Friday, February 29, 2008

Friday Open Thread

It's time to look into your Cristobal and make some predictions for this huge hockey weekend. How many points will the Caps grab of the four available? What do you expect from the three new guys? Will Alex Ovechkin bust out of his goal-scoring slump? Will Olie Kolzig continue to say the right things to the media while at the same time whining through a surrogate?

It's your thread, use it wisely... or use it like you usually do.

Oh, and don't forget tonight's fundraiser at Clyde's. Don't pretend you've got something better to do.


Charlie G said...

I forsee a dominant weekend from the caps. Two good games from Huet and perhaps an assist for Federov on a Semin goal. Hopefully Ovie gets he scoring touch back, but thats not as important as the Caps picking up 4 points, especially since the Canes lost last night.

NS said...

well, if Ovie starts scoring again, the Caps will win.

Hope Laich keeps up his great play. I find myself as excited for him to score as Ovie.

(this goalie BS is going to get out of hand very soon)

Tyler said...

I'd have no problem with Olie whining if he was a top 10 or top 15 goalie right now. But he's next-to-last in save percentage and he's 40th out of 45 in GAA. You and your representative can't complain about your team trading for a netminder when those are your stats.

JP said...

And if Olie was Top 10 or 15, Cristo wouldn't be here right now.

His agent's indignation in proclaiming "I have no idea why the Capitals chose to do what they did" doesn't even pass the laugh test.

fisticuffsDC said...

"It's time to look into your Cristobal and make some predictions for this huge hockey weekend. How many points will the Caps grab of the four available? What do you expect from the three new guys? Will Alex Ovechkin bust out of his goal-scoring slump? Will Olie Kolzig continue to say the right things to the media while at the same time whining through a surrogate"?


lol, LETS GO CAPS!!!!

JP said...

Oh, and who was it that was hoping for a trade to bring Havlat to town?

Be thankful that never happened. Like I said, dude's made of glass.

Anonymous said...

Will we see you tonight at Clyde's?

Come one, come all, let's raise some money to keep the only public DC High School hockey team skating.

Mike said...

JP -- I disagree that if Kolzig was top 10 or 15 Huet wouldn't be here...

That's one angle on this that I haven't seen anyone commenting on. Everyone agrees that the goaltending from the other teams in the division has left a lot to be desired. Even if Kolzig was having a great year, when McPhee saw that Montreal was giving Huet away, he had to take him, if only to keep him from dropping to another team in the division that could use him even more than we can!

JP said...

@ Mike: Interesting point, but who would that be? Carolina wouldn't take him over Ward, Atlanta's fine with Lehtonen, Florida's set with Vokes and Tampa's likely out of the race (and was getting their "goalie of the future" anyway).

I don't think this move gets made in a world in which Olie is performing like a true #1 goalie.

Tyler said...

How weird is it that in a story devoted to the dethroning of Olie and the related turmoil, Tarik never cites the statistical record that forced GMGM's hand?!

b.orr4 said...

I lost some respect for Olie after seeing those punk-ass comments from his agent. Don't pretend to take the high road and then send out your rep to trash the orginization. Unless Olie comes out and completely disavows his agent's comments then we pretty much know what Kolzig is really thinking. And Tyler is right, when you're near the bottom of goalie rankings please don't get indignant when the team looks for help. The ego of professional athletes never ceases to amaze me.

hotdog88gt said...

The changing of the guard in goal has got to start sometime. With Olie's numbers this year I'm already over it and absolutely thrilled to finally see a change in netminding for this team.

AO must score for the Caps to make it to the playoffs.

~Mark said...

I'm starting to fear that "Goalie-gate" could have a tangible effect on the dressing room of this team.
We know Johnny is pissed, which is understandable for his situation. Now Olie is clearly carrying a chip of measurable stature on his shoulder. And of course, Huet is new in the room and has to somehow become part of this team while it's starter for 10 years is bitter AND STILL IN THE ROOM!

Let's hope Olie's "professionalism" will continue, and he can really see the bigger picture.

Let's hope...

Chimaera said...

Hopefully Zoloft Kolzig's agent isn't going to destroy the team chemistry that he is hoping to preserve (sarcasm)

Tyler said...

I think BJ has been the Caps' most consistent netminder this year. That said, I don't understand why the Caps didn't send a second-rounder and Johnson to the Habs for Huet and an x-th rounder in '09. Would have solved a 'problem' for both teams.

NS said...

tyler -

the Habs have a decent young backup already in Halak. I don't think they would want to take on more salary with BJ

Ogre said...

My only problem (or non problem) by saying Olie has a chip on his shoulder is that Olie's the kinda guy who plays BETTER with a chip on his shoulder. When he's angry, the stops come. So do the gloves to the face. Regardless, it's bound to be more entertaining.

Look - the last few years we've had hugs as our coach. "Dainius...would you like to play?" Seriously. Hanlon wanted everyone to play. We need to go at it from a mindset of "We have 18 games, and we want to win all 18. And if someone's not happy, and the wins don't make them happy, see ya."

sonia said...

recently i keep reading about how olie is super professional and all that, and between this whole debacle, interviews this year, and his usual in-game tantrums, i'm failing to see it. the one who got shafted in this situation is johnny- i really feel terrible for him. i wish GMGM had traded him- i think johnny deserves that.

Iffy said...

What about the forwards? The commenters here seem "a lot" more in tune with reality than the average mouth breather commenter over at WAPO's Capital's Insider.

I've got a family set of #53 jerseys and a Disneyworld/Caps vacation planned to Florida at the end of March.

If the main reason for the trip was to see #53 in action, should I cancel my trip? I probably won't because of the Disney aspect of the trip, but I'd still like to put the question out there.

Has anyone a good idea of the waiver implications and hence the Caps plan for the bubble forwards?

Looking forward to your input.

Jan said...

Olie is fine. His agent is a jerk. Aren't they all? Isn't it a job requirement? (Didn't you guys see 'Jerry Maguire'?)

Perfect scenario from the point of view of GMGM: Huet shines from now to April, having re-gained his luck, his self-confidence, and his timing. He carries us into at least the 1st round. Olie is his backup but is thrilled for him and the team and is rooting hard for success. Johnny roots equally hard and sincerely, but from the broadcaster's box, right next to Locker. Just after we get bounced from the playoffs by [insert hateful and undeserving team name here], Olie announces his retirement and becomes the team VP for marketing and community relations. Hugs and kisses all around, all very earnestly genuine. A few days after that, GMGM inks Huet to a 4-year deal. Next season, he and Johnny take us to the next level, as Ovie & Co. mature into genuine winners. At the first game next autumn, Olie’s number is retired. More heartfelt sincerity, layers upon layers.

Am I Just a Fehr Weather Friend?
R Eric Fehr 8 games, 1-1-2, and a plus 2
Question: Are these the numbers that I expected from Fehr? Or is eight games too few to get all poo-pooey and judgmental over? Am I wrong or did he earn all of these points in the last game, riding shotgun to Brooksie? On the other hand, his one goal was masterful. He was in a high traffic area, yet very focused. And man he was fast. Good hands! He seemed to be working well with Brooksie, from whom he is now separated, right? Here’s hoping he can continue to help. Do I need to worry that they will send him back to Hershey?

One of the Best Sports Names EVER (particularly for a pitcher)
Has to belong to the Nat’s 19-year-old phenom, Josh Smoker. Is this a great name or what? Guaranteed success on the mound. Plus he’s kinda cute.

The Peerless said...

Anonymous said...
Will we see you tonight at Clyde's?

Come one, come all, let's raise some money to keep the only public DC High School hockey team skating.

Unfortunately, you will not see me tonight. I was involved in a car accident about a month ago, and without getting into the minutiae, the condition that developed as a result has resisted treatment. I have another medical appointment late today, which would likely make getting to the event on time tough, and I've been advised to: a) stay off my feet, and b) refrain from alcohol (due to medication).

Tyler said...

If you're a GM, do you want Halak as your backup on a playoff team? I sure don't. I'd rather have a veteran, and Halak in the AHL.

Billy said...

Caps- 4 Points

OV- 3 Goals, 5 Points

Huet will not play all that great but solid enough to win now that we have a second line Center. Kolzig will play lights out on Sat because he is pissed. He gets pissed often but he does step it up when he is mad.

ALSO: We won't be able to find a Wing for our 2nd Line. We will continue to shuffle FLASH, LAICH, FEHR and maybe COOKE. Once Clark comes back our lines will look like this tho:


If the 3rd plays like they did in Minnesota not only are we going to make the playoffs, but we might do some damage.

Goodbye Q. Laing and enjoy your rest David and Matt.

Chimaera said...

I can't say I see Olie just riding off into the sunset if Huet gets hot.

If the Caps get into the playoffs and Huet is the main guy, there is 0 chance that competitive this is my team Olie Kolzig keeps his yap shut.

He just is used to playing as the #1 and having been the good soldier and valiantly weathered the storm until this year, only to see someone else brought in at the deadline steal his playoff experience? You think he'd be ok with that? Stealing his thunder? His reward? His return to the spotlight? I could see him swallowing his pride and going along, but the day after the playoffs are done the scathing "McPhee is a rat" Tarik exclusive is front page news.

JP said...

@ Chimaera: Olie was given every chance to show he still deserves to be the #1 goalie on this team and didn't do so. Hell, he'll probably still be given more chances than he should be given to show it.

He has no one to blame but his own declining skills, sadly.

JP said...

Not, of course, that that means he won't still spout off about it, as we've seen (which may have been your point).

Chimaera said...

That is what I was getting at.

Yeah, he has had numerous chances this season to turn it on. He will still probably get a few more chances (even at the expense of a playoff push). If he plays bad against Toronto, I can't say that would be his last game.

Pretty much had a handpicked #2, his choice of when to practice, no pulling when he is off his game, his run of goaltending coach/input, being pretty much given the run of the 'room. He has been given a pretty much blank check for the last 3-4 years.

Zoloft Kolzig pretty much needs to get with the program. I buy the "yeah, I'm winning, so how is it a bad season" bit only so far. Yeats probably could of won some of those games Olie. Would that mean he had a good season?

I understand he is upset, I can't really blame him. I'd be upset at my game as well. The thing that will forever tarnish my memories is if he acts like a rat when the team is on the brink of getting back into playoffs. King Clancy aside, putting me first issues over the team will taint his stay. He also owes Johnson a giant apology. He has earned his spot, Olie's awful play has left him out to dry.

Billy said...

Sorry for my previous post, I thought this was a prediction for the weekend but after reading it looks like its a rant on the Goalie situation.

Best Case Scenario: Huet plays like the #1 goal tender that he has proven to be. Johnson sits and is pissed but doesn't make a big deal about it. End of the year Kolzig tests the free agent market and realize there is not a lot of takers for a 38 year old goaltender who had the worst Save Percentage in the league last year. He retires, Johnson backs up Huet until our prospects are ready. Kolzig's number gets retired.

Worst Case Scenario: He acts like a pissed off professional athlete that we have all grown to love because he has carried this franchise on his back for so many years. It becomes a distraction because the team is split on who should play more because Huet is not playing that well. We end up not making the playoffs, we loose Huet and Kolzig to free agency and Johnson is our guy but still hates GMGM for making him sit the last 18 games of the season. Ted said it best on his blog this morning... "Every trade deadline move comes with risk. Welcome to the NHL" We will see

The Peerless said...

Sports are as close to a pure meritocracy as you see these days. Perform, and you're rewarded (with money, playing time, prestige). Don't, and you're gone.

This is an 18-game audition for two guys who will be UFAs next season. Winner gets the prize.

Huet probably has more options that will become available when he hits UFA status (primarily because of age), but for now this is just a two-man contest to see who can get hot and lead the Caps to the next level.

Jan said...

"If the Caps get into the playoffs and Huet is the main guy, there is 0 chance that competitive this is my team Olie Kolzig keeps his yap shut."

I disagree with this. Olie is no dolt. Nor is he an asshole. He knows knows knows that his time in the #1 spot, perhaps on the ice at all, is numbered in the very small numbers. His agent is wrong (and ranting irresponsibly) when he says that his client has years of productivity ahead of him. Olie's numbers tell him and us and everyone in the entire universe all we need to know.

As I said, I believe that Olie is going to be fine with all of this. For heaven's sake he started to talk about retirement last summer, I recall. He knows, just as well as anyone that as Peerless said [hey, get well soon!!], it's a meritocracy and his time is nearly up. Not that there isn't a place for him and his class act in the organ-I-zation. Ted is missing a beat if he ignores Olie's ticket sales / good will ambassador yada yada potential. And our dear old Uncle Ted rarely misses a marketing beat, as we know.

Okay all that being settled, let's talk about Eric Fehr.

Scott said...

I think it's safe to say the Fans are making a much bigger deal about this than the players. Maybe we should just shut the hell up for a while unless/until something actually happens

CD said...

i think the most important thing we've all glossed over is peerless' doc's recommendation that one should not drink while on meds. Seriously, is there a better time than that TO drink?

Iffy said...

The AHL Clear Day rosters have been released.

Of note, Fehr is on the list and Laing is not.

Does anyone know what happens if Laing does get sent down? I think he has to clear waivers. If he does clear, it appears he cannot play in Hershey.

According to NHLSCAP, Laing is signed for next year.

Looking for CBA experts...