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Capitals' penalty kill remains perfect

Morning Roundup

Not to be overlooked from the Capitals' 2-1 win over the Islanders Wednesday night was the importance, once again, of Washington's new-and-improved penalty kill.

With a 3-for-3 showing against the Isles, the Capitals improved to 15-for-15 on the season. They're currently tied with Edmonton (9-for-9) and Florida (2-for-2) atop the league standings with a perfect penalty-killing effort. While four games may not seem like much, Washington never held opponents without a power-play goal for that stretch of time in 2009-10.

The key statistic within that unblemished record while playing a man down, though, is that Washington has allowed its opponents just 15 shots during those 15 power-play opportunities. For their three chances, the Islanders only came away with one shot on goal with the man advantage.

In a game where the Capitals were less than perfect overall, the penalty kill provided a source of stability. The new attitude on the PK, with shorter shifts and a more aggressive style, has paid dividends so far now the question is: How long can the Capitals maintain the success?

"It was great for us again," Matt Hendricks said after Wednesday's game. "We took that penalty toward the end of the third and it's a tough time when the game's tied at 1 but we were able to kill it off and the reverse happened to [the Islanders]. It showed how just one penalty can be detrimental in the course of the game."

FROM THE POST
The full recap of the Caps' 2-1 win over the Islanders and more on Michal Neuvirth's hard-hat effort.

Colleague Gene Wang talks to D.J. King after his first game and fight as a Capitals and discusses the chippy nature of Wednesday's game.

Dan Steinberg talked to Eric Fehr about his 6,000-calorie diet.

Box Seats fan blogger Kareem El-Alaily asks: Are the Caps getting a free pass from the media?

IN THE MINORS
A well-traveled Brian Fahey returns for his second stint with the Hershey Bears. (Tim Leone)

AROUND THE WEB
NHL Hot Stove takes a look at the top lines around the league and gives their points projections for 2010-11.

By Katie Carrera  | October 14, 2010; 8:29 AM ET
Categories:  Morning Roundup, Penalty kill  
Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   Del.icio.us   StumbleUpon   Technorati   Google Buzz   Previous: Michal Neuvirth continues improvement in Capitals' win over Islanders
Next: Morning practice update

Comments

I think that the best thing about the PK is it really LOOKS better...they are not just getting lucky. They are 100X more agressive, keeping the puck on the outside, and taking shorter shifts. I mean 15 shots on 15 PPs is something to be very proud of.

Posted by: capscoach | October 14, 2010 8:48 AM | Report abuse

Once again, Bruce doesn't hesitate to call out poor play in the media (Carlson) as long as it's not one of his pet players like Green or Flash. Not saying either Green or Flash deserved to be called out (in fact I thought Green was pretty solid)just pointing out once again the double standards that are in play with this coach.

Posted by: chombie13


He also said that he is a rookie and they expect him to struggle at times...he was being honest about how he played...he didn't say anything to put Carlson down...he did struggle last night. And maybe BB doesn't call out certain players b/c he knows their personalities and what works best for them. He calls Ovie out when he has a bad game, and Ovie almost always hase a comeback in the next one. Every player is different and responds to different kinds of coaching. I leave it to BB who actually knows his players to make that call.

Posted by: capscoach | October 14, 2010 8:59 AM | Report abuse

"Praise in public; chastise in private."
A coach must know what buttons to push with individual players. That should be done within the confines of the clubhouse/locker room, not in the general press.
Now, if we want to complain about poor performances, lets discuss Gabby's TV commercials!

Posted by: beeman | October 14, 2010 9:12 AM | Report abuse

A Capscoach - good point/thought. I think that makes sense, in management we always need to know what makes each tick, and all do not respond to the same thing.

Posted by: hunter321 | October 14, 2010 9:12 AM | Report abuse

I don't know enough about these type of things but if Matt Hendrick is the key offseason addition to the Capitals and they become much more solid defensively and go from being one of the worst PK teams in the league to one of the best, could Hendricks get serious consideration for the Selke Trophy?

Posted by: mercedeskk | October 14, 2010 9:19 AM | Report abuse

I love the win, but man when I see Erksine/Sloan on the ice, I just cringe. Erskine can hit like a freight train, no doubt. That being said, he is a slow skater with terrible foot speed. Sloan overcommits too often and he is not exactly fleet of foot either. Poti may hit like a wet noodle, but at least he can keep up with the other teams wingers. I really hope the Caps can get a solid skating and mean blueliner to pair with Poti. Green/Schultz has looked very god so far. Alzner and Carlson look good at times and like rookies at times. And Alzner, lose the last minute pass off the glass. Twice he almost cost the Caps a penalty. Create space with your skating or look for an open winger.

Posted by: JIMALLCAPS1 | October 14, 2010 9:27 AM | Report abuse

@mercedeskk

No.

Hendricks has been a nice addition, but he is nothing more than a role player.

Selke trophy winners are usually more high profile, known league wide for there defensive play, by people who really know hockey.

And most of them have been solid on D for a few years before they win it. And typically not to shabby on offense.

So, in a "nut"shell, I'd say...

If Hendricks wins the Selke, I would be willing to part ways with Dr. Kenneth Noisewater.

Posted by: wtf_e_fehr | October 14, 2010 9:27 AM | Report abuse

Since we have Hendricks and King on the team now, why do we need Sloan...I know he is a defender, but the only reason he is up here is b/c he can play D and wing. put him on waivers, send him down, get one more solid D man and let Erskine be the spare...thoughts anyone

Posted by: capscoach | October 14, 2010 9:30 AM | Report abuse

So far Neuvy is the big difference. That kid is playing very solid between the pipes. The Caps offense besides the NJ game and a play here and there (ok, the second period rocked last night) has been fairly mediocre. The defense looks good at the top and drops a lot after the top pairing. Flash looks like a scoring winger trying to play center. If he finds space, he looks like a world-beater, but with someone on him, it's a different picture.

Posted by: JIMALLCAPS1 | October 14, 2010 9:32 AM | Report abuse

The PK improvement is more based on the adjustments to be more aggressive and the buy in of the players. Hendricks' play has been solid all around, but is not singularly the cause for improvement.

Posted by: _Mark | October 14, 2010 9:35 AM | Report abuse

Erskine is playing better than last year and he does seem to me to be a bit quicker as well. He is by no means a speedster, but better than last year. Sloan has looked pretty rusty thus far.

Posted by: _Mark | October 14, 2010 9:43 AM | Report abuse

Great game by Neuvy, again he gets all three stars. Honestly, Caps played about as bad as they did vs Atlanta and were just lucky the Isles didn't score more. Isles missed open nets, off the post, etc. Defense very spotty and now Green is hurt.

We've got cap room and we have extra assets at forward. The time to go out and upgrade the D is now. With Poti and Green (if he is) out, we'd be playing with one second pair D (Schultz), one third pair D (Ersk), two third pair rookies God only knows what you get any given night (Alzner, Carlson), one 4th pair D (Sloan) and a 5th pair from Hershey.

I know McPhee and BB can put a good spin on it, but those are the numbers and those are the facts. OK, we have 11 first roun picks playing, we don't need next year's, trade it and get us some help on the blueline.

Posted by: tominsocal1 | October 14, 2010 9:46 AM | Report abuse

If BB is complaining about Carlson, and that he had 3 give aways, what does he think about OV's giveaways? OV gives away the puck every other shift he plays. Does BB not see this?

Posted by: LloydChristmas | October 14, 2010 9:50 AM | Report abuse

I'd just like to add that no one should ever read Kareem El-Alaily's posts ever again. The only two I've read have been probably two of the bigger wastes of time I have ever encountered on the internet. And believe me, I have wasted hours and hours and hours on the internet.

With a lot of great bloggers in the area, how did this guy get a job at WaPo?

Posted by: rsl13 | October 14, 2010 9:51 AM | Report abuse

BTW, I like Fehr's diet. I also try and take in 6000 calories a day but I'm not sure it's the same. He's an athlete and I'm just a pig.

Oink.

BTW, I want to repeat, Neuvy has been fantastic. I started to get nervous the end of last night's game and then I'm thinking how, hasn't he just won the last two Calder Cups? That kind of experience you can't just go out and rent.

Posted by: tominsocal1 | October 14, 2010 9:51 AM | Report abuse

@tom

we played pretty badly, but the Isles also played pretty well. I think we were a little deflated in the 3rd period after putting up a great 2nd with nothing to show for it...that is something the team needs to work on...not getting frustrated when things are not working out. I agree we need another D man, and hopefully GMGM was just seeing what we have and he will make a move soon. I do think our D will be markedly better than last season after Carlson and Alzner have some time to adjust. Carlson seemed a little over confident to me and I think he got a little wake up call last night that he is not quite as good as he thought. He needs to play smart and cut back on the risky play until he gets more experience. The offense will come around in the next week or two...we need to learn how to deal with teams when they clog the nuetral zone...that is what we struggle with. Teams are starting to realize this and use it against us.

Ovie is having a good start to the season expecially considering that Backie has not really been helping him much. As Backstrom gets back in form, Ovie will have more space to do what he does, and the top line will have more flow.

Give Flash a chance people...he is not completely sucking, and I think he will get better. He may or may not be center material, but I have not seen a good reason to give up on him.

Posted by: capscoach | October 14, 2010 9:57 AM | Report abuse

@lloyd

Ovies give aways are not nearly as bad as Carlsons first off, BB wasn't trashing carlson, and Ovie has had very little help on his line forcing him to do a lot himself. I am happy with Ovie's play so far this season. teams a double teaming him and that has proven to have little consequence to them since Backie has been pretty invisible. Ovie didn't give the puck up in the critical areas much at all yet, and he had a very nice defensive play that possibly prevented a goal. Everyone is so eager to put ovie down for every mistake that we rarely notice the big picture with him anymore...he does A LOT more good than he does bad. Carlson will be fine. I think he needed a little chastisement (not that BB threw him under the bus)he was getting a little too confident and needs to be held back a bit before he gets out of control. BB is doing a fine job managing him. He accepts that he will have bad games as a rookie, but also wants him to know that points don't make up for that...It took Green A LONG TIME to learn that lesson...wouldn't it be nice to get that over with now for Carlson.

Posted by: capscoach | October 14, 2010 10:05 AM | Report abuse

capscoach: I'm not worried about offense or PP, they will come around (although counting last year's playoffs we are like 2 for the last 50 on PP). And the new PK style has worked (finally) well. So, even if the club gives up some PK goals (they will), the system is in place to ensure improvement. Nothing was worse than watching last few years as the four guys just stood there passively and then one broke his stick and you knew they'd score.

Neuvy has also been great. Give kuds to GM he makes noise like Varly is starter, gets Neuvy signed back-up money, makes Neuvy starter, now will negotiate from strength with Varly.

The 5 on 5 defense has been sub-par. It's just an overall commitment to team D. they are doing it on PK but not ES, so it's just a matter of commitment.

You mention the zone clogging. I brought that up right after Habs loss as a major reason Caps lost and I specifically compared how Hershey adapted vs the Texas team and employed a grittier style to win their series (and caps didn't adapt). Again, it's just a matter of the team committing to play tougher up front. Easy for me to say, but it's a fact.

Posted by: tominsocal1 | October 14, 2010 10:08 AM | Report abuse

I think we will have a new Defensemen (not from Hershey) within the next 4-5 weeks. I think he will be on the gritty side, but also not a slow poke like erskine. I think that Nuvey and Varly having to compete against each other will be a huge bonus for us, and I think that at the end of the season we will be pleasantly surprised at how improved we are defensively. We are making a lot of mistakes on ES, but we are trying to play grittier and there is a learning curve. We will get there.

Posted by: capscoach | October 14, 2010 10:14 AM | Report abuse

Couple points on the goalies. I've long suspected Neuvy would emerge as the stronger goaltender, but had nothing to base that on apart from stellar AHL play, which doesn't always translate.

Point I'd suggest here is that style matters. Its not fair to compare these guys to the most accomplished goalies, but to make a hyperbole I'd say Varly is to Hasek as Neuvy is to Brodeur. Both great goalies, but Neuvy seems more steady eddie, will keep you in it, and will steal a game here and there. Varly also has stolen games, but at times (incl vs. MON), I felt like he gave some away.

Lastly, soft datapoint, but I think a goalie's body language says a lot. When Varly gets beaten, he shows you he's beaten. He looks to me like he gets down if he gives up a softie. Neuvy looks more steady here, more positive, as if his body language suggests to me he's more mentally strong.

Thoughts?

Posted by: justbrewit | October 14, 2010 10:27 AM | Report abuse

regarding the "HotStove line predictions"... that's rediculous...

Nicklas Backstrom – GP 80 G 26 A 63 PTS 89
Alexander Ovechkin – GP 78 G 37 A 45 PTS 82
Mike Knuble – GP 80 G 22 A 28 PTS 50

Projecting Stamkos to get 110 and win the scoring title is a bit much as a sophmore!

a lot of the numbers are way down!

Examples:
Henrik Sedin – GP 82 G 33 A 43 PTS 76
Daniel Sedin – GP 78 G 32 A 47 PTS 79
Joe Thorton GP 75 G 21 A 63 PTS 84
Dany Heatley GP 80 G 35 A 33 PTS 68
Patrick Marleau GP 76 G 31 A 33 PTS 64
Ryan Getzlaf – GP G 28 A 43 PTS 71
Corey Perry – GP 80 G 32 A 27 PTS 59
Bobby Ryan – GP 78 G 31 A 34 PTS 65

http://nhlhotstove.com/a-look-at-the-top-lines-around-the-nhl-who-is-the-best/

Posted by: FrankM73 | October 14, 2010 10:30 AM | Report abuse

@FrankM73

... and some are nearly the same or way up:

Sidney Crosby – GP 77 G 38 A 65 PTS 103
Chris Kunitz – GP 79 G 21 A 30 PTS 51
Evgeni Malkin – GP 79 G 33 A 68 PTS 101

... hmm ...

Posted by: FCKoeln1 | October 14, 2010 10:51 AM | Report abuse

@FCKoeln1:

potentially a good example of bias media projections based on which teams/players a reporter does or does not like??

seems like scoring in his article was waaaay down from last year...

Posted by: FrankM73 | October 14, 2010 11:08 AM | Report abuse

Pretty good fan perspective from Kareem El-Alaily.

A little more local media scrutiny might create a greater sense of ugency, starting with Ted on down to the last player on the roster.

As is, we somehow managed to transition somewhat quietly into this season after yet another epic postseason failure.

Posted by: tmac2yao | October 14, 2010 11:22 AM | Report abuse

Part 1:
HotStove Predictions ranked top to bottom (note: cuts off at Niederreiter)

Steven Stamkos – GP 82 G 55 A 55 PTS 110
Anze Kopitar – GP 82 G 31 A 73 PTS 104
Sidney Crosby – GP 77 G 38 A 65 PTS 103
Evgeni Malkin – GP 79 G 33 A 68 PTS 101
Pavel Datsyuk – GP 82 G 32 A 66 PTS 98
Marian Hossa – GP 70 G 44 A 49 PTS 93
Nicklas Backstrom – GP 80 G 26 A 63 PTS 89
Derek Roy – GP 82 G 26 A 60 PTS 86
Jonathan Toews – GP 82 G 30 A 55 PTS 85
Patrick Kane – GP 82 G 34 A 50 PTS 84
Joe Thorton GP 75 G 21 A 63 PTS 84
Paul Stastny – GP 75 G 29 A 54 PTS 83
Jason Spezza – GP 77 G 23 A 50 PTS 83
Mike Richards – GP 80 G 32 A 51 PTS 83
Martin St. Louis – GP 77 G 23 A 60 PTS 83
Alexander Ovechkin – GP 78 G 37 A 45 PTS 82
Brad Richards – GP 79 G 23 A 58 PTS 81
Marian Gaborik – GP 78 G 41 A 40 PTS 81
Daniel Sedin – GP 78 G 32 A 47 PTS 79
Zach Parise – GP 80 G 34 A 43 PTS 77
Brian Gionta – GP 82 G 27 A 49 PTS 76
Henrik Sedin – GP 82 G 33 A 43 PTS 76
Travis Zajac – GP 82 G 29 A 45 PTS 74
Mike Cammalleri – GP 81 G 38 A 36 PTS 74
Ilya Kovalchuk – GP 79 G 43 A 30 PTS 73
Nik Antropov – GP 80 G 24 A 49 PTS 73
Henrik Zetterberg – GP 75 G 25 A 48 PTS 73
Chris Stewart – GP 80 G 32 A 39 PTS 71
Ryan Getzlaf – GP G 28 A 43 PTS 71
Eric Staal – GP 80 G 34 A 37 PTS 71
Matthew Lombardi – GP 80 G 27 A 44 PTS 71
Phil Kessel – GP 81 G 42 A 29 PTS 71
John Tavares – GP 70 G 26 A 44 PTS 70
Shane Doan – GP 82 G 28 A 42 PTS 70
Patric Horqvist – GP 82 G 32 A 36 PTS 68
Scott Gomez – GP 80 G 23 A 45 PTS 68
Jeff Carter - GP 76 G 38 A 30 PTS 68
Dany Heatley GP 80 G 35 A 33 PTS 68
David Perron – GP 81 G 23 A 45 PTS 68
Jerome Iginla – GP 77 G 34 A 33 PTS 67
Jason Pominville – GP 75 G 27 A 40 PTS 67
Antoine Vermette – GP 73 G 22 A 40 PTS 66
Ryan Smyth – GP 79 G 34 A 32 PTS 66
Mikko Koivu – GP 80 G 30 A 36 PTS 66
David Backes – GP 80 G 30 A 36 PTS 66
Bobby Ryan – GP 78 G 31 A 34 PTS 65
Dustin Penner – GP 82 G 34 A 30 PTS 64
Lee Stempniak – GP 82 G 30 A 34 PTS 64
Patrick Marleau GP 76 G 31 A 33 PTS 64
Alex Frolov – GP 79 G 22 A 42 PTS 64
Nathan Horton – GP 80 G 35 A 28 PTS 63
Thomas Vanek – GP 76 G 29 A 33 PTS 62
Alexander Burrows – GP 68 G 27 A 35 PTS 62
Niclas Bergfors – GP 79 G 28 A 33 PTS 61
James Neal – GP 82 G 31 A 30 PTS 61
Loui Eriksson – GP 76 G 27 A 34 PTS 61
David Krejci – GP 75 G 26 A 35 PTS 61
Milan Hejdux – GP 70 G 26 A 35 PTS 61
Rick Nash – GP 78 G 31 A 30 PTS 61
Wojtek Wolski – GP 80 G 24 A 37 PTS 61
Stephen Weiss – GP 82 G 25 A 35 PTS 60
Kris Versteeg – GP 76 G 27 A 33 PTS 60
David Booth – GP 77 G 26 A 33 PTS 59
Jussi Jokinen – GP 76 G 31 A 28 PTS 59
Corey Perry – GP 80 G 32 A 27 PTS 59
Johan Franzen – GP 70 G 28 A 30 PTS 58
Milan Lucic – GP 74 G 23 A 35 PTS 58
Alex Tanguay – GP 76 G 16 A 40 PTS 56
Sam Gagner – GP 70 G 18 A 38 PTS 56
Kristian Huselieus – GP 68 G 25 A 30 PTS 55
Antti Miettenen – GP 77 G 22 A 30 PTS 52
Simon Gagne – GP 60 G 27 A 25 PTS 52
Alexei Kovalev – GP 68 G 22 A 30 PTS 52
Wayne Simmonds – GP 80 G 22 A 29 PTS 51
Nino Niederreiter – GP 78 G 24 A 27 PTS 51

Posted by: FrankM73 | October 14, 2010 11:26 AM | Report abuse

Part II: (scoring continued)
Chris Kunitz – GP 79 G 21 A 30 PTS 51
Evander Kane – GP80 G 24 A 27 PTS 51
Ales Hemsky – GP 74 G 23 A 28 PTS 51
Olli Jokinen – GP 70 G 25 A 25 PTS 50
Daniel Alfredsson – GP 60 G 20 A 30 PTS 50
Andy MacDonald – GP 77 G 25 A 25 PTS 50
Mike Knuble – GP 80 G 22 A 28 PTS 50
Steve Sullivan – GP 70 G 22 A 27 PTS 49
Matt Moulson – GP 80 G 27 A 22 PTS 49
Martin Havlat – GP 72 G 20 A 28 PTS 48
Tyler Bozak – GP 82 G 22 A 25 PTS 47
Derek Stepan – GP 73 G 21 A 25 PTS 46
Tuomo Ruutu – GP 72 G 21 A 22 PTS 43
Michael Frolik – GP 80 G 21 A 19 PTS 40
Daniel Carcillo – GP 72 G 16 A 12 PTS 28

Wow, just wow! ROFLMAO at some of this!

Posted by: FrankM73 | October 14, 2010 11:27 AM | Report abuse

Carlson definitely had a bad game last night. I have no problem with BB pointing that out. Carlson seems like a tough-minded, confident kid and it'll just fuel him to keeping working hard and improve.

What I didn't like was BB's general demeanor in his postgame. That was a game where I would've liked him to look disappoitned despite the win and use the Carlson criticism to lead into criticism of about 75% of the team and the fact that we got outworked and outexecuted for about 40 min of that game by an undermanned, undertalented team.

Even a marginally better opponent and we lose handily. A better opponent would have capitalized on that virtual 10-min PP to start the 3rd.

And I don't buy the excuse that "if we played a better team, we would've been more up for the game."

Not only is that excuse getting worn out, but the Caps were unable to get it going even after having plenty of time to wake up after not playing the previous day or having to travel.

Not being able to get up for teams you are supposed to beat is what cost us in at least the past 2 postseasons.

Sure, it was just one game (or 2 if you count the ATL game) but this season should be about developing good habits from day one. Last night was regression. Hopefully there were be a lot more performances and play like we saw against Ottawa as the season progresses.

I'm still optimistic about the things we did in that game, which once again I thought was a better performance than against NJ, so I'm expecting more of that until I'm convinced that it was a fluke.

Posted by: tmac2yao | October 14, 2010 11:32 AM | Report abuse

@ justbrewit

Interesting post. I think you could be on point with your take.

Unlike some of the groupies around here, I couldn't care less who emerges as the better of the two, as long as at least one gives us what we need in net.

Ideally, they turn out to be a 1a and 1b and are both playing well enough that there is a controversy. That would be a good problem.

Posted by: tmac2yao | October 14, 2010 11:38 AM | Report abuse

Where are Semin, laich and Flash in that list? And I did Green too?

Someone's been smoking, eating, drinking and injection drugs. The last time I saw a prediction that far off base, it came from the US Gov't.

Posted by: tominsocal1 | October 14, 2010 11:42 AM | Report abuse

lol... if a blogger/fan says something negative about the Caps, his take is automatically horrible and meaningless.

I appreciate fans who are willing to be harsh on their own team as long as the criticism is on point and makes sense (obviously as far as I see it).

Why do so many of you get offended by that stuff?

Do you think it has any effect on the team?

Who cares if we are positive or negative? This little insignificant blog has no impact on anything. Let people express their views, good or bad or whatever.

The Philly area has some of the most vile, hateful fans in the entire country. I've seen it online and at games of their local teams. Meanwhile, their baseball team won a WS and has been dominant for 3 years now and their hockey team is far more accomplished than our's.

Expecting everyone to be positive "cheerleaders," particularly is just silly.

If anything, our fans are as soft as our team. Grow a pair.

Posted by: tmac2yao | October 14, 2010 11:46 AM | Report abuse

@tominsocal1:

It's only the top line from each team per the HotStove article. I just organized them based on points... so basically, a team like the caps puts Ovie, Backstrom and Knuble out but Semin, Laich, and Flash and even Fehr might all outscore Knuble.

and there's no Defense on the list.

My point was simple. Of the player projections he has, some are very homerish and just so laughably off-base...

Ovechkin, Sedin, heatley, Marleua, Getzlaff... are all rediculously low...

while Crosby and Malkin remain high and Kopitar and Stamkos have a massive seasons!

Posted by: FrankM73 | October 14, 2010 11:51 AM | Report abuse

tmac2yao,

But GMGM and BB are the greatest things to come along since Moses led the Israelites out of Egypt and Jesus Christ healed the sick.

And the players, oh my the players never make mistakes and are the 24 greatest hockey players in the NHL today or ever!

Yes, the whining whenever someone has something negative to say really gets old at times in here. I'm sorry, but this team HAS areas that need improvement and if posters want to point it out so be it. Funny thing is it is never the "haters" that resort to name calling and personal attacks......that is what I find most humorous.

Posted by: PhilR | October 14, 2010 11:56 AM | Report abuse

15 for 15 on the PK is impressive

but, I would rather not take 15 penaties in 4 games

Posted by: jono57 | October 14, 2010 12:03 PM | Report abuse

That list is laughably ridiculous - Ovie at 37G? Hilarious - if he stays healthy he'll hit that before the New Year's Game. And Datsyuk's a fantastic player but his days of outscoring Backstrom are a thing of the past.

Wait - Mike Richards at 83 pts - that is a laugh riot, the day MR averages over a point per game is when he's
in a league not called the NHL. He's a good player but c'mon, Ville Leino and Briere were the flyers two best players last playoffs - by a long shot, and I don't even see Leino anywhere on that list!

Posted by: Timbo_1 | October 14, 2010 12:07 PM | Report abuse

Yes, the whining whenever someone has something positive to say really gets old at times in here.

Posted by: _Mark | October 14, 2010 12:16 PM | Report abuse

Umm, tmac and Phil, there are not only two groups, groupies and critics. There are also people who are critical/analytical but disagree with each others criticism.

Strange to caricature others just because their criticism - or lack there of, or criticism tempered by positive feeling - doesn't match yours in intensity, pervasiveness, or specifics.

(And come on, tmac - you and cstant doing . . . whatever last night [another team's blog would've called it d*^k-touching] was not becoming of two adults.)

Posted by: stevie_in_gp | October 14, 2010 12:25 PM | Report abuse

regarding the "HotStove line predictions"... that's rediculous...

Nicklas Backstrom – GP 80 G 26 A 63 PTS 89
Alexander Ovechkin – GP 78 G 37 A 45 PTS 82
Mike Knuble – GP 80 G 22 A 28 PTS 50

Projecting Stamkos to get 110 and win the scoring title is a bit much as a sophmore!

a lot of the numbers are way down!

Examples:
Henrik Sedin – GP 82 G 33 A 43 PTS 76
Daniel Sedin – GP 78 G 32 A 47 PTS 79
Joe Thorton GP 75 G 21 A 63 PTS 84
Dany Heatley GP 80 G 35 A 33 PTS 68
Patrick Marleau GP 76 G 31 A 33 PTS 64
Ryan Getzlaf – GP G 28 A 43 PTS 71
Corey Perry – GP 80 G 32 A 27 PTS 59
Bobby Ryan – GP 78 G 31 A 34 PTS 65

http://nhlhotstove.com/a-look-at-the-top-lines-around-the-nhl-who-is-the-best/

Posted by: FrankM73 | October 14, 2010 10:30 AM


Projections for the 2010-11 season:

Nicklas Backstrom – GP 80 G 35 A 89 PTS 124*
Alexander Ovechkin – GP 78 G 86 A 53 PTS 139*
Mike Knuble – GP 80 G 22 A 28 PTS 50

I just copied this from the link above that you said showed Ovie with 37 goals and 82 pts. It is now showing something completely different.

Posted by: realoldcapsfan | October 14, 2010 1:02 PM | Report abuse

"I think we will have a new Defensemen (not from Hershey) within the next 4-5 weeks..."
Posted by: capscoach | October 14, 2010 10:14 AM

Can you name one team that might be willing to trade a first-pair shut down defenseman at this point in the season? Not very likely unless the price is ridiculous.

More likely, GMGM banks cap cushion until a week before the trade deadline and deals with a team whose hopes are quickly vanishing. Remember, 1 million in cap space now can become 3.5 in February.

Posted by: Wiley_One1 | October 14, 2010 1:45 PM | Report abuse

@realoldcapsfan:

there's a comment below for the asterisk!

" *For the haters."

so he's just being a dik

Posted by: FrankM73 | October 14, 2010 1:46 PM | Report abuse

and now the ORIGINAL numbers have changed too:

----
ORIGINAL:
Nicklas Backstrom – GP 80 G 26 A 63 PTS 89
Alexander Ovechkin – GP 78 G 37 A 45 PTS 82
Mike Knuble – GP 80 G 22 A 28 PTS 50

CURRENT:
Nicklas Backstrom – GP 80 G 35 A 63 PTS 98
Alexander Ovechkin – GP 78 G 52 A 45 PTS 97
Mike Knuble – GP 80 G 22 A 28 PTS 50

MOCKING:
Nicklas Backstrom – GP 80 G 35 A 89 PTS 124*
Alexander Ovechkin – GP 78 G 86 A 53 PTS 139*
Mike Knuble – GP 80 G 22 A 28 PTS 50

*For the haters
----

Posted by: FrankM73 | October 14, 2010 1:52 PM | Report abuse

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