Network News

X My Profile
View More Activity
On Twitter: kcarrera and PostSports  |  Facebook  |  E-mail alerts: Sports and Redskins  |  RSS
Posted at 2:20 PM ET, 02/ 3/2011

Capitals' game in Tampa Friday a must-win

By Katie Carrera

While there will still be 29 games remaining in the Capitals' regular season after Friday's tilt against the Tampa Bay Lightning, that game against the Southeast Division leaders is as close to a must-win contest as there may be at this stage of the year.

A win in regulation at the St. Pete Times Forum would cut the Lightning's lead to three points and give a substantial boost to the Capitals' hopes of winning the division. Lose and Tampa Bay's edge grows to seven points with the Lightning playing another eight contests, after facing Washington, at home where they are 17-4-2.

"It's getting that way," Mike Knuble said when asked if Friday's game was a must-win. "As much as you don't want to say that, it's sort of getting that way to keep up with the pace -- nobody's really losing games. They become must-wins; it's probably been awhile since we had a must-win in the regular season. We've got to consistently get on track and win games it's the only way we're going to stay in the race."

The importance of gaining two points in regulation cannot be underestimated either because of the five-point edge the Lightning already hold. Games that extend beyond regulation will only allow Tampa Bay to keep inching forward, even if the Capitals were to snap their struggles in the extra sessions and win in overtime or a shootout.

Washington is 2-1-1 against the Lightning this season and has lost the last two meetings.

"Reality is it's a big game for both teams," Coach Bruce Boudreau said. "If I'm them I'm saying: 'Hey listen, we can put this away.' If I'm us we want to fight right to the end. Seven or three [points behind Tampa depending the out come] it's what they call the big four-pointer."

Friday's game will mark the first time since Nov. 6, 2008, that the Capitals entered a game against a Southeast foe whom they trailed in the standings. Meanwhile, Tampa Bay is on its first six-game winning streak since a stretch in late February to early March in 2004 -- the year the Lightning won the Stanley Cup, which was also the last season they claimed the division title.

After watching Washington skate to the top of the Southeast the last two seasons many wondered if it would help the Capitals to face stiffer competition. At the start of this season many believed the improved Lightning would pose the biggest threat and they've done precisely that giving Washington a team to chase.

"I think it keeps us honest right now," Mike Green said of the challenge of not being the top team. "We're fighting for that spot and it's a good challenge for us. It builds character for our hockey team. ... We haven't been in this position in the last couple of years, I think mentally it's good for our team."

While the Capitals are learning to play in tighter games that have more of a playoff feel, which will likely be the atmosphere against Tampa Bay on Friday it's not enough to simply earn a point here and point there Knuble stressed.

"Marveling at our goals against and losing games 3-2 in shootouts is not good enough," Knuble said. "It's not going to get us anywhere in the standings. We've got to come out with wins."

By Katie Carrera  | February 3, 2011; 2:20 PM ET
Categories:  Tampa Bay Lightning  
Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   Del.icio.us   StumbleUpon   Technorati   Google Buzz   Previous: Alexander Semin's status uncertain against Tampa Bay
Next: Backstrom feels that he, other top players should set the tone

Comments

This game is NOT a must win. The games that are MUST wins are PLAYOFF games. It's time for the Caps to live up to all of Leonsis' hype. The time to put it in gear and win the Cup is NOW. Any give game out of 82 is must win if you must win to GET INTO the playoffs.

Posted by: sjshanno | February 3, 2011 2:46 PM | Report abuse

I haven't been posting much lately because, well, the majority of folks here are now seeing the things myself and a few others have been saying since the season began...the cat is finally outta the bag!!

Posted by: vermontcaps

I wondered whether some of you felt this way. The problem is that this is not reality. No one at the beginning of the season said "We're going to be awesome on the penalty kill and cut way down on our goals-against, but we're not going to be able to score at all, and we're not going to be winning the division".

Everyone, including those some of you want to call Kool-Aid drinkers realized this team's deficiencies at the beginning of the year. It's not that we denied they existed. No one is noticing anything new. People aren't suddenly coming around to your point of view.

Posted by: TheDoubleAlex | February 3, 2011 3:00 PM | Report abuse

"I think mentally it's good for our team."

Your team scares me mentally...where is the focus?

Posted by: lylewimbledon | February 3, 2011 3:04 PM | Report abuse

Ted and GMGM,

We need a 2nd line center. Make the deal!

Posted by: hateisnotafamilyvalue | February 3, 2011 3:05 PM | Report abuse

win or lose, I just want to see a good effort. You can't control wins, and you can't control goals, but you can heavily influence either with a great 60 min effort.

If they win, it means very little if they don't play great hockey. If they lose and still play great hockey, I won't bag on em for that.

The advantage the Caps have is that Tampa is one of the few teams who we can impose our will on physically. Last time the guy on their team who really set the tone was Ohlund. He was a rockstar in that game. Our size advantage needs to come into play v Tampa.

Posted by: cstanton1 | February 3, 2011 3:09 PM | Report abuse

must win game = another 0-1 OT loss

Posted by: Bagher | February 3, 2011 3:14 PM | Report abuse

The sad thing would be is if we play really well and win, and then suffer an immediate letdown in the next game.

The problem isn't that we can't give a great effort. Its that we can't give it consistently. Even average to bad teams can play extremely well on a given night.

Posted by: cstanton1 | February 3, 2011 3:15 PM | Report abuse

Starting to sound like a 2nd line center isn't all the team needs, now it's a 2nd line center with maturity and leadership in the room. Big skates for a guy added in february to fill...

Posted by: kcbrichmond | February 3, 2011 3:16 PM | Report abuse

My 90 year old grandmother heals quicker then Semin...

Posted by: SA-Town | February 3, 2011 3:29 PM | Report abuse

Even if the Caps manage to win that game, they have a serious lack of the character and mental/physical toughness to be a legit contender than can handle the intensity of a playoff environment.

McPhee has done an amazingly poor job with his roster construction and that is the single biggest reason for us NOT EVEN COMING CLOSE to meeting the objective of the rebuild.

Other teams that went through a rebuild over a similar period of time have constantly been aggressive at every opportunity to get missing pieces and were not afraid to "go all in" so to speak to give themselves an advantage. You have a core of 3 or 4 players that are untouchable and everything else should be volatile.

In the cap era, windows close as quickly as they open up. It's highly improbable that we can be "good for a decade" or whatever Leonsis and McPhee have been spewing out. It may already be too late. Other rebuilding teams will come out of nowhere. There will be more TBs that rise up and sieze the moment while McPhee just sits there with that constipate and confused look on his face.

Posted by: tmac2yao | February 3, 2011 3:29 PM | Report abuse

I think this year's awakening for the Caps owner and front office/coach is that time has indeed passed them by. They are now firmly in the middle of the pack and will have to work their butts off in every game to win it. Unlike last year.

That can only be a good thing. Sometimes the only way stubborn people learn lessons is the HARD way.

Posted by: cstanton1 | February 3, 2011 3:33 PM | Report abuse

@tmac

Amen

Posted by: lylewimbledon | February 3, 2011 3:35 PM | Report abuse

More must win games, huh? I wish they'd just admit that this is rebuild number 100 and put everyone out of their misery. What team that has rookies as the 2 and 3C, shutdown D pairing, and #1 and #2 goalies expects to win the Cup?

Posted by: ablake70 | February 3, 2011 3:37 PM | Report abuse

It should also be noted that those other teams that went through rebuilds had GMs and management that actually knew what the team was missing and how to go out and get it. McPhee clearly sucks in that area which is very much the reason for us coming up so short of expectations.

Boudreau has coaching issues. He doesn't teach the details and hold players accountable for certain more subtle aspects of the game but the biggest problem is McPhee. He alone is the root of the problems. He can not build a championship team. The Ovechkin era will be an utter failure unless Leonsis wises up quickly.

Posted by: tmac2yao | February 3, 2011 3:38 PM | Report abuse

The "team" is just fine - it's the system that's broken

Posted by: dfort2004 | February 3, 2011 3:42 PM | Report abuse

More must win games, huh? I wish they'd just admit that this is rebuild number 100 and put everyone out of their misery. What team that has rookies as the 2 and 3C, shutdown D pairing, and #1 and #2 goalies expects to win the Cup?

Posted by: ablake70 | February 3, 2011 3:37 PM

Been saying that since McPhee did nothing in the offseason. Even though the youngins have actually outperformed a lot of the vets, going so young at so many important positions is what rebuilding teams do, not what a Pres. Trophy winning team does after failing miserably.

There is no way in the world that a competent GM would do what McPhee did this past offseason. He is simply a subpar GM who doesn't have the vision and feel to finish this rebuilding process. I believe that he is a pretty intelligent fella but he isn't GM smart. I equate that to a low IQ athlete who has high hockey IQ or basketball IQ despite the low actual IQ. They are two different things. McPhee lacks the vision much like a shoot-first PG lacks court vision. You just can't teach that stuff.

Posted by: tmac2yao | February 3, 2011 3:43 PM | Report abuse

Other teams that went through a rebuild over a similar period of time have constantly been aggressive at every opportunity to get missing pieces and were not afraid to "go all in" so to speak to give themselves an advantage
----------------------------------

namely the Pens and Chicago. But also other teams who started their rebuild WAY after the Caps (i.e the Flyers) have enjoyed better successes.

Soon you'll have teams like the Stars and imo the Blues doing their thing as well. The Kings are an interesting bunch. On paper they look good, both with their roster and their minor league system. It'll be interesting to watch them. I hope they make the playoffs. They're playing in a tough div. I think they would have a much easier time in the SE.

Nashville's record is good. But I don't think they have the horses to go far. Good D, not a great bunch of forwards.

Posted by: cstanton1 | February 3, 2011 3:45 PM | Report abuse

tmac-Not to let GMGM off the hook, but I wonder if Ted stopped GMGM from getting FAs this summer. The Wiz seem to be following the same pattern.

Posted by: ablake70 | February 3, 2011 3:49 PM | Report abuse

Rumors are the locker room is divided because of our goofball captain.

Posted by: lylewimbledon | February 3, 2011 3:54 PM | Report abuse

McPhee resigned Tom Poti for 2 more years. He is the worst player on the team. He is the 7th defensemen. He is UNTRADEABLE. He will eat up $3m in precious cap space each of the next two years.

This tells me everything I need to know about George McPhee.

By the way. Poti needs to be Nylandered. We need that cap space.

Posted by: underpants2 | February 3, 2011 3:58 PM | Report abuse

we're gonna have to really overpay to get a good FA next year. And if the front office is in flux, it'll be even harder. Players will take less money to go to a real contender.

I just can't see McPhee EVER getting fired. He runs the Caps in every way. His exbuddies are the pro scouts, the junior scouts, he's got his hand in everything. Ted is pretty far removed from any day to day operations so for him to dump McPhee would take a lot of vision and courage. McPhee's like the virus you invite in. He's now infested every part of your org and you'll have to rip out whole sections to get him out.

Posted by: cstanton1 | February 3, 2011 3:59 PM | Report abuse

Lookin fwd to a great game tonight! Too bad its two teams who don't like to really get their noses dirty.

But maybe they can act tuff with each other or maybe Downie will help stir the pot. He had a chance to go against Carcillo and backed down. No one on the Caps to back down against though. He'll probably fight with Hendricks.

Posted by: cstanton1 | February 3, 2011 4:04 PM | Report abuse

Everyone, including those some of you want to call Kool-Aid drinkers realized this team's deficiencies at the beginning of the year. It's not that we denied they existed. No one is noticing anything new. People aren't suddenly coming around to your point of view.

Posted by: TheDoubleAlex | February 3, 2011 3:00 PM | Report abuse

You couldn't be further from the truth. First, when I started posting here Erskine was treated like trash and ****55 was revered (do people recall bemoaning "Sloanskine"?). Well, now everyone realizes that Erskine is much more valuable than Poti and ****55 combined and I only see Erskine bashing by the diehard koolaid drinkers.

Second, towards the end of the regular season last year (yes, the same President's Trophy season) I called for the canning of BB and was ridiculed by everyone. This year, I waited until the end of November before calling for BB's head. Again, we were first place in the league and I don't think anyone other than cstanton or hunterforcoach had even mentioned replacing BB.

So, Doublealex, it's taken a couple of months but fans here HAVE IN FACT come around to my point of view as it concerns Erskine and BB, thank you very much :)

Posted by: vermontcaps | February 3, 2011 4:04 PM | Report abuse

cstanton1-I'd rather Ted fire GMGM now than wait until Ovechkin is 30. The Caps got a golden opportunity when they drafted a generational talent like Ovi. This team should be making serious Cup runs by now, not wasting his prime years.

Posted by: ablake70 | February 3, 2011 4:08 PM | Report abuse

I will go a few months, at that time I said Ted had lost his focus when Abe passed away.

Yes sure GMGM needs to wake up or get the door as is true for Bruce.

However I will once again say the blame is TED's no one elses. If he really wants to build America's Hockey Capital and bring the Cup here he missed the greatest chance he had.

As everyone can now see and I am sure there are some in the motor city saying "We made a mistake letting him go" and Ted too. Stevie Y was there and if Ted really wanted the Cup and not to become like Dan Snyder he would have done it but anyway.

I love the game and I love the people I have met and continue to meet as a result of going to the games. But I will cry again this year when if we make the play offs we get spanked in the first round.

Posted by: bqts | February 3, 2011 4:09 PM | Report abuse

it aint happenin ablake.

It'll take probably 2 to 3 more miserable finishes to get McPhee fired. And if there's any uptick in their performance (like they get out of the 1st round), it'll buy GM another yr or two. BB isn't on safe ground but George is like a tick. He's burrowed in with his head and you need a lot more than tweezers to get him out. You gotta burn his A__ alive!

Posted by: cstanton1 | February 3, 2011 4:14 PM | Report abuse

tmac-Not to let GMGM off the hook, but I wonder if Ted stopped GMGM from getting FAs this summer. The Wiz seem to be following the same pattern.

Posted by: ablake70 | February 3, 2011 3:49 PM

I'm gonna say unlikely to that one. My sense is that he takes a very hands-off approach when it comes to hockey-related decision-making. That is a good thing to an extent. I'm not a fan of the Mark Cuban mode of operation where the owner meddles in everything. But there is also such thing as being loyal and optimistic to a fault and that may be the case here despite all his success in other industries.

Posted by: tmac2yao | February 3, 2011 4:16 PM | Report abuse

Rumors are the locker room is divided because of our goofball captain.

Posted by: lylewimbledon
----
expound on this please! What is your source?

Posted by: FrankM73 | February 3, 2011 4:17 PM | Report abuse

No one on the Caps to back down against though. He'll probably fight with Hendricks.

Posted by: cstanton1 | February 3, 2011 4:04 PM | Report abuse

Downie would back down from Erskine, if not for the fact Downie would probably happily eat a few fists to get the hardest-hitting, toughest Caps dman off the ice for five minutes (and maybe 17 if he can goad Johnny into instigating).

Hendricks is game, but if he doesn't get the jump on Downie it could be a demoralizing moment for the squad.

Posted by: vermontcaps | February 3, 2011 4:17 PM | Report abuse

On another note, why is this site so painfully slow in processing posts. I have zero issues like this anywhere else. The computer geeks working for WAPO need to figure this out.

Posted by: tmac2yao | February 3, 2011 4:18 PM | Report abuse

@cstanton

you are right that GMGM basically runs the Caps and has his friends everywhere. The easiest solution is for Ted to ask him to relinquish the duties of GM and remain on as VP. But I know that is a reach as well.

Posted by: ThePat | February 3, 2011 4:24 PM | Report abuse

And when GMGM screwed Eric Belanger he lost his 2nd line center...now where are we????

Posted by: CB28031 | February 3, 2011 4:27 PM | Report abuse

And when GMGM screwed Eric Belanger he lost his 2nd line center...now where are we????

Posted by: CB28031 | February 3, 2011 4:28 PM | Report abuse

@Frank

From reporter friends at ESPN and bartenders all over DC who say Ovi likes the vodka a little too much over performing like an elite athlete.

Posted by: lylewimbledon | February 3, 2011 4:32 PM | Report abuse

I imagine that all McPhee has to do to get himself off the hook when the reality of the situation starts becoming obvious is walk into Leonsis' office what that somber, constipated mug he often gives to reporters.

He sighs then Leonsis sighs...

He offers up some weaksauce theories about the issues and the best course of action.

Leonsis buys it all because he's all about the Business of Happiness and rainbows and unicorns.

Moments later, McPhee cracks a weaksauce joke and leaves the room, assured of his job security.

Leonsis scarfs down a snack or three, belches loudly then gets back to work, i.e., updating his weaksauce blog.

And on and on and on...

Posted by: tmac2yao | February 3, 2011 4:36 PM | Report abuse

Hendricks is willing , but he's a terrible fighter. He's not even middleweight material. He'd get crushed by guys like Carcillo, Asham, Prust, etc.

Unfortunately, he's one of the Caps best fighters. But there isn't a worse fighter in the nhl with Hendricks' totals this year. The ideal scenario would be that Hendricks gets to enjoy the same role Tyler Kennedy does. As a part time scrapper only.

But Kennedy has 5 or 6 guys on his team who fight better than he does so its not upto him to set any tone. Hendricks has Erskine and maybe Bradley. Compare that to Rupp, Asham, Engelland, Adams, even Kunitz, Letang, and Talbot can throw down. You saw Staal step in and drop Prust the other day. That whole lineup is loaded with agitators, tough guys, hitters, etc. There's probably only 3 players on the Pens who don't fit into any of those categories - Goligoski, Dupuis, Letestu, maybe Martin. The rest of their lineup plays hardnosed hockey.


I'm not even including Godard who always seem to get a jersey when they play physical teams but isn't a regular.

The Caps are light yrs away from the Pens in terms of their grit. However, it was nice to see our guys step upto them in the Winter Classic. They may have outhit us by a large amount but at least we didn't totally back down. And Steckel's bump on Crosby was a real tearjerker.

Posted by: cstanton1 | February 3, 2011 4:38 PM | Report abuse

And when GMGM screwed Eric Belanger he lost his 2nd line center...now where are we????

Posted by: CB28031 | February 3, 2011 4:27 PM

That softie was not the answer for this team of puss*es.

It was better than the Corvo debacle but it wasn't the way to go.

McPhee sucks.

Posted by: tmac2yao | February 3, 2011 4:39 PM | Report abuse

I don't know if the Ovi stories are true, but it's still no excuse for the other guys to sucka$$. They are paid professionals. If the Pens can play hard and win without Crosby AND Malkin, this team should be able to perform despite a hungover Ovi.

Posted by: ablake70 | February 3, 2011 4:39 PM | Report abuse

From reporter friends at ESPN and bartenders all over DC who say Ovi likes the vodka a little too much over performing like an elite athlete.

Posted by: lylewimbledon
----
no offense intended lyle but people who say this or that is NOT a statement of proof that "Rumors are the locker room is divided because of our goofball captain"!

it's a rumor fueled by Ovi having a sub-par season! Find me an article or a quote from a source about Caps locker-room players stating it, THEN I'll believe the "this doofus said this, and that dumbnut said that!" stuff.

@CB28031:
you mean this 2nd line center on pace for 34 points in a full season?
http://tsn.ca/nhl/teams/players/bio/?id=557
Yeah, I think I'll pass in favor of MP85 and MoJo growing into it. especially the way MoJo has been developing.

Posted by: FrankM73 | February 3, 2011 4:43 PM | Report abuse

tmac2yao sucks.

Posted by: sgm3 | February 3, 2011 4:44 PM | Report abuse

@cstanton

you are right that GMGM basically runs the Caps and has his friends everywhere. The easiest solution is for Ted to ask him to relinquish the duties of GM and remain on as VP. But I know that is a reach as well.

Posted by: ThePat

I don't know...maybe that could work.

Its just going to be very hard to crowbar McPhee out of the Caps org because you'll have to upset or rip out a lot of infrastructure as well. And really, Ted's a b-ball fan, not a hockey one. He'll have much less patience as the Wiz owner.

Posted by: cstanton1 | February 3, 2011 4:46 PM | Report abuse

It's funny. I was part of the legendary Board of Directors nearly 10 years ago, and we were saying the exact same things back then:
1) McPhee can't build a Cup contender
2) at that time the Caps were notorious for contract hold-outs (Halpern/Zubrus/Bonzai/Witt etc - every year.
3) Cassidy hiring / Doig/Kiwi/Ciernek/Gruden
4) Ted's 4 year plan, Jagirl, and then blow up / now we're going down the same path...

Don't get me wrong, the Leafs have been brutally managed and there are other teams like the Islanders and others that would suck to follow...however, when you have an owner who I believe wants to win and has the resources to help make it happen - and you've only made it past the first round of the play-off's ONCE in the last twelve years...yeah - time for a change.

Also- when you consider that Tampa and Carolina, Ducks have won Cups during those periods...makes it even worse.

Posted by: Jaymagz | February 3, 2011 4:49 PM | Report abuse

What's that McPhee quote from 24/7? Something like..."if they knew anything about the game, they'd be in it."

It was something like that. You guys are hilarious. Chill out. We need a solid 60 minutes. We're talented enough that if we play hard, with soul, and with focus for 60 minutes, 65 minutes, or more, we will win. And the let down in the next game? We can't. We play Pittsburgh on Sunday. Then San Jose. If we can string together a few wins here, it will go a long way - especially if we are sticking to our defense and getting our scorers rolling at the same time.

Posted by: gocaps99 | February 3, 2011 4:51 PM | Report abuse

lol, i been thinkin it since 1998-1999 season. Right after the Dimitri Mironov signing is when I started having serious doubts about McPhee and crazy Ron.

Posted by: cstanton1 | February 3, 2011 4:55 PM | Report abuse

What's that McPhee quote from 24/7? Something like..."if they knew anything about the game, they'd be in it."

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

yeah, because bad executives never ever slip into a given field.

ok einstein, good one!

Posted by: cstanton1 | February 3, 2011 5:00 PM | Report abuse

We're talented enough that if we play hard, with soul, and with focus for 60 minutes, 65 minutes, or more, we will win
--gocaps--

that has as much relevance as saying, if we score more goals than the other team, we will win.

Posted by: cstanton1 | February 3, 2011 5:01 PM | Report abuse

If the Pens can play hard and win without Crosby AND Malkin, this team should be able to perform despite a hungover Ovi.

Posted by: ablake70 | February 3, 2011 4:39 PM

Not when there too many mental midgets making up the roster.

McPhee has built a soft roster, mentally and physically.

Posted by: tmac2yao | February 3, 2011 5:04 PM | Report abuse

The source for the divided locker room is the Steven Hindle column for HockeyBuzz.

As far as Belanger, he wasn't the answer, but he does win faceoffs and GMGM did kind of screw him over.

Now they've painted themselves in a corner calling the Tampa game "must-win". What do they say after Martin St. Louis scores the game winner again? "Uh, well that wasn't really a must-win, but the games next week...now those are double super-duper with extra syrup must wins"!

Posted by: kcbrichmond | February 3, 2011 5:09 PM | Report abuse

that has as much relevance as saying, if we score more goals than the other team, we will win.


Posted by: cstanton1 |

Your statement is very relevant and is the only thing that is 100% true. If the Caps score more goals than their opposition in a game, the Caps will win.

I hope the Caps apply that philosophy to all the games they play, especially the playoffs.

Posted by: sgm3 | February 3, 2011 5:11 PM | Report abuse

we started off the latest rebuild with a roster with more character and less flash (literally). McPhee then added the requisite skill but was unable (unwilling) to maintain or improve the character level. You see it in his drafts, and many of his trades. That's why we're in the boat we're in today. While other teams were adding guys who can play top minutes and still bring an edge to their game, McPhee was busy drafting one-dimensional skill types. While other teams were loading up quality role players, we were polluting our bottom lines with guys who weren't willing to really get their noses dirty.

This current situation has been a long time in the making. And not a surprise to some of us.

Posted by: cstanton1 | February 3, 2011 5:12 PM | Report abuse

Conversely with T.Bay, you have to give props to the job Steve Yzerman has done in a single season. Just a year ago, this team was in complete disarray, coached by Melrose, Vinny wanting out, and now, they sit atop the SE Division.

He got Gagne, traded for Rolonson, put Mike Smith on waivers and hired a sought after coach. We can dream.

Posted by: Jaymagz | February 3, 2011 5:13 PM | Report abuse

In the past I've criticized Katie Carrera's reporting when she's improperly used the singular with the word "Lightning" in reference to that team, so I think it's fair of me to extend kudos to her on finally getting it right in this blog post. It's the first time I remember any Post reporter correctly using the plural in this context.

Posted by: 1995hoo | February 3, 2011 5:16 PM | Report abuse

The really sad thing is that we have the tallest and heaviest set of forwards in the entire leauge as well as the tallest and one of the heaviest group of defensmen... and we're still puss* soft.

http://www.pensionplanpuppets.com/2010/10/15/1751273/sizing-up-the-nhl-by-height-weight-and-age

https://spreadsheets.google.com/ccc?key=0AlBZxpXinYkCdGJHeHg1TGRwNG5SLUNiYlgyTHBwdEE&hl=en#gid=0

To add to that, generally speaking, the bigger you are the slower you are (not always true but generally...). That is esp. true if you look at a bunch of the tall, heavy players on the team.

If you are big and heavy and don't use it, you kind of become soft and slow, relatively speak. Our overall team speed is consistently overrated here but I think enough people can see the softness now.

McPhee sucks.

Posted by: tmac2yao | February 3, 2011 5:18 PM | Report abuse

Also add that with the post-lockout rule changes, speed as at more of a premium than any time in the past. If you are going big, you better be tougher than almost every other team. The worst possible scenario is to have to many slow oafs who are also total puss*es and that is kind of the case here. Ideally, you strike a balance between toughness, speed, skill, grit, etc...

unless you suck like McPhee.

Posted by: tmac2yao | February 3, 2011 5:21 PM | Report abuse

You look at teams that win, and they have smart players. The exception is the Steelers because they have some real boneheads on offense. Tomlin though is a really bright coach. He makes up for Big Ben who's about as dumb as they come.

Posted by: tominsocal1 | February 2, 2011 10:57 PM


Sad but true, Tom. But also to be expected when you consider that most NBA and NFL players are drafted out of College, not high school, and so most will have at least some (nominal) higher education.

By contrast, few if any MLB players come from the college ranks--most are drafted at 17 or 18 years of age and go from high school straight to A, AA, or AAA ball.

It is perhaps still worse for NHL players: Apparently more are drafted from college than in MLB, but most have been skating since they could walk and many of those were playing travel hockey or in Juniors at ages 14-18 instead of attending school.


What else would you expect? Hockey does require some smarts, but it isn't rocket science...or was that "brain surgery"? um..."rocket surgery"? no, wait: "brain science"? I've got it: "asmdigmqrixuy"!

Posted by: Rhino40 | February 3, 2011 5:22 PM | Report abuse

I admit that it is distressing to see George McPhee appear to pass on seemingly ideal acquisitions in the wake of a monumental first-round embarrassment.

I admit that I find it frustrating to see the Caps' PK, team GAA and overall D significantly improve, and yet the team still loses.

I admit that I find it disappointing to see the Caps' once high-powered offense stifled night after night.

I admit that I find it infuriating how every mediocre/has-been goaltender in the NHL seemingly comes up "aces" when playing against the Caps this year.

I admit that I find many of the commercials featuring the coach to be tasteless at best and inane at worst. IMO his acting career peaked with the ASC commercial that ended with him saying: "they're pretty passionate about their jobs, eh?" (I actually kind of liked that one). Still, I'm not sure what currently available coach would be better for the Caps.

I admit that, (in my eyes) the constant line-shuffling is beginning to look less like compensating for players lost to injury, and more like desperation.

That said, I find myself far more distressed, frustrated, disappointed, infuriated, and nauseated by the unrelenting ugly sewer torrent of scorn, hatred, ridicule, name-calling, negativity, and derision that some posters on this blog--who are supposedly fans of this team--heap on seemingly every last member of the Caps organization from the owner on down. Not to mention any poster on this board who dares to disagree with them.

No one is safe from this abuse; everyone is a target at one time or another, no matter how hard they work or how much they believe or how hard they try to do the right things.

So the Coach weighs more he ought to...SO WHAT?!? Since when is a trim physique a prerequisite for success as an NHL head coach? Whether you like him or not, his name is Bruce Boudreau, not "Fatso " or "Tubby" or "Big Baby"--those epithets are cruel, utterly juvenile and would seem more consistent with cyber-bullying high school Queen Bees than with actual hockey fans.

I had hoped we, as Caps fans, would exhibit more class than that.

Criticism is one thing. Bile is something else entirely.

A clinical psychiatrist reading some of the aforementioned posts might conclude that many of their creators are suffering from paranoid delusions of grandeur (e.g.:"I could coach/manage this team better than BB/GMGM!") and/or sadomasochistic complex (e.g.: "Caps will NEVER win a Cup because they are soft!")

It's almost as though some of the people here ENJOY the troubles that this team is going through...almost as if they are ENJOYING being miserable and--even worse--making others feel miserable as well.


I say unto them:

YOU'RE NOT HELPING!!!!!!!

At this point it is neither "serious" nor "realistic" as some have claimed...it's just plain sick...

...and I don't mean the Ovie definition of "Sick", either.

Posted by: Rhino40 | February 3, 2011 5:34 PM | Report abuse

you gotta go back to the Ryan Malone pickup by Tampa a few yrs back. Very good pickup.

Also shows you the Pens depth. They didnt miss him one bit. They were able to mitigate that loss fairly easily. Ditto Gonchar.

Posted by: cstanton1 | February 3, 2011 5:35 PM | Report abuse

When you look at the schedule, what's really troubling is the road trip from 2/14 through 2/21.

I think its safe to say that all of those games can be written off now as losses.

That will be the nail in the coffin for this season, and hopefully Mr. Boudreau. I would be only mildly surprised if at the end of that road trip we're in the #7, #8, or #9 spot in the conference standings.

Posted by: LesGrossman | February 3, 2011 5:40 PM | Report abuse

That said, I find myself far more distressed, frustrated, disappointed, infuriated, and nauseated by the unrelenting ugly sewer torrent of scorn, hatred, ridicule, name-calling, negativity, and derision that some posters on this blog--who are supposedly fans of this team--heap on seemingly every last member of the Caps organization from the owner on down. Not to mention any poster on this board who dares to disagree with them.

--rhino--

utter nonsense. There are players we like on this team. Some fans like most of em, some fans like some of em. But certainly how you just characterized it makes for a dramatic reading but its very inaccurate.

The other point you failed at making was, you said that we get on other posters who disagree with us. That's a total crock.

The only times any poster gets heaped on is when THEY come on here and rail on us for not being more "supportive"

In other words, they started it. No one gets on anyone's case unless they make it personal first.

so get your facts straight. You want to be optimistic, go ahead. You want to come on here and call out fans who aren't as optimistic as you are, then prepare to get some of it thrown back atcha.

Posted by: cstanton1 | February 3, 2011 5:40 PM | Report abuse

t's funny. I was part of the legendary Board of Directors nearly 10 years ago, and we were saying the exact same things back then:
1) McPhee can't build a Cup contender
2) at that time the Caps were notorious for contract hold-outs (Halpern/Zubrus/Bonzai/Witt etc - every year.
3) Cassidy hiring / Doig/Kiwi/Ciernek/Gruden
4) Ted's 4 year plan, Jagirl, and then blow up / now we're going down the same path...

Don't get me wrong, the Leafs have been brutally managed and there are other teams like the Islanders and others that would suck to follow...however, when you have an owner who I believe wants to win and has the resources to help make it happen - and you've only made it past the first round of the play-off's ONCE in the last twelve years...yeah - time for a change.

Also- when you consider that Tampa and Carolina, Ducks have won Cups during those periods...makes it even worse.

Jaymagz

This is just plain scary and incredibly depressing.

Posted by: aldie2greer | February 3, 2011 5:41 PM | Report abuse

From a few threads back:

Why in heck do some of you so called long time fans keep pointing to players that we used to have as players we could use now? NONE of those players ever produced a Stanley Cup have they? Every one of those players contributed to the long list of 3-1 blown leads in playoff series. I have remained a fan through all of the disappointments but those players never figured it out so I don't even want to suggest they could make a difference now, they didn't back then.
------------------------------------------------------------------------fanohock1

Well if you apply the same logic, what makes any of the current players special?? They've lost 3 outta 4 playoff series.

And you're the biggest kool-aid drinker on here. Will you be dissing these current players the same way you diss the Langways and the Hunters 5 years from now if they never advance past the first couple rounds in the playoffs???

Posted by: joek443 | February 2, 2011 11:38 PM | Report abuse

joek: I'm not dissing them. I am stating fact. Those players, HHOFers or not, were failing in the same manner that the current Capitals are. Did I enjoy watching them? Heck yeah! Was I a Hunter fan? Not really, he took bad penalties at bad times. He was probably one of the grittiest players in the league but the Capitals and their fan base are probably the only ones that revere him at all.

My point is, why look back and try to pluck players from previous teams if they suffered the same fate this group has thus far? It doesn't make me any less of a fan just because I don't think those guys would be the key change to this team. They couldn't create the spark in their time, what would they do differently now?

I will always be an Ovi, Backs, Green, Semin, Carlson, etc fan, but if they never figure out how to win in the postseason, I won't wish they are on the 2023-24 Caps.

Posted by: fanohock1 | February 3, 2011 5:53 PM | Report abuse

It almost makes you think that McPhee's problem is his ego and stubbornness.

It's as if he can't admit to himself or his boss that his team building strategies aren't working and that the parity of the cap era gives you smaller windows of opportunity.

I think Leonsis is pretty hands-off when it comes to hockey decisions but even if he is demanding McPhee to try to "be good for a decade" but I have to believe that a competent GM that has a feel for the state of the league and what it takes to win would be able to convince a fat pie-eater what will and won't work in this cap era.

Once you get a core of 3 or 4 young skill players with some being on entry-level contracts, you have to be willing to constantly and aggressively tweak around that core and strike a balance among the role players. I'm not saying that every team will do it that way but when you have a Malkin or a Toews or a Kane or a Stamkos or a Hedman or a Backstrom making chump change compared to their real worth, you are in a great position in terms of the window of opportunity. I understand that we have more young players making not a lot of money but those aren't among the 3 or 4 core players unless they plan and dumping at least 1 or 2 of the core players - Backstrom, Ovechkin, Green - and starting over again.

Unless you have an amazingly good GM, it will be hard for any team to stay at the top for long. It will be much more volatie for season to season and there will unlikely be any dynasties in the hard cap era. Certainly not to the degree as in the past.

I'm not saying that the Chic or Pit model is the only way but it seems to be the best blueprint right now. TB is close, too. Close enough that Yzerman may be able to address needs before the deadline.

I'll trust what works over the philosophy of a guy who extended Tom Poti and trade for Joe Corvo.

McPhee sucks.

Posted by: tmac2yao | February 3, 2011 5:53 PM | Report abuse

Elaborating on why you don't derive the same benefit from say a Varlamov or Carlson or Johansson, etc... being on small contracts is that beyond the fact that it isn't clear if any of them are in the category of "core, franchise players" no matter how promising any or all of them look, the problem is that the idea is to surround a cheap, talented young core with plenty of experience and grit. Even if you see any or all of those smaller dollar contract guys as franchise players, they are then surrounded by the prev. course which is still green, relatively speaking, and you also have some lousy, misused vets and role players surrounding those guys.

I think last season was a big opportunity lost for a variety of reasons. As crazy as it sounds and though it obviously won't happen, if we continue falter for the next season or two, trading more than 1 of the likes of Ovechkin, Backstrom and Green in the near future may be the best course of action as crazy as that may sound to some. It obviously won't happen though so no need to get your panties in a bunch.

Posted by: tmac2yao | February 3, 2011 6:04 PM | Report abuse

Extending Poti = horrible move. One hilarious stat I just looked up is on the AMAZING/TALENTED/+- KING - Jeff Schultz.
Last year, his #'s were:
73GP, 3G, 20A, +50 - which was ranked #1 in league.
This year:
43GP, 0G, 6A, +1 - tied for 330th in the league.

Now, conversley, Andrei Mezaros leads the league around +27 so playing on a high scoring Philly squad has helped him immensely....but again - all the defenders from last year can very quickly surmise that Schultz league leading +/- was an abberation and he's exactly what we told you he was - a sixth D, who doesn't hit and doesn't add much offense.

Posted by: Jaymagz | February 3, 2011 6:06 PM | Report abuse

Was I a Hunter fan? Not really, he took bad penalties at bad times. He was probably one of the grittiest players in the league but the Capitals and their fan base are probably the only ones that revere him at all.
--fanock--

explains a lot.

If you think other teams didn't think highly of Dale Hunter, I don't know what to tell you. He was revered in Quebec, he was loved in Washington, and he was sought after by the Avalanche. Besides all those things, he was also spoken highly of by other GMs and coaches who were asked about him. He's like Rick Tocchet, you hate to play against him and you love to play with him.

Its truly sad that you lived thru the Dale Hunter era as a Caps fan and his value completely eluded you. He got us past the Flyers and took a ton of abuse in order to do it. He got the rest of his teammates playing 20 lbs and 2 inches bigger because they saw exactly how much of a warrior he was. Kelly Miller in fact said that about Dale, that he was truly a guy that other players wanted to follow. Maybe explains why a guy like Kelly Miller went after Peter Zezel at the end of a period during that series. That's not like anything you'd ever see from Miller otherwise. He went after Zezel, and at some time later went after big Kjell. That is just a miniscule example of what Dale Hunter can do for a team. In its basest sense, he gets everyone around him to play bigger, harder. He's someone his teammates believed in could lead them past tough opponents.

Again, its truly sad that you failed to grasp all of this. You're probably the only Caps fan I have ever encountered who fails to give Hunter his due.

Posted by: cstanton1 | February 3, 2011 6:08 PM | Report abuse

Jaymagz: Goals against are down, and scoring is DOWN big time. I don't have NHL.com so based on memory I think the Caps are +12 or so. Schultz's +1 is fine in relative terms. How can you pluck a defenseman to use as an example when the defense isn't the issue?

Posted by: fanohock1 | February 3, 2011 6:11 PM | Report abuse

My point is, why look back and try to pluck players from previous teams if they suffered the same fate this group has thus far? It doesn't make me any less of a fan just because I don't think those guys would be the key change to this team. They couldn't create the spark in their time, what would they do differently now?

--fanock--

if you could bring back Dan Marino and Dan Fouts to a team with a great defense and smashmouth run game, wouldn't you?

wanting to bring back certain types of players who didn't win the Cup does in NO WAY devalue what their contributions were or what their contributions could be today. Your argument is so full of holes I don't know where to start.

There are hundreds of players who weren't very good who ended up winning Cups. Do you automatically just want those guys over other guys who were much better who didn't win Cups?

Would you take Dale Hunter over Mike Peluso? How about Dale Hunter over Eric Godard? Mark Tinordi over the dozens of fringe dmen who ended up on a Cup team?

The examples are numerous. To make an argument that you don't want specific players from past Capital teams simply because their team didn't win a cup is about the worst case of logical reasoning I've run into if you exclude 50% of sgm's posts (no offence buddy)

Posted by: cstanton1 | February 3, 2011 6:15 PM | Report abuse

I'm not insinuating that once those young, star core players are getting paid their worth, you can't win anymore. It's just a more golden opportunity when you have a clear cut star in the making earning chump change.

The constraint of the hard cap is obviously a huge factor that is in play and the role of the GM is more significant than ever before. Obtaining an elite GM may even be more important than getting an elite player because any team can tank and get high picks over time. But not every GM can as successfully build a championship-caliber team around those players as other GMs.

At least a few GMs of teams who have been more successful than McPhee with their rebuilds have been aggressively looking for ways to get the absolute most out of each cap dollar, whether that is by taking advantage of young, high draft picks making chump change or buy creating circumvention contracts (cheating if you will but nice guys finish last).

My guess is that none of those GMs would extend Tom Poti either.

Posted by: tmac2yao | February 3, 2011 6:16 PM | Report abuse

Also shows you the Pens depth. They didnt miss him one bit. They were able to mitigate that loss fairly easily. Ditto Gonchar.
-----------

Great point - I really thought the Pens would struggle [at least on the PP] without Gonch back there, but they've absorbed his loss seemingly without much suffering [although Geno looks a little lost, IMHO]. I still think Letang can be pressured into some bad decisions, but I've been stunned at how well they've managed overall without Gonchar back there.

And the depth is troubling, as it is with that other PA team [have they even missed Pronger?]. I consoled myself over the summer that the Flyers, for all their talent, speed and nastiness up front - and depth on D, to which they added Meszaros, who's playing lights-out - that the Flyers would have their perennial trouble in net; I discounted Bobrovsky, because I hadn't heard of him. Man, was I wrong about that one. If "Bob" keeps playing like he has all season, Philly could be very tough come playoff time.

Posted by: Timbo_1 | February 3, 2011 6:17 PM | Report abuse

How can you pluck a defenseman to use as an example when the defense isn't the issue?

Posted by: fanohock1

because EVERY part of this team can be better. You think defensemen only control goals against and forwards only control goals for?

THINK OUTTA THE GOSHDARN BOX FANOCK!

Posted by: cstanton1 | February 3, 2011 6:17 PM | Report abuse

Great point - I really thought the Pens would struggle [at least on the PP] without Gonch back there, but they've absorbed his loss seemingly without much suffering [although Geno looks a little lost, IMHO]. I still think Letang can be pressured into some bad decisions, but I've been stunned at how well they've managed overall without Gonchar back there.

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

and Letang makes up for some of those mistakes with his unending fiestiness and competitive nature. For an "offensive dman" he displays more grit than a tool like Schultz who is considered a defensive guy.

but the Pens, unlike the caps, don't get caught with their pants down. If they ever felt they needed to fill a tough guy role for example, it would take them a nanosecond to make a cheap deal to get an effective 4th line forward who could skate well enough for several shifts a game and provide a heavy presence. To them, its not rocket science.

Posted by: cstanton1 | February 3, 2011 6:21 PM | Report abuse

"because EVERY part of this team can be better."

But every part of every team can be better, so that point is moot.

Posted by: sgm3 | February 3, 2011 6:21 PM | Report abuse

C'mon cstanton. He scored that darn goal the 1st year he played with the Caps. We promptly lost to the Devils in the next round. I didn't fail to grasp anything. I do remember him embarrassing the entire organization when he had his temper tantrum at the end of the NYI series when he injured Turgeon. His dumb @$$ didn't do anything before the game was OVER, why be a goon after the fact? His gritty play often resulted in an extremely untimely penalty.

BTW someone, maybe you, brought up Cooke and his play at the end of the game yesterday. Cooke is a gritty and often cheap player but he didn't do anything at the end of that game. Depietro was the one throwing the tantrum and Cooke did all he could to avoid him. Someone gave Cooke kudos for "mixing" it up, well, he didn't, he got attacked. It was obvious during the broadcast.

Posted by: fanohock1 | February 3, 2011 6:22 PM | Report abuse

Jaymags - Back to the Schultz bashing. True you could say last year's + - was an "abbaration" with Schultz, but the same could be said for the team in general - overall an incredible goal differential. It seems his stats go as the team's go. No need to pin it on him. The goals are way down overall. Like him or not, he is playing at least as well as he did last year. Pointing out the offensive stats of a player who has never been considered an offensive-minded player makes no sense. He may not be an imposing play-maker, but he is probably responsible for fewer gaffs than Green, Poti, or Erskine.

Posted by: gonchpup | February 3, 2011 6:22 PM | Report abuse

Jaymags - Back to the Schultz bashing. True you could say last year's + - was an "abbaration" with Schultz, but the same could be said for the team in general - overall an incredible goal differential. It seems his stats go as the team's go. No need to pin it on him. The goals are way down overall. Like him or not, he is playing at least as well as he did last year. Pointing out the offensive stats of a player who has never been considered an offensive-minded player makes no sense. He may not be an imposing play-maker, but he is probably responsible for fewer gaffs than Green, Poti, or Erskine.

Posted by: gonchpup | February 3, 2011 6:22 PM | Report abuse

You're moot.

Posted by: cstanton1 | February 3, 2011 6:23 PM | Report abuse

cstanton: Really, think outside of the box. Honestly, you think Schultz is the issue, give me a break. He is doing what he is expected to do with his relatively low salary. Huge to us, the common folk, but in line with what he is worth. Other players are not performing at all. Hey, I'm a huge Ovi fan, but he's not paid to work hard, and work hard only, he's paid A TON of money to put the puck in the net, as is Backstrom, and Semin. The thing is I am very happy with their defensive play and there have been scoring opportunities that they just aren't putting into the back of the net. That is the difference this year.

Posted by: fanohock1 | February 3, 2011 6:27 PM | Report abuse

My guess is that none of those GMs would extend Tom Poti either.

Posted by: tmac2yao | February 3, 2011 6:16 PM

Only two people who would do that are McPhee and Mrs. Poti.

Posted by: tominsocal1 | February 3, 2011 6:30 PM | Report abuse

Schultz and Poti got contract extensions.

Both are mediocre.

Semin should have been traded after his 40 goal season in 2009-2010. His value was never higher.

Let's face it. Semin is of no value if he is not scoring goals.

He doesn't backcheck or play any defense.

He doesn't hit anybody.

He doesn't work the corners or the front of the net effectively in traffic.

And he doesn't bounce back from injuries very well either.

Posted by: RoyHobbs4 | February 3, 2011 6:31 PM | Report abuse

C'mon cstanton. He scored that darn goal the 1st year he played with the Caps. We promptly lost to the Devils in the next round. I didn't fail to grasp anything. I do remember him embarrassing the entire organization when he had his temper tantrum at the end of the NYI series when he injured Turgeon. His dumb @$$ didn't do anything before the game was OVER, why be a goon after the fact? His gritty play often resulted in an extremely untimely penalty.

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

I am almost unable to argue this with you in any effective manner. The chasm is too wide. You either got it, or you didn't. To pretend that Dale Hunter was not a great player because he took 'untimely' penalties means you also didn't think guys like Tocchet were great players either. Or Owen Nolan. Or Keith Tkachuk. Or how about Gary Roberts? The king of bad penalties.

I guess in your world, a great player doesn't take an untimely penalty even if a large foundation of their play involves physicality, grit, and nastiness. Dale Hunter was also an underrated assist guy. He saw the ice very well and he was very smart about how he made passes. I don't recall him makin too many bad ones like the kind we see on a nightly basis with this team.

again, I'm sad for you. Thankfully you stand in the minority.

Posted by: cstanton1 | February 3, 2011 6:31 PM | Report abuse

but the Pens, unlike the caps, don't get caught with their pants down.
-----------

It sure doesn't seem like they do, much as it pains me to admit it. And ditto the Flyers - did they even give up much to get Meszaros [oh and btw someone said this summer that Gagne was overvalued - I wonder who ;-)], or Bobrovsky, or Nodl - nevermind Leino last year.

Leino's a great example, the guy struggles to get ice with DET [talk about deep!], Homer gets him for wicked cheap, and now he's part of one of the best lines in hockey. But he, Hartnell, and Briere all know each other's roles, and complement each other very well. I'm not saying Leino would have shone here like he has there, but our needs are different from Philly's.

Not to kill GMGM, no doubt he's a smart guy [and was a much better player than he gives himself credit for, Hobey Baker's no joke] - is not confident enough in his own hockey smarts? Why not take a chance on guys you can pick up for relatively cheap, move underperforming [and overvalued!] guys, take a shot at it.

I don't know if I recall another team with legit SC-winning aspirations that's had a rookie pairing in net, as well as [for all intents and purposes] as their shutdown duo [granted they're the best we've got and done very well so far, IMO], and rookies at 2C and 3C.

Maybe with trades come increased expectations, but c'mon, time's a wastin'!

Posted by: Timbo_1 | February 3, 2011 6:41 PM | Report abuse

BTW someone, maybe you, brought up Cooke and his play at the end of the game yesterday. Cooke is a gritty and often cheap player but he didn't do anything at the end of that game. Depietro was the one throwing the tantrum and Cooke did all he could to avoid him. Someone gave Cooke kudos for "mixing" it up, well, he didn't, he got attacked. It was obvious during the broadcast.

Posted by: fanohock1

Fanock, since you don't get to watch too much other hockey besides the Caps, you should know this. DiPietro and Cooke have a long storied history. Cookie has run DiPietro NUMEROUS times. Not once. Not twice. Not even THRICE. He's run him about 5 or 6 times in the past year itself.

To get near him like he did at the end of a game the Pens were winning 3 zip, he knew exactly what he was doing. DiPietro's reaction was 100% justified and you have to give Cooke credit for still playing with an edge at the end of a win. Its not how the Caps would do it of course...but thats why they're clueless about how to play gritty hockey. The Pens, win or lose, exact a price from their opposition.

anyway, I consider that "mixing it up", don't you?

Posted by: cstanton1 | February 3, 2011 6:43 PM | Report abuse

I don't know if I recall another team with legit SC-winning aspirations that's had a rookie pairing in net, as well as [for all intents and purposes] as their shutdown duo
--------------

re the 2nd half of that question, i do :)
Florida Panthers. Rookie shutdown D of Rhett Warrener and Jovocop. To this day I haven't seen two rookies play that well. Those 2 guys and Rob Niedermayer carried that team to the finals on their backs.

Posted by: cstanton1 | February 3, 2011 6:48 PM | Report abuse

Wow, that's pretty good recall, I almost forgot Jovanoski was on that team! Alright, I gotta take off, but I feel a little less pessimistic, knowing it has been done before at least.

Posted by: Timbo_1 | February 3, 2011 6:52 PM | Report abuse

Let's face it. Semin is of no value if he is not scoring goals.

He doesn't backcheck or play any defense.
(even though he can)
He doesn't hit anybody.
(even though he can)

He doesn't work the corners or the front of the net effectively in traffic.

(even though he can)

And he doesn't bounce back from injuries very well either.
(that i give you. He is a wilted flower better suited to an afternoon game of croquet)

Posted by: cstanton1 | February 3, 2011 6:53 PM | Report abuse

Wow, that's pretty good recall, I almost forgot Jovanoski was on that team! Alright, I gotta take off, but I feel a little less pessimistic, knowing it has been done before at least.

Posted by: Timbo_1

my intent was not to make you feel less pessmimistic. I apologize.

JovoCop and Warrener were incredibly effective defensively, in the corners, against the boards, in the crease. They pulled down a ton of ice time. And they battered other teams' forwards.

I don't quite see Alzner/Carlson at that level :)

Another great "manly" defensive duo performance was Luke Richardson paired with Dave Manson during an Oiler run. Those guys were delightfully vicious to watch.

Posted by: cstanton1 | February 3, 2011 7:01 PM | Report abuse

Agree with other posters that GMGM's stubborness and inability to identify the team's true weaknesses are the main reasons the Caps have become a middle of the pack team who struggles for every win. BB may not maximize the talent and has limitations in making strategic moves, but the weaknesses everyone saw last year still exist: no 2nd line center, lack of tough/gritty forwards who can score, and only one defenseman who can move the puck up ice and create offensive chances.

McPhee has some serious soul searching as being middle of the pack for a decade isn't what Ted or the fans want. The Caps made some mediocre moves at the trade deadline last season and have done nothing in the offseason to sure up their obvious holes. I'm not surprised that the Caps have had major problems scoring as teams have used the same formula as Montreal did in the playoffs. A major trade or two is needed even if means parting with one of our young goalies and prospects for a top tier 2nd line center.

Posted by: wizfan89 | February 3, 2011 7:12 PM | Report abuse

The sloppy passing we've seen plague the Caps, esp. before this more defensive approach was employed, is partially a function of Boudreau's run 'n gun stretch pass system. It may not have been as much of an issue recently but if the last game was any indication, he is just itching to open things up again.

We need to tighten things up in terms of execution and commitment in all 3 zones. Better puck support in all 3 zones. Harder work along the boards. More aggression and commitment on the forecheck to increase o-zone time of possession. Better decision-making with AND WITHOUT the puck from Ovechkin on down.

The lack of attention to detail and some of the aspects mentioned above are on Boudreau... who McPhee hired and stuck with.

A coach that teaches the right brand of hockey and demands the details be executed can get any group of pro players to do some of the little things better. You see it all over the league with some of the "less talented" rosters in terms of how they execute things despite a relative lack of talent.

That said, there is only so much a coach can do with a given set of personnel that is inadequate in a number of areas because of the failures of the GM.

They are both problems with McPhee being the big and critical one.

Posted by: tmac2yao | February 3, 2011 7:12 PM | Report abuse

seeing the mention of Dave "Charlie" Manson brings back memories of his fight w/Scott Stevens when he bit Stevens hand and accused Scott of eye-gouging. Fighters code? Not in the good 'ole days

Posted by: vermontcaps | February 3, 2011 7:12 PM | Report abuse

What makes it hard for me to gauge the situation is that all those things we are saying--MGMG's roster, BB's style etc.--would be thought of as assets IF we were winning. Could you explain to me:

1) How would McPhee have been a better champion team? Up until recently I kept hearing how brlliant it was that the Caps, as opposed to the Red Skins, grew from the inside and had built a young team. Is there agreement as to where it was he failed?

2) What's up with BB. His reliance on gut instinct, eccentric character etc. somehow fired up this team and took them from timidity and lack of confidence to an unstoppable force that galvanized NHL. How could the same team, under the same coach, lose what had become their identity and signature style. No one is playing like himself.

3) How can ALL of the offensive stars and not just one or two simultaneously turn to mediocre players? Is there something about the new "system" that could have had this effect? I don't quite get how a better defense is stifling the entire offense.

I am anxiously waiting for the brilliant answers with well researched data and exhaustive analysis that I know will be forthcoming soon.

Posted by: caraveli | February 3, 2011 7:16 PM | Report abuse

IIRC, I think that was the game where Bengt Gustafson got speared by Everett Sanipass as the game wound down and then both Troy Murray and Dave Manson jumped Stevens who skated into the fray.

Typical Mike Keenan v Caps hockey game :)

Stevens denied gouging Manson's eyes but still got a fine or suspension because of it. Then later the two of them renewed acquaintances during a Blues-Hawks brawl.

Posted by: cstanton1 | February 3, 2011 7:17 PM | Report abuse

@Rhino40

Agree with your post on the name calling that's happened in the comments here. It's one thing to criticize Boudreau and/or McPhee but it's another thing to call them names like "BigBaby". Agree that it's juvenile.

To the posters that call our guys names, I think readers would find the posts more credible if name calling is left out.

Posted by: CapsFan75 | February 3, 2011 7:25 PM | Report abuse

caraveli, where have you been? People have offered their answers to those questions time and time again. Some of them have been answered in this very thread. Agree or disagree but you could probably find a number of opinions on each of your questions just in the last few threads.

Posted by: tmac2yao | February 3, 2011 7:27 PM | Report abuse

What makes it hard for me to gauge the situation is that all those things we are saying--MGMG's roster, BB's style etc.--would be thought of as assets IF we were winning. Could you explain to me:

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

not true. The Caps were winning last yr and a few of us were still dead-set against their roster, their style, and BB's coaching philosophies.

This year there's just more awareness of the flaws due to the more mediocre record.

Posted by: cstanton1 | February 3, 2011 7:29 PM | Report abuse

@Rhino40

Agree with your post on the name calling that's happened in the comments here. It's one thing to criticize Boudreau and/or McPhee but it's another thing to call them names like "BigBaby". Agree that it's juvenile.

To the posters that call our guys names, I think readers would find the posts more credible if name calling is left out.

Posted by: CapsFan75 | February 3, 2011 7:25 PM

It's funny that most Caps fans are about as soft as the team they follow.

This site is relatively tame. Go to any Philly sports forum... pick your sport. Try some LA or NY forums. You'll come running back here trembling in fear.

Posted by: tmac2yao | February 3, 2011 7:30 PM | Report abuse

@Rhino40

Agree with your post on the name calling that's happened in the comments here. It's one thing to criticize Boudreau and/or McPhee but it's another thing to call them names like "BigBaby". Agree that it's juvenile.

To the posters that call our guys names, I think readers would find the posts more credible if name calling is left out.

Posted by: CapsFan75 |

now isn't that a little hypocritical. Is it the namecalling that bothers you or is the TARGET of the namecalling that is so offensive?

Call me kooky but..I hear plenty of Pens fans and Pens players being called names on this board. Is that ok? Because I don't hear anyone getting upset over that.

Posted by: cstanton1 | February 3, 2011 7:31 PM | Report abuse

@caraveli

I'm wondering about the same questions as you.

In the drafting department, what we had failed to do was draft enough high quality centers, except for Nick Backstrom. Anton Gustafson kept having injury issues and gave up. Our other center prospects are not yet mature. The 2005 draft, where we drafted Sasha Pokuluk, the big defenseman who had concussion issuesm, was a bad draft.

For our players, I wonder if the suspensions had caused Ovi to lose something -- as in afraid to go all out lest a hit cause injury and result in another suspension. I'm sure the Olympic loss and the World Championship loss didn't help. But also wonder if he's hurt as well. Semin I think, has not really been healthy since late Nov as he had sat out a practice due to a nagging problem. No coincidence that his productivity went down after that. But the players were already having issues even before they went to a defensive system.

Posted by: CapsFan75 | February 3, 2011 7:36 PM | Report abuse

And one of Rhino's point about the name-calling was that it was directed capriciously at anyone who disagreed with the sentiment that McPhee/BB were incompetent.

That's just not true. Capn Kirk is a very strong supporter of the koolaid view of thinking. And he doesn't get hit with that kind of abuse on this board because he doesn't do what fans like LeftCoast do. Which is simply to come here and take digs at fans who criticize components of the team.

one of the most important part of maintaining a msg board is to fairly characterize what has been transpiring. Otherwise we have anarchy and chaos.

Posted by: cstanton1 | February 3, 2011 7:43 PM | Report abuse

There once was a man named McPhee
He sucked and it was easy to see
He drafted a star
But didn't go far
Cuz building around him was key...

Posted by: tmac2yao | February 3, 2011 7:51 PM | Report abuse

@cstanton

"IIRC, I think that was the game where Bengt Gustafson got speared by Everett Sanipass as the game wound down and then both Troy Murray and Dave Manson jumped Stevens who skated into the fray."
---------------------------------------
You see? WTF?!? Everett Sanipass?? This is the kind of stuff that proves you've got one of those freaky-memory conditions. I saw previously that you, too, think highly of LaCroix. Don't know if you saw it, but a few days ago I theorized that you were really him and sgm3 was really Bryan Murray.

Posted by: vermontcaps | February 3, 2011 8:06 PM | Report abuse

@fanohock

Cstanton's take on how Hunter made everyone play bigger and better pretty much fries your argument !!!

Posted by: Hunterforcoach | February 3, 2011 8:07 PM | Report abuse

I hear plenty of Pens fans and Pens players being called names on this board. Is that ok?

CStanton
-------------------------------
Yes, the normal rules of civil discourse do not apply when the subject is the Pens or their players (especially 87). Johnny gets a pass for a while for his one punch knock-out of DiPietro.

Posted by: zmega | February 3, 2011 8:08 PM | Report abuse

This site is relatively tame. Go to any Philly sports forum... pick your sport. Try some LA or NY forums. You'll come running back here trembling in fear.

Posted by: tmac2yao

Wow, you are tough. You insult people when you make posts on hockey sites.

tmac2yao, you are the epitome of toughness.

Posted by: sgm3 | February 3, 2011 8:13 PM | Report abuse

@racer

Telling us to sit our asses at home, is kinda' silly when it's OUR team. The Caps will still be our team when GMGM is bleeding green and red as director of scouting in Jersey.

McPhee will move on. Ted will will die of a heart attack, but they'll still be OUR TEAM. And if you really think this team hasn't been awarded to the 5th biggest media market in the U.S., there are some retired exec.s at Purina you can call !!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Posted by: Hunterforcoach | February 3, 2011 8:13 PM | Report abuse

OV just needs to score an Ovechtrick, and everything will be alright.

Posted by: LloydChristmas | February 3, 2011 8:17 PM | Report abuse

tmac, did you run over SGM's cat or something? He's trying to goad you ala Sean Avery. Ok maybe more like Chimera. All words no action.

lol

Posted by: cstanton1 | February 3, 2011 8:17 PM | Report abuse

Can people please stop mentionng the Flyers and Dale Hunter as a team and player the current Caps need to emulate.

The Flyers haven't won a SC since 1975 and Hunter never won a SC.

Why don't we want the Caps to try to emulate winners instead?

Posted by: sgm3 | February 3, 2011 8:18 PM | Report abuse

tmac, did you run over SGM's cat or something? He's trying to goad you ala Sean Avery. Ok maybe more like Chimera. All words no action.

lol

Posted by: cstanton1

Isn't everything on here all words and no action?

Posted by: sgm3 | February 3, 2011 8:24 PM | Report abuse

Bengt Gustafsson was my father's favorite player at the time he started taking me to games. Mine was Gartner. The first game I went to was in around '81.

The first stick I ever got was Denis Savard's. My father took me down the aisle near the penalty box after the game. Not sure if they still do that. Haven't been to a Caps game in years.

After games, I remember waiting for player sigs by the Caps Centre exit or going to a bar that I can't remember the name of and playing a sit down Pac Man machine while my father had a drink with some friends and we waited for the parking lot to clear out a little.

Good memories... back then I didn't give much of a crap about wins and losses. It was more just about the excitement of going to the game with my old man.

Posted by: tmac2yao | February 3, 2011 8:25 PM | Report abuse

I mostly just ignore the chihuahua and his twisted logic.

Occasionally I read the content to see if there is anything of value. Rarely is there.

Posted by: tmac2yao | February 3, 2011 8:28 PM | Report abuse

Can people please stop mentionng the Flyers and Dale Hunter as a team and player the current Caps need to emulate.

The Flyers haven't won a SC since 1975 and Hunter never won a SC.

Why don't we want the Caps to try to emulate winners instead?

Posted by: sgm3

you win as a TEAM. Not as a player. Ovechkin and Backstrom haven't won Cups yet. Why not dump them? Dale Hunter could easily have been part of numerous Cup teams had he played with the right cast. Mark Messier didnt win Cups on his own. Neither did Gretz. That's why Gretz never won with LA like he did with the Oil. This notion that you would reject ANY AND EVERY player based on whether they were part of a Cup team is the single dumbest line of thinking I have ever read here.

come on, stop making stupid arguments. You don't like the Flyers, we get it. But they've certainly enjoyed MORE success than we have recently, have they not? They were on death's door until Holmgren took over. They've already whipped past us. You can be a "winner" even without winning a Cup. If the Caps had made the Cup Finals last yr I doubt there would be this much criticism flying around these parts

so lets first start emulating the BETTER teams. Then we can think about shooting for the stars.

Posted by: cstanton1 | February 3, 2011 8:43 PM | Report abuse

Can people please stop mentionng the Flyers and Dale Hunter as a team and player the current Caps need to emulate....WWhy don't we want the Caps to try to emulate winners instead?

Posted by: sgm3 | February 3, 2011 8:18 PM | Report abuse

I remember awhile back when cstanton chided sgm3 about how long he's been following hockey. Reading this post, it all makes sense now. And concerning Hunter, his hit on Turgeon DIDN'T WARRANT his 21-game suspension. I remember Ray Ferraro talking all kinds of smack about Dale, and when next they met there was nary a peep out of Ray. I think Berube fought Vukota three times that game.

When was the last time a Caps player got in two fights, let alone three, in the same game?

Posted by: vermontcaps | February 3, 2011 8:43 PM | Report abuse

Bengt Gustafsson was my father's favorite player at the time he started taking me to games. Mine was Gartner. The first game I went to was in around '81
--------------------------------------------------------------------

Your father knows hockey. Gussy is my favorite player too, as well as that of Ron Weber's.

Still the most complete center this franchise has ever had.

Posted by: joek443 | February 3, 2011 8:44 PM | Report abuse

Knew... he actually passed away a few years ago. But he loved him some Caps.

Posted by: tmac2yao | February 3, 2011 8:45 PM | Report abuse

Holy Ship, cstanton, I'm losing track at how often we've responded to the same post....but this is the first time WE DID IT AT THE SAME TIME!!

Posted by: vermontcaps | February 3, 2011 8:47 PM | Report abuse

Holy Ship, cstanton, I'm losing track at how often we've responded to the same post....but this is the first time WE DID IT AT THE SAME TIME!!

Posted by: vermontcaps | February 3, 2011 8:47 PM |

Same thing happened to me earlier. We both corrected another one of the "rainbow and unicorn" types.

Posted by: tmac2yao | February 3, 2011 8:51 PM | Report abuse

I mostly just ignore the chihuahua and his twisted logic.

Occasionally I read the content to see if there is anything of value. Rarely is there.

Posted by: tmac2yao

you're givin him too much credit. Twisted logic implies logic of some sort. I get a little tired of certain fans who don't even know Dale Hunter who think they know him passing judgment on the guy. He's better than any current Capital player if for nothing else but how he raised everyone's play around him. Langway, Stevens, Hunter are at one level. Then you have guys like Dino, Tinordi, and Ovechkin at the next level (save the Ovechkin is more talented argument)

Dale was nothing more than a grinder who ended up having to be the Caps 1st line center for way too long and still provide all the great defensive play and grit that you would expect from a 4th line center. He wore every hat there was to be worn. Goal scorer, agitator, hitter, assist guy, total team player, leader, captain, fighter (his weakest trait). Then you got nimrods like sgm coming on here saying you wouldn't want a Dale Hunter on this team.

If it wasn't so insulting it would be comical.

Posted by: cstanton1 | February 3, 2011 8:53 PM | Report abuse

Anybody watching TNT right now?

LeBron "Lapdog" James went 10/10 from the field to start the game. You rarely see something like that and the few times that it does happen, it's usally a big man doing it. I think Dwight Howard did it not too long ago.

Posted by: tmac2yao | February 3, 2011 8:56 PM | Report abuse

He actually may have started 11/11 but back to hockey...

Posted by: tmac2yao | February 3, 2011 8:57 PM | Report abuse

here's a treat for you Hunter lovers.

A two-fer at the expense of another guy you hated to play against but would have taken on your team. Cool clips because it involves the same 2 players renewing their hatred from yrs past when they played with their original teams.

Quebec v Hartford (old Adams div rivalry)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=J5yV9kxq6bU

Caps v Pens (Hunter breaks Ulf's nose thru the visor)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=st5znR-rL6g&NR=1&feature=fvwp

Posted by: cstanton1 | February 3, 2011 9:00 PM | Report abuse

sorry, his cheekbone, not his nose. Hunter didn't usually land a punch this flush.

Posted by: cstanton1 | February 3, 2011 9:01 PM | Report abuse

Concerning Dale Hunter.....I'd take him on my team any day. He has what this team lacks HEART! I have to disagree with the Turgeon hit, that suspension was warranted for sure. Probably should have been suspended longer. He hit Turgeon after he already had his hands raised and was celebrating his goal. The siren was going off...the crowd had erupted and Dale wants me to believe he didn't know Turgeon had scored. Not to mention, I think he separated his shoulder if I remember correctly.

Posted by: CAPSHOCKEY2 | February 3, 2011 9:03 PM | Report abuse

and any of you who don't like Crosby, would absolutely have loved to have Hunter on this team for the past few yrs because he'd have made Crosby's life utterly miserable on the ice every chance he got. He excelled at targeting skill players on other teams and throwing them off their games. He made Esa Tikkanen look like Boyd Gordon. Good luck EVER finding that type on a current Caps team. GM's not gonna be trading for or drafting any more guys looking for guys willing to play that role.

Posted by: cstanton1 | February 3, 2011 9:05 PM | Report abuse

Fanock, since you don't get to watch too much other hockey besides the Caps, you should know this. DiPietro and Cooke have a long storied history. Cookie has run DiPietro NUMEROUS times. Not once. Not twice. Not even THRICE. He's run him about 5 or 6 times in the past year itself.

To get near him like he did at the end of a game the Pens were winning 3 zip, he knew exactly what he was doing. DiPietro's reaction was 100% justified and you have to give Cooke credit for still playing with an edge at the end of a win. Its not how the Caps would do it of course...but thats why they're clueless about how to play gritty hockey. The Pens, win or lose, exact a price from their opposition.

anyway, I consider that "mixing it up", don't you?

Posted by: cstanton1 | February 3, 2011 6:43 PM | Report abuse

Dude, this is where you start acting like you are a know it all. I am out of town on business watching the Flyers game on NHL online. When I am at home have NHL Center Ice, and of course I watch the Caps live and on CSN. I also watch a ton of NCAA hockey. My DVR is almost always at 100% because I record west coast games because I don't want to miss good games going on out there. Your assumption I don't watch hockey is an accusation that I don't know as much as you because I don't agree with you. You made a statement earlier to someone that you and your cronies don't jump on people unless they attack people on this blog. That's a flat out lie. Most of you get on your perch and spit on anyone who disagrees.

Hunter retired from the NHL over a decade ago and he's not in the hall except for being 2nd on the goon list for PIMs. The Avalanche move was a gift for him to give him a chance at the end of his career. The Avalanche didn't NEED him. His performance there was very little help.

I watched the darn game last night. Cooke was guided into Dipietro who is know to have a short fuse and his too softies are what ended that game in the 1st and he knew that. Long storied history? Are you kidding me? Dipietro has played more games this year than his last two combined. He played like 15 games in 2008-09 and 2009-10. Cooke on the other hand played in the West until the Capitals brought him over during the trade deadline in 2007-08. Ran into him 5 or 6 times this year alone? Another one of your fabrications to look like a know it all. Last night was only the 2nd time Dipietro played against the Pens this year. I guess Cooke ran him over 5 times earlier in the year because he only did it once last night.

Posted by: fanohock1 | February 3, 2011 9:05 PM | Report abuse

another typical Hunter moment. How often does an opposing forward get drilled around our crease area? Ever?

Hunter demolishes Tony Granato and then roughs him up, and then you see Stevens come right in to run interference on Rochefort.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kQ3Zo8KFAT4

Posted by: cstanton1 | February 3, 2011 9:07 PM | Report abuse

Can people please stop mentionng the Flyers and Dale Hunter as a team and player the current Caps need to emulate....WWhy don't we want the Caps to try to emulate winners instead?

Posted by: sgm3 | February 3, 2011 8:18 PM | Report abuse

I remember awhile back when cstanton chided sgm3 about how long he's been following hockey. Reading this post, it all makes sense now. And concerning Hunter, his hit on Turgeon DIDN'T WARRANT his 21-game suspension. I remember Ray Ferraro talking all kinds of smack about Dale, and when next they met there was nary a peep out of Ray. I think Berube fought Vukota three times that game.

When was the last time a Caps player got in two fights, let alone three, in the same game?

Posted by: vermontcaps | February 3, 2011 8:43 PM | Report abuse

BS BS BS vermont. It was a cheap shot and an embarrassment.

Posted by: fanohock1 | February 3, 2011 9:08 PM | Report abuse

Man, do we have some puss*es on this team.

Crosby would be relatively tough among this group despite his whining or whatever else you want to criticize about him. That's not to say that Crosby is super tough but it points to how incredibly soft we are, mentally and physically as a collective group.

There is a better hockey culture within the room in Pitt and Phil and many other organizations. This issue, like many others, falls on McPhee.

Posted by: tmac2yao | February 3, 2011 9:09 PM | Report abuse

Seriously you don't have to like everything #32 ever did but anyone who says he wouldn't want him on the Caps is NOT a serious fan of this team.

He's the epitome of an athlete who got EVERY OUNCE of God-given ability outta his body when he played. Did he go too far sometimes? Sure he did but I would much have him than any of these floaters on the current Caps.

Posted by: joek443 | February 3, 2011 9:13 PM | Report abuse

@fanohock

Cstanton's take on how Hunter made everyone play bigger and better pretty much fries your argument !!!

Posted by: Hunterforcoach | February 3, 2011 8:07 PM | Report abuse

Actually, no it doesn't. He just happens to have an opinion you support.

Posted by: fanohock1 | February 3, 2011 9:14 PM | Report abuse

Another one of your fabrications to look like a know it all.
Last night was only the 2nd time Dipietro played against the Pens this year. I guess Cooke ran him over 5 times earlier in the year because he only did it once last night.
--fanock--

you're a joke dude. Seriously, you'd think I would lie about something like that? Why would I? Is that what you do? Maybe I should start lookin at your posts a little closer in the future.

Here's a clip. It shows him doing it 3 times in their first meeting. You don't think DiPietro remembers that? I remember him actually interfering with DiPietro 4 or 5 times in that game. But this at least shows you some of the action that went on in that game. This is from Oct 2010. That would uhh..be..THIS SEASON.

Now go ahead and apologize for calling me a liar. It takes a man to admit when he's wrong. Are you a man or a mouse?

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Z_Ri0NV9Fjw

Man up Fanock!

Posted by: cstanton1 | February 3, 2011 9:14 PM | Report abuse

lol... somebody just got severely owned.

Posted by: tmac2yao | February 3, 2011 9:20 PM | Report abuse

tmac2yao: "caraveli, where have you been? People have offered their answers to those questions time and time again."

___________________

Yes there have been many answers, you are right. I have read tons of diagnoses of Caps' problems and opinions about solutions--many quite helpful & insightful.But to me none of them explains the severity and extent of such a turn- around. The team isn't just weak here and there. Its personality has been transformed and its most vital organs are shutting down. Personally I have not seen a situation when the entire offense of an offensive team shuts down, and the world's best player becomes a non entity. I may not know as much hockey history as many of this blog, but then this is why I was asking.

The person I feel the most for is Ovi. Nothin will convince me that he is playing so much worse this year that his production has been cut by half. He did great at the All Stars game I thought. There must be something about how the team is being coached and players developed and balanced that is stifling him. As someone else on the blog said, I hope they don't waste his most productive years.

Posted by: caraveli | February 3, 2011 9:20 PM | Report abuse

@caraveli

I still think there have been tons of opinions on everything you're asking even after that clarification. Whether you want to dig through posts on recent threads or wait for people to regurgitate their opinions like many of us do (myself included) is up to you.

Posted by: tmac2yao | February 3, 2011 9:25 PM | Report abuse

BS BS BS vermont. It was a cheap shot and an embarrassment.

Posted by: fanohock1

cheap shot ? yes. Embarassment? no

Not when you put it in the context of cheap shots that occurred on a nightly basis in the NHL. The only reason that got so much attention was it was the playoffs, and it resulted in an injury to their top player, and it occurred out of frustration at losing the series. I wasn't embarassed by it. You know why Fanock? Because I saw PLENTY of cheap shots against Hunter and other Caps player by numerous teams around the league incl the Islanders. Hockey ain't tiddlywinks. I can admit when there's a cheap shot by one of my players. But I'm not embarassed by it in that situation. The only thing embarassing about that was our team didn't play very well in that series. They mailed in 2 games. No effort. And that I think was Hunter's reaction as well. He was reacting to his teammates' lack of desire on the ice to win a playoff game. Turgeon just ended up being the target of that ire.

Posted by: cstanton1 | February 3, 2011 9:27 PM | Report abuse

BS BS BS vermont. It was a cheap shot and an embarrassment.

Posted by: fanohock1 | February 3, 2011 9:08 PM | Report abuse

The only thing wrong with Hunter's bump into Turgeon is that he unfortunately lost his footing, fell awkwardly, and sustained injury. The "hit" itself wasn't cheap, and had Hunter bumped anyone else on the ice in that situation, they wouldn't have dropped like a ton of bricks and got hurt. Hunter was the man for us that series, and I recall the incident at the time as being reflective of my sense of frustration, too. I wasn't embarrassed, and it actually helped ease the pain of the season ending. It's too bad the current squad doesn't have guys who hate to lose as much as Hunter did.

Posted by: vermontcaps | February 3, 2011 9:32 PM | Report abuse

imagine dustin penner on the second line creating havoc....why is that on the top ten nhl trade rumor websites the caps are never mentioned?

Posted by: ovckn8 | February 3, 2011 9:33 PM | Report abuse

And I warn you about reading SGM posts. His convoluted logic can temporarily cripple the brain.

Posted by: tmac2yao | February 3, 2011 9:33 PM | Report abuse

you win as a TEAM. Not as a player. Ovechkin and Backstrom haven't won Cups yet. Why not dump them? Dale Hunter could easily have been part of numerous Cup teams had he played with the right cast. Mark Messier didnt win Cups on his own. Neither did Gretz. That's why Gretz never won with LA like he did with the Oil. This notion that you would reject ANY AND EVERY player based on whether they were part of a Cup team is the single dumbest line of thinking I have ever read here.

come on, stop making stupid arguments. You don't like the Flyers, we get it. But they've certainly enjoyed MORE success than we have recently, have they not? They were on death's door until Holmgren took over. They've already whipped past us. You can be a "winner" even without winning a Cup. If the Caps had made the Cup Finals last yr I doubt there would be this much criticism flying around these parts

so lets first start emulating the BETTER teams. Then we can think about shooting for the stars.

Posted by: cstanton1

First, I'm not criticizing Hunter, I'm just saying he isn't a player we should pick to emulate because he wasn't a winner.

The reason Ovie and Bacstrom don't get put in that grouping yet is because they are 25 and 23 years old, their careers have many years left.

The Flyers haven't won since 1975, just because they have done better than the Caps doesn't make them a team to emulate.

Why don't we pick teams like the Red Wings, Avalanche, Devils, and Penguins as teams to emulate. Players like Datsyuk, Zetterberg, Forsberg, Sakic, Yzerman, Fedorov, Scott Neidermeyer, Niklas Lidstrom, Mark Messier, Mario Lemiux, Larry Murphy and Ron Francis as players to emulate. Winners, not a good player who never won.

Dale Hunter is pretty much a less talented version of Mats Sundin.

Posted by: sgm3 | February 3, 2011 9:33 PM | Report abuse

But to me none of them explains the severity and extent of such a turn- around. The team isn't just weak here and there. Its personality has been transformed and its most vital organs are shutting down
--caravelli--

Man. That is poetry at its finest.

But there isn't just one reason. Its more like the team has just gotten...weary.

They need a huge jolt. Big trade (with the right kind of players coming back), and a coaching change at the least.

Let McPhee then be judged on who he hires, and what trades he is able to make. And can him in the offseason if there's not a significant positive shift in the team's direction.

Posted by: cstanton1 | February 3, 2011 9:33 PM | Report abuse

tmac@yao you gritty poster. Why don't you write a another ryhmey poem in honor of cstanton1. Maybe you and vermont can make a song out of it and sing a duet to your hero. So Cooke ran into him a total of 3 times this year and sent an Islander into him once. A long storied history spans more than two meetings. Since they haven't played in the same conference against each other more than a hand full of times for the duration of their careers it is impossible for them to have the so called long storied history. THAT is your fabricated story that you try to pass off as expert input cstanton1.

Posted by: fanohock1 | February 3, 2011 9:35 PM | Report abuse

@cstanton

did you break into my stash?

Posted by: vermontcaps | February 3, 2011 9:35 PM | Report abuse

Wow. I haven't seen the comments section this wild in a long time. I'm no psychologist, but as a certified cave dweller it tells me that fellow CI commenters are all sensing and/or realizing this season is tanking fast. It has become a free for all and everyone is turning on each other. The Cave dwellers and the Fence sitters and the Kool aid drinkers have now splintered into 4 groups:
1. The blame GMGM group.
2. The blame BB group.
3. The blame player(s) group (a smaller group).
4. The true Kool aid drinkers who still somehow believe.
I think the truth falls into a combo of GMGM, BB, and certain players. However you can't fire the whole team, so I think BB has to be sent packing asap. I don't know who you hire, but a change is needed.

Posted by: kcbrichmond | February 3, 2011 9:44 PM | Report abuse

First, I'm not criticizing Hunter, I'm just saying he isn't a player we should pick to emulate because he wasn't a winner.

--sgm--

He was a winner. He just didn't win the Cup. Lots of lesser players won the Cup. The fallacy in your reasoning is you assume that any player on a Cup winning roster is automatically better than a player who never won the Cup.

"Dale Hunter is pretty much a less talented version of Mats Sundin."

Posted by: sgm3

How many Cups did Sundin win? A great great player in his own right?

And who says Hunter would have to be the 1st line center here? A Hunter type could be a 2nd or 3rd line center and be a great asset to a Cup team.

i don't get where you assume that having a Dale Hunter on a team actually prevents it from winning a Cup. Essentially, that's what you are saying.

Posted by: cstanton1 | February 3, 2011 9:44 PM | Report abuse

Dale Hunter is pretty much a less talented version of Mats Sundin
---------------------------------------------------------------------

Really, is that because they both played for the Nordiques??

Seriously when did you start watching hockey???

Posted by: joek443 | February 3, 2011 9:44 PM | Report abuse

imagine dustin penner on the second line creating havoc....why is that on the top ten nhl trade rumor websites the caps are never mentioned?

Posted by: ovckn8 | February 3, 2011 9:33 PM

Aside from not being able to trust the vast majority of trade rumors, McPhee is stockpiling overrated assets and thinks we can address most of our needs internally. We are also on the 10-year plan - we'll be a good team but never good enough. By the time he finally figures out how to construct a roster, Ovechkin will be on the physical decline and we all know he doesn't have great hockey IQ. He and Leonsis and all of us fans are going to be predictably disappointed as we waste that entire rebuilding effort because the wrong man was executing it.

Posted by: tmac2yao | February 3, 2011 9:44 PM | Report abuse

vermont: I'm surprised your pal decided not to bring the video of the great Dale Hunter's cheap shot so you could watch it. Sorry, no matter how much you love Hunter you can't hide the fact he gave the puck away and then nailed Turgeon from behind weeeeeell after he buried the puck.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Xte-Vtxg-m8

Posted by: fanohock1 | February 3, 2011 9:46 PM | Report abuse

i don't get where you assume that having a Dale Hunter on a team actually prevents it from winning a Cup. Essentially, that's what you are saying.

Posted by: cstanton1

I'm not saying Hunter prevents a team from winning but he sure didn't lead a team to a SC. All he led the Caps to were a bunch of playoff disappointments.

Posted by: sgm3 | February 3, 2011 9:49 PM | Report abuse

Fanock's gonna backpedal. A true mouse.

Could probably center our 4th line.

Posted by: cstanton1 | February 3, 2011 9:49 PM | Report abuse

tmac@yao you gritty poster. Why don't you write a another ryhmey poem...

Posted by: fanohock1 | February 3, 2011 9:35 PM

You inspired me to add a verse:

There once was a man named McPhee
He sucked and it was easy to see
He drafted a star
But didn't go far
Cuz building around him was key

He called up a coach named Boudreau
Who was quickly the star of the show
He let them run
And have some fun
As his belly continued to grow

Posted by: tmac2yao | February 3, 2011 9:50 PM | Report abuse

And someone correct me if I'm wrong, but wasn't the playoff series Hunter sinned against the Islanders the same year Poile acquired that noted pugilist, Paul MacDermud (something like that, but I like the mud ending as I disliked his acquisition as much as I did Chimera's), to address the dearth of toughness on the team? If so, that's the same year I wrote (not emailed, mind you) Poile to express my disappointment over the crew he assembled. I remember being disgusted at the team's compete level that series, and cstanton nailed it when he noted Hunter's antics were the product of him feeling the same way.

Posted by: vermontcaps | February 3, 2011 9:54 PM | Report abuse

I'm not saying Hunter prevents a team from winning but he sure didn't lead a team to a SC. All he led the Caps to were a bunch of playoff disappointments.
--------------------------------------------------------

So did Scott Stevens, Rod Langway, Larry Murphy, Mike Gartner and Dino Ciccarelli... ALL hockey hall of famers.

So you wouldn't want any of those guys on this team either, right???

Posted by: joek443 | February 3, 2011 9:54 PM | Report abuse

All he led the Caps to were a bunch of playoff disappointments.

Posted by: sgm3

again not true. He did the opposite. He took teams PAST opponents we weren't able to get past previously.

Did you think beating the Flyers was a playoff disappointment ? I didn't. Howbout v the Rags? Again, I was very happy with that series win. How bout the run to the Cup ? Again, many good playoff victories.

Tell me again how all he did was lead us into playoff disappointments? Are you assuming that any year you don't win the cup is a complete disappointment perhaps? I sure don't feel that way. It may be disappointing to lose a series at the end of a playoff run but it doesn't devalue the series you've won along the way.

You speak in absolutes about a time you know nothing of personally. I'd rather you ASK instead of just ASSUME how every longterm Caps fan feels about past playoff teams, or past players. Fanock may not like Hunter but he's in the vast vast minority.

Posted by: cstanton1 | February 3, 2011 9:56 PM | Report abuse

vermont: I'm surprised your pal decided not to bring the video of the great Dale Hunter's cheap shot so you could watch it. Sorry, no matter how much you love Hunter you can't hide the fact he gave the puck away and then nailed Turgeon from behind weeeeeell after he buried the puck.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Xte-Vtxg-m8

Posted by: fanohock1 |

you know whats funny about you. You claim to be a longterm fan but you make srguments which are easy to poke holes in.

Let me assume that you thought highly of Mark Messier. Do you want me to pull some clips of Messier doing way worse things than that clip of Hunter? Or the other hockey "greats" who were involved in similar type incidents? You show no historical knowledge when you talk about Hunter in such a narrow way. One play does not define his legacy.

Posted by: cstanton1 | February 3, 2011 9:59 PM | Report abuse

@Fanohock

I did not like what Dale did either, and it was a cheap shot. But, given the current state of affairs with this group of pansies, I too wish we had men who wanted to win at all costs. Dale crossed the line, but it is an emotional game. I wish I could via I.V. move some of Hunter's blood into Poti, Semin, Charmin, Green, Sarge, Stecks, Gordon, Backy, Fehr, and Laich. The recent playoffs and "stay angry" year are more of an embarrassment than the Hunter cheap shot. Those of us who've played understand what Dale did there. He would take it back if he could.

These above mentioned guys (except possibly Green) will not win a cup ever. Time to gut the wimps via a GM change !!! Yea, I said Backy. It's now obvious that he's here only for the cash and not the prize.

Posted by: Hunterforcoach | February 3, 2011 10:00 PM | Report abuse

fanohock: Not to pile on, but I think you're being a little tough on Hunter, Yes, the Turgeon thing was an embarrassment. But Dale was a great player, no ifs ands or buts. BTW, if not for "Cheap" Abe Pollin (don't rest in peace), the Caps would have won at least 2 maybe 3 Cups w/Hunter on the team.

Humor me, and assume we keep Courtnall, Stevens and Dino.

91-92. No way do Pens come back from 3-1 down with Stevens on our team. Cup #1.

92-93. I don't know, but we beat the Isles for sure. Maybe we win then too.

97-98. Go back and see how close games 1 and 2 were. We have Stevens. Does that make Tik score? I dunno.

Some other year in mid 90s...another 3-1 lead evaporates vs Pens...wouldn't've happened.

It wasn't Hunter...it was "Cheap" Abe that f-d up the Caps chances.

cstanton: saw that vid on Dale vs Ulfie Nov 27, 92. I was at Cap Centre I think day after Thanksgiving I think in 93. Caps again vs Pens, Caps won 6-4 as Cote scored a shortie. I believe that game also had some "words" between dale and Ulfie with Dale getting 5 for crosschecking Ulfie in the mouth. And there was Ulfie crawling around the ice looking for his tooth!

With aplogies to Eric Clapton, sorry, Eric, Dale Hunter is God!

And one of the greatest hits of all time, late Jan, 1991, in a game with Kordic on Caps, about 600 penalty minutes, Hunter gets 5 for charging (from blue line to end boards) as he runs Gord Murphy and staples him into the glass!

I have said many times...give us Hunter and Tinordi and we're fine.

Posted by: tominsocal1 | February 3, 2011 10:00 PM | Report abuse

Stevens, Murphy and Langway all won SCs.

Gartner and Ciccarelli were very good players but they didn't win anything. But at least they scored a lot of goals, unlike Hunter.

But I don't think we should want the Caps to emulate Gartner or Dino or Hunter, we should want them to emulate guys who have actually won and are winners.

Posted by: sgm3 | February 3, 2011 10:02 PM | Report abuse

So did Scott Stevens, Rod Langway, Larry Murphy, Mike Gartner and Dino Ciccarelli... ALL hockey hall of famers.

So you wouldn't want any of those guys on this team either, right???

Posted by: joek443 |

What about Ray Bourque. He didn't win a Cup with Boston all those years. He's a reaaaal loser too. Just happened to get lucky with Colorado's stacked team I guess.

Posted by: cstanton1 | February 3, 2011 10:02 PM | Report abuse

cstanton1:

Great points. Do you see them having the guts to fire BB, especially mid-season?

Posted by: caraveli | February 3, 2011 10:05 PM | Report abuse

And one of the greatest hits of all time, late Jan, 1991, in a game with Kordic on Caps, about 600 penalty minutes, Hunter gets 5 for charging (from blue line to end boards) as he runs Gord Murphy and staples him into the glass!

I have said many times...give us Hunter and Tinordi and we're fine.

Posted by: tominsocal1

Dude, i was AT THAT GAME. Remember every single notable play in that game. A guy named Dale Kushner actually got into FOUR fights in that game. The last one he got lit up by Kypreous. Al Iafrate with a damaged shoulder having to fight Murray Baron. Alan May almost fighting Paul Holmgren on the bench. Tocchet was hurt and watched that game in the stands with Chycrun and Ken Hitchcock.

good times

Posted by: cstanton1 | February 3, 2011 10:06 PM | Report abuse

But I don't think we should want the Caps to emulate Gartner or Dino or Hunter, we should want them to emulate guys who have actually won and are winners.
--------------------------------------------------------

hey here's an idea, why don't you ask your precious coach BB if he would like Hunter or Dino on his team right now?

you wanna guess what his answer would be???

Posted by: joek443 | February 3, 2011 10:08 PM | Report abuse

But I don't think we should want the Caps to emulate Gartner or Dino or Hunter, we should want them to emulate guys who have actually won and are winners.

Posted by: sgm3 |

lol. So by your logic, you'll take every 4th liner off every Cup team. But refuse to take guys like Dino and Dale?

someone make it stop

Posted by: cstanton1 | February 3, 2011 10:09 PM | Report abuse

What about Ray Bourque. He didn't win a Cup with Boston all those years. He's a reaaaal loser too. Just happened to get lucky with Colorado's stacked team I guess.
-------------------------------------------------------------------------

yeah the Avs would've won the Cup without him... he was a real carpetbagger.

Posted by: joek443 | February 3, 2011 10:13 PM | Report abuse

tmac2yao:

I think your limerick was the best explanation I heard and certainly the most amusing. I had to forward it to my husband and friends--whether they liked hockey or not

Posted by: caraveli | February 3, 2011 10:14 PM | Report abuse

Here are some "winners" I guess we should go after who are still playing hockey.

George Parros
Shawn Thornton
Eric Godard
Joe DiPenta
Joe Motzko
Curtis Glencross
Shane O'Brien

All winners! I'm psyched! We're gonna have a reaaal tough team! (except Motzaball)

Posted by: cstanton1 | February 3, 2011 10:14 PM | Report abuse

re fanohock
right on about tmac. He is evil person another Steven King.
Caps still good team just wait until season over. And then if you want tear down or cheer. Overanalyzing freaks specially low life tmacf.ups.
I wonder why you watching hockey at all.

Posted by: dugza | February 3, 2011 10:15 PM | Report abuse

@sgm3
@fanohock

sgm3, Why is it that every time I turn around the Flyers are in the Finals ?????????

Fanohock, how can you watch these fruitcakes McPhee has paraded out, and then diss a real HNL "blood in his teeth" hockey player. These present Caps are "Ice Queens". How did we get to the point where we have a must win game against the Bolts after all the high picks and the Ovi lottery win ?????????????

Posted by: Hunterforcoach | February 3, 2011 10:15 PM | Report abuse

"Dale Hunter is pretty much a less talented version of Mats Sundin."

Posted by: sgm3

sgm, did you really type that?

You obviously never watched Hunter play, did you?

Sundin was like, well, someone who would be on the current Caps. Hunter wasn't.

Can we just imagine for a moment how far the caps would have gone in the 90's without "Cheap" Abe Pollin (please DON'T rest in peace) as owner?

We went to ECF in 90 and lost with Langway and Dino out. Just imagine Dino, Courtnall and Stevens stay around (all they had to do with Stevens was match the 5-yr/$1M per year deal). Just Dino, Langway, Hunter and Stevens alone is as much toughness as any team in hockey right now. Plus we had guys like Rouse and Alan May. Maybe then keeping Stevens we never trade Rouse for Iafrate. And when did we get Berube? What a great role player he was. And you put Bondar on that team, he was a 90 draft pick. And Kono was 91.

The first thing I do when I die is find Robert Irsay's spirit and whizz on it. Abe Pollin is next.

Posted by: tominsocal1 | February 3, 2011 10:18 PM | Report abuse

There once was a man named McPhee
He sucked and it was easy to see
He drafted a star
But didn't go far
Cuz building around him was key

He called up a coach named Boudreau
Who was quickly the star of the show
He let them run
And have some fun
As his belly continued to grow

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

tmac, we are blessed to have you in our presence

Posted by: cstanton1 | February 3, 2011 10:18 PM | Report abuse

Just saw some highlights....why didn't I watch the Bruins tonight? Three fights in the first 30 seconds of the game and they're up 2-0 45 seconds in. Thornton (Barch), McQuaid (tko Sutherby), and Ference all very impressive in their fights. Final score 6-3 Bruins. Wish I could watch a Caps game with that kind of intensity and fireworks.

Posted by: vermontcaps | February 3, 2011 10:20 PM | Report abuse

Here are some "winners" I guess we should go after who are still playing hockey.

George Parros
Shawn Thornton
Eric Godard
Joe DiPenta
Joe Motzko
Curtis Glencross
Shane O'Brien

All winners! I'm psyched! We're gonna have a reaaal tough team! (except Motzaball)
---------------------------------------------------

That's like saying Rober Horry is the greatest basketball player since Bill Russell because he collected 7 rings in 16 seasons.

Posted by: joek443 | February 3, 2011 10:22 PM | Report abuse

Here are some "winners" I guess we should go after who are still playing hockey.

George Parros
Shawn Thornton
Eric Godard
Joe DiPenta
Joe Motzko
Curtis Glencross
Shane O'Brien

All winners! I'm psyched! We're gonna have a reaaal tough team! (except Motzaball)
---------------------------------------------------

That's like saying Robert Horry is the greatest basketball player since Bill Russell because he collected 7 rings in 16 seasons.

Posted by: joek443 | February 3, 2011 10:22 PM | Report abuse

So now flashback moments of the 5 minute majors Hunter got are supposed to be reminders of how good of a leader he was? Receiving 21 game suspensions to start seasons and putting your team shorthanded for a major are hardly things to be proud of. Why do you think you need to poke holes? I think hunter was a goon and the clips you are showing, the penalties that are being recalled, and his PIM totals support that he was a goon. He was a NON FACTOR in any kind of positive way for the Capitals in that 97-98 run. WE had the hot goaltender that year.

Posted by: fanohock1 | February 3, 2011 10:23 PM | Report abuse

It almost makes you think that McPhee's problem is his ego and stubbornness.

Posted by tmac

This is the Caps biggest problem. IMHO, this team is run by a group of know-it-alls who like to surround themselves by people beholden to them. They've managed to push out all the veteran leaders and replaced them with rookies, AHL lifers, and guys like Poti who are just grateful to have a job. It's sad that guys like Ovechkin and Backstrom have to waste prime years because their coach and GM (and owner?) can't humble themselves and admit they need help.

Posted by: ablake70 | February 3, 2011 10:24 PM | Report abuse

fanohock1, you are truly a MORON.

this goal alone makes Hunter one of the greatest player this franchise has ever had... why can' your precious Ovi ever score a big goal like this??

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sErlYdpSFco

If you were there like I was on that glorious Saturday night, you wouldn't be dissing him right now.

Posted by: joek443 | February 3, 2011 10:28 PM | Report abuse

re fanohock
right on about tmac. He is evil person another Steven King.
Caps still good team just wait until season over. And then if you want tear down or cheer. Overanalyzing freaks specially low life tmacf.ups.
I wonder why you watching hockey at all.

Posted by: dugza | February 3, 2011 10:15 PM

lol... do you talk like that in real life and grunt while you do it?

Or is this the effect Twitter is having on your generation?

Before long, people will talk like cavemen again.

Speaking of cavemen, we could use a couple on this team of puss*es and mental midgets.

Posted by: tmac2yao | February 3, 2011 10:29 PM | Report abuse

But I don't think we should want the Caps to emulate Gartner or Dino or Hunter, we should want them to emulate guys who have actually won and are winners.

Posted by: sgm3 | February 3, 2011 10:02 PM


sgm: I hereby nominate you as the "Rush Limbaugh" of CI.

I say this because, from all appearances, you merely type out this drivel only to elicit a certain "reponse" from your readers.

Combined with your "pretend" imitation of vermontcaps with the "LET'S GO JOHNNY E" stuff, I believe we can seriously question your motivation here.

I love the Caps and want them to win. More than any other team in sports.

You, on the other hand, I believe, just want to argue. I'll bet you also spend time on cooking or gardening websites disagreeing with women about their recipes or how much water to put on their pansies.

I'll bet you drive your father crazy. If you were my son, I would have already tossed you off the second floor balcony and onto the driveway below.

Posted by: tominsocal1 | February 3, 2011 10:30 PM | Report abuse

@dugza

Go back int your hole dude !

Posted by: Hunterforcoach | February 3, 2011 10:30 PM | Report abuse

Speaking of McPhee, why do you think he renewed Semin. Most of the rumors in NHL were that he would be traded for a gritty center. I expected it myself. If the team is in trouble and suffers from inconsistency, why renew a mercurial (thogth brilliant) player?

Does anyone think they will make a major trade move in Feb. or is it going to me more of the same minor, fine-tuning kind of acquisitions?

Posted by: caraveli | February 3, 2011 10:32 PM | Report abuse

You, on the other hand, I believe, just want to argue. I'll bet you also spend time on cooking or gardening websites disagreeing with women about their recipes or how much water to put on their pansies.

I'll bet you drive your father crazy. If you were my son, I would have already tossed you off the second floor balcony and onto the driveway below.

Posted by: tominsocal1 | February 3, 2011 10:30 PM

That's why I largely skim over his posts... honestly. I've been doing that for 3 months. Every once in a while I read them to confirm that he's still demented. This site is more about engaging other posters than discussing hockey.

Posted by: tmac2yao | February 3, 2011 10:38 PM | Report abuse

Thinking of the Bruins/Stars game and those who fought (Campbell, Thornton, McQuaid, Ference against Ott, Barch, Sutherby, Burish) made me think of the Caps.

When Poti returns, Erskine will be banished and we won't have anyone on the backline willing to drop the mitts regardless of the situation. (Ok, maybe Green)

When Semin/Fehr return that means no more DJK and soon enough, BB will realize that Hendricks/Bradley aren't Gordon/Steckel and so one of them will have to sit.

We'll be down to one willing fighter in the lineup on a nightly basis...that is unless BB wants to pretend the Caps can hang with tough teams like the Pens or Bruins in which case there might be an Erskine sighting.

Any chance BB will sit Steckel against the Pens in an attempt to mute any kind of hostilities?

Posted by: vermontcaps | February 3, 2011 10:39 PM | Report abuse

lol. So by your logic, you'll take every 4th liner off every Cup team. But refuse to take guys like Dino and Dale?

someone make it stop

Posted by: cstanton1 |

I never said Hunter or the others were bad or I would refuse to have them on a team.

I am saying that they are not players to EMULATE becaue THEY NEVER WON ANYTHING.

Were they good players, sure. Were they winners, no.

Sundin is similar because he also was a good player but never won anything.

I want the current Caps to emulate players who were good AND a winner. So irrelevant 4th liners on SC winning teams do not qualify because they don't fit the being GOOD part of the requirement.

Please do some thinking about what was actually said.

@tominsocal1

I think you are a poster who desperately seeks approval and praise from other posters because of some inner self-confidence problem.

Posted by: sgm3 | February 3, 2011 10:40 PM | Report abuse

He was a NON FACTOR in any kind of positive way for the Capitals in that 97-98 run. WE had the hot goaltender that year.

Posted by: fanohock1 | February 3, 2011 10:23 PM

fanohock: Please stop. I love Hunter almost as much as my children and certainly more than my brother or sister (when did they put up a fight?). As a matter of fact, I might sleep in my Hunter jersey tonight.

Look, you earlier said Hunter wasn't appreciated by any other fans. Let me tell you I was at Caps at Tampa about three years ago. We were a party of 4 just about the time caps were stepping up. We has jerseys Oates, Ovechkin, Bondra and (me) Hunter. Some tampa fan behind of couse saw us 4 Caps fans and was ridiculing the team (Caps lost 5-4 that night). They were criticizing my daughter and the Ovechkin jersey. So I stand up and turn around and look at the guy, and say, pointing to the #32 on my jersey, "You want to say anything about Hunter?"

The guy shrank back with a sheepish look on his face and said, "No, I'd take him."

"Thanks," I said, "and by the way, congratulations on your Cup. We don't have one yet."

That guy shut up after that.

Posted by: tominsocal1 | February 3, 2011 10:40 PM | Report abuse

Speaking of McPhee, why do you think he renewed Semin. Most of the rumors in NHL were that he would be traded for a gritty center. I expected it myself. If the team is in trouble and suffers from inconsistency, why renew a mercurial (thogth brilliant) player?

Does anyone think they will make a major trade move in Feb. or is it going to me more of the same minor, fine-tuning kind of acquisitions?

Posted by: caraveli | February 3, 2011 10:32 PM

I think it is an absolute certainty that he will make a move or moves.

If he and Boudreau aren't on the hot seat, then Leonsis is clueless as well.

The problem is that it is extremely unlikely that he is able to address the number of things that would need to be addressed in order to turn us into a legit contender. That's why many of us were in shock at what he did and didn't do after the collapse against MTL.

Then again, it was only "5 bad days" and we faced a "hot goalie."

Posted by: tmac2yao | February 3, 2011 10:42 PM | Report abuse

@tominsocal

I love the Abe (NOT RIP)

We went from "Hockey Hell" with Abe

to "Hockey Dreamland" with Ted.

I agree, Abe's horrific ownership cost us Cups

Posted by: Hunterforcoach | February 3, 2011 10:47 PM | Report abuse

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dale_Hunter

Here are Hunter stats. 9 years of +20 goals. Hardly the definition of a "goon."

I think you are a poster who desperately seeks approval and praise from other posters because of some inner self-confidence problem.

Posted by: sgm3 | February 3, 2011 10:40 PM

@cstanton1: sgm has nailed it. I have a really, really terrible self-confidence problem. Fact is, I am so nervous and doubtful about my confidence, that I can't hardly put two sentences together without shaking and breaking out in a cold sweat. Please, cstanton1, please, type out something nice about me to restore my confidence. Please!

Posted by: tominsocal1 | February 3, 2011 10:52 PM | Report abuse

joke: I don't even have to look at the video provided. I know it is the Game 7 goal he scored against the Flyers. It was his 1st season with the Caps and his BEST highlight. Sorry not enough for me to hang my hat on. To top it off it won a 1st round series. We lost in the next round to the Devils, so great, he got us to the 2nd round.

Posted by: fanohock1 | February 3, 2011 10:59 PM | Report abuse

I think you are a poster who desperately seeks approval and praise from other posters because of some inner self-confidence problem.

Posted by: sgm3 | February 3, 2011 10:40 PM

Actually I have been diagnosed with an "outer" self-confidence problem.

My daughter is a clinical psychologist. I always ask her for praise and she always tells me to "get lost."

sgm, you seriously need to ask yourself, at a minimum, why you are apeing vermontcaps.

I'll bet you drive your dad nuts.

Posted by: tominsocal1 | February 3, 2011 11:03 PM | Report abuse

fanocock - wake me up when this current group of underachieving floaters have a moment like that in the playoffs.

Posted by: joek443 | February 3, 2011 11:04 PM | Report abuse

@sgm3
@fanohock

Cstanton isn't looking for approval. Give us a break. You've picked the wrong side in a hockey argument and we're killing ya'
over it.

sgm3, The Flyers lost to the Bossy Isles, Wayne Oilers, and Yzerman Wings. Does that make them losers ? Come on ! I'm proud of the way our boys battled the Wings. We got swept, but we NEVER gave up. That Wings team was awesome.

This group would have found a way to lose to Hasak. Instead, we fried the guy in '98. Even though guys like Fanohock will tell you we just had the "hot goalie". Hasak was permanantly hot -the best ever !

BB needed to show clips of the Sabres loss to us in '98. Maybe we would have had more traffic from the boys, but I doubt it. Now that we've seen that they are a heartless, soulless group they are.

Posted by: Hunterforcoach | February 3, 2011 11:05 PM | Report abuse

I wish I could have been at that game. I was stationed in the Republic of Panama as a young Sailor in the Navy. Getting hockey news when separated back then was close to impossible. MY Ovi, will have his moments. He hasn't done that in a Game 7 yet but I can't believe you are willing to toss him to the trash so quickly if your really are a fan of the Capitals. Ovi has won a lot of games by scoring multiple goals. Some of them unbelievable goals. I gotta hit the sack because I have an early flight.

I just want this team to right the ship. If that means fire BB and trade Brooks/Semin, or other to get the right pieces, I DON'T care. If all of you that want to automatically think I accept everything as a fan and smile you would be surprised if you really knew, or believed what I thought. FWIW, I thought BB would be removed just to shake things up to see how the team responded a month before the trade deadline. That would give the new coach time to get back to GMGM with their thoughts on what THEY thought was needed and if they had specific players in mind.

Posted by: fanohock1 | February 3, 2011 11:10 PM | Report abuse

It's a shame that the Caps made no effort to assimilate DJK into the lineup, as I think he's capable of developing into a player like Shane Churla or Jeff Odgers. He's looked fine in his limited time the last 9 or so games he's played. His willingness to fight, and ability to take a punch, are qualities that the team should've looked to exploit. But with the caste system firmly entrenched under BB, everyone and their mother knows DJK is done for the year.

Posted by: vermontcaps | February 3, 2011 11:10 PM | Report abuse

Also in the game 7, the Caps were down 3-0 against Philly, till late 2nd period I think... what happened to this current grooup in that Game 7 against the Pens two years ago when they got down in a similar fashion?

And you gonna tell me somehow this group is better than that group?

Posted by: joek443 | February 3, 2011 11:10 PM | Report abuse

This group would have found a way to lose to Hasak. Instead, we fried the guy in '98. Even though guys like Fanohock will tell you we just had the "hot goalie". Hasak was permanantly hot -the best ever !

Posted by: Hunterforcoach | February 3, 2011 11:05 PM


Too much credit, huntsy, our guys would have lost in the first round to the Bruins.

I'll never forget that Sabre series. There was a hard check every 15 seconds. Guys like Berube and Simon made their mark. Hasak was incredible and Olie was just a tiny bit better. And Juneau actually did something!

http://www.hockeydb.com/ihdb/stats/leagues/seasons/teams/0000491998.html

Looking back, a really bad move by Poile was letting Andrew Brunette get away. He was a solid second liner for many years.

Posted by: tominsocal1 | February 3, 2011 11:15 PM | Report abuse

Man, watching that Hunter goal in OT gives me chills. I was there that night, and it was the greatest moment in Caps history to that point. That guy would kill his own mother to win a game...

I know I've said it many times, but I'm frustrated that there seems to be no action being taken to give this team some grit and character. Every day I surf the web hoping that we've pulled off a trade for a character guy(s), regardless of who we give up (with some exceptions of course).

I really wonder if GMGM ever reads this blog and what he really thinks about the opinions expressed here...

Posted by: sca187 | February 3, 2011 11:15 PM | Report abuse

@fanohock

Ovi does that in the first period of game 7 against the Pens two years ago, and we march on.

Semin does that against "the sickly lookin' Slovak Goal Tender", and we march on.

Posted by: Hunterforcoach | February 3, 2011 11:19 PM | Report abuse

My God! It was McPhee who let Brunette disappear into the night!

Poor, poor decision.

Posted by: tominsocal1 | February 3, 2011 11:20 PM | Report abuse

@tominsocal

I too want to wizz on Abe's spirit. Can we "mind meld" after death and really hose him down !!!!!!!!!!??????????????

That is the funniest line I've EVER read on this site

Posted by: Hunterforcoach | February 3, 2011 11:25 PM | Report abuse

@sgm3
@fanohock

You guys need a "standing 8 count" You've taken a beating. Dissing Dale when we have a team of "ice bunnies" WTF ?

Go get 'em Sarge ! (sgm3, in response to your dislike of Vermont's enthusiasm for REAL hockey players)

Posted by: Hunterforcoach | February 3, 2011 11:30 PM | Report abuse

sgm, you seriously need to ask yourself, at a minimum, why you are apeing vermontcaps.

Posted by: tominsocal1 | February 3, 2011 11:03 PM | Report abuse

Aren't they kind of funny, even if only in a sad and pathetic way? Who can forget his argument w/a poster who was offended by the writer's choice of using the vernacular? Who can forget his "blow up the team" rants? Frankly, his mocking me is of no concern and might even draw more attention to my posts by other readers. In many ways, engaging with sgm3 is always a winning proposition.

I must say, however, that it is I who comes to this site seeking attention, approval, and validation. My therapist explained to me that coming to these forums, and expressing myself in total anonymity, is good for my ego. I mean my id. I mean my alter-ego. Oh God, I forgot...

Posted by: vermontcaps | February 3, 2011 11:32 PM | Report abuse

joek443: OK, sorry to get on my pulpit, but why did you call fanohock a "moron?"

I have a lot of respect for fanohock, even if we sometimes disagree. I have met him at a game with his sons. He is a very knowledgeable fan. I disagree with him very much, but respectfully, on his Dale Hunter assessment.

joek, I used to have a lot of trouble with your posts, but now agree with you 90-95% of the time. You have been watching a long time and your opinion is very worthwhile. Still, using a term like "moron" is inappropriate. Try instead to suggest his opinion is "misguided."

I am not the board monitor. However over the past 2-3 years I have adamantly posted against name-calling. I believe we are better than that. You have a very good, intelligent opinion and you only do a disservice to that opinion when you do name-calling.

That said, I should apologize for saying that I hope Abe Pollin DOES NOT rest in peace. Because I hope he doesn't. So I WON'T apologize.

Suffer, Cheap Abe, suffer.

"Judge not, lest ye be judged."

OK, St. Peter, I've judged, and now you will judge me, and based on my sins, I'll be raking coals over the millenia. Me and Abe Pollin, together again, fot the first time.

I'll willingly spend eternity in hell so long as Bob Irsay and Abe Pollin are there with me.

Posted by: tominsocal1 | February 3, 2011 11:33 PM | Report abuse

@sgm3

No response to the list of clubs the Flyers have lost to ? Just gonna' ignore it, and bring up what losers they are another day?

Do some research ! Gretzky, Bossy,and Yzerman !

Yea, the Flyers are major losers !

Call me a loser then. I'll gladly lose to those guys. Instead, Hal Gill and a bunch of midgets took us down !

Posted by: Hunterforcoach | February 3, 2011 11:37 PM | Report abuse

@tmac
@Cstanton

Keep promoting anger and unrest on the site ! This great stuff !

Posted by: Hunterforcoach | February 3, 2011 11:49 PM | Report abuse

Does anyone know where Abe Pollin is buried?

We could have a Caps Fan Club reunion at the gravesite next summer. Everyone bring a 12-pack. I'll bet we could kill a few flowers.

Posted by: tominsocal1 | February 3, 2011 11:50 PM | Report abuse

@vermontcaps

I honestly was not mocking you in any fashion. I actually enjoy your posts and was just having fun with you. Not mocking.

@Hunterforcoach

Yes, the Flyers lost to some very good teams, but losing to good teams doesn't make you a winner.

The Caps lost to the Pens in 7 games in 2009. Just because the Pens won the SC that doesn't make the Caps a winner.

The Flyers of the '80s were like the Buffalo Bills of the '90s. A very good team but didn't have the ability to win the big game.

Posted by: sgm3 | February 3, 2011 11:56 PM | Report abuse

Keep promoting anger and unrest on the site ! This great stuff !

Posted by: Hunterforcoach | February 3, 2011 11:49 PM

but please - no posting pictures of caps players or caps mgmt inside of gun site crosshairs

Posted by: Capt_Kirk_in_AZ | February 4, 2011 12:10 AM | Report abuse

Where else except as coach of the Washington Capitals can someone get away with an explanation such as, "I really have no clue how to fix it?"

Douglas MacArthur: (Instead of "I shall return.") "I might come back, but have no clue really."

Julius Caesar: "(Instead of, "I came, I saw, I conquered.") "We showed up, we tried for 20 minutes, and we lost in a shootout."

Colonel Prescott, Continental Army, CiC, Bunker Hill: (Instead of, "Don't shoot until you see the whites of their eyes.") "Just fire away from the point. To hell with going to the net. Maybe we'll get lucky and won't face a hot goalie."

Posted by: tominsocal1 | February 4, 2011 12:17 AM | Report abuse

Where else except as coach of the Washington Capitals can someone get away with an explanation such as, "I really have no clue how to fix it?"

Posted by: tominsocal1

"I just don't know what happened!" - Steve Spurrier. Must be a DC thing.

Posted by: ablake70 | February 4, 2011 12:33 AM | Report abuse

Tom, you're an effing TRIP! I'm still laughing! "I might come back, but have no clue really."

Thank you for that!

Posted by: sca187 | February 4, 2011 12:34 AM | Report abuse

better lose next 2 games, so then we can fire BB and get a coach that will kick players a.. I am just afraid that it might be already too late

Posted by: beforeitstoolate | February 4, 2011 12:38 AM | Report abuse

and please stop talking about Hunter(aka cheapshot) as our new coach. Caps organization had way too many coaches without experience. Schoenfeld, Cassidy, Hanlon(btw, where is he now?) and BB(ahler for life)

Posted by: beforeitstoolate | February 4, 2011 12:43 AM | Report abuse

@Tom

I'm with ya as far as Abe is concerned but look at it this way, if it weren't for him there probably wouldn't be hockey in DC. That's the good he's brought. Granted it was followed with 20+ yrs of playing 2nd fiddle to "Le Bullette" but none the less he was responsible for bringing the team in. Ted will receive credit for the rest when the championship finally does find it's way to Constitution Ave. Yeah I know, but if the Football Gods allowed the Saints to win a SB then the Hockey Gods at some point have to let us win a Cup!

Posted by: pokerface1208 | February 4, 2011 1:00 AM | Report abuse

For the last couple of months we've heard players saying they all need to work harder and they all need to play for 60 minutes. It's about time they stopped talking about working hard for 60 minutes and started doing it - and if someone's not doing that then Bruce should seriously consider scratching them for the next game. That wouldn't work with Ovi, Backstrom, Semin, etc, but could well work for guys like Steckel, Perreault, etc.

Time to play a 60 minute game Caps.

Posted by: ajcb | February 4, 2011 8:16 AM | Report abuse


About GM , BB , and future of our team - my point of what i think . More and more questions coming up about what going on with Caps top players ? In my opinion its a lock of effort , discipline , dedication , to play for 60 minutes every game ; Caps don't need to go to OT or SO , this is the way for losers only which let them to get a point in the standings . Caps are a better team , and if they continue to play like this - they will not going to reach the point to play and bring the highest trophy to Washington ! I honestly suspecting that best players on team playing with injuries , otherwise i cant explain why they suddenly became very average ,lost intensity , and if GM & BB ignoring it and steel forcing them to play with injuries - its very wrong , we all know that regular season not very important for teams with high expectations . We have so many good players in AHL Bears who will bee glad to replace the injured players until they healthy and ready to go for the playoffs , meanwhile the young kids from Hershey will do everything possible with a given to them chance to prove that they can do it on a regular bases - the whole organization and Caps FANS will win . Otherwise GM&BB got to go and the season is lost again !!!!!!!







Posted by: knopka | February 4, 2011 10:51 AM | Report abuse

NO MORE SEASON TICKETS !!!!!!!

Posted by: knopka | February 4, 2011 10:54 AM | Report abuse

if you have Fios please tweet @FiOSTV and ask them to make the CSN+ feed HD on 501. Only way to get this done is to show them we want it now.

Posted by: heltzooor | February 4, 2011 11:26 AM | Report abuse

Post a Comment

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

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




characters remaining

 
 
RSS Feed
Subscribe to The Post

© 2011 The Washington Post Company