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John Carlson's preseason debut impresses Boudreau

Although the Capitals' 6-2, preseason-opening victory over the Columbus Blue Jackets was not a display of defensive fortitude, the performance of one of the team's rising young blue liners particularly pleased Coach Bruce Boudreau.

John Carlson saw more than 21 minutes of ice time, blocked two shots, made minimal errors in his own zone -- which he was able to correct himself -- and furthered Boudreau's belief that he is prepared to be a key cog in the Capitals' defense.

"He's picked up where he left off," Boudreau said. "Carlson's going to be a fairly good offensive player, too, and I say that because I find myself telling him the exact stuff I told to Mike Green. Their playing [style is] very similar as far as an offensive player goes."

Carlson's ability to step in on the point on the power play should take some pressure off of Green, Boudreau said, when the two-time Norris Trophy candidate can't play the entire length of a man advantage.

Earlier during training camp, Carlson said he hoped that the Capitals would eventually rely on him the way his previous teams - the AHL's Hershey Bears, the United States' world junior squad and the OHL's London Knights - have. It might not take long for Carlson to get his wish, even if he is still working out a few kinks.

"I felt pretty good" against the Blue Jackets, Carlson said. "I didn't exactly know what to expect because it's the first real game situation in a while and I felt rusty at some points, but overall, I thought I played good. At one point I stepped up and poke checked a guy; it hit into his pads but it was good to recover from that. As time goes on, it will all get easier."

Sparring partners

After practice this morning, Capitals heavyweight D.J. King and Dustin Stevenson rehearsed some fighting moves after the other players left the ice.

No real punches were thrown. The players simply mimicked arm movements in a mock fracas because, well, they don't get to work on things like that much during a regular skate.

"It's hard to practice anything like that," said King (6-3, 230) who didn't hesitate to show Stevenson (6-5, 220), a fellow Saskatchewan native, how things are done. "He wanted to get a little sense of what it was like. He's a big boy, so I just showed him a few things but also for myself, it's nice to do that, just moving the arms like we did and get a little work in."

By Katie Carrera  | September 23, 2010; 6:12 PM ET
Categories:  D.J. King, John Carlson  
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Next: Who ya got?: Capitals' open roster spots

Comments

Wow Katie, you are On Fire! Keep the updates coming!

Posted by: MReilly9 | September 23, 2010 6:18 PM | Report abuse

I'm Mclovin' the idea of DJ King teaching Stevenson how to fight.

Posted by: GFisher1 | September 23, 2010 6:22 PM | Report abuse

I still think this quote got overlooked. Especially considering who it came from, what he was saying BB was saying, and the fact that it came after a 6-2 win. Isn't this the mindset the "haters" on here were asking for.

"Coach asked about two things: he wants to win and he wants us to play good defensively," Fleischmann said. "I think he's happy with one thing, but defensively, stuff was really bad."

Look what BB asked the players to do, isn't that exactly what the "haters" want?

Posted by: sgm3 | September 23, 2010 6:38 PM | Report abuse

@sgm3

I noticed that about BB as well...He seems to be more critical and demanding so far this season...used to be that a win was a win and how well you played was not as important. I hope he doesn't become overly critical...but this will probably be a good thing.

Posted by: capscoach | September 23, 2010 6:49 PM | Report abuse

@sgm3

I noticed that about BB as well...He seems to be more critical and demanding so far this season...used to be that a win was a win and how well you played was not as important. I hope he doesn't become overly critical...but this will probably be a good thing.

Posted by: capscoach | September 23, 2010 6:49 PM | Report abuse

we'll see how serious BB is about playing well defensively the first time Ovi or Green coughs it up and what BB does about it when the season starts.

if he sits their a$$ down for a few shifts then we should all be impressed.

Posted by: joek443 | September 23, 2010 7:32 PM | Report abuse

@joek443

But who would play defense if Green got sat down for a few shifts? It's an axiom that Green gets the most playing time on the team.

It would actually be easier for the Caps to absorb Ovi being sat for a few shifts than Green since more forwards (and forward lines) play in a game. (Not easy, mind you, but more possible.) Ironically, during the infamous Columbus game that Ovi had gotten injured, I had wondered if Ovi was being sat down for a few shifts since he was not having a very good game that day. But when he didn't come back on power plays, I thought something was up. And then when the intermission came and guys were asked about playing without Ovi, we knew he was hurt.

Posted by: CapsFan75 | September 23, 2010 10:59 PM | Report abuse

@ CapsFan75

According to GMGM, BB's job is very secure so it shouldn't be such a tough choice for BB to sit Green or anyone else down for a few shifts or even a couple periods if he felt like it.

That is if he's willing to sacrifice a regular season game to teach these guys a lesson for the post-season... the lesson being win or lose, he will no longer tolerate sloppy defensive plays committed by ANYONE.

Posted by: joek443 | September 23, 2010 11:27 PM | Report abuse

"Coach asked about two things: he wants to win and he wants us to play good defensively," Fleischmann said. "I think he's happy with one thing, but defensively, stuff was really bad."

Look what BB asked the players to do, isn't that exactly what the "haters" want?

Posted by: sgm3 | September 23, 2010 6:38 PM

First off, the "haters" (I call em the goat sacrificers) want the players to speak good English. Flash should have said, "He wants us to play well defensively" instead of "...good defensively." Obviously Flash is not committed with his English. Second, and far more importantly, the coach told them to play a certain way and they just ignored him. Instead the players went out and won 6-2, playing just like they did last year apparently and forcing the golaie to come up big. So, not to sound like a "hater," but if not for varly, the team could have let in a few early and lost.

As for joek, you don't sit down a player for coughing up the puck. You sit down a player if he doesn't listen to instructions or doesn't put out a decent effort. Do you have any children, joek443?

I didn't think so.

BTW, we went to a Mexican grocery store tonight for t-bone steak and shrimp on sale $2.99ea/lb and they also had cranberry juice and limes on sale. Quick, what does that mean? YES! Cosmos! And they are bright red, so I have something else besides red wine with which to rock the red. Plus I've turned it into a "desert cosmo" by adding prickly pear syrup.

As I've been saying for 500 years, "Necessity is the mother of invention, and Frank Zappa is the father."

nt

Posted by: tominsocal1 | September 23, 2010 11:55 PM | Report abuse

PRICKLY PEAR COSMOPOLITAN

Here, impress your friends!

Fill a tall tumbler with ice. Put one part vodka (I like Svedka), one part triple sec (Cointreau if you are a big spender like a hockey player), maybe three parts cranberry juice and a dash (only) of the syrup. Then squeeze in a lime. Stirred, not shaken. A little lighter than "Caps jerset red," but close. The syrup you must order on line, not cheap, but a little goes a long way and it's very healthy. Remember your five food groups: vodka, cointreau, cranberry juice, lime juice and prickly pear. Healthy consumption IS important and cranberry juice IS good for the urinary tract. As they say, take care of your urinary tract and IT will take care of you.

I was going to post something hockey related, but forgot what it was.

My two daughters living with us are driving down into the San Fernando Valley as one is dating a guy who plays hockey in a "beer league," as I call it. Hope they enjoy the game.

Caps will be here at Anaheim Wed Feb 16. Supposedly pokerface and his group will be here on their yearly hockey road trip. I am that week driving on Mon Feb 14 to PHX, then back for ANA and then up to SJ the next day Thu 17th Feb. In between I'll see my vacant lot in Lake Havasu City, AZ, stay with my other daughter in San Diego and visit wine country and Big Sur on the way back from SJ. Hopefully it will be a win-win-win. I think struggler said he is from LA so that makes another who can maybe make it to the Ducks game.

I still have no clue what it was hockey related I would post. Sometimes when you stop thinking about something you suddenly think about it but this isn't one of those times.

Oh!

I was going to bring up reminder to all that we will, apparently, be without cstanton the next few days, as he said he was going salmon fishing (OK, not hockey related, blog related). It got me to wondering what kind of salmon cstanton preferred, those farm raised kinds they sell in the grocery these days or those gritty, tenacious salmon that would swim upstream to spawn like you'd see bears catching in old videos. I had decided that any salmon that was easy to catch, cstanton would throw it back: "Too soft. Probably tastes like crap."

See there, those cosmos helped me remember.

For most of you, it is tomorrow; for me, it's still today. How's the view from there?

Posted by: tominsocal1 | September 24, 2010 12:31 AM | Report abuse

FINALLY!

While mixing one last cosmo for the evening, suddenly it came back, the hockey related item:

The Toronto Maple Leafs. Incl the entry level bonuses, they are $6M over the cap for this year! Incredible because they aren't even good! Boston also has about $6M in space problem incl EL bonuses I think (Savard LTIR would fix the regular salary but not sure on bonuses) and then you had Calgary, Canucks, Devils, maybe Rangers. Hawks are set - one roster space open and $1M under - by signing a bunch of not too bad players to min contracts.

Point is...just before opening night, there will be some shuffling! This is one last chance for Georgie Porgie to "do the right thing."

C'mon, George! At a bare minimum, can we puh-leeze have at least one defenseman who would rather eat salmon raw, right out of the Snake River, than smoked, fried, baked or sauteed?

Please! I will stop beyotching about center if we can have a defenseman! I'm talking really mean, George! The kind who would slam the front door on his own kid on Halloween! Sign him, George!

Posted by: tominsocal1 | September 24, 2010 1:00 AM | Report abuse

It got me to wondering what kind of salmon cstanton preferred

Posted by: tominsocal1 | September 24, 2010 12:31 AM

not euro salmon

Posted by: Capt_Kirk_in_AZ | September 24, 2010 1:38 AM | Report abuse

Yea Joe

Sit OV ...it's a wonder your still not coaching in the NHL

Posted by: jeets | September 24, 2010 8:27 AM | Report abuse

@Nostrotominsocal1:
1) what is your prognostication for Flash given the results of the first pre-season game?

2) while you are in Big Sur, be sure to stop by the restaurant "Nepenthe". There are unbelievable views from this spot, and it was also filmed in the old movie "The Sandpipers" starring Elizabeth Taylor, Richard Burton and Eva Marie Saint.

Posted by: dccitizen1 | September 24, 2010 9:00 AM | Report abuse

dccitizen1,

I lived in Monterey for three years and know the exact spot you are talking about, great view and food although a bit pricey.

Also tom, if you get into the Monterey area go to Carmel which is quite close and have dinner at "The Fire by the Forge", really nice atmosphere with outdoor tables sitting by huge fireplaces. The Hogsbreath Saloon is also close to there and is owned by Clint Eastwood, fun place.


So nice to have hockey back, watched some of the Leafs/Flyers game last night. Just with CSN Washington would get off their duffs and televise the Caps preseason games!

Posted by: PhilR | September 24, 2010 9:12 AM | Report abuse

@tominsocal

It's all about the Belvedere or Chopin vodka...I HIGHLY reccomend those. 3 shots in a rock glass, couple cubes of ice, lime wedge squished and then dropped in it, just a splash of cran to make it pink. BAM, now thats tasty. Either that or Jameson's 12 neat or perhaps some Johnny Black/Glenlivet 18 (12 if you must).

Also...what about the pouches of packaged salmon in water, that are also resealable? It's kind of gritty and sold in stores. :)

I agree that there should be some shuffling amonst teams before the first games of the season...too many teams are over their cap and still need pieces.

Someone wanted a prediction of Flash? He will play terrible at center like usual, rack up some points (most of them coming from when the Caps are already ahead), hopefully increase his trade value due to said points, and then we package him out for a D before the end of December. That is UNLESS GMGM moves him for a D right before the season starts. We shall see.

P.S. I still want to steal Zajac from NJ.

Posted by: SeminAllOverTheIce | September 24, 2010 9:13 AM | Report abuse

"with" should be wish......

Posted by: PhilR | September 24, 2010 9:14 AM | Report abuse

Someone wanted a prediction of Flash? He will play terrible at center like usual, rack up some points (most of them coming from when the Caps are already ahead), hopefully increase his trade value due to said points, and then we package him out for a D before the end of December. That is UNLESS GMGM moves him for a D right before the season starts. We shall see.

P.S. I still want to steal Zajac from NJ.

Posted by: SeminAllOverTheIce | September 24, 2010 9:13 AM

Wouldn't we all like Zajac? But if you saw him play with Parise and Kovy you'd know he's the last player Lou would dump to get under the cap. He's more likely to send Zubrus and other NHL'ers to the AHL than trade Zajac....

Posted by: Thisistheyear | September 24, 2010 9:19 AM | Report abuse

@Thisistheyear

I hope the next time I accidentally spill some beer at the Phone Booth, it finds its way down the back of your shirt and down your neck so that you become slighty chilled and uncomfortable. Ha...that's what you get for shattering my hopes and dreams. ;)

Posted by: SeminAllOverTheIce | September 24, 2010 9:31 AM | Report abuse

tominsocal1: For the best breakfast you will ever have in Carmel go to Katy's. It's on mission street. A little high but the servings are HUGE and they don't mind if two people split a plate. The California eggs benedict is awesome.

Posted by: fanohock1 | September 24, 2010 9:39 AM | Report abuse

SAOTI,

You mean you aren't confident in Flash's outstanding 2C abilities?

Also, BB comparing Carlson to Green is a little off to me. They may be about the same offensively for when Green was at Carlson's experience level but I think Carlson is well ahead of Green defensively at the same point. Just my opinion, what does everyone else think?

Posted by: PhilR | September 24, 2010 9:42 AM | Report abuse

I thought it was pretty funny how GMGM wasn't worried about it "exposing strategic details of the Capitals' game plan." What strategic details? Didn't anybody see the playoffs last spring? I think this is an excellent opportunity to strategically PRETEND to have a strategic game plan while the cameras are rolling. This will strategically confuse the opposition into thinking that we have strategy.

Posted by: struggler | September 23, 2010 6:29 PM


@struggler:

FTR, I stand roughly in the middle: while I generally support GMGM, and trust that he knows more about assembling an NHL team than I do, I also find myself concerned by the apparent lack of significant roster moves in the offseason--i.e., those few moves that could put our boys over the top. And I don't necessarily mean "over the top" of the Salary Cap either.


That being said, I found your post to be clever and amusing. I mean it. Welcome to the War Zone.


"Excuse me sir. Seeing as how the VP is such a VIP, shouldn't we keep the PC on the QT, because if the PC leaks to the VC, the VP could end up MIA, and then we'd all be put on KP."

Posted by: Rhino40 | September 24, 2010 9:52 AM | Report abuse

famohock,

Good call!! Completely forgot Katy's! Awesome place and was great hangover food for us after a night on the town. I was 22 and single living in the barracks with a bunch of other young, single military guys. Great memories!

Posted by: PhilR | September 24, 2010 9:53 AM | Report abuse

Rhino

was that a MASH ref?

Posted by: jeets | September 24, 2010 10:05 AM | Report abuse

Working from home today so I'm watching the replay of the Edmonton/Tampa game on NHL Network. The Caps could have their hands full with Tampa this year (at least from what I have seen so far), they have a lot of speed, and are physical as he!!. Of course this could have a lot to do with the team they are playing in Edmonton.

Posted by: PhilR | September 24, 2010 10:11 AM | Report abuse

Hey Katie, why are the links to the other teams' blogs suddenly gone from the left hand column of your blog. Those links were a great resource. Any chance you can get them back up there?

Posted by: AnnandaleAnnie | September 24, 2010 10:19 AM | Report abuse

PhilR: So you must have been up at the Presidio.

For everyone wondering why moves weren't made in the off-season: Even though I'm not as critical as some on here I believe some moves were necessary. To try to figure out where GMGM was coming from I think about how he was going to make that happen. First, via free agency. Obviously the more expensive route (Martin 5mil x 5, Michalek 4mil x 5, Gonchar (can't remember), Mitchell 3.5 x 2, Volchenkov 4.25 x 6 +NMC, Hamhuis 4.5 x 6). Willie Mitchell was probably the best chance but I swear, even the experts on NHL Home Ice believe that a two year deal for Mitchell is extremely risky. Hopefully for him it works out but all you have to do is look at the Savard situation to realize Mitchell could be in the same boat. Even though Savard and the Bruins are denying Savard is out for the year because of post concussion syndrom, they have not denied that he isn't ready now.

Now, if we were going to do it via trade. Of course everyone will suggest trading Flash, Poti, Erskine, and other players that we feel we can do without. Some have even suggest Semin. However, most trade rumors I have seen involve another team asking for someone like Carlson or Neuvert as well. I don't know about you everyone else but I see Carlson as a Capital for pretty much his entire career and letting Neuvert go, right now, would be like letting Kolzig go when Carey was manning the net. The fact is, the Caps just don't know if Varly or Neuvy will be the mainstay, or Holtby for that matter, so trading Neuvy is premature IMO.

Posted by: fanohock1 | September 24, 2010 10:20 AM | Report abuse

@PhilR

I think BB specifically said "offensively" for a reason. I think he knows JC is much more sound defensively than MG. Being that MG is an awesome offensive d-man, comparing JC's offensive skills as a d-man to MG, is a he11 of a compliment.

Now if he said "Their playing [style is] very similar as far as an defensive player goes". I would have said "Oh F#$K ME".

Posted by: SeminAllOverTheIce | September 24, 2010 10:20 AM | Report abuse

Rhino

was that a MASH ref?

Posted by: jeets
----

nope, it's a Good Morning Vietnam reference with Robin Williams

Posted by: FrankM73 | September 24, 2010 10:21 AM | Report abuse

dccitizen: Ha! Been to Nepenthe. Views were incredible!

PhilR: Thanks too, also been to Monterey several times and Carmel. This will be very nice if we can get tickets to Shark Tank. Maybe I should order soon.

fanohock: Thanks there too. All kinds of recs here. Leaving SJ in the morning we would be in Santa Cruz or Monterey for lunch on the pier. I don't know yet if we'll come all the way home yet that day or stay over somewhere. Might due pm hiking Big Sur at the state park and then stay around San Luis Opispo.

I don't recall ever seeing any Caps fans here in SJ area.

PhilR: I think comparison Green to Carlson is BB likes his defensemen to fit into molds. I think he'd prefer all things equal 3 RH d-men right side offense first and three portsiders defense first Alzner, Schultz, Poti. That way the team can expect no matter which pair the same type of D play from any group.

Posted by: tominsocal1 | September 24, 2010 10:23 AM | Report abuse

I don't want to start a controversy here but why isn't Matt Hendricks listed on the Capitals roster? The rest of the player in camp are on the roster. I realize he is the only one in camp in a tryout, which might explain it.

Posted by: fanohock1 | September 24, 2010 10:27 AM | Report abuse

"BTW, we went to a Mexican grocery store tonight for t-bone steak and shrimp on sale $2.99ea/lb"

I wish I could find prices like that in the DC Area, wow.

Posted by: wtf_e_fehr | September 24, 2010 10:29 AM | Report abuse

fanohock: Good points. Gonchar, at 5.5, wasn't what we needed.

I think though Andy Sutton 2 yrs at 2.5 each would have given us a complimentary defensive style we now lack. How's that for saying it nicely?

And Koivu at same contract...I know he wanted to stay in place, but he would have been perfect #2C/vet presence/PK anchor/etc.

Maybe GM is waiting for dust to clear on over-cap teams and will surprise us yet. I'd rather get a bigger present Dec 26 anyway than something smaller on the 25th.

Let us pray.

OK, maybe not, so let us hope fervently.

Posted by: tominsocal1 | September 24, 2010 10:32 AM | Report abuse

@Rhino: Thanks for the welcome. I've been posting sporadically for years on TSN, under the assumption that would be the likeliest destination for intelligent fans to debate/comment. Erroneous assumption. Been reading the Post as long as I can remember but never looked at the fan comments until a few days ago. Was happy to see some really intelligent comments.

Yesterday I posted something that came out pretty much exactly the way you phrased it: GMGM by any objective measure has drafted extremely well. In theory, the value he has assembled through the draft should be sufficient to make moves here and there for any brand of player that he has not picked in the draft (i.e. mean defensemen). His failings have been in his moves and his non-moves. Even though I am one of those who believes that he has indeed been a failure in that regard (most notable case in point--ALL of the acquisitions at the deadline last spring), I am still not ready to get on the anti-GMGM bandwagon. I think this team's golden era of "best chance to win the cup" starts this season and lasts for the next 3 seasons. That era coincides with the maturation of all of the aforementioned valuable players GMGM has assembled. Translation: in theory they should all be more valuable during this era than they have been. Thus, in my mind we shouldn't throw GMGM under the bus until he CONTINUES to fail to assemble the final pieces of the puzzle in the next few years. In theory, he'll be in a better position to bring in higher-quality puzzle pieces than he might have been able to get previously.

As for my strategy comments, that had nothing to do with GMGM. The bungled and/or missing strategy during the playoffs wasn't GMGM's fault, it was BB's fault. It is only GMGM's responsibility insofar as he keeps BB as coach while not warning him to make a decision between tightening up or getting shown the door. But I've also been on record as wanting BB to have pretty free reign again for one last season.

Posted by: struggler | September 24, 2010 10:38 AM | Report abuse

It got me to wondering what kind of salmon cstanton preferred, those farm raised kinds they sell in the grocery these days or those gritty, tenacious salmon that would swim upstream to spawn like you'd see bears catching in old videos. I had decided that any salmon that was easy to catch, cstanton would throw it back: "Too soft. Probably tastes like crap."


Posted by: tominsocal1 | September 24, 2010 12:31 AM


@Tominsocal1: Good one--LMAO.

As for your "settle for a D-Man" statement, I say unto you:

Toronto $6 million over salary cap, eh?

Hmmm...Maybe it's time for us to take another look at the possibility of acquiring Dion Phaneuf--perhaps for Fleischmann + picks/prospects? They need to dump salary, and need early round picks. We need to add a top d-man and clear the logjam at wing, so both teams could benefit.

Yes, I know he costs, and was recently named their Captain, but since when is the Captain of an NHL team "never" traded?

Most of all, he has that all-important quality of "grit" which (to cstanton1) is the sine qua non for success.

Think about it: he's young, he's nasty, and whatever he hits, he destroys! Plus, he'd probably welcome the chance to play for a team that isn't doomed to miss the playoffs throughout his prime as the Leafs seem to be.

Posted by: Rhino40 | September 24, 2010 10:40 AM | Report abuse

fanohock: Hendricks is on a tryout contract only. Maybe someone here can explain exactly what that means, but I'm guessing it's for a specified time and that he doesn't have a regular contract to be on the roster.

wtf: Other than shrimp and steak, their prices were mostly high. But the store was filled with all kinds of Mexican cooked items so it was really cool. Key limes were 2 lbs/$1 though. Many things to miss from Baltimore and Florida but lifestyle here very nice. Shrimp were farm raised from Equador and great.

Posted by: tominsocal1 | September 24, 2010 10:43 AM | Report abuse

@Tom:

I'll certainly be in Anaheim, but I do not lead the life of leisure you describe. Hehehe... thus, you will continue not seeing other Caps fans in SJ!

Posted by: struggler | September 24, 2010 10:46 AM | Report abuse

@ Tom: P.S. Did you notice the EXPLOSION of Caps' jerseys in the stands at the King's game last season? All years previous, the Caps' jersey representation was spotty. Last year, it was like 35% of the arena. And strangely, I did not like it at ALL. It made me feel like people would believe I was just another bandwagoner, ala all the Detroit bandwagoners over the years. Nobody would believe I had been there all along through thick and thin. Nobody would believe I was even from DC. They would think exactly what I always think when the Detroit bandwagoners made the same claim: "You're full of s***. Nobody is from Detroit!"

Posted by: struggler | September 24, 2010 10:53 AM | Report abuse

Koivu would've been a great fit, but he wasn't coming here. He wanted to remain out west.

I have a question. Who do you think the Capitals WILL keep on the opening day roster? Not who they should but who they WIIl.

For this question lets assume no trades will be made, so no "trade Flash for Clutterbuck" ideas for this question.

Lets also assume no injuries and that all 7 D-men, 2 goalies and 12 forwards(Ovie, Kunble, Backstrom, Semin, Flash, Laich, Fehr, Chimera, Bradley, Steckel, BGordon, and DJ King) are locks.

So who will get the other two roster spots?

It looks as though it will come down to MP, MJ, AGordon and Beagle. Because of the roster squeeze Eakin has about 0 chance of making the team(again assuming no trades).

Personally I think for game 1 AGordon and MJ will be on the team with MP and Beagle being in the minors. This is because Beagle and MP can be sent to Hershey without being placed on waivers.

The MJ case makes it intersting. If he will head back to Sweden if he does not make the Caps roster I could see him starting out on the Caps roster and playing 5 t 10 games to see how things go. However, I think MP will eventually be on the team with AGordon with MJ heading back to Sweden. Ideally MJ accepts playing in Hershey for a year and MP starts the season with the Caps.

It's an intersting situation when you take into account the waiver factor and the going to Sweden factor. Not an easy decision.

Posted by: sgm3 | September 24, 2010 10:57 AM | Report abuse

struggler: May I amend you statement, "By any objective measure GM has drafted extremely well," to add, "in the first round for the most part only?"

Yo're lucky cstanton isn't around today - he'd ripped you up for that sentence going over each pick since 2002. Generally, other than Neuvirth, Holtby, and MP, nobody from beyond Round 1 shows promise unless you count 2009 and 10, but they are early to tell. Eakin might be first #3 pick to play for caps going back into the 90s. That's not what you call, "Great drafting." My two cents.

Rhino: To get Phaneuf, you almost must move off Semin to make it fit.

Posted by: tominsocal1 | September 24, 2010 10:58 AM | Report abuse

PhilR, I do agree that Carlson seems ahead of Green defensively, but time will tell. (This means I'd like to see Green work on his defensive skills more---he was doing that at the end of last season.)

Tominsocal1: you ducked the prognostication question on Flash, but others have filled in, so we'll see if anyone rivals you for the nostro-title.

One more suggestion if you haven't already done this drive in California: 17 mile drive.

Posted by: dccitizen1 | September 24, 2010 11:05 AM | Report abuse

@tominsocal1

Isn't great drafting judging the draft in total which is getting as many top players as you can. Who cares when and where they come from, as long as you get good players and more good players than other teams.

Posted by: sgm3 | September 24, 2010 11:05 AM | Report abuse

struggler: I just moved here, so this will be first trip to Caps game out here.

sgm: Your request... "I have a question. Who do you think the Capitals WILL keep on the opening day roster? Not who they should but who they WIIl..."

I really hope they keep AG other than lose him. Hendricks is also intriguing. I can't answer w/o offering some "hope" into the mix. I would "hope" Jimi does enough to stick and MaJo agrees to play in Hershey for his own good. I agree MP and Beags to Hershey.

Posted by: tominsocal1 | September 24, 2010 11:07 AM | Report abuse

Due to the extremes of waivers, juniors, sweeden, etc...I think depending how Eakin does the rest of the preseason they may go with A Gordon and Eakin for

In a perfect world, I'd like to see B Gordo placed on waivers and Sloan...then bringing in 4 of the young pups.

Posted by: SeminAllOverTheIce | September 24, 2010 11:09 AM | Report abuse

Why is it I have heard no reports on Beagle whatsoever? You hear almost daily about MP and MaJo and I have also heard numerous reports on AGordon but none on Beagle. For those who have had a chance to get to Kettler, how has he looked? His chances of making the opening night roster are slim to none I know as two of the three mentioned above will more than likely make the team leaving no further room unless (PLEASE, PLEASE, PLEASE) a couple moves are made to thin out the logjam at forward.

Posted by: PhilR | September 24, 2010 11:09 AM | Report abuse

I don't want to start a controversy here but why isn't Matt Hendricks listed on the Capitals roster? The rest of the player in camp are on the roster. I realize he is the only one in camp in a tryout, which might explain it.

Posted by: fanohock1 | September 24, 2010 11:10 AM | Report abuse

@Tom: If you find yourself needing to stop in Monterey/Santa Cruz/the Bay Area around lunchtime, check out Erik's Delicafe. Yes, it's a chain now, but they started out with 4 or 5 locations in and around Santa Cruz. Great sandwiches.


I grew up in Santa Cruz in the late 70's-early 80's...it's the Last Bastion of the 1960's and Cradle of the New Age: You can still find real, live hippes there, making an actual living doing whatever it is that hippies do. When I lived in Santa Cruz, the Sharks didn't exist. The Ducks did't exist. And all I knew about hockey at the time was that some red-hot rookie was mounting an assault on the NHL record books in a place called Edmonton ...

Posted by: Rhino40 | September 24, 2010 11:10 AM | Report abuse

@tominsocal1

You're right, I forgot to add Hendricks into the mix also.

So that leave 5 people for two spots: Hendricks, AGordon, MJ, MP and Beagle.

Beagle and MP can be sent to Hershey without any repercussions. That leaves three players AGordon, Hendricks, and MJ who will likely be lost for the season if you don't keep them on the roster on opening day(Hendricks might make it through to Hershey since he wasn't signed with anyone to begin with).

If MJ accepted playing in Hershey that would make things easier.

It definitely is an interesting situation and no matter how it turns out I'm sure someone on here will be pissed off.

Posted by: sgm3 | September 24, 2010 11:13 AM | Report abuse

As for Phanuef: Oh, well...:/

Posted by: Rhino40 | September 24, 2010 11:14 AM | Report abuse

Yeah, have to see how Hendricks pan out. If he keeps it up, I wouldnt mind seeing him make the cut, even if it would require getting rid of another BB Love Child in Stecks. Which sucks, cause Stecks seems to have a good personality, but is over paid for what he brings.

Can Hendricks sign and play with Hershey without clearing waivers or would we need to sign a 2-way contract with him?

Posted by: SeminAllOverTheIce | September 24, 2010 11:15 AM | Report abuse

That's *Phaneuf*...stupid keyboard...

Posted by: Rhino40 | September 24, 2010 11:17 AM | Report abuse

@Tom: After an exhaustive analysis, I might have a losing argument. But the type of analysis it would require would be more exhaustive than even Cstanton can attempt. Not just a Washington pick-by-pick analysis, but the same analysis of at least a half a dozen other teams in order to get a standard for comparison. In fact, the analysis would have to be pick-by-pick of EVERY team, because that's the only way to see exactly where McPhee fits in. In other words, if Cstanton were able to prove that GMGM had poorer drafts than the six "most respected drafting teams," that would only prove that GMGM was 7th best. 7th best isn't bad. We'd need to see proof that GMGM is in the bottom 50th percentile.

I just took another look at his draft history. Agreed that star power is spotty from the later rounds. But also a few bright spots, and that trend "appears" to be growing more consistent with time. Again, it would require an exhaustive analysis to confirm this. Additionally, to entirely discredit his drafting decisions, we would need to somehow find an objective measure of what other GMs would have done in the same position. For instance, we'd need to survey 29 other GMs to see their opinion of picking Marian Havel in the 6th round in 2002.

I'm definitely not saying I'm right, I'm just saying the judgment on this is better left to hockey historians in the year 2020. Ultimately, GMs are judged by the success of their NHL teams. Luckily, we don't have to wait until 2020 to do that. But my opinion remains that we have to wait about 2-3 more years.

Posted by: struggler | September 24, 2010 11:20 AM | Report abuse

Let's clear something up. Of Tomas Fleischmann's 23 goals:

10 came in games when the Caps won by more than 2 goals.
7 goals came in games when the Caps won by 2 or less.
3 came in games when the Caps lost by a goal.
1 came in a game when the Caps lost by more than two goals.
2 came in an OTL to the NYI.

Of those 10 goals in games that the Caps won by more than 2 goals:

1 was against Pittsburgh on April 6th (Final score - 6 -3). This goal was scored 21 seconds after Sidney Crosby scored to bring the Penguins within 1, giving the Caps back their two goal lead.
1 was against Pittsburgh on January 21st (Final score - 6 -3). This goal was the first goal scored by the Caps in a 3 goal 3rd period and broke a 3 - 3 tie, giving the Caps a 4 - 3 lead.
1 was against Toronto in a 6 - 1 beatdown on January 21st. It was the Caps 5th goal of the game. (It was also the first goal after Toronto scored theirs.)
2 were against Colorado in a 6 - 1 beatdown on Dec 15th . The first goal of the two he scored was the first goal of the game putting the Caps ahead 1 - 0. The other put the Caps ahead 4 - 0.
2 were against Philadelphia in an 8 - 2 beatdown on Dec 5th. The first goal of the two he scored was the first goal of the game, the second goal put the Caps ahead 2 - 1.
1 was against Florida on Dec. 3rd, a 6 - 2 game. That goal put the Caps up 2 - 0.
2 were against Florida in a 7 - 4 win on November 7th. The first of which broke a 4-4 tie, giving the Caps a 5-4 lead. The second goal was the last of the game, making the score 7 - 4.

By my count, that means that 3 of Fleischman's 23 goals last season came after the Caps were well ahead in blowout games. (The one against Toronto, the second goal against Colorado, and the second against Florida.)
5 of those goals put the Caps ahead by 1 goal.
2 of those goals put the Caps ahead by 2 goals

Sure, he had 5 bad games out of 6 in the Playoffs and he had some bad games in the season, but for a guy that is still fairly young and has been improving every year, he came up pretty big in games against some big rivals -Pittsburgh and Philadelphia.

Posted by: piratusus | September 24, 2010 11:31 AM | Report abuse

@ Cstanton:

(I'm assuming Cstanton is so glued to this site that he'll read the material he's missed.)

I would love for you or some other analysis lover to look back at the drafts dating back to the early 90s expansions. I'd like to see the one single "best" draft of any GM in any year from the time the league was approximately the size that it is now. My guess is that one aberrantly awesome draft includes a bunch of dudes that never made it to the NHL.

Posted by: struggler | September 24, 2010 11:38 AM | Report abuse

@piratusus

So what you're saying is trade Flash ASAP?

Posted by: SeminAllOverTheIce | September 24, 2010 11:41 AM | Report abuse

@Piratusus:

I like this analysis. I'm still in the "trade Flash" camp, but I am not and haven't been a Flash hater. Never been a Flash hater because: agreed that he has improved consistently, and agreed that I reached the same conclusion of Flash's overall importance just by gut feel, without these sorts of statistics to back me up. That said, his pathetic play vs. Montreal detracts from all of this. The only way to make up for that disappointment is to have another solid regular season and, if he's not traded by then, actually show up in the spring.

Posted by: struggler | September 24, 2010 11:47 AM | Report abuse

For real though, Flash was what, a +9 for the year?

How many of his goals came on the PP?
Semin (a linemate) was a +38, quite the large difference there.

What was his +- for games he scored his goals?

Any EN goals?

Posted by: SeminAllOverTheIce | September 24, 2010 11:47 AM | Report abuse

Eakin might be first #3 pick to play for caps going back into the 90s. That's not what you call, "Great drafting." My two cents.

Rhino: To get Phaneuf, you almost must move off Semin to make it fit.

Posted by: tominsocal1
----

oooooh Tom, cannot believe you missed Sami Lepisto, 2005, #66th overall, 3rd round... lol

Posted by: FrankM73 | September 24, 2010 12:03 PM | Report abuse

SAOTI: Good comparison Flash vs Semin. I actually think Flash has worst +/- on team as a comparison to opportunity.

Frank: Good catch on Sami. 7 games for Caps maybe.

sgm: Here's the deal - I agree w/you McPhee excellent drafting Round 1 and agree with cstanton McPhee lousy drafter after Round 1. How's that for being a fence strattler? BTW, isn't it lonely here w/o cstanton?

To think, somewhere right now a salmon is being told it isn't tough enough.

Posted by: tominsocal1 | September 24, 2010 12:50 PM | Report abuse

Perreault leads McPhee 3rd round and below draft picks in career points as a Capital.

That number is nine.

I'm not sure if that's a reflection on McPhee as a drafter, or an overall condemnation of the late Pollin/early Leonsis ownership, reluctant to put money into the farm system. The case now is that the Capitals have players who compete at the AHL level, they don't have to rush them for the most part, and they are generally slotted into a system similar to the one they've been playing. So we'll likely see more 3rd round & below players eventually making it to the Capitals lineup.

Posted by: pga6 | September 24, 2010 1:42 PM | Report abuse

@Tom: After an exhaustive analysis, I might have a losing argument. But the type of analysis it would require would be more exhaustive than even Cstanton can attempt. Not just a Washington pick-by-pick analysis, but the same analysis of at least a half a dozen other teams in order to get a standard for comparison. In fact, the analysis would have to be pick-by-pick of EVERY team, because that's the only way to see exactly where McPhee fits in. In other words, if Cstanton were able to prove that GMGM had poorer drafts than the six "most respected drafting teams," that would only prove that GMGM was 7th best. 7th best isn't bad. We'd need to see proof that GMGM is in the bottom 50th percentile.

I just took another look at his draft history. Agreed that star power is spotty from the later rounds. But also a few bright spots, and that trend "appears" to be growing more consistent with time. Again, it would require an exhaustive analysis to confirm this. Additionally, to entirely discredit his drafting decisions, we would need to somehow find an objective measure of what other GMs would have done in the same position. For instance, we'd need to survey 29 other GMs to see their opinion of picking Marian Havel in the 6th round in 2002.

I'm definitely not saying I'm right, I'm just saying the judgment on this is better left to hockey historians in the year 2020. Ultimately, GMs are judged by the success of their NHL teams. Luckily, we don't have to wait until 2020 to do that. But my opinion remains that we have to wait about 2-3 more years.

Posted by: struggler | September 24, 2010 11:20 AM | Report abuse
---------------------------------------
Trust me I've looked and it's not impressive by any stretch. And by that I mean NO TEAM, even DET & PIT have great picks beyond the 1st round. Sorry but GMGM has more hits in the 1st round than we had in Afghanistan. So GMGM is overall "above average" in drafting when you look at how many of his 1st rounders are in the NHL & 2nd+ rounders. We could have 11 that's right ELEVEN homegrown 1st rounders starting on opening night this yr! What other team can say that? Let me help you, NONE!

Posted by: pokerfaceI208 | September 24, 2010 2:14 PM | Report abuse

@SAOTI

Semin had 8 pp goals and 19 pp assists in 73 games last season

Flash had 7 pp goals and 13 pp assists in 69 games (and 28 pims).

I typically compare Flash's numbers to Laich's numbers better because they are more similar than you would think, given that Laich has an inch and 20 pounds on Flash. In 7 playoff games this year, Laich had 2 goals and an assist and was -2. Flash in 6 games had 0 goals and 1 assist and was -1.

Last years playoffs they both had 3 goals in 14 games, Laich had 4 assists while Flash had 1.

Laich is a year older, as well, and Flash's regular season numbers last year are similar to Laich's from the year before, they are on a similar development track. We all think of Laich as a much better character player, more grit, more heart, but really, his numbers are not that much better than Flash's, and their contracts are for similar amounts.

I think there is room for both guys on the roster, even if they are to add a big, physical Defenseman - especially if they are going to continue to carry only 7 D on the roster, they would have to trade or waive $1 mil in salary clearing the spot of Sloan or Erskine, anyway, which might give the team enough cap space.

Posted by: piratusus | September 24, 2010 2:18 PM | Report abuse

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