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Which Caps prospects will impress the most at training camp?

Morning Roundup

Thursday's contest marked the end of rookie camp and with only a day before on-ice activities begin for regular training camp on Saturday, which young player(s) are you most curious to see in practice alongside the veterans and perhaps in a few preseason games?

Let's look at some of the contenders (in no particular order):

C Marcus Johansson
The 2009 first-round draft pick continued to stand out during this week of rookie camp. After he tallied a pair of assists in the 4-3 win against the Flyers prospects, Coach Bruce Boudreau called him the most consistent player on the ice and it's impossible to ignore his speed. Johansson told me he felt he could have played better, and it's likely the 19-year-old will get opportunities to prove it moving forward.

How will his skillset stack up when he's opposing Caps and Bears veterans, and can he carry his confidence when playing alongside NHL superstars?

C Cody Eakin
The hard worker wants to prolong his stay in the professional ranks. He didn't have the greatest start against the Flyers, but his response and drive helped him rally for a strong second and third period. He also doesn't shy away from the spotlight. Here's more on Eakin from Hershey Coach Mark French: "I think you expected him to be one of the better players at the [rookie] camp because of the season he had with Swift Current and with us; I don't know if I thought he'd separate himself as much as he's done from some of the other guys. He's an undersized player who has some skill but does a lot through his hard work and passion for the game. You can clearly see that come through in any competitive situation."

As impressive as Eakin has been, is he ready to face and challenge NHLers on a regular basis?

F Stanislav Galiev
Whether on the wing or at center, Galiev's skill shines through. He showed he's not afraid to venture to the front of the net, where he tallied the first goal of yesterday's game, and is willing to work at whatever position the Capitals envision for him. He's ultimately bound for another season with St. John's in the QMJL, but if his first two camps at Kettler are any indication, he has a bright future ahead.

Training camp may primarily serve as a learning experience, but can Galiev make a larger impression?

G Braden Holtby
The personable goaltender's request to participate in rookie camp provided more evidence of his work ethic heading into training camp. In addition to his hope of procuring a job as Hershey's No. 1 netminder, Holtby's development is crucial for the organization's depth at the position.

Can he make the most of the limited time in the scrimmages and preseason given the four goaltenders vying for time in camp?

D Dustin Stevenson
Boudreau said the rangy defenseman had a strong game Thursday and so far Stevenson, 21, hasn't looked out of place in his transition to Capitals camp from the La Ronge Ice Wolves in the Saskatchewan Junior Hockey League, a Tier II junior league. The 6-foot-5 defenseman isn't afraid to use his size and may compete for a spot in Hershey.

How will he fare against bona fide professionals in camp and handle the adjustment from the Tier II junior league to a professional team, whether with Hershey or South Carolina?

Who are the other young players you're anxious to see skating with the veterans?

FROM THE POST
Colleague Barry Svrluga has a terrific profile of General Manager George McPhee and how his scrappy nature has seen him through his career as a player and team architect.

AROUND THE WEB
NHL.com's Dan Rosen talks to Alex Ovechkin about moving forward and examines what the Capitals hope to learn from the disappointment of last year's early playoff exit.

Chris Stevenson talks to a 'grumpy' Brooks Laich and wonders if the Caps have enough players like Laich, who has a chip on his shoulder from last year's ending.

Tim Leone examines the implications of the upcoming season for defenseman Josh Godfrey, who is expected to compete for a spot in Hershey.

Corey Masisak helps you get to know feisty forward prospect Garrett Mitchell.

Elsewhere, former Capitals forward Brendan Morrison will attend the Vancouver Canucks' training camp on a professional tryout.

By Katie Carrera  |  September 17, 2010; 7:14 AM ET
Categories:  Morning Roundup  
Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   Del.icio.us   StumbleUpon   Technorati   Google Buzz   Previous: George McPhee, still fighting the good fight for the Caps
Next: Capitals release updated training camp roster

Comments

...should have known she was gonna create a new thread...

I've been doing some Star Wars research. What with all the "Dark Side" references etc.

I think I can be most aptly described as a student of the "Living Force".

"They were mindful of the future and the possible consequences of their actions, but remained focused on the present.[1] The Living Force was viewed as having both the light and the dark side. The "Fans" always had to be mindful of their actions to avoid the temptations of the Dark side."

http://starwars.wikia.com/wiki/Living_Force


Beware the temptations of Cstanton1!!!

hehe

Wait for the actual puck to drop and the season to unfold. We have talent, cap space and what most seem to believe a legit chance to make it to hockeys holy grail THIS YEAR.

GMGM is our guy right now, for better or for worse, and I support the guy....for now.

Posted by: wtf_e_fehr | September 17, 2010 7:32 AM | Report abuse

Anyone know why DeMike didn't play yesterday? Also, where can we find the list of rookies invited to main camp?

Posted by: capsnnats | September 17, 2010 7:34 AM | Report abuse

Sounds like a consensus pick that Johannson will be the rookie most impressive. Of course, if he comes through, that would be filling our biggest need -- at 2nd line center. (Although our 2nd line centers occasionally do first line duty when Boudreau figures a shakeup's in order. Normally, RW is the position that is flipped but BB would like to have the option of doing so to the centers as well.)

Posted by: CapsFan75 | September 17, 2010 8:33 AM | Report abuse

That article by Stevens is outstanding and his last line about "are enough of Laich's teammates listening" to his message should be expanded to BB as well! That comment BB made is pure fairy tale land stuff, he still thinks the only reason they lost to the Habs was a hot goalie.....pitiful, maybe Laich should be the coach of this team or at least someone with that type character.

Posted by: PhilR | September 17, 2010 8:35 AM | Report abuse

PhilR:
You're right, at least Laich seems to "get it". He's not using the "hot goalie" excuse that BB has been selling since spring. I still think the Caps could have used a veteran gritty center and a big tough defenseman, but it doesn't appear management agrees, so we'll hope for the best! Go Caps!

Posted by: kcbrichmond | September 17, 2010 8:50 AM | Report abuse

Who was at the game yesterday? Impressions?

Posted by: flee001 | September 17, 2010 8:54 AM | Report abuse

@flee001 I did and wrote mine yesterday on the thread about GMGM and I know there was at least one other long thing from someone else.

Posted by: icehammer97 | September 17, 2010 9:07 AM | Report abuse

@icehammer97, thanks and I'll go back and read. After such a slow summer now it's tough to keep up with the new threads, good stuff.

Posted by: flee001 | September 17, 2010 9:18 AM | Report abuse

Maybe Laich should focus more on producing in the playoffs, being more physical, and going to the net rather than still trying to think of reasons the Caps lost last year.

Posted by: sgm3 | September 17, 2010 9:49 AM | Report abuse

It's good to hear that Eakin is playing so well but his chances of making the Caps this year, for the full season, are very slim at best.

This is because he still has junior eligibility. So I think at the 10 game mark the Caps have to decide if they want to allow him to go back to juniors. If the decide to keep him then Eakin must remain on the Caps roster for the rest of the season, meaning he can't be sent to the AHL. The would put the Caps in a predicament if after a few games Eakin slowed up some.

It wouldn't surprise me if Eakin gets a cup of coffe at the beginning of the season and plays in a game or two before being sent back to juniors.

Posted by: sgm3 | September 17, 2010 9:55 AM | Report abuse

I was at the game. Not so bad. I agree that Johansson and Eakin were easily the 2 best players for us on the ice. Having said that, and knowing they were playing against other rookies, I am not sold that they will be the solution to our center problem.

Eakin is a fiesty guy for sure, made some mistakes, laid out a guy bigger than him behind the net in the offensive zone, played well along the boards, his point play was pretty hard to watch imo. He did (as someone mentioned earlier) have a fun little pk keep away session in the offensive zone.

Johansson, the guy can skate and move the puck for sure. Made some sick moves and created space/chances. He also made some mistakes, coughed up pucks, etc. Think he was the guy that made a god awful pass on a 2-1 (could have been Eakin, cant remember)...an attempted saucer pass that ended up a floated knuckler behind the guy. Was hard to watch.

Like I said, not sure either couldnt benefit from some time in Hershey.

Pisano = big body, but cant shoot for crap. I watched him miss 2 wide open chances from between the circles. Didnt even hit the net, not even close. Maybe if it was a soccer goal he might have clipped the post.

D seemed shaky and watched lots of pucks bouncing around in front of our crease a few times for wayyyyyy too long.

Godfrey's second goal was much nicer than his first. Pretty nice cannon.

Posted by: SeminAllOverTheIce | September 17, 2010 10:05 AM | Report abuse

Icehammer, I suspect we sat at opposite ends of the ice yesterday (I was at the end of the ice that the Caps attacked twice), so by definition I did not have a great view of what went on at times at the other end. However, I really don't see how you could say that Bruess was the worst player on the ice. Aside from the physical element, he showed the ability to carry the puck and use his speed to get around the Flyers players. My impression on 2 of the Flyers goals was that they were typical of the team, resulting from scrums in front of the goal with our d not moving them out. It could be that Bruess made the misplay you mentioned on one, as you described based on your vantage point.

As far as Galiev, I was less impressed than Katie, notwithstanding the goals. On his first goal, MJ skated through the entire Flyer team, put the puck on goal, and Galiev was there to tap it in. The goal was 99% MJ, 1% SG IMO. Otherwise, SG looked pretty passive out there. He did not appear to be a puck carrier like MJ, Eakin, or even Bruess and I did not notice him fight for the puck at any point.

I agree Eakin was very good, except when they attempted to use him on the point for the PP. The Flyers got around him with ease. I don't blame Eakin - I just think he was forced to play a role he is not suited for due to the lack of good alternatives.

Posted by: zmega | September 17, 2010 10:06 AM | Report abuse

Maybe Laich should focus more on producing in the playoffs, being more physical, and going to the net rather than still trying to think of reasons the Caps lost last year.

Posted by: sgm3

Maybe he would not have to think of reasons the Caps lost last year if his COACH resided in the world of reality and stopped using the hot goalie excuse and just admitted he was outcoached!

Posted by: PhilR | September 17, 2010 10:06 AM | Report abuse

Oh, and Bruess was trying to hard to be the scrappy guy and was neglecting the hockey part too much.

Even his "epic battle" with Rinaldo seemed like a "hey lets impress the coaches/crowd with a little fist-a-cuffs action". He lost his stick, grabbed the guy...they seemed to arrange an oral contract (EB style), scooted to the side, dropped the gloves and grabbed each others sleeves. Danced for a bit, couple punches, and the refs jumped in pretty fast as it was all to easy for them to be able to slide in there.

Posted by: SeminAllOverTheIce | September 17, 2010 10:09 AM | Report abuse

"Maybe he would not have to think of reasons the Caps lost last year if his COACH resided in the world of reality and stopped using the hot goalie excuse and just admitted he was outcoached!"

So if BB makes a one-sentence statement to the media that you like that will completely change the way Laich plays his game. He will become more physical, crash the net more, and produce in the playoffs.

Well shouldn't Laich improve his game regardless of whether BB makes a one-sentence statement to the media or not?

Posted by: sgm3 | September 17, 2010 10:16 AM | Report abuse

So if BB makes a one-sentence statement to the media that you like that will completely change the way Laich plays his game. He will become more physical, crash the net more, and produce in the playoffs.

Well shouldn't Laich improve his game regardless of whether BB makes a one-sentence statement to the media or not?

Posted by: sgm3


I just want BB to stop using the fairytale excuse of a hot goalie and admit what really happened. And its not just the one liner from this interview, he has been spewing this BS since the spring, not sure where the heck you have been.

Posted by: PhilR | September 17, 2010 10:33 AM | Report abuse

Well shouldn't Laich improve his game regardless of whether BB makes a one-sentence statement to the media or not?

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

you absolutely missed the point. The coach has more influence over the style of play than an individual player does. Its easier to impact an entire roster if the coach understands what its failings are as opposed to waiting for an individual player to acknowledge his own failings or areas for improvement.

Its the coach's job to first understand his roster's weaknesses and reasons for a playoff loss, and then impart that to his team. If any members of the team fail to pick up that msg, then at that point its more on the player's shoulders and if he doesn't improve then trade him. Your argument takes all the burden off the coach and puts it on the player. Very inefficient way to run a team. The msg still has to come from the top. You don't leave it completely in the players' hands to be self-aware and self-motivated.

Posted by: cstanton1 | September 17, 2010 10:48 AM | Report abuse

The writer in this blog:

http://www.broadstreethockey.com/2010/9/16/1693595/testwuide-holmstrom-impress-in

...writes:

...Galiev (who is as weak on the puck as anyone I’ve ever seen)...

Can anyone who watched the game comment on Galiev?

Posted by: wtf_e_fehr | September 17, 2010 10:54 AM | Report abuse

Amen Phil. BB got outcoached in a big way.

Posted by: Steve_R | September 17, 2010 10:54 AM | Report abuse

@wtf_e_fehr

I wasn't impressed by him. Flashy at times, showed potential I guess, but seemed to get the puck stripped fairly easy.

Posted by: SeminAllOverTheIce | September 17, 2010 10:58 AM | Report abuse

Maybe Laich should focus more on producing in the playoffs, being more physical, and going to the net rather than still trying to think of reasons the Caps lost last year.

Posted by: sgm3 | September 17, 2010 9:49 AM

Was that sgm3 writing that or cstanton1?

BTW, McPhee, Boudreau, the Caps players, Halak's goaltending and Montreal's adherence to a system that clogged the middle all contributed equally.

That said, if they replayed the series ten times, Caps would have won 7 or 8 of the ten. But I agree with cstanton Caps would not have advanced much. We don't have the defensive structure.

For that reason, it wouldn't be so terrible if we went into the season with a rookie #2C. I'd be happier and willing to accept that if the overall D were upgraded. So, my recipe given where we are would be to move Flash, Chimera and Erskine. That's $5.6M on top the $3.3M of current space. Plug back in two forwards from Hershey. Put Fehr on the second line and Mr. Laich on the 3rd with AGordon or Bradley as winger. The two Hershey forwards use $1M of the $9M space (given above trades). Somehow between players traded + picks + prospects we should get a bonifide #1D man so Green can concentrate on offense. And we need a veteran #3C at least if we aren't going to have a #2.

Given that, we can play the year Semin-MaJo-Fehr second line and get another center if needed at the deadline.

Guess I missed it. Is young Gus playing? Maybe he will turn out to be an adequate #3LW. That would be fine. Eakin looks like to be one day a #2C or #3C. Good. Obviously some of the Russian forwards will help in about two years as will Orlov. Godfrey, what can they do with him? In baseball, he would be a pinch-runner and you'd get some use. You can't keep a D man just to play PP. Not unless they make a new rule 19 skaters not 18.

Posted by: tominsocal1 | September 17, 2010 11:03 AM | Report abuse

disclaimer, anyone who feels I'm nitpicking can go @#$@ themselves :)

i just watched the highlights of the game. There's a play right at the beginning where the Caps rookies have 2 or 3 chances to clear the zone but flub it up. In one particular instance, there are two Caps within a foot of the Flyer and neither one engages the player preferring instead to use their stick to get the puck out. While both the forward and the dman were at fault there, the forward imo was more at fault because he had a golden opportunity to rush in there and free up the puck with a clean simple hit. Nothing too jarring, just enough to make it harder for the Flyer forward to keep control of the puck inside the Caps blueline. Since neither Cap
chose to do this, the Flyer was able to keep the puck in and keep the play alive for a scoring chance. I blame the dman a little less for this because he was at least trying to jam his body into the passing lane along the boards but he too could've been more assertive in that situation.

From my experience, these are the simple types of plays that really end up killing our team and what separates us from the kind of sound fundamental hockey team we need to become to get better in the playoffs. It may be just one play here and there but over time it adds up to increased offensive zone possession by the other team. The forward in question here was the much-lauded MaJo. Very similar to the play he made in that intrasquad game where he chose not to engage a player along the boards and which led to a goal against. I haven't watched the entire game yet but this is now the 2nd play I've seen from Marcus that shows me his tendencies on how he prefers to approach a player with the puck along the boards. His passiveness along the boards is not what we need from our 2nd line center and why I'm not a proponent of him getting inserted into the lineup no matter what his skillset is. We already have too many guys like him in the lineup who don't play the man the right way when they have a chance to get the puck out or defend their zone.

If I get a chance to watch the whole game and he attacks the play differently I'll give him credit for it. But for now, my gut tells me that the 2 plays I've seen from him is his natural style of playing. And maybe a yr in the AHL will fix it.

Posted by: cstanton1 | September 17, 2010 11:05 AM | Report abuse

...Galiev (who is as weak on the puck as anyone I’ve ever seen)...

Can anyone who watched the game comment on Galiev?

Posted by: wtf_e_fehr | September 17, 2010 10:54 AM | Report abuse

i wasn't at the game but the only highlight i saw of him showed me he drove the net and got a goal out of it. A little indication there of his tenacit in that situation.
However...if you watch the multiple highlight clips of his profile on the internet you can see he's definitely not a power forward type. He is very much like Flash in the way he skates and tries to be shifty and elusive with the puck. In the nhl he may not find it as easy to escape contact but at least he's playing in a junior league (albeit the Q). But he's another typical skilled Euro in that he darts in and darts out of the action and I could see him getting pushed off the puck pretty easily if someone catches up to him and closes the gap.

Posted by: cstanton1 | September 17, 2010 11:12 AM | Report abuse

Lil Gus did play. He took a stick up high at one point and stayed down for quite a while. I didn't see where it hit him as I was looking at an attractive girl next to me at the time, but I heard what sounded like a pane of glass crack. Hmm being he is totally made of glass, I guess that doesnt really narrow it down to where he got hit.

I wonder, does pride breaking make that sound? Could have been his father's heart I heard.

Posted by: SeminAllOverTheIce | September 17, 2010 11:16 AM | Report abuse

Maybe Laich should focus more on producing in the playoffs, being more physical, and going to the net rather than still trying to think of reasons the Caps lost last year.

Posted by: sgm3 | September 17, 2010 9:49 AM

Was that sgm3 writing that or cstanton1?
--tom

lol, actually its pretty easy to figure out why he wrote that. SGM about a month or so ago seized upon the thought that its not guys like Flash and Semin who need to compete harder in the corners or raise their physicality (because you know, it doesn't come naturally to them). SGM decided it was Brooks Laich who was the bigger culprit and whose role it was to become ultra-physical to create room for his skilled linemates. And if Laich can't do it to that degree, then maybe its him who should be traded for someone who can fill that role.

Does his newfound thought-process hold any validity? A little maybe. Laich can definitely be a little more consistent in that regard. But imo the reason SGM jumped on that viewpoint was to protect his favorite skill players from the criticism they were receiving. In truth, one player cannot simply create room for 2 linemates. Everyone should bear some of the burden. I already mentioned that on quite a few occasions last yr Brooksy had to leave the front of the net to go win a puck battle that his linemates should've been engaged in instead.

Posted by: cstanton1 | September 17, 2010 11:19 AM | Report abuse

random thought....does anyone know what is going on with Laing? Invited to camp, just let go, or signed with another team?

Posted by: _stevo | September 17, 2010 11:23 AM | Report abuse

Tom, the way I saw it Little Gus did his "invisible man" routine again. I don't see him making errors out there so much as just not getting involved. It's hard for me to believe he would make the Hershey squad, unless his draft position or contract dictates that he play there.

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

I sure would like to here something, ANYTHING good about ole Gus. If he would have developed as expected he would be right on time to join the team. However...

I smell a bust!

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

Sorry Katie, something stinks here ... and we may find out soon enough it's your reporting along with some summertime Caps shenanigans.

You're a beat writer now, not an intern -- get on the story this morning. Did the Caps really help Belanger move to DC, find a house, get his kids in school or not?

If so (and these ARE things a "double bottom line" team driven by a "transparent" owner who preaches "happiness" and "respect for employees" does), then pulling the plug on the player AFTER weeks of stringing him and his family along is terrible.

If the Caps didn't do these things, then the player and his agent are hot bags of gas and liars.

Which is it?

Unlike the myriad ways one can interpret contract laws (whether they're lawyers or not), either the team helped with a moving company, a lease in DC, and a school for the kids... or it didn't.

Hello, Katie, are you there?

I'm sure of two things:

1. mine is not a popular question with the team (they've failed to respond to repeated attempts to get an answer -- and I'm a season ticket holder and fan of Ted)

2. mine is the first question Tarik would have asked.

Get on it Katie or your blog is just another piece of puff among many.

Posted by: capscapscaps2 | September 17, 2010 11:24 AM | Report abuse

If I get a chance to watch the whole game and he attacks the play differently I'll give him credit for it. But for now, my gut tells me that the 2 plays I've seen from him is his natural style of playing. And maybe a yr in the AHL will fix it.


Posted by: cstanton1

In regards to MaJo, I believe Nicky had to grow into the physical portion of the game as well during his first couple seasons. I know that MaJo does not have the talent of Nick (few do) but don't you feel he could grow into the role on the fly as did Nick or is that amount of talent just not there for him in your opinion? Personally I am not sure and would like others opinions, especially those that have seen him play as thus far I have not.

Posted by: PhilR | September 17, 2010 11:27 AM | Report abuse

@tominsocal1

Good catch. I was just saying that to see if the people who jump on Semin, Flash and the other Caps so much for not "focusing on how to improve their game, crashing the net, being physical", etc. would act the same way toward Laich as they do toward the European members of the Caps.

Not surprisingly they don't. The comment was just a test and it came out like I expected.

Posted by: sgm3 | September 17, 2010 11:38 AM | Report abuse

Happy 25th Birthday Alex Ovechkin!

Posted by: ImWithStupid | September 17, 2010 11:40 AM | Report abuse

oh yeah, i think MaJo could grow into that role although what I remember from watching clips of Backstrom when he got drafted, he was a lot more tenacious. That tenacity didn't translate immediately to the NHL either. But now he's much stronger, more confident and assertive along the boards.

My argument is that MaJo shouldn't be inserted into this lineup just because he has some vision and some playmaking abilities. There's more to hockey than that and I don't like the way he plays his man along the boards. He's weak in that regard. For the few times he'll be able to steal the puck away with his stick, there will be many more times the other player will maintain puck possession simply because MaJo chooses not to engage him. So let him get a taste of NA hockey in the minors until he plays a more well rounded game. In the meantime, I'd rather have a Laich play 2nd line center. He won't be as flashy but he'll be more responsible until a kid like MaJo shows he's ready.

Do i think that will happen? No. Bruce probably didn't even notice the types of plays that I mentioned, or he doesn't care. He's too busy looking at his playmaking abilities with the puck.

The biggest issue with the Caps is what? They choose not to put in the work and keep things simple when the play dictates they should. Fun da mentls.

Posted by: cstanton1 | September 17, 2010 11:40 AM | Report abuse

Not surprisingly they don't. The comment was just a test and it came out like I expected.

Posted by: sgm3

what are you, sherlock holmes? Your test proved nothing. Since our roster is so bereft of players who do what Laich does, it makes perfect sense that fans don't jump all over him for not amplifying his physicality to the next degree. He was never a physical player at any stage of his career until something clicked for him 2 yrs ago (i think it was). So for a player who was never physical to turn into a guy who stepped outside his comfort zone for the team (and for himself), its stupid to hyperfocus on him. He's never going to be a fearsome power forward type. He's not a big hitter, he can't fight, he's more like Konowalchuk was. Just a quality grinder.

Posted by: cstanton1 | September 17, 2010 11:45 AM | Report abuse

@zmega, you are correct I was just inside the blue line at the Caps end of the ice. The play happened right in front of my and as soon as I saw him skate by the open puck to make the hit I called goal before the Flyer even picked it up. With the puck I think Bruess was good but not great but without the puck he seemed to not even be playing hockey he was just looking for fights early and looking for a big hit late. I like a physical player but when you are skating past a loose puck to go hit a guy that hurts the team. If he could learn to balence the hitting and aggression with solid positional play I think he would be a good player but right now all he cares about it hitting when he doesn't have the puck and could care less what the play was at least that is how it looked to me.

@cstanton1 Alot of the game was missed by the hilights. I haven't watched them yet but I think I remember the play you are talking about and if it is the one that I am thinking of there was a miscommunication between MJ and the forward who was up covering the point. They both took a stride or two toward the Philly D-man and then both looked like they slowed because they thought the other one was going to get it. Those kind of plays happen when you have guys who are playing their first real game together in a new system for almost all of them. I think that was also at least part of the issue with our defense not being great.

The other thing is that the score doesn't not show exactally how the game went. The Caps rookies had posession a large majority of the game and out shot the Flyers badly. I had also forgotten until zmega mentioned it about the play Eakin made when he killed off at least 20 seconds of the Philly PP along the wall against at least two of the Flyers all by himself. That is the kind of day this kid had he made a great play that got the fans cheering when he came off the ice and it wasn't even something that stuck out enough from all of the other things he did for me to have remembered it off the top of my head.

Posted by: icehammer97 | September 17, 2010 11:46 AM | Report abuse

Stevenson...

i think we all know from practice and reports from media/team that Johannson is as good as advertised.

I truly believe Holtby might be the goaltender of the future here and fully expect a trade of either Neuwirth or Varlamov at or near the deadline for a draft pick and Defensive depth

so...stevenson, don't know much about him but have liked his makeup yesterday and his grittiness...want to see how it translates from camp to hershey.

Posted by: carsonspence | September 17, 2010 11:47 AM | Report abuse

That comment BB made is pure fairy tale land stuff, he still thinks the only reason they lost to the Habs was a hot goalie.....pitiful,
---------------

the first step towards improvement is acknowledgment and awareness of what needs to be fixed. If Bruce clings to a hot goalie excuse, then what he's basically saying is that the team cannot control its own destiny. He's giving his players (and really himself) a huge OUT. Its like, hey guys, no matter what we do this yr and how hard we try, if we run into a hot goalie we're golfing in april again.

Posted by: cstanton1 | September 17, 2010 11:50 AM | Report abuse

Also forgot to mention the best part of the day for me happened when Holtby was out getting some work between the morning Vet skate and the rookie game. I was standing just to the side of the net watching Holtby take shots and I heard some talking behind me and when I turned around it was Neuvirth and some of the other young guys who are not in the rookie camp and Neuvirth stood right next to me watching Holtby for a minute and was critiquing Holtby's style compaired to his own. Not criticizing Holtby just little comments like great glove or should have had that. It is why I love hockey so much how close you can get to the players and how down to Earth they are.

Posted by: icehammer97 | September 17, 2010 11:53 AM | Report abuse

Boudreau himself admitted to the team having 5 or 6 "passengers" after Game 5. He called out Semin and Varlamov at other times, I think.

Why is it that he was able to point fingers at his own team then, but now it's all about Halak's performance?

Posted by: Hatfield223 | September 17, 2010 11:54 AM | Report abuse

I think Bruess was good but not great but without the puck he seemed to not even be playing hockey he was just looking for fights early and looking for a big hit late. I like a physical player but when you are skating past a loose puck to go hit a guy that hurts the team. If he could learn to balence the hitting and aggression with solid positional play I think he would be a good player but right now all he cares about it hitting when he doesn't have the puck and could care less what the play was at least that is how it looked to me.
-------

@ice

That's how young physical players play when trying to make an impression. He'll figure it out. He doesn't always play that way. He was a very responsible player for the Stingrays last yr. Rinaldo from all accounts was doing the same thing, and the Flyers are very high on him. In some ways I'm glad Bruess played that way in a hyper-aggressive style. Good to set the tone right off the bat for the Flyers that they were in for a physical game. Sounds like Stevenson laid some hefty hits as well. On one of the highlights I saw that kid DeKastrozza come back on a backcheck and really lay into a Flyer.

how did Finley look? skating wise, etc?

Posted by: cstanton1 | September 17, 2010 11:55 AM | Report abuse

Boudreau himself admitted to the team having 5 or 6 "passengers" after Game 5. He called out Semin and Varlamov at other times, I think.
-----------

Bruce is emotional. Right after a big loss, he likes to pick out his scapegoats. In some cases he's correct, in some cases he's being a tad unfair. After more reflection, I think he figures out that the team's performance or lacktheroef is really his own failing. So by using a hot goalie excuse, it takes the burden of responsibility off him.

Posted by: cstanton1 | September 17, 2010 11:58 AM | Report abuse

@cstanton

just curious...what are your qualifications that make you a better coach and GM than BB or GMGM? You seem so convinced you could do so much better than them...are you considering all the politics and yes luck that go into creating a successful team...you can want whatever you want...making it happens is a lot more complicated.

Posted by: capscoach | September 17, 2010 11:59 AM | Report abuse

i'm tired of addressing that ridiculous question. Seriously. Not being evasive, just tired of answering what I consider to be a really dumb question fraught with so many obvious holes.

But I do have to question this comment by Fanock. And I'm not bashing what he says and maybe my memory is incorrect. But I remember a ton of sellouts in the late 80s at the Cap Center. If someone can find some stats or corroborate my own recollection, pls do so.

"Oh yeah, one other goof on here claiming he was a Caps fan when he was 12 living in CT. Really? Squeak squeak squeak. That is the sound of the BS flag going up because except for pockets of time, there were not even enough Capitals followers to fill the stadium to 80% capacity until the last few years. "

Posted by: fanohock1

Posted by: cstanton1 | September 17, 2010 12:07 PM | Report abuse

i just remember going to about 15 or 20 games a yr in the late 80s and the announced capacity was always like 18,130. Maybe not every single game but the low #s were like in the 17000s.
Again, this is a looong time ago and I may be mistaken, but I don't think the capacity sellouts only started occurring a few yrs ago like Fanock claims it did.

Posted by: cstanton1 | September 17, 2010 12:10 PM | Report abuse

@cstanton1

So a skill guy who doesnt clear the puck when he should is a huge red flag and grounds for bashing a player....

But a physical guy who neglects/ignores the puck (also in a possible zone clearing scenario) to play the man/attempt to hit the man is allowed and he will "figure it out".

Where's the logic in that? Not clearing the puck is just as taboo as neglecting the puck to try and hit someone when you should be trying to clear the puck/play the puck. How do you rationalize the one and bash the other?

A lot of times you offer good points and comments. Others you are little biased and can be a bit of a hypocrite, especially when it comes to someone disagreeing with you. With your takes on MaJo and Buress falling under the latter, imo.

If you and your ways were always right, you'd have a GM job already I assure you this. But since you dont, one can assume you arent always right in your beliefs. A little open mindedness isnt such a bad thing. :)

Posted by: SeminAllOverTheIce | September 17, 2010 12:13 PM | Report abuse

"The other thing is that the score doesn't not show exactly how the game went. The Caps rookies had posession a large majority of the game and out shot the Flyers badly."

Posted by: icehammer97 | September 17, 2010 11:46 AM

Hmmmmmmm. Sounds incredibly just like the description of a certain 7-game SC Playoff series last April. Hmmmm.

capscapscaps2: That's it! Keep demanding the TRUTH with regards to Belanger. Demand it of Katie and the Post! Demand it of McPhee! Demand it of Ted! What's that? They've all "moved on?" And, what? Scrappy George is fighting "the good fight?"

I say write the movie! Send in Dustin Hoffman and Robt Redford! Get Deep Goat to cough it up! Yes! The TRUTH!

(BTW, who plays Joe Taco in the movie? That Steve Beschemi (sp?) guy?)

Posted by: tominsocal1 | September 17, 2010 12:14 PM | Report abuse

are you considering all the politics and yes luck that go into creating a successful team...you can want whatever you want...making it happens is a lot more complicated.

Posted by: capscoach

this is a legit part of your question. I zoned out after the first sentence where you asked why I was qualified to know more. That part was dumb.

The reason I discount politics and luck, is that certain orgs, or more specifically certain regimes, never win anything. If politics or luck were a big factor, then you'd see that get sprinkled around more evenly. The key to any org is the top leadership. Sometimes its the owner. But it never goes lower than the GM. Meaning, if you don't have the right GM in place, you're hosed. In any sport. The right GM doesn't guarantee you'll win, but at least then you know you have a legitimate chance. Contrary to most Caps fans, I don't consider any roster or system this team has had within the current (successful) regime to be a legitimate authentic Cup contender. So far, my eyes tell me they're nothing more than pretenders. And the comments I read from the coach and GM reinforce that opinion.

Posted by: cstanton1 | September 17, 2010 12:16 PM | Report abuse

@cstanton

so if you ignore my what are your qualifications part...could you answer whether you have considered the timeless saying of...it is easier said than done? I truly curious...not an ounce of sarcasm here! Is there any chance that everything you say we need or should do just isn't possible or at least extremely difficult outside of fantasy hockey?

Posted by: capscoach | September 17, 2010 12:18 PM | Report abuse

Caps also had a fair number of sellouts in the season after going to the Finals, and in Jagr's first year with the team. The characterization of the franchise having sparse crowds all through existence is totally wrong.

Posted by: Hatfield223 | September 17, 2010 12:18 PM | Report abuse

CStanton, Kono was not known as a fighter. But I will never forget the game when Michael Peca put a cheap head shot on one of the Caps (Calle Jo I think), giving him a concussion I believe. At the end of the game, Kono skated up to Peca and pounded him into the ice.

I thought Finley was OK. Broke up at least a couple of Flyer rushes using his long reach, tough as you would expect along the boards. Still needs to pick up the pace though, as the coach noted.

Posted by: zmega | September 17, 2010 12:19 PM | Report abuse

@cstanton

haha..i did not see you answer that part...sorry!

Posted by: capscoach | September 17, 2010 12:19 PM | Report abuse

Thanks for all the reports from the rookie scrimmage for those of us the couldn't see the game. The young guys sound promising, except maybe AnGus, but realistically I don't expect any of these guys to make an impact on the big club this season. I hope GMGM sees it the same. (Just say no to MJ as 2C!)

As for the playoffs, Nick recently made a comment that they eased up after taking a 3-1 lead, so I think it is fair to say that there were more than "5 or 6 passengers" responsible for the loss. IMO, Nick's comment shows more leadership than telling a reporter "I'm going to start holding (other) guys responsible."

Posted by: ablake70 | September 17, 2010 12:20 PM | Report abuse

@cstanton1

So a skill guy who doesnt clear the puck when he should is a huge red flag and grounds for bashing a player....

But a physical guy who neglects/ignores the puck (also in a possible zone clearing scenario) to play the man/attempt to hit the man is allowed and he will "figure it out".

Where's the logic in that?
---SAITO--

because I've already watched Bruess play in the minors and he doesn't spend his shifts looking to hit everyone while neglecting his duties on the ice. You really think a player like that would be looked at or be able to maintain his status within this organization?

If you put both Bruess and MaJo in that same situation on the ice mentioned earlier, Bruess makes the simple play of engaging his man and making it harder for him to maintain puck possession while Marcus tries the low% play and tries to chip it out with his stick. In certain cases, you always go for the fundamental simple play. And we already have too many guys unwilling to make that play and we don't need another high profile player chewing up a ton of minutes this season who fits that description. There's the LOGIC!

Posted by: cstanton1 | September 17, 2010 12:22 PM | Report abuse

@cstanton1 You may be right about Bruess I just know that from yesterday alone he looked very raw. So when talking about what I saw yesterday I thought he didn't look good. He has some good skills if he could just learn to use them but the same could be said for every player on the ice from both teams yesterday. Neither DeKastrozza or Stevenson made any plays that really stood out to me. Now that is both good and bad. It means they were not skating through people like MJ or Eakin but they weren't making horrible plays that stood out as a negative like Bruess in the third either which for the kind of job they would do with the team at somepoint is sort of what you expect.

Finley looked like you would expect from a guy his size. He was slow but with his reach was able to take the puck away from guys who were a step or two ahead of him. He also had at least two big hits that I remember and seemed to skate with the puck like he was daring guys to try and hit him. I also don't remember him being out for any of the three Philly goals but I may be wrong on that. Right now I would like to see him in at least one preseason game to see if he could do the same thing against NHL level guys. Either way he is at least a year away but he looked like a guy who could easly replace Erskine next year as a guy we can use when speed isn't the other teams strength and we need a big hitter. That is of course if he can play against NHL and AHL talent as well as he did against rookies.

Posted by: icehammer97 | September 17, 2010 12:25 PM | Report abuse

@zmega

iirc, Kono got speared by Peca and Peca had been taking runs at Caps all game long (as well he should). The big blow was Peca hitting Gonchar with an elbow to the head and I think it knocked Gonch out of the game.
Kono then jumped Peca who separated his shoulder in the fight and was basically defenseless.

Peca was always a dangerous powerful open ice hitter who played bigger than his size. And Kono was imo one of the top 3 team players the Caps have ever had along with Stevens and Hunter.

Posted by: cstanton1 | September 17, 2010 12:28 PM | Report abuse

Bruess is 4th line center material and he can play the wing. I think he'll also be a good PKer. He's got decent speed and it would be nice to see a PK unit one day of him and Pinizotto making life a little miserable for the opposition.

and yes, thx for everyone's diligent reports from the game, its much appreciated!

Posted by: cstanton1 | September 17, 2010 12:32 PM | Report abuse

OK, I posted this last night:

Great job rebuilding the team; great job Green and Schultz late in Round 1; great job Witt for pick that became Varly and great job Eminger and #3 for Carlson.

Great job signing Clark and good job moving him for Chimera and will be better move Chimera to make room for Pinner (good job signing Pinner).

OK, to quote Vogel, now for the "rest of the story." (Did Vogs invent that line, btw?) :)

Anyway, let's talk anyone he drafted other than the first round, most of the coaches he's hired, some of the free agent signings. Mostly, ugh.

Here are the teams with better GMs:

NJ, Boston, Buffalo, Toronto, Detroit, Nashville, Chicago, LA Kings, Canucks, Pittsburgh, Flyers, Colorado.

Equal GMs: Islanders, Columbus, Blues, Sharks, Carolina, Tampa, Ottawa, Atlanta, Wild, Phoenix, Ducks.

Worse: Habs, Rangers, Flames, Oilers, Stars, Florida.

Anyone else wnat to comment on McPhee standing relative to other GMs?

Funny too have GloveWash pointed out the scrappy kid story comes on the heels of the Belanger fiasco. Reminds me of the 80s. Orioles had this guy, Alan Wiggins. Great talent but no brain. They also did this thing in the middle of the 5th inning each game displaying a player's face one puzzle piece at a time. So Wiggins makes an error and gets picked off base. Wouldn't you know it between 5th inning they start displaying the puzzle game on the CF jumbo-tron and the fans start going insane as they realize who's face is being displayed! It's Wiggins! "Go home, you bum!" "You're overpaid, Wiggins!" "Go back to the Padres!"

Posted by: tominsocal1 | September 17, 2010 12:33 PM | Report abuse

(BTW, who plays Joe Taco in the movie? That Steve Beschemi (sp?) guy?)

Posted by: tominsocal1 | September 17, 2010 12:14 PM

Not a bad choice, but I think this role has to be played by someone you can hate, a real slime ball. Don't forget some of his prior defendants, the viewing audience will want to boo him. I was thinking maybe Joe Pantoliano, Tom Sizemore, or Mike "The Situation" from Jersey Shore.

Posted by: SeminAllOverTheIce | September 17, 2010 12:35 PM | Report abuse

We'll have to agree to disagree on Bruess. I saw enough skill to be a 4th line NHL player, adequate size and strength given his age, and a lot of energy. You can nitpick anyone for individual mistakes over the course of 20 minutes or so on the ice, especially for a young guy, but IMO you have to go with the overll impression created, which for me was positive.

I would say the same thing for MJ. I'm sure he made mistakes, but his overall performance was very good, showing skill, speed, energy, defensive responsibility (notwithstanding a few missteps). But can we all agree that it would be in his best interests long term to have him start the year in Hershey? I guess we have to wait to see what he can do against the big boys, but I still think it would be a mistake to push him into the NHL before he is fully ready, just because we weren't able to fill the 2C void over the summer.

Posted by: zmega | September 17, 2010 12:36 PM | Report abuse

And Kono was imo one of the top 3 team players the Caps have ever had along with Stevens and Hunter.

Posted by: cstanton1 | September 17, 2010 12:28 PM

No! Langway and Dino are ahead of Kono.

BTW, this just in over the wire:

Mike Vogel has been nominated for a Pulitzer Prize for that in-depth story on Belanger the other day! Guess I was all wrong to have criticized!

Posted by: tominsocal1 | September 17, 2010 12:39 PM | Report abuse

my vote goes to Joe Pantoliano. Scuzzy and likeable (except when he played on the Sopranos)

btw, isn't this EXACTLY what some of us (you know, unqualified closet GM fans) have been saying for eons now? Maybe it carries more weight coming from an actual player, laich Laich.

"Maybe we're better if we score 20 goals less and give up 20 less," he said. "We have to be better defensively. We've been flashy and played for the fans. We have to be more soldier-like.

"When good teams play with the lead, they take you out of the game. They don't let you off the floor. We had teams down and we let up. (Changing) is not going to happen right off the bat, but by February or March, you have to know how to play the right way. The last two months of the regular season, you really have to have your identity down and know how to play to win in the playoffs.”

too bad our GM and coach don't believe this.

Posted by: cstanton1 | September 17, 2010 12:40 PM | Report abuse

but I still think it would be a mistake to push him into the NHL before he is fully ready, just because we weren't able to fill the 2C void over the summer.

Posted by: zmega

this is exactly how i fee too. Our inability to fill the void shouldn't result in rushing this kid. We're better off having a bit less skill in the lineup next season in lieu of some more dependability in the defensive part of the game.

Posted by: cstanton1 | September 17, 2010 12:42 PM | Report abuse

Oh, you said "team" players...OK, Langway was still one. Dino not as much, although he took incredible abuse in front of the net to do his job. Don't discount that.

BTW, I'm off to Home Depot (wife is waiting to go!) Back later to catch up!

Posted by: tominsocal1 | September 17, 2010 12:43 PM | Report abuse

haha, i remember alan wiggins. He fell for the hidden ball trick. I think not once, but twice.

I liked him though because he had a ton of speed at leadoff. The O's were a pathetically slow team at the time. But yeah, Wiggins lacked a lil something upstairs.

Posted by: cstanton1 | September 17, 2010 12:44 PM | Report abuse

btw, isn't this EXACTLY what some of us (you know, unqualified closet GM fans) have been saying for eons now? Maybe it carries more weight coming from an actual player, laich Laich.

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

But cstanton1, shouldn't Laich worry more about his own physical play in front of the net instead of worrying about why they lost in the playoffs last year?

By the way, that was typed in the whiniest way I could possibly muster!

Posted by: PhilR | September 17, 2010 12:47 PM | Report abuse

"Bruess makes the simple play of engaging his man and making it harder for him to maintain puck possession while Marcus tries the low% play and tries to chip it out with his stick." - cstanton1

If that is what he was doing I would agree with you. But he wasnt. There were times he should have played the puck and could have, but didnt. There were times he should have played the puck while engaging the man, but went soley after the man. The guy he was running at was able to collect the puck and dish it off to someone else, not hindering possession in the least and actually getting past him with ease.

He was taking himself out of plays by "over-gritting" is what we were trying to say. Not grit vs finesse: which is better in this scenario. So my original statement was weak chips and over-grit = bad bad bad, neither is to be praised. Make sense?

Posted by: SeminAllOverTheIce | September 17, 2010 12:47 PM | Report abuse

Oh, you said "team" players...OK, Langway was still one. Dino not as much, although he took incredible abuse in front of the net to do his job. Don't discount that.
--

good call bro, i was just about to post that about Dino. Not that I didn't love the guy, but with regards to being a team player I'd put Kono over Dino. Kono looked out for every single teammate (except Jagr). Dino's contribution to team success was like you said, abuse in the crease. But he didn't really go out of his way to stick up for his teammates as often as did Kono. No more than getting into a few scrums when he and his fiesty linemates (Dale, Courtnall) would get into a fracas.

Posted by: cstanton1 | September 17, 2010 12:48 PM | Report abuse

FWIW, it's great to have live hockey back and be able to debate the merits of players in yesterday's game, as opposed to all the off-ice stuff all the time.

Posted by: zmega | September 17, 2010 12:48 PM | Report abuse

He was taking himself out of plays by "over-gritting" is what we were trying to say. Not grit vs finesse: which is better in this scenario. So my original statement was weak chips and over-grit = bad bad bad, neither is to be praised. Make sense?

Posted by: SeminAllOverTheIce | September 17, 2010 12:47 PM | Report abuse

i didn't see the game so i'll defer to your view. My defense of Bruess (vs my view of MaJo) is that I've seen Bruess play in enough games to not feel that this will hold him back from being a competent player. I've only seen 2 clips of MaJo in a specific situation and to me it looks like his natural tendency is to avoid engaging a player along the boards effectively to get the puck away or disrupt the play. I'd like to watch the entire game clip from yesterday to form a more wellinformed opinion.

Posted by: cstanton1 | September 17, 2010 12:52 PM | Report abuse

Having said all that about Bruess, I'm not saying he wont become a good 4th liner in the NHL. Just saying he didnt impress me this year (and the whopping 1 times I have seen him play). Someone had just asked what some of us saw in the scrimmage yesterday, and thats what I saw.

I still hold by my original statement that I dont think I want to see any of the boys play more than a couple games at most this year. They need another year of aging in the basement, like a good cheese or fine wine. Eat/drink it too soon and the flavor wont live up to your hopes/expectations and actually ruin what could have been something excellent.

Posted by: SeminAllOverTheIce | September 17, 2010 12:55 PM | Report abuse

FWIW, it's great to have live hockey back and be able to debate the merits of players in yesterday's game, as opposed to all the off-ice stuff all the time.

Posted by: zmega | September 17, 2010 12:48 PM

Refreshing isn't it!?!

GO CAPS!!!!

Posted by: wtf_e_fehr | September 17, 2010 12:57 PM | Report abuse

Also, I am not saying VOTE for MAJO, Boo Bruess...was again just saying that one playing style no-no is just as bas as another playing style no-no. They should both be grounded and allowances stripped.

We need both their styles in future Caps games.

Posted by: SeminAllOverTheIce | September 17, 2010 1:03 PM | Report abuse

Ok, I saw some highlights of the game last night on sportsnite and they interviewed Eakin. I had no idea he had that fire engine red hair! How many players in the NHL can you all remember that had such RED hair?? I know Semin and Flash have somewhat red hair but nowhere near to that extreme, can't recall seeing any former NHLer's either.

And does anyone know if there is a link where I can watch that entire game? Would like to form my own opinions......and who is going to training camp tomorrow??

Posted by: PhilR | September 17, 2010 1:28 PM | Report abuse

How many players in the NHL can you all remember that had such RED hair??

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

lanny mcdonald. Maybe more hair on his 'stache than his skull but still :)

Posted by: cstanton1 | September 17, 2010 1:41 PM | Report abuse

schoeny had red hair too although maybe not fire engine red

Posted by: cstanton1 | September 17, 2010 1:42 PM | Report abuse

Lanny McDonald, completely forgot about him....and yeah, thought of Schoeny but he just isn't in the league of that screaming red hair.

Posted by: PhilR | September 17, 2010 1:46 PM | Report abuse

its funny that on the Hershey site the headline is "Godfrey showcases shot". But wasn't it last yr or the yr before that he scored THREE goals in an exhibition game? And still got sent down because of his defense.

The interesting thing about Godfrey is, unlike most offensive dmen who have a hard time playing defense, Godfrey actually plays with a nice edge to his game. I don't know if he played like that in the scrimmage but he doesn't play a soft game by any stretch. He's not afraid to confront anyone and he likes to play the body. Reminds me of Eminger as a young kid. He didn't shy away from the physical stuff either esp around his net. Always very diligent about protecting the crease and taking offence at anyone digging for rebounds

Posted by: cstanton1 | September 17, 2010 1:46 PM | Report abuse

i dunno, i just pulled up a pic of him, he had redder hair than i remember!
http://www.sportsmemorabilia.com/image_php_245473.jpg

Posted by: cstanton1 | September 17, 2010 1:48 PM | Report abuse

Posted by: cstanton1 | September 17, 2010 1:49 PM | Report abuse

phil, here's one shift of the Caps 4th line.

DeKastrozza with the initial hit along the near boards. Then he comes back a bit later with the puck, absorbs a hit and tries to get it to big Pisano in the front in the crease. Then a little bit of Bruess along the boards.

Posted by: cstanton1 | September 17, 2010 1:56 PM | Report abuse

Posted by: cstanton1 | September 17, 2010 1:58 PM | Report abuse

Posted by: wtf_e_fehr | September 17, 2010 1:59 PM | Report abuse

Posted by: cstanton1 | September 17, 2010 2:08 PM | Report abuse

Replay of the gm seems to be working now, just tried again and it's playing.

Posted by: FunkyGloveFacewash | September 17, 2010 2:26 PM | Report abuse

That second one of Schoeny that you posted does look pretty red. I think his hair got darker with age for sure.

Posted by: PhilR | September 17, 2010 2:35 PM | Report abuse

Schoeny sure was a throwback rugged defensive dman when he played. Kinda like a Jay Wells.
And Gonchar threw his body around plenty when he played under Schoeny.

The 1st pd is posted here
http://video.capitals.nhl.com/videocenter/console?catid=-5

Posted by: cstanton1 | September 17, 2010 2:42 PM | Report abuse

Yeah, it was just 1st period and clips of the goals from the rest of the gm. As far as the 1st went Galiev showed good hustle not just on his goal but also broke up a icing call early in period. I thought Bruess and Eakin looked good as did Finley.

Posted by: FunkyGloveFacewash | September 17, 2010 3:31 PM | Report abuse

I know a few people said they thought Bruess was taking himself out of plays too much. I didn't see that in the 1st but those of you that were at the gm got to see a lot more than the video shows. Either way I'm not worried. You can't teach grit, but you can teach a gritty player to play smarter.

Posted by: FunkyGloveFacewash | September 17, 2010 4:04 PM | Report abuse

I want to hear Ovie talk like a pirate on the 19th. Make it happen Katie, get yourself a Flipvideo, and get some vids posted. Russian pirate, the way it will sound in my head makes me laugh.

What's in your wallet?

Posted by: SeminAllOverTheIce | September 17, 2010 4:11 PM | Report abuse

echo the comments on Bruess. Didn't see him do anything so far in the 1st pd about taking himself out of the play. Maybe that happens later. He was just hitting and skating.
Random notes from 1st pd-
1st shift – Flemming with a bad pass but showcases very quick hands. He’s an undersized offensive dman with a bit of grit in his game. Kugyrshev looks like he’s got good speed and can play along the boards. And MaJo takes a nice straight angle to the dman and forces him to dump the puck quickly
-Galiev with a nice leaping hit along the near boards right at camera level
-An extended look at the Galiev line shows that he does get pushed off the puck fairly easily once a dman gets close to him but he’s quick and not afraid to go into the corners. The kid who stands out on that line in this shift is Felix LaFrenchy. Speedy, can handle the puck, and aggressive on the man. AGus looks a tad slowww. Shift ends with a nice step up hit by Patrick Cullity inside the Flyers blueline that keeps the puck in the zone and leads to a scoring chance. Nice simple aggressive play by the dman. More of those fundamentals that the Caps big team doesn’t do very often.
-The Eakin line gets featured next. Garrett Mitchell looks overmatched here….too bad. Dustin Stevenson looks big, mobile and aggressive but has one bad flub behind the net (looked just like Schultzie when he did that. But he does look good skating around and running into people or fighting off a hit to throw the puck in. Eakin gives up a turnover in the neutral zone but then is at least aggressive about attacking the guy who picked up the puck. Who then gets sandwiched between Eakin and Stevenson. Later Eakin gets run off the play by Chaput and Eakin goes back at Chaput and then a Flyer runs Eakin.
-Both Finley and Stevenson look pretty damn mobile for big men. And very confident on their skates, at least skating FORWARD. Finley did try to hit a guy while skating backwards, missed most of him and went crashing down behind the net. Flemming then comes in on the near side and hammers a Flyer off the puck. Despite the small sampling of these clips, if I had to pick between the 2 big men, I’d say Stevenson is the better skater with the better instincts on the ice. I think Finley is definitely a project. Then a little Bruess hit on #71 for the Flyers, a soccer-style pass from Kastrozza to Flemming, and 2 bad passes by Finley into open space, the last one sending Kugry chasing it down only to crash into the boards.
-Now the action picks up—Hauswirth gets hit off the puck (he looks very unimpressive so far) and Godfrey makes a big open ice hit on #63 (?) in the neutral zone. A scrum around the net and MaJo and Kugr work the puck free.

Posted by: cstanton1 | September 17, 2010 4:18 PM | Report abuse

-Next shift Stevenson steps up and just misses a big hit at our blueline. But best player on this shift is again LeFrenchy. He’s just quick and aggressive and goes right thru the puck carrier. Saved a bad pass from Stevenson from turning into a scoring chance. I like this kid Felix. Galiev then chases the puck down and throws a half hit on a player from behind.
-Eakin’s line out next – Kashirsky chases the puck carrier deep in the zone and hammers him. When’s the last time someone not named Ovechkin or Bradley did this? Followed up a bit later with another stiff hit from Nikita Kashirsky that knocks his guy over in open ice. Damn I love the Russians. Garrett Mitchell ends up on right defense because of a step up by Flemming and makes a very nice defensive play to block a pass.
-Big Joe tries a ridiculous hit using his upper body and ends up falling backwards on his butt while the Flyer forward still maintains puck control. Finley’s not lookin great…
-Trevor Bruess then picks up the puck behind our own net and goes end-to-end with speed and nice stickhandling cutting a swath thru Flyers like a tractor thru a cornfield. On that shift Bruess and Kastrozza were throwing their weight around. Pisano is a lumbering oaf that will never make it to the nhl, at least not with the Caps. He’s barely AHL level. But he did lean into a Flyer behind the net pretty heavily. He just has no speed whatsoever and can’t handle the puck either. Stevenson with another big hit in front of our net that knocks a Flyer down as he takes a shot on goal.
-MaJo’s line comes out next and he cuts another swath thru the Flyers that ends up with Kugr and Hauswirth in the crease trying to stuff in the puck. MaJo also gives a Flyer a nice shot at the end of the play. As well he should.
(unfortunately) More to come later


so far, Finley is the only disappointment as he doesn't seem to have good balance or timing on his hits. Kastrozza skates well for a big guy and some of our Euros are showing a little grit out there. Kashirsky looks like our strongest most physical Euro forward. And LaFrenchy is also showing speed and aggression as well as puck control. Godfrey had the best open ice hit of what I got to watch.

Posted by: cstanton1 | September 17, 2010 4:23 PM | Report abuse

@zmega
Good memories!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=szFl1Y81hUk

Kono v. Peca

Apparently Peca had knocked Gonch out with a concussion.

Posted by: BorntoHula | September 17, 2010 4:35 PM | Report abuse

Re: upthread - I think calling out Laich for his play in the playoffs is more than fair. Heck, other than Ovie, Backs, Carlson and Poti [and probably Varly, for that matter] not a lot of guys looked like SC-finalists, let's be honest here.

Especially if we're going to repeatedly kill Semin, no they weren't going in but you don't average double-digit shots per game if you're not working hard.

I like Laich, he works hard and seems very personable - but if anyone thinks he's a legit 2C on a team with serious aspirations, that's delusional, neither the skating and especially not the playmaking is close to that level.

I say that of course, knowing that maybe exactly what GMGM has in mind for him.

Posted by: Timbo_1 | September 17, 2010 4:38 PM | Report abuse

hate to say it but kono in some ways looks like andrew mccarthy.

Posted by: cstanton1 | September 17, 2010 4:51 PM | Report abuse

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