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With four moves at deadline, Caps get in position



In today's Post:

By pulling off four separate deals on Wednesday, Washington Capitals General Manager George McPhee sent a not-so-subtle message to the rest of the National Hockey League: He believes the time is now for his team to make a Stanley Cup run.

The Capitals were among the busiest teams prior to the league's 3 p.m. trade deadline, acquiring defensemen Joe Corvo (Carolina) and Milan Jurcina (Columbus) as well as forwards Scott Walker (Carolina) and Eric Belanger (Minnesota) in an effort to add more depth and grit to their lineup. | Full story »

Morning roundup

*Caps are a big winner: "There isn't a deeper, more well-rounded group of forwards in the NHL." (Fanhouse)

*Report card: "Big moves from a team looking at a Cup within reach, and not many assets sacrificed to make them. GRADE: A-" (Puck Daddy)

*Breaking down each new Cap. (Loose Pucks)

*More on Joe Corvo. (NHL.com)

*Caps to rest of NHL: This is our year (Rock the Red)

*Team chemistry still intact. (RMNB)

*With no pressure in the Southeast, Boudreau has plenty of time to try out some new combos leading up to the playoffs. (Dump and Chase)

*Juice got Bourque'd. (The Hockey Chronicles)

*Recapping the day's madness. (Caps Blog)

*Boudreau on the trades:


And about last night...


(David Duprey/AP)


The Caps started off the final stretch of the season right, with a 3-1 victory over Ryan Miller and the Buffalo Sabres.

"I just told them that that was our best game in 10 games," Coach Bruce Boudreau said outside of the visitors dressing room at HSBC Arena. "It was by far our best game defensively [because] we didn't leave the goalie out to dry too many times." | Full story »

*Video: Jose Theodore on his performance, the win.

*A little rusty like expected, but a win's a win. (Japers' Rink)

*Again, a win's a win. (RMNB)

*Ahhh. Caps hockey. (Rock the Red)

By Lindsay Applebaum  |  March 4, 2010; 5:28 AM ET
 | Tags: Morning roundup  
Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   Del.icio.us   StumbleUpon   Technorati   Google Buzz   Previous: Jose Theodore on his performance, tonight's 3-1 win in Buffalo
Next: Boudreau: 'Trying to keep everyone happy is going to be something'

Comments

can't wait to see how BB incorporates the new caps. hopefully will see it first hand on monday

Posted by: ebolean1 | March 4, 2010 5:48 AM | Report abuse

Great game for the Caps last night. A little rusty, but early in the game when the refs had whistles the PK was excellent, and although the Buff O had little going for it, more often than not it was because we absolutely flummoxed their attack and gave them nothing to work with.

Excellent game by Theo. Aside from when he was left holding the bag on the one GA, Schultz was fantastic. Great work all around on the boards to win those battles on both ends of the ice.

Posted by: Sonyask | March 4, 2010 6:31 AM | Report abuse

LW - Ovi, Laich, Chimera, Fleischmann, Gordon, Laing
C - Backstrom, B.Mo, Belanger, Steckel
RW - Semin, Knuble, Fehr, Walker, Bradley

There are 2730 possible line combinations

Posted by: JSchon | March 4, 2010 6:47 AM | Report abuse

Hey Tarik and Lindsay, how about telling the print staff that it's past time to change the standings from division to conference format? That we have 92 points and our next division mate has 64 is pretty meaningless, but when we're playing so many teams in contention the Conference standings are what matters. Take tonight, with TB on the outside looking in they are hungry to win every game they can.

Posted by: Sonyask | March 4, 2010 6:47 AM | Report abuse

JSchon: How are you liking Belanger and Corvo as the answers to our PK/checking center and our defense need?

Both could be re-signed for next year if they fit in, depending on who else comes back.

All in all, I think McPhee did well.

Posted by: tominfl1 | March 4, 2010 6:52 AM | Report abuse

@tomasintransittoca

I love everything GMGM did yesterday. Obviously there were guys out there that a lot of people wanted and we didn't get, but no one else got them too.

Belanger was great pick up, followed right by Corvo. Both guys should fit in nicely. Corvo, I think, will be the most productive new acquisition based on the minutes he'll play and PP time he'll get.

Boudreau is going put himself in a thick soupy lather with all of the line possibilities.

Posted by: JSchon | March 4, 2010 7:09 AM | Report abuse

Speaking of "in transit," I have arranged my house hunting trip to watch Caps-Hawks early Sunday morning the 14th at the Best Western in Santa Clarita, CA. Will be on like 9:30 am plus that is the DST change day, so a very early game will be strange. Flight back on Thu just in time for Caps at Carolina. I doubt I'll go to the game in Tampa on 20th - too busy. I will probably miss some Playoffs and even when they are on for me it's 4 pm start.

I am pretty happy with the moves. Corvo always kills us, so I like him. I think he's a RH shot, so he will be PP #2 d-man after Green. I can see them moving Poti (you'd like that) and keeping Corvo long term.

Posted by: tominfl1 | March 4, 2010 7:19 AM | Report abuse

This what I hope to see tonight.

Ovi/Backs/Knuble
Laich/B.Mo/Semin
Flash/Belanger/Fehr
Chimera/Steckel/Walker
Gordon/Bradley - HS

I hate putting Chimera on the 4th line, he's been so good on the 3rd, but what do you do?

Green/Schultz
Corvo/Poti (Poti moves back to a true defensive role)
Morrisonn/Carlson
Erskine - HS (Erskine was a disaster yesterday, nothing bad happened, but if Crosby is on the ice forechecking I do not want the sexy lumberjack on the ice period.)

Varlamov/Theodore

Posted by: JSchon | March 4, 2010 7:22 AM | Report abuse

Yes, Erskine was terrible. Several giveaways and a whiff in the defensive zone. I pointed at the TV and said, "He'll be scratched tomorrow night."

I actually hate scratching Bradley more than moving Chimera down to 4th line. One could argue the 4th line guys were the best last night. Lots of hustle and banging. Bradley, really, doesn't deserve to ever be scratched. It will be interesting.

BTW, I thought Carlson still looked shaky. He doesn't have his NHL confidence yet.

Posted by: tominfl1 | March 4, 2010 7:46 AM | Report abuse

I think some players will move up and down the 2nd and 3rd lines -- and maybe the 3rd and 4th. But the 4th line played so well together last night, I don't think BB will touch it. Fehr and Laich and Flash on the wings can go up and down depending on their play. Morrison and Belanger can also move up and down depending on line chemisty and the opponent. Who pairs with whom on defense and who sits will be interesting also. I think it's safe to assume that Erskine earned a press box seat tonight with his sloppy play, but not a long-term demotion.

Posted by: JIMALLCAPS1 | March 4, 2010 7:53 AM | Report abuse

I think they'll try Belanger at 2nd line center, but ultimately he was brought here to center the 3rd line.

The lines get really tricky. Here's my guess:
Ovechkin/Backstrom/Knuble
Laich/B.Mo/Semin
Chimera/Belanger/Flash
Gordon/Steckel/Walker

Fehr & Bradley - healthy scratches most nights. Man I hate scratching those two guys, but somebody has to sit.

Schultz/Green
Morrisonn/Corvo
Poti/Jurcina (when healthy - until then Erskine)
Carlson either alternates with Erskine or is sent back down to Hershey.

Tough problem to get everyone into the lineup, but a good problem to have.

Posted by: BetterOffWithFedorov | March 4, 2010 8:36 AM | Report abuse

Unless Morrison can find his legs again, I'm not feeling him on the 2nd line.

I'd almost rather see a second line of Flash/Laich/Semin and let Belanger and Morrison duke it out for 3rd line center duties.

Ovechkin-Backstrom-Knuble
Fleischmann-Laich-Semin
Chimera-Belanger/Morrison-Fehr

Steckel and Bradley should be locks on the 4th line when healthy while Gordon, Walker and Laing can duke it out for the remaining spot.

Posted by: tmac2yao | March 4, 2010 8:39 AM | Report abuse

I could see scratching BMo tonight because he's an older guy and he played last night. Remember how BMo was so hot earlier? Then the grind got to him and he tailed off. So, BB can keep the older guys fresher with a few rests.

I don't see putting Gordo on the ice abd Bradley in the press box.

As for defense, if you want three RH shots, you got it in Green, Corvo and Carlson (until Jurcina healthy). Meanwhile you have three lefts in Sarge, Poti and ShaMo. If Erskine played that poorly against a bad offense, imagine against a good offense.

The easiest way to transistion tonight is Belanger replaces BMo and Walker replaces Gordon.

Posted by: tominfl1 | March 4, 2010 8:47 AM | Report abuse

No penalties at all in the last two periods last night. If that trend continues, this team will almost certainly win the Cup.

Posted by: ccCapsfan | March 4, 2010 9:00 AM | Report abuse

Speaking of the Wild, does anybody else notice that they seem to put together beautiful sequences of passes in the offensive zone every time they play?

It seems like every time I catch highlights of their games, whether they win or lose, they have at least a couple of incredible passing plays where 3 or 4 guys touch the puck, often on one-touch passes in tight spaces. They have a knack for making defenses and goalies look foolish, beating them so badly at times that they end up passing the puck into a wide open net. And I'm talking about even strength play, not even necessarily odd-man rushes, either.

I've noticed this over the past couple seasons. They seem to be one of the craftiest teams in the league, in not the craftiest, when it comes to passing the puck. They have a bunch of very unselfish players who see the ice well. I'm not sure how much of it is coaching versus the players but man, it's great stuff to watch.

Posted by: tmac2yao | March 4, 2010 9:12 AM | Report abuse

The Caps played very good hockey last night. If THAT trend continues, they might well win.

And people will look back at the coaching job BB apparently did during the break as a key, deciding factor. They looked like an entirely different team than those last three games.

Trivia point: Chimera sat out the three losses, so his "winning streak" is now at 15 games. Wonder what is the record for most consecutive appearances by a player in games in which his team wins.

Posted by: tominfl1 | March 4, 2010 9:14 AM | Report abuse

Does anybody know how the Pens always seem to be able make huge aquisitions at the deadline...when is all the trading they do gonna catch up with them when it comes to Cap hit and loss of prospects?

Posted by: capscoach | March 4, 2010 9:17 AM | Report abuse

I thought BMo had a little extra zip in his step last night -- maybe feeling the urgency -- but it probably does make sense to platoon him when we have back to backs with Belanger. I would not be surprised to see one of the three new guys (plus Juice) sit over the next few and allow Bruce to fold them in here and there. The team's too good to shuffle dramatically.

Posted by: Sonyask | March 4, 2010 9:19 AM | Report abuse

I know Brads has, on occassion, been a healthy scratch but I don't see BB sitting him much. I think the 4th line rotation is more a Gordo/Walker sitting rotation than Bradley. Clearly, depth is the issue so BB might rotate them but Brads is the quinessential fourth line guy.

Posted by: saintex | March 4, 2010 9:25 AM | Report abuse

@tominfl1:
"...As for defense, if you want three RH shots, you got it in Green, Corvo and Carlson (until Jurcina healthy). Meanwhile you have three lefts in Sarge, Poti and ShaMo...."

Yep, I sure do want the RH shots on the right, and it had a lot to do with my defensive pairings. I think being on the forehand for outlet passes out of your own zone is a big deal.

It will be interesting to see how things work out.

Posted by: BetterOffWithFedorov | March 4, 2010 9:25 AM | Report abuse

@capscoach - The pens are basically 5 money guys and the rest are youth and interchangeable plugs. With Crosby/Malkin/Staal down the middle and MAF in net they have a chance to win any game. Next year they will have Gonchar's money to play with as well as some others that may leave, but eventually I think they will get either done in by the Cap or their turnover will end up with a team that doesn't gel. But if they win a cup or two along the way they probably don't care.

Posted by: ds_kelly | March 4, 2010 9:27 AM | Report abuse

After marinating on the trades last night - I like them more and more...it feels like the little tweaks GMGM did in 98 before the Stanley Cup run, like bringing in Esa Tik. Quality, experience, grit, two-way players. Hopefully, it will produce the same results with a different outcome at the end!

Posted by: lylewimbledon | March 4, 2010 9:29 AM | Report abuse

mcphee just had an interview on elliot in the morning. he thinks corvo will start tonight since he was coached by bruce and knows the system. he thinks the other guys will take a couple of days to be fair and learn the system. can't wait to hear the new goal score song tonight. i hope it is awesome and becomes a fixture!

Posted by: CapsSkins | March 4, 2010 9:30 AM | Report abuse

Chimera, Semin and the 4th line were all particularly awesome last night.

The team, as a whole, played very, very good. They were skating hard and making good plays in all 3 zones.

Sure, there were some mistakes but I thought that was the best the team played in more than just the past 10 games.

Playing the right way and developing good habits in all 3 zones is in a lot of ways more important than getting wins at this point for this team.

Posted by: tmac2yao | March 4, 2010 9:32 AM | Report abuse

"Does anybody know how the Pens always seem to be able make huge aquisitions at the deadline...when is all the trading they do gonna catch up with them when it comes to Cap hit and loss of prospects?"

I can't figure it out either. This seems like 3 or 4 years in a row now, you'd think that would catch up with them eventually.

Posted by: VTDuffman | March 4, 2010 9:33 AM | Report abuse

In terms of centers, Boudreau has already said he wants the 3rd line to be Flash-Belanger-Fehr for tonight. That could be a very dangerous line, since Flash and Fehr showed some chemistry last season when they were on a line with Feds.

I would like to see Walker on the 4th line some, but I think that spot should belong to Bradley for the stretch. Not sure exactly where Walker fits in, unless there is an injury, or if we're playing a team where we might need a fighter.

Posted by: timmyv38 | March 4, 2010 9:35 AM | Report abuse

VTDuffman: It's not so hard to figure it out. For one, they traded players making money to get Hossa, whom they didn't keep. Consequently, for last season, they started out lower. Then, after they acquired Guerin, and won the Cup, they lost Scuderi and Gill as UFAs, and started this season about same (Malkin neew deal kicked in).

As long as you rotate in some lower paid entry-level players, and rotate out some higher priced vets, you do OK.

Posted by: tominfl1 | March 4, 2010 9:45 AM | Report abuse

I would think Walker and Gordon split time as scratches.

Posted by: lylewimbledon | March 4, 2010 9:47 AM | Report abuse

I also thought Schultz was very good despite a couple of pretty bad plays.

He broke up at least two odd-man rushes and made an excellent play behind our net to kick start the breakout that led to the game-winning goal.

I'd love to see the replay (it's not part of the game highlights on NHL.com) but what I recall is him working along the boards and fending off 2 Sabre forecheckers by himself before poking the puck free to whoever it was waiting on the far side of the net. Flash then carried it into the offensive zone before putting it right on the tape of a streaking Green up the middle. It was really a beatiful play from start to finish but not a lot of people mentioned what Shultz did behind the net.

Chimera also had that beatiful end-to-end rush where he put a backhand pass right on somebody's tape in the slot.

Posted by: tmac2yao | March 4, 2010 9:47 AM | Report abuse

"Does anybody know how the Pens always seem to be able make huge aquisitions at the deadline...when is all the trading they do gonna catch up with them when it comes to Cap hit and loss of prospects?"

While the Pens are getting kudos for landing Poni, it really isn't what they needed. For all the talk about how soft the Caps defense is, the Pens have allowed more goals and have not been playing that great since mid-December.

They had limited cap space so they weren't able to enter the bidding for any of the defensemen out there. They added Leopold, but a guy who's a -22 the last two seasons and is on his 4th team in two years shouldn't bring much help.

And this summer they have some hard choices with Gonchar. Word is they'll have to drop him, which will hurt them alot. With him in the lineup, they're a much better team.

Posted by: southside721 | March 4, 2010 10:02 AM | Report abuse

The trades look good. It appears that the elite d-men who were discussed were available only for a significant over-payment. So maybe we the A-train in the off-season as a free agent.

I'm not seeing Corvo-Poti being long term effective. Poti needs a physical, responsible partner, and probably Corvo as well.

Posted by: zmega | March 4, 2010 10:02 AM | Report abuse

I thought one of the comments made by a TSN "expert" yesterday was that with Walker in the Caps lineup we wouldn't have to depend on Matt Bradley to fight with guys like Downie when they make a run at Ovie. That said, shouldn't Walker play tonight against TB?

Posted by: DevilsCapsGal | March 4, 2010 10:04 AM | Report abuse

although i usually do not like schultz play at all i thought that he played decent last night. he made a couple good plays and i think the first goal wasn't tipped by chimera and was actually schultz's. i keep watching the replays and i just cannot see where chimera tipped it. hopefully he'll continue with the good play

Posted by: ILikeLaich | March 4, 2010 10:05 AM | Report abuse

all the new guys should play and they probably will... might as well find out how they fit in now.

Posted by: joek443 | March 4, 2010 10:13 AM | Report abuse

I - like most ppl here - really like how Shultz has stepped up.
However, we alos notice that he has to be the softest big guy out there.
We're not asking him to play the body like Pronger. But you look @ another big guy like Chara- who is effective by putting a little more ooomph on & finishing his checks.

I think it backs off the opposing fowards the next time after those types of encounters.

Anyhow, happy about last night's win though Theo came up big after a couple of those Buffalo slot opportunities - counted @ least 3 that he saved our bacon on.

Buffalo didn't have the skills that some other may have made us pay on. But there is still time to get better before the 2nd season.

Posted by: Rocc00 | March 4, 2010 10:18 AM | Report abuse

"although i usually do not like schultz play at all i thought that he played decent last night. he made a couple good plays"

---

He made a couple of good plays, but he also made one bonehead play that directly resulted in a goal.

Theo could have had a shutout last night.

Also, even if that goal didn't hit Chimera, it was deflected by Fehr ;)

Posted by: VTDuffman | March 4, 2010 10:26 AM | Report abuse

anyone think laich played pretty well? i thought he did. he had some surprising moves into the offensive zone that reminded me of semin. just missed on some opportunities. ersky definitely struggled.

Posted by: mekongplease | March 4, 2010 10:31 AM | Report abuse

all the new guys should play and they probably will... might as well find out how they fit in now.

Posted by: joek443 | March 4, 2010 10:13 AM

That's what I was thinking too. These last 19 games are basically training camp/pre-season games- heading into the real season.

Posted by: Fro_ | March 4, 2010 10:33 AM | Report abuse

The acquisitions that the Pens made were not that great. These guys are role players and no better than Belanger and Corvo. They have expiring contracts so they won't be on the roster unless they signed in the off season. This is similar to what the caps are going to be doing every year when they start loving guys like Flash and Semin to the cap. It is already starting to catch up with Pitt. They lost two key components from their team last year. Guerin looks like his age is catching up with him. They are not as strong as they were last year.

Posted by: srobert1117 | March 4, 2010 10:39 AM | Report abuse

@Rocc00:
"...However, we alos notice that he has to be the softest big guy out there.
We're not asking him to play the body like Pronger. But you look @ another big guy like Chara- who is effective by putting a little more ooomph on & finishing his checks..."

Put me in the camp that doesn't really care about the physical aspect of his game as long as he continues play well and limit other teams' scoring chances.

Chara plays the way he plays. Timonen plays the way he plays. I've seen both be quite effective against Ovechkin.

Why people want to force what they want as far as style of play on a player is beyond me. I say as long as you do your job I don't care how you do it.

I realize I'm probably the only person in my camp, but I don't really care about that either. :)

Posted by: BetterOffWithFedorov | March 4, 2010 10:51 AM | Report abuse

I agree that Corvo should be paired with a more of a stay at home defenseman than Poti. I like this as possible D-pairings.

Schultz/Green
Morrisonn/Corvo
Alzner/Poti (or Poti/Jurcina or Poti/Carlson)

I think Alzner would do well be paired up with a vet like Poti. I think that could be a quality 3rd defensive pairing.

Posted by: sgm3 | March 4, 2010 10:56 AM | Report abuse

Did I just miss it when I looked? Where's the article from Wilbon giving us his take on the Caps trades?

Posted by: tominfl1 | March 4, 2010 10:57 AM | Report abuse

Brads and Stecks are out tonight. I am suprised it is Stecks and not Gordon.

Does this mean Gordon will be centering the 4th line with Walker and Chimera?

The additional depth will help give the veterans some occassional days off during the last few weeks of the season so everyone will be rested and healthy for the start of the playoffs.

Posted by: sgm3 | March 4, 2010 11:06 AM | Report abuse

wow, so Steckel and Bradley get scratched tonight huh? I figured that Bradley and Scott Walker encompass the same type of player, so that makes sense. I guess Gordo played his way into the lineup tonight. He was a lightning bug last night in Buffalo. I am suprised that our best face off guy (steckel) is getting scratched though. Guess Belanger takes his spot. Maybe its just for a game...we'll see...

Posted by: SkinsFanInNYC | March 4, 2010 11:08 AM | Report abuse

@Rocc00

Meh, I'd rather Shultz get the puck away from the forward with his stick and send it up ice like a hot potato to a forward like he's been doing. He's become so sound positionally, is very good with his stick, and uses his size to plug up space between the circles.

I think him becoming a hitter like Chara would take him away from what the Sarge does best. The thing he needs to work on most is his skating, add a little bit more speed to his lurchiness and he's fine IMHO.

Posted by: jsnyd1 | March 4, 2010 11:20 AM | Report abuse

where does it say stecks and brads are scratched?

Posted by: _stevo | March 4, 2010 11:20 AM | Report abuse

Wilbon is holding out for the playoffs with his fingers crossed. If they lose early then he'll write a scathing Capital bashing column. If they are successful then he'll stick to the NBA playoffs and pretend there's nothing going on in town.

Posted by: Gambrills4 | March 4, 2010 11:22 AM | Report abuse

@_stevo

Tarik posted it on Twitter.

Posted by: sgm3 | March 4, 2010 11:22 AM | Report abuse

stupid twitter

Posted by: _stevo | March 4, 2010 11:26 AM | Report abuse

Anybody see the Booth/Richards "fight" last night?

Kind of embarrassing, but at least Booth gave it a shot.

And I don't care for Richards, but his eye-roll on his way to the box is classic.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TjbW0xw7TC8

Posted by: Fro_ | March 4, 2010 11:28 AM | Report abuse

"I wish the team well tonight and I hope they win. That's all I have to say." - Bradley

Hard to place printed words into context, but it doesn't sound like he's to happy about the move.

Posted by: fesslercw | March 4, 2010 11:31 AM | Report abuse

Scratching Stecks and Brads is a bad idea. Those guys have been fighting hard for the entire season and this is how they repay them. Terrible.

Posted by: bigD6 | March 4, 2010 11:32 AM | Report abuse

Put me in the camp that doesn't really care about the physical aspect of his game as long as he continues play well and limit other teams' scoring chances.

Chara plays the way he plays. Timonen plays the way he plays. I've seen both be quite effective against Ovechkin.

Why people want to force what they want as far as style of play on a player is beyond me. I say as long as you do your job I don't care how you do it.

I realize I'm probably the only person in my camp, but I don't really care about that either. :)

Posted by: BetterOffWithFedorov | March 4, 2010 10:51 AM

To be far, Pronger doesn't hit like he used to. Not anything close to it.

Pronger = positional offensive d-man now. He hasn't really hit like he did when he was younger for a long time...

Posted by: richmondphil | March 4, 2010 11:36 AM | Report abuse

I think BB is going to rotate the scratches and use playing time as inspiration to all.

Posted by: Gambrills4 | March 4, 2010 11:37 AM | Report abuse

Lots of guys will sit down the stretch....the hot hand stays in the lineup...plain and simple...

This team is a machine...all we need is $2 beers.

Posted by: SA-Town | March 4, 2010 11:37 AM | Report abuse

although i usually do not like schultz play at all i thought that he played decent last night. he made a couple good plays and i think the first goal wasn't tipped by chimera and was actually schultz's. i keep watching the replays and i just cannot see where chimera tipped it. hopefully he'll continue with the good play

Posted by: ILikeLaich | March 4, 2010 10:05 AM |

It doesn't matter for Schultz either way, since Fehr definitely tipped it.

Posted by: richmondphil | March 4, 2010 11:38 AM | Report abuse

Lots of guys will sit down the stretch....the hot hand stays in the lineup...plain and simple...

This team is a machine...all we need is $2 beers.

Posted by: SA-Town | March 4, 2010 11:37 AM | Report abuse

That's all well and good, but you've got to wonder how you build up any kind of "flow" with your mates if your passing to a new guy every night.

Posted by: fesslercw | March 4, 2010 11:41 AM | Report abuse

As long as you rotate in some lower paid entry-level players, and rotate out some higher priced vets, you do OK.

Posted by: tominfl1 | March 4, 2010 9:45 AM |

Pshh.

Shero has the easiest job in the NHL. All he has to do is refill the cast of characters around his core at the deadline, and he can go to the Beach and wait until June.

Granted, he created that core in the first place, so I'm not trying to take anything away from Shero, but seriously..he has the easiest job in the NHL.

Posted by: richmondphil | March 4, 2010 11:44 AM | Report abuse

Shero has the easiest job in the NHL. All he has to do is refill the cast of characters around his core at the deadline, and he can go to the Beach and wait until June.

Granted, he created that core in the first place, so I'm not trying to take anything away from Shero, but seriously..he has the easiest job in the NHL.

Posted by: richmondphil | March 4, 2010 11:44 AM | Report abuse

that was kinda Michael Jordan's attitude when he became the GM of the Wiz and guys like Wilbon said that these days GMs don't have to be at the job all the time because of all the technology...

how did that turn out??

Posted by: joek443 | March 4, 2010 11:51 AM | Report abuse

Puck Daddy gave GMGM the same grade I did. Just saw this. Nice.

A- is a bit better than last year's C.

Posted by: richmondphil | March 4, 2010 11:52 AM | Report abuse

that was kinda Michael Jordan's attitude when he became the GM of the Wiz and guys like Wilbon said that these days GMs don't have to be at the job all the time because of all the technology...

how did that turn out??

Posted by: joek443 | March 4, 2010 11:51 AM |

Yeah because the Wiz definetely had the core that the Pens have. And yeah, basketball is so comparable to hockey when it comes to trades.

(null set) Great point...(null set)

Posted by: richmondphil | March 4, 2010 11:53 AM | Report abuse

Lets not forget this is an Olympic year...having to sit may not be something people like to do...but a long playoff for our core guys will be a major amount of games, not to mention the schedule has been smashed with back to back and 3 games in 4 nights.

Im sure that GM has addressed the team on the olympic year schedule we live in.

Posted by: SA-Town | March 4, 2010 11:57 AM | Report abuse

@ Puck Daddy gave GMGM the same grade I did. Just saw this. Nice.

A- is a bit better than last year's C.

Posted by: richmondphil | March 4, 2010 11:52 AM

You can be our Puck Daddy!!!

Posted by: Capsfannmiss | March 4, 2010 11:58 AM | Report abuse

This team has had great chemistry all season. They have been of fire since BB stopped switching the lines every night. Im no coach or expert but if it aint broke dont fix it.

Posted by: bigD6 | March 4, 2010 11:58 AM | Report abuse

Im no coach or expert but if it aint broke dont fix it.

Posted by: bigD6 | March 4, 2010 11:58 AM |

This is the attitude that GMGM and BB "say" they adopted last year, and how did that turn out? Not so well.
(Frankly, I don't beleive GMGM or BB. I think they couldn't do any moves because of the salary situation and that's why they said that they wanted to stand pat.)

Put me in the camp that feels that any team is capable of finding upgrades. Chemistry is huge, but having the right guys in there in the first place is bigger. just my opinion.

Posted by: richmondphil | March 4, 2010 12:01 PM | Report abuse

Put me in the group that doesn't like Bradley sitting.

That's the Bradley Fighting Vehicle.

Posted by: tominfl1 | March 4, 2010 12:04 PM | Report abuse

if they sit Bradley they don't deserve the Cup. Stupidity should never be rewarded.


btw, did anyone notice the hit that Tom freaking Poti laid on Patrick Kaleta last night? I noticed it out of the corner of my eye in real time. Luckily, it was included in the highlights of the game. Check this out at 4:48 of the vid. Its right after Kaleta decks Ovechkin, Poti then decks Kaleta on the bottom corner of the screen. I don't think Kaleta even had the puck. I've watched Poti play in Edm, NY and now here. I think this could be his first official open ice body check.

http://video.nhl.com/videocenter/console?hlg=20092010,2,935

he still had a coupla dumb turnovers last night as usual but he moved up a tad in the character dept in my eyes

Posted by: cstanton1 | March 4, 2010 12:07 PM | Report abuse

Who's going to be here to take Bradley's place? Walker?

I assume Belanger will take Steckel's. What about Corvo? Taking Erskine's?

Posted by: richmondphil | March 4, 2010 12:08 PM | Report abuse

@cstanton1

Yep, I remember that hit vividly. I assumed it was only in retaliation for Kaleta's previous endeavors. I don't think we're going to see that much....

Posted by: richmondphil | March 4, 2010 12:10 PM | Report abuse

..of his hitting constantly.

Posted by: richmondphil | March 4, 2010 12:11 PM | Report abuse

You could split the Caps roster in half, fill in some players from Hershey...and beat 3/4 of the teams in the east in a 7 game series, including Philly....

Posted by: SA-Town | March 4, 2010 12:15 PM | Report abuse

Yeah because the Wiz definetely had the core that the Pens have. And yeah, basketball is so comparable to hockey when it comes to trades.

(null set) Great point...(null set)

Posted by: richmondphil | March 4, 2010 11:53 AM | Report abuse

yeah if you think being an NHL GM is that easy, you're as dumb as Wilbon...

Posted by: joek443 | March 4, 2010 12:31 PM | Report abuse

RPhil

I was just happy to see Poti step up and do that. Esp on the road. Esp against Kaleta who is not exactly a Eurowuss.

re: Pronger's current style v Corvo though, no comparison. Remember, Pronger was never really a big hitter, I mean he'd rub players out along the boards but his main defensive grit had to do with him using his stick. He's had more uncalled crosschecks than any player I can ever recall. I think once you get to the allstar level the refs just let you get away with it because thats his style of defending. He'll use his stick to slash and crosscheck players, and his size comes into play. Corvo...like I said I hope he gets energized and wants to impress his new teammates by playing hard at both ends. But if you go on his play over the past 3 yrs, he's just a Nancy on the ice.

We really overpaid for him. And McPhee's comment about him being the best defenseman out there in their eyes is just a lie. I predicted that exact statement before the trades even started happening. Joe Corvo is not a top flight defenseman, he's never been that. He's a situational player for a team who needs help on the PP. No matter who McPhee would have traded for, thats the comment he would've made. Its disingenuous to the point of being nauseating. And he follows it up by saying he loves puck movers on defense. Really? I did not know that.

So were the rumors of Andy Sutton completely false? And why trade for Jurcina? Those 2 are the antithesis of Corvo.

Posted by: cstanton1 | March 4, 2010 12:32 PM | Report abuse

"...However, we alos notice that he has to be the softest big guy out there.
We're not asking him to play the body like Pronger. But you look @ another big guy like Chara- who is effective by putting a little more ooomph on & finishing his checks..."

i'm not sure that schultz has the foot work/skating ability to be a big hitter - i just don't think he can get himself back into the position he should be in to allow him to play that way

Posted by: Capt_Kirk_in_AZ | March 4, 2010 12:33 PM | Report abuse

Forgive me if someone brought this up already....Any concerns on Downie taking a run at Bradley, so we keep him out to avoid a potential injury or stir things up?

Downie is a nut-job

Posted by: SA-Town | March 4, 2010 12:34 PM | Report abuse

and for the sake of clarity, its not that Joe Corvo is kinda soft in the defensive zone that is the overriding concern. The bigger issue is, we have a few players on D currently who already play that way. If we have 5 defenders who were capable of playing a strong defensive style then getting Corvo wouldn't be damaging because you can get by with maybe one defender who plays things a bit soft back there as long as he provides other assets (i.e. some offense).

On our team, i feel the last thing we needed was a Corvo type. But we'll see how things play out.

Posted by: cstanton1 | March 4, 2010 12:35 PM | Report abuse

and can you imagine Corvo and Green on the PP? How many shorthanded chances do you think we'll give up with the risky passing combined with the general one-dimensional play we usually get from the PP units?

I just don't think the Caps org really believes that being an extremely sound defensive team matters a whole lot. I think they feel with a great offensive team, they can get by with a mediocre defense as long as they get great goaltending.

Posted by: cstanton1 | March 4, 2010 12:38 PM | Report abuse

On our team, i feel the last thing we needed was a Corvo type. But we'll see how things play out.

Posted by: cstanton1 | March 4, 2010 12:35 PM

Well, actually, the "last" thing we needed was to be hamstrung by Thomas' contract for three more years.

Posted by: tominfl1 | March 4, 2010 12:40 PM | Report abuse

Corvo and Green on the PP can't be any worse than Ovie and Green at the point as far as being risky

Posted by: joek443 | March 4, 2010 12:40 PM | Report abuse

Question:

Does anybody else think ShoaMo is pretty horrible? I mean I think Schultz has really improved this year...and and I used to be a big Schultz basher, but ShoaMo seems very irresponsible and always seems to be involved in the bad plays that lead to goals. I like Schultz a lot better than ShoaMO.

Posted by: capscoach | March 4, 2010 12:40 PM | Report abuse

I like ShaMo because he does the little things right. He does the dirty work, he's consistent in that sense. I thought he was our best defenseman in last year's playoffs and esp against the Rangers.

You take him out of the lineup and it gets even softer. I don't even need to go look at the stats to know he's our top hitter on defense and I don't see him making bad turnovers like some of his teammates.

Posted by: cstanton1 | March 4, 2010 12:46 PM | Report abuse

ShaMo is more worth his $1.975M this year than he was last year. He has finally improved to his salary. It will be interesting to see what he gets as a UFA.

2 yrs, $2M a yr?

Posted by: tominfl1 | March 4, 2010 12:48 PM | Report abuse

Corvo and Green on the PP can't be any worse than Ovie and Green at the point as far as being risky

Posted by: joek443 | March 4, 2010 12:40 PM | Report abuse

except that Ovy has the ability to get back there at Mach1. Corvo's not exactly at the same level of speed.

You bring in enough guys with just strictly an offensive mentality and it shouldn't come as a surprise when we give up shorties or odd man rushes or whatever. Its the road the Caps have chosen to take. And its not a road that either Pittsburgh or Detroit ever went down. They always were responsible defensive teams and the Penguins especially are a very tenacious in-your-face kind of team. Caps are trying to reinvent the wheel.

Posted by: cstanton1 | March 4, 2010 12:48 PM | Report abuse

Another positive of Corvo is that it could bring down Green's minutes some.

Green is on the ice so much because of his playmaking ability, but if Corvo can fill in that role some maybe Green can play a few less minutes each game and be fresher.

In addition, I don't see Green playing with Corvo on the PP. I see Green playing the 1st minute and Corvo playing the second minute. This would also cut down Green's minutes some.

Corvo could also play on the PK in the same role as Green, which could also bring down Green's minutes some.

I think Green is great, but I think getting his minutes/game down 2 or 3 minutes will help him out tremendously.

Having a similar type player who can fill that role will help.

Posted by: sgm3 | March 4, 2010 12:50 PM | Report abuse

@cstanton1

I will admit that he stepped it up in the playoffs. But I still don't like the way he has been playing lately. Schultz has gone down hill a bit this month, but he was playing great before that...he can bring it back again.

Posted by: capscoach | March 4, 2010 12:50 PM | Report abuse

I think they feel with a great offensive team, they can get by with a mediocre defense as long as they get great goaltending.

Posted by: cstanton1 | March 4, 2010 12:38 PM

to rely on 'great' goaltending, imo, would not be wise - neither theo or varly have shown greatness, flashes here or there (and varly more often than theo) maybe but not like an elite goalie.
playing team defense will carry them further than hoping for goaltending to steal games/series will.

Posted by: Capt_Kirk_in_AZ | March 4, 2010 1:02 PM | Report abuse

For those of you worried about Caps D and goaltending....

Save %
Caps - .911
Pens - .903

GAA
Caps - 2.78
Pens - 2.86

Anyone concerned about the Pens D or goaltending now?

Posted by: SA-Town | March 4, 2010 1:02 PM | Report abuse

Lets face it...if we had gotten even a really good stay at home D man, how much good could he really do...one guy can not fix an entire D...esp. when playing in BBs system.

Posted by: capscoach | March 4, 2010 1:09 PM | Report abuse

Sheesh, the bar charts are ridiculous... as if what we idiots think means ANYTHING.

Posted by: SteveNaismith | March 4, 2010 1:36 PM | Report abuse

"I pointed at the TV and said, "He'll be scratched tomorrow night."

I can't be the only one who's dying to know... how did the TV respond?

Posted by: SteveNaismith | March 4, 2010 1:38 PM | Report abuse

Shero has the easiest job in the NHL. All he has to do is refill the cast of characters around his core at the deadline, and he can go to the Beach and wait until June.

Granted, he created that core in the first place, so I'm not trying to take anything away from Shero, but seriously..he has the easiest job in the NHL.

Posted by: richmondphil | March 4, 2010 11:44 AM | Report abuse

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

GMGM is about to have a very similar situation. With the young core the Caps have, his job will be very easy as well. Actually I think the Caps core is deeper and I know their farm system is deeper so, I think GMGM's job will be easier than Shero's real soon.

Posted by: croftonpost | March 4, 2010 2:06 PM | Report abuse

"Does anybody know how the Pens always seem to be able make huge aquisitions at the deadline...when is all the trading they do gonna catch up with them when it comes to Cap hit and loss of prospects?"

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

It's already catching up to them. Their cap space is limited and their farm system is rated 28th out 30 teams by hockeysfuture. It is basically a four to five year process because the draft picks are usually 18 years old.

Posted by: Gambrills4 | March 4, 2010 2:07 PM | Report abuse

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