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Posted at 1:11 PM ET, 01/19/2011

Capitals Coach Bruce Boudreau: Goaltender durability 'always' a concern

By Katie Carrera

It's been a rare occurrence this season when both Michal Neuvirth and Semyon Varlamov have been healthy, allowing the Capitals to split time freely between the pair of 22-year-old netminders.

In the middle of a three-game, week-long road trip the injuries continued as Neuvirth, who was unable to finish Tuesday's game against the Flyers because of an undisclosed lower-body injury, was sent back to Washington for further evaluation. "It's still day-to-day, as far as we know," coach Bruce Boudreau said.

Varlamov, meantime, was given a maintenance day but Boudreau indicated that he is hopeful the Russian to be able to suit up against the Islanders on Thursday.

"I think it'd be a concern even if they were both healthy all the time," Boudreau said of the goaltenders' ability to stay healthy. "Every coach is always concerned about the goaltender's durability. They're even concerned when [Martin] Brodeur was healthy, what if he gets hurt? It is what it is.

"You hope that every time they lace the pads up that nothing bad happens," Boudreau continued. "But it's a pretty precarious position where they've got to put their bodies in pretty weird spots sometimes. It doesn't surprise me that goalies are getting hurt and pulling muscles."

Neuvirth left the 3-2 overtime loss in Philadelphia after the end of the first period with a lower-body injury that the Capitals say is not his groin. Tuesday morning, Neuvirth was icing his left groin/hip area though and has dealt with that type of injury in the past.

Both Neuvirth and Varlamov have missed a significant amount of time this year with injuries and it seems that the battle between the two to become Washington's No.1 netminder, for the moment, rests more on which one is healthy at any given moment.

Boudreau downplayed the need for any extra attention to make sure that the young goalies don't push themselves too far in trying to compete for a role.

"Whether they were 40 [years old] or 20, you're paying attention to them and you're hoping they're not overdoing it or underdoing it, or what have you," Boudreau said. "We have very capable people that are in charge of that aspect I'm confident they're all doing the right thing."

Note: Boudreau said today was a maintenance day for John Erskine.

By Katie Carrera  | January 19, 2011; 1:11 PM ET
Categories:  Michal Neuvirth, Semyon Varlamov  
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Next: Alex Ovechkin: 'You have to go there and fight for that puck'

Comments

"I think it'd be a concern even if they were both healthy all the time," Boudreau said of the goaltenders' ability to stay healthy. "Every coach is always concerned about the goaltender's durability." says the coach that forces a hurt goalie to start against Philthy, only to have to replace him due to injury with an injure prone goalie cold and off the bench. Good call BB, good call.

Also, @ThePat and pokerface...

It's been 7-10 days, and I havent heard a titter...any chance you can give some more inside info on what mumblings you were hearing last week? gracias.

Posted by: SeminAllOverTheIce | January 19, 2011 1:42 PM | Report abuse


My sources tell me that Tomas Kaberle has been identified as the top target. And also, he is the final piece and that the offense and defense is now complete.

Posted by: cstanton1 | January 19, 2011 1:45 PM | Report abuse

I was so glad to see King play last night. I predicted 5 to 7 minutes ice time with 5 to 7 penalty minutes. Instead - 4 minutes 24 seconds ice time and 5 minutes in penalties! WOW - what a player.

What a fine addition to a teams lineup that cant score goals right now. Since BB likes to change the lines so much and he was so dominant last night, maybe we can put him on the top line vs the Isles and give him some PP time as well. You were spot on Vermont - DJ King is a beast!

-----------

how can anyone who has been watching hockey since 1974 fail to grasp some highly basic concepts as to what an enforcer's role is?

this is no defense of King or his play last night. There are so many reasons, not all his fault, that would result in how he played.

But just in general, ANY enforcer should never be blamed for skating only 7 minutes and getting a 5 min major in that period of time. Seriously, have you really watched hockey for 4 decades? Do you think that only teams who don't have scoring issues employ enforcers in their lineup? that's what you implied in your statement anyway.

Posted by: cstanton1 | January 19, 2011 1:51 PM | Report abuse

BB you now have another excuse: hurt goaltenders! You gotta love excuses.

If Kaberle is the final piece of the puzzle. Then it was a crappy puzzle from the thrift store, missing pieces (specifically the big silver cup thing in the middle).

Posted by: kcbrichmond | January 19, 2011 1:53 PM | Report abuse

BTW, it is a little ironic that everyone wants stability in the lines but not in the front office.
-------------------

Red, you don't think 12-13 yrs is enough stability? How many other active GMs have been around that long with the playoff record we've had over that time?

i see nothing ironic about it at all. Although I've also never once said that stability in lines is a key issue for this team. I think its good to be able to play with different linemates and to switch things up if things aren't working.

Posted by: cstanton1 | January 19, 2011 1:55 PM | Report abuse

But just in general, ANY enforcer should never be blamed for skating only 7 minutes and getting a 5 min major in that period of time. Seriously, have you really watched hockey for 4 decades? Do you think that only teams who don't have scoring issues employ enforcers in their lineup? that's what you implied in your statement anyway.

Posted by: cstanton1

I think the point was that DJK's impact was negligible.

The team played poorly when he wasn't playing and continued the exact same poor play when he was playing. There wasn't any difference between last night's Caps team and the team that has been playing over the past month. A few different players, but the same team.

Posted by: sgm3 | January 19, 2011 1:56 PM | Report abuse

"My sources tell me that Tomas Kaberle has been identified as the top target. And also, he is the final piece and that the offense and defense is now complete."

---

He'll make a great Pairing with Joe Corvo, who I am pretty sure we are going to take another run at to *Really* complete the defense.

Posted by: VTDuffman | January 19, 2011 1:57 PM | Report abuse

Kaberle to replace who?? Erskine??

So we would have:

52/55
27/74
23/TK

Is that really an upgrade?

Posted by: MattBradley10 | January 19, 2011 1:59 PM | Report abuse

@ My sources tell me that Tomas Kaberle has been identified as the top target. And also, he is the final piece and that the offense and defense is now complete.

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

Not to be rude but I'm guessing this is a joke because if you had any legitimate sources within the Caps, or even the NHL .... you wouldn't be posting in the a comments section of a syndicated newspaper.

Posted by: MFepelst | January 19, 2011 2:00 PM | Report abuse

"Red, you don't think 12-13 yrs is enough stability? How many other active GMs have been around that long with the playoff record we've had over that time?"

---

I was reading GMGM's wikipedia entry and couldn't help but chuckle at this...

"When McPhee joined the Capitals in 1997, the team was looking to turn around its long storied history of being a regular season juggernaut, only to fold in the playoffs."

That was over 13 Years ago.

Meet the old boss...

Posted by: VTDuffman | January 19, 2011 2:00 PM | Report abuse

My sources tell me that Alexi Kovalev has been identified as the top target.

Posted by: sgm3 | January 19, 2011 2:00 PM | Report abuse

Whoever we trade for TK will end up scoring 3 goals against us Saturday night, even if it's an injured Sloan.

You can bet on that!!

Posted by: MattBradley10 | January 19, 2011 2:06 PM | Report abuse

Conclusion... I'd put McPhee in the top 10, but not top 5 of GMs in the league, I guess. Not the best, not among the worst, but he's built a contender.

Posted by: GFisher1

eh? i don't know how YOU define a contender but I've never seen this team as a contender. And their playoff performances have reinforced that opinion.

Winning the Prez trophy is a nice accomplishment. It doesnt make you a LEGIT contender.

And nice post, at least you laid out some details in your McPhee defense.

But his inability to surround his skill with the appropriate role players, his one-dimensional draft strategies, his inability to replace a Mark Tinordi type, his inability to add solid veteran leaders on D, his inability to construct a team that has a strong desire to finish its checks, his inability to admit his own mistakes and constant spinwork, the way he blows easy chances to fill roles on this team that doesn't take a rocket scientist to figure out (i.e. the 4thlineTG)

The other missing component in this argument is the slew of possible trades or FAs he could have signed instead of targeting bums like Pothier and Poti. Same way he targeted Dimitri Mironov. Same way he targeted Corvo.

He likes defensemen who can skate but who don't do anything else very well. He doesn't seem to get what it takes to win in the playoffs.

Posted by: cstanton1 | January 19, 2011 2:07 PM | Report abuse

My sources tell me the Caps are in trouble and to have another drink.

Posted by: kcbrichmond | January 19, 2011 2:08 PM | Report abuse

What a fine addition to a teams lineup that cant score goals right now. Since BB likes to change the lines so much and he was so dominant last night, maybe we can put him on the top line vs the Isles and give him some PP time as well. You were spot on Vermont - DJ King is a beast!

Posted by: capsfansince74 | January 19, 2011 1:27 PM | Report abuse

As was to be expected, King eagerly looked for Shelley IN THE FLYERS BARN and tried to spark the team. A better showing than his other fights, and because he and Shelley did their jobs and the players who get paid to score didn't do theirs, I'm not sure what the point of your derision is. Obviously, it's much easier to blame DJK for what ails the team instead of holding other players accountable.

Nothing wrong with the "staged" fight as they occur throughout the league ALL THE TIME. Who doesn't remember Thornton dispatching Boulton 2 seconds into their game a few weeks ago? And Thornton/Shelley going 2-3 minutes into each of the last two games the teams played? Unfortunately, unlike the Bruins, no one on the Caps followed DJK's lead until Erskine amped it up near the end of the second.

Sure DJK looked rusty but he eagerly served his purpose last night. What's not to like about going into Philly and seeing one of our guys go right at their resident tough-guy after we fall behind early? And only getting 4-10 minutes a game isn't a waste of a spot for two reasons: first, if the team is winning handily, all 4 lines will roll. If a game is tight or we're behind, BB (or any coach) is going to shorten his bench anyway, and our "best players" will be given the responsibility of being the best players.

We know, capsfan74, you despise the fighting aspect of NHL hockey and ALL that it entails (you can spare me that you appreciate a good fight in the heat of battle just as much as the next guy). Being a fan of hockey, I'm sure you'd get just as much, if not more, enjoyment from watching college hockey where fights/intimidation/message sending isn't tolerated. If nothing else, you wouldn't have to subject yourself to fans like me.

Posted by: vermontcaps | January 19, 2011 2:09 PM | Report abuse

My sources tell me the Caps are in trouble and to have another drink.

Posted by: kcbrichmond

You have some pretty wise sources. I will heed their advice.

Posted by: sgm3 | January 19, 2011 2:10 PM | Report abuse

My sources tell me the Caps are in trouble and to have another drink.

Posted by: kcbrichmond | January 19, 2011 2:08 PM

fruitpunch (aka 'rock the red') kool-aid - look for something bottled in 2010 - that was a good year

Posted by: Capt_Kirk_in_AZ | January 19, 2011 2:22 PM | Report abuse

I think if GM spent less time defending himself under assumed names and more time scouring the draft wire, we'd been in better shape.

Posted by: cstanton1 | January 19, 2011 2:00 PM | Report abuse

I know you're really Dale Hunter.....hunterforcoach exists to throw everyone off your tracks. Hurry back, Dale!!

Posted by: vermontcaps | January 19, 2011 2:22 PM | Report abuse

@cstanton1

Hypothetical: If it would happen, would you trade Schulz for Kaberle? Assuming also that Poti is out for the year(this is only a hypothetical, so lets assume this is true for the sake of this question).

Then the pairings would be:

Hannan/Green
Alzner/Carlson
Erskine/Kaberle

Kaberel would also help out on the point on the PP.

It isn't going to win the team a SC or anything, but it would be an improvement.

In addition it would give the Caps even more salary cap flexibility next year by removing Schulz's cap hit and with Kaberele being a UFA.

Posted by: sgm3 | January 19, 2011 2:24 PM | Report abuse

Cstanton, it's impossible to judge a GM for trades he didn't make or FAs he didn't sign. Unless of course, word got out that he was offered somthing to ogood to be true and turned it down. I would have gone all the way back to Mironov though, if I had the character space. Mironov... shudder.

I'd say the hannan acquisition shows that he is either just now, or has for awhile, learned what type of D the team needs. It's also worth noting that his preference is to draft a player type and wait for him to develop into what they need than pay overblown free agent salaries. He did draft Ruth, Finley, Clayton Barthel (I think he was one of those Tinordi types). He was also allegedly in the running for Chara. You can disagree with it or spin it however you want, but it was reported by credible people.

Posted by: GFisher1 | January 19, 2011 2:33 PM | Report abuse

I think the point was that DJK's impact was negligible.

--sgm--

as predicted.

But not really completely his own fault though is it? You've been hurt the majority of the past 2 seasons, then you come in here and get a limited opportunity under a clueless coaching staff to show your stuff. And then get put in cold into a tough game against the East's top team.

would you call that a fair opportunity? I wouldn't.

Posted by: cstanton1 | January 19, 2011 2:35 PM | Report abuse

Kool Aid is only for those that still believe GMGM and BB have a clue. Not to beat a dead horse, but when they did nothing to shore up the team after the Montreal debacle, we all should have realized they didn't get it. Now that Ovechkin isn't carrying the offense, the goat crap has hit the fan.

Posted by: kcbrichmond | January 19, 2011 2:37 PM | Report abuse

it would give the Caps even more salary cap flexibility next year...

Posted by: sgm3 | January 19, 2011 2:24 PM

this doesn't fit into the model of gutting the team from the top on down

Posted by: Capt_Kirk_in_AZ | January 19, 2011 2:39 PM | Report abuse

@everyone:

It is frustrating, I know, to see our offense fizzle night after night, with only an occasional glimmer to remind us of what could be; to see our Caps impaled on every mistake they make while opponents seldom seem to pay for theirs; to see one mediocre journeyman goaltender after another come up aces against our guys who had previously been able to "bury it" on a regular basis.

Things could be better than they are, and I think the offensive rampage the Caps went on throughout most of last season has spoiled us somewhat.

That said, things could also be a whole lot worse.

Could we have a better GM than George McPhee? Perhaps. But whom? You? Me? cstanton1? sgm3? Seriously, what GM with a proven track record of success is even available?

Could we have a better coach than Bruce Boudreau? Possibly. But again, who else--that we could trust and believe in--is available? Could I do better? Could any of you? Probably not.

I don't have any easy answers for you, folks. But in light of the fact that the season is far from over, I don't think either firing everybody or blowing up the team are really the answers we're looking for...at least not right now.

Again and again on this blog, we talk about "grit" and "toughness" and "playing a full 60 minutes" as prerequisites for the Caps to triumph, yet as soon as things don't go well, you get a flood of outcries:

"Trade [insert player(s)]NOW!!!",
"The GM Must Go!!!",
"Fire The Coach!!!"
"The Season Is Over!"
"Blow Up The Team!"
"Eject! Eject!! EJECT!!!"

...and people start walking out of home games before the final horn sounds.

C'mon, people, what does that kind of talk say about our grit, our toughness, our willingness to go the distance?? And by "our" I mean the fans...

It just seems somewhat hypocritical to ask of the team, that which we are unwilling to give from ourselves.

The team has fallen on (relatively) tough times, but still needs and deserves the support of its fans. They'll need all the positive vibes we can give them to overcome this.

In the meantime, I think we need to reserve judgment on this season until this season actually is over.

Posted by: Rhino40 | January 19, 2011 2:43 PM | Report abuse

this doesn't fit into the model of gutting the team from the top on down

Posted by: Capt_Kirk_in_AZ


True. I'm not saying it's the best course of action(gutting the team from the top down is), but it would be better than doing nothing.

Posted by: sgm3 | January 19, 2011 2:44 PM | Report abuse

He did draft Ruth, Finley, Clayton Barthel
---

nice dude!! you're the first one who has ever brought up Clayton Barthel.

yes, you are correct. He did draft Barthel, he drafted Andrew Thomas, Finley, Ryan VanBuskirk. All guys who played a rugged game, along with Ted Ruth.

the issue isn't that he NEVER drafts those types of players, its that

a) he doesn't do it enough
b) he shoots for guys who aren't that notable pre-draft
c) he skips on guys with much higher upside (mark stuart, petrecki, etc)


and when you see players who could be a good fit here consistently end up on other teams and we get stuck with the door prizes, i think you can safely say that McPhee ain't doin his job in that regard.

and yes, ftr, the Caps were in the running for Chara. They bailed at about 5 million per yr I think? What was Chara's contract, for 9 mil? If so, the Caps bailed at 7 mil. Either way, they bailed out at 2 mil per season less than what Chara eventually got.

Posted by: cstanton1 | January 19, 2011 2:46 PM | Report abuse

Hypothetical: If it would happen, would you trade Schulz for Kaberle?
--sgm--


no

Schultz is still better and he's worth more than is Kaberle. I would however trade Schultz and King for Aulie and Orr.

Posted by: cstanton1 | January 19, 2011 2:53 PM | Report abuse

My sources tell me the Caps are in trouble and to have another drink.

Posted by: kcbrichmond | January 19, 2011 2:08 PM

fruitpunch (aka 'rock the red') kool-aid - look for something bottled in 2010 - that was a good year

Posted by: Capt_Kirk_in_AZ


haha!

personally, i thought it was a little fruity and overbearing. Not a legit 90 pointer on the punch scale.

Posted by: cstanton1 | January 19, 2011 2:59 PM | Report abuse

Schultz is still better and he's worth more than is Kaberle. I would however trade Schultz and King for Aulie and Orr.

Posted by: cstanton1 |

Schulz stinks.

If you are going to have a guy playing D who isn't willing to hit anybody(i.e. Schulz) they may as well at least have good speed and decent stick skills(i.e. Kaberle). On top of it, it leaves the Caps with more salary cap room after the season.

Kaberle can walk and the Caps are no longer burdened by the presence of Schulz. This would be a small step in gutting the team.

I would prefer a trade of Schulz for draft picks and good prospects, but I know that is highly unlikely to occur.

Posted by: sgm3 | January 19, 2011 3:01 PM | Report abuse

"The team has fallen on (relatively) tough times, but still needs and deserves the support of its fans. They'll need all the positive vibes we can give them to overcome this."

---

I disagree with your premise that the biggest problem facing this team is that we the fans are not wishing hard enough. I also disagree with your premises that the fact that we, people on a message board could not do better coaching or GMing the team (although I'd argue the later is debatable), that means there are not better options out there.

Finally, I strenuously disagree with your premise that if we the fans are critical of this team, it means we are not "good fans." I'd argue that the desire to see this team succeed is what drives us to be critical of it, and that unwavering praise for obviously failed aspects of the team does not make one necessarily a "good fan."

Finally-finally I disagree with your notion that the expectations should be the same for the people who are paid to participate in the games as they are for the people who pay to attend the games. We go to hockey games for entertainment, not self-flagellation. I don't leave games early, but that's because I'm stingy and want to get every $$$ out of that ticket. But I certainly don't begrudge other people for leaving earlier and going somewhere where the beers are cheaper.

Posted by: VTDuffman | January 19, 2011 3:05 PM | Report abuse

If the players aren't tough enough and the coaches aren't smart enough, the upper management isn't knowledgeable enough, and the system isn't good enough... If they are the wrong people putting the wrong product on the ice and the team deserves to be completely rebuilt, then why are you still watching? Why pretend to be a fan of the team? If you want this team to be Philly so bad, just start cheering for Philly.

Posted by: Chad8 | January 19, 2011 3:05 PM | Report abuse

@cstanton1

Also, I'm not a big fan of Orr. He may be tough but he isn't a winner. I think toughness is important but they guy must be a winner also.

Getting a guy who is tough but not a winner is sort of waste IMO.

Posted by: sgm3 | January 19, 2011 3:05 PM | Report abuse

Orr isn't a winner? what does that mean? Like he hasn't won a Cup or something?

Colton Orr in my mind has been one of the top 5 tough guys in hockey since he broke in with the Bruins. He's as tough as they come. He targets both tough guys and skill guys. He can lay huge hits. And he makes everyone around him play bigger. Not to mention his fights inspire some real excitement on the ice. Never boring. He's an old school stand back and slug away type of player.

"If you are going to have a guy playing D who isn't willing to hit anybody(i.e. Schulz) they may as well at least have good speed and decent stick skills(i.e. Kaberle). On top of it, it leaves the Caps with more salary cap room after the season. "

Kaberle really stinks. Have you watched him play lately? Schultz is by no means a great dman, but even still, he can make the right defensive play when he's in position a lot more often than can Kaberle. He also makes less money and has youth on his side. IMO you'd be wasting his trade worth if do a 1 for 1 swap for TK

Posted by: cstanton1 | January 19, 2011 3:12 PM | Report abuse

How much you wanna bet the Caps offer Boyd Nancy Gordon yet another 1 yr tender this offseason. He's attached to this team at the hip. His bad hip. Or back or whatever he has ailing him at the moment.

Posted by: cstanton1 | January 19, 2011 3:16 PM | Report abuse

"If you want this team to be Philly so bad, just start cheering for Philly."

---

I don't want this team to be Philly, I want this team to *Beat* Philly. I just think they're going about it the wrong way. As my evidence of that, I use...last night when they lost to Philly.

Do you honestly think that there is nothing wrong with this organization? GMGM is a great manager, BB is a great coach, and all the players are just exceptional?

If that's the case, then what's to explain for the lack of success in the playoffs and now lack of success in the regular season? Simply poor luck? Poor luck year, after year, after year, after year?

Because if you truly believe that to be the case, that's just one almost unfathomable heaping helping of bad luck.

Posted by: VTDuffman | January 19, 2011 3:18 PM | Report abuse

"Orr isn't a winner? what does that mean? Like he hasn't won a Cup or something?"

@cstanton1

Yeah, he hasn't won a cup or been involved in many playoff wins. He seems to always be a part of a team that loses. I want tough guys on this team, but I only want tough guys who are winners also. IMO, Orr is extremely tough, but not a winner.

Posted by: sgm3 | January 19, 2011 3:20 PM | Report abuse

@Chad8- How many Cups have the Flyers aka the Broad Street BULLIES, won?

Two,count 'em two. And if I'm not mistaken, they were back-to-back.

I, by no means, am a Flyers fan nor will I ever be. It goes against everything that is holy to root for a hockey team from Pennsylvania (except Hershey).

I'm merely stating a fact that you need some toughness to be competitive in the palyoffs. Right now, the Caps aren't showing me that, and they surely didn't last spring.

Posted by: jwash4472 | January 19, 2011 3:20 PM | Report abuse

So...who do you all think will replace Cindy at the ASG when he finally admits that his Steckle-itus is going to keep him from participating?

I threw up in my mouth a bit when I saw Iginla out and replaced by Briere the Philthy mig.

Posted by: SeminAllOverTheIce | January 19, 2011 3:21 PM | Report abuse

@SAOTI

I said the other day on here the two teams arent talking anymore. Was a team from the Central that wasn't Columbus, and they were asking about a Center.

Posted by: ThePat | January 19, 2011 3:22 PM | Report abuse

I think Anaheim's 4th line when they won the Cup was Brad May, Shawn Thornton, and Todd Marchant/George Parros. Of that group, only MayDay could be considered a "winner" since he had extensive playoff experience and actually scored some big goals. Parros was an offbalance tough guy at the time. Shawn Thornton was the replacement for Todd Fedoruk who got hurt that season. And Todd Marchant has got to be one of the smallest but gutsiest defensive forwards in hockey over the past 15 yrs.

Not quite Boyd Gordon centering Steckel and whoever.

Posted by: cstanton1 | January 19, 2011 3:25 PM | Report abuse

"How many Cups have the Flyers aka the Broad Street BULLIES, won?"

@jwash4472

In all fairness, only one of those happened when the Caps even existed and that happened during the Caps inaugural season. Philly hockey hasn't been the epitome of success over the past 30 years.

The Islanders(who are horrible now), Oilers(who are also horrible now), Penguins, Devils(who are also horrible now), Red Wings, and Avalanche have been the most successful.(meaning they had, at least, about a 10 year period of dominance which they took home multiple SCs)

Posted by: sgm3 | January 19, 2011 3:29 PM | Report abuse

@ThePat

Thanks sir...I've not been on here for a couple days, and I usually dont go back picking through the posts. Just a couple posts to catch up as best as I can without wasting too much time (since I do enough of that in the form of posting).

Posted by: SeminAllOverTheIce | January 19, 2011 3:32 PM | Report abuse

I said the other day on here the two teams arent talking anymore. Was a team from the Central that wasn't Columbus, and they were asking about a Center.

Posted by: ThePat

Was it Brad Boyes? It seems that GMGM has a good relationship with John Davidson and is willing to deal with them. In addition, Boyes' name has been floated around in the rumor mill.

Posted by: sgm3 | January 19, 2011 3:34 PM | Report abuse

Yeah, he hasn't won a cup or been involved in many playoff wins. He seems to always be a part of a team that loses. I want tough guys on this team, but I only want tough guys who are winners also. IMO, Orr is extremely tough, but not a winner.

Posted by: sgm3 |


there has never been a correlation between a 4th line tough guy who hasn't won a Cup and getting a guy like that to help you.

Eric Godard was part of numerous bad teams before he won with the Pens. And while he didn't play in the playoffs he added an important role to that team during the reg season to keep his teammates protected, healthy, and team tough.

But really, there is no correlation there. Numerous tough guys have played for bad teams and then played for good ones and won a Cup. Don't let that turn you off to Orr.

Shawn Thornton and Travis Moen couldn't even crack the NHL prior to winning with the Ducks. They were both considered AHL players only. Chicago finally gave them both a chance during a horrific season in 2003. And Anaheim took note. What they both proved in Chicago (Thornton in a much shorter time) was they could both skate, they were very strong, they were very aggressive on the forecheck, and they could provide an enforcement capability.

Posted by: cstanton1 | January 19, 2011 3:35 PM | Report abuse

@SAOTI

Understand. From what I have been told now is not to expect anything until the 2nd half of February from the Caps. Other teams you'll probably see something right after the all-star break.

If pokerface has heard anything else from whoever he has as a source he can gladly say, but thats the word I now have gotten.

Posted by: ThePat | January 19, 2011 3:36 PM | Report abuse

Loving the progress of M. Johanson but I still think we need to get a point-per-game, 30 goal scoring, center to pivot the 2nd line. Let MJ work on the 3rd line with some gritty guys (chimera/Fehr). 3 lines that can score. Although it would be nice to have one line that could score these days.

My hope is that they are just cruising to a middling finish and will put the petal to the metal come playoff time.

Ovie looked like the old Ovie last night. Anyone else notice that? maybe he is just getting reved up.

Posted by: SkinsFanInNYC | January 19, 2011 3:36 PM | Report abuse

BB is playing the old "both goalies are hurt" to save his job ploy. This guy has GOT to GO.

Posted by: oldcoachandgm | January 19, 2011 3:37 PM | Report abuse

Understand. From what I have been told now is not to expect anything until the 2nd half of February from the Caps. Other teams you'll probably see something right after the all-star break.

Posted by: ThePat

That makes the most sense in terms of the salary cap. It won't make a difference but it will be interesting to see if GMGM is more willing to give up prospects in a vain attempt to win now to protect his job.

Posted by: sgm3 | January 19, 2011 3:45 PM | Report abuse

Was it Brad Boyes? It seems that GMGM has a good relationship with John Davidson and is willing to deal with them. In addition, Boyes' name has been floated around in the rumor mill.

Posted by: sgm3

how bout Boyes, Crombeen, Sobotka and ANY of their D for Schultz, Gordo and Semin.

We'll even give up a hurt Fehr for a hurt TJ Oshie. And make Oshie the team captain when he gets healthy again. He's got that kind of character and leadership ability.

Posted by: cstanton1 | January 19, 2011 3:46 PM | Report abuse

Trade Semin for Iginla

Posted by: griz0615 | January 19, 2011 3:51 PM | Report abuse

The Habs lost Cammalleri and Pacioretty each for at least a month and Halpern is out also with an upper-body injury.

When you combine that with their injuries on D(Markov and Gorges) they may not make the playoffs this year. This will be a very important month for them to get through it without losing too much.

Posted by: sgm3 | January 19, 2011 3:52 PM | Report abuse

My hope is that they are just cruising to a middling finish and will put the petal to the metal come playoff time.

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

yeah, hopefully they can put their rose petals to the metal when the playoffs start.

Posted by: cstanton1 | January 19, 2011 3:52 PM | Report abuse

I'm having trouble pulling up the odds from Vegas at my comp at work...whats the over/under on line changes BB will perform in the Islanders game?

Posted by: SeminAllOverTheIce | January 19, 2011 3:54 PM | Report abuse

@vermont and Cstanton -

I just dont see the need for a guy like DJ King in the NHL. What is the point of a "staged" fight to begin with? People will say he adds toughness to the team. So does Erskine and Hendricks and they can both play the game. What is the point of having a guy in the lineup who plays 5 minutes in the game? Cant we put someone in the lineup who can play some real minutes and maybe actually do something that matters?

Watching those two guys fight had zero impact on the game. They fought - they both got 5 minutes - they sat in the box. Big deal. Please tell me how he helps the team. I just dont see it. Now if DJ King wants to go out there and knock the hell out ofBriere, Richards or Hartnell - I'm all for that. When he fights some other useless goon - its meaningless.

The Caps can use guys who stick up for a team mate when needed. Someone takes a run at OV, Bradley jumps in to protect him. Erskine and Hendricks fill that role fine. I like that part of the game. Two guys who do nothing but fight and they know going in they are going to fight each other - Yawn.

Posted by: capsfansince74 | January 19, 2011 3:57 PM | Report abuse

I'm having trouble pulling up the odds from Vegas at my comp at work...whats the over/under on line changes BB will perform in the Islanders game?

Posted by: SeminAllOverTheIce

27

Posted by: sgm3 | January 19, 2011 3:58 PM | Report abuse

I just can't imagine the team making a significant trade at this point for a 2C or a physical d-man, given the way the team is playing. It is no longer a situation where plugging in one or two guys would put them over the top (if it ever was). I think GMGM waits until closer to the trade deadline and then decides whether to be a buyer or seller or stands pat, based on whether the team has any chance of doing anything in the playoffs. If I'm wrong, I will accept an assignment to the doofus brigade without objection.

Posted by: zmega | January 19, 2011 3:59 PM | Report abuse

"Loving the progress of M. Johanson but I still think we need to get a point-per-game, 30 goal scoring, center to pivot the 2nd line."

---

At the risk of sounding glib, we don't even have a point-per-game 30 goal scoring center pivoting out *first* line right now, gunning for one to C our 2nd line seems like asking for a lot :)

Posted by: VTDuffman | January 19, 2011 4:00 PM | Report abuse

if you look at that 1st goal by Carter last night, check out how Gordo approaches that play. When Carter goes for the wrap around, if Gordo was more aggressive he would have turned on the afterburners and plowed over Carter. Matt Cooke would have done exactly that. And Carter may or may not have been able to wrap the puck around while absorbing the hit. Gordo slows up, and throws his stick out there trying to stop the puck.

His entire career can be summed up in that play. He will not do whatever it takes to win.

Posted by: cstanton1 | January 19, 2011 4:02 PM | Report abuse

@sgm

I assume thats just by first intermission correct?

Posted by: SeminAllOverTheIce | January 19, 2011 4:05 PM | Report abuse

vermont and Cstanton -

I just dont see the need for a guy like DJ King in the NHL. What is the point of a "staged" fight to begin with? People will say he adds toughness to the team. So does Erskine and Hendricks and they can both play the game. What is the point of having a guy in the lineup who plays 5 minutes in the game? Cant we put someone in the lineup who can play some real minutes and maybe actually do something that matters?

---capsfan--

i'd agree with you but for one thing. There are many players in the NHL who do exactly what you are talking about. They provide the level of toughness that a DJ provides AND they play more minutes.

But those same players would not be playing those minutes in a Caps jersey.

And you need varying degrees of toughness on a team. You have your middleweights, your lightweights, and your heavies. Erskine's also a dman, can't afford to have him do all the enforcing. Hendricks is a terrible fighter but a gritty player nonetheless. You don't want him fighting other team's middleweights much less their heavies. DJ or a similar player does serve a purpose. But its not his fault he only plays a few shifts a game and looks bad doing so. You bring in another 'regular' and he'll be in the same boat.

Posted by: cstanton1 | January 19, 2011 4:06 PM | Report abuse

It's fairly obvious the guys are tuning BB out, on the verge of quitting on him. They only step up to play in the 3rd when desperation sets in. If they continue this slide into the break, they should bring in fresh blood.

Leonsis is under the impression the team will be successful for the next decade. They have drafted well, the Bears are the best team in the AHL, and some core guys are locked up for a while, but nothing is guaranteed.

This team peaked last year and a lot of players are sensitive, something needs to happen to shake it up.

Posted by: saltine182 | January 19, 2011 4:07 PM | Report abuse

I get so tired of hearing the cliche "it is what it is." OV says it all the time and now BB says it. You don't have to say anything, if you are going to say "it is what it is." The same goes for "and what not."

Posted by: LloydChristmas | January 19, 2011 4:11 PM | Report abuse

if you look at that 1st goal by Carter last night, check out how Gordo approaches that play. When Carter goes for the wrap around, if Gordo was more aggressive he would have turned on the afterburners and plowed over Carter. Matt Cooke would have done exactly that. And Carter may or may not have been able to wrap the puck around while absorbing the hit. Gordo slows up, and throws his stick out there trying to stop the puck.

His entire career can be summed up in that play. He will not do whatever it takes to win.

Posted by: cstanton1

You cannot forget to put some blame on Hendricks for whiffing on the puck at the offensive blue line. If that doesn't happen the Flyers don't even get a rush. Horrible play by Hendricks which was then followed by a few more horrible plays by the other Caps players on the ice.

But hey, at least they are playing as a team. When one guy makes a mistake, all the other players try to make an even more miseable mistake. I'm guessing they do this so the 1st guy doesn't feel as bad. At least the Caps players are concerned for each others feelings.

Posted by: sgm3 | January 19, 2011 4:15 PM | Report abuse

Watching those two guys fight had zero impact on the game. They fought - they both got 5 minutes - they sat in the box. Big deal. Please tell me how he helps the team. I just dont see it. Now if DJ King wants to go out there and knock the hell out ofBriere, Richards or Hartnell - I'm all for that. When he fights some other useless goon - its meaningless.

--capsfan--

agreed 100%

and i stated exactly this pre-game. That I'd rather King run around and level some folks instead of engaging in a token fight.

Staged fights CAN have some positive impact but usually in conjunction with other things. I mentioned Orr before. He goes after all types of skill guys. He also engages in heat of the moment fights. He also engages in some scripted fights.

But do you really think a Colton Orr would get much ice time and free reign with the Caps to be the player he needs to be on the ice?

the problem is two-fold. Our coach/GM doesn't know how to utilize that role. And the player they acquired is far from a finished product.

Posted by: cstanton1 | January 19, 2011 4:16 PM | Report abuse

I think GMGM waits until closer to the trade deadline and then decides whether to be a buyer or seller or stands pat, based on whether the team has any chance of doing anything in the playoffs. If I'm wrong, I will accept an assignment to the doofus brigade without objection.

Posted by: zmega


standing pat? maybe. A buyer? more likely. A seller? No way on god's green earth will he be a seller. Not now, not ever again. He has put all his managerial eggs into the "we're moving towards a Cup" basket. Even if he believed he was wrong, he wouldn't be a seller. Because then its all out on the table. He may as well just resign.

Posted by: cstanton1 | January 19, 2011 4:19 PM | Report abuse

So this is kinda random, but why is there not more outrage about Carlson not making the rookie team? He is one of the top rookies out there!

As for DJK...I don't think it was a waste to put him in that game...we all know how Philly can get, and I think Erskine and Hendricks need a little break...less focus on fisticuffs and more on overall play.

Backstrom almost looked like a good center for the first time in a while last night, and I think only the 2nd period was anything to be ashamed about. Putting MoJo in the 4 on 4 was a stupid idea...apparently Chimera talked to him after the game about not giving players so much space in sudden death situations.

Curious..besides not shuffling lines, what would you all knowing people do to spark the offense...b/c if the offense gets going, we will be a pretty darn good team.

Posted by: capscoach | January 19, 2011 4:21 PM | Report abuse

Kaberle would be a horrible pickup by the team. I watch nearly every Leafs game and he's been brutal this season. He used to be okay at moving the puck up the ice but this year it's constant dangerous passing and turnovers when moving out of the zone. That is, if he makes it that far. Any forecheck pressure and he waits too long to act and ends up giving the puck away. If someone's coming into hit him he'll turn away and give the puck up instead of trying to make a play. I thought he was overvalued last year, but this year has looked quite a bit worse IMO. Definitely not someone you want to bring in for the playoffs when you need to make plays even quicker and have more forecheck pressure.


If they want to bring in someone it should be a 2nd line centre. I don't see anyone on their team who can play that position in the playoffs. Once it gets down to teams matching lines every shift and putting out guys just to the faceoff, I don't know if Johansson or Perreault will be very reliable.

Posted by: Stu_c | January 19, 2011 4:24 PM | Report abuse

@capsfan74

bradley does the "staged" fight a ton also (see his fights vs. voros x3, tootoo, biznasty, lucic, etc..). cstanton is right on this about DJK

Posted by: _stevo | January 19, 2011 4:25 PM | Report abuse

He has put all his managerial eggs into the "we're moving towards a Cup" basket. Even if he believed he was wrong, he wouldn't be a seller. Because then its all out on the table. He may as well just resign.

Posted by: cstanton1

Agree. I definitely think GMGM will be a buyer because I think his job is on the line also, and he knows it.

However, it will be interesting if he is more willing to sell the future and give up more in an attempt to save his job. If there is any season in which GMGM is willing to overpay it would make sense for it to be this one.

Posted by: sgm3 | January 19, 2011 4:26 PM | Report abuse

The Caps can use guys who stick up for a team mate when needed. Someone takes a run at OV, Bradley jumps in to protect him. Erskine and Hendricks fill that role fine. I like that part of the game. Two guys who do nothing but fight and they know going in they are going to fight each other - Yawn.
------------capsfansince74---------------

I didn't see any fans sitting in their seats, yawning, when the two dropped the mitts and decided to go. Like other sports, hockey is entertainment and every sport has guys who have certain, narrowly defined roles. A pitcher who can throw heat, but not much else. A shooter who can knock down threes, but not much else. A wide receiver who's a deep threat but can't catch a screen. Simply put, guys like DJK and Shelley are tools (no pun intended :)) to be utilized by the coach. You're not seeing their value because we've got a coach who's clueless about how to maximize their attributes.

@cstanton
I'd argue Colton Orr has been the consumate enforcer, not merely top-5, the last 3 years. I don't think Burke is gonna let him go, so any possible trade scenario w/him is a pipe dream :(

Posted by: vermontcaps | January 19, 2011 4:27 PM | Report abuse

However, it will be interesting if he is more willing to sell the future and give up more in an attempt to save his job. If there is any season in which GMGM is willing to overpay it would make sense for it to be this one.

Posted by: sgm3

good point. I've seen examples where a GM has overpaid drastically and really mortgaged the future in a desperate attempt to upgrade the present. Its like an outgoing president pardoning a bunch of felons. Or something like that anyway.

Frankly, I don't want GM engaged in any more trades. I don't trust him and I don't need any more Poti type extensions either. Because he'll saddle the next GM with even more of an uphill climb.

Posted by: cstanton1 | January 19, 2011 4:29 PM | Report abuse

since when have sgm3 and cstanton been civil? I go one day away from the boards and the world has turned upside down.

Posted by: capscoach | January 19, 2011 4:31 PM | Report abuse

I don't get all the support for Orr here. Sometimes he's a good guy to have on your team but he makes his fair shair of mistakes that really cost his team (bad penalties, turnovers, not paying any attention to coverage in his own end, etc). I think he's better to have on a team than King most of the time, but a lot of nights I'm surprised they let him back on the ice after the first period.

Posted by: Stu_c | January 19, 2011 4:34 PM | Report abuse

You cannot forget to put some blame on Hendricks for whiffing on the puck at the offensive blue line. If that doesn't happen the Flyers don't even get a rush. Horrible play by Hendricks which was then followed by a few more horrible plays by the other Caps players on the ice.

--sgm

no doubt. He blew it. But his error was an error borne out of execution, not out of a lack of desire or competitiveness (ala Gordo). And my experience as an observer is that one is more correctable, and eventually less damaging. I don't expect Hendricks to make that whiff too many times. But I will never expect Gordo to be able to steamroll over a player who is about to wrap the puck around the net in that fashion. And you see so many of those kinds of battles in the playoffs.

Posted by: cstanton1 | January 19, 2011 4:35 PM | Report abuse

You cannot forget to put some blame on Hendricks for whiffing on the puck at the offensive blue line. If that doesn't happen the Flyers don't even get a rush. Horrible play by Hendricks which was then followed by a few more horrible plays by the other Caps players on the ice.

Posted by: sgm3 | January 19, 2011 4:15 PM | Report abuse


It was Chimera, not Hendricks, who failed to keep the puck in. Actually, I'm liking the new sgm3...KEEP IT UP :)

Posted by: vermontcaps | January 19, 2011 4:38 PM | Report abuse

since when have sgm3 and cstanton been civil? I go one day away from the boards and the world has turned upside down.

Posted by: capscoach | January


we're actually the same person.

oooh...how sick would that be?! yikes. That's some dark dark stuff there boy..

Posted by: cstanton1 | January 19, 2011 4:41 PM | Report abuse

I was gonna say but I wasn't sure. Couldn't see if it was 25 or 26. Cool, glad it was Chimmychanga and not Hendricks

Posted by: cstanton1 | January 19, 2011 4:43 PM | Report abuse

...would you call that a fair opportunity? I wouldn't.

Posted by: cstanton1

Speaking of fair. The Caps play the Flyers, arguably a hard nosed team with a tough guy (enforcer). So, BB puts DJ King in the lineup. We've seen posters on both sides chastise him for that move. Is that fair?

For what it's worth I support putting DJ King in last night's game. It is what it is. It's his first game back so expect some rust. He fought Shelly to try to give the team a spark and he didn't hurt the team with bad. In my book he did his job.

Posted by: BetterOffWithFedorov | January 19, 2011 4:44 PM | Report abuse

That should be "he didn't hurt the team with bad play" in my previous post.

Posted by: BetterOffWithFedorov | January 19, 2011 4:47 PM | Report abuse

It was Chimera, not Hendricks, who failed to keep the puck in. Actually, I'm liking the new sgm3...KEEP IT UP :)


Posted by: vermontcaps

Oh, then Chimera gets the blame for the poor execution, not Hendricks.

@cstanton1

I also don't get as bothered by mistakes from poor execution compared to just stupid mistakes.

But Chimera's poor execution I think was a result of simply not focusing on the puck. He was wide open and all he had to do was tap the puck forward. Not an overly difficult play to make. IMO, that was an execution mistake AND a stupid mistake for him not concentrating on the puck.

Posted by: sgm3 | January 19, 2011 4:48 PM | Report abuse

I want the Caps to trade for Jason Arnott and Umberger. Both bring grit ans coring and veteran leadership. Ovie would be a btter captain with those guys around to help. Umberger solves the 2center issue, Arnott the rugged scoring veteran with a few cups.
Do it.

Posted by: jmurray019 | January 19, 2011 4:55 PM | Report abuse

Caps are not an elite team without shedding the extra weight and deciding on some working lines. It's okay that that hasn't happened yet, but it needs to happen in the next 6 weeks and its not going to happen from within.

Trade Michal Neuvirth and David Steckel for C Travis Zajac of the NJ Devils. Zajac has 3 years remaining in his deal at 3.87 mil/year. He's 6'3, 200, with good faceoff ability, speed, good hands, and offensive upside. He's proven he can make his teammates better, and would fit perfectly between Semin and whoever. He's 25, has recorded 60+ points the last two seasons, and was +33 and +22 in plus/minus the last two seasons. That fits perfectly into Bruce's two-way forward approach. He's a hardworker with a big offensive upside, and someone the Caps could get at least 3 years out of, relatively cheap (as opposed to paying Richards or someone a ridiculous amount to back-up Backstrom.) I would even throw in Bradley, either of the Gordon's, Beagle, or Perreault if they want more. They have too many of those forwards as it is.

Secondly, GMGM needs to make a run at a Goalie. I know the stats are pretty decent for both Neuvy and Varly, but I just don't have the confidence in them yet, game in and game out. The Caps should look into what Florida would take for Tomas Vokoun. They have a good back-up in Scott Clemmensen, and if you've been watching at all, Vokoun is having a pretty damn good year, especially against the Caps. Yeah, we pay him the rest of what he's owed this year, but he's a UFA after the season and THEN maybe it's Varly time. But Florida probably thinks they'll lose Vokoun after the season anyway, they are in last place in the Southeast, and I think they'd be happy to bring in a Beagle/Perrault and a pick or someone in the system.

The Caps would be playoff ready, with Ovie-Backstrom-Knuble
Semin-Zajac-Laich
Chimera-Johannson-Fehr
Hendricks, Gordon, Bradley, King, whoever we have left get worked in the rotation.

Defense is set for the year.

Vokoun and Varly compete down the stretch, providing stability and competition, and a back-up plan if Varly's groin acts up. I think Neuvirth and Varlamov are getting too comfortable in their platoon role, I don't see either making a push. Only advantages come with injuries.

Caps can win this year, and win for years to come, but this in-season trade deadline is crucial.

Posted by: caps131313 | January 19, 2011 4:57 PM | Report abuse

it was 26, hendricks - chimmy wasn't on the ice for carters goal

http://www.nhl.com/scores/htmlreports/20102011/GS020684.HTM

Posted by: Capt_Kirk_in_AZ | January 19, 2011 4:58 PM | Report abuse

where do people get this idea that Jason Arnott plays with a ton of grit?

Unless you can trade for the Jason Arnott who played 5 or 6 yrs ago, you'll be disappointed.

Caps almost did pull off a trade for Arnott and Brenden Morrow several yrs ago. But they didn't offer enough. I'm sure that's been the story a lot.

Posted by: cstanton1 | January 19, 2011 5:01 PM | Report abuse

Yup, I was wrong...it was #26 (I even rewound that play a few times last night; just watched it again; damn those numbers)

MY BAD, CHIMERA, SORRY FOR CALLING YOU OUT ON THAT PLAY

Posted by: vermontcaps | January 19, 2011 5:02 PM | Report abuse

IMO, that was an execution mistake AND a stupid mistake for him not concentrating on the puck.

Posted by: sgm3 |

the only execution mistake here is that Chimmylimmydingdong isn't in front of a firing squad. So there you go, he makes a bad play and then gets promoted to the top line. At least on Ovey's goal he made some kind of effort to get in front of the goal. He wasn't pushing on the dman but he was at least in the vicinity.

"The Caps play the Flyers, arguably a hard nosed team with a tough guy (enforcer). So, BB puts DJ King in the lineup. We've seen posters on both sides chastise him for that move. Is that fair?"

i hope that in my lifetime, i see the Caps actually understand that instead of having to counter another team's moves, they force other teams to adjust to our lineup. Let another team dress their tough guy to face our lineup once in a while. What a concept!

the irony here is, other teams sometimes scratch their tough guy when they play us :)

Posted by: cstanton1 | January 19, 2011 5:05 PM | Report abuse

cstanton1:
you need to apologize to Chimmylimmydingdong :D

Posted by: Capt_Kirk_in_AZ | January 19, 2011 5:08 PM | Report abuse

well scratch my slam on Chimmy. You guys are killin me. Bad play by Hendrix. Almost as bad___ as his guitar solo on All Along the Watchtower.

Posted by: cstanton1 | January 19, 2011 5:09 PM | Report abuse

ok i apologize. No need to dump on that guy. He does enough wrong without needing to get blamed for something he didn't do.

(u sure he didn't do something from the bench that contributed to that goal?)

Posted by: cstanton1 | January 19, 2011 5:12 PM | Report abuse

well scratch my slam on Chimmy.

Posted by: cstanton1 | January 19, 2011 5:09 PM

i'm sure chimchim will do something stupid to earn your justifiable ire - probably sooner rather than later

Posted by: Capt_Kirk_in_AZ | January 19, 2011 5:12 PM | Report abuse

not in a home game against a weak opponent he won't!

Posted by: cstanton1 | January 19, 2011 5:15 PM | Report abuse

this is lame.

Don't any of you guys want to keep GM and BB around?

Posted by: cstanton1 | January 19, 2011 5:22 PM | Report abuse

i mean lets not be rash here guys. McPhee and Boudreau, we can do worse. Discuss please.

Posted by: cstanton1 | January 19, 2011 5:25 PM | Report abuse

@VTDuffman:

I disagree with your premise that the biggest problem facing this team is that we the fans are not wishing hard enough

You are missing my point, which is not that "we all need to wish harder". What I was saying is that there are problems, sure, but that constantly ranting about how "the players/coach/GM all suck" contributes exactly nothing to solving them, and may even make things worse. Granted, it is a broad statement. I'm not sorry I made it, but I am sorry you seem to have taken it personally.


I also disagree with your premises that the fact that we, people on a message board could not do better coaching or GMing the team (although I'd argue the later is debatable), that means there are not better options out there.

Sorry, but I'm not backing down on this one. GMGM and BB may not be the best people to lead the Caps, but GMGM was 100% right when he basically stated that anyone who could do a better job at those things was already in the NHL. So I ask again: whom do you replace them with? All of the "best" coaches and GM's in the NHL (i.e., those who could reasonably be expected to bring about noticeable improvement) are tied up with their respective organizations for some time to come. Even then, nothing is guaranteed. And I don't care how long you've been a STH/"suffering since '74"/"Coached at other levels"/"student of the game", etc., etc.--NONE of us on CI (you and I included) are qualified to be Coach or GM of an NHL team!


Finally, I strenuously disagree with your premise that if we the fans are critical of this team, it means we are not "good fans."

Never said that. Again, you take me out of context. Did you not read the parts of my post where I acknowledge that problems exist, and that I, too am frustrated by the team's lack of success? Criticize by all means, but I say again that the constant cries to Fire the Coach/Fire the GM/Blow up the team accomplish nothing except to place text on screens, and I am finding them almost as tiresome (if not more so) than the current funk.


Finally-finally I disagree with your notion that the expectations should be the same for the people who are paid to participate in the games as they are for the people who pay to attend the games.

Again, you miss the point. I don't have the exhalted status of STH, nor have I lived here since '74. But the Caps are my team, I am their fan (one of them, anyway), and as much as that may hurt I refuse to throw them under the bus. No. Matter. What. If a person hates the coach, hates the GM, hates the players, then what's left to root for? A crest on a sweater that is itself subject to change whenever ReebokĀ® sees fit?

Win or lose, I never leave a game early unless its an emergency. Because if one thing is true about hockey, it's that anything can happen, anytime.

Posted by: Rhino40 | January 19, 2011 5:29 PM | Report abuse

but GMGM was 100% right when he basically stated that anyone who could do a better job at those things was already in the NHL.
--rhino--

yes! i forgot about you rhino. You are still a potential project.

anyway, your statement is completely illogical. Just because one may know more than someone else who is 'in the field', it doesn't always follow that this person takes the steps in his or her (haha) life that puts them in that field. I know musicians for example who are WAY better than folks I hear on the radio. But these guys only play music as a hobby, not a career.

If you were ever exposed to Phil Esposito as a GM, you'd know why McPhee's comment was a total farce. My milkman could manage a team better than Espo.

Posted by: cstanton1 | January 19, 2011 5:37 PM | Report abuse

@Rhino

Duffman says a lot of things---oh yeah!!!

Posted by: sgm3 | January 19, 2011 5:39 PM | Report abuse

All of the "best" coaches and GM's in the NHL (i.e., those who could reasonably be expected to bring about noticeable improvement) are tied up with their respective organizations for some time to come.
---------

if everyone believed that, then no one would ever fire a coach or GM. Come on, make a better argument to keep GM/BB than that.

"But the Caps are my team, I am their fan (one of them, anyway), and as much as that may hurt I refuse to throw them under the bus. No. Matter. What. If a person hates the coach, hates the GM, hates the players, then what's left to root for? A crest on a sweater that is itself subject to change whenever ReebokĀ® sees fit?

Win or lose, I never leave a game early unless its an emergency"

sometimes buddy, the only way fans who are upset with the direction of their team can make any difference is precisely by walking out. Or boycotting. Or ranting on a msg board to get the word out. Or whatever it takes.

You call it being disloyal. I call it using your head and trying to effect change with some type of protest. Its precisely BECAUSE some of us love this team so much that we would resort to measures like that. You don't own the rights to define how a fan should behave. Just as no one's judging you for sticking around, you shouldn't judge others for sending their disgruntled msg in their own way. Its whatever makes sense to you.

to me, it makes no sense to keep supporting the GM and coach if I feel they are hampering my team's progress.

Posted by: cstanton1 | January 19, 2011 5:43 PM | Report abuse

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