Network News

X My Profile
View More Activity
On Twitter: kcarrera and PostSports  |  Facebook  |  E-mail alerts: Sports and Redskins  |  RSS

On Mathieu Perreault and making the most of each call up

Morning Roundup

Mathieu Perreault let out a deep sigh as he sat in his stall in the dressing room at Kettler Capitals Iceplex Tuesday and looked around. With all of the injuries that mixed up the Capitals' lineup, who was on injured reserve and who wasn't, he was just glad to still be with Washington.

The fan favorite had a good first game in the NHL this season, with a pair of assists on two Alexander Semin goals and a plus-3 rating, but he knows that any day circumstances could change and he could be headed back to Hershey.

"I want to get every chance that I can and do good with it," Perreault said. "I know I'll get another chance and it's in my power to do as good as I can every time to make the most of it."

Perreault has said all the right things since he was recalled over the weekend, but a few days ago when discussing the team's injury predicament, Coach Bruce Boudreau added the living-on-the-edge pressure associated with being the call-up player as another reason why injuries shouldn't lower the level of play.

"I firmly believe that a guy gets in there and he's got to overachieve," Boudreau said. "Like a Mathieu Perreault went in, he overachieved and played great. That's what he's got to do if he wants to stay here or make us do something for him to stay here. He can't have off games, you cant have average games, you've got to play like that."

FROM THE POST
Yes, it's early in the season, but there's no question that there's no time like the present for the Capitals' top line to find a return to form.

If you missed it yesterday, here's the latest slate of injury and roster updates.

Three Tuesday thoughts from the good folks over at Box Seats. (Kareem El-Alaily)

IN THE MINORS
Michal Nylander underwent successful neck surgery. (Democrat and Chronicle)

Sheldon Souray, on loan to the Bears from the Edmonton Oilers, broke his right hand in a fight with Matt Clackson and will be out two weeks. (Tim Leone)

AROUND THE WEB
Michal Neuvirth has made preseason concerns about young goaltenders in net quickly fade to the background. (Corey Masisak)

In his "30 Thoughts" CBC's Elliotte Friedman brings up concerns about Alex Ovechkin's shift length.

By Katie Carrera  | October 27, 2010; 8:26 AM ET
Categories:  Mathieu Perreault, Morning Roundup  
Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   Del.icio.us   StumbleUpon   Technorati   Google Buzz   Previous: Injury and roster update as Caps ready for three-game road trip
Next: Injury update: Matt Bradley to return, Mike Green says he'll play

Comments

Yes I am labled a kool-aid drinker, and one of the few that think BB is capable of leading the Caps to the Cup, but, I really don't understand what BB doesn't see in Matty P.

------------
"I firmly believe that a guy gets in there and he's got to overachieve," Boudreau said. "Like a Mathieu Perreault went in he overachieved and played great. That's what he's got to do if he wants to stay here or make us do something for him to stay here. He can't have off games, you cant have average games, you've got to play like that."

-----
THAT quote adds even more pressure. IMHO I don't think Matty P "overachieved" he played the way I have come accustomed to seeing him play. To have to live "on the edge" without making a mistake is a recipe for disaster. I don't coach at the pro level but I have seen mistakes build when a player thinks they cannot make a mistake. Hopefully that makes sense. When a player plays scared, and the first or second mistake means they are benched, they WILL NOT succeed, it's impossible. Even when Matty P wasn't producing, or fell into a slump last year, it was never due to lack of effort. He still worked his tail off and was an avid forechecker. His linemates changed on a daily basis which definitely lead to production problems. Anyhow, I know Matty P is small but the kid can play the game, and he plays it well. IMO he would be even more successful if he knew that was a little margin for error. For example, if he has a horrible turnover, if he knows he has the support of the coaching staff he WILL make up for it.

MaJo has the confidence of the staff. I noticed that in the NJ game. The kid turned over the puck early in the game directly leading to NJs first goal. MaJo skated right to the bench but the coaches did not allow his line off the ice and he was sent out for the face-off. He played pretty darn good for the rest of the game. If he would have gone to the bench and had time to think about that mistake, or worse, sit on the bench and wonder if that was his ticket back to Hershey, he would not have played better. For athletes, the muscle that fails them most, is the in their head.

Posted by: fanohock1 | October 27, 2010 8:52 AM | Report abuse

"I firmly believe that a guy gets in there and he's got to overachieve," Boudreau said. "Like a Mathieu Perreault went in he overachieved and played great. That's what he's got to do if he wants to stay here or make us do something for him to stay here. He can't have off games, you cant have average games, you've got to play like that."

BB should hold all players accountable with that statement, not just call ups. Please see one Fleischmann, Tomas.

Posted by: j3rockstar | October 27, 2010 8:59 AM | Report abuse

Thanks for the reporting Katie. Seems like last year Tarik had a lot more support and Lindsay was responsible for forwarding a lot more news last year, but this year most of the regular work has fallen on your shoulders. Thanks for keeping us informed.

Posted by: Justafan | October 27, 2010 9:01 AM | Report abuse

Maybe the chemistry with Semin will continue and Matty will find himself more indespensible, but I'm not sure he's the long terms solution either, despite the added excitement he brings to the game. Personally, I get a thrill when he's on the ice and am rivited to his play, but he did tail off in his extended stay last year and it remains to be seen how he'll stack up against bigger centers. He needs to bulk up and bring some brute to his game.

Posted by: Justafan | October 27, 2010 9:05 AM | Report abuse

Maybe Matty tallied off but the bar that BB just set in saying Matty has to play like that every night, he would have to have a 140pt season and be a +210. There has to be room for a bad shift, or game here or there. I realize stat wise his play was characterized as tailing off but he was never a liability out there.

Posted by: fanohock1 | October 27, 2010 9:20 AM | Report abuse

Fanohock

At first blush, it does look like MP is as capable or even more capable of playing at the NHL level as MJ is but there is history with MP and because of his size, maybe the front office and coaching staff needs to give more benefit of the doubt to MJ.

MP has been here before and although had some good games, he has not shown that extra something that MJ still is "beleived" to have. Maybe thats the thought process behind the lean towards MJ??

Posted by: jeets | October 27, 2010 9:28 AM | Report abuse

Obviously not one of BB's favorites. That statement would never be directed toward Flush, Stecks or Green. The favortism played by this coach really is ridiculous and will lead to his downfall rather soon IMO.

Posted by: PhilR | October 27, 2010 9:31 AM | Report abuse

@j3rockstar

As soon as I read that quote by BB I was going to post the exact same thing you just said.

Posted by: eorr | October 27, 2010 9:33 AM | Report abuse

@eorr,
Great minds, I guess.
The thing is I believe in BB. I think he's a great coach but his favoritism is becoming so painfully obvious, I wonder if it will start costing this team wins or cause some kind of negative locker room ripple effect.

Posted by: j3rockstar | October 27, 2010 9:38 AM | Report abuse

I think that MP is fighting Flash for ice time much more so than MJ. First off, MJ has tweaked his groin and second, MJ's defensive skills make him better suited to 3C than MP.

I'll say it loud and proud, every day, trade Flash for a gritty and effective blueliner. Flash is a good winger, but who is he better than as wing on 1st or 2nd line? No one. Do the Caps need a shutdown blueliner to partner with Green and put Schultz next to Poti, absolutely. Make the deal GMGM.

Posted by: JIMALLCAPS1 | October 27, 2010 9:41 AM | Report abuse

jeets: Just want to make sure I'm not misunderstood. I have been pleasantly surprised with MJ, so I find it a shame that it is MJ or MP. IMO they are both NHL level players. I also think as time marches on MP will be the little scoring guy and MJ will become the center for our shutdown line, a 50-60 point guy. I do realize MP has a history, and again, he is a small dude, but at no time did I, just my opinion, think he was a liability. IMO, he was a no less of a player, and less of a liability than BMo was last year. There are many little guys getting their shots and sticking and beating the little guy stigma, IMO, Matty P has beaten that as well. I know there are discussions about guys in the Caps system getting moved and fans saying it is a loss, but if Matty P ends up moving on I am convinced he will earn a spot on another team and have a relatively successful career. He's talented as heck, and works his butt off. His off season workout had him come back to the team 12lbs heavier, and it was supposedly all muscle.

Posted by: fanohock1 | October 27, 2010 9:48 AM | Report abuse

That quote by BB is bull$*&!, he cannot expect MP to play like that every game and send him back when he doesn't. Every player is going to have peaks and valleys throughout the long season. Players like Ovi, Backstrom, Semin have some great games but then have a string of not so great games. Or better yet what about the players that get put in the line up that never play very good like steckel or sloan, why are they ever in the lineup?

Posted by: ksaul79 | October 27, 2010 9:55 AM | Report abuse

BB should hold all players accountable with that statement, not just call ups. Please see one Fleischmann, Tomas.

Posted by: j3rockstar
----------

Well how about Green, Mike; Steckel, David; or Knuble, Mike? Granted MG's been hurt [and has shown an increased interest in defending since getting cut from Canada], but Knuble has done precious little - and if he'd converted even half of the glorious feeds Backy [and Ovie for that matter] had set him up with our W-L record would be much different. First line wingers can not consistently miss those!

As for Flash, he's been on the ice for exactly one goal against this year. And scored a couple biggies. He's played well.

Posted by: Timbo_1 | October 27, 2010 10:32 AM | Report abuse

This defense problem is just beyond baffling to me......I just can not understand with the overload of forwards they have available how they have not been able to pull off a trade to bring in a solid top 4 dman. The more injuries they sustain the more they are going to have to give up to get that top 4 dmen as the partner in the trade know the Caps are desperate. The trigger should have been pulled in the summer but was not and now they are paying for it.

Posted by: PhilR | October 27, 2010 10:33 AM | Report abuse

@ Timbo -- I think Flash has played well as a winger, but not as a center. His faceoffs are weak and he has not been dishing the puck particularly well -- two main parts of a center's job. He has scored a few timely goals, but he also has given up a few ugly give-aways. I think there is a good reason Flash was demoted, given less minutes and playing on a line that has more defensive minded forwards.

Posted by: JIMALLCAPS1 | October 27, 2010 10:37 AM | Report abuse

Not happy with BB's words re: MattyP. First of all, I think the whole team's in a pressure cooker type of situation (and it's the wrong kind of pressure) and then, these weird, obviously biased quotes from the coach about a player that has been delivering the tangibles and maybe more importantly, the intangibles, so far this year for the most part. It's almost like BB's calling MP out but he hasn't had any bad behavior that I can see...It's a bit cringe-worthy at this point, since there's a history of this kind of attitude towards MP from BB. All this said,I'm perfectly happy to admit that I know nothing to absolutely nothing about anything in regards to the behind the scenes dynamics. Reading these kinds of quotes/watching them being said still just kind of makes me feel embarrassed for some reason...

This team/these players does/do need to find its groove and I for one feel confident that it will. Hockey is a fickle game and changes in fortune can and do happen fast. I do still believe and I haven't had a sip of Koolaid since I was six!! (too sugary).

GO CAPS!!!

Posted by: nena1 | October 27, 2010 10:37 AM | Report abuse

The injuries to the D are minor. Making trades due to minor injuries in October is incredibly reactionary and is not a good business practice.

If the Caps lost a couple of defensemen for a long time they would probably have to pay more to get a defenseman. However, if any of the other 29 teams lose a few forwards for a long period of time they may overpay for a guy like Flash. With injuries being largely random the odds play in the Caps favor as it is more likely that a few of the 29 teams would get a few forwards injured than it is that the Caps will have long-time injuries on D.

I'm only saying that the odds are in the Caps favor. That doesn't mean it can't happen. Anytime you are playing the odds it could break badly for you.

But making trades now just because of minor injuries would be an incredible overreation. However, making a trade from a position of strength when others are in need is good management.

On the trade note, it was rumored that the Coyotes may trade Keith Yandle. He could be a solid acquisition.

Posted by: sgm3 | October 27, 2010 10:42 AM | Report abuse

To all:

After watching Buff run Neuvy in the last game and Erskine coming to his defense to puncih Buff, did anyone notice the Epic fail of Carlson (who was right there as the hit happened) AND Steckel AND Chimera to NOT go after Buff for running Neuvy???

...all the while Erksine turned around after taking the puck that had come to the left boards... then say Neuvy down and just bolted all out after Buff? I mean WTF?

Carlson, Steckel and Chimera = EPIC FAIL at standing up for a teammmate

Erksine = EPIC WIN and he didn't even see the hit...

Seriously?
Proof:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yUPfen0iIp0

Posted by: FrankM73 | October 27, 2010 10:44 AM | Report abuse

@JIMALLCAPS -

While I can certainly see where you're coming from [although I'd disagree with the passing, Flash is underrated as a playmaker and certainly passes better than Knuble and at least as well as Laich, who granted are both wingers] and I don't believe faceoffs* are quite the end-all be-all many in the hockey media make them out to be, my larger point was how Flash endures such withering criticism 'round these parts, while others - BB favorites all - who similarly flamed out in the playoffs completely escape any and all criticism. It is baffling, to say the least.

*With a few notable exceptions, obviously.

Posted by: Timbo_1 | October 27, 2010 10:47 AM | Report abuse

"But making trades now just because of minor injuries would be an incredible overreation. However, making a trade from a position of strength when others are in need is good management."
Posted by: sgm3 | October 27, 2010 10:42 AM

You can't truly be that dense. I know you were here in June, July, August, and September, when nearly everybody here were screaming for a shut-down defensemen. If GMGM were finally to pull his head out in October and acquire the defensemen that we've needed for 5 years, it would not be a reaction to injuries. The injuries only hightlighted the depth problem that has been there for quite a long time.

Posted by: Wiley_One1 | October 27, 2010 10:49 AM | Report abuse

I think people are taking BB's comments a little out of context. I took it that he meant that having injuries and call ups is no excuse for poor play b/c the callups are eager to prove themselves. As far as MP can't have off games...I would like to believe that is meant for recent callups...not guys who are staying for a long period of time. BB may (or may not) have favorites, but he is not stupid or sooo biased he thinks a guy playing in 10-15 games won't have an iffy night. MP has ALWAYS played well when first called up...and then he starts to fizzle. If MP wants to stay he doesn't need +3 nights every game, but he has to show he can keep up a good pace...otherwise we have no reason to keep him up.

Posted by: capscoach | October 27, 2010 10:49 AM | Report abuse

great writeup on MP at the "box seats" link and good comments there as well.

@fanohock - agreed that both MP and Maca are NHL caliber but maybe you sell Maca short: is it possible he can be Datsyuk-ish? He's got an offensive upside, thinks the game quickly and he's by far our quickest skater right now. But not yet ready to be a full time 2C either.

Posted by: RedLitYogi | October 27, 2010 10:52 AM | Report abuse

I know you were here in June, July, August, and September, when nearly everybody here were screaming for a shut-down defensemen.
---------

To be fair to sgm, he was screaming for the A-Train at least as loud as I was early this summer - and he may have beaten me to the punch on that [and others, who I was much less high on, such as Willie Mitchell.] Not to speak for him but I believe his point is, now that we've missed the boat over the summer, the timing is not ideal right now. At least that's how I read his comment.

Posted by: Timbo_1 | October 27, 2010 10:56 AM | Report abuse

@SGM, The Caps are thin on defense, relying on 2 rookies and 2 journeymen. With two injuries, albeit minor, they look really thin with no good Hershey call-ups. None of the Hershey blueliners are up and comers. I have been consistently ranting for a trade for a shut down blueliner since last year. I think Alzner and Carlson will be good blueliners and I think Green will be that much better with a shut down blueliner with him. I think Poti will be better with Schultz. I think the Caps will be much better with Erskine as the lone 7th blueliner and never ever seeing Sloan or Fahey in a Caps jersey.

Posted by: JIMALLCAPS1 | October 27, 2010 10:56 AM | Report abuse

You can't truly be that dense. I know you were here in June, July, August, and September, when nearly everybody here were screaming for a shut-down defensemen. If GMGM were finally to pull his head out in October and acquire the defensemen that we've needed for 5 years, it would not be a reaction to injuries. The injuries only hightlighted the depth problem that has been there for quite a long time.


Posted by: Wiley_One1

You need to calm down. It's October. Acquiring a higer priced defenseman now would hinder the Caps ability to acquire another player as the Caps would have to pay almost the entire salalry of the newly acquired player.

Posted by: sgm3 | October 27, 2010 10:56 AM | Report abuse

About "The Montreal Style" - I repeat myself but this is something I did remember from last March:

for all of the difficulties the Caps encountered against the all-out "negative hockey" approach of the Canadiens last March, they did have many more prime scoring chances in each of the last two games. The Caps took a 3-1 lead in the series by doing what their coaches told them to do: shoot glove side high against Halak. It worked and they got a ton of goals that way, esp in that great game two comeback.

But then Halak adjusted. Somehow what had been a weakness became a strength and in the last three games he must've made 10-20 great glove saves on shots that would've been goals in the first four games. The Caps' shooters did not adjust: when they got their best chances to shoot, they tried to pick the top right corner and each time it was "smell-the-glove" time. I'm not sure if someone is to blame for this, since the scouting report had been good. Who could think the goalie would somehow change a weakness into a strength?


Posted by: RedLitYogi | October 27, 2010 10:57 AM | Report abuse

@ Timbo, I never said Flash is a bad player. I think he is a good offensive winger. But the Caps have better and he is not a very good center. He is not horrible, but 2nd line center for a cup contender, nah. I do not think that Flash is a very good defensive player. He is plus so far, great, but watching him, he is not defensive minded in back-checking or working the boards.

Posted by: JIMALLCAPS1 | October 27, 2010 11:00 AM | Report abuse

@ FrankM73

yeah I saw that. that's why so many of the players like erskine so much as a teammate. He did the same thing when Koci boarded green from behind last year.

I agree, steckel's wimpy cross-check to Buff = fail

Posted by: _stevo | October 27, 2010 11:02 AM | Report abuse

sgm: Most of us have wanted a 1st pair D since before the deadline last year. These injuries are just highlighting the need. The sooner we move an extra forward (we have oddles) and maybe a pick to get someone at least solid #2 pair-worthy (with experience, hopefully SCF experience) the better and more balanced this team will be.

Posted by: tominsocal1 | October 27, 2010 11:07 AM | Report abuse

Yes. BB words on the media were not very encouraging but I would bet he has a better communication with his players one-on-one. Most coaches speak rashly during media interviews; it is good for the media and for the fans to argue about it, but that is all.
As for BB having favorites to the point of playing them to the detriment of the team, I say: Hogwash. He would be putting his job in jeopardy, would any sane person do that? I think fans develope a certain likes and dislikes for players and let their emotions toward them infiltrate their reasoning.

Posted by: hock1 | October 27, 2010 11:07 AM | Report abuse

@Frank - that clip confirms what I watching at home on TV - I fault Steckel and Chimera way more than Johnny C on that one. Granted Stecks excels at the single most-important thing in all of hockey [really, is there anything more important than faceoffs? I mean Gretzky, Lemieux, Forsberg, and Larionov were always so good at them] but good Lord is he really that weak on his skates? And Chimera, wow. But good job by the lumberjack #4 to take care of business.

Posted by: Timbo_1 | October 27, 2010 11:07 AM | Report abuse

anybody that has been watching hershey so far....how does patrick mcneill look so far? I was hoping he would good enough to call up this year

Posted by: _stevo | October 27, 2010 11:08 AM | Report abuse

"Acquiring a higer priced defenseman now would hinder the Caps ability to acquire another player as the Caps would have to pay almost the entire salary of the newly acquired player."
Posted by: sgm3 | October 27, 2010 10:56 AM

We're all frustrated because a blatently obviously problem has gone unaddressed year after year after year. My point is that the injuries didn't cause the problem, they just exasperated it. I sat next to Don Fishman at the game Saturday night and he confirmed that the Caps strategy is to "bank" cap space. 2M now can be 8M in February because of the way it is pro-rated over the entire season. So, if we can survive the injury plague, I agree it makes sense to wait a while, unless the perfect deal presents itself.

Posted by: Wiley_One1 | October 27, 2010 11:09 AM | Report abuse

"I think the Caps will be much better with Erskine as the lone 7th blueliner"

@JIMALLCAPS1

I agree with this, but there is plenty of time to make a move. IMO, the Caps need to be patient now and wait to see who becomes available.

@Timbo_1

You read my comment exactly how I meant it.

If a perfect deal developed for a defenseman then absolutely take it. But the thing to do right now may be to just wait a few months and see how things go.

Other teams may become desperate, maybe negotiations for contract extensions with certain players (Markov or Chris Phillips_ might break down and those players become available. People often become available during the season when you didn't expect them to become available.

Then the watch on Vancouver, Boston and New Jersey who will all be dealing with salary cap problems when their teams become fully healthy in the next month or so. Possible moves with them could happen.

Other teams could fail miserably and be looking to get rid of pending UFAs or just change the roster.

I'm still for getting a defenseman, but usually the beginning of the season is not the best time to make a trade.

Also, I was fully in favor of Volchenkov and Willie Mitchell. I was a very big supporter of Willie Mitchell. However, I did not expect him to receive the size of contract he received from the Kings.

Posted by: sgm3 | October 27, 2010 11:09 AM | Report abuse

I posted this in the previous thread:

Oh yeah, now Brooksie and Knuble are being punked out too. By my calculations the only two players that haven't been ragged on yet are Neuvy and Carlson. My guess is Carlson will be the next to get hammered because he is getting put into situations he is not ready for due to the injuries to Green and Poti.

Posted by: fanohock1 | October 27, 2010 7:00 AM | Report abuse

Now Carlson bit the dust. And then there was one. Neuvy stands alone now. I too believe, and was surprised, that Carlson did not jump in. I wonder if Carlson was given orders not to jump in like he did for MJ against NJ because his partner is Erskine for the time being. Maybe it's because of the lower body injury? I don't know, but I was suprised, just as FrankM was, that Carlson didn't do anything.

Posted by: fanohock1 | October 27, 2010 11:12 AM | Report abuse

sgm3,

Do you really know that these injuries are "minor"? Yes Green is back on the ice but have you seen him take a board hit on that shoulder or really wind up for a slap shot without wincing? As someone else stated a few days ago it could very easily be a labrum/rotator cuff unjury that he is attempting to play through........all WE know is that is is an upper body injury.

And it seems Poti has groin issues once more which is becoming chronic over the past couple years.....how long before he pushes it too far coming back too soon and tears said hammy? Not so "minor" anymore.

There simply is no excuse for not getting something done in the off-season which we btoh agree should have been done. All I am saying is they knew before the seasons tarted that they were extremely thin at D in Hershey and no saviors would be coming from there this year. They are playing from a point of weakness in the trade market IMO monor injuries or not.

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

My issue is that the Caps are learning a lot of bad habits with the inconsistent (to be kind, inept is more accurate) defensive play. If Neuvy was not playing his but(t) off, the Caps would have a losing record. I also do not like BB's coaching philosophy of constant press on offense, leaving his team open to too many oddman rushes. Mix weak defensive personnel and system and you get a mediocre team that should be a great team.

Posted by: JIMALLCAPS1 | October 27, 2010 11:14 AM | Report abuse

@jmsmallcaps, @sgm3

I'm with sgm3 (taking a sip now, ah, I like the orange flavor best): it's still early.

The problem is that every NHL team now has glaring vulnerabilities in the cap age. What GMGM has done well is manage the cap - we at least are not frozen in place with a great August team. (Look how Volchenkov has worked out for NJ.)

This team should be near the top or at the top of its division even with its two obvious deficiencies at 2C and D. Everyone knows the problem is there and I'm guessing other GMs have been trying to extort too much from the Caps. It's like a poker game: they think we'll be desperate. If we deal from that mentality, we won't get good value.

I think our top 5 defensemen our pretty serviceable, in any event. Philly went to the finals last year with questionable goaltending and not a whole lot of depth on defense.

Maybe come April other teams will be willing to trade. Who would you be willing to part with: Eakin? Laich? Majo? one of our goalies? Several high picks? And what kind of salary are you willing to take on? What will that do when it comes to resigning Semin (our best forward this year) or Green?

No one's going to be giving it away and let's not kid ourselves that Flash will bring in anyone even as good as Poti, not to mention better. He won't. Part of the reason to give Flash a lot of opportunities is to make him a better player. He's improved every year - he'll never be an all-star - so let's see where he can get to.


Posted by: RedLitYogi | October 27, 2010 11:15 AM | Report abuse

@PhilR

The reason I think the injuries are minor is the time they happened. If Poti or Green suffered major injuries that required surgery they would have likely received the surgery immediately in hopes of returning around March(obviously the time it takes to return is dependent on the injury).

There is plenty of time to heal right now, so I do not think Green's injury is serious(I'm not certain, but the known facts and the actions of the Caps lead me to strongly believe the injury is not serious).

Poti has a groin muscle problem. There is more than enough time to let that heal. So again, not serious.

I only consider injuries serious that would cause a player to miss around 3 months of time(i.e. torn knees, Savard like concussions, torn muscles, severe shoulder injuries requiring surgeries, broken legs, etc.). So no, I do not believe these injuries are serious.

Posted by: sgm3 | October 27, 2010 11:23 AM | Report abuse

@ JIMALLCAPS1 - I know you didn't, and I do concede you make some good points.

@RedLit - I completely agree about Maca's upside, wow he's got a great burst. And a very powerful stride. Datsyuk is high praise in my book but he is defensively responsible.

Back to d-men - is there an indication CBJ would part with Jan Hejda? He is the best d-man I've seen bandied about here in awhile, and IIRC would come cheap. Who was Zidlicky's partner on Czech's #1 pairing for the Olympics, anyone know? Granted they had some good ones to choose from.

Posted by: Timbo_1 | October 27, 2010 11:24 AM | Report abuse

Acquiring a higer priced defenseman now would hinder the Caps ability to acquire another player as the Caps would have to pay almost the entire salalry of the newly acquired player.

Posted by: sgm3

Dude, you don't have to break the bank to get a servicable D man that could help right now. Jurcina cost the Isle 1M and would be an upgrade over SloanSkine. I'm not advocating trading for him, just using his $$ as an example.

Posted by: Steve_R | October 27, 2010 11:24 AM | Report abuse

jimsmallcaps, lol, funny, you disagree with me, so you beLITTLE my handle, haha, hoho, so witty. Well uhohyogiotherteamslit (I can play ad hominem, too, whee), let's look at the Caps play so far, even though this is October, not March (trade deadline), much less April (BB on golf course time). The ice has been tilted against the Caps and all goalies but Marty are super hot against the Caps and they have injuries, lalalalala, same old excuses. The obvious failures are (1) lack of shut down blueliner and (2) BB's system of run and gun icecapades. Umberger is right: this team is not built for the playoffs. I love the Caps and want to see them get a player or two to give them a better chance in the playoffs and a coach who will make them play a disciplined system. So I geuss I'm drinking goat's blood. I thought it was coffee, but maybe someone slipped blood into my creamer.

Posted by: JIMALLCAPS1 | October 27, 2010 11:35 AM | Report abuse

Steve_R: Some would argue about Juice's worth. Do you remember the play he made in the Pittburgh series where he did a nice job blocking a pass and then promptly, blindly, swiped it with his hand to the slot where a Penguin buried it for a goal? Juice was a hard worker, and obviously well like because the Caps talked about how nice it was to see him when he came back at the trade deadline (even though he never played) but he made many many costly errors at critical times. I agree that it shouldn't cost too much to get a solid 6th man for the blueline but the Juice project has run its course here in DC.

Posted by: fanohock1 | October 27, 2010 11:35 AM | Report abuse

@frankM73

I'm glad I'm not the only one who recognizes what Erskine brings to the TEAM...why so many call for Erskine to be the 7th dman is beyond me....his role is to be a tough 5th-6th dman and I think he's exceeding the play expected of someone of his ilk.....in fact, I'd argue that he's been our best dman in terms of filling his role on the TEAM....whereas so many think he's expendable here, I bet he'd be a welcomed addition on any of the other 29 teams in the NHL

Posted by: vermontcaps | October 27, 2010 11:40 AM | Report abuse

JIMALLCAPS1: So when the Caps lose and Timmy T plays great the Caps cannot use that for an excuse. However, the only reason we win is because of Neuvy. So that would mean in the 5 wins, the loser of every one of those games could claim they were beaten by a hot goaltender. It would have to be because of a hot goaltender because the ONLY reason the Caps won is because of Neuvy.

JIM, just take a look around the NHL, the only team with less than two regulation losses is Nashville, who we beat in OT, so none of the team, I mean none of teams have settled in. Last year at this time the Isles were in a playoff spot, by mid-season when the cream started floating to the top they sunk like a stone. We'll just have to see how it plays out, but to freak out right now is just way too premature.

Posted by: fanohock1 | October 27, 2010 11:44 AM | Report abuse

@steve_r

exactly how would Juice be an upgrade over Erskine? Juice would, however, contribute even more to our passive, vanilla defense (though i liked him when he played w/us)....i find it incredulous that so many think our d will be vastly improved by replacing Erskine, as if he's the one holding the team back from greatness

Posted by: vermontcaps | October 27, 2010 11:45 AM | Report abuse

Neuvy was really out of position for the goal he gave up in Boston. So now, none of the Caps have been given a pass!
I agree we are just going to have to weather the lack of D-men until closer to the trade deadline. I will beat the dead Milan Jurcina horse, one more time! It would be great to have him for 1 million and Sloan as 8th (in Hershey -700,000) cap hit. But, it is what it is.
I wonder how many more points the 1st line would have if we had healthy puck moving d-men.

Posted by: chriscaps | October 27, 2010 11:48 AM | Report abuse

@vermontcaps,

The problem is that Erskine is the #6 D right now, plain and simple. This team NEEDS another top 4 Dman in just about everyone's opinion so that would bump Ersk to #7 in the depth chart. I personally like what Ersk brings to the team but the depth chart is not going to change.

Posted by: PhilR | October 27, 2010 11:50 AM | Report abuse

@Fan, not freaking out. Tim Thomas is a very good goalie, but the Caps got seriously out chanced in both games, due to their system versus the B's system. TT saw most of the shots and had to deal with very few oddman rushes compared to Neuvy who had to deal with many oddman rushes and often had to find the puck out of a crowd.

Yes, the Caps are 5-3, but 3/5 of the wins are OT and Isles game almost was an OT game. The Caps have not played many stellar franchises yet, the exception is the B's, who made the Caps look silly. The Caps have played mediocre hockey against mediocre teams. And I do not think that the limited production of the top line and the injury bug is to blame as much as the system and defensive personnel. If the Caps play other legit contenders, their system looks highly flawed.

Posted by: JIMALLCAPS1 | October 27, 2010 11:51 AM | Report abuse

So who was at the morning skate? Any indication of who is in and who is out?

Posted by: capscoach | October 27, 2010 11:54 AM | Report abuse

fanhock,

Did you skip the part where I said I wasn't advocating making a trade for him?

Vermont,

See above. You're not the least bit nervous about Sloan and Erskine lacing them up every night? Ersk is at best a #6-7 d-man and Sloan is worse than that.

Posted by: Steve_R | October 27, 2010 11:54 AM | Report abuse

@fanohock,

I think the real difference in this year from last is the play on the ice. Last year the players weren't making the boneheaded plays they are this year and it does seem that teams have figured out how to play the Caps this year and BB is refusing to adjust. I know last game they started some dump and chase but that has just been non existant in any other game this season.

It seems to me the players think they are entitled to do as they wish and quite frankly they look disinterested at times and that falls on coaching. That is my real issue with this team right now.

Posted by: PhilR | October 27, 2010 11:55 AM | Report abuse

vermontcaps,

Jurcina isn't a great upgrade from Erskine. He is an upgrade from Sloan. If Jurcina is on the team Sloan is the 1st call up. Sloan is a huge upgrade over Fahey.

Posted by: chriscaps | October 27, 2010 11:57 AM | Report abuse

the reason Carlson did not jump in with Buff was that he saw the ref had his arm up for a penalty, and he did not want to lose the PP aat a time in the game where they were trailing 2-1

Posted by: boomer44 | October 27, 2010 11:57 AM | Report abuse

BTW, let's see how the Caps do in November, with the Flyers, Lightening, Bruins, and Leafs (yes, the Leafs, Ron has the Leafs playing pretty good hockey so far). By then we'll see if the Caps system can play well with compeititive teams or no. I hope they can, but I have my doubts.

Posted by: JIMALLCAPS1 | October 27, 2010 12:01 PM | Report abuse

boomer44,

I don't care if you are down 2-1 in game seven of the Cup finals you should NEVER let an opposing player run your goalie. That is taught to children playing hockey, at least it was when I was playing.

Posted by: PhilR | October 27, 2010 12:02 PM | Report abuse

I don't care if you are down 2-1 in game seven of the Cup finals you should NEVER let an opposing player run your goalie. That is taught to children playing hockey, at least it was when I was playing.

Posted by: PhilR

Could not disagree more. So you are saying, if the Caps are down 2-1 with 3 minutes remaining in game 7 of the SC finals and their goalie gets rammed and the ref is about to hnd out a 5 minute major, it would be better for the Caps to retaliate and receieve a penalty. Even though this would prevent the Caps from receiving the 5 minute PP(3 minutes in reglation) and only allow the Caps a PP with less than a minute remaining in the game.

That would be very short sighted and reactionary. Those punches in the face with a glove gives you what? Satisfcation? What would be more satisfying punching a guy in the face a few times or using that time to win the SC. The exact thing each player has been training for their entire lives.

Posted by: sgm3 | October 27, 2010 12:11 PM | Report abuse

To all:

No, i'm not nervous about Erskine lacing them up every night. (I don't think Sloan should be on the team, period!) As PhilR mentioned, we need d-upgrades in the top 4 slots and thus Erskine would be squeezed out by numbers. I agree w/the upgrades in the top 5 spots but I'd leave Erskine as the 6th....putting shultz or alzner in the 6th spot, and removing Erskine's toughness and unselfish play from the lineup, would be a step back in my opinion

Posted by: vermontcaps | October 27, 2010 12:12 PM | Report abuse

@sgm3

gotta agree with PhilR on this one. You can not let a team run your goalie like that...ever! You may lose the game because of it, but if they think they can get away with that they will at the least pester your goalie incesently which would probably lead to more goals anyway, or worst seriously injure a player because they think the team won't do anything.

Posted by: capscoach | October 27, 2010 12:17 PM | Report abuse

So you would rather put it in the back of your goalies head that his guys don't have his back? That really sends the wrong message to the guy standing between the pipes don't ya think?

The scenario you give is to the extreme and I would like to think at that point a player may pull up in order to get the full three minute PP but then again I would not blame him in the least for going after the person that committed the offense.

Have you ever played hockey sgm3? Serious question because that was one of the first things ingrained in us as young kids by the coaches I had.

Posted by: PhilR | October 27, 2010 12:17 PM | Report abuse

gordon, king, fahey scratches tonight

Posted by: _stevo | October 27, 2010 12:17 PM | Report abuse

@vermont

Schultz may not be first pair on a strong defensive team, but he is definitely 2nd pair material anywhere u look...6th...seriously?

Posted by: capscoach | October 27, 2010 12:19 PM | Report abuse

One pick up this summer, King; one game = makes sense.

Posted by: JIMALLCAPS1 | October 27, 2010 12:20 PM | Report abuse

They main problem is we have very little or no depth like we had last year. When Juice and Morrison were not reatained we lost depth at "D". Last year Sloan only played when we were really desperate......now he is an everyday player. I am sure we will be making a trade sooner or later.

Posted by: Capsfannmiss | October 27, 2010 12:21 PM | Report abuse

This Gordon scratch is getting RIDICULOUS!!! what did he do...kill BB's dog?

Posted by: capscoach | October 27, 2010 12:21 PM | Report abuse

@vermontcaps,

I think Ersk would still get his fair share of playing time against the toughers teams in the league.....Philly, the Rags, etc but unfortunately he doesn't have the speed/skill set of Schultz or Alzner.

I just wish they could transfer his grit and nastiness to one of those guys!

Posted by: PhilR | October 27, 2010 12:21 PM | Report abuse

@capscoach,

He had to have hurt his back again and they don't want to come out and say it. It may be getting better but the airline flight may have stiffened it up again. That was another great resigning by GMGM, if he isn't going to play why the heck did they sign him then the question of if there was space for MP would be a non issue. Same thing goes with King, if they are going to sit him every night why trade Della Rovere?

Posted by: PhilR | October 27, 2010 12:26 PM | Report abuse

I can't say I agree with the "I don't care if you are down 2-1 in game seven of the Cup finals you should NEVER let an opposing player run your goalie." That maybe one time where I would let it go.

When I played, you had players who were able to fight and some that weren't good at it (and a few that the coach told not to fight). As a player you understood if one of the non-fighters were getting into it, you had to go over and drop them. I give Carlson a pass. I just watched Steckel's fight last year and he can't fight. Chimera, no excuse, he should have dropped the gloves. It wouldn't do a lot of good to have Carlson or Steckel throw with Buff and get their ass kicked! If you are fighting to prove a point, it's a good idea that you have a chance to win or at least break even.

Posted by: chriscaps | October 27, 2010 12:27 PM | Report abuse

@PhilR

I'm a full supporter for how Erskine reacted when Buff ran Neuvy. I'm just saying there is a time and place for everything.

I'm all for reacting like Erskine did during a regular season game or early on in a playoff game.

But I would not be for retaliating when trailing by one goal(or even when tied or leading by one goal) late in a playoff game. At that time it is better to use the PP time to try to tie the game(or take the lead or maintain a lead).

Time and situation matter a lot when determining what the best response would be to an aciton like Buffs.

Posted by: sgm3 | October 27, 2010 12:28 PM | Report abuse

@vermont

Schultz may not be first pair on a strong defensive team, but he is definitely 2nd pair material anywhere u look...6th...seriously?

Posted by: capscoach
---------

Wow - anywhere you look? I absolutely agree with vermontcaps on this - take some of the top playoff-performing teams from last spring [when the competition speeds up, and matchups are tougher] - are you really saying he'd be ahead of guys like Gorges, Timonen, Hlajmarsson, Seidenberg, Spacek, etc.?? Because on strong defensive teams who go far in the playoffs, it's guys like that you are comparing against.

Posted by: Timbo_1 | October 27, 2010 12:29 PM | Report abuse

Actually, jimallcaps1, King is not getting time primarily because of the other pickup this summer, Hendricks. Hendricks has proven to be a much better overall player.

Posted by: _Mark | October 27, 2010 12:29 PM | Report abuse

Tell you what though "Big Buff" turtled when Erskine came at him. Another big guy with no guts. He had no problem getting tough with Matty P during his first shift of the game but the Lumberjack comes and he folds. I know Johnny a tough and psycho looking guy but Buff is a big dude.

Posted by: fanohock1 | October 27, 2010 12:30 PM | Report abuse

@capscoach

B Gordo breaks easy, hence I dub him Mr. Glass. He is not being punished, he is hurt...again. Glass breaks easy go figure. BB doesnt want to give opposing teams a map on where to hurt him if/when he returns, so he won be a "healthy" scratch for most of November.

Posted by: SeminAllOverTheIce | October 27, 2010 12:31 PM | Report abuse

"You may lose the game because of it, but if they think they can get away with that they will at the least pester your goalie incesently which would probably lead to more goals anyway, or worst seriously injure a player because they think the team won't do anything."

@capscoach

But late in game 7 of the SC finals all the points you mention for retaliating become meaningless as the season would be a few minutes away from ending.

Posted by: sgm3 | October 27, 2010 12:34 PM | Report abuse

regarding Erksine:

I'd be willing to bet that his capitals teammates prefer him on the ice to Sloan for not only his rougher style but because he never hesitates to defend a teammate, even when (such as the other night) he did not see the contact, he just went after Buff).

As a rec hockey player that's been in my fair share of scuffles, I know who won't hesitate to get up in an mix up for a spear, a purposeful knee out as a teammate passes by, a dirty play in general, and the all favorite "stick to the cup" check...

I also know the ones that avoid it...

...and you can bet your @$$ that the professionals notice it too!!

Which ones do you think they want to go into battle with???

Posted by: FrankM73 | October 27, 2010 12:37 PM | Report abuse

That was another great resigning by GMGM, if he isn't going to play why the heck did they sign him then the question of if there was space for MP would be a non issue.
----------

Seriously - this resigning made zero sense at the time, and now it makes less sense. Gordo is a known quantity.

Posted by: Timbo_1 | October 27, 2010 12:39 PM | Report abuse

1.Maybe Erskine isn't the premier D-man we need, but at least he will put a body on people and stand up for his teammates. That's enough for me.
2.King has to be loving his role here.
3.BB was what this team needed after Cassidy and Hanlon, but it seems his favoritism and coaching techniques are starting to wear thin...

Posted by: kcbrichmond | October 27, 2010 1:17 PM | Report abuse

@JIMALLCAPS1 - ah! I wasn't belittling the handle! I for some reason was always reading it like "jm small caps". Bad eyes! Anyway - funny reply! Well said. (My reply was a tad strident..)

(And the kool-aid is real good. Everything. getting. darker. now...)

Posted by: RedLitYogi | October 27, 2010 1:19 PM | Report abuse

What BB really means with his quote on MP is that we, Ontariens, hold frenchies to a different standard. For any further explanations, read the new book by Bob (Robert) Sirois which has just been released. It's full of statistical evidence of discrimintation in the NHL; not just against the french canadians, mind you...

Posted by: atybat | October 27, 2010 1:32 PM | Report abuse

atybat is back!! (With some more inside info, I hope.)

Totally believable. How many European head coaches are there in the NHL? How many officials, executives? (I'm thinking Datsyuk is one Euro player who will stand a good chance of landing a job should he choose to pursue it.)

I remember Bob Sirois from the dark early days.

Posted by: RedLitYogi | October 27, 2010 2:09 PM | Report abuse

Flash can go for a pick or picks if necessary. Wildly inconsistent, a playoff non-factor and unable to compete at the NHL level as a center. For this, he's getting paid $2.6M. Wingers are a dime a dozen in today's NHL, and McPhee has probably tried to unload him. Unlikely once he got awarded that deal. Funny with a stat line like his was last year, you'd think he was paid correctly for that year. Even CapsFan knows better.
His chief redeeming factor is he's Boudreau's pet; "Hershey's Ovechkin" from the 2006 Bears team. Which means absolutely nothing now.

Posted by: pga6 | October 27, 2010 6:39 PM | Report abuse

Post a Comment

We encourage users to analyze, comment on and even challenge washingtonpost.com's articles, blogs, reviews and multimedia features.

User reviews and comments that include profanity or personal attacks or other inappropriate comments or material will be removed from the site. Additionally, entries that are unsigned or contain "signatures" by someone other than the actual author will be removed. Finally, we will take steps to block users who violate any of our posting standards, terms of use or privacy policies or any other policies governing this site. Please review the full rules governing commentaries and discussions.




characters remaining

 
 
RSS Feed
Subscribe to The Post

© 2010 The Washington Post Company