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Get reacquainted with Matt Hendricks

Morning Roundup

It was in his time with the Hershey Bears in 2006-07 that Matt Hendricks learned to be versatile. He played 65 games with that year's AHL Eastern Conference Champions, soaking up the advice of then-Bears coaches Bruce Boudreau and Bob Woods.

The natural center can play every forward position and has in the past, but it's a trait he first began adjusting to during his time in Hershey. His respect for both Boudreau and Woods is what made joining the Capitals' training camp on a professional tryout easier.

"That season was a big turning point in my career," Hendricks said. "They taught me how to be the type of player I am now, and just be a student of the game and take every opportunity to learn from the players around you."

After working his way up through the ECHL and AHL, he spent the past two seasons with the Colorado Avalanche, playing 56 games last season when he finally earned a lengthy stay in the NHL with nine goals, 16 points and 74 penalty minutes. Hendricks, 29, understands the role he can play on a team with plenty of young talent.

"With my experience I can be a vocal guy in the room on the bench and maybe be that extra spark, that sandpaper that the team needs to get over that next hump," he said. "There's a lot of talented young players, a lot of great players and I'm just going to do my part and give it my all and hopefully earn a spot on this team."

It's possible, depending on how many players up to the maximum number of 23 that the Capitals choose to carry at the beginning of the season, that Hendricks could earn a place in Washington. If not, making Hershey's roster isn't out of the question either.

Hendricks's key traits are energy, aggressiveness and necessary grit that those at KCI on Sunday got a brief glimpse of. During the scrimmage between Teams B and C, Hendricks caught a piece of rookie Trevor Bruess with an open ice hit late in the game. The veteran Hendricks didn't want to talk about what was presumably a little payback for Bruess dumping Tomas Fleischmann over the boards, but it was definitely noticed that he stood up for his teammates.

As for his take on these Capitals and the organization that he's now trying to rejoin:

"There's no such thing as second place in their mind; they want to be up top in everything they do," Hendricks said. "In my mind there's no better way to play the game and to look at yourself every day in the mirror as a winner. That's something they do and it's very exciting to be a part of it."

AROUND THE WEB
After two years of waiting, Karl Alzner is all but guaranteed a spot on the Washington roster as a key cog of the team's defense this year. (Corey Masisak)

On how the Capitals can keep Semyon Varlamov healthy. (Masisak)

Dan Rosen talks to former NHL general manager and current analyst Craig Button about his philosophy on how successful teams should be built. He also offers the following assessment of the Capitals netminders:

"If Marty Brodeur, a three-time Stanley Cup winner and arguably the best to ever play the position, can't win in this era without great defense, I can guarantee you Michal Neuvirth and Semyon Varlamov can't win without a great defense," Button said. "I have no problem going with a young goaltender, but you better make sure teams can't take advantage of his vulnerability and inexperience."

And the NHL released a video detailing new rules that was sent to all teams it includes examples and explanations on hits to the head, preventing contact on icings and rules for fighting or other altercations.

By Katie Carrera  | September 21, 2010; 7:29 AM ET
Categories:  Morning Roundup  
Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   Del.icio.us   StumbleUpon   Technorati   Google Buzz   Previous: 'Team A' takes charge in Duchesne Cup race
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Comments

Brought over from previous thread:

TSN has an article about Halak's playoff performance. Here's a quote taken from Gionta, the Habs newly appointed Captain, regarding Halak's performance.

"Huge saves. Big, big-time saves," said winger Brian Gionta. "We got two early goals, we wanted to get the lead, and then he shut the door. It was him from that point on. And it wasn't just the amount of shots, he faced a lot of quality shots. He's unbelievable."

Hardly sounds like the type of game described here by folks that don't want to give Halak his due. The final shots that game were in favor of the Capitals 54-22. Nothing in that article, nor my memory, says anything about the shots being taken from the perimeter and routine. Quite the contrary. Of course if you want the Capitals to lose so the smear campaign can continue you will see and characterize the game to support your cause.

http://tsn.ca/nhl/special/?id=29855

Posted by: fanohock1 | September 21, 2010 7:37 AM | Report abuse

Brought over from previous thread:

BTW for those that want to check out some preseason hockey the NHL Network is showing the Flyers game tonight at 7. There is at least one game on every day between now and Sunday. Unfortunately there are not going to be any Caps games on the tube. For the most part you can catch the games on the regional sports networks, CSN Chicago, CSN Philly, NESN, and MSG. NHL Network is showing a few of the games being broadcast in Canada. NHL Center Ice blackouts won't start until the regular season. As a matter of fact the 1st week of the season might be available at no cost. For new hockey watchers, have no fear, your Capitals will be on CSN, no additional charge beyond your cable bill.

Posted by: fanohock1 | September 21, 2010 7:38 AM | Report abuse

Brought over from previous thread:

fanohock1,

Halak played a role for sure in the Caps early exit last year but BB not adjusting and getting the Knuble's, Laich's and Fehr's of the team to crash the net more and harass the heck out of Halak ie bumping/screening/etc also played a major role. Halak played a heck of a series BUT I think BB is at least 50 percent to blame for not adjusting the way they attacked him.

Posted by: PhilR | September 21, 2010 7:49 AM | Report abuse

I think we need to be asking CSN Washington why they are not showing any pre-season Caps games! They certainly showed all the Wizards summer league action.

Posted by: PhilR | September 21, 2010 7:51 AM | Report abuse

TSN also has another article about the fight that broke out between Komisarek and Rosehill in the Maple Leafs training camp. Ron Wilson (former Caps coach by the way) didn't seemed to be phased by it. The comments attached to the article by the Leafs fans are what is of note IMO. I consider Leaf fans a pretty knowledgable hockey fan base and they are not happy at all that they seem to be loaded with scrapy players.

Posted by: fanohock1 | September 21, 2010 7:57 AM | Report abuse

Sorry, I meant to provide the link to the Leafs article. I'm done for the day, I've dominated the board enough. http://www.tsn.ca/nhl/story/?id=334561

Posted by: fanohock1 | September 21, 2010 8:01 AM | Report abuse

Big Shocking news from Caps camp...

1) Mike Green with zero goals in a Tournament.

2) With 6 GAA in a scrimmage, I'm guessing Green/Schultz were responsible for a bunch of those...


On a serious note...it is nice to see Chimera playing well..and so many younger guys getting on the scoresheet.

I would rather see Flash in Hershey...he had his chance, and did nothing with it.

Posted by: SoaringCaps | September 21, 2010 9:20 AM | Report abuse

From the file of "The Guy I would MOST want to be..."

Tyler Sloan. Last year made 700K to watch professional hockey games. Also got to travel with the Caps and best of all, gets free equipment and unlimited practice ice.

With another 700K coming to him this year, he would be set for life in my world. If I were him, I would keep my mouth shut, accumulate those frequent flyer miles, enjoy those 5 star hotels, and luxury meals. And best of all, stay healthy because of not playing.

Lastly, I would put George McPhee on my Christmas card list...and be sure to send him a birthday gift for the rest of my life!

What a great life!

Posted by: SoaringCaps | September 21, 2010 9:26 AM | Report abuse

tominsocal + wine = long and entertaining rants coupled with Cool Hand Luke references.

Shaking the bush boss, shaking the bush.

What time is the next scrimmage today?


Sorry for the repost, meant to put it here instead of the other thread I was catching up on.


Posted by: SeminAllOverTheIce | September 21, 2010 9:48 AM | Report abuse

PhilR, I strongly agree with your analysis of the playoff failure, as I have stated previously. Halak deserves credit, but the failure to get bodies in front of him was equally a factor. The Flyers' success proves our point, IMO. However, we will never know what BB said to the players and how they reacted. I know BB has made numerous statements in the press about the need for a stronger presence in front of the opposing goalie. Maybe some of the players just aren't doing the job. If it continues this year, I would hope that BB would sit guys, even if its Laich and/or Fehr, if they refuse to go to the net.

Posted by: zmega | September 21, 2010 9:49 AM | Report abuse

Season starts in a little over 2 weeks, right now, Sloan/Erskine will be getting a jersey every night.

Well done George.

Posted by: underpants2 | September 21, 2010 10:06 AM | Report abuse

If everyone else can re-post, I can too:

I've said it before, 5 reasons Caps lost:

GMGM failed to create a balanced team; Caps players failed to play as well as they could have re: PP; BB got outcoached; Habs players stuck to their system; Halak was superb.

Change any one of those 5 and Caps likely would have moved on. Or, had the Knuble goal been allowed to stand, they might have moved on regardless.

NOW, look what Button said. Just what we've been saying. The D needs an upgrade. Just looks more "official" when it comes from an insider, but doesn't make it any more true.

Posted by: tominsocal1 | September 21, 2010 10:07 AM | Report abuse

Craig Button is spot on. The likelihood of the Caps going far in the playoffs without a mean -and- effective blueliner or two is slim. Come on GMGM, go get use a blue chip blueliner to pair with Green for the first pairing.

Posted by: JIMALLCAPS1 | September 21, 2010 10:07 AM | Report abuse

Oh, fanohock1, thanks for the reminder, I have to call the cable company to sign up for Center Ice and the NHL Network.

Posted by: tominsocal1 | September 21, 2010 10:12 AM | Report abuse

Guys, relax.

We WILL win the cup this year.

Trust me...and George!

Carlson, will mean LESS ice for Green which automatically improves our Defense...and with Three-o gone...that will improve our Save Percentage and GAA.

Which means, we won't have to outscore teams!

Posted by: SoaringCaps | September 21, 2010 10:12 AM | Report abuse

@ Soaring Caps -- Flash did NOTHING? He scored 23 goals, had 28 assists, and was +9 in the toughest hockey league in the world. That is not NOTHING.

Do I like him as the Caps 2nd line center, no. My hope is that he gets traded for a quality blueliner. There are quite a few teams who want a wing/center who can score in the 20's and run a positive.

The trick is for the Caps to find a team that has too many blueliners of the type the Caps need or are over the cap and need to unload someone. The Caps offer up a fairly cap friendly Flash with only a 1 year committment for a solid, mean, shutdown blueliner who does not fit their system, is disgruntled, is overpaid, has too many years. Having Flash competent at wing and center does not hurt his value.

The Caps can win in the regular season with Flash at wing/center as they did last year. The trick is finding a good trade.

Posted by: JIMALLCAPS1 | September 21, 2010 10:20 AM | Report abuse

Somebody please push the big FF button and give me some CAPS HOCKEY!

SICK OF OFFSEASON CRAP!

que fue!

Posted by: wtf_e_fehr | September 21, 2010 10:22 AM | Report abuse

Jim...

the regular season means very little to me.

I would rather they squeak into the playoffs (like Philly) and go to the cup.

What did flash do in the playoffs? Zero. His best game was Game 7.

We are on the same page. He is a nice player, but we don't have time for nice players anymore...which is why Semin is going to be on the block in November...

Posted by: SoaringCaps | September 21, 2010 10:23 AM | Report abuse

Hey tominsocal, fanohock and others still ponderously doing the post-mortem on the Canadiens series: Why don't you try something really relevant and dissect the Caps' loss to the Penguins in the 1992 playoffs? Or the 1990 loss to the Bruins in the conference finals?

Posted by: redrocker2 | September 21, 2010 10:25 AM | Report abuse

I'm sorry, but a John Wayne movie even on tenth viewing ("Now look here, mister...") is sometimes preferable to the Moose Neck Spleenbusters taking on the Chickasaw ChickletEaters...

Posted by: tominsocal1 | September 20, 2010 10:58 PM


LMFAO, tom....you never fail!

I heard they were going to do an Avatar-type CGI thing where the Duke would star in the Scottish Play...


"Now look here, sister, is this a bloody dagger I see before me or what?"

Posted by: Rhino40 | September 21, 2010 10:25 AM | Report abuse

Last scrimmage. I predict OV and team A with an easy 4-0 rout. The line of Semin - Flash - Laich didn't look very effective the last game. Hopefully they will get it going today because the first preseason game is just around the corner.

Posted by: madflava | September 21, 2010 10:27 AM | Report abuse

I'm still betting he [joek] melts like the Wicked Witch.


Posted by: tominsocal1 | September 20, 2010 11:12 PM


I dunno Tom...I think he either bursts into flames or collapses noisily into a pile of slimy red goo...the over/under is 5 to 3


BTW, got any Fetzer 1978 Gew├╝rztraminer?

Posted by: Rhino40 | September 21, 2010 10:27 AM | Report abuse

@JIMALLCAPS1

Sorry, I have to say Flash is way overrated, over-paid, and doesnt bring much of anything. His stats are padded with lots of non-game changing points and being +9 on a team that scored a ton of goals isnt all that great (lest we forget we had many players above +20)

But Flash is one of the dead horses here at this blog so I will not start flogging it again, even though I kind of just threw a small kick in there at first.

Again I ask, what time is the scrimmage today?

Posted by: SeminAllOverTheIce | September 21, 2010 10:34 AM | Report abuse

Marc-Andre Fleury won a Stanley Cup without a great defense. Their defense was solid that year, but by no means great. So I disagree with the statement that "you MUST have a great defense to win". Since a team without a great defense has won before, and recently, the use of the phrase "must" is incorrect. If he used the phrase "you usually need a great defense" that would have been better.

Having a great defense will absolutely give a team a better chance of winning the Cup and every team should want to improve their defense (as well as their offense).

Also, Button spoke of needing a "great defense", he never spoke of needing a physical defense. Remember, Chicago was near the bottom of the league in hits last year and they had a great defense. Detroit has had a great D in the past without too much hitting. So it is more than possible to have a great defense without lots of hitting.

To those about to reply "team X won and they had a lot of hitting". I'm not saying you can't win with a lot of hitting on D. I'm only saying you can without it. Which means you can win both ways. But no matter how they play you do need an effective D, not one that gives up too many glorious scoring chances.

Hopefully Carlson and Alzner improve the D and I am still all for finding a good veteran D-man to take the place of Erskine/Sloan.

Posted by: sgm3 | September 21, 2010 10:34 AM | Report abuse

Soaring Caps, I want Flash gone, too. Look at my post as I see him as trade bait. The Caps can keep Flash on the trading block until the trade deadline and they'll be fine. I do want to see a solid, mean, shut-down blueliner in his place.

As for Semin, are you INSANE? Semin plays the PK well, has lost his old penchant for stupid penalties, scores 40+ goals, has learned to play two-way hockey, and he did hustle against MTL peppering Halak and Price with shots. The problem is less Semin and more his line. If he gets a consistently good center, he is much more effective than rotating center and Flash on the other wing.

My dream scenario is Flash holds the 2nd line center until MJ is ready. Caps trade Flash for defender to pair with Green. Fehr is on the 2nd line RW. Sniper, good two-way center, and crease mucker. That is a good 2nd line in my book.

Posted by: JIMALLCAPS1 | September 21, 2010 10:38 AM | Report abuse

Rhino: No. Wouldn't that stuff be rotten?

redrocker2: That was a really dumb thing you posted. The reason the Habs series is relevant is because the same players that lost that one are the ones here now. No significant upgrades.

You should be sent to the Doofus Brigade for that post alone. Maybe you should go and pick out a pair of boots. Oh, and a Don Cherry-style beret. Now get marching, mister!

Posted by: tominsocal1 | September 21, 2010 10:46 AM | Report abuse

@ saoti, Please read -- I want Flash traded. GMGM has to do his job and find a team willing to take a player who can score from wing or center. I am NOT saying he is great, but he does have more trade value than say Gordo, Sloan, or Erskin -- 3 guys who do not bring that much to the table either. But trading them for more than a bag of pucks would be something.

If there is a player who has more trade value than Flash that the Caps can easily afford to lose, let me know. (OK, this is an open door for the Semin haters).

Posted by: JIMALLCAPS1 | September 21, 2010 10:46 AM | Report abuse

Well maybe Poti, but who would take him? Honestly?

Posted by: JIMALLCAPS1 | September 21, 2010 10:48 AM | Report abuse

@JIMALLCAPS1

Alas, Semin is another CI dead horse. But I am willing to punch the pile a bit for Semin. I agree with you 100% on what you said and hope he gets a 4-5 year deal at a home town "discount" of $6 mil per. He ends up racing Ovie for the Rocket trophy if we get the man a real center to play with.

Also, from what I am hearing from the scrimmages and what I saw last year having Semin/Flush/Laich is a bust. As tom mentioned, it wastes the talents of 2 players and keeps Fehr stuck on line 3.

As for Flushy for staying here long term, I wouldnt go out and buy any of his jerseys...I see him gone soon enough.

Posted by: SeminAllOverTheIce | September 21, 2010 10:50 AM | Report abuse

@sgm3

There's always going to be an exception for every rule, whether the topic is hockey or anything else in life. But the fact remains, playoff hockey is not regular season hockey. Finesse just doesn't work. Real estate is harder to come by and the winners are the teams that keep it out of their net the best.

That said, I'm not going to throw away optimism for this year because of the lack of FA signings or trades. One truism that transcends all sports and has been repeatedly proven is that the organization that drafts and develops best will be the most successful long term. Which is why the Skins are what they are right now, and the Caps are what they are. It's time for Carlson, Alzer, Perrault, et al to sink or swim, and I have no problem with that, so long as there's a backup plan available at the trade deadline if they sink.

Posted by: JS26121820 | September 21, 2010 10:57 AM | Report abuse

@JIMALLCAPS1

My comment to you about Flash was in regards to your arguement that he did something rather than nothing.

We agree on the trade issue. Not only on Flush, but Im not sold on Gordo either and it sickens me that Erskine/Sloan get a jersey. Moving Poti (and Im fine with Poti on D) for another D does nothing as it keeps Erskine/Sloan with a jersey.

Posted by: SeminAllOverTheIce | September 21, 2010 10:58 AM | Report abuse

sgm (aka Alexander Hamilton): Didn't you learn anything from yesterday?

Now Aaron Burr's gonna come on and pick at your post. He's gonna say the Pens defense was very physical and Hawks too despite the hit count. The problem is you both take everything way too LITERALLY!!!!!!!

Please. Let it go. Just once?

Posted by: tominsocal1 | September 21, 2010 10:58 AM | Report abuse

Semin- too inconsistent, selfish (takes bad offensive zone penalties), doesn't want to be part of the solution (won't learn english).

I will say this...he is BY FAR the most talented skill player ("5-Tool") that the Caps have.

He would be a great trade bait to pick up a quality player (plus draft picks) in return...

Flash bye bye. Same with Gordon (who I really like). Time for some new blood up front.

Posted by: SoaringCaps | September 21, 2010 11:00 AM | Report abuse

I agree that Flash will and should be gone sooner as opposed to later. GMGM has to find the right dance partner, which may have almost happened this summer. I am only a fan of Flash so far as his trade value.

Posted by: JIMALLCAPS1 | September 21, 2010 11:00 AM | Report abuse

@JS26121820

I really really hope in your example the Skins are what NOT to do.

Posted by: SeminAllOverTheIce | September 21, 2010 11:01 AM | Report abuse

what did he say about the Pens and their physicality? muthereffer...i haven't even had a chance to warm up yet.

no but seriously, this is Tuesday. Which is my one day a week I refrain from any type of tension. So no fighting today for me.

Am glad to see Hendricks getting a bit of love though.
"Hendricks's key traits are energy, aggressiveness and necessary grit"

Posted by: cstanton1 | September 21, 2010 11:04 AM | Report abuse

@ Semin

I won't turn this from CI into RI, but in a nutshell: yes.

Posted by: JS26121820 | September 21, 2010 11:05 AM | Report abuse

OK SC, you have some OLD issues with Semin. He takes FAR fewer offensive zone and retaliation penalties than in years past. He hustles on the PK (not a primadona characteristic). From what I hear, he knows English, but is not keen on speaking to the press; he lets OV do it for him. He is camera-shy -- who cares as long as he plays good hockey. Who can the Caps trade for Semin in which they will get equal or better value for the team? Who replaces him as the 2nd line and PP sniper? Who replaces him on the PK? Maybe Backis, but having two skilled players who can score shorties makes the Caps PK much, much better.

Posted by: JIMALLCAPS1 | September 21, 2010 11:06 AM | Report abuse

cstanton (aka Aaron Burr): So that makes you and Wimpy who have key days on Tuesday.

He pays for his hamburgers and you let off the gas.

Posted by: tominsocal1 | September 21, 2010 11:08 AM | Report abuse

The hot goalie excuse is lame, not because it did not happen but because this is not at all unusual in the playoffs. That is when good teams win games 2-1 or 1-0.

Both BB and GMGM deserve a lot of credit for the team they built/coach. But GMGM's failure to secure a shutdown D or to really see the need for it (I don't even care about 2nd and 3rd line center, I think that can get figured out during the regular season). That coupled with BB's lack of emphasis on team D (especially the wingers) does not bode well for the playoffs.

I also believe every player on this team could play a part on a SC winning team (even Flash (who is not nearly as bad as people make him out to be)(I advocate trading him for parts we need a lot more), Poti, Gordo, etc). Problem being the caps don't have all the right parts and IMO do not use them correctly (at least when it counts). I think Flash (and most other players if only it was expected of them and they were encouraged to do so) could be coached into playing much better D. Flash I think his problem is that he lacks confidence and clams up in stretches not necessarily that he does not try hard.

I do not consider myself a Kool-Aid drinker but also do not feel the need to hate specific players just because I feel the team needs other elements.

Only caps player I remember actively disliking was Jagr. (there were probably others but obviously not many cuz I can't think of any right now).

All this being said I think if they add 2 players and emphasize Team D a little more they could be the team to beat (including in the playoffs).

This post is probably fairly incoherent and rambling sorry. Just sick of hearing hot goalie. Good teams find a way to beat a hot goalie (often by tightening up their own D and crashing the net like hell trying to get a 1-0 win).

Posted by: BorntoHula | September 21, 2010 11:09 AM | Report abuse

Semin-doesn't want to be part of the solution (won't learn english).

Posted by: SoaringCaps | September 21, 2010 11:00 AM | Report abuse

How can you possibly extrapolate your first point using the second? A player wanting to be "part of the solution" is a player that gives enough of a crap to put in the work on improving his craft and playing the role he is assigned to play. If you want to argue against Semin on that point, let's here the argument, but don't use his poor english. Last I checked, being a good hockey player didn't require the personality of OV. In fact, I would be more concerned if Semin spent his time trying to be someone he wasn't and lost focus on his game. I don't want quotes from Semin, I don't care. I want goals and disciplined play. English? Russian? Whatever.

Posted by: JS26121820 | September 21, 2010 11:14 AM | Report abuse

@tominsocal
mmmmm soup burger.

@JS26121820
PHEW.....I was hoping that is what you meant.

Thought of the day, if Hendricks makes the roster does that mean free .375 of his gin (to those 21 and older) during fan appreciation week. If so, hope he makes it for 2 reasons.

Posted by: SeminAllOverTheIce | September 21, 2010 11:14 AM | Report abuse

Did he say "muthereffer"?

lol

...please continue on Wed.

thanx

Posted by: wtf_e_fehr | September 21, 2010 11:14 AM | Report abuse

too much of a roster logjam. Hendricks isn't beating out Gordo or Steckel for the 4th line center spot. Now it looks like they want an offensive playmaking center at the 3rd line position as well. So figure on having questionable 2nd and 3rd line centers this season. They gotta find a way to move at least 3 forwards off this team to make room for some of the Hershey kids. For my money, the 3rd and 4th line center positions should be occupied by 2 of the following 3 - Hendy, Beags, Steck. And the bottom 6 wingers need to be some combo of Brads, King, Fehr, Laich, Pinner, AG. I know Chimichanga will be in there as well so I guess add him to the mix. There's not a lot of open positions on this team to insert some sandpaper. The bottom 2 lines is the best bet to stack up on those types.

Posted by: cstanton1 | September 21, 2010 11:17 AM | Report abuse

I'm going to take a close look at "Chimichanga" this season. I really can't see why he isn't a decent bottom six guy.

What sucks about him again? Is he not physical enuff in your book?

Posted by: wtf_e_fehr | September 21, 2010 11:22 AM | Report abuse

@tominsocal1

I made ONE post in regards to the article. I posted what I felt. If you don't like it don't read it.

Also, I made no mention of the Pens D physicality. Look at my post. I only mentioned that they were mediocre as an overall defense, regardless of their style of play, and they still won the SC.

Posted by: sgm3 | September 21, 2010 11:23 AM | Report abuse

@tominsocal

I don't think Philly beating Mtl and we losing to them proves any particular point. For one thing, Mtl played a style against us that was very punishing to their own team - no team will EVER be able to win four rounds doing what they did against us. But they can win one round. (They didn't play the same style against Philly or Pittsburgh, perhaps not as scared of those team's ability to score.)

Going to the net is useless in and of itself without hockey sense to go with it. Crosby and other good goal scorers "go to the net" but they pick their spots and often sneak in, timing the play just right. The other thing is that Mtl predicated their entire game plan on keeping all five of their on ice players within the four defensive zone circles. It's very hard to go to the net when there are three people there pushing back.

Mtl was a good enough team with small, fast forwards and defenders willing to block 40+ shots a game that if they wanted to play negative hockey (which they did) then they could make an otherwise mismatched series close.

Having said that, I do think the Olympics - and I do believe they have a right to represent their countries - did have a demoralizing effect. I don't think the Caps were the same team after as they were before. I also think Ovie was disillusioned by what he probably saw as a stacked tournament.

Posted by: RedLitYogi | September 21, 2010 11:24 AM | Report abuse

Good teams find a way to beat a hot goalie (often by tightening up their own D and crashing the net like hell trying to get a 1-0 win).
-----

that's what the Flyers did starting in the 2nd pd of game 2 against us. They weren't generating anything offensively so they got ugly in our crease just to do something to change things up. Upshall and Hartnell took it upon themselves to change the momentum and our lack of any type of response paved the path for the rest of the series. That's why its important to establish an identity for your team that starts from the net out. Yes we know we're an amazingly offensive team. But that shouldn't be mutually exclusive of having a pitbull-like mentality around our own net. And it doesn't take 6 tough guys on D to accomplish that either. I remember undersized guys like Garry Galley doing an admirable job of protecting our net back in the day. The difference was, they had some strong veteran leadership on D that helped set that mentality in place.

And why it would've been nice to get a Bieksa and Mitchell in here somehow. Those guys do a decent job of establishing that type of attitude and I think our young D would be receptive to following that example.

Posted by: cstanton1 | September 21, 2010 11:26 AM | Report abuse

Too bad Hendricks doesnt play D and we didnt resign Jurcina, because they could have been...

Gin & Juice (laid back...)

Bah.

Posted by: SeminAllOverTheIce | September 21, 2010 11:29 AM | Report abuse

You know, if sgm3 is now going to start bantering at tominsocal who gets along with everyone I think we can all see the real issue here. He was making a JOKE sgm3, know what they are? Geez!

Posted by: PhilR | September 21, 2010 11:31 AM | Report abuse

"tominsocal who gets along with everyone" - PhilR

I dont, thats why I forced him to leave FL and move to CA. Pssh. Boy were the CI blogs a mess that day. ODOYLE RULES!!!

Posted by: SeminAllOverTheIce | September 21, 2010 11:33 AM | Report abuse

And before I say this I am no Semin cheerleader here but here it goes.

I went to training camp last year and got there early enough to hang in the parking lot and watch as the players came in. I got an autograph on my jersey from both Semin and Ovie and must say that Semin was the much kinder and more genuine of the two. He spoke to me in broken English for a couple minutes and then went on his way while Ovie pretty much grunted at me, signed and went inside. Did I catch Ovie on a bad day? Maybe, but left with a much better opinion of Semin for taking the time to converse with me and be nice about things.

Posted by: PhilR | September 21, 2010 11:35 AM | Report abuse

We'd have a hard time matching up with the Flyers in play-offs. THeir only question mark is goaltending and they'd pound the snot out of us every chance they got - Semin / Green and others would be off their game and even OV would have to deal w/ a combination of Pronger and Richards.

Not good.

Posted by: Jaymagz | September 21, 2010 11:38 AM | Report abuse

"tominsocal who gets along with everyone" - PhilR

I personally can't stand the capologist tominX.

Always going on about wine and the Allman brothers...smh

hehe

Posted by: wtf_e_fehr | September 21, 2010 11:42 AM | Report abuse

@tominsocal1:

C'mon, let's hear your breakdown of the '87 loss to the Isles. That should be fascinat--ZZZZZZZZ.

Posted by: redrocker2 | September 21, 2010 11:42 AM | Report abuse

I'm going to take a close look at "Chimichanga" this season. I really can't see why he isn't a decent bottom six guy.

What sucks about him again? Is he not physical enuff in your book?

Posted by: wtf_e_fehr | September 21, 2010 11:22 AM | Report abuse

in short, yes. He's not physical enough. And that's what he needs to be more of to be effective in his given role. He's much ado about nothing, he buzzes around a lot without accomplishing much. He can be the first guy in on the puck using his speed and then the play just dies because he either can't cycle the puck effectively or he concedes the battle for the puck. In cases where the dman gets to the puck before him, he is unwilling to run him off the puck (unless its an undersized guy who he's not afraid of doing that to). He's a notorious jersey-checker - meaning, some players in this league will change their game depending on whom they're forechecking. If its a more intimidating dman, Chimera will make it look like a good effort and then ease up on the play. When I worked construction out of high school, my foreman used to call them "floaters". The kids who pretended they were working hard but really weren't. They were just putting on a good show. Chimera over the course of his career has been a floater. He'll have some games where he makes some nice forechecks and to the casual eye it looks like he's a real asset to have. But when the going gets tough, a guy like Bradley does his job way better than a Chimera. He's not a guy I'd count on to by my teammate. He lacks that kind of mental toughness you look for in a player. You can't get away with that element on your bottom 6. Those guys have to be dependable and reliable and consistent with their checking/gritty effort. The only time you should have to accept a player on your team who lacks in the character or grit dept is a player who puts up big #s on offense so you accept the fact he's a floater in other ways.

on paper, it would appear that Chimmy is perfect. He's fast, he's got decent size, and considering he was drafted as an offensive player you'd think that if he adjusted his game to a checking role that he'd bring even more to the table by chipping in a few goals. But if you understand that besides being a sound defensive player, a typical checking forward needs to finish his checks, disrupt the flow of the opposition, use your tools like speed and strength to win puck battles, you'll see that Chimmy is highly ineffective because he tries to avoid contact instead of just running a guy off the puck. Smaller players with more desire in their game do a much more effective job of using their speed to run someone off the puck (think ryan callahan, think matt cooke) and generate some offensive zone time for their team.

so in summary, Chimmy is a soft player if you consider what he's supposed to bring to the table. And organizations with a long history of utilizing quality role players would never take him on their team as a checker.

Posted by: cstanton1 | September 21, 2010 11:43 AM | Report abuse

redrocker2: It is relevant! We are going into this season with basically the same team and many on this board have advocated moving Green, Semin, Schultz, Poti and Flash. The new Canadiens captain stated that it was all Halak after game 6, if not for Halak there would not have been a Game 7. All those that want to say the Canadiens stuck to a game plan are goofy. No team's game plan, NO TEAM'S GAME PLAN, consists of letting your zone become a shooting gallery and expecting to win after getting outshot 54-22.

Halak broke the previous playoff record for the Habs where Ken Dryden made 47 saves. By the way, the game where Dryden made 47 saves he faced 54 shots total and lost 7-3. If Dryden would have made the same amount of saves Halak did, 52, the Habs of old would have won that game too.

So again, it is relevant because the Caps team is basically the same. I believe GMGM will make a couple of changes as the year goes on, the same changes that have been identified all summer on this board. However, no reason to do something irrational and overpay during free agency.

Posted by: fanohock1 | September 21, 2010 11:45 AM | Report abuse

Always going on about wine and the Allman brothers...smh

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

and yet he comes off like such a desperate housewife....

lol, i like me some allman. Had a chance to go visit Duane's grave in rose hill cemetery in macon back in the day.

Posted by: cstanton1 | September 21, 2010 11:47 AM | Report abuse

Maybe, but left with a much better opinion of Semin for taking the time to converse with me and be nice about things.

Posted by: PhilR | September 21, 2010 11:35 AM | Report abuse

did you guys exchange ph #s too? hehe

the whole non-English thing doesn't bother me one bit about Semin. He could sew up his lips for all I care. What happens when the puck drops is how he should be judged.

Posted by: cstanton1 | September 21, 2010 11:52 AM | Report abuse

PhilR: Don't worry, I'm not going to argue back with sgm. :)

redrocker2: They lost because LaFontaine scored in OT. BTW, how's it going in the Brigade?

cstanton: I am many things but never desperate. I envy your having been to Duane's grave. I have not been to Macon.

Posted by: tominsocal1 | September 21, 2010 11:55 AM | Report abuse

i forget where i saw the link but there was a recent quote by Hendricks about the Caps. I'm paraphrasing but he said, i've watched that team closely for the last 2 yrs and I know what they need.

Not a stretch to think he was talking about their lack of overall grit. Which is one his main intangible assets.

Posted by: cstanton1 | September 21, 2010 11:55 AM | Report abuse

Actually just about every player I met that day I left with a good impression of other than the Ovie incident which I mentioned and it may have been a bad day for him and GREEN, the guy has a huge ego IMO, at least that is what I saw. Nicest of the bunch hands down was Backstrom, actually met him after practice and he stood out there and posed for photos/signed autographs for a good half hour and BS'd with the kids and fans the whole time.

Posted by: PhilR | September 21, 2010 11:57 AM | Report abuse

um...ok, didnt notice him being as you described.

I do like the guys size and speed, and I thought he was effective working with #16.

I think that if we can get a decent 2 way guy btwn those two, its the best combo we can hope for within or scheme.

BB simply likes to have 3 lines that can score. I dont see that changing this season.

Posted by: wtf_e_fehr | September 21, 2010 11:59 AM | Report abuse

Rumor has it Mike Commodore is on the block from the Blue Jackets.....opinions on his game? He may be a bit over the hill now but he has won a Cup I believe but don't quote me on that.

Posted by: PhilR | September 21, 2010 12:03 PM | Report abuse

wtf: Chimera-MP-Fehr might make a decent scoring third line, but no way would it be up to task to shutdown the Crosbys of the world. I agree w/you doesn't look like BB wants to change. Really hard to win Cup without a checking line.

Posted by: tominsocal1 | September 21, 2010 12:04 PM | Report abuse

redrocker2: They lost because LaFontaine scored in OT.

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

sure....but who made the critical play on that goal?? a little-known Islander role player named Dale Henry who gave us fits that entire game because he parked himself in the crease and was a tough kid to move out. On that play, Greg Adams (i'm going from memory here so forgive me), shadowed Dale Henry who once again went to the front of the net and gave Hatcher a shot as he took a shot to the head from Adams. By the time our goalie turned his body into the play both Henry and Adams were right on top of him. He never really set or saw the puck as it squirted thru.

Those are the little plays away from the play that win (or lose) series.

Hatcher and Langway did the right thing on that play. Greg Adams was well-aware of Henry so he did the right thing too in following him into the crease area. Unfortunately, Henry's little bit of interference was just enough to disrupt our goalie to where he that puck was able to get into the net. If you watched any of the Rangers Cup winning season, you'd see that Adam Graves had those "silent" assists time and time again on critical Ranger goals. Every freaking big goal they scored, Graves was front and center on. Any blasts from the point, anything to get Messier more room, etc.

Posted by: cstanton1 | September 21, 2010 12:04 PM | Report abuse

cstanton: I am many things but never desperate.

Posted by: tominsocal1 | September 21, 2010 11:55 AM

YEAH!

And you can't "GET TO HIM" either!

You betta ask sumbody!

...booooooiiiiiiiiii

Posted by: wtf_e_fehr | September 21, 2010 12:06 PM | Report abuse

BB simply likes to have 3 lines that can score. I dont see that changing this season.

Posted by: wtf_e_fehr | September 21, 2010 11:59 AM | Report abuse

why not just make it 4 scoring lines. Why stop at 3.

and ftr, having a 3rd line who can score isn't the issue. Its the implied threat that a 3rd line on our team that is set up as a scoring line, is virtually useless as a true checking line.

Posted by: cstanton1 | September 21, 2010 12:06 PM | Report abuse

Yes, Commodore was on the Canes. I always liked him but haven't followed recently.

cstanton: What's your take? Is he the Commodore of old or has he regressed to seaman third class? had one heckuva playoff beard in that Cup year! Would give Alzner run for the money!

Posted by: tominsocal1 | September 21, 2010 12:07 PM | Report abuse

Halak broke the previous playoff record for the Habs where Ken Dryden made 47 saves. By the way, the game where Dryden made 47 saves he faced 54 shots total and lost 7-3. If Dryden would have made the same amount of saves Halak did, 52, the Habs of old would have won that game too.
---------------------------------------

AGAIN, if he's sooooooooo great then how come they chose to keep Price and NOT him???

Posted by: joek443 | September 21, 2010 12:08 PM | Report abuse

RedLitYogi - I'm not buying it at all. Certainly guys like Knuble have skill that allows them to score goals in tight. He is more than just a big body. But just having someone (especially on the PP) who blocks the goalie's vision, bumps him occasionally, creates chaos in front, is a big plus. The Flyers have that in spades. It is more a question of "want-to" than skill. Size and strength to maintain position helps too, for sure. But we haven't had enough guys that have been willing to pay the price to do that in the past. This notion that Montreal beating the Caps was just a fluke is nonsense and is not constructive moving forward. There are things that can be changed to prevent a similar outcome this year.

Posted by: zmega | September 21, 2010 12:09 PM | Report abuse

Columbus is a boring team to watch so I didn't watch them if they weren't playing the Caps so I cannot give an opinion of what he brings to the game now. However, he still has 3 years left on a deal that looks like he earns 3.75mil a year. He wasn't worth that when I saw him play regularly in Ottawa before signing that deal. Columbus is not salary cap strapped but are still looking to get him out of dodge. Doesn't indicate they think much of him anymore just two years removed from signing him for five years.

Posted by: fanohock1 | September 21, 2010 12:12 PM | Report abuse

wtf: That's right! I told him, "What do you know, Moses, you only had to count to ten!"

Posted by: tominsocal1 | September 21, 2010 12:15 PM | Report abuse

again this team is like the '80 Dolphins, an one-dimensional team. You wanna be like the 49ers of that decade.

everyone thinks the Niners were a finesse football team but if you watched the NFC championship game against the Bears in Chicago (-30 windchill) in Jan/1988, they could play the smash mouth football with the best of them.

Posted by: joek443 | September 21, 2010 12:16 PM | Report abuse

joek: Because the Habs retained Price for less. Halak signed with the Blues at a higher salary than Price, and for a longer term. The Habs are still banking on Price. If you look at the boards the Habs fans frequent, they are calling it a mistake. Very little support from Price fans. Heck Halak signed for way more than Niemi and Niemi just won the Cup.

Posted by: fanohock1 | September 21, 2010 12:16 PM | Report abuse

Thanks for the insight fanohock, like you I rarely watch the Blue Jackets so couldn't form a real opinion of him. I knew he had three years of a 5 year 18.5 mil contract left and also new he was getting up there in age so wasn't sure if he would fit in as what the Caps need or not.

Posted by: PhilR | September 21, 2010 12:18 PM | Report abuse

BB simply likes to have 3 lines that can score. I dont see that changing this season.

Posted by: wtf_e_fehr | September 21, 2010 11:59 AM | Report abuse

why not just make it 4 scoring lines. Why stop at 3.

and ftr, having a 3rd line who can score isn't the issue. Its the implied threat that a 3rd line on our team that is set up as a scoring line, is virtually useless as a true checking line.

Posted by: cstanton1 | September 21, 2010 12:06 PM

I think back to one of my favorite lines of all time.

Dahlen-Halpern-Konowalchuk

I think of that as a 3rd (checking) line. I dont think that line was very physical, and I dont think they were awesome on D (definitely not Dahlen).

But what they were GREAT at was puck possession. They would cycle the puck in the offensive zone until the other teams scoring line was in a coma and come up with great scoring chances.

Those guys are long gone of course. But I use them as an example of an alternate idea of what a checking line could be.

Posted by: wtf_e_fehr | September 21, 2010 12:18 PM | Report abuse

"why not just make it 4 scoring lines. Why stop at 3"

Oh, and among other things, dat might be a tad too expensive. But what do I know?

We have our very own capologist right here on this very board...maybe he can make 4 scoring lines work?

IM GAME!

Posted by: wtf_e_fehr | September 21, 2010 12:27 PM | Report abuse

@tom, He regressed a bit but imo that was from injuries and a sh__ty defensive partner in Methot. And you know playing in Columbus can't be much fun. I think his health isn't a worry. He played after his thigh injury last yr and hurt himself again. He also had questionable defensive partners in Marc Methot and Hejda. And frankly, I thought he played well in his initial season with the BJ. He just struggled last yr with some injuries.

He's not old, he does play more of that throwback style. Can he ever be as efficient as he was with the Canes? Depends on who his defensive partner is in Washington...

and thinking about what UND has turned out over the last decade in gritty defensive players - Commodore, David Hale, Matt Greene, Matt Smaby, and then Joe Finley. Some big horses on D.

Posted by: cstanton1 | September 21, 2010 12:27 PM | Report abuse

Here you go joek:

"There may not be a player more under the microscope this season than Jaroslav Halak. After a phenomenal playoff run with the Canadiens, Halak became a sensation in La Belle Province with comparisons to the likes of Dryden and Roy being thrown around in some circles. When he was shockingly dealt to St. Louis in June it caused outrage amongst many Canadiens fans who wondered how management could deal away a player who almost singlehandedly carried them to the Conference Finals. Canadiens brass obviously felt like Carey Price was the pony to bet on in the Habs goaltending race, allowing the Blues to happily snap up the 25-year old netminder."

http://www.tsn.ca/nhl/story/?id=334586

Posted by: fanohock1 | September 21, 2010 12:28 PM | Report abuse

@fehr-

The KHD line was absolutely our best defensive line. And yes, their ability to cycle a puck along the boards spoke to their commitment of working the boards and winning puck battles. I doubt very much a line comprising a two-thirds combo of Chimera being centered by MP or Flash or MaJo would be anything like the KHD line was. We had a line that played the Rangers in the playoffs one yr that was our best line too- comprised of Kelly Miller, Randy Burridge and Kono. That was our checking line that yr that was the only line that maintained any offensive zone pressure on the Rangers (that was the yr the stacked Rags won their Cup).

That's what a checking line should look like. A line that can dump and chase effectively, work the boards down low, finish their checks, create some energy, play good defense.

Posted by: cstanton1 | September 21, 2010 12:36 PM | Report abuse

Dahlen-Halpern-Konowalchuk

I think of that as a 3rd (checking) line. I dont think that line was very physical,

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

kono finished any check presented to him, halpern did to an extent, and Dahlen did not. But all 3 were utter workhorses who were physical in their ability to wear down a defense. I didn't mean to imply that all 3 forwards on a checking line need to hit like Cam Janssen

Posted by: cstanton1 | September 21, 2010 12:39 PM | Report abuse

Garry Galley, now that's a name I haven't heard in a while. Good point on him as well cstanton.

The KHD line was a thing of beauty the way those three worked together they routinely played their entire shifts in the offensive zone with a relentless cycle that wore down the opposition.

Posted by: FunkyGloveFacewash | September 21, 2010 12:43 PM | Report abuse

Re: Commodore - please just say no:
1) He can't catch anybody anymore without taking a penalty - we already have a d-man to fill this role, &
2) He can't complete a pass under even the slightest bit of pressure - which results in
a] a ton of turnovers - and therefore opposition scoring chances;
b] your forwards running around, chasing, spending a ton of energy; if not
c] getting blindsided by the likes of Pronger, et al because they're fishing for the puck in their skates because the d-man can't freakin make a decent breakout pass.

So to Mike Commodore, I say - no thank you, Katja.

Posted by: Timbo_1 | September 21, 2010 12:44 PM | Report abuse

why not just make it 4 scoring lines. Why stop at 3.

Posted by: cstanton1 | September 21, 2010 12:06 PM

i'm pretty sure BB has the 4th line center(s) working on saucer passes before and after every practice. i'm looking for a lot more O from the 4th line this year

Posted by: Capt_Kirk_in_AZ | September 21, 2010 12:55 PM | Report abuse

Dahlen-Halpern-Konowalchuk

I think of that as a 3rd (checking) line. I dont think that line was very physical,

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

kono finished any check presented to him, halpern did to an extent, and Dahlen did not. But all 3 were utter workhorses who were physical in their ability to wear down a defense. I didn't mean to imply that all 3 forwards on a checking line need to hit like Cam Janssen

Posted by: cstanton1 | September 21, 2010 12:39 PM

Agreed, Kono was a guy I wish we could clone and somehow sneak him on our team in each generation.

I mean you couldn't do this with an Ovechkin or Backstrom but if we cloned a Kono he would fly right under the radar.

He would always be #22 but we could change his name subtly. So one decade he would be:

#22 Konowilsie

...then the next

#22 Konowalter

Announcers would always be like, "you know that #22 kinda reminds me of..."

BUT THEY COULD NEVER PROVE A THING!

IT COULD WORK!

Posted by: wtf_e_fehr | September 21, 2010 12:57 PM | Report abuse

The KHD line was a thing of beauty the way those three worked together they routinely played their entire shifts in the offensive zone with a relentless cycle that wore down the opposition.

Posted by: FunkyGloveFacewash

the cooke-staal-kennedy line for the Pens does a pretty good job of that too. But the KHD line didn't have the luxury of another line or lines to soften up the D the way the Pens have it. KHD took on a huge burden each night for our team.

Posted by: cstanton1 | September 21, 2010 12:57 PM | Report abuse

kono finished any check presented to him, halpern did to an extent, and Dahlen did not. But all 3 were utter workhorses who were physical in their ability to wear down a defense. I didn't mean to imply that all 3 forwards on a checking line need to hit like Cam Janssen
-----------

This is an important point - and I think a good analysis of that line. They were tenacious, both with the puck and without.

One kid I played with growing up - he was West Pt's MVP his Sr. year - could hit like a freight train. Always could, from the time he was ten. Our coach understood not everyone could hit like him, but you had to be willing to sacrifice your body, to take a hit to make a play. Everyone can do that; not everyone is willing to. I.e., Dahlen would wait that extra split second to deliver the pass so his linemate could get open, even if it meant him getting nailed in the process. And those other two definitely did that.

Posted by: Timbo_1 | September 21, 2010 1:02 PM | Report abuse

why not just make it 4 scoring lines. Why stop at 3.

Posted by: cstanton1 | September 21, 2010 12:06 PM

i'm pretty sure BB has the 4th line center(s) working on saucer passes before and after every practice. i'm looking for a lot more O from the 4th line this year

Posted by: Capt_Kirk_in_AZ | September 21, 2010 12:55 PM

thats funny

Posted by: wtf_e_fehr | September 21, 2010 1:02 PM | Report abuse

i'm pretty sure BB has the 4th line center(s) working on saucer passes before and after every practice. i'm looking for a lot more O from the 4th line this year

Posted by: Capt_Kirk_in_AZ |

"Argh you 4th liners will never be able to make it in this game! King, you been fighting again? What did I tell about saving your hands? You can barely grip your stick let alone execute a dipsy doodle give-n-go! Aargh! Steckel, you beefed up this year? I asked you specifically to go work out with Flash this offseason to emulate his 13yo asian-boy physique. Gordo, lookin good!"

Posted by: cstanton1 | September 21, 2010 1:04 PM | Report abuse

@Timbo

did you get a chance to watch Commodore 2 yrs ago? He was Columbus's best dman. While that may sound like a joke waiting for a punchline, lets not lose sight of some truisms here. Commodore was a very good player for Carolina in their Cup year. Carolina struggled with injuries on D the next season, they were going to miss the playoffs, they dealt Commodore to Ottawa. He didn't fit in real well there. He signed a contract with CBJ and had a very strong 1st yr. He got hurt the 2nd yr and there were some other variables at play. But lets not dismiss him as a bum. I'd take Commodore over Regehr right now. Regehr's got more miles on him and he's clearly on the downswing of his career. I don't MC is clearly on the downswing. He hit a roadbump is all.

Posted by: cstanton1 | September 21, 2010 1:09 PM | Report abuse

Heck Halak signed for way more than Niemi and Niemi just won the Cup.
----------------------------------------

maybe that's because they came to the conclusion that their D had more to do with them winning the Cup than who was between the pipes.

is it the D or the goaltending? like the oldest question in racing, is it that car or the driver? My theory is no driver can win in a bad racecar just as no goalie can win with BAD defense in front of them.

Posted by: joek443 | September 21, 2010 1:09 PM | Report abuse

Carolina struggled with injuries on D the next season, they were going to miss the playoffs

--

sorry, i missed a yr in there somewhere. It was the 2nd season after they won the Cup that he got dealt. The gray matter upstairs aint' what it used to be.

Posted by: cstanton1 | September 21, 2010 1:15 PM | Report abuse

wtf_e_fehr/cstanton1

whats worse is how he had schultz and erskine spend the offseason working on carrying the puck up the ice alone - ala green

i can't wait to see how much O varly and neuvy will create this year

Posted by: Capt_Kirk_in_AZ | September 21, 2010 1:16 PM | Report abuse

Commodore would be a good addition.

He's tough and is 1000x better than erskine.

I don't expect any of you to approve of Commodore...you are all the same "people" who said we didn't need Niedermeyer or Turco at the trade deadline.

Better yet, many of you actually thought Belanger and Walker were good pick ups...


Posted by: SoaringCaps | September 21, 2010 1:23 PM | Report abuse

i can't wait to see how much O varly and neuvy will create this year


Posted by: Capt_Kirk_in_AZ


It will be like the US in the World Cup all over again when their goalkeeper came down in an attempt to head in a corner kick.

Announcer...."Oh my god, that is Varlamov in the slot, pass from behind the net from Backstrom, Varly deeks around Pronger and shelfs it......he scooooooooooores!!"

Posted by: PhilR | September 21, 2010 1:23 PM | Report abuse

Bradley - Steckel - Pinner/AGordon
to me seems like a decent checking line if they are actually used in this capacity. Steckel and Bradley did a very good job in the 08-09 playoffs imo.
Against MTL last year I had the feeling BB saw no use for a line like that and did not utilize/correctly utilize them.

Posted by: BorntoHula | September 21, 2010 1:23 PM | Report abuse

@cstanton - agreed on Commodore over Regehr - but I certainly don't want Regehr. And d-men tend to do much better in Hitch's system than BB's, in any case.

How about I withhold judgment, until 'further review' - maybe he just had a roadbump, as you call it.

I was right about Corvo, is all I'm sayin'. Although, IIRC, you were right there with me all along on that one, from the time of the 'prized acquisition, our #1 target.'

Posted by: Timbo_1 | September 21, 2010 1:27 PM | Report abuse

is it the D or the goaltending? like the oldest question in racing, is it that car or the driver? My theory is no driver can win in a bad racecar just as no goalie can win with BAD defense in front of them.

Posted by: joek443 | September 21
i realize this is pertaining to how the offense got shut down by the Habs. But consider for a moment how the Flyers and to an extent the Penguins put pressure on the Habs D. The forecheck was fiercer which contributed to better team defense. We gave up 19 goals in the series whilet the Flyers closed em out with giving up 6 goals. That's not just the 6 dmen for Philly or the Philly goaltending. That's the Philly forwards taking away time and space from Montreal and not letting them skate out of their zone with a head of steam. The Flyers just know how to amp things up come playoff time. And the Caps don't. The goaltending debate is secondary. The primary issue is desire, tenacity, whatever. Part of it is the roster of course. On paper the Flyers have a much more tenacious roster. But even the guys you don't ordinarily equate with tenacity for the Flyers were able to amp up their games.

The danger for the Flyers is, how do they ensure a playoff spot every single yr when they carry a roster that has such an abundance of grit. They're always going to try and walk that fine line of carrying the grittiest possible roster (within reason) into the playoffs. This upcoming season, its even grittier despite losing Asham. They're not going to come away with the top record in the league, and they don't care, as long as they get in somehow. Ideally, not as a last minute 8th seed.

The Caps are a long ways away from that type of thinking. Now that the reg season bar is so high, nothing short of a top 3 or 4 finish is acceptable. So they'll keep tweaking their roster to suck in as many reg season wins, and possible damage the grit-to-skill balance of the roster which would contribute to a longer playoff run.

Posted by: cstanton1 | September 21, 2010 1:30 PM | Report abuse

i didn't remember you as a Corvo disliker. I thought I stood alone on that one. Of course, I had to suffer thru certain people posting links about how wrong I was because other nhl "experts" thought the Caps made dynamite moves at the deadline.


"whats worse is how he had schultz and erskine spend the offseason working on carrying the puck up the ice alone - ala green"

i never heard that. Glad too. Because I woulda popped off for a year straight.

Posted by: cstanton1 | September 21, 2010 1:34 PM | Report abuse

Does the NHL network have an HD channel? I know it's channel 739 for Comcast, but it's not HD.

Posted by: Fro_2 | September 21, 2010 1:35 PM | Report abuse

My theory is no driver can win in a bad racecar just as no goalie can win with BAD defense in front of them.

Posted by: joek443 | September 21, 2010 1:09 PM

@joek443:

While I agree that even the greatest goalies are hard-pressed to win behind a sub-par defensive corps, the racing analogy is not always true.

Just look at Tazio Nuvolari's win in the 1935 German Grand Prix. He basically flogged an antiquated Alfa-Romeo P3 to victory. And he did it despite stiff competition from the state-of-the-art Mercedes-Benz and Auto-Union rides used by the heavily favored German drivers...who weren't exactly "chopped liver" themselves.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/1935_German_Grand_Prix

Posted by: Rhino40 | September 21, 2010 1:37 PM | Report abuse

wtf: Actually Dahlen was considered a superior defensive forward. He may have been Selke candidate a time or two.

BorntoHula: I'm not nearly as sold as you re Steckel. He went backwards last year. And he's slow. We don't have an NHL checking center at present IMO.

Posted by: tominsocal1 | September 21, 2010 1:41 PM | Report abuse

i'm pretty sure BB has the 4th line center(s) working on saucer passes before and after every practice. i'm looking for a lot more O from the 4th line this year

Posted by: Capt_Kirk_in_AZ

lol,and here I was worried about our 4th line.

Posted by: FunkyGloveFacewash | September 21, 2010 1:46 PM | Report abuse

BorntoHula: I'm not nearly as sold as you re Steckel. He went backwards last year. And he's slow.
--------

here's the argument FOR steckel.

- 6ft5 centers are hard to come by.
- just 2 yrs ago he proved his worth against the eventual Cup champs in the playoffs
- the Caps have no size at center.

Given all that, imo its more than fair to give Steckel an extended look this year to see if last yr was an aberration. If 6ft7 Brian Boyle can play this role passably for the Rangers, so can Steckel.

That being said, I'd take Hendricks in that role as well. But not Gordo. The only option is Beags.

Posted by: cstanton1 | September 21, 2010 1:48 PM | Report abuse

Well, you probably did beat me to the punch on the deadline - I just remember being kind of annoyed with all the self-promoting 'we got our #1 deadline-target guy' and thinking really, that guy? Joe Corvo?? But maybe it actually took watching a few games witnessing the adventures for me to adequately and fully register my displeasure.

Posted by: Timbo_1 | September 21, 2010 1:49 PM | Report abuse

Does the NHL network have an HD channel? I know it's channel 739 for Comcast, but it's not HD.

Posted by: Fro_2 | September 21, 2010 1:35 PM

direct tv has the nhl network in HD - so yes there is an HD channel

Posted by: Capt_Kirk_in_AZ | September 21, 2010 1:49 PM | Report abuse

Dish network has it in HD as well.

Posted by: PhilR | September 21, 2010 1:53 PM | Report abuse

Fro: I have an NHL Network HD channel on TWC in socal. I just have to call them and pay to get it.

Posted by: tominsocal1 | September 21, 2010 1:57 PM | Report abuse

wtf: Actually Dahlen was considered a superior defensive forward. He may have been Selke candidate a time or two.

Posted by: tominsocal1 | September 21, 2010 1:41 PM

I considered him to be superior at the game of keep away, which is superior defense in terms of thought.

If dey aint got it, dey cant score, GO DEFENSE!

More importantly he was the best ever at "Duck Skating". The way he used to skate in a semi arc with is toes pointing outward...in SUPER SLO MO!

I miss that dude, and that line.

Posted by: wtf_e_fehr | September 21, 2010 2:00 PM | Report abuse

One thing for certain, cstanton, the Caps will NEVER have a checking line center until the coach decides to assemble a checking line. Yes, would be great if Steckel could step up and do it. He, Laich and Bradley or AG could possibly work effectively.

Posted by: tominsocal1 | September 21, 2010 2:01 PM | Report abuse

The HD NHL Network channel on Fios is 587.

Posted by: MReilly9 | September 21, 2010 2:07 PM | Report abuse

The HD NHL Network channel on Fios is 587.

Posted by: MReilly9 | September 21, 2010 2:08 PM | Report abuse

considered him to be superior at the game of keep away, which is superior defense in terms of thought.
If dey aint got it, dey cant score- wtf_e_fehr - very true. rarely was the puck taken from Dahlen directly, he had the skills and poise to hold onto the puck with patience and confidence. You can find many 3rd lines that have been more physical than the KHD line, but rare is the line that has that balance and effectiveness.

Posted by: FunkyGloveFacewash | September 21, 2010 2:31 PM | Report abuse

@tominsocal1

I agree Steckel regressed last year. I still think he might very well be capable. I am not sure how much his regression has to do with him or how he was used and was expected to play last year. Like you said:
"the Caps will NEVER have a checking line center until the coach decides to assemble a checking line."

BB did assemble one in the 08-09 playoffs(maybe just because those were the players he had and couldn't make a scoring line out of them). He did not assemble on last year which may be why Steckel regressed.

Posted by: BorntoHula | September 21, 2010 2:52 PM | Report abuse

I too agree Stecks - much as I respect his work ethic - regressed last year. I just don't think he has the foot-speed to play NHL center on a good 3rd line. And for all his vaunted height, he's not very physical.

Posted by: Timbo_1 | September 21, 2010 3:38 PM | Report abuse

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