Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Tuesday Roundup

So, umm... Brian Pothier's done, right?

I mean, he's not coming back - ever - is he?

Pothier has missed the last 19 games with a concussion (or post-concussion syndrome) and apparently hasn't even been seen around K-Plex in a month or more after getting crushed by Boston's Milan Lucic on January 3rd (the hit is at around the one minute mark of this clip).

If this was Potsy's first concussion, there'd be reason for concern and the expectation that he'd return at some point. But this isn't his first concussion. Or his second. In fact, it's (at least) his fifth as an NHLer (and who knows how many more he might have had before arriving in the show or that have gone undiagnosed). A quick rundown of the five:
  1. March 22, 2002 (season-ending, missed 10 games)
  2. December 13, 2003 (missed 10 games)
  3. December 28, 2005 (missed no games, but they called it a concussion, so we're calling it a concussion)
  4. January 18, 2007 (missed 10 games)
  5. January 3, 2008 (missed 19 games... and counting)
Five concussions, three in the last 26 months (and even if we don't count that curious December, 2005 noggin knock, it's two significant concussions in the last year). When is enough enough? That's up to the individual player, of course, but given that he's at least five-eighths of the way to Eric Lindros's reported concussion total, there's got to be a good chance that if Potsy's mind isn't made up already (and it probably should be), the doctors (and/or Jesus) will be recommending that the 30-year-old blueliner hang up the skates... before it's too late.

On the "cold, hard reality" side of things, Pothier has 2 years and $5 million left on his current contract and the Caps will continue to make a go of things, for the time being as they have for a month-and-a-half: without one of their top four defenseman. Potsy is one of three blueliners on the squad to be averaging more than a minute of ice time on both special teams units, is the team's second highest points-per-game rearguard on the season and leads the defensemen in plus-minus.

The team has gone 14-6-2 without Pothier in the lineup, which isn't necessarily remarkable in and of itself - he had been benched earlier in the season for poor play - but combining his absence with Tom Poti's recent and potentially lingering injury leaves a couple of gaping holes on the blueline that aren't easily filled and start to look a little bigger than the sum of their parts.

Which brings us back to Pothier's future. If he is to retire, the Caps would have both a need on the blueline (as if they don't already) and the internal cap space to satisfy it. Which, with just a week to go before the trade deadline, makes the status of Brian Pothier's career among the more important questions that we'd like to see answered.

Elsewhere 'Round the Rinks:

One game, 2,473 goals. What is "Gary Bettman's dream," Alex?... Did the Caps almost trade Chris Clark for Nik Antropov last summer?... Here's a better idea - don't like two-minute penalties in OT? Don't commit 'em.

Daily Awards
  • Hart: Radim Vrbata (G, 2A, +2, 4 SOG)
  • Ross: Pavel Datsyuk, Radim Vrbata (3 points each)
  • Norris: Ed Jovanovski (Game-winning goal, A, 3 SOG, 2 hits)
  • Vezina: Mikael Tellqvist (34-save shutout win)
  • Richard: Henrik Zetterberg (2G)
  • Calder: Daniel Carcillo (G, +1, fight, 2 SOG, 2 hits)
  • Aiken: John Grahame (L, 5 goals allowed on 26 shots against)

23 comments:

Tyler said...

Wouldn't you rather read about Sami Lepisto?

Garrett said...

Didn't you get the feeling too that both Clark and Potheir's injuries were just minor and yet both have been out for more than a month now. Clark "tweaked" his groin. Potheir got a bump to the head. Makes me wonder if these injuries are more severe then we were lead to believe.

Only because I have had a Concussion, the recovery time for a mild to medium concussion is 2 weeks. I am sure it's longer as a precaution in the NHL, but that much longer?

Tyler said...

I didn't know it was Potsie's fifth until our host told me last night. (Translation: I had not read/heard that reported in/on WP, WT, CSN.)

But yeah, a fifth concussion... much longer/more troubling than a first concussion.

FAUX RUMORS said...

1) The big question GMGM will have to answer, does he try to 'replace' Pothier now; bolstering the backline for the stretch run, or wait until the offseason?
2) Given the poor overall track record of playoff rentals we wouldn't trade any big assets for blue line depth. With 25 or so potential 'byers' next week, and few 'sellers' the prices could be steep. The oganization seems to be pretty deep at that position anyway

b.orr4 said...

Pothier is a relatively young guy with a couple of kids. He's probably made enough money to live a comfortable life if he never plays another game. If this concussion is that bad then it's probably time to call it quits. However, Lucic needs to be taught a lesson. Brashear (remember, he was that guy who used to beat the crap out of other players?) needs to take on Lucic in the opening minutes of the next game against Boston. And then after he's beat the rookie to the ice, he needs to lean down and whisper " That's for Pothier". That's what real enforcers do.

Tyler said...

Maybe we can trade megalomaniacal commenter(s) for a top-four defenseman. I don't know how many Faux(es) there are, but ya gotta figure that the plurality of the persona would help fill the seats in Sun Belt hockey arenas.

hotdog88gt said...

No rental players, please...

Tyler said...

Excuse me, but Lucic *did* get his ass handed to him in that game: John Erskine did the honors. http://youtube.com/watch?v=WxeHEO4KSb4

Three big shots to Lucic's bean... at the end of the fight Lucic is wiping his face looking for blood that wasn't there.

FAUX RUMORS said...

1) "megalomaniacal" Tyler? Psychiatrists call that 'projecting'! LOL
2) Anyway, all "Faux(es")will be there Wednesday if ya want to discuss this issue?

NS said...

Lepisto or Eminger to take over?

b.orr4 said...

"Excuse me, but Lucic *did* get his ass handed to him in that game: John Erskine did the honors.."

That was before we knew how much damage he did to Pothier's brain. He deserves a second ass kicking and this time by a professional.

dmg said...

I'm with b.orr4 - I didn't know that Pothier had suffered five concussions (I thought this one was his second or third), but since he has, he should probably hang 'em up. Nothing is more important that your health and it's not worth another year or two in the NHL to risk even more brain damage for the next forty years.

Scott said...

I'm all for another ass whooping of Lucic, if for no other reason than just because.

Also, would the NHL please stop trying to completely screw the overtime period. 1 minute penalties - that's just stupid.
Next thing you know they're going to give an automatic point if you try a cool move like Ovies All Star spin in the shootout...

~Mark said...

JP - How does it feel to be the hottest blogger in the Caps blogosphere today? Tarik commented on you in his blog's comments, the message boards are all over this post. It will be interesting to see if Tarik addresses the issue in his "official" column.
Keep up the good work!

hotdog88gt said...

CFADB - Caps Fans Against Dain Bramage.

Tyler said...

Tarik is being out-written on two of the biggest stories on his beat. So it's not surprising he'd notice. ;-)

NS said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
NS said...

the 1 min OT penalty is fckin idiotic. teams will be more likely to take penalties, which means less open ice goodness. if the league wants to increase scoring, this should not go into effect.

stop the tweaking.

JP said...

@ Mark: Not sure what your criteria for "hottest" are, but assuming that they're all wholly related to my physical appearance, I agree and it feels good.

@ everyone else: As Tarik noted in his blog, he can't speculate or take the tone that I do. Hopefully I can add to the overall discussion on the team, but to think that his voice and mine are in any way, shape or form subsitutes is silly.

Tyler said...

No one on Tarik's blog was suggesting he 'speculate' on anything. But for some reason he felt the need to say that. Odd.

Debcapsfan said...

Re the Antropov for Clark "trade"...
I believe the National Post about as much as I believe Garrioch.

haterade said...

tyler, if you hate tarik so much, which you obviusly do so please dont try denying it, why do you continue to read ALL of his work? game write ups, features, blogs, discussions....and dont say its because you love the caps, there are other options, like corey and the times. just give it up, tool box.

dmg said...

I think Tarik does a phenomenal job and the fact that he doesn't comment on anything remotely speculative is because he is a beat reporter for traditional media and as he noted he doesn't like to speculate because someone can easily pick it up and turn it into a rumor.

Anyhow, Tarik did ask Boudreau about Brian Pothier and Boudreau had this to say:

"Brian Pothier, I haven't seen for a while," Boudreau said. "He's still feeling the same as he did. So that means no time soon."

Asked if Pothier is likely done for the season, Boudreau said, "I hope not. But who can tell? They seem to linger and they can just go on and on and on. I can't read them."

I wouldn't be surprised if Pothier has played his last NHL game.