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Ovechkin named finalist for Hart

No surprise here, but Alex Ovechkin has been named a finalist for the Hart Trophy as the NHL's most valuable player, joining Pittsburgh's Sidney Crosby and Vancouver's Henrik Sedin.

From the Caps' release:

Ovechkin - who has won the last two Hart Trophies and could join Wayne Gretzky (1980-87) and Bobby Orr (1970-72) as the only players ever to win it three year in a row - joins Pittsburgh's Sidney Crosby and Vancouver's Henrik Sedin as the three finalists.
Ovechkin led the NHL in points per game (1.51) and goals per game (0.69). He finished tied for second in the NHL in points (109) and was one shy of the league lead in goals (50) despite missing 10 games. He led all NHL forwards and was second in the league in plus/minus rating (+45), trailing only teammate Jeff Schultz. Ovechkin led the league in shots (368) and even-strength goals (37).
He had the fourth-best single-season point total in Capitals history and the franchise's 10th 50-goal season. His plus/minus rating ranks second in Capitals history.
Named captain Jan. 5, Ovechkin led the Capitals to a 30-4-7 record from that point on as Washington captured its first Presidents' Trophy for the best record in the league. The Capitals became just the fourth franchise in NHL history to post a 120-point season, finishing 54-15-13 (121 points) and winning a third consecutive Southeast Division title.

Votes from the hockey writers were submitted before the playoffs started. The winner will be announced June 23 in Las Vegas.

I'm working my what-went-wrong story for tomorrow's Post. I'm also seeking further clarification from the league regarding last night's disallowed goal.

By Tarik El-Bashir  |  April 29, 2010; 12:52 PM ET
 
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Next: Boswell: Time for some tough questions

Comments

Ovi had a great regular and deserves the Hart. Now the playoff a different story. He should have carried his team.
Hope the Caps trade Green for a stay-at-home d-man.
A very long summer ahead. Sucks!

Posted by: instinct227 | April 29, 2010 1:08 PM | Report abuse

It's too bad Bryzgalov and/or Ryan Miller are not in the running. Their respective teams wouldn't have done as well if not for them ... My vote would be for Sedin. He took that team on his back when his brother and others went down with injuries.

Posted by: Kegler300 | April 29, 2010 1:08 PM | Report abuse

I'll take "Who cares" for 1000 Alex....

Posted by: 850-850 | April 29, 2010 1:11 PM | Report abuse

Maybe Ovie will win another Hart and said "oh..oh..its..hot...hot" and point to the Stanley Cup that Cindy just won and say "Next year it's ours".

Posted by: 555Mass | April 29, 2010 1:12 PM | Report abuse

@instinct227

Please...Ovie had 1 bad playoff game. This loss is in no way on him! Heck...he tied i p last night before they made that ridiclous call. Ovie and Backie got the team to a game 7. Semin, Green, Flash, and even Brooks (until it was too late) didn't show up. I feel so bad for Ovie. This has been a cruel year to him and though I know I will be attacked for this...very little of it was his fault.

Posted by: capscoach | April 29, 2010 1:13 PM | Report abuse

I have to say, as a Caps fan for these last 11 years, I've seen my fair share of disappointing seasons. Let's not forget those 2000 and 2001 playoffs where the Caps lost in the first round to the Penguins. Those series really hurt too. Losing last night to a clearly inferior opponent is extremely disappointing, but I still have hope for the future. This team has the makings for greatness, they just haven't found it yet. Yes, some players need to go, but any talk of blowing up this team is way too extreme a solution.

I, like many of you, am now forced to admit that Sidney Crosby is the best player in hockey today, but to be honest, I don't know why any of us should care. It's a stupid debate. The only thing for which I am envious of Sidney Crosby is his Stanley Cup.

There are good foundations for this team to one day win a cup, but it's clear that we were all premature in annointing them Stanley Cup favorites. Keep the faith, Caps fans. I'm hurting a lot, just like the rest of you, but we will have our chance again someday, maybe even someday soon.

Posted by: squirrelly07 | April 29, 2010 1:13 PM | Report abuse

Mark my words: The NHL will not give the MVP award to a player who was suspended twice in a season for dirty hits. Sorry Ovie, the only trophy you get this year is the Prez.

Of note, only 7 Prez winners have won the SCF since its inception in the 85-86 season. Add another to list of failures.

Posted by: Terpintino | April 29, 2010 1:14 PM | Report abuse

Thanks for putting things in prospective squirrelly07.

Posted by: larryn703 | April 29, 2010 1:16 PM | Report abuse

BFD

Posted by: dlakjesad | April 29, 2010 1:20 PM | Report abuse

@terpintino.
Well said.

Any word on Brooks Laich's end of the season party? If, its in Georgetown again, I want to stop by and post "CHOKE" signs all over the resturant.

Posted by: 555Mass | April 29, 2010 1:20 PM | Report abuse

BTW, lets keep things in perspective: this team dominated the Habs for the first 4 games of this series. Especially game 3. It was their inability to close out the Habs that really makes this loss so tough. But to say that this team isn't built for the playoffs isn't entirely true. Losing this series was inexcusable, but the corrections that need to be made aren't as drastic as some have been calling for (i.e., lets hold off on firing the coach, GM, and 3/4 of the team).

Posted by: squirrelly07 | April 29, 2010 1:20 PM | Report abuse

It bugs me a lil when your better players, including the captain, blow off the optional skates ... how is THAT setting a good example. I can understand taking a day off or two during the regular season (which means nothing), but unless you're hurt (which doesn't seem to be the case), you should work extra in the playoffs.

Posted by: Kegler300 | April 29, 2010 1:22 PM | Report abuse

Meh.

Posted by: 4-12 | April 29, 2010 1:23 PM | Report abuse

I think we will have our chance again next year...but there needs to be a few crafty moves to make it happen.

The sum of the parts equals a whole. Follow that logic. Don't look at stats, look at substance, character...

But I'm also with 850-850...I couldn't care less about Ovie winning this award.

He doesn't deserve it and Green doesn't deserve the Norris...

Posted by: SoaringCaps | April 29, 2010 1:23 PM | Report abuse

ESPECILLY when the team is 1-for-LIFE in the playoffs on the PP

Posted by: Kegler300 | April 29, 2010 1:24 PM | Report abuse

@capscoach

I agree with you.

I do want to point out to some people that in the SCFs last year in games 5, 6, and 7 Crosby had 0 goals 0 assists and was a -3. In addition, he didn't play the second half of game 7. How is he credited for "leading" his team to victory.

Using only victories as determining how good a player is in a team sport is narrow minded. Championships matter and is a factor, but is not the end all be all when juding how good a player is.

If that was so then everyone in Pittsbugh would agree that Mark Rypien was a better QB than Dan Marino.

Posted by: sgm3 | April 29, 2010 1:25 PM | Report abuse

There are so many generalizations being made about Ovie and Crosby that it's absolutely ridiculous. According to them, it's the Washington Ovechkin and the Pittsburgh Crosby. Ovechkin, with the exception of game one, played hard this series. He put up numbers. His fellow Caps were MIA. Meanwhile, the PENGUINS, not Crosby single-handedly, were very much present, contributing, and victorious.

This is a continuation of last year's woes: Crosby's teammates were there (most notably Malkin) while Ovie (who put up statistically impressive numbers) was missing his teammates.

Posted by: MyPostIDisAfake | April 29, 2010 1:26 PM | Report abuse

I, like many of you, am now forced to admit that Sidney Crosby is the best player in hockey today, but to be honest, I don't know why any of us should care. It's a stupid debate. The only thing for which I am envious of Sidney Crosby is his Stanley Cup.

Posted by: squirrelly07 | April 29, 2010 1:13 PM | Report abuse

Can we please put an end to this nonsense? You don't have to admit anything, but it's simply not true. Crosby getting to the second round and Ovie getting ousted has no bearing whatsoever on who's the better player. They're still both great players, and no, Crosby is not clearly better than Ovie. Ovie did a lot for this team in the series. It wasn't his fault we lost. You might have a case if Ovie had scored 2-3 goals and 5 points, but he scored 5 goals and 10 points. He even tied the game up in the third period in game 7, but the refs wouldn't allow it.

Please, people, enough of this. Ovie is still a great player, and still on Crosby's level. The fact is the TEAM lost, not Ovie.

Posted by: TheDoubleAlex | April 29, 2010 1:30 PM | Report abuse

Erskine was worthless in this series....waive him....

I would also fire Joe Beninatti.....Im tired of him running his mouth....

Posted by: SA-Town | April 29, 2010 1:31 PM | Report abuse

Personally, I would love to hear the official league explanation for that disallowed goal, because from where I was sitting, well, there's a word for things like that, and it's not allowed on this blog.

Posted by: irockthered | April 29, 2010 1:34 PM | Report abuse

"I, like many of you, am now forced to admit that Sidney Crosby is the best player in hockey today..."
Posted by: squirrelly07
__________________________________
Sid isn't even the best player on his team. That would be Malkin. When Sid was out with injuries, Malkin carried that team; when Malkin is out, Sid is far from dominant.

Posted by: tess2201 | April 29, 2010 1:37 PM | Report abuse

i just want to say thanks to the caps for a great season and better luck next year with the playoffs. i'll be first in line when the doors open for the next season :)

all the negative people on here can just turn in your tickets and give them up to the fans who love this team through thick and thin. don't like how this team is playing? go root for someone else, elsewhere. don't wanna watch them on tv either? well, turn the set off. this team doesn't need you dumping on them.

Posted by: bcatron11 | April 29, 2010 1:39 PM | Report abuse

Everyone needs to calm down for a minute... Yes, Mike Green needs to go & I would trade him even for picks to build even more for the future & see if we can do better than a cheating defenseman who would rather score than stop a breakaway on his goalie... that was the worst playoff penalty & he should be banned for costing us the game single handedly.

The Gm/Coach do not need to change... yet. George McPhee has assembled a team that won the fricken President's Cup for the first time in 35 years folks... This was our first team that EVER had a legitimate chance to win the Stanley Cup & 1998 didn't count, we reached the finals due to an incredible run & all the top seeds lost which we didn't have to play. We ended up with home ice & took advantage. If only other GM's in the past had the vision McPhee had when he blew it up & rebuilt this team from the ground up... We would be perennial 4, 5, 6, 7, 8 seeds without any legit chance to beat the top guns.

Next, hockey is a fricken man's game & the core of our team is basically all under 25 years old except for Semin (26). The strength of men don't max out until they are near 30 years old... They will continue to get stronger & stronger... Look at the difference between Backstrom last year & this year. The young guns will only get stronger & better... I mean we started an all-rookie defensive line last night who are currently 20 & 21 years old... This line may play together for the next 10 years.

Consider this... The President's Cup has been issued since 1985-1986 & ONLY 7 have gone on to win the Stanley Cup. I'm sure all of them thought they were going to win. We have to go through these growing pains, anger, hate, etc etc to become grittier, hungrier, & tougher than any team in the playoffs in order to win the Cup, which is the most elusive crown in Sports... Think about it, basketball there are only 4 legit teams that have a chance... Baseball maybe 8... Football maybe 4-6 each year... In Hockey, they may not all have a chance to win the cup but any team can beat any team in 1 seven game series & that can't be said about the other sports.

"If your not first... your last!"

- Ricky Bobby

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Presidents'_Trophy

Posted by: tony325 | April 29, 2010 1:39 PM | Report abuse

"Crosby is not clearly better than Ovie."

---

Clearly better at winning championships. If you don't care about silly things like that, you have a point.

Saying things like "Where was Crobsy in the SCF last year?" Is so silly. Alex hasn't even led his team out of the *Second Round* let alone to the SCF. Crosby's already done it twice. Crosby's playoff series record is, what? 10-2? Alex's is 1-3.

Guys, this isn't even a discussion anymore.

Posted by: VTDuffman | April 29, 2010 1:39 PM | Report abuse

"all the negative people on here can just turn in your tickets and give them up to the fans who love this team through thick and thin. don't like how this team is playing? go root for someone else, elsewhere. don't wanna watch them on tv either? well, turn the set off. this team doesn't need you dumping on them."

---

A true fan would want what's best for the team, and settle for nothing less than continued success. Calling the team out for their very obvious shortcomings doesn't make them any less of a fan, it just makes them less of a sheep. Get over yourself.

Posted by: VTDuffman | April 29, 2010 1:41 PM | Report abuse

With regards to the goalie interference that halted play before the puck crossed the net, the same thing occurred to Ponikarovsky in the last pens/senators game. malkin was in the crease, bumped the goaltender about the same time the puck went in net. Still not sure what the exact reason for these types of calls but neither resulted in the goal or a penalty for goaltender interference. Funny thing is the pens rebounded and scored a couple minutes later. The caps, not really. The pens didn't talk about the play in the postgame period. Caps- that's all we'll hear about.
I still think the biggest mystery after watching this series is how can anyone feel mike green is worthy of the norris trophy.

Posted by: ulfie5 | April 29, 2010 1:45 PM | Report abuse

@VTDuffman

So Rypein was a better QB than Marino?

Posted by: sgm3 | April 29, 2010 1:45 PM | Report abuse

Just to add onto the whole Crosby/Ovie thing. As someone pointed out, Crosby had 0 points in the last 3 games of the finals last year. He also had a total of 1 goal and 2 assists. That's right. The great, clutch golden boy had 3 points in 7 games. I don't know about you, but I wouldn't exactly consider that "leading his team to victory". I'd consider that having a really good team that carried him when he had a bad series.

Posted by: TheDoubleAlex | April 29, 2010 1:49 PM | Report abuse

The Caps treated this first round like a joke...and the Canadiens made them pay.

Boudreau started it when Umberger made his comment. Boudreau shouldn't have said anything except, everyone is entitled to there opinion.

Ovie talked and talked about how excited they are about starting the playoffs and how this and that...then he made an idiot comment about Halak shaking...

Green yapping about how this year is going to be a better year for him.

STOP TALKING AND START PLAYING!!!

Like I said, OVIE is a kid, leading other kids...and that doesn't work...that's why teams that are successful have a Guerrin, Messier, Draper, Brind'Amour, Pronger, Neidermeyer, Chelios....

Not because those guys deliver points...

Posted by: SoaringCaps | April 29, 2010 1:49 PM | Report abuse

Scott Walker Washington Capitals $2500000 UFA F
Joe Corvo Washington Capitals $2625000 UFA D
Milan Jurcina Washington Capitals $1375000 UFA D
Eric Belanger Washington Capitals $1750000 UFA F
Nicklas Backstrom Washington Capitals $2400000 RFA F
Brendan Morrison Washington Capitals $1500000 UFA F
Eric Fehr Washington Capitals $771750 RFA F
Boyd Gordon Washington Capitals $761250 RFA F
Tomas Fleischmann Washington Capitals $725000 RFA F
Chris Bourque Washington Capitals $577500 RFA F
Quintin Laing Washington Capitals $500000 UFA F
Shaone Morrisonn Washington Capitals $1975000 UFA D
Jeff Schultz Washington Capitals $715000 RFA D
Jose Theodore Washington Capitals $4500000 UFA G

They can all go away except Backstrom.


CHOKING DOGS!!!

Posted by: lylewimbledon | April 29, 2010 1:50 PM | Report abuse

As far as Green For Norris, he will probably get it. It's based on the REGULAR season (Which like I said earlier means ZIPPY), where he had more goals, assists, points, +/- then any other D-Man.

This will also bring better trade value if they decide to do so.

Posted by: Kegler300 | April 29, 2010 1:52 PM | Report abuse

YEA! More regular season trophies that are meaningless!!

CHOKING DOGS!

Posted by: lylewimbledon | April 29, 2010 1:52 PM | Report abuse

"So Rypein was a better QB than Marino?"

Better at winning championships.

Do you really not think that The Dolphins organization and their fans wouldn't have traded all of Marino's personal accolades, records, and awards, for Rypien's Super Bowl Ring? Do you think *Marino Himself* wouldn't trade it all for that Ring?

Records come and go, individual awards get handed out every year...but Champions live forever. Literally, inscribed into the Trophy itself.

Posted by: VTDuffman | April 29, 2010 1:54 PM | Report abuse

I was listening to Mike Wise during my lunch and a lady called in and said she and her daughter got a flat tire on the way home from the game last night on Constitution Ave. AAA was going to be at least an hour. She said an SUV pulled up and out steps Brooks Laich who proceeded to change her tire on the side of the road in his suit. He had to of been feeling like crap. That's a good guy. Doesn't make that loss hurt any less, but it's nice to hear that we have people like that on the team.

Posted by: CAPSHOCKEY2 | April 29, 2010 1:55 PM | Report abuse

Clearly better at winning championships. If you don't care about silly things like that, you have a point.

Saying things like "Where was Crobsy in the SCF last year?" Is so silly. Alex hasn't even led his team out of the *Second Round* let alone to the SCF. Crosby's already done it twice. Crosby's playoff series record is, what? 10-2? Alex's is 1-3.

Guys, this isn't even a discussion anymore.

Posted by: VTDuffman | April 29, 2010 1:39 PM | Report abuse

See, this is what I expect from Pens fans. Assuming you're a Caps fan, I expect better from you. Last time I checked teams won series, not individual players.

I didn't even post "Where was Crosby in the SCF last year" before you posted this, but it is a valid question. Ovie gets 5 goals and 5 assists in this series and yet his team loses. Crosby gets 3 total points in a 7-game series, 0 in the last 3 games and his team wins, and somehow just because his team carried him, he's now better than Ovie? You've got to be kidding me. You need to learn that this is a team game. One player can only do so much.

Posted by: TheDoubleAlex | April 29, 2010 1:55 PM | Report abuse

Clearly better at winning championships. If you don't care about silly things like that, you have a point.

Saying things like "Where was Crobsy in the SCF last year?" Is so silly. Alex hasn't even led his team out of the *Second Round* let alone to the SCF. Crosby's already done it twice. Crosby's playoff series record is, what? 10-2? Alex's is 1-3.

Guys, this isn't even a discussion anymore.

Posted by: VTDuffman | April 29, 2010 1:39 PM | Report abuse

See, this is what I expect from Pens fans. Assuming you're a Caps fan, I expect better from you. Last time I checked teams won series, not individual players.

I didn't even post "Where was Crosby in the SCF last year" before you posted this, but it is a valid question. Ovie gets 5 goals and 5 assists in this series and yet his team loses. Crosby gets 3 total points in a 7-game series, 0 in the last 3 games and his team wins, and somehow just because his team carried him, he's now better than Ovie? You've got to be kidding me. You need to learn that this is a team game. One player can only do so much.

Crosby is not better at winning championships. Crosby's teams are better at winning championships. Please pay attention.

Posted by: TheDoubleAlex | April 29, 2010 1:57 PM | Report abuse

CAPSHOCKEY...

That is a great story...seriously thanks for sharing that...

I like Brooks (no pun intended)...he always works hard and I know he cares...

I'm sure Semin sped right by, even found a puddle to splash on them...

But seriously, good for Brooks...a class act.

Posted by: SoaringCaps | April 29, 2010 1:58 PM | Report abuse

Stop making excuses for these people. Semin has had three years now to prove that he's not a lifelong playoff no-show, and he has let down every single time.

I think his $6 mil would be much better served addressing this teams' real needs.

Posted by: VTDuffman

What? Everyone talks about the Fedorov's Game 7 winner, but you know who scored the other goal in the Caps 2-1 victory? Alexander Semin! 5 goals, 4 assists.

Even in the Pens series, Semin came up big despite his broken thumb. Just a few plays I can remember off the top of my head.

-Game 6, Semin drew a tripping penalty and a sixth man came on. While all the other Caps were standing around waiting for the PP start, Semin hustled behind the net to retrieve the puck, threw it out to Feds, who passed it to a wide open Flash for the goal.

-Game 3 when he dug the puck out along the boards in the d zone and made the perfect pass to Backstrom on the breakaway. Slap shot pass MAF. Goal.

But you're right. He's has no heart and is a no show for the playoffs. Who would want a guy like that?

Posted by: ablake70 | April 29, 2010 1:59 PM | Report abuse

@VTDuffman

You're not too sharp are you. I was asking if you were starting a team who would you rather have had, Rypein or Marino?

Posted by: sgm3 | April 29, 2010 1:59 PM | Report abuse

See, this is what I expect from Pens fans. Assuming you're a Caps fan, I expect better from you. Last time I checked teams won series, not individual players.

I didn't even post "Where was Crosby in the SCF last year" before you posted this, but it is a valid question. Ovie gets 5 goals and 5 assists in this series and yet his team loses. Crosby gets 3 total points in a 7-game series, 0 in the last 3 games and his team wins, and somehow just because his team carried him, he's now better than Ovie? You've got to be kidding me. You need to learn that this is a team game. One player can only do so much.

Crosby is not better at winning championships. Crosby's teams are better at winning championships. Please pay attention.

Posted by: TheDoubleAlex

Agree totally.

Posted by: CAPSHOCKEY2 | April 29, 2010 1:59 PM | Report abuse

@ VTDuffman

You're missing the point. Rypien neither was solely responsible for winning the Super Bowl nor was Marino solely responsible for losing it and never returning.

You're completely ignoring the performances of Crosby's teammates such as Malkin.

Posted by: MyPostIDisAfake | April 29, 2010 1:59 PM | Report abuse

I'm sure the OV himself would tell you that this is a hollow nomination and no consolation.

And, let's not get into the Croby versus Ovechkin thing anymore. We have no argument at all. Crosby is the best player in the world right now. You can play the invidual verus team card all you want, but the fact remains the Crosby was personally responsible for at least one if not two of the Pens first round victories. OV played well, but he did not carry his team or make others around him better, as Crosby has done.

Oh, and make no mistake, it is hugely painful for me to have to admit that.

Posted by: SameOldCaps | April 29, 2010 2:00 PM | Report abuse

"See, this is what I expect from Pens fans. Assuming you're a Caps fan, I expect better from you. Last time I checked teams won series, not individual players.

I didn't even post "Where was Crosby in the SCF last year" before you posted this, but it is a valid question. Ovie gets 5 goals and 5 assists in this series and yet his team loses. Crosby gets 3 total points in a 7-game series, 0 in the last 3 games and his team wins, and somehow just because his team carried him, he's now better than Ovie? You've got to be kidding me. You need to learn that this is a team game. One player can only do so much.

Crosby is not better at winning championships. Crosby's teams are better at winning championships. Please pay attention."

---

You can try to assail my "fandom" or whatever all you want. It doesn't really mean anything. It doesn't change the "Jim Carey IS SMOKIN'!" poster I had on my wall when I was 13.

The bottom line is this: If you were to pick a team with the singular goal of winning championships, and you had the first pick, who would you choose? I don't think there's any question at this point that I choose Sid Crosby. The proof is right there.

If you think that makes me less of a Caps fan or whatever, so be it. I think it just makes me a realist. As it stands right now Alex Ovechkin is a very talented player who is so dynamic and an absolutely joy to watch, especially in the regular season, and Sidney Crosby is the best player in the league. It's not necessarily a good or a bad thing, it just is.

Posted by: VTDuffman | April 29, 2010 2:03 PM | Report abuse

Just so that I don't have to write multiple times here's my post on Puck Daddy which is relevant to all the criticism everywhere & also addresses Mike Wise's article:

This type of retarded analysis by pundits & fans today (all over the place, not just here) was fully expected. It's all based on the result and not on what actually transpired during these games. Observational evidence is just someone biased perception of reality. Stats are objective reality. Also, even observational evidence tells you that Bruce is 100% right on. There was nothing wrong with our style of play in this series. We dominated every facet of the game as much as any team can.

Montreal was in full survival mode for the past 3 games barely getting out of their zone. It was all Halak. The guy played completely out of his mind stopping 131 of 134 shots in the last 3 games including 53 in game 6 (most ever in a game that didn't go to OT since 1968!). If he can keep it up this level of play (which I don't think is humanly possible) no team will beat Montreal this season & they'll win the Cup even though they're not very good, as a team. Montreal did the best they could against us. They got timely goals and played their hearts out, but it would not have been enough if not for absolutely mind boggling goaltending of Jaroslav Halak. We did everything that any team can do to score and win games, but he stopped everything. Point blank shots, rebounds, tips... even when he didn't see shots they would hit him. It was simply incredible to watch.

Lastly, Mike Wise writes about hockey about 3 times a year and even then can't help himself, but make references to the NBA. Perhaps he should stick to writing about something he knows about. As you have rightly pointed out he's completely off on his analogy because we were in no way "clamped down by a tougher, more physical team". If anything we clamped Montreal down. The difference between basketball and hockey is that in hockey there's a player called a goaltender and in this case he nullified everything we did. In basketball goaltending is illegal so it's understandable that Mike Wise doesn't get how that aspect of the game works.

Posted by: ranndino | April 29, 2010 2:04 PM | Report abuse

It just wasnt meant to be, its not our time yet.

Posted by: Kevin9149 | April 29, 2010 2:04 PM | Report abuse

Do you really not think that The Dolphins organization and their fans wouldn't have traded all of Marino's personal accolades, records, and awards, for Rypien's Super Bowl Ring? Do you think *Marino Himself* wouldn't trade it all for that Ring?

Records come and go, individual awards get handed out every year...but Champions live forever. Literally, inscribed into the Trophy itself.

Posted by: VTDuffman | April 29, 2010 1:54 PM | Report abuse

Of course they'd trade it for a championship. That's a stupid question. Obviously, the whole goal is to win a championship. But championships are won by teams, not individuals. When 15 of our 22 goals were scored by 4 guys, that's not a team effort. Guys like Marino and Ovie rack up the numbers they do because they're trying to help their team win a championship, but they can't do it all themselves.

Posted by: TheDoubleAlex | April 29, 2010 2:05 PM | Report abuse

You know what else Gretzky and Orr have, a Stanley Cup.

Posted by: LloydChristmas | April 29, 2010 2:06 PM | Report abuse

"But you're right. He's has no heart and is a no show for the playoffs. Who would want a guy like that?"

Is he worth $6mil a year? I argue that we can get a similar or better performance out of a different player or players for the same or less money. If you disagree, that's fine, but I don't think he's worth the $6 mil.

---

"You're not too sharp are you. I was asking if you were starting a team who would you rather have had, Rypein or Marino?"

I'd rather have Joe Montana, you're creating a false choice.

Posted by: VTDuffman | April 29, 2010 2:08 PM | Report abuse

The two aren't even comparable in my eyes. And by that I mean no disrespect - nor compliment - to #87. Just not a fan of the man.

Go CAPS!!

Posted by: nena1 | April 29, 2010 2:09 PM | Report abuse

@VTDuffman

Again you are missing the point.

If you want to pick Crosby for whatever reasonable reason, that is fine. But the argument of "Crosby carried his team" "Ovechkin didn't" is so amazingly narrow minded and childish. It equates presence with causation.

Such as if someone asked you how your television works, and you replied "because I have a beer on the coffee table". Just because there is a beer on the coffee table and the television is working at the same time does NOT mean the beer being present on the coffee table is the cause of the television working.

Just like looking at a Penguins win and saying "Crosby carried the Pens to the win" without looking at what actually happened.

You have to go a little deeper and consider many factors to determine causation.

Posted by: sgm3 | April 29, 2010 2:10 PM | Report abuse

@ @ VTDuffman

Are you seriously saying that Semin's lack of production proves he is not a playoff player, but Crosby's 0 points in game 7 of the SCF proves he is better than Ovi? Genius.

Posted by: ablake70 | April 29, 2010 2:11 PM | Report abuse

"Of course they'd trade it for a championship. That's a stupid question. Obviously, the whole goal is to win a championship. But championships are won by teams, not individuals. When 15 of our 22 goals were scored by 4 guys, that's not a team effort. Guys like Marino and Ovie rack up the numbers they do because they're trying to help their team win a championship, but they can't do it all themselves."

---

That's the whole point though. Teams have to have leaders, who encourage, inspire, and assist those around them to all achieve that common goal. Of course they can't "do it all themselves," but they shouldn't be trying to do it all themselves. Their role as leader is to figure out how to get everyone on the team to win.

I argue that with similar talent levels, this leadership quality is something that is possessed by Crosby and that Ovechkin has yet to learn. This puts Crosby ahead of Ovechkin in any "Best player" discussion. Could Alex learn how to be a better leader in the future? Absolutely, and I certainly hope he does.

But, we're not talking about who will be the best player in some sort of nebulous notion of "the future," we're talking about right now.

Posted by: VTDuffman | April 29, 2010 2:13 PM | Report abuse

Okay I am calmer now. I think we all need some perspective. It is ridiculous to dismiss achievements during the 82 games of the regular season. Why then even have a regular season if it's meaningless. Let's only have playoffs.

BB succeeded in taking a bottom-ranked team and making it the top team in the league. We have figured out how to be the best in the regular season. Next, we have to figure out how to be the best playoff team.

If this is the next stage of our development, the defeat helped. It made things dramatically obvious in such public, humiliating way that they cannot be ignored.

Crosby proved to be a more effective player in terms of awards--not a better player. And really, we act like it is up to these two individuals to will their team's fate. The Canadian team was much better coached than the Russian team, for example. What did Crosby have to do with it?

I do think that the defense and goalie position are critical and have to be improved without short-cuts and band-aid solutions. I heard Wayne Gretzky talk about the Caps on a TV panel discussion. He said that no team could win the playoffs without a stellar goalie. He said something like: "I hate to say it but I don't think the Caps have the playoff caliber goalie to take them all the way to the Cup. The Caps have the talent it takes and with a hot goalie they could go all the way."

Varly has the potential for greatness but right now he is still inconsistent, and Theo is even less capable of taking us all the way. We need two true and tried, gritty defenders and a Halak-type goalie.

I am curious. Everyone talks about whom they would like as defenders but who is the reliable goalie who can do for us next year what Halak did?

Posted by: caraveli | April 29, 2010 2:14 PM | Report abuse

I cannot believe that some of you claim to have been Caps fans for a long time. Some of things posted last thread indicate that a few that claim they have, have not.

Someone said that next season that everytime Green touches the puck the fans should WHOOP WHOOP him. Well, my so called Caps fans, even though I don't partake in that ignorant ritual, the WHOOP WHOOP has never been used on players in Caps jerseys, only on former Caps. if you were a long time fan you would know that.

Another claimed that this was the 3rd year in a row that Semin was a no-show. WRONG. He put up good numbers against the Flyers in the 2008 playoffs (3g 5a), and last year against the Rangers he played fantastic. His numbers for last year in 14 games (5g 9a). If you knew what you were talking about you would say he was a no show against the Penguins last year and the Canadiens this year.

So BB didn't make any adjustments? Well, he moved Backstrom back to the 2nd line for the start of game 6 to get Semin on track. Why? Because in both the 2008 and 2009 playoffs Backstrom ended up centering Semin's line a lot. Ovechkin often had Federov as his center during the playoffs last year and in 2008. The Caps defensemen were also purposes shooting the puck wide hoping for a bounce to the front of the net. That was an obviuos adjustment.

Please please please stop with the Martin outcoached BB crap. I heard Martin's post-game interview and several times on XM and he stated that Halak is the reason they won the series. BTW that was the 1st game 7 win in Martin's career. If his game plan was to have his goaltenders and team sit in a shooting gallery for 90% of the game and hope that Halak doesn't let them score, well, the game plan was a success.

Posted by: fanohock1 | April 29, 2010 2:14 PM | Report abuse

You can try to assail my "fandom" or whatever all you want. It doesn't really mean anything. It doesn't change the "Jim Carey IS SMOKIN'!" poster I had on my wall when I was 13.

The bottom line is this: If you were to pick a team with the singular goal of winning championships, and you had the first pick, who would you choose? I don't think there's any question at this point that I choose Sid Crosby. The proof is right there.

If you think that makes me less of a Caps fan or whatever, so be it. I think it just makes me a realist. As it stands right now Alex Ovechkin is a very talented player who is so dynamic and an absolutely joy to watch, especially in the regular season, and Sidney Crosby is the best player in the league. It's not necessarily a good or a bad thing, it just is.

Posted by: VTDuffman | April 29, 2010 2:03 PM | Report abuse

I'm not trying to assail your fandom. There are multiple Pens fans who post here. I honestly didn't know whether or not you were a Caps fan.

I'm happy for you that you would take Crosby. That's your opinion, and you're welcome to it. However, it's a stupid question. I'd take either one of them. Ovie is just as good as Crosby. Whether or not a player is good is not determined by winning. It's determined by how well they play for their teams.

Saying Crosby is the best player in the league is just plain stupid. He's a great player, but he's not clearly better than Ovie. His team winning doesn't change that.

Posted by: TheDoubleAlex | April 29, 2010 2:16 PM | Report abuse

Blaming Ovie for the Caps' failure makes zero sense. He had a reasonably good series, especially considering how he was blanketed by a good defense.

The Penguins are better than the Caps at playoff hockey, and at winning championships. Using that as a yardstick for Crosby versus Ovechkin as individuals is cherry-picking. The fact is that they're both top NHL stars and the distinction is probably meaningless except for laundry. And if you're going to argue both that Crosby is better because of the Pens' playoff series record, and that his problems in last year's SCF were irrelevant, then you're just a freakin' Pens-fan troll.

Yeah, the team has some problems. We can honestly and legitimately disagree about the specifics. The anger? That's a bit much. The Habs put together an awesome string in games 5-6-7. The Caps didn't. There's a lot that enters into it, but you seriously want to throw out Jeff Schultz? Shaone Morrison? Eric Fehr? Eric Belanger, who spat out eight teeth and came back and played the remainder of the game, and two more? Would the team be where it was without GMGM having blown it up and built it? Would they likely have won the President's Cup with a coach other than Boudreau (even if Jacques Martin pantsed the bejeebers out of him in that series, and that there is certainly a legitimate thing to be discussing, and don't think GMGM--assuming he remains employed--and Leonsis won't be discussing it)?

Y'know, I'm in a pretty rotten mood over the whole thing too. But the team wore the skates, and that series obviously not something they're happy about or proud of. Let's take a few deep breaths here. And if you're still so angry that you have to boo this team, claim that a Norris Trophy finalist (who indisputably had his head up his butt for most of seven key games) should be tossed on the waste heap, and trash a rebuilding effort that hasn't peaked yet...well, yeah, I'll take your season tickets, and you can go continue to fuel the Pens, Flyers, and Devils fans who point at us and claim we're bandwagoners.

Posted by: Landru | April 29, 2010 2:17 PM | Report abuse

"If you want to pick Crosby for whatever reasonable reason, that is fine. But the argument of "Crosby carried his team" "Ovechkin didn't" is so amazingly narrow minded and childish. It equates presence with causation."

Did I ever argue that Crosby carried his team or Ovechkin didn't? If I did, I apologize, because I never meant to say or even imply that. I was purely speaking about who the best player in the game today is and how I don't think it's really up for discussion.

---

"Are you seriously saying that Semin's lack of production proves he is not a playoff player, but Crosby's 0 points in game 7 of the SCF proves he is better than Ovi? Genius."

That's not what I said at all. All I have said about Sasha this whole time is that his $6mil would likely be better served on another player or players if our goal is to win championships.

Why do you people insist on arguing about things I'm not saying?

Posted by: VTDuffman | April 29, 2010 2:18 PM | Report abuse

555Mass: Yeah why don't you go down and put CHOKE posters as Laich's party. Make sure you stand by them like a man and say it to the face of a Caps player. Wimp!

Posted by: fanohock1 | April 29, 2010 2:19 PM | Report abuse

Oh my God, you're spewing out this intangible, nonsensical GARBAGE! So Ovie's teammates failed to show up because he didn't ENCOURAGE them? THE TEAM LOST BECAUSE THEY DIDN'T SCORE GOALS! THEY GAVE UP DUMB PENALTIES AND FAILED TO GET BACK ON DEFENSE, ESPECIALLY OUR DEFENSEMEN! These are tangible things that the Caps failed to do. Ovie had 10 points this series. He averaged over a point a game. He had five assists. If this performance didn't encourage his teammates, then there is something wrong with the other players.

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

That's the whole point though. Teams have to have leaders, who encourage, inspire, and assist those around them to all achieve that common goal.

Posted by: VTDuffman | April 29, 2010 2:13 PM

Posted by: MyPostIDisAfake | April 29, 2010 2:20 PM | Report abuse

Hey Tarik,
Just came over the wire today that Neuvirth has experienced another lower body injury. For tomorrow's story - maybe you could provide an injury update on him and get an explaination from Caps as to what goes on up in Hershey that our goalies are always on injury list.

Posted by: rockdaredlangely | April 29, 2010 2:20 PM | Report abuse

OV has skill, arguably more pure skill than Crosby. Crosby has skill but he also has character. Skill is important, but character wins championships.


Posted by: FLDave | April 29, 2010 2:20 PM | Report abuse

That's the whole point though. Teams have to have leaders, who encourage, inspire, and assist those around them to all achieve that common goal. Of course they can't "do it all themselves," but they shouldn't be trying to do it all themselves. Their role as leader is to figure out how to get everyone on the team to win.

I argue that with similar talent levels, this leadership quality is something that is possessed by Crosby and that Ovechkin has yet to learn. This puts Crosby ahead of Ovechkin in any "Best player" discussion. Could Alex learn how to be a better leader in the future? Absolutely, and I certainly hope he does.

So, because his teammates let him down, it means Ovie's a bad leader? Seriously? Again, I expect this nonsense from Pens fans, but I hoped that Caps fans could see the utter stupidity of claims like this. I hope that you're one of the few who can't.

Posted by: TheDoubleAlex | April 29, 2010 2:21 PM | Report abuse

@VTDuffman

Again, missing the point.

You are using team success as the only determining factor as who is better between Ovie and Crosby.

Like I said, who was better, Marino or Rypein? Using your logic the answer is clear.

Posted by: sgm3 | April 29, 2010 2:25 PM | Report abuse

"Whether or not a player is good is not determined by winning."

---

The bottom line is: who cares how "good" a player is if it doesn't translate into winning? That's the whole point - to win championships. That's why they play the games, to win championships.

Do you guys know why Ray Borque finally winning the Cup with the Avs after being such an amazing player for the Bruins for 2 decades? It's because nothing you do matters if you don't win the cup.

Posted by: VTDuffman | April 29, 2010 2:26 PM | Report abuse

Sedin should win the Hart Trophy as he was the MVP this season. Maybe he's not the best player, but he carried the Canucks when his brother and others were injured to get them into the playoffs. He also was the scoring leader this year which combines BOTH goalscoring and passing. I don't think he also had anywhere near the supporting cast as Ovie or Crosby.

Posted by: wizfan89 | April 29, 2010 2:28 PM | Report abuse

"Like I said, who was better, Marino or Rypein? Using your logic the answer is clear."

---

But Marino and Rypien aren't players of similar skill level. Marino and Montana are players of similar skill level. Which one of those two do you consider the better quarterback and why?

Posted by: VTDuffman | April 29, 2010 2:29 PM | Report abuse

Like I said, who was better, Marino or Rypein? Using your logic the answer is clear.

Posted by: sgm3

You could also say that Messier was better than Gretzky because he won two more Stanley Cups.

Posted by: LloydChristmas | April 29, 2010 2:31 PM | Report abuse

If Gretzky is the "Great One," then why didn't he win a Stanley Cup after he left Edmonton? He's the greatest player of all time. According to VTDuffman's logic, the next teams he joined should have won Cups. Why did Edmonton win one more after Gretzky while the Kings, Blues, and Rangers didn't? That's because the Oilers had GREAT TEAMS with teammates like Messier and Coffey who made a TEAM EFFORT WHERE EVERYONE SHOWED UP.

Posted by: MyPostIDisAfake | April 29, 2010 2:32 PM | Report abuse

"So, because his teammates let him down, it means Ovie's a bad leader? Seriously? Again, I expect this nonsense from Pens fans, but I hoped that Caps fans could see the utter stupidity of claims like this. I hope that you're one of the few who can't."

---

The proof is in the results. You can make excuses and say the "team let him down" or whatever, and I can say he didn't do what it takes to lead them to victory. It's all the same really when the result is a fantastic flame out in the first round.

I could care what fans think, I hope Alex realizes what that "C" on his sweater means, and steps up his game as the Team Captain for next year and the years ahead. No one is denying his talent, this is the last thing he is missing from being a complete player.

Posted by: VTDuffman | April 29, 2010 2:33 PM | Report abuse

fanohock1 @ Randinno:

I agree that Halak was the reason Habs won. Of course we should be able to adjust and beat hot goalies blah blah blah. But do you think that the Habs would have won last night, with their paltry 16 shots on goal, if it wasn't for Halak?

Conversely, if Varly didn't have such low save percentage--if he played at around 90%, which is NOT his peak by far--would we have lost?

I believe that the beginning of the end was when he let in two goals in the first periods of two consecutive games. It undermined our team's confidence and made the Habs gain confidence since they saw us as vulnerable. In games where our goalie held the other team scoreless during the first period, the Caps had a chance to pull things together and start a goal scoring bourage in the next two periods.

For whatever reason we have been having slow starts and need a goalie to give us a chance to get it together. And for whatever reason, Varly stop giving us the chance he was able to give us during other games.

So no one has answered me yet. In an ideal scenario, who might be the goalie who will take us all the way next year? I am guessing Halak is not available (though we don't know for how long he will remain hot).

Posted by: caraveli | April 29, 2010 2:33 PM | Report abuse

@VTDuffman

So Bourque was a better player during that run in 2001 than he was in the late 80's, early 90's?

Posted by: sgm3 | April 29, 2010 2:34 PM | Report abuse

Whoa, lots got posted while I was typing my rant, and I both respectfully salute your answer to the Marino v. Rypien question and apologize for labelling you a Pens fan, VTDuffman.

Which doesn't invalidate my related point--you can have "Crosby's better than Ovechkin because the Pens won championships" or "Crosby's 3-game failure in last year's SCF" is irrelevant, but certainly not both. Further, yeah. The distinction between "carried his team" and "is a better player" is pretty slim, in the context of this discussion. And of everyone's general state of mind today, and I'll be the first to cop to not being fit for humanity today...

As for Sasha, I get annoyed with him more consistently than with any other Cap. But if they traded him? I can't help thinking he'd absolutely kill us, up to six times a year (and maybe more in the playoffs), instead of killing some other team maybe one game in five.

Coaching and Halak: no argument that Halak was MechaStreisand. I still think that, in addition, Martin pantsed Boudreau. I was wavering on that, until last night's blocked-shot totals. Encouraging the team to keep generating shots, when half of them are blocked because the team is shooting at any cost, is a bit stubborn, and it's pretty clear that coaching contributes to it. Assuming, of course, that players in a game 7 they never expected are keeping it together enough to listen to their coaching.

Finally, the call: it was a disallowed tying goal with 18 minutes left in the game. Should the Caps have been at that point? Of course not. Using that as an argument to validate the call is pretty silly. I've seen a lot of fiery discussion on the Web today about the call, and I really don't know what's right. It seemed to me that the puck was over the line before Knuble's skate touched Halak's pad, and arguing that the contact affected Halak's ability to make the play is pretty specious. Which doesn't mean the call was technically wrong, and it certainly doesn't mean it's comparable to any other disallowed goal in playoff history (including the Habs' disallowed goal, and the Pens' disallowed goal that failed to keep them from their ultimate Crosby-generated destiny and blah blah blah...seriously, don't you Pittsburgh people--of whom I cheerfully accept that VTDuffman is NOT one--have someplace more Pgh-centered to spread your illiteracy?).

Posted by: Landru | April 29, 2010 2:35 PM | Report abuse

"You could also say that Messier was better than Gretzky because he won two more Stanley Cups."

---

You could totally make that argument. Messier won cups without Gretzky, but Gretzky never won cups without Messier.

Posted by: VTDuffman | April 29, 2010 2:35 PM | Report abuse

Congrats to Ovie. The President's Trophy, Hart Trophy, and tickets on Amtrak to Philly and seats at Wachovia Center will get him to Game 1 of the second round of the Stanley Cup Finals!

Posted by: kresneck | April 29, 2010 2:36 PM | Report abuse

People also forget that Halak's teammates helped him out as much as possible. He always had a four-man box in front of him, and they blocked over 40 shots last night, which has been happening in every game.

Posted by: MyPostIDisAfake | April 29, 2010 2:37 PM | Report abuse

@LloydChristmas

Good point.

Posted by: sgm3 | April 29, 2010 2:38 PM | Report abuse

I'm not so sure the problem is that we weren't good enough, or that the system doesn't work, or that we don't even have a system in the first place. I think the problem is that we just were not committed enough. There was no sense of urgency, no "whatever it takes" mentality, no serious tone. Skipping optional pracitces, partying too hard the night before, not hustling 100% of the time, taking the 8th seed for granted - - whatever you want to point to. Hopefully they have learned an important lesson (although you would have thought so by now) and will take things a bit more seriously next time around - - if there is a next time.

Posted by: 1hockeymom | April 29, 2010 2:40 PM | Report abuse

I'm glad to see Ovechkin nominated (Wyshynski tweeted earlier that he wouldn't be surprised if OV wasn't). And as a Cap fan, I certainly hope he wins.

But if I had a vote, it'd go to Sedin. I know there's the line about how many points OV would have had he not missed what, 10 games (4 for his own infractions). But Sedin didn't have Daniel to play with for 19 games, either. Henrik's point total surely would have been higher, too, had Daniel played 75-80 games rather than 63. Heck, Henrik had 83 assists as it is. He also had far fewer PIMs than Ovechkin - though the latter admittedly earned a bunch of those in a couple bulk trips.

As to who I think will win? That's a different argument entirely - I think Crosby is going to win this year. Everyone fell in love with little Sid's ability to increase his goal totals, which is going to get more attention from voters than OV posting a career high in assists, though by a small margin.

Posted by: writered21 | April 29, 2010 2:40 PM | Report abuse

"So Bourque was a better player during that run in 2001 than he was in the late 80's, early 90's?"

---

No. The point is that it doesn't matter how good or great of a player Borque was in the 80s and 90s because he didn't win any cups. It wasn't until he won the cup that his career was validated. That's the point. All that matters is the cup.

If you would have asked anyone to compare Ray Borque to any number of players of similar skill level and achievement back in the 80s or 90s who had won a cup or cups, the answer would be obvious then as well.

Posted by: VTDuffman | April 29, 2010 2:41 PM | Report abuse

Let's take a look back on the 95-96 Rangers. Wait a minute, both Gretzky and Messier were on the roster? Why didn't they win? Oh no, it's Lindros, LeClair, and Renberg: the Legion of Doom!

Better teams win Stanley Cups. Crosby didn't win the '09 Stanley Cup. The Penguins did.

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

You could totally make that argument. Messier won cups without Gretzky, but Gretzky never won cups without Messier.

Posted by: VTDuffman | April 29, 2010 2:35 PM

Posted by: MyPostIDisAfake | April 29, 2010 2:41 PM | Report abuse

Congrats to Ovie. The President's Trophy, Hart Trophy, and tickets on Amtrak to Philly and seats at Wachovia Center will get him to Game 1 of the second round of the Stanley Cup Finals!

Posted by: kresneck | April 29, 2010 2:36 PM | Report abuse

Wow, they're going to go all throwback and show the Cup Finals on closed circuit TV in Philly this year?

Posted by: writered21 | April 29, 2010 2:42 PM | Report abuse

@VTDuffman

Fedorov was clearly better than Lemieux right?

3 Cups to 2 Cups.

Posted by: sgm3 | April 29, 2010 2:44 PM | Report abuse

"Better teams win Stanley Cups. Crosby didn't win the '09 Stanley Cup. The Penguins did."

---

If you were the GM of a team with the stated goal of winning a championship next year, and could choose any player currently playing in the NHL in a hypothetical draft, who do you choose and why?

Posted by: VTDuffman | April 29, 2010 2:45 PM | Report abuse

@VTDuffman

But the question was who is a better player. Not what accomplishments mean more.

Posted by: sgm3 | April 29, 2010 2:48 PM | Report abuse

See? That's your problem. You keep boiling it down to one player. That's all this question is: 100% hypothetical. 100% unrealistic and intangible. I would choose someone like Lindstrom or Gonchar.

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

If you were the GM of a team with the stated goal of winning a championship next year, and could choose any player currently playing in the NHL in a hypothetical draft, who do you choose and why?

Posted by: VTDuffman | April 29, 2010 2:45 PM

Posted by: MyPostIDisAfake | April 29, 2010 2:51 PM | Report abuse

"But the question was who is a better player. Not what accomplishments mean more."

---

Who cares who the "better player" is if it doesn't result in championships?

I argue that 87 and 8 are players of similar skill level and talent. If I had to choose who the "better player" was, that becomes an easy nod to 87 due to his success in the playoffs and in winning championships.

Posted by: VTDuffman | April 29, 2010 2:52 PM | Report abuse

@ VTDuffman -

It's very simple. Teams win championships. Crosby's team won the championship last year. That's all there is to it. You can be the greatest player ever without ever winning the whole thing. The whole Gretsy analogy is perfect. The only reason he won all the championships he did is because he was on a great team. As great as he was, even he couldn't win one all by himself.

I'm not sure how I can make this any clearer. Crosby is not the best player in the league. He's one of the best, as is Ovie.

Posted by: TheDoubleAlex | April 29, 2010 2:52 PM | Report abuse

@VTDuffman

Finally, you are asking a good question.

Now what factors would YOU use in reaching your decision.

Posted by: sgm3 | April 29, 2010 2:53 PM | Report abuse

"See? That's your problem. You keep boiling it down to one player. That's all this question is: 100% hypothetical. 100% unrealistic and intangible. I would choose someone like Lindstrom or Gonchar."

---

We're discussing the relative merits of one player versus another, that's why I'm boiling it down to one player. Also, If I own an NHL team, remind me never to hire you as GM.

Posted by: VTDuffman | April 29, 2010 2:54 PM | Report abuse

Who cares? I think Ovie would say the same right now. All I care about is that Green not win the Norris. Because that would be a travesty.

Posted by: poguesmahone | April 29, 2010 2:54 PM | Report abuse

"If you were the GM of a team with the stated goal of winning a championship next year, and could choose any player currently playing in the NHL in a hypothetical draft, who do you choose and why?"

Ovechkin. Better speed, power, strength, explosiveness, aggression, and relatively equal in a number of other areas. And, of course, because I'm a Caps fan and I'm conditioned.

Seriously? At an individual level, you can get a lot of what Crosby gives you from other playmakers (and I concede that I don't buy your argument that playing for a Cup-winning team is the only validator of a player's career, and that may mean we're not having the same discussion--but I am trying to answer your question), and I think I'm being objective when I say that you can't say the same about Ovechkin.

Posted by: Landru | April 29, 2010 2:54 PM | Report abuse

"Finally, you are asking a good question.

Now what factors would YOU use in reaching your decision."


---

Which question are you referring to?

Posted by: VTDuffman | April 29, 2010 2:56 PM | Report abuse

Really? You're so spiteful over the team's failure that you can't stand the notion that Green could win the Norris, for which nominations are compiled during the regular season? Yes, Green was a no-show for large portions of the series, his penalty last night was costly, and he was on the ice for both Habs' goals. That invalidates his season?

And for the record, I think Duncan Keith should win the Norris. But not because of Green's playoff performance.

Posted by: Landru | April 29, 2010 2:58 PM | Report abuse

@VTDuffman

You have missed the point. The point is that using championships as the deciding factor to pick who is a better player in a team sport is idiotic.

You say who cares who is the better player? Well, who cares who wins championships? I don't play in these games, you don't play in these games. But that is an entirely different discussion.

It was a simple discussion about who was the better player and we have just pointed out that the way you used to determine who was the better player was flawed.

If you reached the same conclusion but without flawed reasoning then that is fine.

Posted by: sgm3 | April 29, 2010 3:00 PM | Report abuse

@VTDuffman

I was referring to this question:

"If you were the GM of a team with the stated goal of winning a championship next year, and could choose any player currently playing in the NHL in a hypothetical draft, who do you choose and why?"

Posted by: sgm3 | April 29, 2010 3:02 PM | Report abuse

No. The point is that it doesn't matter how good or great of a player Borque was in the 80s and 90s because he didn't win any cups. It wasn't until he won the cup that his career was validated. That's the point. All that matters is the cup.

If you would have asked anyone to compare Ray Borque to any number of players of similar skill level and achievement back in the 80s or 90s who had won a cup or cups, the answer would be obvious then as well.

Posted by: VTDuffman | April 29, 2010 2:41 PM

So Bourque's (learn to spell, by the way) career was not "validated" until he sold out to win the Cup? And throughout the 80s and 90s the answer as to who was the best defenseman in the league would have "obviously" been not Bourque because of his lack of Cup win? If you honestly think that, there's really no arguing the point that championships aren't what determines who the best player is.

Posted by: Steph22 | April 29, 2010 3:03 PM | Report abuse

Landru,

Awesome, thanks for a non-hysterical response. We obviously disagree, and that's fine, that's what makes America great. I think If I'm a GM and my goal is to sell tickets, I take Ovechkin. I think if my goal is to win Championships, I take Crosby. I think when it comes down to overall skill and talent the difference between the two players is negligible, and I take the player with the proven track record of playoff success over the player with the slightly better physical abilities.

Don't get me wrong, I love OV and am so glad he's on our team rather than on any other team. I just don't think that he's the best player in the league. I don't think that really should be that outrageous of a statement - there are hundreds and hundreds of players in the league, there can be only one "best."

Posted by: VTDuffman | April 29, 2010 3:05 PM | Report abuse

VTDuffman:

The greatest player of all time:

Henri Richard - 11 Stanley Cups

Better than Gretzky despite the fact that EVERYONE agrees the Great One is in fact "The Great One."

Posted by: MyPostIDisAfake | April 29, 2010 3:06 PM | Report abuse

What we saw in that serie was not the best team against the number 8 team.

It was this year's greatest collection of individual talent against a bunch of players who had nothing to loose.

But those guys played as a team. Simple as that.

Posted by: RitchietheC | April 29, 2010 3:10 PM | Report abuse

"It was a simple discussion about who was the better player and we have just pointed out that the way you used to determine who was the better player was flawed."

---

I don't agree that the reasoning is flawed.

-------

"And throughout the 80s and 90s the answer as to who was the best defenseman in the league would have "obviously" been not Bourque because of his lack of Cup win?"

Over the course of his career arguments could have been made for any number of defensemen including Paul Coffey and Chris Chelios. All other things being relatively equal, it would be tough not to give the nod to the ones with their names on the Cup.

Posted by: VTDuffman | April 29, 2010 3:12 PM | Report abuse

"The greatest player of all time:

Henri Richard - 11 Stanley Cups"

---

Why do you people insist on arguing against things I never said? I never once said that Championship wins were the only measure of a player. I said that all things being relatively equal, I give the nod to the player with more championships.

Why is this such an outrageous concept for some of you?

Posted by: VTDuffman | April 29, 2010 3:15 PM | Report abuse

@VTDuffman

You saying "Why do you people insist on arguing against things I never said? I never once said that Championship wins were the only measure of a player. I said that all things being relatively equal, I give the nod to the player with more championships."

That is fine and I agree with that concept because that takes in all factors and puts some weight on winning championships.

But that is NOT how you reached your conclusion earlier when you said because Crosby won a championship and Ovechkin hasn't yet that Crosby is clearly better.

Statements like that show that you didn't take into consideration the "all things being equal" part that you have now stated.

Posted by: sgm3 | April 29, 2010 3:21 PM | Report abuse

"But that is NOT how you reached your conclusion earlier when you said because Crosby won a championship and Ovechkin hasn't yet that Crosby is clearly better.

Statements like that show that you didn't take into consideration the "all things being equal" part that you have now stated."

---

The all things being relatively equal part I have said from the beginning, but I doubt you care. Really the "All things being relatively equal" part in any debate between the "greatness" of 87 and 8 should be implied. It's obvious that they're both incredible players, I've never once debated that.

I'm saying that if I had to make a choice who was "better" at this point, I pick 87 without even thinking twice about it and that reason is because of his track record in the playoffs.

That's all. People need to take a collective breath and realize that being the "2nd best player in the league" isn't really a slight. That's still pretty darn good.

Posted by: VTDuffman | April 29, 2010 3:30 PM | Report abuse

"there are hundreds and hundreds of players in the league, there can be only one "best." "

And yet, we can reasonably argue about who that is, and disagree on the criteria, and quite possibly reach a different conclusion even if we agree on the criteria and on what the criteria mean, which is exactly the dog track we seem to be chasing around on this thread.

"I said that all things being relatively equal,"

If you said that before that post right there, I certainly missed it, and I'm not seeing it on a rescan. No matter.

That gets us to an argument on whether all things are, in fact, equal. Which strikes me as relatively futile.

I think maybe a key question there, for purposes of the "who would you select" discussion, is "For what purpose are you selecting that first player?"

If it's because you want a great player...still Ovechkin. If it's because you want a leader? Uhm...still not Crosby, but I'm open to the possibility that that's because I'm a twisted hater. Given that...maybe Toews, but I have an inherent bias toward younger guys than Henrik Sedin, which may be its own level of foolhardy for the purpose of winning Cups.

And yeah, it's probably nontrivial (as far as my mental/emotional/hater state) that I'm not naming anyone currently from the Eastern Conference.

Posted by: Landru | April 29, 2010 3:42 PM | Report abuse

Well, I don't think things are all relatively equal.

Each player plays a different position and has different skill sets. Then you look at individual successes in the regular and post season. Such as goals, assists, checking,+/-, etc. (The above examples are only meant to be examples and are not meant to cover the entire embodiment or imply they are the most important in determining a player's value) Then you look at how close a team's successes depend on the player's successes.

Those have to be examined first before moving along to team championships in the playoffs.

You have to go through all the exercises and judge all the variables before looking at championships.

If after that, you determine everything is equal, then fine.

Maybe Crosby is better, maybe it's Ovechkin. I'm not even trying to reach a conclusion on this question. I just didn't like the way you determined it.

Posted by: sgm3 | April 29, 2010 3:45 PM | Report abuse

OV shouldn't get the Hart. He doesn't deserve it this year.

Posted by: madflava | April 29, 2010 4:43 PM | Report abuse

My view is .... this trophy and about 2 dollars will buy you a cup of coffee. I really don't have any interest in individual accolades. Hockey is all about "team". It's all about playoffs. It's all about "the Cup". Everything else is comparatively meaningless.

Jeff

Posted by: PensFan98 | April 29, 2010 5:22 PM | Report abuse

You've got to have heart, all you really need is heart, when the odds are sayin "you'll never win," that's when the grin should start.... Heart, or Hart.

Posted by: festus75 | April 29, 2010 8:39 PM | Report abuse

I have been a Caps fan since the days of Gary Inness and Robert Picard and Maruk and Charron so I have seen my share of Caps heartaches (dang you Billy Smith!!!).

I wouldn't blow the team up. What I expect to see from Ovechkin next year is a commitment to playing in all three zones with no more floating at the blue line looking for breakout passes. Yes he can be a huge hitter in the D Zone but playing defense is more than headhunting for big hits. Ovechkin is the best offensive player but he has the size and physical talents to be the best two-player in the world bar none. And I guarantee that others players will follow that lead. Those that don't I would send packing. Maybe he scores "only" 45 goals next year, but a trip to the finals would more than make that up!

Some will say that gee why complain about the D, we lost game 7 2-1. I would say that a commitment to team D after we were up 3-1 in the series would have choked the life out of the Habs.

Posted by: GaryInnessFan | April 29, 2010 9:34 PM | Report abuse

I thought that the whole idea of greatness is elevating yourself and others around you to do the exceptional. By that measure, in this series, Ovie underperformed. And so did a lot of other Capitals. Montreal, however, became an all consuming collective and won as one. As they say, individual honors are great if you're a scientist who invents a history changing device (steam engine, light bulb, cotton gin) or if you play an individual sport. We are talking about a team sport here, so greatness is measured not only in terms of personal accomplishment but also in the success of his team as a whole.

Posted by: Almazar80 | April 29, 2010 11:22 PM | Report abuse

Everybody says trade Green and Semin. It is crazy. Fire BB and bring in a staff that knows how to use these players correctly. The only thing is that Semin may have to go because of Backstom's new salary next year. However I say keep both Green and Semin after thinking long and hard without the emotion of the loss.

Posted by: pkme | April 30, 2010 12:04 AM | Report abuse

I don't think that Ovie gets the Hart this year. It's true that the Hart is for regular season performance, but the hockey writers have the rather stark image of Crosby winning a gold medal and Ovie's Russian team going down in flames.

Posted by: randysbailin | April 30, 2010 9:00 AM | Report abuse

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