Wednesday, January 31, 2007

Who Sits?

With Richard Zednik due back Thursday and assuming that Matt Bradley returns to the team in the not-too-distant future, the Caps will have fourteen healthy forwards (did I just jinx them?). The question, then, is who gets a sweater and who doesn't?
  • Obviously AO, Semin, Zubrus, Clark and Pettinger are in the lineup.
  • Eric Fehr has made a case for himself to stay, at least for now (though his contract situation makes him the best possibility for a demotion to Hershey).
  • Boyd Gordon has proven to be an invaluable penalty killer, as has, to a lesser extent, Brooks Laich. Brian Sutherby (an alternate captain) also is a lock, despite his disappointing season thus far.
  • The Donald provides protection and has shown some offensive touch in recent weeks as well.
  • Zednik will play in hopes of increasing his value on the trade market.
That leaves one spot for Ben Clymer, Matt Bradley and Kris Beech. I think Clymer's versatility keeps him in the lineup. Might the team put Beech on waivers and send him down to Hershey? Am I wrong about Fehr sticking with the team? Could Bradley or Clymer be put on waivers? Someone else? Are all of these questions annoying?

At some point (perhaps), the team will face these same questions on the blueline. Add in the trade deadline in less than a month and GMGM will be a busy man over the next few weeks.


Tyler said...

I'm not so sure Laich is safe. He's inert.

JP said...

I think Laich is still a bit of an unknown quantity, hence he gets an extended tryout (especially if and when the team falls out of contention). You know what you've got with Brads and Clymer.

Capital Fanatic said...

Clymer would be the most valuable of the three, considering he can play both offense and defense. He also plays the point on the powere play. The only problem with that is their would be no center for the fourth line. So that makes a case for Beech to continue dressing. It will be interesting to see what happens here. Roster moves are coming soon.

3 Grumpy Caps fans said...

Bradley has the best all around game of the three, so I think he stays. He can play up with the talented guys or down with the bangers without looking completely out of place.

Beech is toast. If he's with the big club at the end of the year I'll be shocked. I'll be appalled if he's on the team next year.

JP said...

CF - with Zubrus, Laich, Sutherby and Gordon, there are four centers, so no need to keep Beech around if he's not better than anyone else.

Tyler - if Laich goes, who centers the second line (I know this is your overarching point, but still)?

So Tyler sits Laich and someone, CF sits Beech and Bradley, 3G sits Beech and Clymer. Methinks Beech is in trouble (as well he should be).

Tyler said...

Gordon centers the second line.

And sorry, I was taking Beech's toast-ness as a given.

JP said...

I figured as much.

Fauxrumors said...

1) Are we missing something. What is so special about Bradley? How are his 3 goals/9 points going to be missed?
2) Same for Sutherby. Just because he has an A, doesn't make him untouchable.

JP said...

I think Beech is eventually gone and Clymer and Bradley take turns in the press box. But I think the team will also send Fehr back down for a couple of weeks. It's just too easy to do right now.

Sutherby's "A" doesn't make him untouchable, but it does indicate that the coaching staff thinks he does a lot for this team that doesn't show up on the stat sheet. He gets a sweater.

JP said...

No surprise here - Beech sits tonight as Zed returns but Bradley remains out.