Network News

X My Profile
View More Activity
On Twitter: kcarrera and PostSports  |  Facebook  |  E-mail alerts: Sports and Redskins  |  RSS

McPhee: The Alexes 'probably could have used the rest'

With the IIHF world championships set to start in Germany today, I asked George McPhee what he thought of his star players competing in this tournament, some only three months after participating in the Olympics.

McPhee's response? Well, he said, it depends on the player.

"It's better for some players more than others," the GM explained yesterday. "We're happy that [Semyon Varlamov] is there because he missed significant time with an injury and this will ultimately be good for him and make him a better player because it's more experience. And the more experiences you have like this, the better they'll be. No problem with Varly" going.

Varlamov, if you recall, missed two months with groin muscle and knee injuries in the middle of the season. The young goalie also struggled immediately upon returning to the lineup and finished the season with only 32 NHL appearances (regular season and playoffs).

"I have no problem with Brooks Laich, either," McPhee continued. "This is also good for Brooks. He loves playing hockey. And instead of moping over what happened he can keep playing and it will make him a better player."

Laich will be representing his native Canada for the first time since world juniors in 2003.

McPhee, however, didn't sound so thrilled about Alex Ovechkin and Alexander Semin deciding to stop in Germany on the way home to Russia. The Alexes are not only the Caps' leading goal scorers and first and third ice time leaders among the forwards, they're also two of the team's most valued assets. And any time they're on the ice, they're at risk.

Ovechkin played in 72 regular season games, four postseason-like contests in Vancouver and seven in the Stanley Cup playoffs. Semin, meantime, suited up for 73, four and seven, respectively.

"I'm not sure it makes Semin or Ovie better players," McPhee said. "They probably could have used the rest. But there's also pressure from their country and federation to play, and we understand that."

Two other Caps who are in their national pool -- Mike Green and Nicklas Backstrom -- bowed out of worlds because of injuries.

Green has a sore wrist that he injured against Columbus on April 3 -- he didn't score a goal after that game -- and Backstrom is nursing a sore shoulder he suffered in Montreal during the playoffs. The Swede, who also is in the process of negotiating a lucrative contract extension, didn't register a point in the final three games of the quarterfinal series while playing hurt.

"He was playing with a sore shoulder," McPhee acknowledged. "It happened early in the series, in Game 3 or 4. In a week to 10 days it should be better."

A few more notes from my brief conversation with GMGM:

*McPhee said he doesn't believe any players will require any major surgeries this offseason. At least none that would prevent them from being 100 percent by training camp.

"Quite often you have guys go into the body shop for repairs at the end of the year or go into the garage for a tune up," he said. "There's nothing serious."

*Tom Poti, who came darn close to losing his right eye in Game 6, continues to improve and remains on track for a full recovery.

"Everything is fine there according to [head athletic trainer Greg Smith]," McPhee said.

*McPhee also said he does not anticipate any changes among Coach Bruce Boudreau's coaching staff this summer.

By Tarik El-Bashir  |  May 7, 2010; 8:18 AM ET
 
Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   Del.icio.us   StumbleUpon   Technorati   Google Buzz   Previous: From the archives: Skating through life
Next: 'Gabby' set to chat Tuesday

Comments

They could have used more than rest. What's the point of playing in the Worlds? If you'd been on point, you'd still be in the playoffs. IIHF Gold a good consolation prize? I thought they already got that with Feds after last season?

Posted by: fbutler1 | May 7, 2010 10:50 AM | Report abuse

Alex Semin can saty in russia as far as i am concerned as long as the Caps recoup the rest he is owed in his contract.

Posted by: doughless | May 7, 2010 10:51 AM | Report abuse

As long as Semin keeps producing, we should keep him here. He's not perfect, and takes some needless penalties, but the pros outway the cons.

Posted by: gonchpup | May 7, 2010 11:07 AM | Report abuse

I don't care what these guys do with there free time.

As long as they SHOW UP IN THE PLAYOFFS!

That's PHYSICALLY and MENTALLY, with HEART!

Posted by: wtf_e_fehr | May 7, 2010 11:13 AM | Report abuse

From what I've read about possible centers for next year I think the Caps will re-sign Belanger and it will be a good signing (assuming it is not for more than $2M/yr and hopefully around the $1.75/yr he made this year).

I think Belanger could be a fine #3 center but then I was thinking if MP comes up and plays #3 center then Belanger could be the #4 center. To do this the Caps will have to drop Gordon. Gordon played very good in the playoffs but he does have that recurring back problem and is bound to be paid similar to Belanger. I would take Belanger over Gordon because of his skating ability. Both are good faceoff men, play the PK, and are solid positionally on defense.

This would put Steckel out as the 13th man though. I think it is something that should be considered. Obviously this is contingent on the Caps being able to acquire a good 2nd line center and MP being able to perform for an entire season. If MP struggled then Belanger could move up to #3 and Steckel back to #4.

Possible centers for next year:

1. Backstrom
2. TBA (Plekanec?)
3. MP
4. Belanger
5. Steckel

Posted by: sgm3 | May 7, 2010 11:40 AM | Report abuse

The Penguins were really trying to go up 3-1 last night and failed. That series is guaranteed to go 6 games now. What do the 4 game sweep bloggers have to say about that? You know who you are.

Posted by: FloridaCapsFan | May 7, 2010 11:42 AM | Report abuse

@FloridaCapsFan

On top of that, the Pens series would be over if not for the Pens PP.

The Pens have only scored 3 even strength goals (non PP or empty net goals) through 4 games, but have 6 PP goals. As much as people cried about defense and forechecking and playing the body, the Caps lost to Montreal because their PP sucked.

Pittsburgh, and their quality, playoff style offense, has struggled much more against the Habs. They have scored signifcantly less even strength goals and have also drawn less PP chances. However, their PP has been great while the Caps PP was abysmal.

Posted by: sgm3 | May 7, 2010 11:53 AM | Report abuse

As long as Semin keeps producing, we should keep him here. He's not perfect, and takes some needless penalties, but the pros outway the cons.

Posted by: gonchpup

That says it all. He has stopped producing,(ZERO goals in last 14 playoff games) he needs to go. And we need that $6million in space to get a center and a dman. If Boston got 2 1sts and a @nd for Kessel, Semin should have significant value. There are lots of teams that need a 40 goal scorer, we are not one of them.

Posted by: underpants2 | May 7, 2010 11:54 AM | Report abuse

Semin can stay in Russia but lets make sure the cap rules don't apply for us.
Semin should be traded for a first line D-man & 2 #1's.

Guess when Teddy L bought the wiz, he imported over their dullest & dimmest fans' DNA to some above.

Posted by: Rocc00 | May 7, 2010 12:10 PM | Report abuse

@underpants2.....You do realize Semin had the most shots for our team in the playoffs right? Its not like he just disappeared. I don't understand why poeple bash him so much.

He is young, he will find his playoff game. Same with Green. I think both are huge assets to this team.

On a side note.....These boards are so annoying to read anymore. Its all "This player sucks, wait so does this guy.....wait but don't forget about him now"

Posted by: OviFan08 | May 7, 2010 12:10 PM | Report abuse

I don't see people on the Blog ripping into Crosby who was held scoreless for the 3rd straight game by the tight checking Candian defense. Also, it was eerily familiar that the Pens dominated play for two periods but were on the losing end of a 3-2 game where one of the goals was fluke defection. Simply put, the Canadian system leads to a lot of low scoring games and that often means the star players aren't the deciding factor. If the Pens end up losing to Montreal, will it be as big a collapse as the Caps?

Posted by: wizfan89 | May 7, 2010 12:14 PM | Report abuse

I agree with underpants (that is just an odd statement) that it is time to trade away Semin. He has had enough years to show that he can play both pretty and gritty, but he will not play gritty, especially in the playoffs. The Caps can get some cap relief and a good s@h defender or 2nd line center for Semin.

Posted by: JIMALLCAPS1 | May 7, 2010 12:15 PM | Report abuse

On a side note.....These boards are so annoying to read anymore. Its all "This player sucks, wait so does this guy.....wait but don't forget about him now"
Posted by: OviFan08 | May 7, 2010 12:10 PM |

That's the nouveau riche for ya OviFan08.
They forget we were only 3 years removed from the playoffs & that DC used to be a boring hockey town & we played that scrappy style which the so-called GM's around here think can pull us to edge of heaven...for what?

To look like the Bruins & Habs, so that they can be shown as shams by the potent WEST teams.

Right that happen in '98 as I recalled.

Sorry I rather be like the Oilers of the 80's. Same trajectory & makeup.

Posted by: Rocc00 | May 7, 2010 12:17 PM | Report abuse

If the Pens end up losing to Montreal, will it be as big a collapse as the Caps?

Posted by: wizfan89 | May 7, 2010 12:14 PM | Report abuse

Absolutely! If not worse since the Pens are the NHL's baby. It would actually make people forget about the caps losing somewhat.

@JIMALLCAPS1. Like i said before, Semin is a huge asset to this team and i think he will come around in the playoffs. I would love to see him sign long term. However, I do see him as being trade bait if the deal is right.

Posted by: OviFan08 | May 7, 2010 12:19 PM | Report abuse

If the Pens end up losing to Montreal, will it be as big a collapse as the Caps?

Posted by: wizfan89 | May 7, 2010 12:14 PM | Report abuse

Absolutely! If not worse since the Pens are the NHL's baby. If the pens lose, it will actually take the embarassment off the caps somewhat.

Posted by: OviFan08 | May 7, 2010 12:21 PM | Report abuse

@wizfan89 thank you...

Semin's problem is he's easy to dump on. He's socially awkward and he doesn't speak English. He worked hard against Mtl and produced opportunities where others did not. Crosby and Malkin are fantastic players and they're producing very little, if anything, in the last 3 games. Mtl in hockey = Italy in football: they play to bar-the-door.

Now, however, I know why it is he appeared (to me) to outplay Backstrom in terms of generating chances - Backstrom was injured: mystery solved.

I think Russian Federation should have not pressured Semin and Ovechkin - the Olympics was enough. They're trying to squeeze blood out of their turnips and it's not good for the players...

Posted by: RedLitYogi | May 7, 2010 12:25 PM | Report abuse

If the Pens end up losing to Montreal, will it be as big a collapse as the Caps?

Posted by: wizfan89 | May 7, 2010 12:14 PM | Report abuse

Absolutely! If not worse since the Pens are the NHL's baby. It would actually make people forget about the caps losing somewhat.

Posted by: OviFan08 | May 7, 2010 12:19 PM | Report abuse

That's ridiculous:

1. this is the 2nd round of the playoffs now and it's #4 vs. #8.

2. the series is tied at 2, the Pens don't have a 3 games to 1 lead to blow.

Posted by: joek443 | May 7, 2010 12:29 PM | Report abuse

If the Pens end up losing to Montreal, will it be as big a collapse as the Caps?
Posted by: wizfan89 | May 7, 2010 12:14 PM

They aren't ripping wiz89 cause just maybe...the Habs aren't really the worse #8 this spring!
The so-called playoff style hockey the blog GMs think can win championship.

Of course, that lucky bounce playoff style can only take them so far for a spring but then what?

Not build to last.

Posted by: Rocc00 | May 7, 2010 12:31 PM | Report abuse

I know we're used to seeing the Caps blow a 3 games to 1 lead so maybe some of us think it's no big deal but there are plenty of teams out there who have NEVER done that in their history so don't make it seem like it's no big deal.

Posted by: joek443 | May 7, 2010 12:34 PM | Report abuse

If the Pens end up losing to Montreal, will it be as big a collapse as the Caps?

Posted by: wizfan89 | May 7, 2010 12:14 PM | Report abuse

Yes, it will be much bigger. The Pens have been to the Stanley Cup Finals the past two years and are the current Stanley Cup Champions. Also, please don’t forget that Crosby is the face of hockey in Canada.

Posted by: MReilly9 | May 7, 2010 12:35 PM | Report abuse

If the Pens end up losing to Montreal, will it be as big a collapse as the Caps?

Posted by: wizfan89 | May 7, 2010 12:14 PM

I don't think so.

1) It's in the 2nd round- so by that alone there's no way it's as big of a collapse.

2) Everyone knew (or at least was saying) that the Caps were a better team than Pittsburgh, so a "lesser" team losing to Montreal would not equal the collapse.

3) If Montreal wins, then everyone will be saying that they were a better team than for which they were given credit- which will also diminish the talks of a collapse.

4) Caps were up 3-1 in the series. Pens are tied at 2-2.

Really looking forward to the Philly/Boston game tonight. I'm not sure I'm counting out the Flyers just yet.

Posted by: Fro_ | May 7, 2010 12:35 PM | Report abuse

Same page joek443

Posted by: Fro_ | May 7, 2010 12:36 PM | Report abuse

GMGM, let the players vent and release their frustrations. It is better than "partying drunk" all night or watching every "riveting" minute of the Penguin-Montreal series. GMGM's job should be wondering why the Capitals cannot get players to play the Montreal system for next year! Stop complaining and start doing your job! This is what separate a good GM from a Great GM.

Posted by: JohnWWW | May 7, 2010 12:36 PM | Report abuse

Ridiculous - lets play the seed# thing.
Heading in - Apparently every1 thought:
the Flyers are better than the Devils,
the Bruins are better than Buffalo,
the Habs better than the Caps.

They still play for a reason.

Posted by: Rocc00 | May 7, 2010 12:37 PM | Report abuse

So the dividing apparently is now the 2nd round as to when things get serious.
Oh the excuses from the nutjobs

Posted by: Rocc00 | May 7, 2010 12:39 PM | Report abuse

So the dividing apparently is now the 2nd round as to when things get serious.
Oh the excuses from the nutjobs

Posted by: Rocc00 | May 7, 2010 12:39 PM |

I'm not sure I'm understanding your point.
Can you elaborate a bit? (Not being sarcastic here)

Posted by: Fro_ | May 7, 2010 12:43 PM | Report abuse

And here we go with the name calling again for those that happen to disagree with the "Caps can do no wrong" crowd....They lost in the !ST round with a commanding 3 games to 1 lead....if the Pens were to lose this series it would not even be close to the collapse of the Caps.

Go ahead and call me names now.....

Posted by: PhilR | May 7, 2010 12:46 PM | Report abuse

should be 1ST round...

Posted by: PhilR | May 7, 2010 12:47 PM | Report abuse

All the GM's on here better quit playing the game on paper.

Makes you look like a wiz fan.
Save for game 6 in Montreal, not sure why the redefining of the word 'collapse' as equaling 'choking'.

'To fall suddenly' = yes
'To fold compactly' = no

Habs scored 20 goals - Caps scored 22.
Habs won the series 4-3.
4 games were decided by 1 goal.

How is that choking?
When by all accounts Caps had the edge in play all series.

Lets not minimize what the Habs are capable of just because it suits your 90's playing style agenda.
If you want to play the game on paper, how's your 'gritty' Caps team do in the 80's & 90's again?

That's right - heartbreak city.

Posted by: Rocc00 | May 7, 2010 12:53 PM | Report abuse

@PhilR

I agree that it wouldn't be considered a collapse as in the Caps series because the Caps were up 3-1.

But I do think if an upset happened it would be extremely close to the Caps loss in terms of size of upset. When measuring size of upset it doesn't matter how the games go as long as the underdog wins.

Yes, the Caps were the #1 seed and highly thought of but there were still many questions about them that were often asked by hockey "experts". Those same questions were not asked of the Penguins. At the beginning of the playoffs it seemed about 50/50 in terms of people picking between the Pens or Caps to make the SC Finals.

In my opinion, the size of the upset would be about the same.

@joek443

The round of the playoffs does not determine the size of the upset. Since Vlllanova beat Georgetown in the finals in '85 should that have not been considered a big upset?

Posted by: sgm3 | May 7, 2010 12:57 PM | Report abuse

LOL again, just go ahead and ignore the fact that they BLEW a 3 games to 1 lead...

somehow no other team does it as often as the Caps in any sport.

Posted by: joek443 | May 7, 2010 12:59 PM | Report abuse

Collapse, choke, whatever.

Simply put- if the Pens lose the series, I don't think it will be as big of a collapse/choke (if at all) as the Caps losing in the 1st round.

Just my opinion.

Posted by: Fro_ | May 7, 2010 1:00 PM | Report abuse

@sgm3

Plekanac is going to get a higher offer from other teams before Washington. I can see him getting 6 mil/yr.
Again, if we fill the 2nd line center, I think it has to come through trade. Free up some room.

@undapants

Losing 40-goals hurts any team. It may not have the same impact to us as Boston losing Kessel, but the goals will need to be replaced.

Posted by: richmondphil | May 7, 2010 1:03 PM | Report abuse

Semin needs to do a weight room tune-up, as GMGM would put it, to increase his torque&horsepower in the crease,so as to get some (dirty)goals, when the playoffs arrive.imo

Posted by: Hattrik | May 7, 2010 1:04 PM | Report abuse

@underpants2.....You do realize Semin had the most shots for our team in the playoffs right? Its not like he just disappeared. I don't understand why poeple bash him so much.

He is young, he will find his playoff game. Same with Green. I think both are huge assets to this team.

On a side note.....These boards are so annoying to read anymore. Its all "This player sucks, wait so does this guy.....wait but don't forget about him now"


Posted by: OviFan08


Never said Semin sucks, but you can't argue with his lack of production in the playoffs. We have the luxury of not needing Semin's 40 goals. If you can move Semin, get a center that can scote 20+, and a defensemen, you need to do it. If Semin would allow a team to negotiate in extension prior to a trade, like Kessel, Pronger did, moving him will be extremely easy. McPhee needs to move him prior to the draft.

Posted by: underpants2 | May 7, 2010 1:06 PM | Report abuse

@ sgm3

that is a single game elimination tournament with NO shot-clock in those days... apples and oranges.

Posted by: joek443 | May 7, 2010 1:08 PM | Report abuse

@joek443

So you would have been okay with the Caps losing in 7 if the series was tied at 2-2 after 4 games?

Posted by: sgm3 | May 7, 2010 1:09 PM | Report abuse

GM George McPhee doesn't sound thrilled that the Alexes, Ovechkin and Semin, are at the world championships.

But he did save a lot of money by switching to Gieco!

Posted by: richs91 | May 7, 2010 1:12 PM | Report abuse

@ sgm3

no, I wouldn't be okay with them losing to anyone...

BUT if you're gonna lose, don't make HISTORY doing it... is that too much to ask??

Posted by: joek443 | May 7, 2010 1:14 PM | Report abuse

You should hear the gasbags hosting Pittsburgh sports talk shows. They're just dumbfounded that the Pens are dominating the Habs, yet are tied in the series because of Halak.

Sound familiar?

And, yet, these blowhards are still confident that the Pens will win because they're "not the Capitals"; i.e., they've been there before, they know how to score the dirty goals, yada, yada, yada.

It was beautiful to see Montreal's GW goal go in off the skate of Letang. Finally a break against the Pens. And if I'd have heard one Pens fan or talk show host complain about that one, I'd have been in their face about Poti's deflection of Malkin's pass for the game winner in Game 5 last year.

GO HABS!

Posted by: redrocker2 | May 7, 2010 1:16 PM | Report abuse

@joek443

The type of tournament and the rules of the game do not matter when determining the size of an upset. You stated that since it is in round 2 that it can't be considered as big of an upset.

I just offered evidence of a finals game in which the upset was considerd larger than the previous victories by Villanova.

Posted by: sgm3 | May 7, 2010 1:16 PM | Report abuse

@joek443

I agree that the loss was more bitter because of the way they loss but I don't think it makes them any better or worse than if they lost it after being tied 2-2 after 4 or down 3-1 after 4 games.

Either way, they lost in 7 and should be evaluated as a team that lost in 7 games, just as all others that lose in 7.

Posted by: sgm3 | May 7, 2010 1:20 PM | Report abuse

*McPhee also said he does not anticipate any changes among Coach Bruce Boudreau's coaching staff this summer.

----

great! so, same coaching staff, same GM. Probably same results too.

in hindsight, have such a strong reg season probably will hurt this team in the long run because it will prolong their improvement. They'll chalk up this playoff season as a fluke, and continue to march forward and "stay the course"

It'll take another 1 or 2 playoff series like this before someone up top gets the msg thru their ever-thickening skull.

Posted by: cstanton1 | May 7, 2010 1:29 PM | Report abuse

@cstanton1

If the Pens lose to the Habs do you suggest they blow up their team too?

Posted by: sgm3 | May 7, 2010 1:31 PM | Report abuse

Either way, they lost in 7 and should be evaluated as a team that lost in 7 games, just as all others that lose in 7.

Posted by: sgm3 | May 7, 2010 1:20 PM | Report abuse

helluva lot more variables than that. They played a weak opponent. They finished first. They made minimally impacting changes at the deadline. They again suffered from a lack of enough 60-min efforts and continued their longstanding trends in doing so. And on and on and on.

then you have a guy like Bfyuglien who knocks in 3 goals and just batters Vancover's defense into submission. When you can't score, you make adjustments. Which is why Chicago advanced to begin with and we didn't. Bruce's adjustments since his first playoff series here have been atrociously invisible. Going back to how he never adjusted to the Flyers forwards crashing our crease and interfering with Huet. That was mentioned in game 2. And by game 7 it was still going on. The Flyer forwards had become so comfortable harassing Huet that they knew how to manufacture scoring chances by simply mucking it up in our crease.

I don't care who we would've played in the 1st round. We would've struggled against any team. And lost to most if not all of them. But even the weakest of the weak opponents, we would've let them take us to 7th game. Thats how the mentality on this team is. They relax when they're ahead. And then they scramble to make amends. You don't change that mentality without making changes at the top. Adding a 2nd line center or a defenseman isn't going to do jacksquat to that mentality.

Posted by: cstanton1 | May 7, 2010 1:38 PM | Report abuse

Apparently the threshold for the xenophobe aho443 is 3-1 before he gets even sillier.

Apparently it was ok for those previous gritty Caps team to blow 3-1 leads & not get blown up per aho443.

Apparently - we should overreact after a 1st round loss even though we had the best record in the league as oppose to scraping into the playoffs at the last moment.

Damn, some of you chumpanzee swing around more on the vines than the real things.

Posted by: Rocc00 | May 7, 2010 1:44 PM | Report abuse

We should be gritty like the 90's Caps!
yay!
Or lets be the Habs & Bruins for you modern day clowns.

Posted by: Rocc00 | May 7, 2010 1:47 PM | Report abuse

@cstanton1

Well judging by how the Habs have played the Pens already it looks as though the Caps would have beaten the Pens and therefore the Senators. (Like you I will use simple logic to reach conclusions)

The 60 minute effort argument is the most simple minded argument anyone and everyone uses whenver a team loses. "we need to give 100%" quotes would probably abound from you.

The Caps severly outplayed the Habs in every facet of the game except special teams and goaltending.

The Caps goaltending was good but the Habs was excellent.

The Habs PP was great (and/or the Caps PK was bad) and the Caps PP was horrible (and/or the Habs PK was great).

That't it. Given the amount of time spent in a game on the PP or PK that means the Caps provided tremendous effort considering they greatly won at even strength in zone time, shots, scoring chances, scoring chances off of reobunds, goals at even strength, penalties drawn, etc.

It usually takes effort to get those results.

Posted by: sgm3 | May 7, 2010 1:51 PM | Report abuse

@cstanton1

If the Pens lose to the Habs do you suggest they blow up their team too?

Posted by: sgm3 | May 7, 2010 1:31 PM | Report abuse

sometimes i think you're really smart, and then other times i wonder.

why would a team coming off a Cup win and having another strong playoff season again be asked that question? Do you really think the Caps are in the same situation of comparison that the Pens are in? Did the Caps come off a Cup win? Did they come off 2 straight finals appearances? To compare what happens to the Pens this year vs the Caps situation is asinine. If the Caps had the recent success the Pens have had and they lost in the 2nd round the year after then no one would be calling for anyone's head. Apples and oranges.

and by the way, who said anything about BLOWING UP THE TEAM ? i said the change needs to come AT THE TOP. The players themselves are less to blame. And the roster is pretty close to where it needs to be.

Posted by: cstanton1 | May 7, 2010 1:52 PM | Report abuse

The 60 minute effort argument is the most simple minded argument anyone and everyone uses whenver a team loses. "we need to give 100%" quotes would probably abound from you.
-------------

gimme a freaking break already. Its not simple minded. Its a fact. This team has consistently played inconsistently hard. If you can't see that, then we should agree to disagree. I've been saying this team has work ethic and intensity issues for the past several years. I didn't just choose to make this "simple minded argument" on the heels of a game 7 loss. Said it all season, said it last season, said it the season before, said it during the playoffs THIS season. And guess what, some of the comments by the players echo exactly the same sentiment.

so you can cling to whatever excuse you want to, the bottom line is there is no excuse for this team to continue to play less than 60 mins esp in the playoffs. And if you think they gave it a 60min effort in each game, you're either blind or a liar.

Posted by: cstanton1 | May 7, 2010 1:55 PM | Report abuse

@cstanton1

If you think the players on the team are pretty much where it needs to be then why would you switch the GM who put those players in place?

Posted by: sgm3 | May 7, 2010 1:58 PM | Report abuse

gotta love how the same usual suspects like to pretend that wanting to fire the GM is a kneejerk reaction.

ok, next yr when we're in the same boat will it again be a knee jerk reaction. I really want to know when exactly wanting to fire McPhee won't be looked at a as a rash panic-driven move. Then you know, I can plan ahead.

btw, on a sidenote, if there are any Stones fans in here. Go check out a song called Plunder My Soul.

one of the best songs they've ever done and its got Mick Taylor on guitar , recorded back in 1971 I think. It finally saw the light of day this year after 39 yrs in obscurity. Unf'n believeable song!

Posted by: cstanton1 | May 7, 2010 1:58 PM | Report abuse

@cstanton1

If you think the players on the team are pretty much where it needs to be then why would you switch the GM who put those players in place?

Posted by: sgm3 | May 7, 2010 1:58 PM | Report abuse

good question

1) b/c the attitude and mentality that permeates from the top doesn't give this team the type of personality or mindset it needs.
and
2) the philosophy and system preferences shared by the GM and coach aren't conducive to winning in the playoffs.

and the few players we do need to round out the roster, aren't probably the kind of guys McPhee would go after anyway.

Posted by: cstanton1 | May 7, 2010 2:01 PM | Report abuse

@cstanton1

I think the effort out of the Caps in the playoffs has been equal or greater than the effort out of the Pens, Canucks, Blackhawks, Sharks, or Red Wings. Every team has a bad stretch in a game.

Look at the first half of Pens game 5 against the Sens, the first half of the Pens game 6 against the Sens. Look at game 1 of the Pens vs. the Sens.

The Caps first 10 minutes against the Habs in game 5 was horrible and they should've played better. The 1st period of game 2 was terrible too. But that doesn't mean they need a regime change.

The Caps effort was no less than any of those other teams mentioned but yet you continue to say that the Caps need to give the same effort as the Pens. Well, they did in round 1 and probably even gave a better effort. Unfortunately for the Caps the results didn't turn out the same.

Posted by: sgm3 | May 7, 2010 2:06 PM | Report abuse

Don't confuse the ability to acquire highly-skilled players via the draft with the ability and vision to lead an organization deep into the playoffs and become perennial Cup contenders. The current guys, don't have that. Until that change gets made, this will happen again and again.

And even if that change does get made, it won't guarantee anything. Ted could end up hiring another bum. The change has to be made with the right person in charge. Who puts the right kind of coach in charge and rounds out the roster with a select few acquisitions.

Posted by: cstanton1 | May 7, 2010 2:06 PM | Report abuse

@cstanton1

I think the effort out of the Caps in the playoffs has been equal or greater than the effort out of the Pens, Canucks, Blackhawks, Sharks, or Red Wings. Every team has a bad stretch in a game.

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

i haven't seen the Pens have the kind of lapses that we showed. Caps fans like to think of game 6 and 7 and pretend that was how the majority of the series went. I saw this team go virtually to sleep for almost entire portions of 2 games. And portions of others. This is what they did in the reg season too. They were unable to change that behavior in the playoffs. They don't play with the same urgency or meanness or sense of purpose that the Pens play with. There is no comparison between the level of effort the Pens put out v the Caps. The Pens hit a lot more, they played harder in the reg season and they carried over that work ethic into the playoffs. Think its a fluke they outhit the Caps by over 200 hits this season? That takes commitment and its easier to transition that type of relentless in-your-face game into the playoffs where everything ramps up.

Posted by: cstanton1 | May 7, 2010 2:11 PM | Report abuse

GMGM went out and signed Knuble and traded for Chimera. Aren't those the type of players you have been referncing?

Carlson and Alzner will both be full timers next year.

It will be interesting to see what GMGM does to acquire a 2nd line center and another defenseman but I will make judgment on that after it happens. After his acquisition of Knuble last year in the offseason I think GMGM has a good idea of what is needed to improve the team.

I kindly disagree with you that the system can't win in the playoffs. You are entitled to your view and have put up the reasons why you feel that way and I have put up reasons I feel my way. One line I always think of is that every system works if the players execute it correctly.

Posted by: sgm3 | May 7, 2010 2:13 PM | Report abuse

@ Rocc00

are you from mars? I don't think most people understand what the heck you're saying or you understand what people are saying on here half the times.

I have no idea where you got the idea that I was okay with the Caps teams of the past blowing a 3 games to 1 lead but not with the current team... are you just stupid or drunk all the time??

Posted by: joek443 | May 7, 2010 2:15 PM | Report abuse

The Caps effort was no less than any of those other teams mentioned but yet you continue to say that the Caps need to give the same effort as the Pens

----------------------
this is delusional thinking.

Seriously. The Caps and the Pens aren't in the same universe when it comes to the intensity and consistency of how each team plays. This is why frequently the Pens will get 45 hits in a game while the Caps struggle to get to 20. That's not a useless stat. Its meaningful because it shows a level of commitment by a team who gets pegged as a skill team but is really a very well-balanced team-oriented roster who never forget their hardhat mentality. There was an article this year that spelled out this very concept. I can go look it up for you. It came about halfway thru the season and it talked about how the Pens were very aware of what makes them successful. And they didn't point to their skill level as the key, they pointed to their physicality.

Posted by: cstanton1 | May 7, 2010 2:15 PM | Report abuse

GMGM went out and signed Knuble and traded for Chimera. Aren't those the type of players you have been referncing?

Carlson and Alzner will both be full timers next year.
------------------

Knuble yes. Chimera, not so much. Carlson yes, Alzer, no. Despite playing decently in game 7.

and thank god Carlson had a "booming shot" otherwise I doubt the Caps would've drafted him. Luckily for us he's a well rounded dman. Not just an offensive one.

and again, you take any roster you want and depending on the coach/gM who drives that roster, you'll get very different results with just minor tweaking of personnel.

This is why I don't espouse blowing up the team. The team only needs 2 or 3 players. But the mileage you get out of this roster in the playoffs will be inefficient with BB and GM running the show. As you saw this year. And will continue to see.

Posted by: cstanton1 | May 7, 2010 2:20 PM | Report abuse

i'm curious, since we all know we (the caps) seem to be modeling themselves after the red wings...

are we like the red wings? we talked about not needing a fighter because the wings didn't need one. but they also seemed to have the players to step up if needed. ie mc carty, draper... do we have the type of "grit" that they had?

what was it that made the wings "the wings"? what made them win all the cups? how long did it take for them to get to that level? was it bowman or was it their GM ken holland?

i'm honestly curious because i can't do the comparisons but there are a lot of very smart hockey people on this board. I would just like to know what you guys think.

Posted by: natresgroup | May 7, 2010 2:23 PM | Report abuse

CHOKING DOGS!

Posted by: lylewimbledon | May 7, 2010 2:24 PM | Report abuse

A great indication of intelligence, somebody wanting to fire a NHL executive when they're up for GM of the year.

Yep there's the problem.

Posted by: pokerfaceI208 | May 7, 2010 2:35 PM | Report abuse

btw, on a sidenote, if there are any Stones fans in here. Go check out a song called Plunder My Soul.

one of the best songs they've ever done and its got Mick Taylor on guitar , recorded back in 1971 I think. It finally saw the light of day this year after 39 yrs in obscurity. Unf'n believeable song!

Posted by: cstanton1 |

Weird that you wrote that. I literally just heard that song on Sirius yesterday for the first time.

Good stuff.

Posted by: Fro_ | May 7, 2010 2:36 PM | Report abuse

@cstanton1

I disagree in equating hits with effort. If a defender is covering his man aggressively and so closely to deny him a pass or poke check the puck away that is effort in my book.

Racing to and getting an open puck before the other team shows effort. There are many different things that show effort.

Posted by: sgm3 | May 7, 2010 2:37 PM | Report abuse

i'm curious, since we all know we (the caps) seem to be modeling themselves after the red wings...
------------------

lol, its a moving target for the last 7 yrs. First it was the MN Wild because they had a cheap successful hardworking roster. Then it became Tampa after they won the Cup. Then it became the Wings. Then the Pens with their 3 strong centers. I'm not making this up, look it up.

actually i forgot, it all started with Lou and the Devils (build via draft) philosophy.


and whoever wins the Cup this year, will be our next model to follow

unfortunately, the Caps only pick selective pieces to model after. They don't really emulate the team they say they want to. I can point out a half-dozen critical differences between any team that our front office claims they want to model after and what we actually end up doing.

its just words. and lots of hot air and excuse-making.

Posted by: cstanton1 | May 7, 2010 2:38 PM | Report abuse

@cstanton1

I disagree in equating hits with effort. If a defender is covering his man aggressively and so closely to deny him a pass or poke check the puck away that is effort in my book.

Racing to and getting an open puck before the other team shows effort. There are many different things that show effort.

Posted by: sgm3 | May 7, 2010 2:37 PM | Report abuse

show me a team that made it all the way to the Cup without being able to significantly ramp up the physical game. The closest team I can think of in the last decade was Tampa. They were an average phys team during the reg season but they finally managed to find it within themselves to match the physical intensity of a team like Calgary.

Detroit is a team people like to point to because apparently they're a finesse team. Which is why they routinely put up 45-50 hits per game when the intensity ramped up? The Caps don't just lack gritty players, they lack gritty leadership from the top. You take the exact same roster under a different kind of coach and you can get a ton more grit out of it. Without sacrificing an abundance of creativity. Maybe a little, but not much.

Posted by: cstanton1 | May 7, 2010 2:42 PM | Report abuse

Did you see the Pens game 1 agains the Sens or the first half of game 5 or game 6? The "effort" given there looked worse than at any point given by the Capitals.

Posted by: sgm3 | May 7, 2010 2:43 PM | Report abuse

wow. it's like being stuck in a room full of cranky, yipping Chihuahuas, reading the comments here. :)

Posted by: bcatron11 | May 7, 2010 2:45 PM | Report abuse

The Caps ramped up their physical game too. They hit more in the postseason than the regular season.

The Red Wings are not that physical compared to other teams so that is example #1. The Pens are middle of the road physical, that is example #2. Tampa is example #3.

Name me a team that has won the Cup that didn't have some premier skill players who didn't hit much, i.e. not "gritty"?

Posted by: sgm3 | May 7, 2010 2:57 PM | Report abuse

KEEP SEMIN

TRADE SOME OF THESE CRAPPY "FANS"

Posted by: hrc2211 | May 7, 2010 2:57 PM | Report abuse

I must say sgm3 at least your arguments are civil and you have not lowered yourself to name calling like many others on here but I must agree with cstanton1 on this one. This team took periods off all year this year and the playoffs were no different. They looked absolutely horrible at times, could this have something to do with Varly/Theo letting in softies in the first ten minutes and deflating the team.....maybe, but that doesn't excuse the regular season lapses.

Further, it is painfully obvious that in a playoff environment this team can not currently afford to have those lapses, the Pens on the other hand have shown they can afford those lapses and still win. Just my opinion.

Posted by: PhilR | May 7, 2010 3:04 PM | Report abuse

@PhilR

I agree the Caps need to improve and commit less errors.

I just don't think that all of their errors are due to lack of effort.

IMO, the Caps are close. They will imrpove signifcantly with the progression of Alzner and Carlson next year. Schultz will continue to improve as well. Fehr has also improved significantly and looks as though he will continue to do so.

Hopefully they can add a good, veteran (late 20's, early 30's) 2nd line center and a top 4 defenseman (hopefully Volchenkov) who can also help on the PK.

Posted by: sgm3 | May 7, 2010 3:13 PM | Report abuse

Maybe those improvements/additions will cut down on some of the lapses while also making the Caps a team that can better afford to have those lapses.

We will see.

Posted by: sgm3 | May 7, 2010 3:15 PM | Report abuse

@PhilR

I also think the Caps would have overcome those lapses in the 1st round if their PP was operating at a 20% rate or even a 15% rate. (easily expected)

As much as anyone wants to point out the Caps flaws I do not remember anyone saying that they thought the Caps PP would struggle in the playoffs. Umberger didn't think so either as he stated teams had to keep the Caps off of the PP to beat them.

I still don't know why the Caps performed so miserably on the PP. The Caps PP did fine in previous playoff series' so it wasn't that their style is a playoff style PP.

Posted by: sgm3 | May 7, 2010 3:22 PM | Report abuse

The one thing that many people, especially cstanton, are missing is that there is one major reason the Habs beat the Caps (where probably only one other Eastern playoff team could have) - which is also the reason they have tied the series with the Pens. They have a shutdown defense, specifically designed to take one or two players out of the game. Add a hot goalie to that, and you get a team that shuts down the top two lines of whoever they are facing. Only New Jersey can match that - and Ottawa, if their goalie is playing well. That's why when you take Malkin, Crosby, Ovie, and Semin, they have gotten 6 goals and 11 assists in 11 games as a group against the Habs. The loss had nothing to do with McPhee, who assembled a great roster, and little to do with Boudreau - except that he should have stressed for the Caps to change their style up. The Caps simply ran into the one type of system that is designed to shut down their system. It doesn't excuse the loss, but all this talk about firing McPhee and Boudreau, or trading Semin and Green and whoever, is idiotic.

Posted by: timmyv38 | May 7, 2010 3:30 PM | Report abuse

Semin got plenty of rest during the Montreal series, mainly while he was on the ice for his shifts.

Posted by: randysbailin | May 7, 2010 3:33 PM | Report abuse

I think everyone agrees Green was incredibly substandard, even if you're just comparing him to an average offensive defenseman. Terrible playoff performance. Not sure why--that should be looked into at least.

But Semin really looked pretty normal to me. I can't believe how much negativity has been displayed here. Semin was the NHL's leader in points-per-minute in 2008-2009 (minimum 30 games played). No player produced more. Not Ovechkin. Not Crosby. Semin was only #6 in the entire league this year in that category, but that's not that bad. Backstrom, Ovechkin, the Sedin brothers, and Crosby all had excellent years and surpassed him.

I can't statistically verify this, but Semin does seem to be a bit streaky in terms of production. I mainly just chalk the lack of production in the playoffs up to bad luck, good defense, and a hot goalie. He did register plenty of shots on goal. Maybe he wasn't quite as good as he can be. I don't think there's much cause to be upset with Semin though.

Posted by: youaresquishy | May 7, 2010 3:35 PM | Report abuse

The thing I think people here have not said much about is the power of SYNERGY.

With this word I mean to refer to a concept that people might call chemistry, a concept that has been studied, both in and outside the sports world, and it is basically the likelihood of a team to get better or, at least, not get worse, just because of the amount of time the same players play on the same team, and I would guess when applied to hockey it would include to some extent the amount of time the same players play on the same lines.

In other words, chances are that even a bunch of low-round picks, if you stick them on an NHL team, and never change players, will gradually improve as a team just because of the power of synergy, or chemistry. There are studies about this. You can look them up.

I believe in retrospect, while all the trades at the deadline may have looked good or OK at the time on paper, they may have had a negative effect synergy-wise. I believe that the Capitals would have won in the first round had no trades been made.

Also, I saw at least a million negative comments about Corvo throughout his Capitals career, and that trade probably didn't help, just as an individual thing. I don't know how much Belanger really helped (1 point in game 1 in the playoffs, none after that). Walker didn't play until game 7. Chimera, I thought, was here longer, did seem to me to fit in well, and had a fine series, and it may well have been OK to make that one trade and stop after that. But the combination of all of those trades may have had an overall negative effect just because of a negative effect on synergy.

Yes, I think GMGM may have gone overboard a little.

Late trades definitely worked in 2007-08--all the late trades clearly made the difference between not making the playoffs and making it, and almost got the Caps out of the first round, but most of that was because those trades happened to include a scorching hot goalie playing for a contract who was immediately inserted in the lineup and played nearly every game.

I also think Coach Boudreau may have not helped matters by failing to settle on a consistent lineup and shuffling lines a bit excessively, and letting them gel for the few games he had prior to the playoffs to establish some new chemistry.

Posted by: youaresquishy | May 7, 2010 3:40 PM | Report abuse

I meant: I also think Coach Boudreau may have not helped matters by failing to settle on a consistent lineup, shuffling lines a bit excessively, and NOT letting them gel for the few games he had prior to the playoffs to establish some new chemistry.

Thank you.

Posted by: youaresquishy | May 7, 2010 3:43 PM | Report abuse

"Green has a sore wrist that he injured against Columbus on April 3" Oh ok. He's forgiven.

Posted by: cappies | May 7, 2010 4:16 PM | Report abuse

Montreal is showing they were a better team then anyone gave them credit for. However, not a single person on the Caps should be talking injuries besides Belanger and Poti. A sore wrist? Come on.

Posted by: cappies | May 7, 2010 4:20 PM | Report abuse

The #1 seed should not lose a series where they have a 3 games to 1 lead over the #8 seed, Period. Tough defense, hot goaltender, topless women behind the goal, bad pasta for lunch, goal scorers who don't score, a coach who doesn't make adjustments, late nights on the town, inconsistent lines, whatever, it should NOT happen. Someone mentioned on this blog a week or more ago, that the Caps can't even hope to redeem themselves until next spring, no matter what they do in the regular season.

Posted by: kcbrichmond | May 7, 2010 4:31 PM | Report abuse

Looking at the money this team has to play with, and guys who will be available, this team has a chance to come back revamped. All they need to do is move Semin's $6million, and bring back a good, young blueliner. The can get forwards via UFA.

Posted by: underpants2 | May 7, 2010 4:36 PM | Report abuse

@underpants2

With all the youth on the Caps blueline for next year (Alzner, Carlson, Schultz, even Green)I think it would be better to pick up a veteran back there (late 20's or early 30's).

Posted by: sgm3 | May 7, 2010 4:45 PM | Report abuse

The 2nd line center to covet is Brad Richards of the Stars. What do you have to give up for him to get, I have no idea! Johnasson can break in the rookie year as LW would be better for him.

Line 1: you know this one
Line 2: Johanson - Richards - Semin
would be a lethal line. A grindy Zetterberg clone in Johanson with playmaking Richards and sniper extraordinarie in Semin. Wow - could easily outplay the first line.

Line 3: Laich - Belanger - Fehr

Line 4: Chimera - Boyd Gordon/Steckel - Andrew Gordon

Welcome to the NHL Andrew, make McPhee look like a genius picking you up from the trash heap of the 7th round.

Posted by: Political_Stratgst | May 7, 2010 4:46 PM | Report abuse

seriously, Rocc00 is a fruit loop. i love this zinger:

Semin got plenty of rest during the Montreal series, mainly while he was on the ice for his shifts.

Posted by: randysbailin | May 7, 2010 3:33 PM | Report abuse


Bodreau can't coach his out of a closet

Posted by: doughless | May 7, 2010 4:48 PM | Report abuse

i am sick of hearing this "hot goalie" crap. does everyone just think Halak showed up out of nowhere? check the regular season stats, goofballs.

Posted by: doughless | May 7, 2010 4:52 PM | Report abuse

@Political_Strategist

Richards would be a great guy to have but I think his cap hit is too high for the Caps to get. I think it is over $7M/yr still.

Everything I have read said that Johannson will not be playing for the Caps next year. That he needs at least a year in Hershey. Obviously, if he performs wonderfully down there he will be given a chance, but he will be more thought of as an option for 2011-2012.

I like the idea of Gordon playing on the 4th line. Young, energetic wingers who are willing to hit are perfect 4th liners.

I still think Lacih will be 2nd line LW, Chimera 3rd or 4th and possibly a Hershey guy as the other 3rd or 4th line LW. (who in Hershey is on LW?)

Posted by: sgm3 | May 7, 2010 4:53 PM | Report abuse

@doughless

"hot goalie" has nothing to do with where the goalie came from.

Brodeur or Lundqvist or Roy could also be, and have been, a hot goalie in the playoffs

Posted by: sgm3 | May 7, 2010 4:57 PM | Report abuse

Ted should be extending an invite to interview Steve Yzerman for GM. If Tampa (or was it Florida), can line up an interview, you gotta figure the Caps could do the same.

Posted by: doughless | May 7, 2010 4:59 PM | Report abuse

point is: just another excuse. Halak has been "hot" for a good part of the year.

Posted by: doughless | May 7, 2010 5:02 PM | Report abuse

@underpants2

With all the youth on the Caps blueline for next year (Alzner, Carlson, Schultz, even Green)I think it would be better to pick up a veteran back there (late 20's or early 30's).

Maybe. McPhee needs to be talking with LA and Nashville. Those teams need offense, and have lots of defense. Webber and Doughty are obviously ungettable, but Suter and Johnson might be good targets.

Also, swapping Semin for those guys would save about $2.5mm.

Posted by: underpants2 | May 7, 2010 5:06 PM | Report abuse

@doughless

I don't really see that as an excuse. After the series it is prudent of an owner, GM, coach, and players to examine why the team lost. I don't think it is an excuse to say that some of the opposing team's players played well, it is just pointing out a fact.

To ignore that would be just as dumb as ignoring the areas of where the Caps failed. When examining the reasons for a loss you have to look at everything.

Posted by: sgm3 | May 7, 2010 5:09 PM | Report abuse

@rocco

I'm curious. How many shots wre taken by each team? How many times did the Caps give up the first goal?

If you're going to report stats, you might as well show them all.

That helps explain why and how they "CHOKED"; at least in my eyes.

Posted by: jwash4472 | May 7, 2010 5:10 PM | Report abuse

@underpants2

Suter would be nice. I don't see L.A. giving up Johnson and I highly doubt Nashville would give up Suter, but maybe that is a possibility.

Posted by: sgm3 | May 7, 2010 5:15 PM | Report abuse

The bottom line is that BB ( and GMGM ) have no clue as to what it takes to form a championship team. "Skill" alone simply isn't enough. Not even close. The most important ingredient is a thing called, "HEART." Not nearly enough of our guys possess it. Fehr certainly does not. Ditto Flash, Green, or gordon, just to name a few. BRADLEY HAS HEART!! to my way of thinking, HE SHOULD BE THE CAPTAIN!! But, the idiots in charge seem to think that because OV scores a ton of goals, that qualifies him to be Captain. NO! I'VE YET TO SEE THE LEAST BIT OF "lEADERSHIP' QUALITY IN Ovechkin. Whereas, Bradley simply exudes it.
Sidenote: BB gave the "Screws" to both Theo AND Steckel. If I'm Steckel I WANT OUT!! BB/GMGM play the "Favorites" game all the time. Example: Flash! There's NO WAY he's on MY TEAM. Yet, BB loves him. Hmmmm. Go figure. a true wimp if ever there were one. I believe Alzner will prove to be another such player. Remember, Puckguru said it first.
The Caps need guys like this kid Della Rovere. His type win championships. Mark it down!!

Posted by: Puckguru | May 7, 2010 5:46 PM | Report abuse

@Puckguru

Didn't Malkin win a championship last year and the Conn Smythe?

Well, I guess that type wins championships too.

Posted by: sgm3 | May 7, 2010 6:03 PM | Report abuse

Get some defense fool!

- Ray

Posted by: rmcazz | May 7, 2010 6:16 PM | Report abuse

usa lose to germany in overtime lol

Posted by: wendel2 | May 7, 2010 8:13 PM | Report abuse

puckguru....i agree about bradley and laich
laing too for that matter but dont think steckle has the grit to be pk guy ...flash should be gone and keep theo but he will get more $ elsewhere

Posted by: wendel2 | May 7, 2010 8:17 PM | Report abuse

Shorter version of GMGM's comments: Players who make more than 2 million should only play for us.

Posted by: oldtimehockey | May 7, 2010 8:25 PM | Report abuse

trade mcphee

Posted by: chrisclarksucks | May 7, 2010 9:11 PM | Report abuse

Defense wasn't the problem scoring was. I think there's some fair critisizm for BB here. Why didn't he try and get OV out on the 3rd and 4th lines ever to try and get a better matchup against Montreal's 5/6 D pairing? A fair critisizm for sure. Do you fire the guy for it, probably not but when you're getting shut down consistently you have to adjust and BB didn't do his part in my estimation.

Posted by: pokerfaceI208 | May 7, 2010 9:26 PM | Report abuse

Semin will start scoring goals now

Posted by: heathdog1119 | May 7, 2010 11:21 PM | Report abuse

Defense was the problem first. A lack of adjustment on the forwards part was the second.

Posted by: richmondphil | May 8, 2010 12:14 AM | Report abuse

I believe Alzner will prove to be another such player. Remember, Puckguru said it first.

___________________________

No...you didn't.

Posted by: richmondphil | May 8, 2010 12:16 AM | Report abuse


They could have used more than rest. What's the point of playing in the Worlds? If you'd been on point, you'd still be in the playoffs. IIHF Gold a good consolation prize? I thought they already got that with Feds after last season?

Posted by: fbutler1

Yeah I don't understand why they always feel the need to play in this. Good for Backstrom for avoiding this tournament. OV and Semin have already won gold in this tournament, why do it again? No matter how many IIHF golds you win, it will never be a Stanley Cup. Just more proof they'd rather play for Mother Russia than the Caps.

Posted by: LloydChristmas | May 8, 2010 7:18 AM | Report abuse

I was almost over the debacle of the Capital-Montreal series until I read and "puked" on this article:

http://sports.yahoo.com/nhl/news;_ylt=AjrR5vdDYJ1RfvY4GeE6HQ97vLYF?slug=ea-maturecrosby0504

Even though Crosby has only 1 assist in the 3 games so far against Montreal, he is still being labeled as "Too good to be true"...URRRGGGG BARF! If this is not proof of a bias by the media towards Crosby, then I do not know what is!

Posted by: JohnWWW | May 8, 2010 8:25 AM | Report abuse

I would say Crosby > Ovi in all departments at this point in time. I hope somebody asks BB what he learned from the Montreal series during his "chat". I hope he doesn't say the series loss was due solely to a hot goal keeper and special teams.

Posted by: FloridaCapsFan | May 8, 2010 9:29 AM | Report abuse

The worlds could be good for Semin. He's been pretty poor in high pressure games so some more experience might help.

Posted by: Stu_c | May 8, 2010 9:36 AM | Report abuse

I think the red wings won all those cups, because almost all of their forwards, were willing to play defense and alot of them were good on defense. The 98 caps made the finals, because of players like oats, johansson, bondra, gonchar, reekie, tinordi. and so on. If we win the cup, I think the players that would be there are ovechkin, backstrom, knuble, chimera, green, poti, carlson, morrisonn, bradley im very uncertain if semin will be there... I think we need more knuble and chimera players. And we need to cut sloan out of the roster, hes so useless. I think this year, we should of let erskine play more, and corvo less. Playoffs are really a diffrent breed. Its players like chimera,knuble, laich,steckel, bradley,gordon who we really need for playoffs.Those players will be extremely important. I love semin, i would only trade him, if the deal was too difficult to pass, like a defensemen like an andy sutton like defensemen, and a second line center, like matt stajin, or a krecji, or someone like that. maybe caps drop 3 defensemen,(shamo, corvo, sloan) and pursue volchenkov? now thats a playoff defensemen we need! but thats not going to happen..

Posted by: samrosen8 | May 8, 2010 10:24 AM | Report abuse

I love semin, i would only trade him, if the deal was too difficult to pass, like a defensemen like an andy sutton like defensemen, and a second line center, like matt stajin, or a krecji, or someone like that. maybe caps drop 3 defensemen,(shamo, corvo, sloan) and pursue volchenkov? now thats a playoff defensemen we need! but thats not going to happen..

Posted by: samrosen8 | May 8, 2010 10:24 AM | Report abuse

you gotta get more than Sutton if you're gonna trade Semin, gotta get a young all-star caliber d-man in return... not an aging d-man like Sutton.

Posted by: joek443 | May 8, 2010 10:49 AM | Report abuse

People who want to move Semin because of playoff performance are forgetting his excellent series vs. the Flyers and the Rangers, as well as the fact he was injured during the Pens series.

Semin has been so good in the playoffs that until this year, when it wasn't just he who struggled, he had 22 points in 21 playoff games -- those are Conn Smythe numbers.

To use him and his supposedly non-playoff style to represent the Caps' problems isn't fair.

If we get rid of him for a supposed blue-line need or a center (even though a)defense wasn't our main problem in this series and b)what good is a second-line center if he can't get the puck to Semin) then we'll feel it in ways we can't imagine.

Posted by: BigMogilny | May 8, 2010 11:18 AM | Report abuse

Fire GMGM! After all, this was his team. He only drafted the core of this young team, made signings like Knuble, Chimera, Belanger. What has he done over the past 3 years? Oh, nothing, we can easily look past how VC is now sold out every night. Yeah, this team is young and will be contenders for a long time, but fire GMGM! That kind of resume is easily replacable, better yet, someone else can take us to that next level. Considering I don't know how many other GM's are available, it doesn't matter, anyone of them is better than GMGM. Oh, while you're at it, replace BB with someone who plays the Devil's style of Playoff hockey... it works! Look, they're a team with GRIT! Don't worry that that style got them nowhere past the 1st round over the past 3 seasons. Yep, sucks to be a Caps fan! We're doomed with the leadership we have!

Posted by: theCamMike | May 8, 2010 11:19 AM | Report abuse

I'd love to see the Caps trade for Dustin Byfuglien this off-season... it's no secret that the Hawks have to dump some of their salaries.

you can never have too many of those big guys with soft hands like Big Buff, not to mention he can also play D when needed.

Posted by: joek443 | May 8, 2010 11:46 AM | Report abuse

@BigMogilny

Nice post on Semin. As you pointed out, he had been good in the playoffs in previous years but now a high percentage of fans want to hang him in effigy and use him as the scapegoat for this year's loss. And even some writers are also willing to do that.

Posted by: CapsFan75 | May 8, 2010 11:53 AM | Report abuse

So, the premise upthread is, because GMGM is up for an award, he is therefore innoculated from any and all criticism? Gimme a break, that award is a joke anyway his fellow GMs decide the nominees anyway. Harry Sinden won this thing - more than once, IIRC - which should tell you something.

I agree with completely Semin on this - BB deserves the lion's share of the credit for the turnaround in the regular season. For doubters, I'd simply point to GMGM's W-L record with and without BB at the helm.

I'd also seriously question some of the draft choices [ie. Boyd Gordon and E Fehr in the first round, Erskine in the 2nd, and even Alzner as #5 overall - that would be one spot ahead of where Peter Forsberg was drafted]. I mean, I like Alzner, he seems very heady - but at #5?! That is where you get impact players, or, some teams do anyway.

Posted by: govtimbo | May 8, 2010 1:50 PM | Report abuse

So, the premise upthread is, because GMGM is up for an award, he is therefore innoculated from any and all criticism? Gimme a break, that award is a joke anyway his fellow GMs decide the nominees anyway. Harry Sinden won this thing - more than once, IIRC - which should tell you something.

Posted by: govtimbo | May 8, 2010 1:50 PM

Actually, no one has ever won it - this is the first year for this award. There might have been a similar award in the past, but this one is new.

I do agree, Boudreau deserves most of the credit for the Caps success, but McPhee is the one who has assembled the team. As for draft choices - Fehr (now that he has been given playing time) is a 20 goal scorer, Gordon is a fantastic PK center, Alzner has the potential to be a great dman (we really haven't seen yet), and McPhee didn't draft Erskine. Check your facts next time.

Posted by: timmyv38 | May 8, 2010 7:48 PM | Report abuse

@timmyv38

B. Gordon is hardly a fantastic PK center. Our pk is terrible. Not even close to a good 1st round pick by mcphee.

Posted by: underpants2 | May 8, 2010 8:09 PM | Report abuse

underpants, did you watch Gordon during the Montreal series? When he was put in, the PK got much better. He was winning faceoffs, making defensive plays, and scoring SH goals. The problem is, he wasn't used on the PK for most of the season - or much of the Montreal series.

Posted by: timmyv38 | May 8, 2010 8:59 PM | Report abuse

here's the entire 2002 draft
http://www.hockeydb.com/ihdb/draft/nhl2002e.html
gordon was taken 17th (as a right wing).
assuming gmgm is so terrible - the other gm's must be ok/good. so using picks number 18 to 30 (other than cam ward 25th pick) - who would you have liked.
these are kids that are being drafted and most (outside of the first 5 to 10 picks) are going to be a crapshoot. drafts are done based on projected needs and potential. i'm pretty sure anyone could retroactively critique any gm for their drafts.
gordon is still playing - so even though one might want to call him a bust or a wasted pick - i don't agree.
so if MP makes the team next year - we can all sing the praises of gmgm. MP was taken in the 6th round (#177) in 2006
gmgm is not the greatest gm - nor is he the worst

Posted by: Capt_Kirk_in_AZ | May 8, 2010 9:09 PM | Report abuse

Capt_Kirk, I would agree with your post. McPhee is good, but not the best. But certainly above average.

Posted by: timmyv38 | May 8, 2010 9:17 PM | Report abuse

When it comes to McPhee and drafting, look at the 1st round picks since 2000, and see how many of them are part of the Caps now. Semin, Gordon, Fehr, Ovie, Schultz, Green, Backstrom, Varly, Alzner and Carlson. That is 10 out of 16. And when you look at others, Steve Eminger was traded for the pick that ended up as Carlson; Brian Sutherby was traded for a 2nd round pick (not sure what happened with it though); and Pokulok, Finley, Gustafson, and Johansson are all in development. Considering how hard it is to figure out how well a player will do in the NHL, McPhee has done great in the draft.

Posted by: timmyv38 | May 8, 2010 10:16 PM | Report abuse

Brian Sutherby was traded for a 2nd round pick (not sure what happened with it though);
********

That pick was parlayed into a playoff berth - the Caps traded Sutherby and then flipped the 2nd round pick they got to Montreal to get Huet for that playoff run in 2008.

It was a great move. Sutherby who we did not need was turned into Huet...

Posted by: yesisaiditfirst | May 8, 2010 11:59 PM | Report abuse

Ah... thank you. It's hard to trace what happens to picks sometimes. So that shows yet another great move of McPhee's. Although I do wish it hadn't cost us Olie... he's still one of my all-time favorite Caps.

Posted by: timmyv38 | May 9, 2010 12:05 AM | Report abuse

I agree with some posters on Semin. He was around during the Flyers and Rangers series. Not sure what happened in the Pens and Habs one though. Green did well in the Flyers series as well.

I'm ready for next season. The key is NOT to win the Presidents Trophy. It's a jinx unless you're the Red Wings.

Posted by: hockeynightincanada | May 9, 2010 12:17 AM | Report abuse

Hello all,

Please read Wilbon's column today about Lebron James. See my response below.


Michael,

You are a fraud. You call Lebron the greatest but at this moment in time he is no different than Alex. There is no disputing the following:

1)Lebron James is to the NBA as Alex Ovechkin is to the NHL.
2)Kobe Bryant is to the NBA as Sidney Crosby is to the NHL.

Yet you vehemently state that Lebron rules the NBA while Sidney rules the NHL. While I celebrate that you have come to realize that the greatest player in a league doesn't necessarily have to have a ring, you are nothing short of a hypocrite and you need to publicly apologize to Alex and the fans of DC!

Posted by: croftonpost | May 9, 2010 1:38 AM | Report abuse

@timmyv38

Fehr is a fine player. But when mcphee took him, he passed on Getzlaf, Perry, Kesler, and Mike Richards. Is Fehr better than any of them? If we are gonna talk about who went after Gordon, then you need to look at who went after Fehr.

As for Gordon, I hope the Caps let him walk. He and Steckle play the exact same role, both 4th line centers, and average penalty killers. You cannot pay them both.

Posted by: underpants2 | May 9, 2010 6:55 AM | Report abuse

"If the Pens end up losing to Montreal, will it be as big a collapse as the Caps?"

I don't think so since the Caps are better than Pittsburgh. Therefore the upset isn't as big (unfortunately).

Posted by: TheOtherGuyInSection117 | May 10, 2010 9:46 AM | Report abuse

The comments to this entry are closed.

 
 
RSS Feed
Subscribe to The Post

© 2010 The Washington Post Company