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Motzko Sent Down

Joe Motzko was sent down after the game. But it's likely a paper transaction. I wouldn't be surprised to see him at KCI on Monday.

The Caps are off today.

By Tarik El-Bashir  |  October 21, 2007; 1:02 AM ET
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Next: Thinking Back and Looking Ahead


He screwed up so many times tonight. He shouldn't be up in the near future.

Posted by: Finn | October 21, 2007 3:37 AM | Report abuse

the Motzko experiment needs to end... NOW

Posted by: ButterSchultz | October 21, 2007 7:19 AM | Report abuse

totally agree! if Hanlon puts Motzko on power play one more time he deserves to be fired!

Posted by: me | October 21, 2007 7:37 AM | Report abuse

I'm HOPING to be surprised when it turns out it wasn't just a paper transaction. Get Motzko off the team, now. His play on the PP last night made me cringe and almost turn the telly off.

Posted by: HD89 | October 21, 2007 7:37 AM | Report abuse

Let me offer an alternative:
Chris Bourque

And don't just give him 5 mins of ice-time per game.

Please, give him just as much ice-time as Motzko and we'd be a better team already. Guaranteeed!

Posted by: HD89 | October 21, 2007 7:39 AM | Report abuse

Hmmm, I will refer to my post where I said "amount of time Motzko should be on the top line" - NEVER.... amount of time he will play - about 3 games.

This is exactly what happened. I was at the game last night, and quite frankly, pairing Motzko with Ovechkin, reminded me of Ciernik being paired with Jagr. It's just that Ovy has been trying to make it work, while Jagr never gave it a chance.

Let's face it - the Caps are not a strong overall team. They are still a "lower tier" or "bottom third" club that will have a slight chance for the 8th in the conference along with 3 or 4 others.

Posted by: Motz-a-ballz | October 21, 2007 8:05 AM | Report abuse

What's the problem?
If Semin play next week, he will play for motzko on the powerplay

Posted by: GermanCapitalsFan | October 21, 2007 9:42 AM | Report abuse

How many games can the Caps lose in a row without Hanlon officially being on notice?

Posted by: Time to start the watch? | October 21, 2007 9:44 AM | Report abuse

I don't blame Ted for all of this, some of this, but not all of this. How many owners would continue to lose money, and not think about selling the team or moving it. It was a disgrace to see Ovie booed when ever he touched the puck in his own rink by the other team's fans. The only time we sell out is when the Flyers, Penguins, and Rangers visit, and half of the crowd is filled with their fans. I don't know who posted it, but we our still are a bottom of the barrel team. Great 3rd and 4th line defensively, but not nearly enough scoring from the 1st and 2nd.

Posted by: Bob | October 21, 2007 10:00 AM | Report abuse

Motzko is, perhaps, the worst player I've seen in a Caps uniform in two decades. Ivan Ciernik was better than Mutzko. The bad Peter Sykora was better than Motzko.

Hanlon should be canned. That he sat Bradley and Sutherby in favor of a guy who chokes every single time he gets the puck tells me that our coach hasn't got a clue.

Penguins fans at the game last night were laughing that we kept putting Motzko out on the top PP unit. They probably had only seen one game all year (of the Caps), but knew enough after 1 shift that this guy is in way over his head. Hanlon is either stubborn or stupid. Neither are the characteristic of a coach I want for this team.

Posted by: Noah in MoCo | October 21, 2007 10:16 AM | Report abuse

I promised Ted I'd try to be less negative...but after seeing Hanlon stick with Motzko on the top powerplay unit again last night...I think it's time to bring in someone new. There is no excuse for how bad this team looks, other than coaching. We have the talent (except for Motzko) - but clearly have no idea what to do with it.

Posted by: Dan | October 21, 2007 10:19 AM | Report abuse

What I think is interesting is the press conference that Hanlon gave last night. He admitted that there needed to be better guys playing with Ovie but he is hesitant to move Clark b/c he likes having a checking line. If thats the case move Clark and put Sutherby in. He's a tough player and so what if he isn't playing a position that he normally does. Backstrom isn't playing center and he's adjusting. If Sutherby really wants to play he'll learn to excel at whatever position he's in.

Posted by: Anonymous | October 21, 2007 11:34 AM | Report abuse

Let's keep the comments about the Caps. And absolutely no positing under someone else's name, even if it's meant as a joke. Thanks.

Posted by: Tarik | October 21, 2007 11:34 AM | Report abuse

LOL... Good, Ted.

Didn't Gonchar look good last night? Wouldn't you love to see him in a Caps uni?

We HAD a hell of a good team nucleus with Gonchar, Witt and Bondra. So GMGM traded them knowing that AO was in the wings? Can you imagine???

Glad Motzko is out. Wish he was about 140 miles away. His proximity makes him too tempting for Hanlon. I could see Bourque or Laing moved up. Their stats look good, but playing AHL is different than NHL.

Getting realistic, what can be done...

Make a move to get a quality D-man along the lines of a Gonchar.

Make a move to get a solid Winger. We need two good forward lines with a checking line. Maybe a Jason Williams or Patrick Sharp type player. Both have PP skills and neither will break Ted's bank account.

Checking line has been pretty quiet lately. Reshuffle the first 2 lines when players are injured. Move guys up from 3rd line to 2nd or 1st depending upon who is hurt. Bring AHL'ers into the 4th line not the 1st (that's just plain stupid).

Make a move to get another D-man. Someone like Phaneuf in Calgary or Kronwal in Detroit.

Trade bait. Clark, Pettinger, Sutherby, Fleishman, Jurcina, Morrison, Pothier, Erskine, Schultz.

Hanlon's replacement will be difficult. While Hunter would be a good choice (from appearances), it would probably be difficult to draw him away from London, Ont. He's too ingrained as co-owner (with his brother), president, Head coach, player development, and chief cook and bottle washer. I'm also not sure how the transition would go from working with 17-20 year olds playing for recognition and scholarships, to NHL'ers and multi-million dollar contracts. His professional experience in NHL could mitigate that, but it's different behind the bench than sitting on it.

Frankly, I never really payed much attention to the coach other than for the teams for which I root. Since I am a Caps fan, I see this one. He's a stinker.

Posted by: Greg S. | October 21, 2007 12:24 PM | Report abuse

Question for Tarik -

This might be a hard question for you to answer, but don't you find it perplexing that the Caps try to force Motzko into a starting top line and top PP role, when other players with more experience, greater dependability, etc., don't get the shot? After one game, is was clear to a lot of people that Motzko was struggling mightily. Yet it took three games for Hanlon to stop putting him out in crucial situations. I saw Ovechking yelling at Motzko to get into the right position of faceoffs. I saw Ovechking slamming the bench door. Not all of this has to do with Motzko. But why did Hanlon stick with this for so long? What scares me is that you think this is just a paper transaction. Egad! If he's back for one more game then I'm going to demand a DNA test to see if they (hanlong and motzko) are related!

Posted by: Dan in DC | October 21, 2007 12:47 PM | Report abuse

Motzko reminded me of Kip Miller on the power play. I still have nightmares of the series against tb. bastard.

I hope both of them never wear a capitals jersey ever again.

Posted by: Go Skins Go | October 21, 2007 12:56 PM | Report abuse

Greg S- You want to trade the Captain? That makes no sense. And Jurcina and Morrison? Again, no sense. The problem is those two shouldn't be the 1st pairing yet.
Make a move to get Phaneuf? Because he's available? Like Crosby is available, or Ovechkin, or Stastny or Lecavalier, or Sakic or Lidstrom? While we're at it, why dont we just pick up Luongo? You don't pay any attention to the coaches of other teams? Carlyle? Bowman? How does any of that qualify as realism?
I'm going to guess that you were joking. If not, change the bong water ( :

I totally agree with putting AHL talent on the 4th line. That should be a no brainer. I can't believe that Motzko is on the top line, playing with Ovechkin. Crosby gets Sykora, Recchi, we get Motzko. Brilliant.

As for a Gonchar type player, no thanks. 98 finals, Gonchar responsible for Det's winning goal in the comeback game. each season, Gonchar was personally responsible for blowing it. He can stay in Pittsburgh. I'm counting on him. After all, he's been dependable.

Posted by: 007 | October 21, 2007 12:57 PM | Report abuse

Go Skins Go-

I hate to say it, but the Kozlov pick up reminded me of the Kip Miller pick up. Kozlov is better than Miller, but rather tahn pick up someone with the desired skill set, we get someone thats friendly with the player. The natural chemistry between OV and Koz dried up after game 2.

Posted by: 007 | October 21, 2007 12:58 PM | Report abuse

you know what's ironic - the fact that Randy Carlyle recommended Hanlon to put Motzko with skilled players and so on. Kind of funny given the fact that Carlyle was the one who kept Motzko a healthy scratch the entire season!

Posted by: me | October 21, 2007 1:31 PM | Report abuse

To 007

Gotta disagree. Kozlov was one of the best players out there last night. But when you play three games in a row with one quality teamate, and a third guy who can't even get out of the way...then your line is going to forever be out-manned.

Posted by: Dan - DC | October 21, 2007 1:46 PM | Report abuse

Didn't see the game but it sounds from the postings simply like Motzko was asked to do more than he should've been and otherwise was an acceptable fill-in. His PP performance shouldn't color his abilities as a fill-in if needed.

Hanlon's been doing his best to make lemonade from lemons in recent years, give him a little time to play with/figure out the new toys.

Posted by: austinsteve | October 21, 2007 1:46 PM | Report abuse

I wouldn't say Motzko was consistently awful, he actually isn't bad on the forecheck and in the corners. But he is frighteningly inconsistent and he seems to make his mistakes at the absolute worst times. I hope his "paper transaction" actually includes a bus ticket.
He's had his chance to try and make a spot for himself at the big club. Now it's time to give somebody else their chance.
I agree with the lemonade analogy that austinsteve made. But I do think Hanlon need to take a tougher stance with some of the silly mistakes our guys have made. Penalties are absolutely killing us.
Does anybody have Schoenfelds number?

Posted by: pmoravek | October 21, 2007 2:13 PM | Report abuse

can't blame gonchar on the stanley cup run. johanson was a bigger issue in the playoff run & the wings were really tough that year.

Posted by: jim | October 21, 2007 2:24 PM | Report abuse

Seriously, Tarik, how many NHL coaches would have played Motzko on the top scoring line and given him top PP minutes?

I think the answer is no one other than Hanlon. Hanlon is over his head. This is the NHL, not a high school hockey team.

Posted by: Sapper | October 21, 2007 4:14 PM | Report abuse


Yes, Clark. It's been done before and done here, too. Two things about that. First, it sends a wake up that no one is immune from being traded. Second, the captain is on the checking line? Is he really the leader the team needs with no goals this year? Having said that, I would definately NOT give the Captaincy to AO. He doesn't need that kind of distraction or pressure.

Everyone's available if the price is right. Some more realistically than others. The players I mentioned are not expensive in terms of salary. One does have to worry about salary cap. They are quality or up and coming. I'd send feelers out for them and a few others, too. That's what GM's do - or are supposed to do.

As for 98. Gonchar is a great D-man. His one screw-up came in the finals? I'll take that to GET to the finals.

Everyone's seen and heard of Scotty Bowman. I just never really paid attention to the other coaches. I know of a few, some I like and others I don't. Sorry if that makes me an incomplete hockey nut.

Posted by: Greg S. | October 21, 2007 4:26 PM | Report abuse

Seriously, Tarik, how many NHL coaches would have played Motzko on the top scoring line and given him top PP minutes? I think the answer is no one other than Hanlon. Hanlon is over his head. This is the NHL, not a high school hockey team.

I'm not trying to defend Motzko playing, but, Randy Carlyle did give him playoff ice time in the run to winning the Cup last year.

Posted by: slappy | October 21, 2007 11:22 PM | Report abuse

Top PP minutes is a totally different matter than playing time.

Hanlon seems to envision set roles for each player on the team, and doesn't want to deviate at all from that model. But some of these roles simply can't be filled by their designated actors. To have a head coach that rigid in his thinking is of serious concern.

Or is it McPhee doing his best to convince Hanlon of the talents of his acquisitions (not Kozlov / Poti / Nylander, but other trades and pick ups over the last couple of years) despite reality?

Posted by: pepper | October 21, 2007 11:49 PM | Report abuse

Top PP minutes is a totally different matter than playing time. Hanlon seems to envision set roles for each player on the team, and doesn't want to deviate at all from that model. But some of these roles simply can't be filled by their designated actors. To have a head coach that rigid in his thinking is of serious concern.

I'd say top PP minutes at the beginning of the season is about equal to ice time in the playoffs.

Hanlon does have his faults, but being stubborn about player's roles isn't one of them. Johnny in the net against the Pens is a recent example of not being 'rigid'. The use of Clymer on both defense and back to forward is another easy example.

Posted by: slappy | October 22, 2007 10:40 AM | Report abuse

greg s. officially lost respect, and his sense, after suggesting calgary would even consider for a second trading phaneuf, especially for any combination of the players you listed, or all of them combined for that matter. why not sign forsberg why were at it.

Posted by: sheesh | October 22, 2007 5:33 PM | Report abuse

Hey, me, not that this is a big point, but I'm just curious. Where on earth does this idea come from that Carlyle made Motzko a healthy scratch all season? Anaheim didn't even acquire him until Late January, and then he played 34 games in Portland before Anaheim called him up for the playoffs. I've seen this claim before, and it really puzzles me. It's just funny how this kind of misinformation gets around.

Posted by: norske | October 22, 2007 6:05 PM | Report abuse

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