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Matt Hendricks 'very appreciative' to find a home with Caps

Matt Hendricks took a risk when he joined Capitals training camp on a professional tryout, hoping to impress enough to not only rejoin his former organization and former Coach Bruce Boudreau but build on his first full season in the NHL from last year. But it paid off.

With his previous experience in the league, ability to play all three forward positions and the extra grit he possesses to be, as the cliche goes, one of those tough guys to play against, Hendricks earned a spot with the Capitals instead of players like Andrew Gordon and Jay Beagle. Although he's new to this team, Hendricks is already familiar to Boudreau's style of play and what his role will be.

"I think it helps; obviously I didn't have as much of a learning curve as some of the other players who didn't play for him in the past," Hendricks said. "Feeling comfortable around him also helps. I wasn't on edge maybe as much as some of the other players."

Hendricks has experienced no ill effects from the hit by Columbus' Nathan Guenin, which knocked him out of Friday's preseason game and also caused him to wonder if all the progress he had made with the Capitals was in jeopardy. He said he didn't know if was a clean hit or not, but that he just had his bell rung.

"I was obviously a little nervous when it happened," Hendricks said. "A lot of things going through your head at that point. I'm just fortunate and very appreciative to be here."

Asked what had changed the most about Boudreau, whom he credits with helping him become a more versatile player, Hendricks joked "I think he dresses a little bit better now."

--Defenseman Brian Fahey was assigned to Hershey but, like Gordon, must clear waivers at noon Wednesday in order to join the Bears.

--Boudreau said if Semyon Varlamov is unable to play this weekend that it's likely Dany Sabourin will remain in Washington for the time being.

By Katie Carrera  | October 5, 2010; 2:52 PM ET
Categories:  Matt Hendricks  
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Next: Marcus Johansson is 'only going to get better'

Comments

Fist

Posted by: griz0615 | October 5, 2010 3:02 PM | Report abuse

a bit shocked to see Hendricks make the team.

Posted by: casser | October 5, 2010 3:06 PM | Report abuse

Asked what had changed the most about Boudreau, whom he credits with helping him become a more versatile player, Hendricks joked "I think he dresses a little bit better now."
-----------------------------------------
How funny is that? I remember one of the Hershey guys being asked the same question about a month after BB was brought up and he said the same thing almost to the "T"! I wish I could remember who said it but I can't. Did he really dress THAT bad before? LMAO

Posted by: pokerfaceI208 | October 5, 2010 3:18 PM | Report abuse

Does anybody know what Varlamov's injury is?

Posted by: tmac2yao | October 5, 2010 3:19 PM | Report abuse

http://bleacherreport.com/articles/483069-nhl-waiver-wire-new-york-rangers-place-todd-white-tim-kennedy-on-wiavers


Today, the New York Rangers placed young gritty forward Tim Kennedy and veteran forward Todd White on waivers. The move opens $3 million in cap space, for the time being, and Glen Sather made the move just in case he wishes to acquire a player sometime today or tomorrow.

Tim Kennedy

This move was made to open cap and roster space, and that will stand as the only reason for Kennedy being waived. He played extremely well throughout camp and the preseason and does not deserve to be put on waivers. Do not be surprised if he is a Maple Leaf, Blue Jacket, Islander, or Oiler by tomorrow.

btw, Isles grab Florida prospect Grabner off waivers.

Posted by: cstanton1 | October 5, 2010 3:21 PM | Report abuse

btw, if I had to provide a quick example of a guy the Caps could've gone after - James Wisniewski. He can move the puck, and his compete level is extremely high. He would've immediately upgraded our defense and he's still very young.

The Isles got him for a conditional 3rd rounder in 2011.

Consider we paid a 2nd and a power forward prospect for the right to rent Joe Corvo for a month or so.

Posted by: cstanton1 | October 5, 2010 3:24 PM | Report abuse

And lost in all that is Todd White is a pretty good C in his own right.

Posted by: pokerfaceI208 | October 5, 2010 3:25 PM | Report abuse

a bit shocked to see Hendricks make the team.

I'm not. Scoring we've got, and while he brings that, what we didn't have was a guy who was just a pain in the tail to play against. Pinner wasn't ready and Hendricks has previous NHL experience.

This move was made to open cap and roster space, and that will stand as the only reason for Kennedy being waived. He played extremely well throughout camp and the preseason and does not deserve to be put on waivers.

Happens. I still say that he may or may not be an NHL player, but he's just plain and fancy not what this team needs right now.

Posted by: kittypawz | October 5, 2010 3:28 PM | Report abuse

and btw, the first or second time Hendricks gets a roughing minor, I expect a good # of fans to start blasting him.

Ignoring the fact that many 4th line centers rack up their share of aggressive penalties.

Posted by: cstanton1 | October 5, 2010 3:29 PM | Report abuse

Consider we paid a 2nd and a power forward prospect for the right to rent Joe Corvo for a month or so.
-------------------------------------------

See here I think is where we differ. Your statement is 100% correct BUT if ya peel back the onion a bit Osala had fallen out of favor and was believed to have reached his ceiling so he was "expendable".

Now the "reaching his ceiling" part is debatable but the truth will come out in time and time ONLY. If he doesn't stick in the NHL then the trade was essentially a 2nd round pick.

Posted by: pokerfaceI208 | October 5, 2010 3:31 PM | Report abuse

Happens. I still say that he may or may not be an NHL player, but he's just plain and fancy not what this team needs right now.

Posted by: kittypawz |

Forgetting for the moment that you stepped into the middle of a debate that started a few months ago, and no one was arguing for Kennedy to be picked up right now...
I'll take him over Chimera on the 3rd line LW. I already know what Chimmychaha's contributions will end up as. Kennedy has more upside and he's more tenacious on the puck.

Posted by: cstanton1 | October 5, 2010 3:31 PM | Report abuse

Your statement is 100% correct BUT if ya peel back the onion a bit Osala had fallen out of favor and was believed to have reached his ceiling so he was "expendable".
---------

sure, the jury on Osala is still out. But I think at worst he can be a big body on the 4th line ala Ben Eager.

And that to me is not a dumpable asset. Not for a defensively-challenged offensive dman like JC.

We'll see who the Canes draft with the 2nd rounder in 2011. That should make it sting a little more..

Posted by: cstanton1 | October 5, 2010 3:34 PM | Report abuse

btw, I didn't consider Corvo an upgrade over Pothier. Pothier had actually started stepping up aggressively in the neut zone last yr and I was fairly happy with how he was playing.

In my mind, we traded an apple for an apple, and then threw in Dana Scully and Megan Fox for no good reason.

Posted by: cstanton1 | October 5, 2010 3:36 PM | Report abuse

I always liked Pothier and what he brought to the table. When he came here he was in our top pairing with good reason. Now he'd be in the bottom pairing but still steady and very reliable. The best thing I liked about Pothier is he didn't f around with the puck, he moved it and got it out of the zone.

So back to Erskine & Sloan......

Posted by: pokerfaceI208 | October 5, 2010 3:44 PM | Report abuse

@cstanton1

Yes, I have seen Tim Kennedy play, but that is inconsequential to the very simple point I made. That, from what happened to him this offseason, Tim Kennedy is not a guaranteed NHL player.

That's it. It's not a judgment on him as a player or whatever else is going on in your head.

It's a simple comment that if during an offseason, one team pays a player $333,333k to not play for them(instead of a salary of only $1M) and another team waives that same player, that the said player is not guaranteed to be an NHL player or guaranteed to help out an NHL team.

That's it. Quit making mountains out of molehills.

Posted by: sgm3 | October 5, 2010 3:44 PM | Report abuse

you're being overly argumentative today.

I have you on record that you have officially SCOFFED at the prospect of Kennedy being a decent NHL player.

so be a man and stick to your guns. Don't scoff in vain.

Posted by: cstanton1 | October 5, 2010 3:51 PM | Report abuse

No way Osala is megan fox, as much as I loved the idea of him. Corvo was a decent pickup despite the slight overpayment. To me, it's pretty clear the Caps need some sort of reload/infusion and I think it would have been better to do it all at once than to piecemeal it out over a few seasons just to reduce the overall amount of players getting waived.

Lost in all the moaning about Perrault getting sent down is the fact that even if Flash were to have been traded, Belanger would be here in his place. He likely still would have been sent down because he doesn't have to clear waivers.

I'm mad about Gordon though, and will be super pissed if in the span of 7 months my three favorite non-blue chip prospects will have been removed from the organization (Osala, Della Rovere, and gordon).

Posted by: GFisher1 | October 5, 2010 3:51 PM | Report abuse

@cstanton1

I know what I said. It is right there. But if you want to take it another way to support some idea in your head, then go ahead. Have fun.

Posted by: sgm3 | October 5, 2010 3:54 PM | Report abuse

Don't forget that it wasn't just a defensively-challenged Joe Corvo but a defensively-challenged Joe Corvo that wasn't going to be at 100% at all for the remainder of the season as he reovered from that cut to the back of his leg or whatever.

That trade was a fail. I actually hope that McPhee was just dishing out GM speak with the "he was the guy we were targeting" because I'd be happier to know that he was unable to seal the deal on a more sensible move than to really think that he felt that Corvo fit a need or that "more offense" was the answer.

Posted by: tmac2yao | October 5, 2010 3:56 PM | Report abuse

Chimmychaha ha ha...

Posted by: guer_j | October 5, 2010 4:01 PM | Report abuse

@GFisher1

In what way was Corvo a "decent" pickup?

Even if we got him for free, it made no sense. It's not just the overpayment aspect.

If you stood back and looked at what our team needed on the blueline to bolster our playoff chances, Joe Corvo addressed nothing. We would have been just as well off holding on to Pothier (and Osala... and the pick), who was more presently familiar with the system and the players.

Once again, on top of not addressing a need, Corvo was still recovering and openly stated that he wouldn't be close to 100% during last season as he recovered from injury.

That trade was a fail in every sense.

Posted by: tmac2yao | October 5, 2010 4:03 PM | Report abuse

I actually hope that McPhee was just dishing out GM speak with the "he was the guy we were targeting" because I'd be happier to know that he was unable to seal the deal on a more sensible move than to really think that he felt that Corvo fit a need or that "more offense" was the answer.
------------------------------------------
Huh? Did I miss something? When did GMGM say that? Now my memory has failed me before but I thought for sure the comments that GMGM were making was it was a depth move and you can't have too much depth. Isn't that what was said?

Posted by: pokerfaceI208 | October 5, 2010 4:11 PM | Report abuse

cstanton - my point last night to you was that no matter what the caps do, i dont think it would be enough for you. you just like to complain. do i think the caps should have signed a top dman and another center - hell yes. i think gmgm failed in that category. however, we are coming back this season with the best team we have probably ever had in our franchise history.

gmgm could have signed three top defenseman and 2 top centers and you would have still complained because its just what you do. kind of tiresome and boring.

how bout just once saying one thing you like about the caps and why you root for them. i dont think your a caps fan.

Posted by: capsfansince74 | October 5, 2010 4:17 PM | Report abuse

@pokerface

Here is one of many links with quotes on that subject: http://www.nhl.com/ice/news.htm?id=519913

"Corvo was the top defenseman available in our minds and we got him," said Capitals GM George McPhee. "He plays a lot and in both ends of the rink. He defends well and kills and spends time on the penalty kill. He can also generate offense, which is the type of defenseman we like. He's averages more time on the ice than Mike Green. He's the one guy we liked a lot and we got him, so I'm happy with the results."


Posted by: tmac2yao | October 5, 2010 4:21 PM | Report abuse

Corvo for Pothier was an overpayment. GMGM traded a guy who knew the system well and played with a bit of an edge for an offensive guy who'd just come off an injury courtesy of Karl Alzner. What made it worse was that Corvo said he didn't think he'd fully heal from the injury until the next season. Then he runs back to Carolina! So for those keeping score, Carolina got the prospect, pick, and player back while Washington went out in the first round. GMGM got fleeced!

Also, if the choice is between Flash and AHL Flash (Perreault), I'd rather have Flash.

Posted by: ablake70 | October 5, 2010 4:23 PM | Report abuse

I was REALLY hoping to see Matt make the team. It was hard watching the Caps play without a policeman and very limited toughness last season. With King, Bradley, Chimera, Erskine (as needed on rotation) and now Hendricks I think the Caps have a nice edge. I don't see any team intimidating them or taking liberties.

Matt's a gritty veteran, who will stand up for his teammates, willingly drop the gloves, plus he knows how to find the back of the net. I see this as a very good addition to the team.

Posted by: FLDave | October 5, 2010 4:28 PM | Report abuse

fodder for the masses...

"the network that shall not be named" pre-season rankings... Caps at #3!

http://espn.go.com/nhl/powerrankings

Posted by: FrankM73 | October 5, 2010 4:29 PM | Report abuse

how bout just once saying one thing you like about the caps and why you root for them. i dont think your a caps fan.

Posted by: capsfansince74 | October 5, 2010 4:17 PM

Just off the top of my head, I can recall cstanton1 complimenting Carlson, Backstrom, Ovechkin, Steckel, Fehr and Pothier among others. I've even heard him compliment guys like Schultz and Fleischmann on occasion when he sees stuff he likes out of them.

Just because he doesn't like McPhee or the way this team is constructed, it doesn't mean he doesn't like the Caps.

As of now, we've won a single playoff series by the slimmest of margins since the rebuild.

Meanwhile, the GMs of other teams that went through similar rebuilding timelines like Chicago and Pittsburgh have been much more active in retooling their rosters each and every season.

The truth is that cstanton's arguments are making more and more sense each passing season and it hurts the sensibilities of fans that can't accept the possibility that McPhee really is holding this team back from taking the next step.

Posted by: tmac2yao | October 5, 2010 4:30 PM | Report abuse

@FrankM73

The positive is that the Caps were ranked 1st in the east.

Posted by: sgm3 | October 5, 2010 4:31 PM | Report abuse

Varlamov will be lucky to start in 35 games this year. That kid is always hurt. Oh well, I guess as long as he's healthy in time for the playoffs..

Posted by: LloydChristmas | October 5, 2010 4:31 PM | Report abuse

for all the Flash dumpers:

I'm as disappointed as you as to his playoff performance. My take is that he's worth his new deal in theis NHL and he'll hopefully be motivated to play a slightly different game and to step it up. If that doesn't work, shinola (as they say).

I think he'll put up numbers comparable to last year and he'll be trade bait along the way. If a good situation opens up where a team is looking for O-fence and have a decent d-man to spare, then a trade will be made. Dumping him now so MP can move up is just silly. Give him time to prove his worth...worth as a Cap or worth i a trade.

Posted by: jeets | October 5, 2010 4:33 PM | Report abuse

My main concern is Sloan and Erskine corvo was an upgrade on both of these two. Neither one should be on our roster. Erskine looked slow and out of position on Sunday.

Posted by: callejo1 | October 5, 2010 4:33 PM | Report abuse

Also, those depth comments were referring to guys like Walker.

Posted by: tmac2yao | October 5, 2010 4:36 PM | Report abuse

Varlamov's injury? Sand in his shorts, cut his fingernails too short, nicked his chin while shaving, stubbed his toe on the way to the can... Who knows? The guy can't seem to stay healthy. Either he's got to toughen up, or he's doing something wrong. Every year he's been hurt and none of it's been major.

Posted by: Alexis5 | October 5, 2010 4:40 PM | Report abuse

Fixed: The irrelevant is that the Caps were ranked 1st in the East.

Who cares if they were ranked 1 or 3 or 5?

Everybody knows they're in the list of "contenders."

What matters is what's taking place on the ice and in GMGM's head. He already failed this offseason. I don't think he can make enough moves at the trade deadline to address all our needs but let's see how things go.

Posted by: tmac2yao | October 5, 2010 4:40 PM | Report abuse

Here's what GMGM said about the Corvo trade

"Corvo was the top defenseman available in our minds, and we got him, and he plays a lot. He plays both ends of the rink, he can defend, he spends a lot of time on the PK but he'll generate offense, which is the type of defenseman we like."

callejo1-A lot of fans scapegoat Sloan and Erskine, but they are not the real problem. Honestly, I don't like Sloan but the #6 and #7 Dmen are not going to sink this team. I think the real issue is the uncertainty with 2 of the top 5. We don't know if Carlson or Alzner can handle a full NHL season, yet we are depending on them to carry this team to a cup. It's a huge gamble in a make or break year.

Posted by: ablake70 | October 5, 2010 4:42 PM | Report abuse

Varly is too young to shave.

Posted by: jeets | October 5, 2010 4:44 PM | Report abuse

I'll admit that cstanton may have made compliments, but they've always were backhanded ones or at the expense of another player. In all honesty, the GM is the GM and just short of him hiring a 300 pound football player to play Center for the Caps, unless you have the full experience of being a General Manager for a professional hockey team, I can highly doubt anyone, even the spiteful cstanton1 shouldn't be able to take liberty at questioning McPhee's intelligence just because he doesn't agree with it. It's as simple as that. If someone disagrees with you or you don't agree with what someone does, you don't outright call them a doofus and then declare yourself the victory in some imaginary battle of the minds that no one else was playing but yourself. He reminds me of Dwight Shrute. His greatness and superiority is all in his head. *shrug* Back to hockey though - bummed about Perrault, curious about Johannson, and eager to see King or Hendricks kick tail, preferably Penguin tail. Looking forward to Saturday's game against the Devils. Let's Goo Caps!

Posted by: LeftCoastCapsFan | October 5, 2010 4:46 PM | Report abuse

Great, now tmac2yao is the offical spokesperson for cstanton1. Can it get any better, or worse?!?

Posted by: DaleHunter | October 5, 2010 4:49 PM | Report abuse

"He reminds me of Dwight Shrute."

@LeftCoastCapsFan

Good call. I think that is a perfect comparison.

Posted by: sgm3 | October 5, 2010 4:49 PM | Report abuse

Tmac, wow I really don't remember that! Holy crud and he was just stuffed in there at the last second. I just remember thinking "Oh No Corvo" when we got him.

Posted by: pokerfaceI208 | October 5, 2010 4:51 PM | Report abuse

I have got it figured out...maybe...the two people who raise the blood pressure level of cstanton the most have one thing in common...sgm & gmgm...not sure if his favaorite dog was run over by a GM vehicle and that has left a horible imprint in the dark reaches of his brain...an extreme hate for anything to do with gm:)

Posted by: boomer44 | October 5, 2010 4:53 PM | Report abuse

Varlamov will be lucky to start in 35 games this year. That kid is always hurt. Oh well, I guess as long as he's healthy in time for the playoffs..

Posted by: LloydChristmas
----

I'm on record that Neuvirth starts 55 games this year! Varly the rest minus injury call up for Saborin or Holtby!

Posted by: FrankM73 | October 5, 2010 4:55 PM | Report abuse

I was always under the impression that Corvo's main intended value was to cut back on the minutes Green would be playing as the offensive leader from the blue line so that he could be healthier and better rested in the playoffs. That the move was no more successful than Pittsburgh's pick-up of Ponikarovsky is simply a fact. Fans want that shutdown defenseman and the organization wants to double-down on their offensive prowess. Jury will be making its final determinations on the makeup of these Capitals up to the trading deadline at which point they will be making their do or die personnel decisions gearing for the playoffs. Pre-season cuts and roster decisions will be long forgotten and irrelevant. Last year's failed actions even more so.

Posted by: McKinley2 | October 5, 2010 5:01 PM | Report abuse

Exactly, ablake70. I would say that it's more than a gamble. It was failure.

There is no way that the GMs of Chicago or Pittsburgh would sit on their hands if the team fell so short of expectations.

They would not say crap like (paraphrasing), "I can't make decisions based on 5 days in the playoffs after such a successful regular season."

Forget that the Caps have won exactly ONE playoff series by the slimmest of margins going on 7 years post-rebuild. Imagine if Fedorov's shot doesn't fit into a keyhole and the Rangers score at the other end. Sure, every series went 7 games but as a top 3 seed with home ice advantage in every one of those series, we've yet to have a single convincing series win. There is no doubt about that.

Look at the moves made by Chicago and Pittsburgh over the last 3 years and compare that to what McPhee has done. It's embarrassing.

When McPhee did try to strike, he failed miserably at a crucial time. Corvo and Belanger were not the kinds of players we needed. It is very possible that had McPhee made better offseason and deadline moves last season that we get past the Canadiens and make a deeper run.

He may be a smart person but I don't he's GM smart. He doesn't possesses the vision and feel to take this team to the next level.

Posted by: tmac2yao | October 5, 2010 5:15 PM | Report abuse

Dunno if it's already been posted, but the Oil waived Alexandre Giroux yesterday...

http://www.tsn.ca/nhl/transactions/

Posted by: YouAreABigWhiner | October 5, 2010 5:16 PM | Report abuse

anybody know of Osala made the Hurricanes, they definitely need help at forward?

Posted by: boomer44 | October 5, 2010 5:18 PM | Report abuse

Now that we're in the cap era, the role of the GM is magnified more than ever.

The GM is the single most important asset of an organization, in my opinion.

Any team can rebuild and make no-brainer high draft picks to get their star talent.

It's how the GMs build around those star players with the cap restrictions that makes more of a difference than anything else.

If McPhee was running the Penguins or Blackhaws over the last several years, I bet Crosby, Toews and Kane are all ringless right now. The GM has such a profound role in a team's success or lack of success. The Caps total lack of postseason success up to this point falls 95% on McPhee's shoulders as far as I'm concerned, and not on hot goalies, the refs or bad luck.

Posted by: tmac2yao | October 5, 2010 5:19 PM | Report abuse

Why not:

AO Backstrom Knuble
Flash MaJo Semin
Laich Hendricks Fehr
Chimera/King Steckel/Gordon/Bradley

Hendricks can play C on the 3rd line, Flash can play LW on 2nd line, the 3rd line becomes a real pain to play against, you can use King and Chimera as needed and alternate Steckel and Gordon or Gordon and Bradley.

Posted by: piratusus | October 5, 2010 5:19 PM | Report abuse

hey Tmac...please tell me ALL the needs of the Caps.

Posted by: nimrodrsp | October 5, 2010 5:23 PM | Report abuse

"Pre-season cuts and roster decisions will be long forgotten and irrelevant. Last year's failed actions even more so."

I don't think last year's failed actions will be forgotten so easily. In fact, I think it will be more of the litmus test for this year's version of the Caps.

Cordially,
RBlatch

Posted by: rblatch45 | October 5, 2010 5:24 PM | Report abuse

@tmac...the reason Pitt & Chi made so many moves , because they ahd to, they didn't manage their salary cap well and lost players to free aganecy or trades to free up space.

I was very disappointed with the Caps playoff loss last season but McPhee has put together a team, hired a coach and we now have the most exciting Caps team I remember. I hope they learn to win in the playoffs, and since they have been able to keep most of their team intact, and are still on schedule to have a very good team for the next several years, i will hold back judgement until a later date.

Posted by: boomer44 | October 5, 2010 5:30 PM | Report abuse

i am shocked BB used the word defense, and in a positive way.

Posted by: doughless | October 5, 2010 5:35 PM | Report abuse

Corvo an upgrade. that was a silly comment made by someone just a bit ago.

Posted by: doughless | October 5, 2010 5:38 PM | Report abuse

"I don't think last year's failed actions will be forgotten so easily"

Posted by: rblatch45 | October 5, 2010 5:24 PM

truer words were never spoken. this will be a dead horse that gets beaten for all of eternity

Posted by: Capt_Kirk_in_AZ | October 5, 2010 5:39 PM | Report abuse

That's the thing, we've beaten to death the discussion of do you want to be a Chicago (1 and done) or the Caps where you have a shot for the next several years. Lets say 3 for sake of argument.

At this point and time everybody would take Chicago. Why? Because it's a given you've won it. Now if we win 2 Cups in the next 3yrs then who would you rather be? Well us of course! It's funny in life how you at 1 point want 1 thing but given the same circumstances a bit later you want something else. Patience grasshopper! And don't give me the 1974 bit. Been there done that. This team has a better shot at winning a Cup as constructed today than any other team in history so count me in as enjoying the ride.

Posted by: pokerfaceI208 | October 5, 2010 5:40 PM | Report abuse

At this point and time everybody would take Chicago. Why? Because it's a given you've won it. Now if we win 2 Cups in the next 3yrs then who would you rather be? Well us of course! It's funny in life how you at 1 point want 1 thing but given the same circumstances a bit later you want something else. Patience grasshopper! And don't give me the 1974 bit. Been there done that. This team has a better shot at winning a Cup as constructed today than any other team in history so count me in as enjoying the ride.

Posted by: pokerfaceI208 |

I agree completely and am enjoying the ride as well.

Posted by: sgm3 | October 5, 2010 5:44 PM | Report abuse

Easy.

All of the Caps needs come down to one thing: a GM that knows what it takes to build a balanced team that doesn't continually lose in embarrassing fashion early in the playoffs despite having home-ice advantage.

After a while, it becomes clear that excuses like "hot goalie" and "bad refs" and "bad luck" don't hold water.

It's looking more and more like it's just a "bad GM" that has built a team that lacks enough hard-nosed, tough-minded players both up front and on defense that don't shrink under pressure.

It may be a coaching issue as well after seeing Boudreau get coached out of his pants against Pitt and Mtl. McPhee is also responsible for who is coaching this team.

If the Caps prove not to have a playoff-caliber team again this season, losing in the 1st round, are people still going to let McPhee off the hook?

When does that man get held accountable for these repeated shortcomings? He builds the team and hires the coaches.

Posted by: tmac2yao | October 5, 2010 5:48 PM | Report abuse

i agree with pokerfaceI208 too - although i have no stats or expert analysis to strengthen/support my opinion

Posted by: Capt_Kirk_in_AZ | October 5, 2010 5:51 PM | Report abuse

yeah, its called a magic carpet ride and you're the only one on it.

Posted by: cstanton1 | October 5, 2010 5:52 PM | Report abuse

In this cap era, dynasties will be practically non-existent - certainly compared to eras of the past.

I'd take Chicago's status and not even making the playoffs for the next decade. Seriously.

I find the arugment of the "chance" to win several cups silly, esp. since McPhee really hasn't proven to be able to even put together one good playoff-caliber team.

Also, people are just assuming that a team like Chicago is never going to get their cap in order. Good GMs get things done.

Posted by: tmac2yao | October 5, 2010 5:53 PM | Report abuse

and thank you tmac. It takes a lot of guts to stick up for the "spiteful cstanton"
(leftcoast you should be writing romance novels, you're very dramatic)

TMAC has the character of a bottom 6 forward (unless he's playing on the Caps).


"I'm mad about Gordon though, and will be super pissed if in the span of 7 months my three favorite non-blue chip prospects will have been removed from the organization (Osala, Della Rovere, and gordon)."

Posted by: GFisher1

it does seem comical that the prospects we've traded (Ted Ruth, Osala, SDR) have been the few guys who play with a certain edge to their game. But I've voiced the exact sentiment before.

I'll keep my fingaz x-ed on AG. Hope he stays within the org.

Posted by: cstanton1 | October 5, 2010 5:55 PM | Report abuse

It's how the GMs build around those star players with the cap restrictions that makes more of a difference than anything else.

If McPhee was running the Penguins or Blackhaws over the last several years, I bet Crosby, Toews and Kane are all ringless right now.
--tmac--

ding ding dingity ding

concur 100%

And I do have the stats to prove it. But my dog ate em and then GM ran over my dog. Hence my white-hot hatred.

Posted by: cstanton1 | October 5, 2010 5:57 PM | Report abuse

@ tmac

I agree with a lot of what you and cstanton1 have said about GMGM. Yes, he's made some good moves (SDR for King, Knuble, Huet, Fedorov, Cooke) but I think he has been too timid in making trades. It seems like he won't make a trade or sign a player unless he feels like he can fleece them.

@ boomer44

Losing players to free agency is not a bad thing. The problem with the Caps is that they seem to want to hold onto everyone. The purpose of an NHL team is to win the Cup. If the players or coach you have can't get it done, you have to replace them. Caps fans laugh at Chicago and the Pens, but those teams get it. They don't mind overpaying for a free agent that will help their team or trading away top prospects. Chicago traded away their 2004 #3 overall pick. Sure, the trade wasn't successful because Kim Johnsson only played a few games, but it's moves like that help you win a Cup. And the Pens and Blackhawks each have won a Cup while the Caps fans seem to be satisfied with being competitive every year and never winning.

Posted by: ablake70 | October 5, 2010 5:59 PM | Report abuse

to echo another tmac comment, it comes down to this. I too would like to sit across from GM at a safe hetero distance and watch the Cup finals with him. From ANY year. And ask him if he thinks his team is capable of matching the same type of physicality/intensity.

Whether I was a Caps fan or not, I could never see the current version of the Caps ramping it up to where 18 forwards and 6 dmen were playing such ballz out hockey. They have a hard time sustaining effort in round 1. I don't think they have the intestinal fortitude/desire/mental and physical endurance/meanness etc to give that type of effort in 4 playoff series in a row.

Do you guys?

Posted by: cstanton1 | October 5, 2010 6:01 PM | Report abuse

"But I've voiced the exact sentiment before."

Posted by: cstanton1 | October 5, 2010 5:55 PM

it's ok - i look forward to reading it again tomorrow :D

Posted by: Capt_Kirk_in_AZ | October 5, 2010 6:03 PM | Report abuse

let's see what happens this year, that is the great thing about sports we start each season fresh and can dream about a run to the Cup...let's drop that puck, i am ready to go!

Posted by: boomer44 | October 5, 2010 6:06 PM | Report abuse

I'd take Chicago's status and not even making the playoffs for the next decade. Seriously.

I find the arugment of the "chance" to win several cups silly, esp. since McPhee really hasn't proven to be able to even put together one good playoff-caliber team.

Posted by: tmac2yao

Every time I hear him allude to how they're building a team that will be competitive yr in and yr out, all it really means is he failed to pull the trigger on some deals so he's explaining his lack of action by pretending he didn't want to go for it all in one offseason or whatever.

Its like clockwork. The Caps stand pat while other teams make some moves. And then GM eventually comes out with a comment about how they didn't see any need to mortgage the future because their brilliant plan (that apparently no one else has thought of) is to keep this team competitive every single year. So you know...we'll have a dynasty!

it'll create a perennial loser is all. And suddenly we'll have a few yrs of good reg season records that leads to not being able to draft in the top 5 consistently. And our core will get older, our talent won't be as bluchippy as it is now, and the rebuild will begin all over again. And folks will ponder how it all happened.

Posted by: cstanton1 | October 5, 2010 6:09 PM | Report abuse

on that note, i'm out. Here again tomorrow to lift yer spirits!

lol, just kiddin, everyone deserves a break, even Kirk. I'll be back Thursday.

Posted by: cstanton1 | October 5, 2010 6:11 PM | Report abuse

Woo, back from workout.

You already "know" what Chimera's contributions will be? Bulls**t. Guys have breakout and slumping seasons all the time. We can make educated guesses, but you don't know anything for sure. It's just plain arrogant to pretend otherwise. You don't know any more than anyone else, so quit pretending like you do.

I've been lurking here all summer long, FTR, I just don't generally comment. I guess you could say I'm fed up with the tone of the blog - all the backbiting and personal attacks is just plain childish, and so are the dysphemisms. Can't even have a reasonably decent debate on here. I've even complained to the Post's staff about it.

Regarding balls-out hockey? Remember the run to the playoffs? They played solid playoff hockey for three freaking months, like their lives depended on it. So the answer is, yes, I think that if they have to, it's in there. they just haven't had to do it because they're so crazy talented that nobody can match them in the regular season. They thought MTL was going to be easy, and Halak got hotter than hell in Death Valley at the right time.

I'm honestly getting a little sick of you waltzing onto this board, claiming to be a Caps fan, then wailing away and trashing the team, its front office, and the cahracter of every single guy on it every chance you get. The Caps are good. Don't like it? Then for God's sake get off this board and go torture someone else with your insipid bullshit.

Posted by: kittypawz | October 5, 2010 6:16 PM | Report abuse

Okay, I have vented. I am now outtie for the night as well. If I missed a reply to me, then I apologize - point me to it and I'll try to reply. These threads move pretty fast and work is pretty busy, but I'll do my best.

Posted by: kittypawz | October 5, 2010 6:29 PM | Report abuse

Thanks, kittypawz!!!!

Posted by: LeftCoastCapsFan | October 5, 2010 6:33 PM | Report abuse

kittypawz, don't let the self-proclaimed hockey experts get you down. I've been watching the Caps since the 1970s and this is the most talented team we've ever had. You should just sit back and laugh at the genius armchair GMs. When Mario and Jagr were whipping the Caps in the early 90s, nobody was wondering if Jeff Daniels was an upgrade or not compared to Bob Errey. It was Mario and Jagr and Stevens and Tocchet scoring goals and the Ulf and whoop whoop Murphy on D.

I've never seen so much hand-wringing over generic 3rd and 4th line forwards. Teams win it all because their great players deliver. Worrying about AGordon is silly. Caps could still use a 2C and a big defenseman. The generic players don't matter. Occasionally a Todd Krygier scores a big playoff goal in 1998 but the generic players don't matter.

Cstanton, what is this "year after year". 3 years ago the Caps won all spring long just to make the playoffs for the first time in years. 2 years ago they had a great season and lost to Pitt in 7. Last year they dominated and then blew it vs MTL (BTW, Pens did too). So this is fall #3 of being a playoff team and SC contender. Aside from the playoff choke last spring (again matched by PITT a series later), the slope has been positive throughout the BB coaching era. So, aside from a 2 week disaster, all trends have been positive. Does it make sense to trash GMGM for not gutting or mortgaging the future on a team that has been consistently improving?

Posted by: calhokie | October 5, 2010 6:43 PM | Report abuse

Amen, kittypawz! You stated my feelings exactly - and echoed the fact that I have been avoiding this blog for exactly those reasons and the horrendous lack of civility.

Posted by: Thisistheyear | October 5, 2010 6:44 PM | Report abuse

nice kittypaws...seems like tmac is another poster I will avoid. I don't mind a different point of view I just get tired of the hatred.

Posted by: nimrodrsp | October 5, 2010 6:44 PM | Report abuse

@piratusus

You suggested great lines. I would have Flash on the 3rd line with Fehr and Laich on the 2nd line with Semin since the skill sets of Flash & Fehr are a better match with each other than the other combinations.

Posted by: CapsFan75 | October 5, 2010 6:48 PM | Report abuse

@piratusus

You suggested great lines. I would have Flash on the 3rd line with Fehr and Laich on the 2nd line with Semin since the skill sets of Flash & Fehr are a better match with each other than the other combinations.

Posted by: CapsFan75 | October 5, 2010 6:49 PM | Report abuse

I agree with cstanton some of the time and some of the time I don't. But about 90% of you that don't agree with cstanton are very hypocritical. You respond to him with the same spite he feels for GMGM. Yet you guys dont expect to be called out for it because you guys think you are on the right side.

Everyone is allowed to have an opinion. If you let posts on a comment board get you this riled up I feel sorry for you. That goes for everyone, it is quite sad how serious people take this message board. People tell people not to come here, people tell people to go cheer for another team. I honestly dont get you guys. Everyone that comes here is allowed to have an opinion, if you dont like it thats fine. No one needs to attack anyone, just voice you opinion on the hockey subject at hand and move on. Everyone on here wants the Caps to do well, yes even cstanton does.

Lets GO CAPS!!! CSN on Friday and see whoever at Verizon on Saturday. Until then everyone take their xanax and prozac and come down about 100 levels.

Posted by: ThePat | October 5, 2010 6:50 PM | Report abuse

Boomer 44

I like your style...great comments.

Kitty bringing it as well...

CS1 is good for discussion but the constant vitriol is tiresome. I do like some of his stuff tho...

Posted by: jeets | October 5, 2010 7:20 PM | Report abuse

Boomer 44

I like your style...great comments.

Kitty bringing it as well...

CS1 is good for discussion but the constant vitriol is tiresome. I do like some of his stuff tho...

Posted by: jeets | October 5, 2010 7:20 PM | Report abuse

Losing Osala was a big blow, that's why is didn't make the Carolina squad. Osala is in the "A" again. He wouldn't have made our team this year either. The 2nd round pick is the only thing Carolina raped us on. Unless they blow that. Osala isn't really all that young anymore. He is 23 and starting to look like an AHLer for life too.

Posted by: fanohock1 | October 5, 2010 7:21 PM | Report abuse

IMO, it was a terrible summer to be a Caps fan. To be honest, I am still in denial about the Poti extension.

I am, however, excited that MaJo made the team. I think the choice in keeping him over MP was a good one.

I also won't be too upset if we lose A. Gordon on waivers. If he had any trade value, the Caps probably wouldn't risk this move. He, along with Osala, seem like they are both career AHLers. If risking him was good for the competition in camp, but bad long term, I am on board with this. Cup or bust as far as I am concerned.

I am excited. Drop the f--kin' puck already.

Posted by: underpants2 | October 5, 2010 7:41 PM | Report abuse

@underpants - I'm excited that MaJo made the team as well, he's going to be a good one. And he's only 19!

My argument from a previous thread: Btw MJ and MP, MJ simply has much more upside, plus he's already defensively stronger - and it's not like we've had a glut of defensively responsible forwards the last couple years. I like MP but I think he gets knocked off the puck too easily, especially in a spot [3C] typically charged with stopping the other team's best offensive line.

But I agree it didn't have to be between those two, they could conceivably both be here. I thus far have failed to envision the budding superstar in Mr. Steckel that BB somehow sees. Ditto B Gordon. Manchester does not = the big leagues, much as we might wish that were the case.

Posted by: govtimbo | October 5, 2010 8:14 PM | Report abuse

Corvo an upgrade. that was a silly comment made by someone just a bit ago.
-----------

Man talk about an understatement there - as one who has leveled his share of criticism at both Mr. Corvo and GMGM, the trade irked on a number of levels, primary among them being that, in addition to being a character guy [which Corvo is not], way fewer of Pothier's passes typically ended up going up to guys wearing the other sweaters. Sort of a key attribute for a d-man, I'd say. And Pothier had been a loyal soldier for the org, whether he was slotted as the #3 d-man, the #5, a scratch, or working to come back from a debilitating injury.

But that wasn't all - we also gave up a legit prospect in the deal, in addition to losing Brian Pots. Now granted Osala may not become a legit NHLer - but he maybe. And I don't know about other Caps fans out there but, come playoff time, in our end, my heart was in my throat whenever Corvo was trying to make some fancy pass in his own end. Or stop somebody.

But that wasn't all - we also gave up a 2nd round pick. Now, 2nd-rounders don't always turn out, it's true. But guys like Kuznetzov and Carlson were still around til the very end of the 1st, so players slip through. Orlov went in the 2nd, IIRC. As did Zetterberg - no he didn't, he went in the 6th, Datsyuk in the 7th. Or vice versa - but you get the idea. And Nick Lidstrom was a 3rd-rounder.

But that wasn't it - what really got me were the self-congratulatory assertions about Corvo "being our very top target" - either a demonstrably disingenuous statement, or, if it was honestly stated, that's maybe even worse.

Posted by: govtimbo | October 5, 2010 8:28 PM | Report abuse

Why not play Ovi-backs-Semin together? they were clearly more productive along eachother then separated. I doubt that Knuble was the reason Ovi finished +45 +/-.
We could have:
Ovi-Backs-Semin
Flash-Mj-Knuble
Fehr-Hendricks-Laich
Bradley-Steckel/Gordon-Chimera/King

It would probably enhance both Semin's and Flash's numbers if we want to trade them during the season.

Posted by: Walle | October 5, 2010 8:48 PM | Report abuse

Lots of debate on players and decisions. I agree w/ cstanton - I heard Ted's initial 4 year plan, then the rebuild plan and now the "ongoing success plan" which mostly produces first round losses and no Cup runs.

It would seem like we're building the San Jose Sharks East. How George McPhee has retained his job for so long is amazing to me.

I haven't even seen Hendricks play and I'm predicting he's not going to work out based on how we saw Ciernek / Doig and Kiwi work out for "Butch".

The goaltending situation is interesting as well - Varly constantly injured and while I like Neuvirth - can he carry the load full time?? We'll see.

Posted by: Jaymagz | October 5, 2010 8:58 PM | Report abuse

Here's an interesting article about 4th lines in the NHL. I'm not sure I agree with it, but it is an interesting take.

http://www.theglobeandmail.com/sports/hockey/no-need-for-fourth-line/article1744423/

Posted by: sgm3 | October 5, 2010 10:22 PM | Report abuse

The reason why you are seeing Hendricks and King on the roster is toughness. McPhee did not address it at the deadline last year and didn't address it this offseason. The upside for Hendricks is he plays multiple positions and with injuries he can be plugged into a hole and excel. My biggest issue is defense. I would still like to see a stay at home defenseman for the backend. IMHO if Finley was further along in his development, he might be the answer. At this point, he isn't. It looks like a trade or a waiver pick up to satisfy that need.

Posted by: robostop10 | October 5, 2010 10:47 PM | Report abuse

Excellent post, ThePat. Most of the posters calling out cstanton1 and the "haters" aren't adding anything to the conversation. If the "haters" bother you so much, ignore them. Or present some facts of your own. That's something I've rarely seen done.

Posted by: ablake70 | October 5, 2010 10:48 PM | Report abuse

@sgm3

Interesting article. Even if an exaggeration on the "lack of ice time" 4th liners get.

Overall, the Caps' 4th liners get more than 4 minutes of ice time per night. If anything, in the post-Brashear days, the Caps 4th liners spend significant time in the PK detail. If anything under Boudreau, many times the 3rd liners get less ice time.

Posted by: CapsFan75 | October 5, 2010 11:01 PM | Report abuse

Ovechkin
Knuble
Chimera
Clark
Bradley
Brashear
King
Hendricks
Clymer
Erskine
Cooke
Walker

Assuming Hendrcks and King actually play for the Caps, the above players are the only ones that McPhee has brought in since 2004 that play with any grit, right?

Posted by: piratusus | October 5, 2010 11:15 PM | Report abuse

@ablake70

About time somebody stood up for Cstanton.
Cstanton has McPhee read like a book. No one wants to hear it because we have two of the best hockey players in the world, and we all know we'll be done early. The team assembled around Ovi and Backi will not play well at the critical moment in the playoffs. The Pens have reloaded.

To all you weenies who don't like my Eurotrash hockey comments, this is my point. It's great to have all that Euro skill around. It's fun to watch Semin score from his knees. But our Canadians and Americans play like Euros.

The Wings will come up on someone's post.
Six names off the top of my head:

Shanahan
McCarty
Draper
Maltby
Joey Kocur
Chelios

Those guys pissed gasoline. We don't have guys like that (except Bradley and King).

Shultz, Fehr, Steckle, Green and Chimera would get pushed around in a Reston Raiders mite game.

Again, a whole lot of sizzle to the Caps line up and not one Mark Tinordi like Dman on the team. Great season, and then we'll watch a bad ass Penguins team in the finals. Such is the life of a Caps fan I guess.

Posted by: Hunterforcoach | October 5, 2010 11:21 PM | Report abuse

@capsfansince74

You're clueless. We have a great regular season team. We ALL agree. Cstanton is a Caps fan. He's just employing his good sense to try to figure out why this team golfs so early every year. Many of us have watched hundreds of hours of playoff hockey. We can see what wins the Cup. We don't have a playoff ready team. You know that in your heart ! We'll get a GM change this spring. Ted will figure it out after he sees another Cup winner that's not as good as our team in the REGULAR season.

Posted by: Hunterforcoach | October 5, 2010 11:54 PM | Report abuse

How about names like Lidstrom, Konstantinov, Fedorov, Larionov, Fetisov, Kozlov.

During the 1997 playoffs the Red WIngs were 16-0 when one of their Russians scored a point, and 0-4 when they didn't. Yeah, it was too bad for Detroit that they relied on all those Euros. Stupid move. But that's what you get when your coach is Scotty Bowman. His resume clearly shows he has no idea what he's doing. If they had a real coach they wouldn't have had any of those Euro trash players.

Then they were dumb enough to follow that up by using such Euros as Datsyuk, Zetterberg, Franzen, Holmstrom and continued to use Lidstrom. Look where it got them.

Also, look what happened to Pittsburgh when they relied on a russian in Malkin and Gonchar. I mean, Malkin only got the conn smythe. Definitely an effect from the euro trash game. But they only won the SC finals because they played the euro trash red wings in the finals.

Recent history clearly shows relying on euros will lead to doom in the playoffs.

Posted by: sgm3 | October 5, 2010 11:56 PM | Report abuse

@kittypaws

You just don't want to hear the truth. This team hasn't changed from the team that "choked" against the Habs (I know they also beat a much weaker Pitt team.)Did you watch what the Flyers did to the Habs ? They slam dunked pucks down Gill and Halak's throats.

Some of the "haters" have the best insight on this site. There will be silence on this site early spring as we find a way to get outhustled, and out coached again. Do you guys watch the playoffs beyond the Caps exit ? I saw Hawks and Flyers teams that would have pounded us. Those boys were playing hockey.

Kittypaws, to come in here and use the "F" word shows a great deal of class. We even got out- hustled by the Rangers team we beat in the playoffs. Just don't know what you're seeing in the playoffs that I'm missing.

Posted by: Hunterforcoach | October 6, 2010 12:33 AM | Report abuse

@sgm3

I agree. You need all that Euro talent. But you need a real healthy number of guys that can score some real ugly goals: Draper and McCarty type goals. You also need to play TEAM defense. The Red wings have forced those guys to play team defense. Feds said it himself in his first interview here.

The point: the "fire wagon" hockey they play in Europe will not win Cups. Our rink is too small, and the defense too tight in the playoffs. Bowman changed everything for the Wings when he forever changed their style. (Please don't compare the Caps to the Wings in your reply.)

Franzen is a beast in front of the net. Pavel D. has decided to become the best defensive forward in the game. Both of these guys have radically adjusted their game for our rink and playoffs. The Caps will not win the Cup until a new coach insists on team defense as well as scoring.

Posted by: Hunterforcoach | October 6, 2010 12:52 AM | Report abuse

How about names like Lidstrom, Konstantinov, Fedorov, Larionov, Fetisov, Kozlov.

During the 1997 playoffs the Red WIngs were 16-0 when one of their Russians scored a point, and 0-4 when they didn't. Yeah, it was too bad for Detroit that they relied on all those Euros. Stupid move. But that's what you get when your coach is Scotty Bowman. His resume clearly shows he has no idea what he's doing. If they had a real coach they wouldn't have had any of those Euro trash players.

Then they were dumb enough to follow that up by using such Euros as Datsyuk, Zetterberg, Franzen, Holmstrom and continued to use Lidstrom. Look where it got them.

Also, look what happened to Pittsburgh when they relied on a russian in Malkin and Gonchar. I mean, Malkin only got the conn smythe. Definitely an effect from the euro trash game. But they only won the SC finals because they played the euro trash red wings in the finals.

Recent history clearly shows relying on euros will lead to doom in the playoffs.

Posted by: sgm3 | October 5, 2010 11:56 PM

And which of the players you mention above do you see Flash playing like? Now I love most parts of Semin's game, but which players mentioned above do you see playing like Semin?Which of the players you mention above avoid hitting like it was illegal? Which of the players you mentioned above would not battle in the corners or behind the crease for the puck? Do you get the point yet?

Posted by: realoldcapsfan | October 6, 2010 12:57 AM | Report abuse

I am another that reads alot but posts very rarely. Like some of the others I have been a Caps fan longer than some regulars have been alive. For some others, longer than their maturity level would indicate. I can promise you I am not an apologist for GMGM, I hate koolaid. Nor do I think GMGM is an abismal failure as a GM. I am somewhere in the middle, though with some of the recent moves, or lack there of, I am becoming less forgiving every day. Nothing would make me happier to see the Caps, my beloved Caps, hoisting Lord Stanley's Cup. I remember the absolute euphoria I felt when my Redskins won those Superbowls in the 80's & 90's. I remember the tremendous joy I felt when the Bullets (I hate the name Wizards) won their only NBA championship in either 78 or 79, I am getting to the age where the memory has gone on hiatus way to often. I WANT THAT SAME EUPHORIA AND JOY FOR MY CAPS!!!!
Some questions for both sides:
1) Why do the Caps players play so lackadasical when they have a lead?
2) Where is the sense of urgency that should be very evident during the playoffs?
3) Why can other teams make the necessary moves but the Caps don't?
4) As currently constituted, can the Caps win the Cup?
5) If not, why not?
6) If not what moves would you make to change that?
7) What franchise model would you most like to see the Caps be similar too?

Posted by: realoldcapsfan | October 6, 2010 12:58 AM | Report abuse

I feel there needs to be a happy note on this board so happy birthday MaJo. Nothing like making the NHL as a gift.

Posted by: icehammer97 | October 6, 2010 6:44 AM | Report abuse

realoldcapsfan,

1. Lack of killer instinct from the coach through the players.

2. See number one but include GMGM in this for failing to pull the trigger to get the right pieces/leadership.

3. See number 2, GMGM is too trigger shy to make the necessary moves. Afraid to lose his precious prospects/favorites.

4. Maybe, if GMGM makes the necessary moves and BB can adjust his coaching style depending on the situation.

5. See #4

6. 2C, 1D, reconstruct the bottom two lines. Especially the third to make a shut down line for the opposing teams #1 line.

7. At this point, as much as I hate to say it, the Pens. They make the necessary moves to make the team better and play with grit and intensity as a TEAM from their grinders to their skill players. That comes from the top (GM), through the coaching, to the player leadership.

Those are my answers to your questions. I'm sure I will get lambasted by others on here as a "hater" but oh well.

Posted by: PhilR | October 6, 2010 7:59 AM | Report abuse

Backs may miss his first regular NHL game(s) this weekend. He told Swedish news his wound isn't healing as quickly as anticipated and that he might not be ready for the opener.

Posted by: jakopz | October 6, 2010 8:09 AM | Report abuse

@jakopz

That would stink, but if there is any doubt the Caps should play it safe and let Backstrom heal completely. No point risking anything.

Posted by: sgm3 | October 6, 2010 8:57 AM | Report abuse

anybody know of Osala made the Hurricanes, they definitely need help at forward?

Posted by: boomer44
----
per this article, Osala is starting the pre-season as the 2nd line Center

Jacob Micflikier - Oskar Osala - Matthew Pistilli

http://www.canescountry.com/2010/10/1/1725362/checkers-open-ahl-pre-season-in-norfolk-tonight

Posted by: FrankM73 | October 6, 2010 9:13 AM | Report abuse

Great news about Matt!!! All of us here in SW Fla who saw him play in the ECHL for the Everblades couldn't be happier for him. As a Caps fan it's double good news. He'll score in the clutch when you need it.

Posted by: bundy44 | October 6, 2010 9:50 AM | Report abuse

@kittypawz

It was great to read your calm logical analysis. As for cstanton and his backup singers, don't bother trying to reason with them. It's like spitting into the wind and it might send cstanton on another tirade against sqm3, drawing ridiculous general conclusions from simple observations.

@the negative posters
As with most things in life the truth is in the middle. The reason posters like me rarely read this blog anymore is because a bunch of you negative nags cannot see the forest for the trees. You judge a player by his nationality, by his style of play, and his grit or lack of grit (defined a little differently by each of you) and reject anything that smacks of finesse or what others would define as a skill. The negative cabal on this board overvalues what lunch bucket players can bring to a playoff worthy team and undervalue what skill guys can bring to a playoff worthy team.

Now since I'm in the camp of the great middle--for me this team as currently constructed has holes that have to be resolved by April before it can win a Cup but is nevertheless still one of the top teams in the league--I put forth the following suggestion: a team that is a strong candidate for winning it all needs a BALANCE of the types of guys you are all arguing about.

Oh and stop with the hypothetical statements presented as though they were facts.

Posted by: Capsyoungguns | October 6, 2010 9:56 AM | Report abuse

People on this board are completely overboard and don't understand what differing opinions are and a good debate is. Come on people, please graduate from high school. Just talk about hockey.

Who's going to the game on Saturday?

Posted by: ThePat | October 6, 2010 10:11 AM | Report abuse

@thePat

Debate is good. Getting personal with other posters whom differ is bad. Making the same point over-and-over-and-over is boring. Bringing up the past and going on yet another McPhee tirade is so yesterday.

I would argue that there is very little debate on this blog. Just a lot of posturing.

Posted by: Capsyoungguns | October 6, 2010 10:20 AM | Report abuse

@ the last two posts: yeah, the biggest problem on these boards is that there is almost zero new news for people to talk about. People rehash the same TIRED subject matter over and over and over again. I think I've aged about three months in the last three weeks, hearing endlessly how great Matt Hendricks is going to be for our team.

That is why I really appreciate efforts like RealOldCapsFan to create a whole set of new subjects (well... old subjects, but at least in a formatted/non-confrontational style). Ultimately it will devolve into a childish pissing contest between people who disagree, but for a short time it's something new to focus our energies on.

1) Trickle-down from the coach.
2) Overconfidence, trickling down from the coach.
3) This is exactly the subject I have tried to introduce twice over the past couple days, but nobody has touched it with a ten foot pole. I think roster changes are totally irrelevant as long as there are critical systemic shortcomings. The most proud and vocal experts on these boards get up on their Mount Sinai and proclaim every single day that "this d-man, this type of 4th liner, and this type of 3rd liner are what we need to get us to the Cup." I say, show me one shred of evidence why those players would not be infected with the same systemic shortcomings once we get them. Why would their defensive talents alone automatically make up for a team-wide disinterest in defense? The flip side of this argument is: if you can put in a system/coach that preaches defense by committee and is able to instill a sense of responsibility in the players, why would you need to make ANY roster changes?? A roster that is capable of destroying the competition for most of the year, including the NHL's elite, on TALENT ALONE, should be able to succeed in the playoffs if they play a defense-oriented system.
4) I believe so, in a different system.
5) See #4.
6) If BB is unable to convince this group to get serious, show him the door.
7) Detroit is the obvious answer. So many good things to say about that organization, but none of them is more important than the team-oriented attitude that all of the players share. These guys simply get on board with the coaching philosophy.

Posted by: struggler | October 6, 2010 11:26 AM | Report abuse

@PhilR: The reason I don't pick the Pens for #7 is that Shero has engineered a salary cap nightmare for his team. Take a look at what they're dealing with next year. They have about $10mil to sign the 8 starting players they need just to fill out a starting roster, not including press-box dwellers.

Posted by: struggler | October 6, 2010 11:36 AM | Report abuse

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