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Posted at 1:05 PM ET, 12/ 8/2010

Scott Hannan will help lessen the blow of Jeff Schultz's absence

By Katie Carrera

As Coach Bruce Boudreau was quick to point out after practice this morning, although the Capitals have lost one of their leading shot-blockers and ice-time leader on the penalty kill with Jeff Schultz out for four to six weeks, Scott Hannan excels in that same role.

Beginning with Boudreau's move to put Hannan alongside Mike Green in a defensive pairing, look for the newly-acquired veteran to pick up more minutes at even strength and while shorthanded as Washington tries to make up for Schultz's absence.

"The one good thing about [Schultz's injury] is you've got Hannan now who always leads his team in blocks and shorthanded playing," Boudreau said. "It's not ideal because you don't have what you perceive as... the lineup you want on the ice [all the time] but at the same time we've got a very valuable guy that we just made a deal for."

By having such a similar player to place alongside him, Green doesn't expect there to be too much of an adjustment to playing as long as the two communicate well, which is something that isn't too difficult with Hannan.

"It's great, actually," Green said of playing with a talkative defensive partner. "I haven't really played with a guy like that for a long time so it's going to be very helpful for myself and the team.... [Hannan's] got a lot more experience and anything he says I listen to. I'm just a sponge here soaking up the information and knowledge that he can give me."

The only vocal defenseman that Green can recall playing with prior to Hannan was a few games with Brendan Witt in 2005-06, but Green only spent 22 games in Washington that season.

Boudreau said he hopes that Hannan's presence may help to even out Green's game more going forward as the two-time Norris Trophy candidate has shifted into a primarily defensive gear this season. Hannan has spent time playing with an offensive minded defenseman before in Colorado's John-Michael Liles.

Green's "taking it from one extreme to the other where he's now totally defensive and not trying to get points but he's doing a very good job at what he's doing," Boudreau said. "If we want him to find a better balance then Scott's the right guy to have there."

I'll have more on how the Capitals will adjust without Schultz for tomorrow's paper, so keep an eye out for that.

--Schultz, who is left-handed, fractured his right thumb and is now wearing a cast on his wrist. He can still skate and work out, but he can't grip a stick. The injury occurred late in the second period on Monday when a shot by Toronto's Luke Schenn bounced up Schultz's stick and impacted the top of his thumb pushing it down toward his hand.

"It's real hard; the team is kind of struggling right now, I want to be out there and help them get out of it but it will give my body a bit of a rest here," said Schultz, who added that he doesn't have any indication whether he'll be out closer to four weeks or six. "It all depends on how quickly my body heals."

Schultz will likely go on long-term injured reserve, which requires he miss a minimum of 10 games or 24 days.

--Matt Hendricks was bothered by a bruise in practice this morning and Boudreau told him to take the rest of the day off.

--The groin strain that sidelined Tyler Sloan previously this season is why the defenseman is back on injured reserve. Although he's participated in practice with the injury, he's not ready to test it in a game yet and doesn't know if he would be available for the earliest date he could come off IR Sunday against the Rangers.

By Katie Carrera  | December 8, 2010; 1:05 PM ET
Categories:  Injuries, Jeff Schultz, Mike Green, Scott Hannan, Tyler Sloan  
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Next: Caps trying to learn from past mistakes

Comments

First and foremost I think our strength and conditioning coach needs to be looked at. Varlamov, Gordon, Sloan, Poti, and others have suffered from continuous groin strain problems. The groin epidemic has been going on for a few years now, specifically during the reign of this Nemish guy. I know the earlier years of the Caps they stressed an importance in preventing groin injuries, because they are the most difficult to deal with in hockey.

Posted by: chrisclarksucks | December 8, 2010 1:22 PM | Report abuse

The groin injuries for years (Clark had one too) were always blamed on the poor ice.

A good thing to check if possible is whether these injuries occurred more at home. Clark's was blamed on a rut in the ice in a home game I recall.

Posted by: tominsocal1 | December 8, 2010 1:31 PM | Report abuse

@chrisclarksucks
Maybe we should put Nemish on the trading block as well! LOL

Hannah > Schultz; an upgrade for Green.

Posted by: puckman | December 8, 2010 1:39 PM | Report abuse

Why is it that Poti hasn't been sharing his veteran knowledge and having guys "soaking up everything he says like a sponge" as Green is with Hannon? Why is Poti not vocal on the ice? Why the hell did they give that guy a two year extension?

Posted by: PhilR | December 8, 2010 1:40 PM | Report abuse

I hope Hannan and Green end up being a rock solid combo. At the very least they should be more fun to watch, both are fiery guys who display some sense of urgency in the def zone. No more having to deal with the catatonic Schultzie. At least not for 4 weeks and hopefully longer.

Posted by: cstanton1 | December 8, 2010 1:41 PM | Report abuse

someone mentioned in the previous thread of trading fehr and schultz for brad richards.....dallas is looking for alot for him and we would probably have to tack on a pick and prospect to that deal

Posted by: _stevo | December 8, 2010 1:42 PM | Report abuse

Why is it that Poti hasn't been sharing his veteran knowledge and having guys "soaking up everything he says like a sponge" as Green is with Hannon? Why is Poti not vocal on the ice? Why the hell did they give that guy a two year extension?

Posted by: PhilR

Phil, be glad that all Poti is doing is contributing with his on-ice play. If he compounded that by being vocal, that would just be cruel and unusual punishment.

Can you picture a Tom Poti being the veteran face of a Stanley Cup-winning defensive corps?

Posted by: cstanton1 | December 8, 2010 1:47 PM | Report abuse

from a previous post about the television coverage in "the old days".

Someone was saying HTS "only" showed 50 games! Yes, but only a year before HTS came online, you could only see road games (on channel 20) and fewer than 20. In their first few years, the Caps TV coverage had only about 7-10 games a year, all on the road.

Posted by: RedLitYogi | December 8, 2010 1:48 PM | Report abuse

cstanton,

I repeat, why the hell did they give that guy a two year extension?

Posted by: PhilR | December 8, 2010 1:51 PM | Report abuse

"Why is Poti not vocal on the ice?"

Because not every player is vocal. If they were it would be chaotic nonsense.

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

Do people on here just look for anything to criticize a few certain players.

Report: "Schulz had pancakes for breakfast."

Posters: "Why did Schulz have pancakes? He should be watching his diet better. It's clear he has no heart and no desire to win the SC.

A player with heart and desire would never eat pancakes for breakfast. Scratch him or trade him for someone who doesn't eat pancakes.

Also, fire BB and GMGM for letting Schulz eat panckaes. How could a coach and GM do that. It is the coaches duty to control each and every aspect of every players life. If the player eats pancakes, that's BB's fault. They have to get control of this team if they are going to win the SC, and it is clear that GMGM and BB will never get control of this team and they will never win a SC.

P.S. I love Scott Stevens"

Posted by: sgm3 | December 8, 2010 1:52 PM | Report abuse

"Signing an expensive, long-term deal(which is likely what Richards will get) is not something you can do when you about to sell the team off. That will drive down the value of the team some." - sgm 3
****
That is certainly the approach that was taken by MLB with the Nats. The Montreal franchise had a pretty good young talent base, and essentially all of that talent walked in the interim before the Nats were sold. I would question whether that strategy was economically effective in that case. What would be the value of the Nats franchise today if they had been able to keep some of their talent rather than shopping in the bargain basement like Bowden did? I guess what it comes down to is the same as for any other asset - if Richards were re-signed at a reasonable price, it might increase the value of the franchise. If the price/length of contract were unreasonably high, then the franchise value would decline.

Posted by: zmega | December 8, 2010 1:57 PM | Report abuse

Hannan & Green 4ever!

Posted by: thomas20 | December 8, 2010 1:57 PM | Report abuse

cstanton1 is back? When did this happen? And what prompted the return?

Welcome back cstanton1! Folks have been way too friendly in your absence!

Posted by: jakopz | December 8, 2010 2:01 PM | Report abuse

sgm3,

In my experience there is usually a vocal dman in a lot of pairings not only in the NHL but at every level of hockey. The vocal guy runs the show and lets his partner know where he's at, what is ahpening, etc....With Poti's experience he should be more vocal, especially when playing with a Carlson or Alzner but apparently he isn't. The youth of this teams d corp needs the couple vets they have to be vocal, it is a necessary factor IMO.

I know I have asked you this before but don't think I have ever gotten an answer: Have you ever actually PLAYED hockey at any level? Even pond hockey?

Posted by: PhilR | December 8, 2010 2:06 PM | Report abuse

So far Caps are winless in the Scott Hannan Era. Hope that changes tomorrow and it will be very interesting to see how Green does with a vet partner.

Posted by: tominsocal1 | December 8, 2010 12:33 PM


@tominsocal1:

Cause and effect, my friend, cause and effect. But you already know this. FWIW, I don't see Hannan's individual play being in any way contributory to the losses.


RE: Erskin vs. Schultz...perhaps I am ignorant to even suggest this, but might the League rules allow us to dress 8 defensemen instead of 6? If so, I can see some benefits:

--Minutes get more spread out leading to higher energy levels for all, throughout each game.
--This could also (perhaps) lead to fewer fatigue-related injuries.
--Once we have all of our quality blue liners healthy, BB won't have sit someone who can otherwise contribute positively.

I know, maybe it is a silly idea, but why not? Both Schultz and Erskine do bring important positive qualities to the Caps overall defensive scheme, when healthy.

I offer as an exmample, a baseball team that uses a 5-man starting rotation vice a 3- or 4-man rotation. Granted, you may not end up with any 40- or 50-game winners, but those 5 pitchers are less likely to get tired or injured over the course of a 162-game season. Needless to say, it's not enough just to get to the playoffs; you also want to get there as healthy as possible.

Posted by: Rhino40 | December 8, 2010 2:06 PM | Report abuse

I repeat, why the hell did they give that guy a two year extension?

Posted by: PhilR

He has pictures of McPhee doing something horrible. That is the only explaination I can think of.

Posted by: underpants2 | December 8, 2010 2:09 PM | Report abuse

That is certainly the approach that was taken by MLB with the Nats. The Montreal franchise had a pretty good young talent base, and essentially all of that talent walked in the interim before the Nats were sold. I would question whether that strategy was economically effective in that case. What would be the value of the Nats franchise today if they had been able to keep some of their talent rather than shopping in the bargain basement like Bowden did? I guess what it comes down to is the same as for any other asset - if Richards were re-signed at a reasonable price, it might increase the value of the franchise. If the price/length of contract were unreasonably high, then the franchise value would decline.


Posted by: zmega

Yeah, it may hurt actually the long term value, but I think the thinking is that the people temporary running the organization do not want to make any high priced, long term commitments. They are looking for short term, financial stability. Since NHL contracts are guaranteed, if Richards signed an 8 year, $56M contract, that would be an additional $56M of debt.

I think the people running the organization temporarily take the approached of committing as little guaranteed money as possible. Once a new owner buys the team, the success of the organization is up to them.

So I don't think the people running the Stars now are interested in long term succes, just temporary financial stability.

As a fan of such team it sucks because, as was with the Nats, your team really do nothing.

Posted by: sgm3 | December 8, 2010 2:11 PM | Report abuse

"ahpening" should be happening.....stupid fingers!

Posted by: PhilR | December 8, 2010 2:12 PM | Report abuse

cstanton,

You don't care for 55? Got it. Riddle me this though, with the lack of defensive depth in the pipeline, what do you propose the team does about it? You can gnash your teeth all you want, and bit@@ and moan about him all you want, but guess what? You're stuck with him. Deal with it.

Posted by: Steve_R | December 8, 2010 2:14 PM | Report abuse

Rhino40,

So you would just be rolling 3 forward lines??

Posted by: PhilR | December 8, 2010 2:15 PM | Report abuse

Everyone calm down. It's December. Long ways to go here.

Posted by: laugh_riot | December 8, 2010 2:23 PM | Report abuse

If the Stars really are as desperate to move Richards as some here say - and I admit from what I've heard of the ownership situation it's a total mess - then I hope GMGM takes a look. And if the price really is Fehr+Schultz+ pick/prospect, that would be steal. They say in hockey whomever gets the best player wins the trade, and that one wouldn't even be close.

Off the top of my head, I'm trying to think of a recent Cup winner without a strong 2C, with the possible exception of last year but Sharp played very well I thought.

Posted by: Timbo_1 | December 8, 2010 2:26 PM | Report abuse

Steve_R,

I don't know that the Caps are "stuck" with 55 as the cap hit he carries is rather manageable so they could probably find a trade partner if they WANTED to. I think they still think Schultz is growing as a player and that is the reason they have no interest in getting rid of him. I'm still on the fence with Schultz, would be nice to see him use his size a little more but he usually plays decent positional hockey.

Posted by: PhilR | December 8, 2010 2:27 PM | Report abuse

If the Stars really are as desperate to move Richards as some here say - and I admit from what I've heard of the ownership situation it's a total mess - then I hope GMGM takes a look. And if the price really is Fehr+Schultz+ pick/prospect, that would be steal. They say in hockey whomever gets the best player wins the trade, and that one wouldn't even be close.

Off the top of my head, I'm trying to think of a recent Cup winner without a strong 2C, with the possible exception of last year but Sharp played very well I thought.

Posted by: Timbo_1

If the Stars have a decent shot at making the playoffs I could see the Stars keeping Richards, as home playoff game revenues would be good for the business. Then they would let Richards walk in free agency(or if a new owner is signed on by then, they could try to re-sign him). It wouldn't make the most sense in terms of building a winning team, but it may make the most sense financially in the short term, as a team contending for the playoffs will sell more tickets and the revenue drawn from home playoff games is always high.

Posted by: sgm3 | December 8, 2010 2:35 PM | Report abuse

sgm,

Richards has said that he wants to go with a team that has stable ownership. Takes Dallas out of the running to resign him, no?

Posted by: Steve_R | December 8, 2010 2:41 PM | Report abuse

sgm3,

I take your non-response to my question for now multiple times that you have never played the game at any level. Maybe, every once in a while you should consider this before attacking another posters comment who just may have a bit more knowledge/experience than you do.

Posted by: PhilR | December 8, 2010 2:46 PM | Report abuse

Phil, but can he be traded without someone on hand to replace him with? That's my point. They can overspend in free agency if they want (which GMGM has been shying away from as of late), but there's no option in house to replace him with.

Posted by: Steve_R | December 8, 2010 2:46 PM | Report abuse

rhino: No limit how many defensemen you can dress. Years ago due to injuries to forwards Ron Wilson put caps on a 2-3 scheme for a while where most times on ice was 2 forwards and 3 d-men. I want to say this lasted a few weeks to a month and was maybe around 1999. I recall Gonchar was like "rover" halway between F and D.

Posted by: tominsocal1 | December 8, 2010 2:48 PM | Report abuse

Steve_R,

This is a very good point and I have been saying that they need to make moves to pick up both a 2C and another D which would solve the problem still giving the team seven NHL ready dmen. The top four spots can be set with Green, Hannon, Carlson, Alzner so you only need another third pairing dman which wouldn't cost much......maybe no more than a draft pick.

Posted by: PhilR | December 8, 2010 2:50 PM | Report abuse

Phil,

Leaving from the current roster: Poti, 55, Ersk and Sloan. 3 of those 4 are NHL ready d-men with Ersk #7 on the depth chart.

Agree whole heartedly on the need for 2C, but I think trying to add another D man at the deadline and dumping 55 runs the risk of screwing the team up next year at D. You would have as UFA at the end of the year 23, 4, UFA (assumed) d-man gotten at the dead line, meaning that the team would have to sign new UFA's or dress Sloan every night. On the other hand, if a d-man is gotten at the deadline without getting rid of somebody, then you have the same problem that we had last year with not enough ice time to go around.

Hope that made sense as I'm rambling.

Posted by: Steve_R | December 8, 2010 2:59 PM | Report abuse

Richards has said that he wants to go with a team that has stable ownership. Takes Dallas out of the running to resign him, no?

Posted by: Steve_R

Agreed.

@PhilR

I didn't see your question as I often skim over many of your posts. But yes, I did play hockey at a competitive level.

Posted by: sgm3 | December 8, 2010 3:06 PM | Report abuse

But how hard do you think it would be to resign 23 and 4?? Ersk loves the area from what I understand and I'm sure Hannon wants to play for a winning team so would not be asking for crazy money. That leaves signing a third pairing dman to get to seven as the top four would still be intact. I don't see Schultz going anywhere but think it could work out if he did for the right deal.

Posted by: PhilR | December 8, 2010 3:06 PM | Report abuse

@PhilR

As you have now suggested that the Caps JUST make two trades to get a D and #2C(other teams have to want to trade these guys too) after the Caps have lost 3 in a row. I suggest you read Mike Commodore's quote as it seems to describe you perfectly also.

“I gave up reading blogs. I don’t read any of that stuff anymore because it’s this never-ending (thing where) we win a couple of games in a row and everybody’s getting ready to engrave this team’s name on the Stanley Cup, and all of a sudden you lose two games in a row, and it’s fire everybody and trade this and trade that. That’s fine, that’s part of being a fan, and it makes for good topics for discussion, but I can’t read that stuff anymore. You can only block it out for so long before it becomes irritating.”

-Mike Commodore of the Colubmus Blue Jackets.

Posted by: sgm3 | December 8, 2010 3:16 PM | Report abuse

is there a way for someone to look at the posts on this board from last year and see if people were saying "it's only (whatever month early in the season) don't worry about it."

The reason why people are getting upset is because we saw the same type of inconsistent, lack of killer instinct play last year as well, but we didn't care because we were winning in the regular season. And we were embarrassed in the play-offs.

Those who see the same problems only leads us to believe we will have the same results. Yes, it's early but it doesn't look like team got the message that was so rudely sent to them in last year's play-offs.

You can't take a single minute off during a game in the play-offs. Start learning that now and it becomes a mindset that is there for the play-offs.

So for all those who think "we'll be fine", great, glad to have your opinion. now just let us have ours as well.

Posted by: natresgroup | December 8, 2010 3:31 PM | Report abuse

P.S. I love Scott Stevens"

Posted by: sgm3 | December 8, 2010 1:52 PM | Report abuse

Though not all of it, I interpret this particular post to be in response to an earlier one of mine. So what did I write? here you go:

"Personally, I'm tired of what the man's selling, which these days, seems to be everything but the kitchen sink. Do people recall a post of mine, hoping Toronto would leave town w/BB and leave us Ronny Boy (creator of THE GREATEST 4TH LINE IN HISTORY)? I saw one team playing for their mates and their coach; the other team mailed it in and I don't know who they were playing for. The exasperation BB displays behind the bench, increasingly more, is telling of a coach who knows he's losing control of his stars, and his chosen ones aren't performing well enough to compensate for him or them. Caps were outhit last night, being credited w/19...funny, because I can't remember one from the backline. IT'S GOOD TO BE GETTING A HARD-NOSED DMAN BACK IN THE LINEUP.

He inexplicably rendered #4 a lame-duck, publicly...I've never seen a coach in all my years of watching hockey DISPLAY SUCH FAVORITISM, and in doing so undermine the value of hard work, dedication, and commitment to winning within a team. In spite of BB, the Hockey Gods intervened and righted an egregious wrong; unfortunately, ****55 was the victim.

The vibe surrounding the Caps, and I'M A DIEHARD FAN, is infinitely different than that surrounding the Bruins. The caste system in place in DC is in stark contrast to Boston, where players play for their teammates, thir coach, the org., the fans, the city, and all of New England. So long as BB is the coach, I'll at least hope to be seeing the Bruins play in May."

That, sgm3, is part of the reason why "some" of us posters continually rail on him. I highly suggest you follow another team closely, too. Perhaps it would give you some perspective, and then you'd be singing our tune loudly, too

Posted by: vermontcaps | December 8, 2010 3:32 PM | Report abuse

@sgm3

you have posted that stupid quote like 10 times. get over it. If you dont like the way people are on the blog stop reading and posting.

Posted by: ThePat | December 8, 2010 3:33 PM | Report abuse

@sgm3

since you seem to think so highly of the opinions of Columbus players, I'm sure you agree w/Umberger's comments about the team as well

Posted by: vermontcaps | December 8, 2010 3:34 PM | Report abuse

They say in hockey whomever gets the best player wins the trade ...

Posted by: Timbo_1 | December 8, 2010 2:26 PM

do you think nj won their trade when they got kovi?
right now, to me, it looks like atl is doing better - and yep - i know, atl got half of the blackhawks SC team over the summer

Posted by: Capt_Kirk_in_AZ | December 8, 2010 3:35 PM | Report abuse

I got ya Phil. But the question comes down to $. How much of a pay cut is 23 willing to take, what kind of coin is 4 looking for, and how much is 28 going to get? If 28 gets locked in at less than crazy money, it'll be interesting to see what UFA's get extended before seasons end.

Posted by: Steve_R | December 8, 2010 3:38 PM | Report abuse

@sgm3

and who wouldn't blame Commodore for saying that about reading blogs, especially after getting jacked-up by Johnny Boychuk last night

Posted by: vermontcaps | December 8, 2010 3:49 PM | Report abuse

@sgm3

who, by the way, could "chuck" all of BB's chosen "boys"

Posted by: vermontcaps | December 8, 2010 3:51 PM | Report abuse

@Capt Kirk - notice I said "they say" not "I say" ;-)

Yeah NJ's not looking so hot these days but I don't know if you can pin that solely on Kovie; for years I felt Brodeur masked deeper flaws on that team and now that's he's slipped a peg or two, those flaws are showing through. And they've never really replaced Stevens IMHO, though they've tried.

ATL's looking pretty good, you're right about that, but a bunch of good, fast forwards combined with a rapidly improving PP run by a stud QB in his prime [Enstrom] and a hot goalie will do that for you.

All that, and exceptions to every rule I guess - but I'd still trade Fehr+Ersk+pick/prospect for Brad Richards. In a freakin' heartbeat.

Posted by: Timbo_1 | December 8, 2010 3:52 PM | Report abuse

Vermont,

Boston as a team has a mud covered jeep vibe to them. Caps are a freshly shined Porshe Cayenne. Need to be a Range Rover. Can 4 wheel with the best of them while still riding in comfort.

I ramble again.

Posted by: Steve_R | December 8, 2010 3:55 PM | Report abuse

That, sgm3, is part of the reason why "some" of us posters continually rail on him. I highly suggest you follow another team closely, too. Perhaps it would give you some perspective, and then you'd be singing our tune loudly, too

Posted by: vermontcaps

I never read that post. My post was not intended to one poster, but to the general group who post similar messages.

@ThePat

Yes, I have posted that quote a few times because I think it describs many people on this blog perfectly.

However, I have not posted it nearly the amount of times of many things posted on here constantly(i.e. Schulz sucks, Flash sucks, Alzner sucks, plyaer X has no heart, fire BB, fire GMGM, trade for a D and #2C, I love Scott Stevens, John Erskine is god, etc.)

Posted by: sgm3 | December 8, 2010 3:56 PM | Report abuse

@PhilR

I dont think trading Schultz is a good idea. I think he has improved a lot from where he was 2 years ago. Now trading Poti I'd be all for. If Hannan works out here over the next few months I believe the Caps will try to bring him back.

Now the 2C is a whole other issue. We need one of them bad. However there is probably nothing out there right now. And who knows what will be out there come March. I think Richards will be too costly. Arnott, Weight, Mike Fisher($4.2 for 2 years after this), Weiss, Handzus and Umberger is what will potentially be out there is my guess.

Posted by: ThePat | December 8, 2010 3:56 PM | Report abuse

sgm3,

I'm not quite sure what the heck your problem is here, you agreed earlier with me when I stated trading Fehr for a 2C would be a good move. Someone went a step further and stated to package Fehr/Schultz and pick to go after Richards from Dallas whom you have been talking ad nauseum about for the past couple months. That would only leave you with six NHL ready dmen so I suggested going after another third pairing d that wouldn't cost much more than a prospect or pick. How that in your eyes is blowing the team up and changing the whole dynamics is beyond me!

I get it, you don't like the way I look at things and I really don't care but to say that I'm falling in the Commodore comment category is flat wrong. I have been screaming since the beginning of the off season to pick up a couple new dmen and a 2C, try going back to around May and you will see this. How is that jumping on a team that has lost a couple games in a row?

Posted by: PhilR | December 8, 2010 3:59 PM | Report abuse

I can only laugh at the idiot coach who lacks the sense to pair his two best D-men together.

Enjoy the pain of this mirage team. hahaha

Posted by: slurpeesarecool | December 8, 2010 4:01 PM | Report abuse

I'd still trade Fehr+Ersk+pick/prospect for Brad Richards. In a freakin' heartbeat.

Posted by: Timbo_1

I would too

Posted by: sgm3 | December 8, 2010 4:02 PM | Report abuse

@sgm3

Yes people say different players stink and they tend to justify their reasoning. So what people do and what you do are completely different. You are essentially spamming the board and its annoying. If you want to elaborate on Commie's quote then go for it. But dont just keep reposting and reposting and reposting and not providing anything else.

Posted by: ThePat | December 8, 2010 4:05 PM | Report abuse

I hate when the comments section gets turned into a message board for a small group of people. There's a site for that:
http://fans.capitals.nhl.com/community/

Posted by: thomas20 | December 8, 2010 4:05 PM | Report abuse

I'd still trade Fehr+Ersk+pick/prospect for Brad Richards. In a freakin' heartbeat.

Posted by: Timbo_1

Timbo only problem is Dallas wouldnt do that trade. It would have to be Fehr/Schultz/1st rounder. And that I'd have to think long and hard about but I'd still probably make that trade. Call up A.Gordon and trade a 3rd rounder for another depth Dmen.

Posted by: ThePat | December 8, 2010 4:09 PM | Report abuse

Yeah I know I typed "but I'd still trade Fehr+Ersk+pick/prospect for Brad Richards" - which I agree Dallas probably wouldn't do - but I meant to type "Schultz" and I somehow typed "Ersk;" not sure why I did that. I think Ersk's true value to the team is both underrated and hard to quantify; conversely, I think Schultz would bring a lot more in a trade, but is somewhat overvalued. IMO, and if that makes any sense at all, which I realize it may not.

Posted by: Timbo_1 | December 8, 2010 4:15 PM | Report abuse

Do people on here just look for anything to criticize a few certain players.

Report: "Schulz had pancakes for breakfast."
Posted by: sgm3 | December 8, 2010 1:52 PM


not that it matters....i find the comment to be true. i guess it makes for great blogging experience to out-coach, or GM here. there is nothing perfect. everyone is an individual. some players chatter. some don't. it doesn't mean they can't play. last i looked, the caps are either 1 or 2 in the nhl at this point in time. does it mean they will win the cup. experience tells us that it doesn't matter what the record in the regular season is. tom poti chatting up his defensive partner isn't going to win the cup either. oy veh...

Posted by: joerutgens72 | December 8, 2010 4:17 PM | Report abuse

ThePat,

We are thinking on the same wave I think you just worded it better than I......Get Richards, call up AGordon, trade draft pick for 5/6 dman.

Posted by: PhilR | December 8, 2010 4:19 PM | Report abuse

ThePat: I'd love to get Umberger and Clutterbuck. We'd really be able to construct solid #2 and 3 lines at that point.

Would the Wild take Fehr for Clutterbuck?

I would trade Perreault and a #1 for Umberger. He has this year and next at 4.2. I doubt CBJ will deal him though. They might if you gave them MaJo.

MaJo for Umberger would be a good deal for the Caps, but most here would be against it.

Posted by: tominsocal1 | December 8, 2010 4:22 PM | Report abuse

ThePat,

And I'm with you, would much rather trade Poti than Schultz but there is no market for Poti where there may very well be for Schultz especially in a package with Fehr and a pick....that would bring a very nice return IMO.

Posted by: PhilR | December 8, 2010 4:24 PM | Report abuse

Someone went a step further and stated to package Fehr/Schultz and pick to go after Richards from Dallas whom you have been talking ad nauseum about for the past couple months. That would only leave you with six NHL ready dmen so I suggested going after another third pairing d that wouldn't cost much more than a prospect or pick.

@PhilR

When plans for trades start involving multiple trades such as "we trade player X and player Y for Player A, and then we trade Player Z and a pick for player B to fill in for the absence of player X" it just isn't practical because of the assumption that the trades will be made so easily.

If Schulz was traded, other teams wouldn't immediately ask for more from the Caps to acquire a D-man. In addition, other teams will trade for D-men. So there may not be one available.

There are just so many variables involved when you start talking of multiple trades.

But some package including Fehr for a #2 center would be worth investigating. While I doubt they will trade Zajac, the Devils are due for some sort of major shakeup soon, so who knows what will happen there.

Tim Connolly or Derek Roy from Buffalo could be possible options as well. But they will likely be in the playoff hunt and will not be looking to unload players for picks and prospects.

Posted by: sgm3 | December 8, 2010 4:26 PM | Report abuse

"notice I said "they say" not "I say" ;-)"
Timbo_1
i see - then noted it is

Posted by: Capt_Kirk_in_AZ | December 8, 2010 4:32 PM | Report abuse

What would you guys think if we traded Semin and MP to LA for Dustin Brown and Handzus? I think it would be a very interesting trade...im not sure either side does it but I think its one both sides think long and hard about.

Ovie-Backstrom-Brown
Laich-Handzus-Fehr
Chimera-MaJo-Knuble
Steckel-Gordon-Bradley

Posted by: ThePat | December 8, 2010 4:37 PM | Report abuse

At this point i would trade Fehr for a slurpee. he has not done squat this year.

Posted by: pkme | December 8, 2010 4:47 PM | Report abuse

lineup i hope to see in boston next week...astericks indicate who i'd offer in any trade (or package including picks and prospects) that got us a real power foward, a physical 2-way center, and another tough/physical 5/6dman TO COMPLEMENT #4:

Ovi-Back-Knuble*
Laich-Majo-Semin
Chim-Hend-Fehr*
King-Gordon*-Bradley

Hannan/Green
Carlson/Alzner*
Poti/Erskine

varly

remaining: ****55*, Steckel*, Sloan*

Posted by: vermontcaps | December 8, 2010 4:49 PM | Report abuse

yeah edit my lineup for Hendricks on the LW instead of Steckel...late in the day brain fart

Posted by: ThePat | December 8, 2010 4:51 PM | Report abuse

Not to nitpick at the original post, but Hannan never played with Dan Boyle. Hannan departed the summer the Sharks picked up Boyle.

@ThePat, Handzus hasn't been a 2nd line center in years. That trade would hurt the Caps pretty good in the short term (at least).

Posted by: StikSav | December 8, 2010 4:52 PM | Report abuse

Report: "Schulz had pancakes for breakfast."

Posters: "Why did Schulz have pancakes? He should be watching his diet better. It's clear he has no heart and no desire to win the SC.

@SGM3:

Good one! ROTFLMAO

Posted by: Rhino40 | December 8, 2010 4:59 PM | Report abuse

First and foremost I think our strength and conditioning coach needs to be looked at. Varlamov, Gordon, Sloan, Poti, and others have suffered from continuous groin strain problems. The groin epidemic has been going on for a few years now, specifically during the reign of this Nemish guy.

IIRC, the Caps led the league in MGL consecutive years while Stan Wong was our S&CT and the year after they got rid of him our MGL dropped significantly, so you may have a point,though I don't think our MGL is near the level it was at that time.

Posted by: FunkyGloveFacewash | December 8, 2010 5:02 PM | Report abuse

I'd do that trade, much as Semin has grown on me the last couple seasons - but it's pretty rare for teams to trade their Captains, and GMs love Brown, especially after his Olympic performance. But Handzus is their best PKer, and runs the 2nd unit PP - and does both well. Both teams would be giving - and getting a lot. I love Brown [a buddy played with him growing up and in HS] - but I think I'd still want more for Semin. That's a tough call though.

Posted by: Timbo_1 | December 8, 2010 5:04 PM | Report abuse

cstanton,

You don't care for 55? Got it. Riddle me this though, with the lack of defensive depth in the pipeline, what do you propose the team does about it? You can gnash your teeth all you want, and bit@@ and moan about him all you want, but guess what? You're stuck with him. Deal with it.

Posted by: Steve_R

ok Steve, next time you complain about a player, take your own advice.

Posted by: cstanton1 | December 8, 2010 5:04 PM | Report abuse

next time Bruce isn't happy with the "going to the net" commitment on the part of his guys, he should send them a msg and make them watch AG in Hershey. He's always about 2 feet from that net. He scored or contributed to a goal the other night by ramming his body into the crease as 2 opposing dmen crunched him. Somehow he kept his balance, provided a screen which led to a goal that otherwise wouldve been an easy save for the goalie.

Posted by: cstanton1 | December 8, 2010 5:08 PM | Report abuse

At this point i would trade Fehr for a slurpee. he has not done squat this year.

Posted by: pkme

No way, throw in a 'Big Bite' hot dog and we'll talk. Or maybe one of those nasty looking sausage burrito things they have decaying under the heat lamp.

Posted by: FunkyGloveFacewash | December 8, 2010 5:08 PM | Report abuse

but it's pretty rare for teams to trade their Captains,
------------

Any trade involving Semin that brings back a gritty goal scorer or hardnosed defenseman with more than a few yrs left in him I'm in favor of.

And I think Montreal traded away 2 or 3 consecutive team captains in the late 80s early 90s. I thnk it was Carbonneau, Keane, Kirk Muller. Maybe even 4 consecutive team captains if Pierre Turgeon fit that criteria.

Posted by: cstanton1 | December 8, 2010 5:13 PM | Report abuse

but it's pretty rare for teams to trade their Captains,
------------

Any trade involving Semin that brings back a gritty goal scorer or hardnosed defenseman with more than a few yrs left in him I'm in favor of.

And I think Montreal traded away 2 or 3 consecutive team captains in the late 80s early 90s. I thnk it was Carbonneau, Keane, Kirk Muller. Maybe even 4 consecutive team captains if Pierre Turgeon fit that criteria.

Posted by: cstanton1 | December 8, 2010 5:13 PM | Report abuse

Rhino40,

So you would just be rolling 3 forward lines??

Posted by: PhilR | December 8, 2010 2:15 PM


@PhilR:

Again, please forgive the fact that my knowledge of the rulebook has some gaps (which is why I am asking rather than telling).

In response to your question, however:

No, I would not.

If such is permitted (and if it were my decision to make), I would still roll 4 lines up front. What would be the point in spreading the minutes among a larger number of defensemen if it means your forwards are getting "gassed"?

OTOH, since most defensemen seem to get more minutes/game than most forwards anyway, it may not make a difference, so 3 lines up front could work.

Trouble is, having 3 front lines instead of 4 gives the opposing defenders fewer different "looks" to adjust to. Why make the opposing coaches' jobs any easier?

As I said, maybe it is a silly idea, but not entirely without merit.

Posted by: Rhino40 | December 8, 2010 5:18 PM | Report abuse

I don't know, you take Semin off our 2nd line and they effing disappear for games at a time. I never thought I'd say this when I first saw him, but I think you can now make a strong case that Semin makes his linemates better. To be sure, Brown on the other wing from Ovie with Backs in the middle would be a "sick" line, but the oppo could just focus on stopping that one line. Not usually a recipe for playoff success, just ask Harry Sinden.

I also wonder about the effect on Ovie if Semin goes via trade. I know they're pros, but they're still human.

Posted by: Timbo_1 | December 8, 2010 5:22 PM | Report abuse

I'd love to get Richard's, even at this stage in his career, but what we give to get him has to be relative to if he's a rental(for just the playoffs) or we have a deal in place to sign him for maybe two years.

Posted by: FunkyGloveFacewash | December 8, 2010 5:30 PM | Report abuse

IMO, we have 5 players that are not available for trades right now, Ovie, Backstrom, Carlson, Varly & Neuvy. Anyone else is fair game given the right return.

Posted by: FunkyGloveFacewash | December 8, 2010 5:36 PM | Report abuse

I agree, I wouldn't want him for more than two - I am very excited about the impending arrival of Mr. Kuznetzov, for one - but his agent's gonna want a whole lot more than that, I'd think.

Posted by: Timbo_1 | December 8, 2010 5:36 PM | Report abuse

wow, so many Semin bashers.

The key to great teams is that they integrate players with a variety of skillsets. There is no one "right" way to play hockey - a good team has variety. Right now - and it may not last forever - the fans of the North American game are fortunate to have many of the best players in the world playing here, and of the European trained players, Semin is one of the best.

It would be unwise to think that to be a great player Semin has to imitate a North American. He does not. He's playing great puck right now at both ends and he's got a great intuitive sense of field dynamics that few players in any sport have. It's up to the Caps to make the most of it.


Posted by: RedLitYogi | December 8, 2010 5:53 PM | Report abuse

@tominsocal

I'm with you on those trades - Fehr for Clutterbuck in a heartbeat but I don't think they bite.

Is there a chance Kuznetsov comes over after the KHL season?

Posted by: RedLitYogi | December 8, 2010 5:55 PM | Report abuse

@RedLitYogi

I am not bashing Semin at all by bringing up the prospects of trading him. I like him as a player a lot, probably more than a lot on this board. However if GMGM isnt thinking about potentially trading him he woulndt be looking at the best interest of the team. GMGM has to be planning for the possibility that on January 1st, Semin's agent comes to him with a number that GMGM isnt willing to give him. I think they get it to work, but if Semin's agent comes in north of 6.75M per season then a trade could very easily occur and that is why I brought up the trade scenario.

Posted by: ThePat | December 8, 2010 6:25 PM | Report abuse

I haven't seen much of Kuznetsov unfortunately, but am anxious to see him from all of the things I've heard.

@RedLitYogi- I'm no Semin basher(other than his habit of taking retaliatory penalties in the O zone whenever he lost the puck, which he has curbed considerably this season), I love his skill. I remember how surprised so many people were about this 'Semin guy's skill' after the lockout, when his talent was painfully obvious during his rookie season,before the lockout. Of course I'd still trade him now if it yields a maximum return for the team. One thing's for sure, no one on the team can play the bongo's like him.

Posted by: FunkyGloveFacewash | December 8, 2010 6:30 PM | Report abuse

@sgm3

That was pretty funny -- reading your post on trading Schultz because he likes pancakes. (I know it was a parody of stuff that's been posted to bash him.)

Posted by: CapsFan75 | December 8, 2010 6:32 PM | Report abuse

Rhino40,
D-man normally do not skate as hard as a forward. When as a forward, you forecheck and backcheck, you SHOULD give max effort up and down the ice. The d-men do not need to skate as hard to get to the proper position on the ice. I've played both forward and defense and I used alot more energy as a forward. Also, you would have an extra forward that would sit all game or rotate thru a line. Not a great situation.

Posted by: chriscaps | December 8, 2010 6:33 PM | Report abuse

@ ThePat- I'm tired of you posters with better typing skills beating me to the punch, it's getting real old.

Posted by: FunkyGloveFacewash | December 8, 2010 6:37 PM | Report abuse

@RedLit - well said about Semin, I agree. Not to nitpick but sometimes I wish he'd move it a bit quicker; the ol' give and go like Tikhonov used to preach [and Feds practiced!]. No, he's a great, great player, and makes his linemates better - the true test of a player's value, IMO.

Posted by: Timbo_1 | December 8, 2010 6:41 PM | Report abuse

@Tess and @TomInSoCal (from previous threads)

Don't worry, I recall all the earlier goat references before Tom classified our fans into Goat's blood drinkers and Kool Aid drinkers. There was the erroneous reference to Varly as a Goat tender instead of Goal tender. Along with Knuble's reference to sacrificing a goat.

With all the goat references, I began to wonder if there must be a history of goat sacrifice in Eastern Europe, given the fact that Knuble's parents are Latvian and Varly, of course, is Russian.

Must admit I was drinking goat's blood after last game, or should we call it Goat Juice. BTW, nearly two years ago, my password at work was "GoatJuice" (along with numerics and special characters) after a particularly galling loss that the Capitals were involved in, at the same time my younger daughter was sick with the flu and tanked on some exams since she was too sick to study properly and then went on to tank at a HS swim meet since she was out of shape due to being sick.

Posted by: CapsFan75 | December 8, 2010 6:41 PM | Report abuse

One thing's for sure, no one on the team can play the bongo's like him.

Posted by: FunkyGloveFacewash | December 8, 2010 6:30 PM | Report abuse

hilarious!!

Posted by: vermontcaps | December 8, 2010 6:42 PM | Report abuse

That would be fantastic if Kuznetzov came over after the KHL season wrapped up, would his KHL team allow it? But man was I impressed at Kettler this summer from what I saw. Eakin, SDR, Orlov, MaJo - all those guys were good; Kuznetzov was better than any of 'em.

Posted by: Timbo_1 | December 8, 2010 6:51 PM | Report abuse

Several people have discussed the possibility of trading for Brad Richards. I recall one proposal earlier was Schultz + Fehr + draft pick for him.

I had analyzed the situation (and had posted it on Japers earlier this week).

I looked up Richards salary on Cap Geek -- about 7.8M, with the contract expiring this year. Fehr & Schultz together make up about 5.1 M. So, the extra salary received is 2.7 million which puts us about .4 M over the salary cap. That would be a problem at the beginning of this year but, due to proration, would probably not be a problem now.

Results: We'd have a kick ass second line consisting of Laich/Richards and either Knuble or Semin, depending on which one's on the first line.

Our defense would be a slight downgrade from where it was prior to trading for Hannan. Essentially, we would have the same situation prior to the trade, except for Hannan in place of Schultz. Green, Alzner, Carlson, Hannan, Poti, and Oisk but pretty thin if anyone is injured. (Yes, I rate Schultz ahead of Hannan but am very glad we acquired him -- especially now with all the injuries.)

Our 3rd line would be more like a 4th line sans Fehr.

Would Dallas make that deal? Good question.

Posted by: CapsFan75 | December 8, 2010 6:53 PM | Report abuse

I don't recall any situation of a player coming over from Sweden or Russia after end of their season. I think CBA forbids.

Posted by: tominsocal1 | December 8, 2010 7:06 PM | Report abuse

wow, so many Semin bashers.

The key to great teams is that they integrate players with a variety of skillsets. There is no one "right" way to play hockey - a good team has variety
----redlit---

its not the variety of skillsets that turn some fans off about guys like Semin, or Schultz or whoever. Its other factors.

You can have a variety of skillsets on a team and still have an entire team (or near an entire team) who plays some gritty hockey with a more consistent work ethic than you see from some of the notable Caps.

The Pens have a variety of skillsets too. But the skill guys like Letang, Crosby, Malkin etc still play very hardnosed hockey. And the role players play at a higher grit level than do our role players. That's not the entire difference between those two teams but that is a major difference.

Posted by: cstanton1 | December 8, 2010 7:08 PM | Report abuse

How does this sound? Are the trades even close to realistic?
I know it's a lot of IF'S, but a guy can dream can he!

Fehr + Steckel + Bruess or Pinnizotto to MIN for Clutterbuck + Madden

Schultz + a 3rd pick to CBJ for Jan Hejda + Ted Ruth (4th ranked D-prospect for CBJ)

MP + Neuvirth (or the goalie GM feels has the least chance of becoming no.1) + a 1st round pick to OTT for Mike Fischer

It fits capwise for us by the time of the trade deadline.

And looking forward, resign A. Gordon, Bradley, Hendricks, Erskine, Madden and Hejda at similar contracts like they are on now for next year.
Give Laich and Semin their raises.
Say thanks and goodbye to B.Gordon and Knuble (unless the Cap goes up 2 mil like it's rumored, then bring Knub's back at around 2 mil) it could look something like this for next year.

FORWARDS
Ovechkin $9.538m / Backstrom $6.700m / Laich $3.600m (Will work, no comments)

Semin $6.700m / Fischer $4.200m / Gordon $0.550m (Could in the raised capscenario with Knuble be a 1st line on a few teams)

Chimera $1.875m / Johansson $0.900m / Clutterbuck $1.400m (Speed and power, a good checking line)

Bradley $1.000m / Madden $1.100m / Hendricks $0.675m (a shut down and grind line)

Kuznetsov $0.900m (or DJK at lower cost/A.Gordon if Knuble is on the 2nd line)/ Eakin $0.660m

DEFENSEMEN
Scott Hannan $3.500m / Mike Green $5.250m (S@H and puckmover)

Karl Alzner $1.000m / John Carlson $0.845m (Clicking already)

Jan Hejda $2.200m / Tom Poti $2.875m (Two experienced D's, which makes 3 good D-lines that can share minutes pretty equally between them)

John Erskine ($1.100m)

GOALTENDERS
Semyon Varlamov ($1.700m) /Braden Holtby ($0.637m)


SALARY CAP: $59,400,000; CAP PAYROLL: $58,907,628; BONUSES: $160,
CAP SPACE (23-man roster): $652,372

If the cap goes up, then let Kuznetsov play a year in Hersey, Put Knuble on the 2nd line and A. Gordon as 13th/14th

And the resignings can of course differ by a few hundred grand, its hard to estimate, but i think i've been pretty generous.

We still have prospects like Galiev, Orlov, Beagle, Kugryshev, Bouchard, Grubauer, Miskovic besides the one's making my roster. So it's time to cease the window of opportunity for a cUp and make the trades neccesary!

Posted by: Walle | December 8, 2010 7:11 PM | Report abuse

I like Hejda a lot, he's a hell of a defensive defenseman - IIRC he fulfilled the shutdown role in the Olympics [#1 pairing with Michalek] for Czech; that was an unbelievable level of hockey, every team was loaded. I'd think CBJ would have a pretty high asking price, but I'd still take him over Bieksa, no question.

Posted by: Timbo_1 | December 8, 2010 7:23 PM | Report abuse

"I'd still trade Fehr+Ersk+pick/prospect for Brad Richards. In a freakin' heartbeat."
Posted by: Timbo_1

It would be stupid to make that deal for a pending UFA. Maybe if they sign him for two years first, then make the trade.

Posted by: Wiley_One1 | December 8, 2010 7:37 PM | Report abuse

Watching the Penguins play now, BOY ARE WE IN HUGE TROUBLE!! Aside from their 10-game winning strack and the jackwagon having twice as many goals, and more assists and fights, than our captain, THEY'VE ASSEMBLED ONE MEAN TEAM: Godard, Engelland, Rupp, Asham, Orpic, Adams, Cooke, Talbot, Lovejoy. THEY'RE TIED FOR LEAGUE LEAD IN FIGHTS!

Us? Fans here bemoan the fact Erskine is in the line-up, think DJK is a bust and shouldn't lace them up...why the effen not? Are they too beneath the chosen ones?? Too many here revere the likes of Chimera, Bradley, Hendricks (sorry, no offense but..). The three have been invisible (as many more) and why is that?

Topping it off, many here seem to think the balance of the season hinges on ****55's return...UNBELIEVABLE!! This is all on BB, and though it might not bother some of you, IT'LL SURE BOTHER ME SEEING THE PENS BEAT US AND PUSH US ALL OVER THE ICE! (I'll leave Philly and Boston out for now)

And to think people were so worried about the prospects of facing ATLANTA....

Posted by: vermontcaps | December 8, 2010 7:39 PM | Report abuse

WOW!! Orr wanted retribution for when Engelland tko-d him last time...what a fight, Engelland wins again! ARE WE READY, CAPS FANS??

Posted by: vermontcaps | December 8, 2010 7:42 PM | Report abuse

On Brad Richards,

He definitely makes a hefty salary -- $7.8 M. Given that he's an UFA, the market value on the trade market is probably less than it would be otherwise.

On resigning him. He's a good player but probably not worth $7.8 million. My gut feeling is that he'll probably end up getting a pay cut in his next deal.

Posted by: CapsFan75 | December 8, 2010 8:01 PM | Report abuse

@vermont- If we had had kept him we still wouldn't have played him like the Pen's have.

Posted by: FunkyGloveFacewash | December 8, 2010 8:06 PM | Report abuse

I don't recall any situation of a player coming over from Sweden or Russia after end of their season. I think CBA forbids.

Posted by: tominsocal1 | December 8, 2010 7:06 PM
---------------------
Tom, I'm not certain what the exact date is, but I do know that there's a deadline (I think in early Dec) after which a player cannot join an NHL team after being in Europe.

Posted by: tess2201 | December 8, 2010 8:12 PM | Report abuse

@funkyglove

and therein lies the problem. If GMGM wants to save his own job, BB WILL HAVE TO GO. Caps fans wake up...as fragile as we've proven to be thus far, combined with an overall team-softness, THIS TEAM'S GOING NOWHERE QUICK.

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

the penguins are just tearing toronto apart. crysby just netted another goal. that team is rolling. hopefully they'll peak too early.

Posted by: natresgroup | December 8, 2010 8:33 PM | Report abuse

I hope Hannan and Green end up being a rock solid combo. At the very least they should be more fun to watch, both are fiery guys who display some sense of urgency in the def zone. No more having to deal with the catatonic Schultzie. At least not for 4 weeks and hopefully longer.

Posted by: cstanton1 | December 8, 2010 1:41 PM | Report abuse
---------------------------------------
Agreed 100%. Hopefully they will gel well enough together that BB doesn't put JS/MG back together when JS comes back. JS/TP would be just fine as a 3rd pairing b/c you're going agaist other teams 3rd & 4th lines.

Posted by: pokerface1208 | December 8, 2010 8:49 PM | Report abuse

I don't know if any of you are watching the TSN broadcast of Pit/Tor but I just blew chunks about 3 times. These boys LOOOOOOOOOOOVE Cindy. He can do no wrong.

I'm not gonna get into who's better as it's such an opinionated thing but I can tell ya this, I don't like OV b/c he's a Cap (altho that helps), I like OV b/c of the way he plays the game period. When I'm out teaching my kids I try to teach them to play the game the way he does regardless of talent. I can't stand players that do nothing but whine & complain. Mario must be a good mentor.

Posted by: pokerface1208 | December 8, 2010 8:56 PM | Report abuse

Crosby is having an amazing year. Scary good.

As a Caps fan, I am concerned.

Posted by: underpants2 | December 8, 2010 9:05 PM | Report abuse

Sydney Crosby is just too good, I wish him the best of health for the rest of this season.

Posted by: JohnWWW | December 8, 2010 9:09 PM | Report abuse

only 5 fights in the pens/leafs game so far....pens 4-2 thus far

Posted by: vermontcaps | December 8, 2010 9:28 PM | Report abuse

To get to a Stanley Cup, we'll have to go through 3 of these teams:

Pittsburgh
Philadelphia
Montreal
Boston
Atlanta
Tampa Bay

Is there any team other than Tampa that doesn't scare you?

McPhee needs to make sure this team can beat those. I do not believe he has done enough. MP should be played, or dealt. He should never see Hershey again.

Posted by: underpants2 | December 8, 2010 9:40 PM | Report abuse

Nice to see the Flyers blow a 4-1 lead in the 3rd period tonight (they may still get the 2 points - we'll see). Must mean they need to make some serious changes there in Philly!

Posted by: yosemite_sam | December 8, 2010 9:49 PM | Report abuse

OMG - the Flyers just missed scoring by less than 1/10 of a second...

Posted by: yosemite_sam | December 8, 2010 9:53 PM | Report abuse

Sharks win - awesome!

Posted by: yosemite_sam | December 8, 2010 9:58 PM | Report abuse

Pens stomp on Toronto. I can tell BigGameSid is waiting to strike, as soon as he boots his computer.

Posted by: LloydChristmas | December 8, 2010 10:02 PM | Report abuse

@yosemite_sam

Philly clearly needs to fire their coach and make some trades. If you blow a 4-1 3rd period lead in December and then lose in a shootout the only cure is trading half the team and firing the coach and GM.

Pittsburgh had a 4-0 lead going into the 3rd and let up two goals to make it 4-2 in the first 10 minutes. Yes, Toronto didn't make it all the way back, but clearly Pittsburgh has holes too if they let Toronto get that close after going into the 3rd with a 4-0 lead. The Pens clearly have to trade half of their roster, fire their coach and get rid of the GM.

Posted by: sgm3 | December 8, 2010 10:03 PM | Report abuse

Man that Philly team sux! They blew a 4-1 lead with 12 minutes to go only to lose in the shootout. They should fire Bobby Clarke, Laviolete, trade Carter, Pronger & Briere. They'll never win the Cup.

Posted by: pokerface1208 | December 8, 2010 10:04 PM | Report abuse

Yes, Toronto didn't make it all the way back, but clearly Pittsburgh has holes too if they let Toronto get that close after going into the 3rd with a 4-0 lead. The Pens clearly have to trade half of their roster, fire their coach and get rid of the GM.

Posted by: sgm3

LOL this made me laugh, well done!

Posted by: LloydChristmas | December 8, 2010 10:08 PM | Report abuse

talk about grasping at straws... LOL hey whatever makes you feel better

Posted by: joek443 | December 8, 2010 10:12 PM | Report abuse

Clearly, Pittsburgh, Washington, and Philadelphia need to make some dramatic organizational and personnel changes to plug the many existing holes so they don't let the other teams catch up during games.

Posted by: LloydChristmas | December 8, 2010 10:12 PM | Report abuse

Here is the difference. The Flyers have won a Cup. Is that 11 straight for the Penquins. The Capitals will end up around three or four in the conference. I think Philly, Pittsburgh and Boston will have better records.

Posted by: pkme | December 8, 2010 10:17 PM | Report abuse

You all are missing the point, especially about the Penguins. To dismiss their whopping of Toronto and overplay Philly's demise to SJ, and then pretend their performances somehow relate to us and justifies our meltdown to Toronto, is why we'll always be losers!! HOW MANY OF YOU WANT TO SEE THE PENGUINS IN THE PLAYOFFS? I would hope the answer is a resounding no. So the question begs WHY?

Posted by: vermontcaps | December 8, 2010 10:29 PM | Report abuse

@yosemite_sam

Thank you, Sharks!

Posted by: CapsFan75 | December 8, 2010 10:30 PM | Report abuse

@pkme

Well, as many of our beloved posters have said many times, it doesn't matter much what seeding you get. And if you can predict that now, more power to you.

The Caps won 14 in a row last year and finished 1st - didn't matter much in the playoffs, as I recall.

Posted by: yosemite_sam | December 8, 2010 10:31 PM | Report abuse

And I'd prefer to see the Pens in the playoffs - should make for a pretty epic series and also, if the Caps go all the way, we won't have to hear any crap about how we had an easy path or similar b.s.

Posted by: yosemite_sam | December 8, 2010 10:33 PM | Report abuse

By the way, I'd certainly agree that the Caps need to toughen up and figure out the 2C slot, but the level of consternation here over a SOL in December is pretty excessive.

Posted by: yosemite_sam | December 8, 2010 10:37 PM | Report abuse

I have a trade. Trade Eric Fehr, Scultz and a 1st and 2nd round pick for Taveres. The Caps would be unstoppable. Forget Richards.

Posted by: pkme | December 8, 2010 10:38 PM | Report abuse

"The Flyers have won a Cup."

@pkme

When was the last time the Flyers have won the Cup? How many players in the NHL were even alive the last time the Flyers won the SC? Those wins have about as much relevance to the play of the present teams as a cricket match played in India in 1980. Meaningless.

I think the Caps will likely finish 1 or 2 in the conference and at worst 3. EIther way, it won't make much of a difference come playoff time. Home ice advantage hasn't mattered too much with the Caps. If anything, starting on the road may be good for them.

@vermontcaps

I want the Caps to play the Pens in the Eastern Conference Finals. That is what I am hoping for. It was great hockey the last series they played(except for game 7) and I think it would make for great hockey again. I would love to see that and I would like the Caps chances in it too.

The Pens are on fire right now and so is Crosby, but the one thing about them is they are really a one line scoring team right now. Malkin has not added much so far(that could always change). Their wingers are nothing to be afraid of. If anything, this could be a team that has trouble scoring in the playoffs when teams clamp down due to them basically having one scoring threat, even though that scoring threat is awesome.

Posted by: sgm3 | December 8, 2010 10:45 PM | Report abuse

I am half kidding folks. he would beI would do Fehr and a 1st round and 2nd round pick. One thing BB is great at is developing raw talent and young players. Taveras could be great with the right coaching and the right team. The Islanders are dysfunctional.

Posted by: pkme | December 8, 2010 10:47 PM | Report abuse

sgm.

You are right on this one.

My previous posted before I could correct the wording in preview.

Posted by: pkme | December 8, 2010 10:50 PM | Report abuse

How is it that Eric Godard gets shifts w/Crosby, but DJK can't get into a game? He was able to mete-out justice ON THE SPOT. Four fights for the Pens, four wins. Engellend plays a valuable role, Erskine's nothing but fringe meat here.
I could go on and on....

Our competition isn't the Southleast division,(Oh no, ATLANTA! How can we break their trapping system?? sheeesh...), it's the teams in the Atlantic and Northeast...DUH! Until tools in both Caps mgmt, and on this site, realize that we're doomed to crying in our beers come April (or should i say wine, champagne, and milk for caps fans here?)

Unlike most of you, I really don't care if we win the cup. SO LONG AS WE FINISH THE SEASON AHEAD OF PHILLY AND PITTS, THE SEASON IS A SUCCESS. That we can't compete w/either team if the game deteriorated into a dirty, nasty, cheap-shot punchfest BOTHERS ME TO NO END. (Oh wait, this is the Caps...we'd rather skate away meekly, like dogs w/tails between our legs, than engage in a bitterly-contested, hard-fought match)....hurry back ****55, we need you!

Posted by: vermontcaps | December 8, 2010 10:52 PM | Report abuse

Vermon

You just can not resist picking on 55. Lets sum it up. The whole team is not playing great hockey tough hockey. Do not blame Schultz. There are 23 players on this roster. I agree the Caps do not scare anybody anymore. They need some more grit but do not blame Schultz for that. All of your posts either start with picking on Scultz or end up picking on Schultz. Pick on Eric Fehr for once who has disappeared this year.

Posted by: pkme | December 8, 2010 10:59 PM | Report abuse

Ovie has taken shifts with 4th line a few times and even with DJK.

Posted by: sgm3 | December 8, 2010 11:01 PM | Report abuse

@vermont - count me in as 1 that wants to see the Pens in the playoffs. My ideal Cup winning parade would be to beat Pit in the ECF & then Detroit in the SC Finals. It could be our revenge tour.

@pkme - you do realize that in order for teh Caps to NOT finish in the top 3 of the conference we would have to lose the SE division. At this point I don't think that is very likely. Granted a lot can change but at this point we are far & away the favorites.

There is so much panic here. For all you chicken littles out there why don't you go on Philly's board and see if they're paniced.

GMGM isn't done, there will be more deals by the end of the deadline. I'd like to see him lay low for the rest of the month and see how this team does w/Hannan (minus Schultz) & w/MP playing up here and see what happens. I really think JS being out for 4-6 weeks will be very revealing just not sure which direction is going to go. This team today is better than the one that lost to Montreal.

Posted by: pokerface1208 | December 8, 2010 11:02 PM | Report abuse

The Pens are on fire right now and so is Crosby, but the one thing about them is they are really a one line scoring team right now.
-----------------

1. They're doing this without Staal arguably their best two-way forward who I'm assuming will be back sometime before the playoffs.

2. Unless you wanna reinvent the wheel and go against the conventional wisdom which is you must be strong up the middle, I'd much rather have those three stud centers than star wingers.

3. That will be two more stud centers than what the Caps have right now.

Posted by: joek443 | December 8, 2010 11:07 PM | Report abuse

@biggamecindy

mark my words, your derision of the Caps will PALE IN COMPARISON TO MINE if GMGM and BB don't address this matter and your Pens embarrass us Jan. 1

Posted by: vermontcaps | December 8, 2010 11:08 PM | Report abuse

4. It's scary to imagine how many more points Crosby would have if he played with better wingers.

Posted by: joek443 | December 8, 2010 11:10 PM | Report abuse

Poker you are correct. I was not thinking. Then three.

Posted by: pkme | December 8, 2010 11:14 PM | Report abuse

@pkme

I can't stand ****55, never have and never will. The infatuation w/him on this site is mindboggling. When ya'll post your projected signings, and the $$ amount you associate with him, it just turns my stomach. I will always and forever be passionate and unrelenting in my criticism of ****55, and unlike the Caps I don't have a problem kicking someone when they're down. Perhaps if BB's favoritism of him, and others on the backline, WASN'T SO BLANTANT as to force THE ONLY HARD-NOSED DMAN ON THE TEAM out of the lineup, maybe I'd cut him a little slack....wait a minute, just remembered his fight against that feared heavyweight Tim Jackman; forget about that!

Posted by: vermontcaps | December 8, 2010 11:23 PM | Report abuse

pkme - no worries.

If anybody here hasn't looked at the WC standings you should! It's incredible how tight the west is. I don't think there's a "stand out" team right now out there. If you don't think every point counts, talk to about 12 teams out there.

Posted by: pokerface1208 | December 8, 2010 11:41 PM | Report abuse

BB's idea of only playing Ersk and DJK against "tough" teams undermines the whole concept of "team" play.....are we a tough team that sticks together ALWAYS, or do we try to be a tough team only when we scramble to match-up against the likes of Boston, Philly, Pitts (hell, even Atlanta dresses Boulton, Eager, Thorburn and the mighty Jim Slater who schooled Steckel in our own building)?? C'mon, YOU CAN'T HAVE IT BOTH WAYS! Apparently, the Pens have recognized this once again and have constructed a team that is SCARY GOOD and PHYSICALLY INTIMIDATING. Those of you chomping at the bit to see them in the "ECF", the only thing i can think of is that you were dropped at birth.

Posted by: vermontcaps | December 8, 2010 11:45 PM | Report abuse

@vermont - really dude? They're playing well now sure. It's a long time to the playoffs. They'll have a losing streak and we'll have a winning streak. Pitt is not a better team than last yr IMO. Losing Gonchar will hurt them in the playoffs for sure. Martin & Michalek don't equal a Gonchar. I'm not drinkin the Cool Aid of any team right now. For every team that is on a streak now, they had an opposite streak a couple weeks ago and it'll happen again.

Posted by: pokerface1208 | December 8, 2010 11:51 PM | Report abuse

@pokerface
@sgm3

Let's see: the Pens have no trouble scoring goals (offense), are 2nd in the league ga (defense), lead the league in fights (toughness) AND YOU'D STILL LIKE TO FACE THEM IN THE ECF?

Forget the playoffs for now, let's focus on Jan. 1st....how do we negate Godard, Engelland, Rupp, Asham, Orpic, Adams, Cooke, Talbot, Lovejoy? I know, Hendricks, Brads, and Chimera!!

Posted by: vermontcaps | December 8, 2010 11:59 PM | Report abuse

"Godard, Engelland, Rupp, Asham, Orpic, Adams, Cooke, Talbot, Lovejoy?"

Yeah, that is the hockey version of murderer's row there. They don't worry me at all.

@joek443

Crosby takes multiple shifts each game with Malkin on his wing.

It is true that Staal will come back. It will be interesting to see what happens with that dynamic. However, this same amazing Pens team was very ordinary about a month ago then things just changed. Teams go hot and cold during a season. It happened to the Caps last year, it has already happened to the Pens this year(cold the hot). It's December, if the Pens keep this up through April, then I may start thinking differently.

Personally I hope the Pens win all their games until they play the Caps on December 23. I would love to see the Caps end their winning streak and think they would.

@vermontcaps

I would love to see the Caps face the Pens in the ECF. I think it would great to watch and I would like the Caps chances of winning.

Posted by: sgm3 | December 9, 2010 12:15 AM | Report abuse

@poker
@sgm

I sure hope you're right and I'm wrong, but you can't honestly (i hope) go down the roster man-to-man and say we've got a better playoff-constructed team. Team play and leadership?? I've articulated what's wrong with the Caps in this regard LOUDLY on these threads, no need to do so again. And honestly, this is first Pens game I've seen all year (who would watch them?) and, damn, I'M VERY IMPRESSED AND I CAN'T STAND IT!!

Posted by: vermontcaps | December 9, 2010 12:25 AM | Report abuse

@poker
@sgm

thanks for the vent, nothing personal....i'm off to my nightmares, goodnight

Posted by: vermontcaps | December 9, 2010 12:29 AM | Report abuse

This team today is better than the one that lost to Montreal.

Posted by: pokerface1208 | December 8, 2010 11:02 PM

In talent - Yes. In PK - Yes. In overall team style - No.

Posted by: tominsocal1 | December 9, 2010 12:42 AM | Report abuse

I can't stand ****55, never have and never will. The infatuation w/him on this site is mindboggling.

Posted by: vermontcaps | December 8, 2010 11:23 PM

could it be mindboggling because it doesn't take much to boggle your mind? :)

Posted by: Capt_Kirk_in_AZ | December 9, 2010 12:44 AM | Report abuse

I've articulated what's wrong with the Caps in this regard LOUDLY on these threads, no need to do so again.

Posted by: vermontcaps | December 9, 2010 12:25 AM

typing in all CAPS does not = articulating

Posted by: Capt_Kirk_in_AZ | December 9, 2010 12:49 AM | Report abuse

The last series the Caps and Pens faced each other in the playoffs was an instant classic. Any true hockey fan would love to see another series like that.

The Pens are playing great right now and I wouldn't be surprised if the Caps get on a roll like they are at anytime. Crosby has elevated his game and is reaching legendary status if he keeps it up.

Pens have great center depth. Solid defense, great offense. Good, proven goaltending. Coaching is good. Very good supporting cast of grit, heart, and special teams players.

The Caps have great wingers, not enough center depth. Great offense at times. Questionable defense (Green still got a ways to go in learning D). Not sure about goaltending. Coaching isn't very good IMO. Not enough supporting cast of grit, heart, and special teams.

Caps are trying to improve in their defense, it seems to show at times but it hasn't really worked consistently (how many 3rd period leads have they blown this season?).

All the bashing I've done is because if the Caps don't have OVI, Semin, & Backs going 100% of the time on offense, then they are going to be an average team because they still have trouble playing solid, tight team defense ie., Habs, Bruins style. You can't expect a team like the Caps playing that style with such an offensive cast and system.


Posted by: BigGameSid | December 9, 2010 1:29 AM | Report abuse

It's a shame I believe OV could be as good as Crosby is right now if he had the work ethic, focus, and a changed mentality maybe he still will someday when he finally learns.

Time is of the essence though, you only have a small window in the salary cap world to win it all with a team stocked with young talent.

Posted by: BigGameSid | December 9, 2010 1:37 AM | Report abuse

sid, i, as do many others on this board question ovi's work ethic at times. sometimes i think he believes his own hype way too much. but i honestly don't know what his work ethic is. i just see sometimes very lazy backchecking and at times floating in the defensive end. maybe next year ovi can learn from crosby that you have to continue to work hard in the off season even if you're considered one of the best in the world. but again, i have no idea what either do in the off season. i just know that the whole world is seeing the results of crosby's efforts.

time will tell if we'll have a cup contending team or a team that just believes their own hype and feels they don't have to work to earn their victories.

as a life long caps fan, i hope they do.

Posted by: natresgroup | December 9, 2010 1:53 AM | Report abuse

Im a HUGE caps fan and always have been since they started and have always hated the pens.But in reality as much as i hate to say it the pens are a better team.One instance,the pens beat a bottom team in the leafs as they should have.they didnt blow there lead in the third period.thats what championship teams do.they beat who there suppose to dont blow stupid games.something has to change with the caps or they will never take that next step to be a championship team.whether its coaches or players or gm,something is wrong and has been for a long time.believe me i think the caps are great but could take a few pages from the pens(Oooo that hurts to say)

Posted by: gratefuldid | December 9, 2010 2:23 AM | Report abuse

@ poker face: "When I'm out teaching my kids I try to teach them to play the game the way he does regardless of talent. I can't stand players that do nothing but whine & complain. Mario must be a good mentor." --- I am not a Pens fan, but this is obsurd. Rookie year aside, when has he whined? He is Captain that is his job and RIGHT to get in the ref's faces and express concern. I know I was a captain for three years. Are you going to teach your kids to spray little kids with ice or break other people's property?

Posted by: penscapsNOTarivalry | December 9, 2010 7:32 AM | Report abuse

@ sgm: What are you talking about 1 line scoring. Yes Crosby is on a tear, but two games in a two games in a row, they got scoring from three lines. Their third line is arguably playing the best hockey on the team. And (pot calling kettle) what is our great other scoring line. Take away the top line and then what. Pens have Malkin coming back off injury and Stall hasn't played a game this year. Cooke may move to fourth line with Malkin-Stall-Asham on two... that line doesn't scare you?

Posted by: penscapsNOTarivalry | December 9, 2010 7:36 AM | Report abuse

Cooke may move to fourth line with Malkin-Stall-Asham on two
------------

No, that line scares me. When he's on and in a physical game [ie., the playoffs] Malkin might be the best player in the game, very, very few d-men in the world can stop him, legally. And certainly not many team's 2nd pairings.

There's a reason why Malkin won the Conn Smythe that year, much as it killed the Canuck sportswriters to give it to a non-Canadian. And a Russian at that, no less. Malkin's a beast.

But what set the Pens apart in playoffs past was their special teams; losing Gonchar hurt. I don't care how well Letang's playing now, wait til the pressure heats up. You need an elite PP qb to do anything in the playoffs, and I not having Gonch will come back to bite.

Posted by: Timbo_1 | December 9, 2010 10:43 AM | Report abuse

@timbo_1: Maaaaaaybe. I just checked the stats. The year they won the Cup 20.6% (7th in the playoffs). Last year 26.3% (3rd in the playoffs). PK is more important in the playoffs, witness our team going a whopping 3% last year against Montreal. I was simply saying that sgm says they are only 1 line so no worry. The second line could be as stated with their third line untouched. Could be scary, that is all.

Posted by: penscapsNOTarivalry | December 9, 2010 2:50 PM | Report abuse

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