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Capitals mean business in 2010-11

Morning Roundup

For five months since their surprising exit in the Stanley Cup playoffs last spring, the Capitals have anxiously awaited the opportunity to play another game -- and beat someone again. Tonight against the Thrashers, they will have that chance.

But as Washington begins a new season it hopes to do so with a greater understanding of the consistency necessary to not only win, but improve and fine-tune its game throughout the course of the season.

"Last year we were winning a lot and we didn't lose much games, and if you don't lose, you never know that feeling; you need to lose a couple games," Tomas Fleischmann said. "You wish you can win every game but it's just not like that, we have to make sure the games we win, it's because we're playing really good offensively and defensively -- good hockey -- that's what we have to do."


(Toni L. Sandys/The Washington Post)


Alex Ovechkin is leading a renewed sense of focus and purpose in the Capitals' locker room and, after arguably the most disappointing year of his career thus far, the left wing is more determined in his pursuit of the Stanley Cup than ever before.

If you missed it last night, be sure to check out the video and graphic breaking down the physics of Ovechkin's slap shot and wrist shot.

Mike Wise: Only the Stanley Cup matters.

We asked some Capitals bloggers to give us their three keys for the upcoming season.

Capitals players (see roster and bios here) talked about their first "NHL moment." Check out the video.

For more on how Ovechkin and the Capitals mean business, head over to our complete preview section for the 2010-11 season.

While talking to Wise on his radio show for 106.7 The Fan, Brooks Laich stood up for Coach Bruce Boudreau.

IN THE MINORS
Tim Leone on the Capitals-Bears developmental equation and on Braden Holtby as he tries to lead Hershey to yet another Calder Cup.

More on the loan of Sheldon Souray, who is slated to join the Bears on Friday.

By Katie Carrera  | October 8, 2010; 7:08 AM ET
Categories:  Morning Roundup  
Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   Del.icio.us   StumbleUpon   Technorati   Google Buzz   Previous: Video: Ovechkin shoots...and scores! But how?
Next: Bruce Boudreau talks defensive pairings

Comments

Don't wait any longer. Search for an accredited degree program. Advance your career http://bit.ly/a5X4ZJ with a suitable profession for your interests.

Posted by: jameson08 | October 8, 2010 7:24 AM | Report abuse

DROP THE PUCK!

Posted by: LloydChristmas | October 8, 2010 7:48 AM | Report abuse

My lord Mike Wise is a moron.

Posted by: PhilR | October 8, 2010 7:49 AM | Report abuse

Phil R -- did someone pee on your rice crispies? For goodness sake, it's the beginning of the season! I am so excited -- the Pens lost their home opener, the Habs lost, and the Caps will crush the Trashers (yes, I left out the h on purpose). Oh, can we also nuke the jerk advertising in the blog?

Posted by: JIMALLCAPS1 | October 8, 2010 8:14 AM | Report abuse

JIMALLCAPS1,

Just can't stand when Mike Wise tries to write about a topic he is absolutely clueless about. I too am very happy about the Pens losing the first game in their new building! Did you see the red carpet treatment? Bet Cindy requested that!

Calgary was horrible offensively last night, time for GMGM to get on the phone with Sutter and consumate the Flash for Regehr trade.

Can't wait for tonight's game!

Posted by: PhilR | October 8, 2010 8:29 AM | Report abuse

I hate Mike Wise. You're among friends here, PhilR.

Posted by: LloydChristmas | October 8, 2010 8:42 AM | Report abuse

The best part of last night's Pens-Flyers game was the CCM commercial with Ovie in the kid's locker.

Posted by: beeman | October 8, 2010 8:46 AM | Report abuse

Too bad we have to start the season in that dark echo chamber, but it will be great to get it all going. Will make tomorrow night in the seats at Verizon all the sweeter. Go Caps!

Posted by: Justafan | October 8, 2010 8:49 AM | Report abuse

And I'm with PhilR and the others -- Reading Mike Wise spout some or the other conventional wisdom is painful. Since it's about the Caps it's hard to look away -- kinda like a bad accident.

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

Quiet in here this morning when it is opening night of the season.

Posted by: PhilR | October 8, 2010 9:16 AM | Report abuse

too quiet.

Posted by: Justafan | October 8, 2010 9:28 AM | Report abuse

It is quiet, what gives? I wonder if DJ King will fight tonight. I say Caps win, 4-2 with an empty netter.

Posted by: LloydChristmas | October 8, 2010 9:31 AM | Report abuse

I have to say that looking at last nights highlights the Oilers may not be as bad as everyone has predicted them to be. Those three young rookies they have put on quite the show, especially Eberle. Their D did not look bad either but they may have something to do with how bad Calgary was offensively.

Toronto looked decent as well, they are just stacked on the defensive side of the ice, question is can they score enough so they don't lose a lot of 1-0, 2-1, 3-2 games.

Posted by: PhilR | October 8, 2010 9:41 AM | Report abuse

Good lord did anyone see Jordan Eberle's highlight reel goal last night in Edmonton's home opener 4-0 win against Calgary?

2 on 1, D goes down, nifty toe drag around, off balance, draws to backhand, top shelf... nice start for JE

Posted by: FrankM73 | October 8, 2010 9:45 AM | Report abuse

I CAN'T WAIT FOR THAT PUCK TO DROP TONIGHT!!!

I hate the Flyers less, so I was happy to see Cindy loose on such a special night.

HAHAHAHA

Posted by: wtf_e_fehr | October 8, 2010 9:47 AM | Report abuse

Wait a sec...hockey has started? WTF

Posted by: SeminAllOverTheIce | October 8, 2010 9:50 AM | Report abuse

Good lord did anyone see Jordan Eberle's highlight reel goal last night in Edmonton's home opener 4-0 win against Calgary?

2 on 1, D goes down, nifty toe drag around, off balance, draws to backhand, top shelf... nice start for JE

Posted by: FrankM73 | October 8, 2010 9:45 AM

That was nice...coulda had him in a Caps uni.

But hey...

BABY GUS WILL BE BETTER! YOU JUST WAIT!!!

Posted by: wtf_e_fehr | October 8, 2010 9:53 AM | Report abuse

Still bummed the WNBA season is over. Guess I'm forced to fill the void with some hockey until the 2011 season starts.

Is there a local team?

Posted by: Fro_2 | October 8, 2010 9:54 AM | Report abuse

That was a sick shot by Eberle.

Posted by: LloydChristmas | October 8, 2010 9:59 AM | Report abuse

oh mike wise...you've gone and made a fool of yourself again

Posted by: _stevo | October 8, 2010 10:04 AM | Report abuse

Re: Mike Wise

I saw cut him a break. It's great to see multiple Caps articles, by multiple writers, on Page 1. Everybody has to start somewhere, and so Mike is doing just that.

Posted by: EricinReston | October 8, 2010 10:10 AM | Report abuse

Mike Wise has already written an article begging to be let into the Caps fan "circle". He admitted that he isnt the most knowledgable hockey guy.

I dont read ANY of his stuff, or listen to his radio show.

But I do agree with cutting the dude some slack.

Posted by: wtf_e_fehr | October 8, 2010 10:15 AM | Report abuse

@Fro_2

I heard Santa uses Mystic's tickets in place of coal these days. It's more cost efficient and still sends the same message.

Posted by: SeminAllOverTheIce | October 8, 2010 10:15 AM | Report abuse

Let's do this!!!!!

It's time!

Posted by: j3rockstar | October 8, 2010 10:21 AM | Report abuse

It's more cost efficient and still sends the same message.

Posted by: SeminAllOverTheIce | October 8, 2010 10:15 AM

Well done sir.

And that Eberle goal was awesome.

Posted by: Fro_2 | October 8, 2010 10:26 AM | Report abuse

Bill Daly was IN TOWN... no interview?? I thought for sure we'd see that in the season previews, so I waited. but nothing.

Posted by: vafan3 | October 8, 2010 10:26 AM | Report abuse

There are NO real hockey-lifers in this media market, they're all temps who will move on to write about something else in a few years.

We used to when Bob Fachet and Dave Fay were around but not anymore... and some people say this is a hockey town now.

Posted by: joek443 | October 8, 2010 10:27 AM | Report abuse

Saw this over at Jaspers;
"The pair go on to question and refute the substance of the Gordon quote and then to out the reporter to whom they were referring as then-Washington Post beat writer Tarik El-Bashir (who back on the June 26 edition of Japers' Rink Radio said of Neuvirth, "there are a few question marks there in terms of attitude and work ethic, and a few things that, you know... I mean, there are some concerns there.").

Be curious to know if that's why Tarik is gone.

Posted by: Iceman10 | October 8, 2010 10:28 AM | Report abuse

Mike Wise has already written an article begging to be let into the Caps fan "circle". He admitted that he isnt the most knowledgable hockey guy.

I dont read ANY of his stuff, or listen to his radio show.

But I do agree with cutting the dude some slack.

Posted by: wtf_e_fehr


Actually that was an extremely sarcastic article pretty much saying that the die hard fans were refusing to let the newbies jump on board.

I have no problem whatsoever with the new fans (the more the merrier) but Wise has always done everything he could to belittle the Caps until last year when he realized that it was the "in" thing to like the Caps.

He will never get slack from me, guy is an absolute d0uche in my book.

Posted by: PhilR | October 8, 2010 10:29 AM | Report abuse

mike wise is like wilbon. They should never ever ever be allowed to write about hockey.


@Lloyd

The email associated with my "richmondphil" handle was used by me and my ex-fiance. I no longer use/have access to that email, so I had to create a new one. *shrug... Women...

Posted by: richmondphil2

that's what happens when you spend so much time on a hockey blog! hope you learned your lesson...

it would be funny if she started posting here under your old name tho

Posted by: cstanton1 | October 8, 2010 10:32 AM | Report abuse

ok i won't bag on Wise anymore but this is where he really is clueless.

"For all the work done in the Eastern Conference last season, the Nos. 7 and 8 seeds played for the right to go to the Stanley Cup finals. San Jose was knocked out in the first round in 2009 after winning the Presidents' Trophy.

It's an empty award. Now, like Laich said Thursday, it's foolish to tell players to stop playing well in February because they need to save it for May - "I mean, we were supposed to just stop at 10 games last year?" he asked, rhetorically.

No. But don't get worn out too early. That's not just on Boudreau; that's on the leadership of this team. That's on Ovie (as if he doesn't have enough pressure being the most dynamic player in the game)."

Wise tries to make a point that the Caps can't simply just stop playing well during the reg season and save it for the playoffs. He doesn't get it. Its not about saving yourself for the playoffs. Its about being able to play a certain style of hockey in the reg season, that is conducive to winning in the playoffs. The Caps don't have to sandbag the reg season. They need to change the way they play during the reg season, still find a way to win enough games to qualify, and then carry that style over into the playoffs.

its amazing to me this simple concept gets so bastardized.

this is where the entire "reg season doesn't matter" argument stemmed from. Its not that the reg season doesn't matter, its that you don't put your win/loss total at the top of your priority list. You try to win enough games to qualify by playing a style suited for a deep playoff run. That's where the Caps have been falling short. I don't even know if THEY get it.

Posted by: cstanton1 | October 8, 2010 10:39 AM | Report abuse

what the hell was up with that crappy band that played for the season kickoff in toronto? that was brutal

i guess canadiens listen to nickelback so i guess they like that junk too

Posted by: _stevo | October 8, 2010 10:41 AM | Report abuse

Cstanton's list of Mcphee activity 4-5 years ago is a riot. Majewsky couldn't even crack the Hershey line up. What a mess!! We definately don't live in a hockey town. GMGM would be done in Montreal after that dung pile of a list.(Not to mention Butch "the cocktail napkin Kid" Casssidy)

Posted by: Hunterforcoach

I'm always to paste a self-serving msg like this but he's right about the fact we don't live in a hockey town. The fans and media are definitely supportive of the team so its a hockey town from that perspective. But from a knowledge perspective it falls way short. That's why you end up having to suffer thru Mike Wise columns about hockey. If some of his stuff got printed in a real hockey town he'd get laughed right now. There's no indepth critical analsyis. Its very superficial stuff.

Compare the articles on the Redskins to those on the Caps. When writers discuss the Skins, they get very detailed. They talk about cause-and-effect. Here we're lucky if any media writer revisits anything from the past. That's up to us fans to sift thru and make sense of.

Posted by: cstanton1 | October 8, 2010 10:44 AM | Report abuse

PhilR: Got your picks! Glad you guys had a good time I'll see where we can hook you up again. Not going to flame you for your picks Pittsburgh and Vancouver (going on memory but I do still have your email) are wise choices in my book, but no one buys my book. Anyone else willing to play in the pick your team(s) game send your selections both here and to PickCupChamp@yahoo.com. That email address will die soon because I don't like maintaining a yahoo account.

Posted by: fanohock1 | October 8, 2010 10:45 AM | Report abuse

@cstanton1

Wilbon needs to be banished from all types of media. He is worthless and ignorant, and a little bit of a racist. If I had to, I could read something from Wise, not Wilbon. And as someone mentioned, at least Wise jumped on the bandwagon and pretends to like the home team, rather than bash it and then dream about a Lebron and Kobe threesome.

Posted by: SeminAllOverTheIce | October 8, 2010 10:45 AM | Report abuse

oops, typo--it should've read
"I'm always EMBARASSED to paste a self-serving msg like this"

Posted by: cstanton1 | October 8, 2010 10:48 AM | Report abuse

hey Philr, I was going to say Vanc and Pitt too lol, but I'll go with my 2nd choice just to be different and the fact that what Vanc has done in the past few days imo is questionable

So my picks are Pens v the Sharks even though like I've said, its a largely uneducated stab at it and there are about 5 or 6 other teams that I think can be in the mix but I need to actually see a sampling of their games.

@fanock
We should do a separate selection further into the season. Around xmas maybe. Those will mean more.

Posted by: cstanton1 | October 8, 2010 10:53 AM | Report abuse

interesting comments about Boogey's role with the Rangers. And pinpoints what I think is the single greatest benefit of carrying an effective enforcer. The fact it lets and encourages others to play bigger. But that msg has to come from above. I expect some very entertaining moments from Sean Avery this yr.

http://www.nydailynews.com/sports/hockey/rangers/2010/10/06/2010-10-06_boogaard_man.html

--While adding an enforcer doesn't directly result in more goals, it can be beneficial by allowing players to be more physical without as much fear of reprisal - something the Blueshirts are looking forward to.

"I had a bad taste in my mouth left from last year, so I'll certainly come out with a snarl on, for sure," says Sean Avery, perhaps the NHL's premier agitator, but not known for working with his fists. "It's always nice to have a guy like that around to clean up, either a mess that I've created or a mess that someone else on the other team is trying to create."

Posted by: cstanton1 | October 8, 2010 10:57 AM | Report abuse

fanohock,

Yeah, I debated long and hard on those picks and it REALLY pained me to have the Pens coming out of the east but that is how I currently see it......although if that rookie goalie for the Flyers can keep up that type of play all year who knows!

And I still hope the right moves are made so I can eat my words and watch Ovie and the boys lift the Cup come June 2011.

Posted by: PhilR | October 8, 2010 10:57 AM | Report abuse

Posted by: cstanton1 | October 8, 2010 10:58 AM | Report abuse

My problem is that Mike likes to ruffle the feathers of Caps Fans. He's disingenuous in all of his articles and makes wild unfounded statements (ex. the Caps should lose more in the regular season?) Why would that be a good strategy for any sports team? Maybe saying I hate him is a bit rash but he is definitely an ignoramous and a blowhard and the two don't seem to mesh well together when you want to draw an audience.

Posted by: LloydChristmas | October 8, 2010 10:59 AM | Report abuse

Think Ronnie was in town a couple weeks ago. Made some sort of appearance at McFaddens. Assuming that's where it all went down.

Posted by: Fro_2 | October 8, 2010 11:05 AM | Report abuse

And I still hope the right moves are made so I can eat my words and watch Ovie and the boys lift the Cup come June 2011.

Posted by: PhilR | October 8, 2010 10:57 AM

koolaider!
haha, no i wish the same. Its either that or suffer thru another offseason like this.

McPhee-watch ->> approx 600 days and counting down.

Posted by: cstanton1 | October 8, 2010 11:06 AM | Report abuse

> is this for real?????

Any POS that refers to "Blackhawks forward Jason Toews" isn't worth taking too seriously.

Posted by: yosemite_sam | October 8, 2010 11:07 AM | Report abuse

I also know it is asking a lot, and I know I could go elsewhere if I don't want to read posts contrary to my thoughts on the Capitals, but please, everyone, let's not have the sky is falling, GMGM and BB need to go, and see I told you so posts littering the board if things don't go the way I assume we'd all like them to go tonight. Conversely, I will not, and I ask that other people characterized as kool-aid drinkers do the same. No claims of Stanley Cup championships if things go extremely well tonight.

Things I hope don't happen but wouldn't be surprised if they did:

- Neuvirth starts out slow
- Johansson has a couple of blunders
- Flash project ends midgame

Anyhow, it's just one game folks, please keep that in perspective.

Posted by: fanohock1 | October 8, 2010 11:07 AM | Report abuse

I am still amazed to see the Flyers get three guys in traffic in front of the opposing goalie on the PP. I hope the Caps players and coaches were watching. And the gooning has been greatly reduced. Laviolette is a f-ing genius.

Posted by: zmega | October 8, 2010 11:09 AM | Report abuse

@cstanton1:

At least I think Ted Leonsis agrees with you that the Caps need to play a style that is conducive to winning in the playoffs.

The reason I say that I think he agrees with you is from his blog post from last year (paraphrased) where he said he would rather see the Caps win 2 - 1 than 8 - 1.

He got hammerred by people on blogs comments and message board for that statement, but I think the idea is there that he understands that the team needs to be playing well defensively to win in the playoffs.

And I agree that will be the key, if the team can be solid defensively in the playoffs, they will win.

The team has to take the regular season and teach themselves how to play a solid defensive game and to do it consistantly, game in and game out.

Posted by: piratusus | October 8, 2010 11:12 AM | Report abuse

fanohock,

I hope and pray your third prediction actually does happen and he gets traded for Regehr! Just don't see Flash as the answer at 2C, would rather see MaJo there at the beginning of the season as I think that is where he will end up by mid-year anyway.

I know we don't agree about Flash but you must admit he has not shown the defensive skills to play center at the NHL level.

Posted by: PhilR | October 8, 2010 11:14 AM | Report abuse

I also know it is asking a lot, and I know I could go elsewhere if I don't want to read posts contrary to my thoughts on the Capitals, but please, everyone, let's not have the sky is falling, GMGM and BB need to go, and see I told you so posts littering the board if things don't go the way I assume we'd all like them to go tonight. Conversely, I will not, and I ask that other people characterized as kool-aid drinkers do the same. No claims of Stanley Cup championships if things go extremely well tonight.
-----------------

personally, i look for HOW the game was played. Not a win or loss. That's not how I judge an individual game. Wins and losses come into play when judging a longer stretch of games.

So if the Caps win and still play like they haven't learned any lessons, it needs to be pointed out. But I'll temper my tone. Unless I see Semin or a similar player act like a total powderpuff on the ice at which I may go a bit ballistic.

But if they lose tonight, and play a brand of hockey I can be on board with, I'll commend them for it and dismiss the end result.

imo, that's the way EVERY individual game should be judged. To gloss over mistakes in a win, or to ignore the positives in a loss, is counterproductive.

Posted by: cstanton1 | October 8, 2010 11:14 AM | Report abuse

Flash will probably score a goal tonight, play weakly along the boards and his own end, and still get praised heaped upon him anyway.

Posted by: cstanton1 | October 8, 2010 11:18 AM | Report abuse

The reason I say that I think he agrees with you is from his blog post from last year (paraphrased) where he said he would rather see the Caps win 2 - 1 than 8 - 1.

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

i saw his blog post that stated he understood that playoff hockey was different from reg season hockey and that they weren't going to get overconfident in the playoffs just because they were racking up so many wins.

I wonder what happened to that...players hinted they took the Habs a little lightly and that they didn't make the necessary adjustment to playoff hockey. Throw in a token hot goalie excuse and you wonder what lessons were really learned.

Posted by: cstanton1 | October 8, 2010 11:21 AM | Report abuse

Have any of you ever been to Phillips Arena? It's probably one of the more "unique" arena's in the league. First off you can't walk a circle on the concourse. It dead ends at one end of the rink. This sucked when I was looking for my section and it was on the other side. The other thing is inside the arena, one whole side of it is luxury boxes. So from the ice you have say 20 rows that go up then the boxes start and go straight up. It's really odd. I've been there a few times and I still can't decide if I like it or not. I don't think it's as loud there as it could be. I mean one whole side of the rink is boxes so how much "noise" is generated from there? For those of you who haven't been there imagine taking all the boxes in VC and putting them on the side of the ice that's across from the benches. It certainly has a weird feel when you're there.

Posted by: pokerfaceI208 | October 8, 2010 11:39 AM | Report abuse

@cstanton:

If the Caps had the chance to play that series again would you bet against them?

Also give me 3 players on the Caps you like...... Go.

Posted by: will111 | October 8, 2010 11:51 AM | Report abuse

Hendricks gets the nod tonight over DJ King and Boyd Gordon.

Posted by: ThePat | October 8, 2010 11:54 AM | Report abuse

From Laich sticking up for BB: "So any criticism towards him, I'd like to have words with the person that says that, because I think it's totally unjustified. "

Hey Cstanton.... I think Brooks might want a word with you. Seeing as you have been in a lot of NHL locker rooms, I would keep my head up.

Posted by: will111 | October 8, 2010 11:55 AM | Report abuse

That was nice... coulda had him (Jordon Eberle) in a Caps uni.

But hey...

BABY GUS WILL BE BETTER! YOU JUST WAIT!!!

Posted by: wtf_e_fehr
----
As Eberle was the 22nd pick overall pick in hte 2008 draft, there might be a dozen teams ahead of us that will be kicking themselves saying "We coulda had Eberle instead of "!

I believe at the bar watching the 2008 draft I was praying that Colten Teubert would fall to #21... and then when he was taken 13th, I was praying for Eberle or Tedenby... and low and behold... we passed... on BOTH... but Edmonton and LOU DID NOT!

I'm admittedly a fan of GMGM and his overall drafting but man not getting either of the above kinda hurt me a bit.

Posted by: FrankM73 | October 8, 2010 11:56 AM | Report abuse

anybody see ivanans get destroyed last night?

Posted by: _stevo | October 8, 2010 11:58 AM | Report abuse

oh and lastly, I want to see about 30 hits from the Caps in tonight's game. That should be a goal for them in every game, to get to around 30 hits spread fairly evenly across 3 periods. And in a road game against a div opponent who has massively upgraded their size/grit this offseason, I want the Caps to go in there like lions instead of lambs. To start the season off on a new positive note that shows their commitment to paying a price.

Sometimes they start hitting only when they're behind and then ease up when they tie up the game. You look around the league and teams like the Penguins routinely get to 25-33 hits a game without much problem. That's called "putting in the work".

Those are some of the signs I look for to see what lessons the Caps have learned and what their philosophy will be this season. I haven't heard one word out of them all offseason about finishing more checks so until proven differently, I still expect this team to struggle to get to the 20 hit mark in every game. Defensively, Carlson and Green will be the only hitters unless Erskine gets into the lineup. I don't expect Alzner, Sarge, or Poti to contribute in that dept.


p.s. I just checked last night's games. Phi-Pit and Mon-Tor had about 30 hits per team. Cal-Edm were a little off the pace averaging about 25 hits each. And Chi-Col and Car-MN were under 20.

Its never that black n white of course. In some arenas the hit counters are judged differently, sometimes night from night. But over the course of a season it all evens out. And if the Caps are hovering at the 15-20 hit counter versus the 25-30 hit counter on most nights, well imo that isn't a good omen. The only way they mitigate that is by showing enough grit in other areas that don't show up on the hit counters the way the Canucks and Hawks have done. But this isn't a scrappy team so I don't expect that to occur.

This team's grit needs to be visible via their hitting. And spread pretty evenly across the team. You don't need just a few guys racking up most of the hits. Because that means the only times this team is being physical is when those 2 or 3 players are on the ice.

Currently, the only forwards I see who are consistent hitters are Ovy, Brads, and Hendricks. Laich, Fehr, Knuble, King (ice time?), Steckel, Chimera, Gordo all need to chip in with 2 or 3 hits in every game. The rest should be getting at least 1 or 2. That'll get you to the 30 hit counter. And it isn't too much to ask.

/end of rant

I look fwd to the game tonight.

go caps.

Posted by: cstanton1 | October 8, 2010 11:58 AM | Report abuse

@cstanton:

Also give me 3 players on the Caps you like...... Go.

Posted by: will111

yawn

I like abut half the players. And none of the coaches or the GM. Need more specifics? Scroll up, scroll down, scroll all around. I'm not doing your work for you.

Posted by: cstanton1 | October 8, 2010 12:02 PM | Report abuse

Hey Cstanton.... I think Brooks might want a word with you. Seeing as you have been in a lot of NHL locker rooms, I would keep my head up.

Posted by: will111 |

what's he gonna do? hold me against the boards? give me an oil change or something?
i'd like to see some of that fire redirected into his play. He can be inconsistent.

Posted by: cstanton1 | October 8, 2010 12:05 PM | Report abuse

Hendricks gets the nod tonight over DJ King and Boyd Gordon.

Posted by: ThePat

lol, so we can't find a way to get both King AND Hendy into the lineup at the same time?

that should elevate our grit level upfront about 3% from last yr. And replacing ShaMo with alzner is about a 25% downgrade.

Posted by: cstanton1 | October 8, 2010 12:08 PM | Report abuse

@cstanton:

If the Caps had the chance to play that series again would you bet against them?

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

i'd bet against the Caps last yr in ANY series. The irony is, the one series I thought they could win was the Habs one. But had they faced Philly or Pittsburgh, forget about it. Ditto with Boston. The teams I thought we matched up best against were the Devils and Habs, and possibly Buffalo. But I'd give em even odds against those teams. And definite losses v Pit and Philly and probably the Bruins.

Posted by: cstanton1 | October 8, 2010 12:11 PM | Report abuse

@thepat

where does it say the scratches?

Posted by: _stevo | October 8, 2010 12:17 PM | Report abuse

cstanton1: Fair enough, a win isn't a win these days, these guys have proven the last couple of years they can win, now it's time to analyze a little deeper. One thing to keep in mind though is if there has been a fundamental change to the BB system, say one that you would like to see implemented, it's not going to happen over night. The lines he puts on the ice today have only worked together (if a altered system is in place) for the last three days. There will be some growing pains, and maybe some losses until it's clicking.

PhilR: I have never believed that Flash is capable of playing center, on any line. I just don't buy into the "Flash sucks" campaign that some want to sell bumper stickers for. I cannot even recall who has said that for sure, and not saying you have either. Flash has shown the ability to score at the NHL level, so he doesn't suck. He also doesn't appear to have hit a plateau in terms of scoring because his production has increased as he has matured. Now it is time to tweak his game and improve the defensive side of his game and strength with the puck and start winning a majority of the physical one on one battles. If he can't do that, which I question, his stint as center will be over in the NHL and he will find a home in the NHL on the wing. Hopefully that home will be based on a trade for something we drastically need in return.

Posted by: fanohock1 | October 8, 2010 12:17 PM | Report abuse

anybody see ivanans get destroyed last night?

Posted by: _stevo | October 8, 2010 11:58 AM |

caught it this morning. Looks like a concussion courtesy of big Mac. Edm has to feel good about the way they played. They win 4-0, they get into 4 fights, their heavy knocks out his counterpart. And check out this shift. This is what you want to see. 3 hits within 10 seconds in the offensive zone and it leads to a fight in the heat of the moment.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Rv0bOUxmjS0&feature=player_embedded#!

Posted by: cstanton1 | October 8, 2010 12:19 PM | Report abuse

interesting. I was most worried about them playing the Habs because they struggled every time they played against them in the regular season. They did well against the Pens, Phylers and B's..

Posted by: billd2 | October 8, 2010 12:20 PM | Report abuse

cstanton1: Fair enough, a win isn't a win these days, these guys have proven the last couple of years they can win, now it's time to analyze a little deeper. One thing to keep in mind though is if there has been a fundamental change to the BB system, say one that you would like to see implemented, it's not going to happen over night. The lines he puts on the ice today have only worked together (if a altered system is in place) for the last three days. There will be some growing pains, and maybe some losses until it's clicking.
-----------

ok. I don't like to offer sweeping predictions based on one game. But I think the opening game usually gives you a decent idea of where this team's mindset is. If they come out looking tentative, playing a soft game at both ends, its gonna really rile me up. You know Atl will come out aggressively. That should NOT catch the Caps by surprise. They'll be crashing the net and trying to run our guys thru the boards. If one our guys gets hurt, there'll be some 2ndguessing as to why Bruce decided to bench his heavyweight in the very 1st game against a potentially big aggressive team.

But I'll critique (positively and negatively) without saying the season is doomed if I think they didn't measure up. Regardless of outcome.

now...if a snide comment comes out here n there that I may be forced to respond to, don't hold it against me!

Posted by: cstanton1 | October 8, 2010 12:25 PM | Report abuse

interesting
I was really worried when we drew the Habs. We struggled against them in the regular season whereas we did well against the Pens, Phylers and B's

Posted by: billd2 | October 8, 2010 12:27 PM | Report abuse

@Cstanton

NO Way! B.S. You would have placed the Caps below everyone else?

OK Are you saying the same this year? Caps will not win one round?

Posted by: will111 | October 8, 2010 12:29 PM | Report abuse

@steveo

Katie posted it on her twitter feed, the morning skate lines.

Posted by: ThePat | October 8, 2010 12:30 PM | Report abuse

@cstanton:
You don't like alzner either. Seriously, I asked you before and I'll ask again.....

Name 3 Caps players you like. Carlson, ovi, and backstrom?

Posted by: will111 | October 8, 2010 12:32 PM | Report abuse

symbolically, when you scratch DJK at the start of the season, what that tells me is they don't consider him or that role to be very important.

He's going to be a part time player this season. Atlanta certainly isn't a small speedy team. You'd think that of all teams, he'd be dressed for a contest like this one. To go against guys like Eager/Thorburn and whoever else is dressed on that 4th line and not worry about facing a team that has more skill than you do, knowing the only way Atlanta can keep up with the Caps is to win the physical battles.

Its a little disheartening is all. I was hoping they knew HOW to use and develop a 4th line tough guy and not just insert him cold into a game v the Rags or Flyers.

Posted by: cstanton1 | October 8, 2010 12:33 PM | Report abuse

Philly v Pittsburgh: great puck and that Bobrowski can play. WTF?? Where did he come from?

Yes, everyone, the Eberle goal was amazing.

I can't share the enthusiasm about the league's new goons. I saw the f-ed up cheap shot the Chicago goon (Dickel?) put on Matt Duchesne. That, my friends, is not in any way good for the game, nor are scar-faced thugs the proper way to deal with it. Poison gas analogy still applies, imo.


Posted by: RedLitYogi | October 8, 2010 12:38 PM | Report abuse

I can think of another recent vintage team who shut it down in the regular season to save themselves for the playoffs. They were the Indianapolis Colts circa 2009 and look what happened to them.

Go Caps, rock the red, Dan Snyder is horrible, and the Redskins still stink.

Posted by: playahatah | October 8, 2010 12:38 PM | Report abuse

will111,

How long have you been reading this blog? I have personally read cstanton give players praise on more than one occasion altough he has issues with those who aren't willing to pay the price when needed of which there are a few on this team.

He was also one of the few last year that stated before the playoffs started that the Caps were not built to win the Cup at the time.

Stop berating and start reading his posts a bit more. He actually really knows hockey and has enlightened me on more than one occasion about players I had little knowledge of. Like quite a few of us who post here he just wants the team to show it KNOWS how to play playoff hockey, something they have not been able to do the last three seasons.

Posted by: PhilR | October 8, 2010 12:41 PM | Report abuse

@Cstanton

NO Way! B.S. You would have placed the Caps below everyone else?
-----------------

why B.S. ? you think i'm lying in hindsight? I said the same thing prior to the playoffs last yr and over the course of last season. I think we match up in the playoffs well with a team like the Devils, Habs, and possibly the Sabres. Although in 2 yrs the Sabres will have a very different look to them based on how they've been drafting.

Posted by: cstanton1 | October 8, 2010 12:43 PM | Report abuse

@RedLitYogi

Players police themselves. If Colorado didn't like it they should have done something about it. I agree though pretty cheap.

Posted by: will111 | October 8, 2010 12:44 PM | Report abuse

What should we be looking for tonight? My list -
1. Is the PK actually more aggressive?
2. Does Flash hold up at 2C?
3. Do the Caps consistently get traffic (other than Knuble) in front of the opposing goalie?
4. The young d - does Alzner hold his own in the physical play and does Carlson get caught up ice by being overly aggressive offensively?

Posted by: zmega | October 8, 2010 12:46 PM | Report abuse

@Cstanton

Ok so answer the question. The Caps made very few changes this off season, are you predicting they don't win 1 round this year?

Posted by: will111 | October 8, 2010 12:48 PM | Report abuse

I just observed that we have pretty decent size on this team.

We have 1 player listed under 6 ft tall - MJ
at 5'11"

We have 2 players listed under 200 lbs - MJ (189) Flash (192)

MJ is a kid, whats Flash's excuse?

HE'S MORE OF A FLYWEIGHT THAN CSTANTON!!!

That said, I WANT TO SEE SOME HITTIN TOO BUDDY!

Posted by: wtf_e_fehr | October 8, 2010 12:53 PM | Report abuse

@cstanton:
You don't like alzner either. Seriously, I asked you before and I'll ask again.....

Name 3 Caps players you like. Carlson, ovi, and backstrom?

Posted by: will111

I'll put em in categories based on how I feel about them 'given their roles'.

Like a lot:
Ovy, Backs, Carlson, Hendricks, Brads

Like:
Knuble, Laich, Steckel, King

Cautiously optimistic they will continue a recent trend:
Green, Fehr

Neutral:
Erskine

Dislike:
Flash, Sarge, Semin, Alzner, BGordo (could be in the cautiously optimistic group, while Alzner could be in the jury out on group but so far i really hate his playing style).

Jury out on:
MaJo, Sloan


On the surface, its probably not out of touch with many other Caps fans. The major disagreement is how we feel about the mgmt/coaching. I intensely dislike McPhee. I am caught somewhat in the middle on Boudreau. He has brought this org some players who have matured (Laich, Steckel from Manchester) and has also saddled us with some guys I don't much care for. My biggest prob w/BB is his arrogance on his offensive system and how he frequently glosses over mistakes just because we won the game.

When he was with Hershey, he made a comment that no team can expect to win if they finish a paltry # of checks per game. That was his quote.

I'd sure love for him to carry that over to the NHL. I think he's just a guy who mis-prioritizes some very core concepts. I don't like his choice of personnel on the PK. I don't like the way he shortens his bench. I fear he's clueless about how to utilize a DJK.

Posted by: cstanton1 | October 8, 2010 12:56 PM | Report abuse

BTW, I recorded the Wild vs Canes game and couldn't wait to get home to see the 1st game of the year. What a boring game that was. Whistle after whistle and both looked like they were still in the preseason, especially compared to the games played later in the day. The Pens/Flyers game had a nice pace and I enjoyed it as a fan of hockey. Really glad to see that Crosby didn't figure into any of the firsts in the new stadium.

Posted by: fanohock1 | October 8, 2010 12:57 PM | Report abuse

@PhilR:
1. You said you "personally read"... how can you NOT personally read something? Hmm...

2. I didn't berate anyone. I simply asked a question that he still has not answered.

3. To learn about hockey you came to an opinion blog? Interesting choice.

4. He knows how to watch hockey and maybe enjoy it.... Well I'm pretty sure based on the posts I've read (personally read that is) he doesn't enjoy watching the "Eurotrash Caps".. i think that's what he called them.

5. You don't sense a hint of arrogance from someone who claims they know more about hockey and what the Caps should be doing then those that have been around hockey for their entire lives? It's one thing to disagree with those who run the team, it something else to claim they have no idea what their doing.

6. I'll try and be more nice.

Posted by: will111 | October 8, 2010 1:00 PM | Report abuse

Who is this tool DJ Gallo that wrote that A to Z article on ESPN today? What a complete tool that guy is!

Posted by: PhilR | October 8, 2010 1:01 PM | Report abuse

...also we have our smallest players right down the middle at C, cept Steckel

Posted by: wtf_e_fehr | October 8, 2010 1:01 PM | Report abuse

Aww..a new season. Will there be any live chats during the games this year? I really enjoy those.

Posted by: nicety251 | October 8, 2010 1:03 PM | Report abuse

will111
you're approaching sgm3 territory with the questions to cstanton1

cstanton1
* does not like the teams current style of play
* does not like how 'soft' more than a few of the player are
* does not like gmgm’s drafting philosophy (almost exclusively skill - not enough grit)

* does believe they can win in the reg season (almost at will) but come the playoffs their chances of winning any given series is greatly reduced based on the style of game they play
* he is very discouraged to not see any progress in areas that need vast improve (in his opinion)

bottom line is he appears to be a die hard hockey fan with the caps being his favorite team
just because the caps are his favorite team does not mean he likes all of the players or even the front office
he would reluctantly liked to be proved wrong by the caps winning the SC

keep reading and you'll see which players he thinks are doing their job and as the season goes on you'll see how he thinks the caps will do in the postseason - it's why i keep coming back!

cstanton1:
not trying to fight any battles for you – just my observations

Posted by: Capt_Kirk_in_AZ | October 8, 2010 1:03 PM | Report abuse

@Cstanton

Ok so answer the question. The Caps made very few changes this off season, are you predicting they don't win 1 round this year?

Posted by: will11

you sound like sgm version 2. Equally annoying but I humor you anyway.

I can make a safe prediction in my own mind knowing what I think I know and say this team isn't ready for the Cup. But to talk about how far they'll possibly advance involves a lot of variables. Not the least of which is watching this team play at least one-third of the season to see what their playing style looks like and any lineup tweaks they'll make compared to what it currently looks like.


Then you have the added variable of the trading deadline.

Last season, I didn't think they'd advance past the first round and I reached that conclusion about halfway thru the season. After the trading deadline, I was even more certain of it. But when we drew the Habs, I gave the Caps even odds on advancing but then losing in the 2nd round.

Guess I gave em TOO MUCH CREDIT! lol, who knew

Posted by: cstanton1 | October 8, 2010 1:04 PM | Report abuse

PhilR...You are right, cstanton does have some knowledge and insight, but his statement about the Caps matching up against the Cans and Devils better than Pit, phil and Bos. is wrong. The devs and Cans were the only team to give the Caps problems. Caps had winning record against the others.

Posted by: nimrodrsp | October 8, 2010 1:05 PM | Report abuse

@Cstanton:

Thank you for your answer.

Posted by: will111 | October 8, 2010 1:05 PM | Report abuse

The dude posts like 50 times an hour, routinely repeats his point of view and rebutts almost every criticism.

HOW CAN YOU NOT KNOW WHERE HE STANDS?

...that is if you read.

Posted by: wtf_e_fehr | October 8, 2010 1:07 PM | Report abuse

lol kirk!

great (Drunken) minds think alaich

Posted by: cstanton1 | October 8, 2010 1:08 PM | Report abuse

@cstanton:

I anxiously await your predition this year.

Are you annoyed with people asking you to support your comments? I'm sorry. I'm I real jerk.

Posted by: will111 | October 8, 2010 1:10 PM | Report abuse

"he would reluctantly liked to be proved wrong by the caps winning the SC"

naaaaah
dude wants to see GMGM gone THEN we can/will win the cup!

Posted by: wtf_e_fehr | October 8, 2010 1:11 PM | Report abuse

PhilR...You are right, cstanton does have some knowledge and insight, but his statement about the Caps matching up against the Cans and Devils better than Pit, phil and Bos. is wrong. The devs and Cans were the only team to give the Caps problems. Caps had winning record against the others.

Posted by: nimrodrsp

the canes?
anyway, i thought it was fairly obvious that I put zero emphasis on reg season head-to-head statistics.

didn't we like kill the flyers 3 seasons ago during the reg season and then lose anyway in the playoffs? not saying, just asking. I thought I remember us skating around em like they were pylons. Then they made some lineup tweaks, got into a groove, and reverted to some oldschool flyer hockey which presented problems for us we hadn't encountered in the reg season.

@kirk - man, you summed me up perfectly. That's exactly my bio. To a tee. Well done. I am obviously an open book.

and just to prove I'm not addicted to this board, I'll leave you to your pregame chatter without any further interruptions. Hope to see a great gm tonight.

Posted by: cstanton1 | October 8, 2010 1:14 PM | Report abuse

"he would reluctantly liked to be proved wrong by the caps winning the SC"

naaaaah
dude wants to see GMGM gone THEN we can/will win the cup!

Posted by: wtf_e_fehr |

lmao, prolly closer to da truth


btw, this was for me, the shortest offseason ever. I can't believe the puck drops tonight. Just goes to show, you rant on enough and time flies by!

xoxo

Posted by: cstanton1 | October 8, 2010 1:17 PM | Report abuse

@ wtf_e_fehr

Why would anyone post 50 times a day during an 82 game season they find meaningless?

Posted by: will111 | October 8, 2010 1:20 PM | Report abuse

You know will111, I was attempting to be kind and point some things out to you since I have rarely seen you post here so assumed you were new to the blog. I will address your responses as such:

1. Ok grammar police, I thought this was a hockey blog not Romper Room.

2. Asking a question over and over is beratement IMO, if not in yours so be it.

3. I have been playing/watching hockey for almost 40 years now, I come on here because there are knowledgeable fans who post here and I like to talk hockey.

4. I say again, read more of his posts and you will see that he does indeed know the game of hockey......you don't agree with his views, who died and made you the hockey god?

5. He may make his point too agressively at times but if you look around that you can usually see that he is making decent points.

6. You certainly do not need to attempt to be nicer toward me as you have now proven what type of poster you are. If you actually have something HOCKEY related to talk about please do but just posting stuff that doesn't further the discussion is meaningless. ie, "who do you like on this team" "are they going to lose in the first round again this year" BS over and over.......

Have a wonderful day

Posted by: PhilR | October 8, 2010 1:23 PM | Report abuse

This board rocks!

Posted by: LloydChristmas | October 8, 2010 1:23 PM | Report abuse

cstanton...I think you wrong in stating that the Caps matched up better with Mon and NJ than against Pit, Phil and Bos. Mon and NJ gave the Caps fits with their trap defense. Caps had winning record against the other teams.

Posted by: nimrodrsp | October 8, 2010 1:24 PM | Report abuse

@ PhilR:

Holy Crap Phil you sound really mad at me.

I did not ask the same question over and over again. I asked him to answer the question. That's all. Clearly, I too am interested in his insight if I'm asking.

Asking who he likes on this present Caps team and how far the Caps are going to go in the playoffs IS furthering the hockey discussion and are very relevant questions for this blog.

Who are your favorite Caps and how far do you think they will go in the playoffs?

If you don't answer I will ask again. In no way should you take this as me berating you.

Posted by: will111 | October 8, 2010 1:33 PM | Report abuse

@ wtf_e_fehr

Why would anyone post 50 times a day during an 82 game season they find meaningless?

Posted by: will111 | October 8, 2010 1:20 PM

Bottom line...

The dude HATES GMGM. As long as GMGM is GM, there will be a reason to rip him. And since GMGM has put his prints on this team, rippage will occur.

He will watch, critique, give some limited praise, and RIP!

LOL

Posted by: wtf_e_fehr | October 8, 2010 1:34 PM | Report abuse

@will111

>>players police themselves

But the "police" - the enforcers - are the problem. The guy taking the cheap shot was there ostensibly to PREVENT people taking cheap shots (that is the logic which clearly does not work often). So if one team has one, all other teams have to have one. If one team decides to use 3, shall the other teams all have 3??

I agree with wtf_fehr that Cstanton01 is a knowledgeable and committed fan of the game. I've learned quite a bit from his and other peoples' posts here. But I've been a fan of this game a long time and this is the big area of disagreement. "Policing themselves" is a myth. The league, and the officials, decide, once and for all, how the game is played. They favor one kind of player or another.

I do disagree with him and quite a few others on this subject and on the subject of softness. They think Semin doesn't have passion for the game and the dislike of him is visceral, mainly because he appears to lack the psychopathic tendencies so prized in the North American game. In terms of his on ice vision, his touch, and his passing he is as good as any player in the world, deserving to be called a poet on the ice. But he won't go around throwing elbows. (Neither did Guy LaFleur, Mike Bossy, Wayne Gretsky, Jari Kurri, nor Brett nor Bobby Hull.)

Posted by: RedLitYogi | October 8, 2010 1:37 PM | Report abuse

@RedLitYogi

They have stars too. Take your goon and go after Kane. You can't stand for that stuff. I can tell you now. If some goon take a cheap shot at Backstrom, something needs to be done... they need to know their stars are fair game too.

That's how they police. Don't go after stars, but if you do, know that exposes your own stars. If they took policing out of the game more injuries would happen.

As for Semin, there is no other player on the Caps roster more suited for the KHL. What a talent!!! but man players like Semin do NOT win cups. Next year he might be in the KHL.... and probably should be.

Posted by: will111 | October 8, 2010 1:50 PM | Report abuse

I'm going to have to agree, Mike Wise's article was awful. Just plain stupid. It didnt have any real direction or thought to it. His points did not make a lot of sense. The caps didnt lose cause they won too much.

Posted by: kld34 | October 8, 2010 5:37 PM | Report abuse

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