Monday, October 22, 2007

Monday Roundup

Four years and counting.

It was on this date back in 2003 that The Rebuild can be said to have begun, as the 1-4-1-0 Caps shipped then-captain Steve Konowalchuk and a third round selection in 2004 to Colorado for Bates Battaglia and Jonas Johansson.

With yesterday's day off, there's not much news out of Capland, so feel free to discuss the state of the team as you see it today. Are the Caps closer to contending for a playoff spot or another top five pick (I still believe it's the former)? With 20/20 hindsight, how would you have handled things differently if this was your team back in the Fall of '03? And what does the team have to do now to right the ship and make the playoffs this year?

As to that last question, I'm not sure it would help, but if I was coaching the Caps, I'd incorporate something like this into the pregame skate ritual. Two words: bad ass.

Elsewhere 'Round the Rinks:

Blood, we're told, is thicker than water, and Ben Clymer got a first hand example of that on Saturday night. During his first shift of the season, Clymes dropped the gloves with Rico Fata's little brother Drew. "It's funny," said Clymer, "but I fought his brother last year. He was on our team, and we didn't really get along. That's life. Whatever."... Happy 27th Birthday, Matt Pettinger.... As we clamor for another NHL-caliber right wing, here's a name for you - Alexander Frolov. He's got the right name and nationality, and word is (yeah, I know it's Bruce Garrioch - grain of salt, etc.) he's on the block. The Kings aren't a great trade partner here (they're looking for a goalie), but since we know that every Russian player in the League will be rumored to be traded to the Caps before his career is over, I thought I'd get out in front of this one.... Finally, while we're on Garrioch, he reports that "Washington could move W Matt Bradley." If only, Bruce. If only.

Daily Awards
  • Hart: Curtis Sanford (W, 35 saves on 36 shots against)
  • Ross: Ryan Kesler, Pavol Demitra (2 points each)
  • Norris: Kevin Bieksa (Game-winning goal, +2, 4 SOG, 2 hits)
  • Vezina: Curtis Sanford (W, 35 saves on 36 shots against)
  • Richard: Ryan Kesler (2G)
  • Calder: Kris Russell (4 SOG, 3 blocked shots, 1 hit)
  • Aiken: Pascal Leclaire (L, 3 goals allowed on 18 shots against)



) What the team needs to do to make the playoffs is get a coach who can best utilize his players effectively.
2) What we saw Saturday night was a disgrace. A career AHL-er who wasn't good enough to make the team out of camp not only is placed on the top line, but gets oodles of prime PP time as well. Almost costing the team a shortie
3) Most teams have their 5 best players on the PP. The Caps have 2 and an AHL guy? Where is Green on the PP. Nylander was lights out with Jagr on the PP last year, yet can't recall seeing him out there.
The kicker was in the last minute they didn't use Motzko. If he was 'good enough' to be out there all night, why not then?? Now he's back on the farm? What gives?
4) In our opinion the Caps wasted a great performance by the goalie and defense Saturday night. If this team is a true playoff contender, a "good effort" is NOT going to cut it. Its time for the team to win. Staying close is NOT enough. Playing minor leaguers with a team's stars is a sign that a change is needed.

NS said...

Realistically, how worried should Hanlon be about his job at this point in the season?

I agree, SOMETHING needs to change, as we have good talent out there (granted not too much depth) but still we play a poor overall game.

very frustrating to watch.

keef said...

I don't think that I would call Saturday night's game 'poor.'

It was a much better game than the previous three losses - there were immediate results shown from Friday's practice and fewer stupid giveaways. My only question is why did it take three losses for the adjustments to come? They should have been there after that first loss when it was blatantly understood our PP was in trouble.

But that's aside from the questions regarding Motzko and Schultz.

I think that Hanlon had a plan in place to win games this season and early injuries wreaked havoc with that plan. It's obvious how much Gordon's needed on the team and I'm sure when Semin comes back, his presence will be felt. But why is one guy out (Gordon) a leading reason the team fell apart.

Where's the depth? Why are seasoned professionals playing in the lower ranks while we're calling up those with weak camps?

The fact that the team can't adjust to line shakeups is definitely a coaching issue but I'm wondering who's calling the shots as to who comes up...

Tyler said...

"A disgrace?" Come on. What's happening to American troops in Iraq is a disgrace. A good hockey game played by two closely-matched teams is *not* a disgrace, no many how many fauxes think so.

Hanlon should not be worried. Is having Motzko anywhere near an NHL rink a mistake? Not exactly: True, Motzko should not be on the PP. But the team is doing the right thing to see if there are any RWs in the organIzation who can stick. And, obviously, it's learning that there aren't.

feeshbate said...

Am I the only one who sees the problem with the penalty killing?
It seems to from watching recent games that the pk "plan" is to sit back and not attack the puck. I remember when the caps were a premiere pk team and the guy with the puck never had a chance to do much with it because someone was in face as soon as he received it.
Against the pens The penalty killers were literally standing around waiting for something to happen. I think a more aggressive attitude is needed. What do you guys think?

Jan said...

---- And what does the team have to do now to right the ship and make the playoffs this year? --

Depth! We need real depth. Either the marginal guys have to step up and perform or Spunky McPhee is going to have to go shopping.

Unfortunately, the Rebuilding may not be over.

To Do List
- Discover another top-six forward among a group of frightened youngsters (see Tomas Fleischmann) and career minor league utility infielders (see Joe Mothball Motzko).
- OR Package Eminger and Sutherby and a pick for a top-six forward. (See “Hossa” idea, here:
- Manufacture special ankle-protector skates for Semin.
- Make all the other top-six guys sign a sheath of legal papers that makes them absolutely promise not to get hurt.
- Don’t ask Kozzie to take any more draws. He doesn’t know how.
- Sign Ovie’s long term deal. I don’t care what it costs. Just do it.
- Give Mikie Green a raise. What a guy!


1) Not sure where/why Tyler brought up the heroics our boys are doing in WINNING the war in Iraq/war on terror, but like he, we digress.
2) As for the display HANLON displayed Saturday that was most certainly a disgrace. A disgrace in the manner in which he used his roster. A disgrace that a great effort by Johnson and the rest of the defense was wasted by an amazingly colossal blunder with the Motzko experiment.
3) Not only having him on the PP where he had almost cost the team a goal, but to have him on the team's top forward line. Once almost literally tripping into AO on a rush. No way can Ovechkin be happy that he was saddled with this guy, creating a short handled forward line.
4) Where is Nylander on the PP? Where is Green? Why does it seem the Caps are the only team that doesn't play its top 5 on the PP unit?
5) Was Saturday's effort better than Thursday? Yes, but this isn't 2 years ago when effort was all that was asked/expected from fans.

Focality said...

Do we want to see 15 games of experimentation only to conclude what we're doing now isn't working?

Can we play to the players' strengths? If you're willing to place Motzko on a line with Ovie, would it be disastrous to try Backstrom at C, or Kozie on W, or Green on the PP? Don't do that! You might win or something!

Can we see quality special teams play? Special teams aren't the place to experiment with AHL call-ups. Maybe you should bench guys like Ovie, Nyles and Green.

Does the marketing have to include dumb commercials like the woman getting a Caps eagle tattoo, "The Cool Alternative"?

Hell, there's plenty of work to be done, on and off the ice, from the front office, marketing, to practice and on game nights.

I'm not sure Ted wants to win. It's like all these ideas get discussed every week and he says "yes" to all of them. Maybe he'll try for Forsberg, because that worked for Philly and Nashville.

RudyKelly said...

The Kings aren't trading Frolov. He will probably have around 80 points this season and he's tied up at a fairly reasonable salary for the next 3 years. If they do trade him I'll eat my hat, after I punch a hole in it.

Anonymous said...

probably the only time in DC you won't hear a chant for FOUR MORE YEARS, eh?

Anonymous said...

So whats the real deal with Sutherby? Do you guys think he is trade bait? If given the chance he would most certainly add spark and grit to the line up.

feeshbate said...

Just got back from practice. Top two lines during practice were:
OV - Kozlov - Clark
Semin - Nylander - Backstrom

They used the second half of practice solely on special teams.
Hope it helps

JP said...

People talk about Eminger and Sutherby as trade bait, but ask yourself this - if you're a GM from another team, how much would you be willing to give up for two guys who, whether due to injury or skill, can't crack the Caps lineup?

Anonymous said...

For what he has to work with, Hanlon isn't that bad of a coach.

Still a shame that the organization didn't really try to do anything of any major significance in the off-season.

I can not stand Philly, and yeah I know it's early, but the Flyers are 6-1 so far.

Just sayin'.