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What happened in Tampa, stayed in Tampa.

Or so the Caps said today, about 48 hours removed from Saturday's 5-2 loss to the Lightning, which led to a players only meeting and all-star Alex Ovechkin smashing a stick and an iPod on his way out of St. Pete Times Forum.

After a previously scheduled day off yesterday, they returned to the ice at KCI for a spirited hour long practice.

Afterward, veteran goalie Olie Kolzig said, "What needed to be said was said on Saturday. It's water under the bridge."

While no one wanted to speak publicly about the subject or tone of the players-only meeting after Saturday's 5-2 defeat in Tampa, I'm told that much of the discussion centered on the team's penchant for taking selfish penalties, Semin's throwing of the puck specifically, and the recent rash of costly turnovers. No player was spared. But Ovechkin, who is Semin's closest friend, took some of the criticism personally and reacted by letting loose on one of his sticks (and iPod) afterward.

"I was [angry], we lose the game and that's it," Ovechkin said today. "I think [Semin] understands his mistake. He said sorry and that he doesn't want to do it again. All the time I'm looking forward. It's over. It's emotion. Sometimes it happens to me. Sometimes it has to be done."

Kolzig, a player known for smashing a stick or two, said Ovechkin's reaction shouldn't be overanalyzed. If anything, Kolzig said, Ovechkin's outburst showed he still cares, despite the team's struggles.

"It shows that you are mad," Kolzig said. "As long as it doesn't affect the way you play on the ice, fine. A lot of guys are like that. They want to vent. At least it's not boiling inside of you. If it didn't make you mad, then you have some issues. It was like looking at myself in the mirror."

Then Kolzig cracked a smile and added, "It was a pretty expensive snap. But it's not like he can't afford it."

By Tarik El-Bashir  |  April 2, 2007; 1:45 PM ET
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Next: Kolzig Nominated for Masterton


Thanks Tarik. I do wish you would have reported on the meeting in tomorrow's paper, instead of when you did, since it has created nothing but havoc on the blogs between Caps fans. From what I have read on the Caps blog, practice today seemed to be fine and upbeat. This story could have been reported as just a behind doors team meeting to air out some issues, as opposed to way it read, being a total blowup by most of the players. At least that is the way it read to me. But, that's why you're the reporter, and I'm not.

Posted by: kenhockey | April 2, 2007 2:00 PM | Report abuse

Thanks Tarik - I think everyone is waiting for the other show to drop with Ovie. I think they will be fine and I think it is very clear that much work needs to be done in the offseason. This is THE offseason for GMGM specifically. This is HIS team and if they do not make HUGE improvements, it will be time to move on to another GM.

Posted by: hockey rush | April 2, 2007 2:01 PM | Report abuse

i wonder if they make him (and olie) pay for the sticks they smash?

Posted by: jamebow | April 2, 2007 2:06 PM | Report abuse

stick companies usually pay for star players' sticks.

Posted by: Tarik | April 2, 2007 2:08 PM | Report abuse

If everyone got their fair share of "trashing" by Kolzig and Clark, who criticised them? They're no angels. Or the geezer and the captain-pretend are imune from criticizm?

Posted by: Anonymous | April 2, 2007 2:14 PM | Report abuse

Kenhockey -- so let me get this straight. I'm not supposed to report on what happened right in front of me? There was a blow up. A pretty bad one.

You would have rather not known about what happened after the game? In front of 30 people.

No one will ever know everything that was said in that dressing room. Just like no business reporter knows everything that's said in the board room of the company he covers. Because once that trust is broken, then you've got real problems.

Posted by: Tarik | April 2, 2007 2:22 PM | Report abuse

Claude Julien was fired as the Devil's coach. Maybe he's a good fit here? He's done a good job in his only season as a coach. Hanlon should step down himself. What do you think?

Posted by: Finn | April 2, 2007 2:22 PM | Report abuse

i'm all for reporting facts (key word) like this. the mood in the locker room right now is a great indicator for where this team is going. reporting on it, where it is tangibly indicated, is absolutely appropriate, if not required. it's a very interesting story from just about any perspective. under no circumstances should something like this not be reported. please keep it up, tarik. and if the rest of the hockey universe wants to opine about what it all means, that's not tarik's problem!

Posted by: pgreene | April 2, 2007 2:27 PM | Report abuse

Came in here to say what Finn said. Consider it seconded.

Posted by: HolyOlie | April 2, 2007 2:32 PM | Report abuse

Tarik, any thoughts on Claude Julien? Or is it politically incorrect to discuss it? We certainly want a winning coach behind the bench.

Posted by: Finn | April 2, 2007 2:34 PM | Report abuse

Tarik-ok, I stand corrected. Thanks. I do appreciate the hard work you do.

Posted by: kenhockey | April 2, 2007 2:36 PM | Report abuse

Kenhockey -- didn't mean to jump all over you. I appreciate your opinion.

Posted by: Tarik | April 2, 2007 2:42 PM | Report abuse

Hey Tarik, thanks for the follow up. Have you heard anything about GMGM and prospect Patrick McNeill? His season in Saginaw just ended, and he was at rookie camp this past summer, I was wondering what the org may be thinking about him.

Do you think Ted will buy AO a new ipod?

Posted by: Graham | April 2, 2007 2:53 PM | Report abuse

I asked Ovechkin about that. He said, "it's okay. I have three iPods."

Posted by: Tarik | April 2, 2007 3:02 PM | Report abuse

Tarik: I think this business of Hanlon punishing Semin for making a dumb play is simply riduculous. Where is the eve-handedness? E.G.. when a Bradley, twice on one PK shift, fails to clear the zone, or when, whoever it was dumps the puck in the opposite corner with another PKer streaking open down the other side. Without Semin we probably finish somewhere in the AHL, and Clark doesn't have 3-4 bounced-off-of goals. And another thing - why call up a Klepis, e.g., to skate only 10 minutes? The last time I checked the NHL awarded points for winning games, not losing 4-3, by playimg not to lose, rather than not to win. Strong letter to follow.

Posted by: Anonymous | April 2, 2007 3:04 PM | Report abuse

That's not the point, Semin's play was incredibly stupid/lazy/selfish. Another player's honest mistake isn't of the same order.

And you can't let one guy take the easy way out and consequently hurt the team just because he puts the puck in the net. The Caps had that system when Jagr was here, and that didn't pan out, now did it.

Posted by: Kim | April 2, 2007 3:24 PM | Report abuse

Wow. Playing catch up after a weekend of being away and having no access to games/internet.

I am really glad the players had a meeting -- there have been a decent amount of close games this year that we could have won if not for stupid penalties. Its frustrating to watch. If we had one half of those games and some of our shoot outs, we would be over 80 points now (rough math after taking a quick look at stats)

I hope this problem with Semin isnt becoming Ovie's burden to bear. Semin has been a year long problem lets not forget...

Posted by: LB | April 2, 2007 3:36 PM | Report abuse

Also, great reporting Tarik!!

Posted by: LB | April 2, 2007 3:42 PM | Report abuse

Ge, Kim and LB, thanks for helping me see just how flawed my thinking was on this issue. I now realize that our recent stretch of , what, 71% on the PK is simply due to "honest mistakes" rather than a lack of talent. Time to bench lazy, selfish Semin and get honest Clymer back in there. Note to GMGM: forget acquiring talent this summer, let's add some more honesty!

Posted by: Joe | April 2, 2007 3:56 PM | Report abuse

OldZilla is well past his expiration date (as was Bill Ranford when OldZilla took over). I guess the OldZilla style of leadership is a love for smashing sticks and cussing but failing to take responsibility for the myriad of softies he gives up, complete lack of shutouts (for years), and a total failure to steal a few games to earn his bloated $5.45M contract. At least Johnson who is totally worthless only makes $575K this year.

The Capitals are: Alex and Alex. If the Caps can get rid of the one true Capital, Peter Bondra, OldZilla will not be missed assuming someone in the NHL is stupid enough to take that contract. The Caps will be better off if OldZilla is traded. It will ultimately bring new leadership to the team and one might assume GMGM would acquire a pair of younger and more athletic goalies.

Posted by: dossier | April 2, 2007 3:58 PM | Report abuse

Tarik, why hasn't there been more made of the disallowed goal against the Panthers? The replay on Comcast from the front clearly showed it was over the line. No doubt. Anyone see that angle in Florida? Anyone care?

Posted by: DC | April 2, 2007 4:00 PM | Report abuse

Joe, thanks for being litteral.

It's not a players fault that he sucks. It's management's fault for putting him in that position.

It is a players fault to take stupid penalties. Especially picking up and throwing the puck. That was a conscious decision by Semin. It's not like Bradley or Clymer thinks "Instead of clearing the zone, I'll just turn the puck over".

Posted by: Kim | April 2, 2007 4:05 PM | Report abuse

Why are we bashing Olie who's facing more shots on goal than anyone this year on average? You try standing in goal and facing the barrage of shots he does night-in and night-out and see if your GAA doesn't go up at the end of the season. Brodeur's GAA would go up, Hasek's GAA would go up. As much as it's piece of mind for the offense to know they have a solid goalie behind them, it's also piece of mind for a goalie to know he's got a solid defense in front of him and the Caps don't have that solid defense. Take out those 10 extra shots a night he's facing and you drop 1 more goal a game. Looking at the standings and number of SOL we've had, that makes a huge difference overall.

BTW--Tarik, can you see if Alex can get me an iPod! I'll be at the game tomorrow!

Posted by: Jarrod | April 2, 2007 4:10 PM | Report abuse

You're right Kim, LB. Semin really is this team's only problem. How dare he score goals, create offense almost at will. Plus he really is the only player on this team taking stupid penalties. Get him out of here fast and add some more leftovers nobody else wants. Already too much talent on this team and not enough muckers and grinders who are absolutely useless offensively and cannot kill a penalty to save their respective lives. Alienate the only two guys that make this team respectable and don't ever play any other player with a bit of talent (like Fleischmann, Klepis, Green, Fehr) more than 10 minutes on a losing team that's going nowhere fast.
The Caps are the two Alexes away from contraction or relocation.

Posted by: Scai | April 2, 2007 4:20 PM | Report abuse

"Tarik, why hasn't there been more made of the disallowed goal against the Panthers? The replay on Comcast from the front clearly showed it was over the line. No doubt. Anyone see that angle in Florida? Anyone care?"

I do not believe we saw a shot that clearly showed anything. You cannot make a judgement of a puck having crossed the line when it is on its edge and rolling as it could appear there is white space between the puck and the line but when you view it from an overhead shot you'll see it is still not completely over the line. A person on the Caps official boards posted a link to a good reprensentation of this-

Posted by: Jay | April 2, 2007 4:22 PM | Report abuse

whoops, here's the link without the period at the end (so it will load)-

Posted by: Jay | April 2, 2007 4:23 PM | Report abuse

Semin is a great talent, but he dosen't show up for every game. When Semin shows up and gives 100% he is unreal. But when he doesn't he messes up and it usually hurts the team. There is no reason he should have 90ppm. He's clearly is a great player but he needs to be more team focused.

Posted by: .... | April 2, 2007 4:28 PM | Report abuse

I wonder how "team focused" are the guys who come to this club and say that this is a great opportunity to get some more ice time etc... Pothier, Novotny, Jurcina... What's the point passing the puck to Beech when you know he can't score. Might as well do it yourself. Or Bradley, or Clymer.. Get off Semin's back. He and Ovechkin is all this team has. Did he take a stupid penalty? Sure, no excuse. But to bench a guy for an entire period? Hanlon is a joke! He is no leader

Posted by: Finn | April 2, 2007 4:33 PM | Report abuse

Scai and Finn:

Way to go, guys!! Thanks.

Posted by: Joe | April 2, 2007 4:38 PM | Report abuse

Whoa guys relax!

I didnt say we should get rid of Semin, just that he has been a problem year long (and I hope Ovie isnt dragged down by it). I think Semin is exciting to watch and a draw for the Caps. He just needs to mature -- I distinctly remember Tarik reporting about problems with him earlier in the season. Then the fight with this.

I also think that a lot of penalties we take are just rookie-ish mistakes. Tarik mentioned is his chat on Friday that we have some good developing D talent but that we really do need veterans to guide them along. I think the addition of one or two vets to help mentor the young players and teach them not to take bad penalties would be great.

Now, my boss has taken off early so I am going to try to grab some Rays outside:)

Posted by: LB | April 2, 2007 4:40 PM | Report abuse

I think Hanlon did the right thing. If you take a stupid penalty it hurts the team! If a coach can't bench a player what else does he have to make a point with a player?!?!? Yes, it hurts the team to have Semin sit on the bench but that's the point now isn't it!!!! He needs to learn what he does effects the team!

Posted by: .... | April 2, 2007 4:43 PM | Report abuse

Look, I think we are all getting a bit over-heated here. We all know Semin CAN BE an absolute force out there. In fact, I'm even willing to say when he is giving 100% effort he has more natural ability than OV -- and in fact, I believe that. The problem is there ARE games where he doesn't give 100%. Almost every single shift OV is giving it 100%, but the same can't be said for Semin. That isn't saying he should be traded, but wouldn't you rather see him play his heart out more often?

The benching is a thing that has been ongoing this season to multiple players on the Caps. Like it has been mentioned, it's one thing to simply not have the ability to do the things other NHL players can do (and yes, it is pathetic that players appear to be so talent-challenged that clearing the puck on a PK is considered a skill that is apparently too much for some of the roster), it's quite a bit different to take lazy penalties from lack of effort, or take penalties due to mental errors. Green has been benched multiple times, as has Eminger, and of course Semin. These are professional atheletes people -- sometimes you have to do more than talk to them, you have to make it clear that mental mistakes can't happen again and again. (Olie haters, go wild)

The Caps are in bad shape...but NOW is the time to try to correct these mistakes rather than a year from now if the Caps are looking for a win to get into the playoffs and Semin (or ANYONE) takes a bad penalty at an inopportune time. Ultimately the skill isn't here right now, but shouldn't players be held accountable for making mistakes that even THEY know are stupid?

Posted by: Jeff | April 2, 2007 4:47 PM | Report abuse

LB: (with an aside to Scai and Finn) The way I see it is that it's very easy for a coach to coach slugs - after all, what are their options. A good coach, a really good coach,however, is comfortable dealing with talent and all its folibles, and knows how deal deal with risk/reward curves. I want Semin, Green, Klepis, Flash, Schultz, etc to make lots and lots of mistakes. Then, and only then, will we begin to move forward - with or without GH.

Posted by: Joe | April 2, 2007 4:48 PM | Report abuse

But Joe...don't you mean mistakes that come from EFFORT rather than mistakes from being lazy? And some of the mistakes this team makes are clearly from laziness. THAT is what needs to be corrected immediately.

Posted by: Jeff | April 2, 2007 4:53 PM | Report abuse

Hi Joe,

I have to agree with what Jeff said. I dont have a problem with us learning and making mistakes .. its the making mistakes without developing, thats the issue. And you are correct, maybe thats Hanlon.

I rarely think in absolutes in term of getting rid of people/coaches because I am certainly no pro scout! But I would like to see some development from the mistakes we are making, not just repetitive penalties. And repetitive penalties seems to be the issues right now.

Thats all!

Posted by: LB | April 2, 2007 4:59 PM | Report abuse

On my TV screen it looked - throught the prism of my biased eyes - as if Semin was taken down with no call, and simply reacted instinctively. On the one hand some folks are predisposed to label every mistake he makes as lazy, or stupid, while granting Get-out-of-jail-free cards to the lesser lights. The kid is a joy to watch - particularly @ $70 a pop! Let's cut him some slack and hope he wants be stay here.

Posted by: Jeff: | April 2, 2007 4:59 PM | Report abuse

"Yes, it hurts the team to have Semin sit on the bench but that's the point now isn't it!!!! "

So Semin hurts the team by picking up a stupid penalty. Then Hanlon hurts the team by benching him. Now, since Hanlon hurt the team, who's going to bench him?:) I think he needs it!

As far a being a team player, Semin is by far a better team player than Zherdev.

But think about this... Would this bust up happen if Zubrus was still around? If he could talk to Semin in his own language? If he could politely but firmly explain what should and should not be done? Ir the psycho Kolzig yelling and cussing like he's the king of the locker room? Zubrus had a way with Alex's that clearly neither Clark nor Kolzig has. Trading Zubrus was a big mistake. Face it, Ted, GMGM. Zubrus' value off the ice was probably greater than his on ice performances, even though I still believe he was a decent player for a Cap.

Posted by: Finn | April 2, 2007 5:00 PM | Report abuse

the last post should have been from Joe to Jeff. sorry, Jeff.

Posted by: Joe | April 2, 2007 5:00 PM | Report abuse

No problem Joe. And I mentioned earlier that I didn't actually see either game this weekend, so I wasn't really specifically speaking to the puck throwing incident. I was talking more from a season long persective, Semin goes invisible way too often, only to show up with a bad penalty.

He's young, he's new to the US, he doesn't (really) speak the language. Yes, all true. But he has played hockey for years and years. If nobody has told him he can't hook as an attempt to either catch up or slow down a player while playing defense, he needs to learn it! 90 PIM...not a single major or misconduct. That is a LOT of minor penalties. I don't have a break down of what each one of those 45 is, but compare that to OV who has 16 minors. That is an incredible difference. Minor penalties typically do NOT come from good effort (with the occassional accidental high stick in there, maybe a boarding when trying to finish a check, or the rare penalty that is saving a goal, etc) how does OV have 3 times fewer minors than Semin? Just my take...

Posted by: Jeff | April 2, 2007 5:09 PM | Report abuse

Let me clarify one thing as I re-read what I just posted. I said "Semin goes invisible way too often, only to show up with a bad penalty."

I don't mean to say he isn't a great player...I simply mean he has shifts where he is the best player on the ice, and shifts where you don't even know he is ON the ice. You can't score every shift, but you can put in the effort every shift. Consistency would help his game, is all.

Posted by: Jeff | April 2, 2007 5:14 PM | Report abuse

Jeff: As we both know, calling penalties in the NHL is as much art as science; and don't forget the Star Factor . . . sort of a variation on "who you know, not what you know". Alex II tops the list of "unknown" stars, thast's for sure.

Posted by: Joe | April 2, 2007 5:15 PM | Report abuse

Joe, I will agree with that argument (to an extent), and I will even help your 'argument' by saying he has taken a handful of diving penalties that were (to be nice on the refs) questionable because he has a history of embelishment. We all realize Semin and OV are the cornerstones in any attempt to build a solid team. I'm simply arguing that benching Semin for a period is not a huge deal if it helps his discipline long-term for however many years he is stuck here before he bails to NYC. :-)

Posted by: Jeff | April 2, 2007 5:26 PM | Report abuse

Kinds sucks this whole incident happened... It makes everyone forget the OV absolutly LEVELED Tim Taylor on Saturday... That made me happy.

Posted by: Murshawursha | April 2, 2007 5:44 PM | Report abuse

Jeff, great points! I agree, Semin is great he just needs to work at giving 100% every game. Can you image where he would be at if he did that. It would be unreal. Everyone learns from there mistakes and sometime you need to be reminded... which is what Halon was doing!

Posted by: .... | April 2, 2007 6:11 PM | Report abuse

The Caps have become surprisingly unwatchable. Of course, I still watch -- because, as a Redskins fan, I'm used to this feeling.

I struggle to figure just who is exactly to blame. Seems like inconsistency plagues the team -- from Ovie, to Semin, right on down the line. Flash score four points in one game, then disappears.

At this point, I'm not sure who the keepers are on this squad, outside of the obvious ones.

Here's how I figure it:

Keepers: Ovie, Semin, Clark, Brashear, Gordon, Backstrom, Sutherby, Laich, Morrisson, Schultz, Muir

Bubble: Pettinger, Novotny, Fleisch, Giroux, Fehr, Pothier, Green

Toast: Beech, Bradley, Klepis, Eminger

The team is a mess. Every night looks like boys against men out there. Caps appear to use elemntary tactics versus professional polish on the other side.

Posted by: The Horror | April 2, 2007 6:11 PM | Report abuse


I wish you wouldn't write all those stories about the Caps losing. It really is hurting my morale. You could just report there was a game last night, goals were scored, mistakes were made ...

Posted by: mrmoa | April 2, 2007 6:19 PM | Report abuse

Benching Semin was the right decision. He's my favorite player on the team and I truly believe he has more natural ability that Ovechkin. The main differences in their games right now are creativity, drive and discipline.

Semin absolutely smokes Ovechkin in creativity. This has been exacerbated by shipping out Zuburs. Ever since, Ovie is going down the gut 1 on 4. But even before that Ovechkin shows a propensity for driving straight forward. A good center with speed to keep up will help. So would a better offensive system. Hopefully, if we add 2 solid D we can let loose the reigns like Buffalo.

Ovechkin leaves Semin in the dust in both drive and discipline. Semin takes more shifts off. Just fades into the background. Probably doesn't help that he's also playing with AHL talent. Buuuuut, the discipline issue is a big one. On the puck toss he got hit against the boards in what could have been a hit from behind call. Could have been. But Semin didn't even make an attempt to get up. He lay there, rolled over, grabbed the puck and threw in overhand while six inches from the ref.

I'll add that I agree 50% on some of the opinions regarding Kolzig. He's good. .909 is no joke, especially given the absolute inability of the D to clear the crease. He's saving most of those while looking through four asses. He has however lost the ability (even if it's a lie) to shoulder some of the blame by pointing out the 5-holers he's let through all year.

They're all frustrated and understandably so. As I've said before this summer is perhaps THE most important in Caps history. If we get the top C we desperately need, along with Backstrom, a top RW and 1-2 D then we can seriously turn things around and quick. More chance of buy-in/discipline if the players see the support from management.

If we don't make those deals, we're screwed. Ovie will continue to plateau. Semin will continue to go the Jagr route, the arena will be 1/4 full instead of 1/2 full and we'll be a total joke instead of a rebuilding team. You think we need to overpay for FAs now, just see what happens when we go through another year at the bottom of the league. Unlike Pittsburgh with the post-lockout draft scam, we won't have the same fortune. The franchise might not last until 2009 draft for Tavares. Especially if Semin, Ovie and Backstrom flee before then.

Posted by: Shmoo | April 2, 2007 7:47 PM | Report abuse

muir is a keeper and pothier is on the bubble? please tell me that youre kidding because that cant be taken seriously.

Posted by: nonsense | April 2, 2007 8:00 PM | Report abuse

I don't think the issue is so much as Semin's dumb obvious penalties versus other players not playing smart hockey. These are the same things. Play smart, play for the team, play 100% each shift. But, it's "easier" for the coach to make an example of Semin because his penalty was one that was clearly the most avoidible, versus a player just not playing smart. And, if a coach can't bench his 2nd best scorer, then that in itself sets the wrong example to the rest of the team. No prima donas (sp?) on this team. No Jagrs! ;-) A team leader (and Semin will be one, and soon, take my word) knows that they will be pointed out to the rest of the team as the example. In a way, (and bear with me), if the coach didn't think much of Semin, he wouldn't have been benched for a whole period.

Posted by: Dezlboy | April 2, 2007 10:39 PM | Report abuse

sure Benching Semin was good, but not for the rest of the game. As far as Backstrom... he hasnt said he will come over yet has he??

Posted by: jr4caps | April 2, 2007 10:44 PM | Report abuse

"sure Benching Semin was good, but not for the rest of the game. As far as Backstrom... he hasnt said he will come over yet has he??"

It's amazing that people will wonder why athletes are such prima donnas, then they come out that benching a player for the rest of the game is such an aggregious action.
As for Backstrom coming over, is this your first time reading the Post's pages? Backstrom had announced his intention to come over at least since mid-March.

Posted by: pga3 | April 3, 2007 7:43 AM | Report abuse

The Horror - theres no way Pettinger and Pothier (and maybe even green and fehr) ar eon the bubble, no matter how much you want them to be. It's just not happening. You don't sign an UFA to a four year deal then dump him.

As for Hanlon benching Semin, it was a good idea. Benchings used as a teaching tool are almost always a good idea. I bet Semin doesn't make that mistake again. And anyone complaining about the benching, think about the future: better to bench him in a worthless game in a lsot season than to have him repeat the mistake in say OT in Game 7. I'm using two opposit extremes here to illustrate a point that benching Semin was a necessary evil.

Also, Olie's fine. As long as GMGM gets us a true top defender to go with the necessary forward upgrades this team will be in good shape. We'll have good vets, solid young guys, and solid prospects coming up behind them all. next season begins on draft day (or maybe late next week when they do the draft lottery??). GMGM knows what we need (he better!), and if he doesn't get it, he should be fired.

Like Tarik said, a top center on July 1st, a top defender shortly thereafter, and mayhaps a Top 6 RW and PP upgrade. Look for a trade on draft day to get this all started.

Posted by: Graham | April 3, 2007 9:41 AM | Report abuse

If the first week of July comes and goes and we have not signed anyone good (compared to someone cheap that might be good, the GMGM method) I might start to panic.

Posted by: LB | April 3, 2007 10:19 AM | Report abuse

"The team is a mess. Every night looks like boys against men out there. Caps appear to use elemntary tactics versus professional polish on the other side."

Every time I see a forward try to pass the puck off the boards to himself, I think much the same thing. Does it ever result in anything other than a turnover or icing call?
I'd love to see some sort of trade before the draft, considering all the picks the Caps have stocked up. I don't know what they could get, but surely a pair of high-rounders could fetch something of value.

Posted by: mike | April 3, 2007 1:48 PM | Report abuse

Sad to watch this organization going down. Ted Leonsis can't afford this team and should step aside. Ruined star player like OV makes me sick. Thanks for WASTING another season and a year from OV's career.

Posted by: Anonymous | April 3, 2007 2:10 PM | Report abuse

wow, you're right, after the pens ruined crosby's rookie year last year by finishing last in the east, we really haven't heard much from him. such a waste...

ovie's ruined at only 21...

Posted by: to blank | April 3, 2007 9:22 PM | Report abuse

The pens sucked horribly for 5 years before winning back to back cups in the early nineties, and probably would have some sort of continued dominance had Mario not had cancer. Players they drafted, or moves they made during those suck years were instrumental, like Jagr being drafted high, and I believe they traded a high pick for a key player.

Imagine Ovechkin, Semin, Backstrom, and Voracek (or Kane or Turris) in our top six in a few years time.

Posted by: Graham | April 3, 2007 10:16 PM | Report abuse

When is Ted going to realize that the gm is one of the bigger problems and get someone else?

Posted by: AnotherFinn | April 6, 2007 11:20 AM | Report abuse

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