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Posted at 8:32 AM ET, 01/26/2011

Capitals' penalty kill continues to shine

By Gene Wang

As much of the attention, albeit negative, is squarely on the Washington Capitals' sagging power play, that most frustrating deficiency has been counterbalanced somewhat by the team's torrid penalty killing.

Washington has killed off 22 of 23 power plays, including 16 in a row, and is ranked second in the NHL in that category at 85.9 percent. In its most recent game, a 2-1 shootout loss to the New York Rangers on Monday, Washington went 2 for 2 on the penalty kill.

The Capitals have not finished among the league's top 10 in penalty killing since the 1999-00 season and haven't been higher than 17 over the past eight years.

"I know that we've always focused this year on the PK and defensive zone, and now we're doing well," said defenseman Mike Green, who led the Capitals with 29 minutes 19 seconds of ice team against the Rangers.

That attention to defense has translated into Washington having allowed 34 goals over its past 18 games. The Capitals are ranked seventh in the NHL in goals allowed per game (2.48). They haven't been in the top 12 since 1999-00.

Washington figures to get another test defensively and on the penalty kill tonight when it faces Atlanta at Philips Arena. The Thrashers, who have beaten Washington in two straight games during which they outscored the Capitals 8-1, are ranked ninth in power play percentage (20.6) and 10th in goals per game (2.9).

"It's just one of those things where we didn't bring our A game or whatever," forward Jason Chimera said of the losses to Atlanta. "They're a good team. They got a lot of young guys who can score, and they've got a good defense, so we've just got to be ready."

By Gene Wang  | January 26, 2011; 8:32 AM ET
Categories:  Mike Green  
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Next: Capitals forwards taking shots against Semyon Varlamov in skate

Comments

Come the end of the season I'd hate this to be the only thing I have to hang my hat on.

Posted by: jp14710 | January 26, 2011 9:43 AM | Report abuse

Negative. Come on everyone! We are only 6 points out of 1st in the E Conf. SOme of our key guys are hurt. Its better to be average and struggle mid season and get hot in the play-offs. Just remember last year.

Posted by: jmurray019 | January 26, 2011 9:47 AM | Report abuse

This has nothing to do with this post, but did anyone watch the Flyers-Habs game last night.

The announcers mentioned Tampa having a 12-game homestand. Yes, you read it correctly, 12 freaking games. How in the heck does that happen when the Caps, at best, have only a 4 game home stand?

Where's the parity in the NHL that Bettman (severly hate him) keeps preaching about?

Posted by: jwash4472 | January 26, 2011 10:00 AM | Report abuse

Just lends credence that the NHL is anti-DC/Anti-Caps. Always has been.

Posted by: jmurray019 | January 26, 2011 10:04 AM | Report abuse

@jwash4472

Tampa still has ony 41 games at home and 41 on the road. The fact that they have a 12 game home stand means they also have a bunch of road trips.

Posted by: sgm3 | January 26, 2011 10:12 AM | Report abuse

Just lends credence that the NHL is anti-DC/Anti-Caps.
___________________________________

I'm going to assume this was written with full snark.

But if not, then I have to completely disagree with this. There are only a few major marketable teams right now- with the Caps and Pens at the top of the list. There is no denying this. It's been shoved down our throats for the last 3 years and obviously more so this year. The NHL has spent a ton of money on promoting Crosby/Ovechkin, Ovechkin/Crosby, Great 8 vs. Sid the Kid, and so on. The last thing they want to do is have a low ROI when it comes to either one of these teams. What do people grasp onto, spend money, time and emotions on? A winning team and the players that make up that team.

There is no way the NHL wants anything but complete success for Washington. It's invested way too much.

Posted by: Fro_2 | January 26, 2011 10:12 AM | Report abuse

I wouldn't trade Holtby for anyone not in the top 5 in scoring (and over the age of 25)....straight up!

I would definately trade Neuvirth. He's oft-injured, a EURO and most importantly Varly (who is also oft-injured) has more skill and athleticism hurt than Neuvirth has healthy.


I can't believe some of you are willing to part with a 20 year old prospect (Eakin) and a 21 year old goalie who has NHL experience and is dominating the AHL RIGHT, NOW!

Eakin is replaceable, but goalies are tough to come by...Holtby could be the next Martin Brodeur...?

Neuvirth, eh...he will be ok, but nowhere close to Holtby in 2-3 years.

Lastly, just how many Euro/Russian goalies have EVER won the cup...? My guess...3 (the back up ducks goalie, Hasek, and Khabibulin).

Posted by: SoaringCaps | January 26, 2011 10:13 AM | Report abuse

"Holtby could be the next Martin Brodeur...?"

He could also be the next Jim Carey.

Posted by: sgm3 | January 26, 2011 10:24 AM | Report abuse

Could you be any more offensive, @SoaringCaps?

Posted by: Justafan | January 26, 2011 10:26 AM | Report abuse

Lastly, just how many Euro/Russian goalies have EVER won the cup...? My guess...3 (the back up ducks goalie, Hasek, and Khabibulin).

Posted by: SoaringCaps | January 26, 2011 10:13 AM

I don't have any stats at my fingertips but I would guess this is more of a function of the nationalities of goalies being dominated by Canadians (and to some extent Americans) for much of the history of the NHL.

Maybe in the last 10 years we've seen more and more euro goalies come to the NHL and do well so the sample size is not comparable.

Posted by: Moose33 | January 26, 2011 10:30 AM | Report abuse

I wouldn't trade Holtby for anyone not in the top 5 in scoring (and over the age of 25)....straight up!

I would definately trade Neuvirth. He's oft-injured, a EURO and most importantly Varly (who is also oft-injured) has more skill and athleticism hurt than Neuvirth has healthy.


I can't believe some of you are willing to part with a 20 year old prospect (Eakin) and a 21 year old goalie who has NHL experience and is dominating the AHL RIGHT, NOW!

Eakin is replaceable, but goalies are tough to come by...Holtby could be the next Martin Brodeur...?

Neuvirth, eh...he will be ok, but nowhere close to Holtby in 2-3 years.

Lastly, just how many Euro/Russian goalies have EVER won the cup...? My guess...3 (the back up ducks goalie, Hasek, and Khabibulin).

Posted by: SoaringCaps


We don't need 3 young goalies, 2 will do.

Time to overpay for someone to help this team win a cup. If we move Semin first, we will have more than enough assets to get the playerS we need, and still have a deep organization.

Actually, I should say time to overpay for someone not named Tom Poti.

Posted by: underpants2 | January 26, 2011 10:33 AM | Report abuse

Didn't Niemi just win the cup last year?

Posted by: yosemite_sam | January 26, 2011 10:37 AM | Report abuse

Isn't Anti Niemi Finnish? Didn't he win the SC last year?

Posted by: sgm3 | January 26, 2011 10:38 AM | Report abuse

Anyone who says any one of the 3 goalies is "untouchable" should have his head examined.

And that includes GMGM.

Posted by: joek443 | January 26, 2011 10:44 AM | Report abuse

I always find it ammusing and ridiculous when I hear people say we should trade for this or that guy and the same people turn around and name about half the players on our roster "untouchable".

Posted by: joek443 | January 26, 2011 10:48 AM | Report abuse

Many of these trade suggestions are really forgetting one thing. Below is a very general formula for completing a trade:

(Team A who needs/wants "X") + (Willingness of Team A to give up "Y" to get "X") + (Team B who needs/wants "Y" from Team A) + (Willingness of Team B to give up "Y" for "X")

Let's assume for a moment that the Caps are Team A. Equally- if not more important is the 2nd half of that equation which involves Team B and their wants/needs/willingness etc.

Posted by: Fro_2 | January 26, 2011 10:50 AM | Report abuse

@joek

I agree with you on that. The pair I'd prefer to keep is Holtby/Neuvy. But wouldnt mind if any of them are traded to get a good player or two back.

Posted by: ThePat | January 26, 2011 10:50 AM | Report abuse

...and wasn't Niemi's backup that noted Frenchman, Huet???

Posted by: Thisistheyear | January 26, 2011 10:52 AM | Report abuse

Sorry, 4. Niemi won it last year.

Here's another. How many Euro/Russian Captains have hoisted the cup?

I could be wrong, but I think Lidstrom was the only one.

Hey, just going with the facts.


And yes, we only need 2 goalies. Holtby and Varly. There is no place for Neuvirth.

I will not argue trading Varly, but he is way more athletic than Neuvirth.

Posted by: SoaringCaps | January 26, 2011 10:53 AM | Report abuse

To get the guys we need, we are gonna have to give up players/prospects we are not gonna want to lose. Good trades should help both teams. We are a deep organization, we have the assets.

Time to play for now, not the future anymore.

Posted by: underpants2 | January 26, 2011 10:54 AM | Report abuse

@joek...

I know you are pointing at me, so I'll explain (if you care)...

It's not so much they are "untouchable", it's more that they are least likely to be traded.

Take Backstrom for example. He is playing like a 3rd line center (or for that matter, Steckel). Obviously we aren't going to trade a young center we have locked up for a number of years. So he is untouchable. Same with Optional.

Carlson, is our best defender. And he's 21, so we obviously wouldn't trade him.

Green, well, as much as we all would love to trade him, is probably not going anywhere.

So, it's more "probably not going anywhere" rather than "untouchable".

Posted by: SoaringCaps | January 26, 2011 10:59 AM | Report abuse

Ok, all this "trade the goalie" talk is just STUPID. First and foremost, in our current state of offensive ineptitude, the ONLY things keeping us in the playoff race are the PK and our goaltending. Moreover, we cant even keep 2 goalies healthy at the same time anymore, and now we want to trade one of them? For what??? First and foremost, does anyone with a brain think that what ails this team offensively is going to be cured by a 2nd line center or a net crashing forward, most likely 30 years or older? WAKE UP!...unless/until OV, Backs and Semin and to a lesser exgent Green, start scoring there is NO ONE in the league we could bring in that is going to make a difference, let alone some player who knows NOTHING about this system and has 30 games and the playoffs to learn it. If a trade is made for a winger or 2nd line center is should not involve letting a goalie go, not even sure with all the injuries that you could even entice a team to give up fair value for either Neuvy or Varly. This team needs to get Semin, Fehr and Bradley healthy and playing, like it or not, those are 3 players who are sorely missed offensively on this team. MOJO is turning out to be a solid #2 center, in my opinion if we can trade for a wing with the grit of Knuble but the speed and athleticism of Chimera to join OV and Backs on the top line, THAT is the trade to be made, but not at the cost of one of the goalies. Otherwise we have to have faith that when we get everyone healthy after the All Star break, we can start to progress offensively...

Posted by: opticlguy | January 26, 2011 10:59 AM | Report abuse

I like Varly over them all so far. IF he can duct tape that groin and get it to stay in place for a season. Neuvy is good for a softie a game and Holtby has a lot of maturing still to go. Not to mention he REALLY needs to work on his shoot-out skills. Yikes.

I dont want to see Eakin or Kuz traded just yet...however, any of the other young kids I wouldnt lose sleep over if we lost em. MP, A Gord, couple of the russians, etc included.

Posted by: SeminAllOverTheIce | January 26, 2011 11:00 AM | Report abuse

@underpants...

True, very true. Tired of being happy we have the best AHL team and the most prospects. Time to win the cup and worry about next year later.

Posted by: SoaringCaps | January 26, 2011 11:03 AM | Report abuse

Defense is better. Obviously pk. What happened to all the scoring? Why can't we let if fly for two periods, and then use a shut down d in the third? How many games were we behind in the third? Also, we cannot stand pat. Underpants2 is right. Let's get a second line center, and whatever else we need now. Yeah, we have a good team, but everyone else has improved and we need to as well.

Posted by: coastallp74 | January 26, 2011 11:06 AM | Report abuse

SAOTI...

Agreed.

But think this. When is Kuzen going to be able to come over? And how long will it take Eakin to actually contribute.

It's a crap shoot, I understand that. But we need some pieces to help us right now...

Posted by: SoaringCaps | January 26, 2011 11:07 AM | Report abuse

Some people on here make dumb statements. That is all. Move on.

Posted by: ThePat | January 26, 2011 11:16 AM | Report abuse

Which position do we have the most talent and depth that could bring us a legit 2nd line center? Goalie. I like Holtby, but he's got zero playoff experience. Neuvirth has been hurt a lot and is probably our No. 2 goalie when healthy. If GMGM's wants to make a real move, he's going to need to part with one of these two young goalies to get a veteran center. Varly is playoff tested and will be our No. 1 goalie going into the playoffs assuming he's healthy.

Semin needs to actually play in some games and show he's healthy before any contending team would trade for him. I don't see the Caps moving him unless they get a forward or center who can score as we still need help on the offensive end.

Posted by: wizfan89 | January 26, 2011 11:19 AM | Report abuse

Unless something radical happens in collective bargaining, the salary cap era is here to stay. The only way the Capitals can stay competitive over the long haul is to have a deep, deep organization so that when - as is inevitable - there is youth to take that players place.

Looking into the future, the Caps will have to make a decision on Mike Green. If he goes, would you not prefer the organization to be able to fill from within? I would not trade any of our real NHL quality depth for any borrowed old timer with the idea that it will put the Capitals over the top. How did those trades work out last year?

This team is going to win a Cup (or not) with the current roster. The only player out there who I might take a run at is Richards, but I don't see the Stars parting with him. Our Cup run will be driven by a resurgent Ovechkin and a hot goalie in our net this time.

Posted by: bill_in_damascus | January 26, 2011 11:21 AM | Report abuse

Which position do we have the most talent and depth that could bring us a legit 2nd line center? Goalie. I like Holtby, but he's got zero playoff experience. Neuvirth has been hurt a lot and is probably our No. 2 goalie when healthy. If GMGM's wants to make a real move, he's going to need to part with one of these two young goalies to get a veteran center. Varly is playoff tested and will be our No. 1 goalie going into the playoffs assuming he's healthy.

Semin needs to actually play in some games and show he's healthy before any contending team would trade for him. I don't see the Caps moving him unless they get a forward or center who can score as we still need help on the offensive end.

Posted by: wizfan89 | January 26, 2011 11:21 AM | Report abuse

Personally, I think we need to trade neuvirth or varly and pick up a seasoned vet for the playoff run.

let holtby develop.

Let varly or neuvirth back up through the playoffs.

Then next year it's varly/neuvirth and Holtby.

That's the process (normally). Not hey let's give 3 rooks a shot at the playoffs and hope for the best...

Our window of opportunity is closing...

Posted by: SoaringCaps | January 26, 2011 11:23 AM | Report abuse

What do people think about Stephen Weiss?

He is young and is under contract for two more years and at only $3.1M/yr. He is a pretty talented player who could play center not only this year, but the next two at a bargain price.

Also, while his cap hit is $3.1M his actual salary is $4.1M/yr the next two years.

Would people be willing to give up Eakin for him?

Weiss is a good player signed to a reasonable contract for the next two years so it will take more than a bag of pucks to get him.

Posted by: sgm3 | January 26, 2011 11:40 AM | Report abuse

Why would the Caps be thinking of trading anyone now? The trades being talked about here are the kind of things a team would do if it thought that adding one piece would push it over the top. That is just not where this team is now. Maybe this will change after the all-star break when the Caps get a few injured players back. If the team then starts to look like it could accomplish something in the playoffs, a trade might make sense. But the way things stand today, this is a team that will either miss the playoffs or barely make the playoffs and then lose quickly. If things don't change, they should be focusing on developing and evaluating their young talent, not trading them based on some fantasy of immediate playoff success.

Posted by: zmega | January 26, 2011 11:42 AM | Report abuse

@sgm3

I really like Weiss but dont think you'd have to give up Eakin to get him. If they wanted Eakin for him, I wouldnt do the deal. Eakin is worth more than him.

And im one of the people that is of the belief we need to trade a prospect or two to get what we want. Just has to be the right deal.

Posted by: ThePat | January 26, 2011 11:44 AM | Report abuse

"Our window of opportunity is closing?"

That is unbelievably pessimistic. Do you think OV and Backstrom are done? This team should be Cup competitive for at least 4 or 5 more years. We haven't even sorted out our #1 goalie yet. I know its a long season - but does anyone really care where you were in the standings come May or June?

As I recall, the year the Penguins won the Cup, they were doing nothing in December and January. Unless you think Bruce has to go, we just have to be patient and let them tune up for April. After all, the regular season means absolutely nothing once your an established team.

Posted by: bill_in_damascus | January 26, 2011 11:47 AM | Report abuse

@sgm3

the type of player I'd trade Eakin for is Mike Fisher or Dustin Penner. Edmonton needs help at the C position so getting Penner would be possible. A nice power forward.

Posted by: ThePat | January 26, 2011 11:48 AM | Report abuse

Last game of the year with Erskine and King in the lineup at the same time...BOO!!! Finish strong, boys, and give me some good ammunition tonight that I can use when calling for your release from exile.

Go Caps, kick Thrasher a@@ and extend the team's point streak to 10 games when DJK is in the lineup (impressive considering this will only be his 13th game)

Posted by: vermontcaps | January 26, 2011 11:50 AM | Report abuse

@bill in damascus

Cup competitive for 4 or 5 years????? We arent even cup competitve now with our current roster. We should be playoff competitve with Ovi, Backs, Carlson and Green here for years that I'll agree. But Cup Competitve?? This team needs a 2C and another top 6 W to really be a threat.

Posted by: ThePat | January 26, 2011 11:51 AM | Report abuse

I really like Weiss but dont think you'd have to give up Eakin to get him. If they wanted Eakin for him, I wouldnt do the deal. Eakin is worth more than him.

And im one of the people that is of the belief we need to trade a prospect or two to get what we want. Just has to be the right deal.

Posted by: ThePat

If the Caps could make that deal without giving up Eakin, I'd be all for it. But I'm guessing it may take a good amount to get Weiss. Especially since he has a reasonable salary for the next two years.

Having a quality 2nd line center for the next two years with a $3.1M cap hit would definitely be nice.

On the other hand it may not be nice seeing Eakin develop into a player in Florida.

But is Eakin's ceiling really any higher than where Weiss is now? Just asking. I'm not really sure where Eakin's ceiling is. I was under the impression it was as a 2nd line forward.

Posted by: sgm3 | January 26, 2011 11:52 AM | Report abuse

If Stephen is related to Michael...I pass. =)

Posted by: SeminAllOverTheIce | January 26, 2011 11:52 AM | Report abuse

@sgm3

Eakins ceiling is probably a 2nd line forward. So im not saying it wouldnt be a fair deal. Just think you can get more for him than Weiss. But not much more. Im not trying to overvalue him, just get the right value. Thats why I responded by saying Fisher or Penner would be my target if giving up Eakin.

Posted by: ThePat | January 26, 2011 11:56 AM | Report abuse

the type of player I'd trade Eakin for is Mike Fisher or Dustin Penner. Edmonton needs help at the C position so getting Penner would be possible. A nice power forward.

Posted by: ThePat

I think Fisher would be the guy to get. Penner is a very good player, but the Caps have more of a need at center.

But if the options were Penner or nothing, I think getting Penner would be a good idea for the reasons you stated.

He's in the same general salary range as the others also

Posted by: sgm3 | January 26, 2011 11:58 AM | Report abuse

BIG NO to going after Stephen Weiss...absolutely, positively, unquestionably he's not worth 4.1mil/year. Morrison/Belanger were both better than him.

Posted by: vermontcaps | January 26, 2011 11:58 AM | Report abuse

I would like to see Semin for Alferdson, if the caps are going to move Semin. Throw in a 2nd or 3rd rounder if needed. That would put backs and Alferdson as 1 and 2 centers with B.Gordon, Johanson and Stecks as 3-4

I am not sure of Alferdson contract situation or what kind of cap implications would arise, but man he would be sweet for a cup run and you don't lose the offenceive firepower.

You really don't need 3 20-22 year old goalies once you establish a number 1 that can stay healthy. At least 1 goalie can be trade bait, but which one??

Posted by: cadlecreek1 | January 26, 2011 12:02 PM | Report abuse

cadlecreek,

Alfredson is not going anywhere, there would be riots in the streets if they traded that guy away.

Posted by: PhilR | January 26, 2011 12:05 PM | Report abuse

Why so much talk of a trade? Last year the PK sucked and everyone spoke of shoring up the D - done that. The only real change to the lineup was adding Hendricks, and it seems to have been a great find by McPhee.
Our current deficiency is that incredible offensive punch and powerplay we had last year. With point-producers such as Ovie. Backstrom, and Semin on the squad, wouldn't it make more sense to concentrate on getting their game back rather than bringing in a has-been or unproven player to amp things up? Also, with the talent we have coming up in the system, wouldn't it be better to keep building this team for multiple playoff runs as opposed to one and done? Look how great Alzner and Carlson are for us now, and imagine another year for Johansson to develop and for Eakin and others to get a crack at it.

Posted by: gonchpup | January 26, 2011 12:06 PM | Report abuse

Eakins ceiling is probably a 2nd line forward. So im not saying it wouldnt be a fair deal. Just think you can get more for him than Weiss. But not much more. Im not trying to overvalue him, just get the right value. Thats why I responded by saying Fisher or Penner would be my target if giving up Eakin.

Posted by: ThePat |

I think your valuation on Eakin's trade value is probably correct.

If Fisher is the better player then by all means go for him.

@vermontcaps

Weiss is a pretty decent player. His cap hit is only $3.1M/yr the next two years. If people think Fisher is the better grab, then I'm all for it. But Weiss is by no means a bum.

He has also put up very good PP stats while in Florida. He isn't playing with the most talented players there either. He also play SH time and has 2 SH goals this year.

Like I said, if people think Fisher would be the better fit and is better, then by all means go for that. But Weiss isn't a bum. He is a prety good young player who has done well on a poor team. I think if he was centering Semin and Laich you would see his numbers rise tremendously.

Posted by: sgm3 | January 26, 2011 12:08 PM | Report abuse

Actually, I think Varly is more injury prone and has accomplished less than the other Goalies. Hotlby has huge upside and IMO is the goalie of the future.
Neuvy won two Calder Cups in the AHL and until this season does not have a history of injuries.
Varly has more playoff experience, but he has been hurt for at least 20 games the last 2 seasons. His value may never be higher than it is right now. Trade him. I don't care how athletic he is if he can't stay on the ice.

Posted by: jmurray019 | January 26, 2011 12:22 PM | Report abuse

Alfredson is a RW, not a center.
It would be nice to trade Semin for a veteran proven winger with a contract that last a two or three years after this season. It would give the trading team salary cap relief next year and some prospects. We need to get a pick or prospect in return in the deal, IMO.

Keep Eakin, Kuzen and Olov. Trade MP, a prospect and a pick.

Posted by: jmurray019 | January 26, 2011 12:26 PM | Report abuse

I have a question. Why would we trade Semin, a serviceable 2nd line RW, to gain a 2C? I thought that not only do we need a second line center but we really need a 2C to give Semin and Laich a constant center who enhances their skills. Semin-scorer, 2C-battling for the punk and spreading it around, Laich -crease crasher, scorer.
Who would replace Semin? Wouldn't we need a new RW, too?

Posted by: nicety251 | January 26, 2011 12:39 PM | Report abuse

You are correct, nicety. Trading Semin for a second line center would be trading one problem for another. Now we have a high skill wing with no adequate center to get him the puck. What would be better about replacing that situation with having a skilled center but no one on the wing who can finish? Also, I don't understand the benefit of trading Semin for a different wing who inevitably would be less of a scorer. The team can't score enough now, so why trade one of the few scorers they have?

Posted by: zmega | January 26, 2011 12:52 PM | Report abuse

@ zmega

Thanks. I guess we would be banking on the prospects but at this rate we would never have any of our own "vets" so to speak.

Posted by: nicety251 | January 26, 2011 12:55 PM | Report abuse

I could actually see them trading Semin if they got a good centre in return. Semin's been injury-prone basically forever, and contributed absolutely nothing in the playoffs last season. If he had shown that he's a clutch player, I wouldn't move him. But he hasn't really been any good in the playoffs, which is what they need to prep for. I don't expect him to actually be moved for a few reasons but mainly because the only teams that would want a rental player would be trying to get a bit more potential offence before the post season so they wouldn't give up a top 6 centre in return. And if they can get him on a line with the right centre, Semin could still end up being good in the post-season. His contract's up so he needs to show he can contibute or his value will drop a ton. Two years in a row of doing nothing in the playoffs isn't worht much to teams.

They really should look for a good veteran 2nd line centre who can win faceoffs IMO. Even though he wasn't putting up many points I still can't believe they didn't bring back Belanger. His playoff faceoff percentage alone is worth the cap hit. Not that I think they used him on enough important draws last year. If Washington is going to do well this time around they need to get the powerplay going, and they need to put a true 2nd line together so the opposition doesn't need to just shut down one threat. Would be very surprised if they don't make a move before the deadline to fill this position. Without it they won't make it very far.

Posted by: Stu_c | January 26, 2011 2:08 PM | Report abuse

And with Fisher and Arnott likely available, they have good options. I'd personally take Fisher but Arnott is good as well.

Posted by: Stu_c | January 26, 2011 2:15 PM | Report abuse

I'm loving the fact that the Caps are currently #2 on the PK and #7 in GA. Defense wins championships. I've got to believe the PP will come around. They are just too talented not to.

My concern is with the seeming lack of heart/mental toughness. My jury is still way out on Ovie's leadership skills. I mean, just last game they had a big revenge match at home against a possible playoff opponent. They're facing a decimated squad (7 rookies) and the backup goalie. So do they come out fired up and looking for blood? Nope, flat as a pancake. 5 shots in the first. wtf? If any trades are made (and that seems likely), I would only trade for guys who have hoisted the Cup. Yeah, a 2C would be nice, but a guy with a history of playoff success is what is most needed, imo.

Posted by: McLobo | January 26, 2011 5:12 PM | Report abuse

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