him walk for nothing. The draft is when you can get the most value for him.

Posted by: underpants2 | May 9, 2010 1:55 PM | Report abuse

There are only two changes that need to be made to the lineup - moving Semin is not one of them. We need a 2nd line center, and we need a dman who will clear the crease. There is plenty of cap space for doing that without moving Semin. Moving him is one of the stupidest possible moves - he is a great goal scorer and he plays very well on the PK. And just curious - why do you think the Caps won't re-sign Semin? He is one of their key players.

As for Gordon and Steckel, there is no reason not to keep both. Despite what you wrongly think, Gordon is very good defensively. And when it comes to the PK, the Caps weakest point, having two centers who can win faceoffs and will play defense is a huge plus.

Posted by: timmyv38 | May 9, 2010 2:18 PM | Report abuse

@timmyv38

I agree with basically everything you said.

However, the possible downside to keeping both Steckel and Gordon is cap space and available positions. If Gordon and Steckel are both 4th line centers then only 1 can play at a time. In the salary cap era it is hard to justify paying a guy who is the 13th player $1.5M/yr or more.

If there was no cap you would clearly keep both. But I think the Caps need to pick which one of the two is better and let the other go due to the cap.

One thing to conisder about Gordon is his back problems. When healthy he is a solid 4th line center, but he is hurt a lot. It would be riskier to keep Gordon because of this. When healthy I'd rather have Gordon over Steckel. But durability is an issu.e

Posted by: sgm3 | May 9, 2010 2:35 PM | Report abuse

sgm3, Gordon and Steckel together don't make $1.5M. And there is no reason they can't both play - each has shown they can play as a winger. However, depending on what offseason moves the Caps make, I can see letting one of them go. And I totally agree with your point at the end - I think Gordon has shown that he can play better, but he does miss quite a few games.

Posted by: timmyv38 | May 9, 2010 2:48 PM | Report abuse

@timmyv38 - they signed him to a one year extension last year. They could have locked him up long term, they chose not to. He has usggested he wants to go to ufa. Let another team try and negotiate with him this summer. Semin was terrible in the playoffs. The Caps just do not need his 40 goals.

You cannot pay all these guys: OV, Backs, Green, Semin big money. The cap just does not allow for it.

Caps extended Steckle last year, his number will be 1.1 moving forward. If you figure 1m for Gordon, that is over 2mm in dead weight. This team needs to cut bait with Gordon, he doesn't fit and has ZERO offensive upside.


Posted by: underpants2 | May 9, 2010 3:18 PM | Report abuse

underpants, did you watch the playoffs? Semin was far from terrible - he was one of the best Caps players. He led in shots, was a huge boost to the PK, and was backchecking constantly. The only reason he wasn't the NHL leader in goals the first round was because Halak made about a dozen highlight reel saves on him. And that was when Semin was getting no consistency at all from his line. Without him, the Caps are essentially a one-line team - they don't have any other consistent scorers other than Ovie and Backstrom.

With Gordon and Steckel - dead weight? Are you actually that ignorant? As well as faceoff and defensive expertise, each brings grit - something that any 4th line needs. And are you aware that Gordon, in his 36 games last year, had 4 goals? If he could keep that going for a whole season, you're talking 9 goals - which is good for a 4th liner who's main role is faceoffs and defense.

Posted by: timmyv38 | May 9, 2010 3:32 PM | Report abuse

@timmy38 - I agree with you about semin. I don't understand how anyone can say that we don't need a player with 40 goals. Thet is crazy. There a players with less than 40 goals that make big money. Keep Semin....if we didn't have him Ovechkin wouldn't get the production he has had during his career. Also, Semin isn't playing on a line with Backstrom. If he played on Backs line all year he would threaten Ovie for the team lead in goals.

Posted by: Caps4Life1 | May 9, 2010 4:06 PM | Report abuse

@timmyv38 - they signed him to a one year extension last year. They could have locked him up long term, they chose not to. He has usggested he wants to go to ufa. Let another team try and negotiate with him this summer. Semin was terrible in the playoffs. The Caps just do not need his 40 goals.

Posted by: underpants2 | May 9, 2010 3:18 PM | Report abuse

it wasn't their decision, it was Semin's decision to sign for just one more year. Also if he wanted to leave and go elsewhere he could have chosen to walk during this off-season. the fact that he didn't do that suggests to me that he wants to stay here.

IMO he and his agent chose to sign the one year extension because they think he'll have a bigger pay-day by NOT signing to a long extension at the same time as Backs.

Posted by: joek443 | May 9, 2010 4:34 PM | Report abuse

semin one our top players in the playoffs? what are u smoking pal?

Posted by: wendel2 | May 9, 2010 4:54 PM | Report abuse

When you lead the league in goals scored by 60 - was it? - replacing a 40 goal scorer with a 20 goal scorer and an accomplished D will more than make up for 40 goals.

The first big name to depart the Caps will be Semin - when and how is anybody's guess.

Posted by: Shiba-fussa | May 9, 2010 5:50 PM | Report abuse

@timmyv38 - neither Steckle nor Gordon bring any grit what so ever. Bradley brings grit. Steckle and Gordon bring the exact same thing, 4th line center. Our penalty kill languished near the bottom of the league.

@timmyv38 & joek443 As far as Semin goes, he was terrible during the playoffs. You can spin it any way you want, but he has no goals in the last 14 playoffs games. He was no where near our best player, in fact, he was one of the worst. Semin would have been an RFA, he could not have walked. You cannot give Semin $7mm plus, you will then have 4 guys make up over 50% of the cap. That is a recipe for disaster. Semin may want to stay here, but if this team is to win a cup, they are gonna need to make some hard choices. Otherwise, we are back here in a year. Semin's value to this team right now is in a trade. You two, as well as the Caps, need to be able to say goodbye.

Posted by: underpants2 | May 9, 2010 6:15 PM | Report abuse

@ timmyv38

The whole season will be about Semin and what the Caps are prepared to do with him. If he has a one year deal and we don't plan to keep him it must be known now. They will lose him after next season unless they are willing to pony up the coin. Really he is perfect trade deadline bait for whatever the need will be in March unless he plays poor and his value goes down.

As for Gordon....he might be one of those players they keep anyway. He gets injured anyway but he plays different than Steckel. More forechecking and creating turnovers - he has some of Bradley's game in him. I like having this type of guy on the fourth line and because they take faceoffs in D-zone. I think they should train him to be a PK specialist.

Of course someone else with more flash and dazzle will probably take his minutes and eventually his job come March - but that is just the coach's preferences. Every team needs a couple of Gordon types to give them energy shifts.

Posted by: yesisaiditfirst | May 9, 2010 7:11 PM | Report abuse

@ underpants2

I'm not opposed to trading Semin or anyone else on the team, Ovi is the only "untouchable" player on the team as far as I'm concerned.

yes, Semin stunk in the series but he wasn't the only one... Green stunk more than anyone else. Whatever Semin was doing obviously wasn't working but I wouldn't question his effort. I can't say the same about Green.

if you look at the Montreal/Pitt series, Crosby/Malkin ain't doing any better than Ovi/Semin. the difference is that Pitt doesn't mind playing the grinding 2-1 or 2-0 style of hockey in the playoffs. The Caps just aren't capable of playing that style which means if they can't score more than 2 goals in a game, they're basically doomed.

That's a more coaching/team problem rather than the fault of any individual player.

Posted by: joek443 | May 9, 2010 7:37 PM | Report abuse

underpants, did you watch the playoffs? Semin was far from terrible - he was one of the best Caps players. He led in shots, was a huge boost to the PK, and was backchecking constantly. The only reason he wasn't the NHL leader in goals the first round was because Halak made about a dozen highlight reel saves on him.

The reason Semin did not score is because his shots all were aimed at the Habs logo on Halak's chest. While not a disaster, Semin was not the player we needed him to be which is a sniper and sharp shooter.

Posted by: CTCapsPhan | May 10, 2010 9:51 AM | Report abuse

maybe someone will ask "Gabby" if he will insist on shuffling lines all season next year in lieu of having an actual set of alternate lines when adjustment is needed. also, someone should ask him if he knows how to spell the word D-E-F-E-N-S-E.

Posted by: doughless | May 10, 2010 10:34 AM | Report abuse

underpants, did you watch the playoffs? Semin was far from terrible - he was one of the best Caps players. He led in shots, was a huge boost to the PK, and was backchecking constantly

--------------

yaaawn. When did 2 games define a series? Semin plays hard for games 6 and 7, looks lost and unmotivated the majority of the rest of the series except for a play here and there, and suddenly he's "one of the best Caps players"

wow. Only here could expectations be lowered to such an extent that we're tripping over them. Go watch some of Detroit's skilled Euros. You'll see a more consistent 2way effort across the board. Semin should be ashamed of himself and his "effort". Some of our players "got it" and came to play from game 1. There weren't many but there were a few. The other players decided to show up later n the day. Too late though, the damage was done.

Posted by: cstanton1 | May 10, 2010 2:14 PM | Report abuse

maybe someone will ask "Gabby" if he will insist on shuffling lines all season next year in lieu of having an actual set of alternate lines when adjustment is needed. also, someone should ask him if he knows how to spell the word D-E-F-E-N-S-E.

Posted by: doughless | May 10, 2010 10:34 AM | Report abuse

i think shuffling lines is Gabby's least flaw. Shuffling lines can be beneficial if you want to get players used to playing with other players. All the good teams shuffle lines.

as to the d e f e n s e question. I doubt he'll even address it. You know, he gets all blustery when asked about his defense. And he'll point to his offense as the problem if anything considering the lack of goals towards the end.

Posted by: cstanton1 | May 10, 2010 2:17 PM | Report abuse

the difference is that Pitt doesn't mind playing the grinding 2-1 or 2-0 style of hockey in the playoffs. The Caps just aren't capable of playing that style which means if they can't score more than 2 goals in a game, they're basically doomed.

That's a more coaching/team problem rather than the fault of any individual player.

Posted by: joek443 | May 9, 2010 7:37 PM | Report abuse

talk about pulling an about-face. That very argument was made a few hundred times this season and you dismissed it as basically irrelevant.

Posted by: cstanton1 | May 10, 2010 2:33 PM | Report abuse

I'd let Gordo walk and Stecks watch from the press box. Here's my lines for next year

Ovie-Backstrom-Knuble
Semin-Laich-Holmstrom
Fehr-Belanger-Chimera
Boogard-Burish-Bradley

Also gone - B Morrison, Walker, Corvo, Lang, Flash (traded)

On D - Sign Volchenkov

Volchenkov, Green
Schultz, Carlson
Poti, Morrisonn

Extras - Alzner & Erskine

Posted by: StanleyCap | May 10, 2010 4:12 PM | Report abuse

On Gordon...first, he's not just a center; he can play both wings (in fact, he probably played on the right more than center during the regular season when he was healthy, and he looked comfortable when he played on the left regularly before the March trade deadline). He's the Caps' best PKer on a unit that sorely needs good specialists, and he's a more than solid defensive forward who can move the puck. If you're worried about grit, resign Scott Walker and rotate him and Gordo on the left wing.

The real worry about Gordon is his health; he's lost a good amount of time due to injury the past two seasons, and his back problems are worriesome, especially considering how much he takes hits.

However, Gordon is (still!) an RFA, and his mostly lost season last year practically guarantees that he'll get and sign a qualifying offer, so he'll come cheap (probably near $800K). That, combined with Steckel's new $1.1 million cap hit, isn't all that expensive for two of the better faceoff men in the league.

Posted by: timsniff | May 11, 2010 8:11 AM | Report abuse

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