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Jason Chimera showcases his speed in opening days of Capitals camp

Morning Roundup

If there was anyone who stood out the most during the first scrimmage of this still-young Capitals training camp on Sunday, it was wily veteran Jason Chimera. With uncanny and nearly unrivaled speed, he took advantage of some of the younger defensmen who may have never faced someone quite like him before.

"I guess if you've got speed, you're a little more up to speed than other guys," Chimera said. "I don't know. I like to be sharp in camp. It's good to start on a good note, even though it's just camp; it's nice to play well and not necessarily start hitting guys. . . . You don't want to hurt any teammates and do that stuff. But if you can get the passing and the shooting and stuff, it's nice to get that going, that's for sure."

With his combination of speed and strength, along with something of a mean streak when he needs it, Chimera has brought grittiness and power-forward style to the Capitals since he arrived via trade from Columbus for Milan Jurcina and Chris Clark in late December last season.

Through seven previous full campaigns in the NHL, he's seen his fair share of coaching styles and training camp philosophies between his stints with Edmonton and Columbus before taking part in his first Capitals camp.

"Everyone's different. Everyone's got their own little things that they do," Chimera said. "Edmonton's camp seemed like it was jail it was so hard sometimes. At those camps we'd do a five-mile run, but they lightened up a little when guys started pulling groins and getting hurt the first day of camp. The [first Capitals] practice was hard. It was good. It was nice to get your legs under you and the skate was nice to just get everyone going."

FROM THE POST
On the Capitals' decision to carry seven defensemen at the start of the season and what kind of impact that might have on players like John Erskine and Tyler Sloan.

AROUND THE WEB
The Ottawa Sun's Mike Zeisberger on Alex Ovechkin: "For some of us, he is still the most electrifying, riveting talent in the game, the one player that is worth the price of the NHL's at-times inflated admission. At the same time, it is evident that the bloom, in the eyes of some, has come off the rose."

Alex Ovechkin tells Comcast SportsNet's Jill Sorenson that there will be "no more parties" because "it's working time."

Caps 365 takes a look at how Brian Willsie and Lawrence Nycholat helped Alex Ovechkin and Mike Green, respectively, adjust in their rookie seasons. (Video)

By Katie Carrera  | September 20, 2010; 10:30 AM ET
Categories:  Jason Chimera, Morning Roundup  
Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   Del.icio.us   StumbleUpon   Technorati   Google Buzz   Previous: Early chemistry for 'Team C'
Next: Statistical analysis: The future is now for Carlzner

Comments

First - take that Tosh.0

Posted by: SeminAllOverTheIce | September 20, 2010 10:35 AM | Report abuse

Chimera=Overpaid

Gritty does not = Chimera

Posted by: PhilR | September 20, 2010 10:46 AM | Report abuse

Brought over from previous thread:

SAOTI: We shall see, we shall see. If Bruess takes liberties on Backs or Semin we'll see what happens. If he goes after Ovi, He vill lose. Even a player like Flash could bring back a return via a trade so I'd still rather Bruess dial it back so he doesn't hurt an asset. In Chimera's interview in the newest thread he mentions that you don't want to hurt team mates in camp. THAT is respect.

Posted by: fanohock1 | September 20, 2010 10:47 AM | Report abuse

I never really understand all the Chimera hate on this board. Yes he is probably slightly overpaid, but he is still paid less than Chris Clark and he opens up the Ice so much for the 3rd line. Granted he never scores, but his speed opens up a lot of room. Fehr owes a lot of his success from having player like Chimera that can open up some space.

Posted by: chatton | September 20, 2010 11:07 AM | Report abuse

@chatton,

Thank you, you just made my point for me! The 3rd line is not supposed to "open up the ice", the 3rd line is there as the shut down line vs the other teams 1st line. And yes, Fehr is a waste on that line as well as he is also offensive minded. That is why so many have been screaming to rid the team of Flush and Chimera so that Fehr can move up to the 2nd line where he belongs and a REAL 3rd line could be constructed. Chimera does not have the skill to play the 2nd line on this team and is not a 3rd line player, he may fit on the 4th line as an energy player but then he would be even more overpaid. Hence the "hate" for Chimera on this board, at least from me.

Posted by: PhilR | September 20, 2010 11:14 AM | Report abuse

I hate him because he pronounces his last name Cha-meer-rah, when it obviously should be pronounced Ky-meer-rah...like the Greek mythological beast.

Imagine the cool jumbo-tron images you could have then when they show his name. I'd bet he'd be more gritty and bas a$$ if pronounced like the latter. I mean, how could you not?

But nooooo, he had to go and say it's cha-meer-rah. Hence my hate.

Posted by: SeminAllOverTheIce | September 20, 2010 11:26 AM | Report abuse

chris clark shouldn't factor into a discussion about Chimera. They're both very different players. Clark in his prime was extremely gritty, now not so much. Chimera's speed is just speed. He skates up and down without accomplishing a whole lot. He's not into body contact so he races down the ice and then moves his body out of the way at the last instant so he doesn't make full contact with the defender. If Chimera had real heart, he could be a very good checking liner for us because he's got the big body and that great speed. And despite not having great hands he can carry the puck. But even as a dump and chase player he's fairly useless because he concedes most puck battles. All stems from a lack of heart or grit, whathaveyou.

He should have listened to his old coach Ken Hitchcock who once said that speed without aggression is fairly useless. He was referring to some of his young skill players who had great speed but didn't use it to their full advantage.

Posted by: cstanton1 | September 20, 2010 11:36 AM | Report abuse

who was that great GM who once said "I can't allow 5 days to get in the way of what we think is a terrific team" ?

what pearls of wisdom. Now of course, had he been able to engineer deals this offseason which changed the makeup of his squad, he wouldn't have made that comment. McPhee's always got something in his back pocket that makes himself look perfectly competent. If the deals go down, then its because he felt a change was needed. If he fails at the deals, then of course no change was needed because his team only apparently had a random 5 day stretch of games that just happened to occur during the most critical part of the year.

gee, i sure hope next yr that random 5 game stretch occurs during the reg season sometime.

Posted by: cstanton1 | September 20, 2010 11:40 AM | Report abuse

Since when do the Caps under Boudreau put lines in a box? Ever?

Chimera-Perreault-Fehr had great chemistry out there. I liked that line a LOT.

It's time we as fans start thinking outside the box, too. Scoring from every line = more goals = more wins. Deal with it.

Posted by: irockthered | September 20, 2010 11:43 AM | Report abuse

Chimera's speed results in the opposing teams defenders playing an extra few steps back when in the Caps zone because of the fear of Chimera's speed. When there is a battle for the puck the opposing team's defenders need to be a step or two further back than normal to ensure Chimera doesn't go by them. This creates more space in the neutral zone and allows for easier clears and breakouts by the Caps.

Posted by: sgm3 | September 20, 2010 11:45 AM | Report abuse

well said irtr.

Posted by: Steve_R | September 20, 2010 11:50 AM | Report abuse

Man, I feel like a cheap used Caps fool. Everyday (even though I know better) I check in here thinking today will be the day of the big move. That GMGM was just kidding, that he really had a deal working all the time. That he will add the remaining pieces to push the Caps to the Promised Land. Instead, every day, all summer, I get stories on Chimera's speed, Schultz's mono, the Zamboni at Kettler getting an oil change, BB getting a new hairstyle, etc. However, like the guy who thinks his girlfriend will still call, even though she left with the bartender a week ago...I still hope and wait.

Posted by: kcbrichmond | September 20, 2010 11:55 AM | Report abuse

@cstanton - Chris Clark should absolutely factor into the discussion. The caps became a better team with more salaray cap space the day that Chimera joined them. It was a good trade and while we still have his contract, we are in a better place because of it. Getting rid of clark was essential. I'm not saying he wasn't a good player back in the day, but since all of his injuries, he'd lost a step and could no longer play the same game. He was the second most overpaid player on the roster (next to nyls). We got Chimera is a difference maker on the ice. If somebody could talk him into spending an extra 20-30 min after practice working on his shot, he could be an incredible threat.

Posted by: chatton | September 20, 2010 11:58 AM | Report abuse

Whenever a Cap's name comes up, someone always critisizes him by saying "oh, he does not finish his checks" or "he shies away from contact".

Question: outside of Ovie, who on the Caps is a check finshing hitter, who actually likes playing that way?

Posted by: hockeypuck2 | September 20, 2010 11:59 AM | Report abuse

Well, we need more gritty players because they are the difference makers. Look at the Wild they are loaded with gritty players and with Cal Clutterbuck's critical contributions to the game of hockey the Wild finished, umm, I'm still looking, ah turn the page, oh, with Cal Clutterbuck's contributions the Minnesota Wild finish 13th in the West and 22nd in the NHL as a whole. See, I'm right, gritty players are the answer.

Posted by: fanohock1 | September 20, 2010 12:07 PM | Report abuse

Since when do the Caps under Boudreau put lines in a box? Ever?

Chimera-Perreault-Fehr had great chemistry out there. I liked that line a LOT.

It's time we as fans start thinking outside the box, too. Scoring from every line = more goals = more wins. Deal with it.

Posted by: irockthered

Yeah, that has worked real well the past couple seasons with early playoff exits. Maybe BB needs to think "more in the box" so this team can have the proper makeup and attitude for PLAYOFF hockey!

I could give a rats a$$ about regular season wins!

Posted by: PhilR | September 20, 2010 12:08 PM | Report abuse

@PhilR

problem is, just moving Flash doesn't open up a spot for Fehr. I agree he's an NHL 2nd line winger, but the problem is he's got Semin (much better) and Laich (better 2 way) ahead of him. Flash is not on that 2nd line as a winger.

It is possible that if Maca or MP blossom into better players than was expected, and Flash is having a breakout year (also possible), he'll be traded for a defenseman later on.

It looks like the Caps will prefer to play defense by deterrence - their own threat to score outweighs the defensive shortcomings of ALL of our forwards, including (especially) our fourth and third liners. When it can be honestly said that Semin is among the best penalty killers on the team (and he is) it means we just don't have a fast, agile, checking forward who can read the game.

Posted by: RedLitYogi | September 20, 2010 12:09 PM | Report abuse

Yes, Chimera should have listened to Ken Hitchcock because he coaches, oh no, he doesn't coach, because he was FIRED! Another victim of a team loaded with grit players that, well, don't win, no matter how good of a coach is at the helm.

Posted by: fanohock1 | September 20, 2010 12:10 PM | Report abuse

@ chatton

On paper the Clark-Chimera trade looks good, but not in reality. Even in his declining state, Clark was more aggressive, willing to stand up for his teammates, and provided leadership that is lacking on the team. Chimera is just fast. Sure, he'll score more goals, but as many have said, the Caps don't really need Chimera's goals. IMO, this team needed Clark more for the playoffs than Chimera. And before someone says "Knuble", he's one guy. The Caps need a few guys like that.

Posted by: ablake70 | September 20, 2010 12:16 PM | Report abuse

RedLitYogi,

In a perfect world Laich would turn into the 3rd line center they need, he is good defensively and can play center. Then add AGordon and Pinner to that line and you have the defensive line that is needed. And for those who say that line is too young Brads could be used in place of one of the youngsters. Fact is, they need a checking line which they currently do not have in any way, shape, or form.

Posted by: PhilR | September 20, 2010 12:16 PM | Report abuse

Woah woah woah....

"the Zamboni at Kettler getting an oil change"
Posted by: kcbrichmond

Can anyone confirm this? I didn't even see a tweet about this. Did they use 10W-30 sythentic or regular? You cannot only half-break a story like this.

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

Well anyone that doesn't care about regular season wins doesn't care about regular season losses either. With that in mind I shouldn't expect to see every regular season game dissected here, because remember, they don't matter as long as the Capitals qualify for the playoffs.

Posted by: fanohock1 | September 20, 2010 12:22 PM | Report abuse

@ablake

Your right, Clark was aggressive, unfortunately by the time he got to the play it was already past him. Gritty undersized players need to have speed, the second they lose a step or two, they become ineffective. Clark was ineffective, especially at 2.x mil/yr

Posted by: chatton | September 20, 2010 12:23 PM | Report abuse

Well anyone that doesn't care about regular season wins doesn't care about regular season losses either. With that in mind I shouldn't expect to see every regular season game dissected here, because remember, they don't matter as long as the Capitals qualify for the playoffs.

Posted by: fanohock1 | September 20, 2010 12:24 PM | Report abuse

Chimera misses a ton of open nets. It seems like he blows a lot of great chances.

Posted by: underpants2 | September 20, 2010 12:27 PM | Report abuse

Wasn't Clark being scratched fairly regularly too there at the end? Kind of like when Pacey from Mighty Ducks (aka Joshua Jackson, cant remember characters name in MD, only his name from Dawson's Creek) giving up his spot on the roster so the rich fancy kid could play after his wrist injury?

Chris Clark = the healthy scratched Mighty Duck captain....ironic.

Posted by: SeminAllOverTheIce | September 20, 2010 12:29 PM | Report abuse

PhilR: That would be an awesome third line, Laich centering AGordon, and Pinner. After watching those two Bears for a couple of years now they are ready for NHL IMO.

Posted by: fanohock1 | September 20, 2010 12:31 PM | Report abuse

Well anyone that doesn't care about regular season wins doesn't care about regular season losses either. With that in mind I shouldn't expect to see every regular season game dissected here, because remember, they don't matter as long as the Capitals qualify for the playoffs.

Posted by: fanohock1


I absolutely hope they lose their fair share of games so they have to play hungry and with a purpose instead of floating into the post season as they did last year. I also hope they get burnt by the 1st lines of other teams so it is seen that scoring goals is all weel and good but having a defense is also extremely important and maybe they will adopt the checking line that is missing.

As far as dissecting games, people have a right to their opinion and I will voice mine throughout the season giving credit when it is due and picking them apart when that is warranted. I am not a constant "basher" on this forum but am very disappointed with no improvements in the obvious areas of need this off-season. I am also upset that the GM and coach of this team still feel they were ousted from the playoffs last year simply because they hit a hot goalie which is BS.

Posted by: PhilR | September 20, 2010 12:31 PM | Report abuse

PhilR: That would be an awesome third line, Laich centering AGordon, and Pinner. After watching those two Bears for a couple of years now they are ready for NHL IMO.

Posted by: fanohock1

Absolutely agree, I get to see about 20 Bear games a year and absolutely love watching those guys. That is why I was so upset that BGordon was resigned, either of those guys would have been an upgrade IMO.

Posted by: PhilR | September 20, 2010 12:34 PM | Report abuse

PhilR: +1 on your posts. I've said it many times. Every Cup winner back to the 50s had a checking line. We need a threesome to put out there for d-zone faceoffs when Crosby et al are out there. Right now it's just, "Next line out."

And, just because the Wild didn't have any scorers doesn't mean we can't use Clutterbuck. Trade em Flash for Clutterbuck. Throw in our Bouchard if you need to.

Posted by: tominsocal1 | September 20, 2010 12:41 PM | Report abuse

Katie- you're really bring'n it!-Well Done!

& that Caps365 is going to be addicting....

Posted by: Hattrik | September 20, 2010 12:43 PM | Report abuse

fanohock: We agree there on 3rd line, Laich with AG and Pinner would be even better Laich with AG and Clutterbuck.

BTW, only way to get those Bears up is to move others out. Flash is A#1 candidate and Chimera at $1.875M isn't far behind.

AGordon will give you most of what you get from Chimera and some of what you don't get for $500K.

Posted by: tominsocal1 | September 20, 2010 12:45 PM | Report abuse

That is why I was so upset that BGordon was resigned
------------

I totally agree - our PK play [actually the overall play of our 3rd 4th lines in general] was not anywhere near where it needs to be for a team with "Stanley Cup-winning aspirations" - and they bring back Gordo? Really? Baffling.

Posted by: Timbo_1 | September 20, 2010 12:45 PM | Report abuse

Jason Chimera = a little bigger Todd Kryger

Posted by: joek443 | September 20, 2010 12:47 PM | Report abuse

The hot goalie thing has been echoed by experts outside of the Capitals organization. On NHL Home Ice Boomer Gordon and Scott Laughlin both said that Halak stole the 1st two rounds of the playoffs from the Capitals and Penguins. They further went on to say fatigue is what did him in. The Blues obviuosly agreed Halak was the real deal. The Habs went with Price because they knew they would pay less.

Posted by: fanohock1 | September 20, 2010 12:50 PM | Report abuse

Todd Krygier scored a very nice playoff OT goal against Buffalo in the 98 series during his last season in the NHL.

Posted by: MReilly9 | September 20, 2010 12:53 PM | Report abuse

the hot goalie excuse is right up there with the "my dog ate my homework excuse"!!!

Posted by: joek443 | September 20, 2010 12:55 PM | Report abuse

And BB not adjusting to what was being done to his team has no blame at all?? That in my eyes is the real reason they lost that first round series, no adjustments to get more traffic in Halak's face ala the Flyers pummeling Huet relentlessly in 08 and about the same can be said this past year with Halak. The fact of the matter is BB thought his system was the best and refused to adjust when it was needed.....you can look at player comments in the off season and they seem to agree with this.

Posted by: PhilR | September 20, 2010 12:57 PM | Report abuse

@ chatton

I agree the Clark-Chimera trade was good for the Caps on paper. Trading an overpaid, aging veteran for a slightly younger, cheaper, offensive minded player makes sense. In reality, an offensive minded, non physical team traded a physical player for offensive player. The Caps bottom 6 is filled with offensive minded players. Did they really need another?

Someone mentioned that Clark was a healthy scratch. Unless the guy played on the BB era Calder Cup championship team, this means nothing to me. BB clearly has his favorites.

Posted by: ablake70 | September 20, 2010 1:02 PM | Report abuse

Laich hasn't played center consistently for a few years now.

Pinner and AGordon have about 2 games and are a -2 combined in NHL experience and results. Pinner is also older (26) than many of the Capitals forwards also, so he is probably pretty close to his peak. At 26, Pinner is looking like he will probably be a career AHLer.

Now I'm not saying that AGordon and Pinner can't come up to the Caps and be effective. But given there age and status in the NHL/AHL there is a decent chance neither will succeed. Especially Pinner since he is 26 already.

IMO, I would not feel comfortable entering the season, as a SC contender, with the 3rd line having a center who hasn't played center much the past few years surrounded by a 24 year old winger with 2 games of NHL experience and a 26 year old winger who has been a career AHL/ECHL player to this point.

That sounds extrememly risky to have that line be your shut-down line and facing other teams top lines.

Posted by: sgm3 | September 20, 2010 1:03 PM | Report abuse

The "hot goalie stole the series" is a familiar refrain for long-time Caps fans, going back to the Langway days when we heard it every year. I urge anyone who believes that was the whole story vs. the Habs to look at some video of the Caps vs. Habs and Habs vs. Flyers. The Caps rarely got near Halak, while the Flyers constantly crowded him, bumped him, blocked his vision, sometimes with as many as 3 players. Halak was great, but if you don't get in his face you can shoot all day and not score (as the Caps did). BB has frequently preached the need for the forwards to go stronger to the net. We will see whether the message gets through this year.

Posted by: zmega | September 20, 2010 1:07 PM | Report abuse

Someone mentioned that Clark was a healthy scratch. Unless the guy played on the BB era Calder Cup championship team, this means nothing to me. BB clearly has his favorites.

Posted by: ablake70

That was me. But it was to defend the trade as being a good one. Not in the sense that we got a better player, but more in the sense that Clark's $2mil+ hurt us even more being that we werent using him. To pay a player that much only to scratch him is jut nylanderish. We at least used Chimera. So we were at least getting something for our money and at a cheaper rate.

Make sense?

Posted by: SeminAllOverTheIce | September 20, 2010 1:10 PM | Report abuse

sgm3,

How many Bears games have you watched in the last two to three years?? Obviously not many, Pinner and AGordon would be NHLer's on many other teams throughout the league but due to the "system" this team plays and signing players like BGordon again they are stuck in the AHL. They are both solid 3rd/4th line forwards who have PK ability, heart, tenacity, and forechecking ability......all of which is desperately needed on the Caps 3rd/4th lines. There is enough scoring on those top 2 lines, it is time to balance the team out and get the checking line that is missing. I am pretty sure you have admitted in the past that you know very little about the Bear players other than your poster boy MP so please don't try to judge players you have watched maybe once or twice by your stats that you find so endearing.

Posted by: PhilR | September 20, 2010 1:13 PM | Report abuse

sgm: I guess, honestly, I agree with you there. My ideal #3 line would have Laich at LW (not center), an acquired #3 vet center and then either AGordon or Bradley at RW (unless we could trade for Clutterbuck!).

Sometimes even the non Kool-Aid drinkers can get carried away with their own brand of the stuff.

Posted by: tominsocal1 | September 20, 2010 1:16 PM | Report abuse

@PhilR

I've watched 73 Bears games the past three years.

Pinner is a good player in the AHL. But there is no disputing the fact that he is 26 years old and has never played in the NHL. I wonder how many players over the past 20 years made it to the NHL, and played over 150 career NHL games, after never having played a game in the NHL until they were age 26 or older.

The numbers are what they are. It's not impossible for Pinner to succeed, but it is unlikely.

Posted by: sgm3 | September 20, 2010 1:20 PM | Report abuse

The Caps approach seems to be based on having three scoring lines, without a true checking line. I would be surprised to see that change this year.

Posted by: zmega | September 20, 2010 1:22 PM | Report abuse

@sgm3

you are a horrible liar or have split personality. You have said before you have barely seen the Bears play.

Posted by: ThePat | September 20, 2010 1:25 PM | Report abuse

tominsocal,

Don't get me wrong about playing both of them on that 3rd line, my original post stated that Brads could be on that line. I am simply saying they have the tools in the system to make "a" respectible checking line and it would save a ton of cap room to go toward a 2C and 1D. I think Laich could still play center, he is defensively responsible and could keep up with the Crosby's of the world I think. Pinner and AGordon are ready for prime time though, would there be growing pains? Sure, but why not give them an entire regular season to work through those growing pains so they are ready to go when the real action starts in April?

Posted by: PhilR | September 20, 2010 1:25 PM | Report abuse

"hot goalie" makes it easier for BB and McPhee to escape blame while their lovable fans can justify the series loss. If you look hard enough, you can find an excuse in every playoff series loss. And I'm sure we will!

This was a fan on TSN talking about Ray Shero's contract extension today. Totally agree.

"Well deserved in my opinion. Ignorant 'fans' will always rant on and on about how Ray has had little to do with the success of a team that has the likes of Crosby and Malkin on it. Little do they realize that it takes MUCH more to build a championship team than just two world class players. Ray has an eye for nabbing quality role players and playoff performers. He knows how to build a TEAM, and not just a circus act *cough* Washington *cough* "

Posted by: cstanton1 | September 20, 2010 1:26 PM | Report abuse

Thank you ThePat, I knew it was not my imagination that I had read that in the past. I love catching people back tracking!

Posted by: PhilR | September 20, 2010 1:28 PM | Report abuse

@sgm3

you are a horrible liar or have split personality. You have said before you have barely seen the Bears play.

Posted by: ThePat

he really is a bad liar. And his personality needs some work as well. Not enough good jokes sprinkled in imo.


"@PhilR

I've watched 73 Bears games the past three years.
--sgm--"

wow. And he still couldn't mention anything about guys like Pinnizotto until we got that ball rolling a few months ago. Liaaar.

Posted by: cstanton1 | September 20, 2010 1:29 PM | Report abuse

Come on cstanton1, who cares if a fan said that on TSN. If you were to speak about the Caps it would be a totally different view of the team than me. Using that as a source is self serving. If it is a comment section take a look through the thread and pick out one that counters that statement.

Posted by: fanohock1 | September 20, 2010 1:33 PM | Report abuse

@PhilR

I've watched 73 Bears games the past three years.

Pinner is a good player in the AHL. But there is no disputing the fact that he is 26 years old and has never played in the NHL. I wonder how many players over the past 20 years made it to the NHL, and played over 150 career NHL games, after never having played a game in the NHL until they were age 26 or older.

The numbers are what they are. It's not impossible for Pinner to succeed, but it is unlikely.

Posted by: sgm3


this suspiciously sounds like an argument made by a person who doesn't have any grasp on what kind of player Pinner is. (Despite apparently watching him play in numerous games.) If you watch him, its pretty easy to see how his style will translate to the NHL. He skates well enough, he's certainly strong enough, he handles the puck well enough, and he's responsible defensively.

if you'd really watched 73 Bears games over the past 3 yrs, you'd know a heckuva lot more about their players and it would be reflected in your comments over the past 2 yrs or so. Which it wasn't. You lie on this blog, and you'll get caught. So be a good fella and admit you don't know much about the Bears players firsthand. Same way you didn't know anything about half the players and coaches you like to occasionally pass judgment on who played while you were still krapping your diapers.

Posted by: cstanton1 | September 20, 2010 1:35 PM | Report abuse

I dont know if you guys have talked about this or seen it, but here is a quote from 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."

It kind of sounds to me if the team doesn't learn or adjust he knows they arent going to succeed. And I've brought it up before, if players know they are ultimately not going to succeed in the playoffs here, why re-sign here when you are a FA. If Laich doesnt sign an extension during the season and the team happens to lose early in the playoffs he will want to go elsewhere when he has the opportunity. Just my opinion though.

Posted by: ThePat | September 20, 2010 1:36 PM | Report abuse

@sgm3

Out of curiosity, how did you come to the number 73 when you said "I've watched 73 Bears games the past three years."? Do you keep a running tally in a notebook or excel spreadsheet perhaps? Because thats just kind of an odd number to throw out there.

Did we trade for Zajac and Salvadore or Bieksa yet?

Pokerface, start bugging your source. Something like..."hey source, only 395 hours and 25 minutes until opening night rosters need to be finalized. Any new news?"

Then repeat every 10 minutes, each time subtracting 10 minutes from the countdown.

Posted by: SeminAllOverTheIce | September 20, 2010 1:37 PM | Report abuse

Come on cstanton1, who cares if a fan said that on TSN. If you were to speak about the Caps it would be a totally different view of the team than me. Using that as a source is self serving. If it is a comment section take a look through the thread and pick out one that counters that statement.

Posted by: fanohock1 | September 20, 2010 1:33 PM

i chose that comment because i think its a true reflection of the difference between a Shero and a McPhee. I don't think ALL fans feel that way. Just the "knowledgable" ones :)
Shero knows what types of players his team needs and he's very good about getting quality role players and leaders at the right time to help his team. He's not perfect but he certainly seems to understand that part of the game better than McPhee does. And his stamp on that Pens team is pretty clear with the kinds of players he acquires and drafts, and the systems that his team plays. #1 hitting team over the past 3 yrs? that's a specific stamp by the GM. I don't think the Caps brass ever get together and place physicality as one of their top goals. And that's why they're an inconsistent hitting team.

Posted by: cstanton1 | September 20, 2010 1:40 PM | Report abuse

@tominsocal1

I like your propsed 3rd line. I was a proponent of picking up John Madden for a year to fill that role with Lacih at LW and either Bradly(fall back guy because you know what you are going to get from him), AGordon(giving him a chance to see how he does) or acquiring a Clutterbuck type.

If Steckel could get back to his game from the 2008-2009 playoffs I would like to see the Laich, Steckel, Bradley line back for line 3, with Feher playing RW on the 2nd line and Semin on the 2nd line LW.

Posted by: sgm3 | September 20, 2010 1:44 PM | Report abuse

the # 73 came to him in a dream.


@ThePat - I cut and paste that quote into a thread the minute I saw it. It echoed what I've said in the past (and a few others I'm sure). Fans get all bent out of shape when there's talk of trading away some of our offensive guys (i.e. how do you replace Semin's 40 goals, etc)

What Laich said is true. Scoring a few less goals is ok if you also give up less goal and learn to play a better team defensive style. Hopefully when an actual player says it it'll carry more weight so I don't have to hear the "what makes you or anyone else on here more qualified than BB or GM" drivel. I think the smarter players on the Caps understand that the current organizational philosophy is flawed.

Posted by: cstanton1 | September 20, 2010 1:46 PM | Report abuse

"you are a horrible liar or have split personality. You have said before you have barely seen the Bears play."

@ThePat

73 games over three years qualifies as barely in my opinion as that is less than 30% of the games they have played over that span.

Posted by: sgm3 | September 20, 2010 1:49 PM | Report abuse

Well anyone that doesn't care about regular season wins doesn't care about regular season losses either. With that in mind I shouldn't expect to see every regular season game dissected here, because remember, they don't matter as long as the Capitals qualify for the playoffs.

Posted by: fanohock1 |

with all due respect, you're mischaracterizing the actual point here. which is, its not the final result that matters as much as HOW YOUR PLAY during the reg season-- with the obvious exception that you need to win enough games to qualify.

I personally have never vilified this team for losing a reg season game based on the end result. In fact, I have actually on rare occasions felt this team played the right way in some losses so I've defended them on those occasions. The argument about the reg season not mattering is getting subverted into something else. Of course it matters because it gives an org a chance to see what type of playoff performer you have in front of you and then you make changes as you see fit. The problem with the Caps is, they think they have a strong playoff team based solely on the fact they have a good reg season record.

Posted by: cstanton1 | September 20, 2010 1:51 PM | Report abuse

@sgm3

you just used numbers to defend yourself, that is your fall back when you make stuff up. Thanks for confirming.

Posted by: ThePat | September 20, 2010 1:56 PM | Report abuse

"73 games over three years qualifies as barely in my opinion as that is less than 30% of the games they have played over that span." - sgm3

73 games over 3 years (sgm3) > 1 game over 3 years (me). I think I would fall into the "barely" category, you more like a "decent bit". 1 out of 3 is more than some people see the big boy play (cept for me, I make like 98% of those games).

Hence I try to read what people post about certain players and then try to watch them play when they are called up or stuff like rookie scrimmages. So I rarely voice my opinion about the Hershey boys since I am no expert on them. Then again, I did stay in a Holiday Inn Express once.

Posted by: SeminAllOverTheIce | September 20, 2010 2:03 PM | Report abuse

If Brett Sterling turns out to be as good as I think he is, Shero's barely-noticed offseason pickup will pay big dividends. I saw him play against a good Wisconsin team, in Madison [Joe Pavelski was on the 2nd line and didn't do much], and he is a sniper. If they put him with Malkin - who's never had a true sniper, IMO - that could be a very tough 2L.

I don't know how the guy has slipped under the radar, other than he's not-tall and not-Canadian. Oh yeah, that's why.

Posted by: Timbo_1 | September 20, 2010 2:05 PM | Report abuse

"It's time we as fans start thinking outside the box, too. Scoring from every line = more goals = more wins. Deal with it."

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

The problem is that it also tends to mean more goals for other team as well. As much as everyone likes to rail on our defensemen I think a shutdown forward line (that can score a little) is our biggest necessity. It makes it awful easy for the opposing coach to match his lines when he doesn't have to worry about his #1 line getting the right matchup. All he has to do is worry about getting the right matchup on our offensive lines.

Posted by: ouvan59 | September 20, 2010 2:07 PM | Report abuse

Ray Shero's stamp on the Pens-- and its not just about hitting per se. Its really about being 'invested physically' and finishing checks whenever you can, sticking up for teammates consistently, building a strong identity where physicality is a clear component of your belief in what it takes to be successful. I tried looking for a really good article on this that I read last year but I can't find it. It spelled out exactly what the Penguins philosophy was with regards to being physical. It included direct quotes from players and coaches. If I can find it, it will further illustrate a clear directional difference between the Caps and the Pens and put to rest what fans usually argue about which is comparing our skill players to theirs. There are more differences between us and them than simply what Ted pointed out 2 yrs ago (depth at center). Being consistently physical doesn't guarantee a Cup. But it improves your chances of winning. The most physical team doesn't always win the Cup obviously but physicality does play a major role in winning. And the teams who usually benefit the most are the teams with the requisite talent to go far who inject a lot of physicality into their lineup. As did the Pens.

did find some random comments that were related to the Pens-Habs series after a Pens win..

-- I thought our physicality set the tone early on," said Penguins defenseman Brooks Orpik, who qualifies as an expert on the subject. He leads his team in these playoffs with 47 hits. He had five more Saturday night in a game the Penguins held a 35-23 edge in hits.

-- "It's no fun when you're on the other side of it," Orpik said. "I can tell you that from the Ottawa series. The way they forechecked, it was tough. When you're constantly getting hit and peeling yourself off the ice, it's no fun. It takes its toll."

-- It's fair to think Crosby was thinking about that toll business when he launched himself into Gill. Don't think that Orpik and the rest of the boys didn't notice. "It's a great thing when your best player is so competitive because all of the great ones aren't like that," Adams said. His teammates will tell you Crosby doesn't have to score goals -- and he hasn't in this series -- to help the cause.

-- "That's what we talked about between periods. 'Keep investing physically,' " Orpik said.

Posted by: cstanton1 | September 20, 2010 2:08 PM | Report abuse

@ThePat

Well that's how many I've seen. It does not matter to me if a random screen name says that I am wrong. I saw them.

Posted by: sgm3 | September 20, 2010 2:10 PM | Report abuse

sgm3,

Quick, go to the newest post, it is your FAVORITE subject!!

Anf btw, how did you come to that 73 number?? That is a goofball number.....do you actually keep a spreadsheet? Seems like something you would do without a doubt!

Posted by: PhilR | September 20, 2010 2:15 PM | Report abuse

And I still think (as others apparently do as well) that you are lying about this number as you obviously know very little about the boys in chocolatetown.

Posted by: PhilR | September 20, 2010 2:23 PM | Report abuse

73 games over three years qualifies as barely in my opinion as that is less than 30% of the games they have played over that span.

Posted by: sgm3 | September 20, 2010 1:49 PM | Report abuse

hmm..I've watched about 15-20 Bear games per season and some of the playoffs. Back in '06 is when I started really watching Hershey play in earnest. And I still probably only watched 15 games during that reg season and then much of the playoffs including a great series win over the Baby Pens (Deryk Engelland was a real unsung hero for Hershey) and the entire series loss to Hamilton in the Finals (Ryan O'Byrne was a beast for Hamilton and the loss really occurred because our Hershey forwards couldn't get around the big Hamilton defense). That was also the 1st time I saw Matt Hendricks play and really liked him.

So basically I've watched the same # of games that SGM has watched of the Bears. But it took me 4 or 5 yrs to watch what he's watched in 3?? I call major BS on that. He barely talks Hershey hockey. If he'd watched that # of games he would've offered a much greater resume for discussion on our prospects.

My guess is, sgm probably watched a few of the Hershey games this yr from the playoffs. After the Caps got eliminated. I'd say his # is closer to 3 games, not 73.

Posted by: cstanton1 | September 20, 2010 2:30 PM | Report abuse

I can't recall but how did that Penguin team with their philosophy of physicality do against Montreal?

Posted by: boomer44 | September 20, 2010 3:08 PM | Report abuse

I can't recall but how did that Penguin team with their philosophy of physicality do against Montreal?

Posted by: boomer44 |

circling back...did you read my comment that physicality doesn't guarantee a victory? thanks. Here, I'll copy and paste it for you Boomer.


"Being consistently physical doesn't guarantee a Cup. But it improves your chances of winning. The most physical team doesn't always win the Cup obviously but physicality does play a major role in winning. And the teams who usually benefit the most are the teams with the requisite talent to go far who inject a lot of physicality into their lineup. As did the Pens"

your implied argument that physicality is not helpful holds about as much water as saying that goaltending doesn't help a team if that team loses a series despite having great goaltending.

Without the Pens physicality, maybe they lose in 5 games. Without the Pens physicality, they probably don't win the Cup last yr or make the Finals the yr before. Physicality is a critical component of the Penguins success. And its not a secret. They admit it themselves. And see the word "component". That implies a PIECE of the puzzle, not the entire puzzle itself.

Posted by: cstanton1 | September 20, 2010 5:22 PM | Report abuse

Hey stanton, missed the original post, but I agree with your assesment. I would like to see more hitting by the Caps, but unfortunately that is not in the make up of most of our players. i can live with it if we can excell with speed & tenacity. I also beleive the grittiness, playing with a chip etc that you like to see can't be taught, it is something the player is born with...your thoughts, do you think it can be coached?

Posted by: boomer44 | September 20, 2010 5:45 PM | Report abuse

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