Sunday, November 02, 2008

Gabby Calls Out His Captain

"You have to have the leadership in the room to motivate them internally. I know we do have it. It's just whether anybody is shy about it because [of] their game. A lot of guys won't do it unless they think their game is going good enough where they can do it. It's like, 'How can I stand up and say something if I'm playing like crap?'" - Bruce Boudreau, 11/2/08

Buy or sell Gabby calling out Chris Clark (or is he possibly talking about someone else)?

28 comments:

tim :) said...

Well it's obvious Clark is the target - he's nothing like the player he used to be. But who would you make captain if Clark was removed of it? Poti? Fedorov? Ovechkin doesn't want it (yet) especially with his play this season and off-ice struggles lately.

DMG said...

I doubt Boudreau would strip Clark of the captaincy in the midst of the season, especially without a clear leader to replace him (I personally think Fedorov would be the best choice).

Maybe for next season Ovechkin's going to be in a position to lead the team. I doubt Fedorov will be back and I don't think Poti's the type of guy to take over that kind of role. If Clark is out as captain and Ovechkin's not ready they could just go with several players wearing 'A''s instead of a captain. The darkhorse candidate would be Brooks Laich who is of course all things to all Capitals fans (and rightfully so).

tim :) said...

@DMG: Good point, I didn't even think of Laich. I don't see Clark losing it midyear barring some type of injury (and he didn't even lose it through that last year).

Laich seems like a strong candidate for at least an 'A' next season.

Come to think of it, this team is lacking substantial leadership. The only real leader, from what I've seen is Fedorov, simply because he's a vet with plenty of experience and has a strong connection with his fellow Russians.

Laich '09 !

Anonymous said...

Fedorov is this team's on-ice metronome of sorts. He may not be the captain but he's the one that plays with the maturity and composure necessary to lead by example.

DMG said...

Clark missing so much time due to injury and his reduced role (he's ahead of only Brashear, Bradley, and I think Fehr in terms of ice time), plus Ovechkin's inevitable assumption of the captaincy mean that Clark's essentially a lame duck. As for next season, I think the big question is whether Ovechkin's ready to wear the 'C'. If he is, give it to him. If not, there are a few options, any of which I think would be fine:

* let Clark continue to wear the 'C' until Ovechkin's ready

* Go to a co-captain system like the team had with Witt and Konowalchuck a number of years ago with Clark and Ovechkin - let's Ovechkin get eased into the captaincy and it's not as drastic as simply taking it from Clark.

* Go without an official captain, just three players wearing 'A''s. Depending on availability it'd probably be from the pool of Clark, Ovie, Nylander, Poti, and Laich.

* Rotate the 'C' from month-to-month like the Wild do. Excluding April the hockey season's only six months long. Use the five mentioned above plus Fedorov (if he's back), Bradley, maybe even Green, or another player who has proved themself over the course of the season - after all, at this time last year, who thought we'd be talking about Laich?

MacVechkin, fka JR said...

I don't know if it's officially a call out, but it is what it is. Clark is doing nothing, so it could indeed be hard for him to step up and challenge the guys.

sonia said...

whoa, where is all this talk about stripping clark's captaincy coming from? what he's saying is that given his admittedly not-so-great play lately, clark might not feel comfortable motivating others. i think what bruce is saying is that he should be doing it anyway.

pepper said...

I'm beginning to think of Clark as captain the way I thought of Hanlon as coach: the right guy for a particular, transitional time and mix of players, but maybe no longer the right captain for THIS team, now. I don't know, its still early.

MinorTthreat said...

Where's Messier when ya need him :)

breed16 said...

@ pepper: Not just the right captain for this mix, but maybe not the right kind of player. He's looked lost out there with our skill players, and I can't tell if it's just rust or the kids have just passed him by...

breed16 said...

*wrong captain for this mix

DMG said...

I don't know if it's officially a call out, but it is what it is. Clark is doing nothing, so it could indeed be hard for him to step up and challenge the guys.

I don't know if that's necessarily true. Clark may not be producing but the problem with the Capitals has been effort and focus, neither of which are areas I've noticed Clark slacking in.

HotDog88GT said...

On the plus side, we're not waiting for game #20 to try to light a fire under players' asses.

jason said...

Fedorov already is the captain. He just doesn't talk to the refs.

I think Green would be a good choice if he's up to it. I'm not sure that I would do anything just yet though, Clark isn't dead yet.

NS said...

@pepper - agree on Clark and the timing. Feds is the unofficial captain of this team...

@jason - i think Green is actually one of the last players i would choose for captaincy.


also, i don't think Ovi is ready for the "C".

Ogre said...

If you're flat out reassigning captains, Feds gets the C, and Laich and Nylander get A's.

No doubts.

Anonymous said...

I think the team leader (Captian) needs to be called out, when you have a lack of effort problem.

I don't see the awesume forechecking that we had going last seaso yet. Other teams had no time to set-up and make a outlet pass. We created so many scoring chances from our forechecking pressure.

The one other thing I think we are missing is a game-changer body checker. Remember the days of LOU, he would go out and set the tone of a game on the first shift, or if things were not going well, the banger line would hit everything in site.

DrinkingPartner said...

I think Ovechkin's the clear choice. On the ice, he leads by example, and off the ice, he takes care of the rookies (not only Russian -- look at Backstrom last year). He's walking the walk and is getting to the point to where he can comfortably talk the talk, even in high pressure, high stress situations. I think he's proven himself worthy/ready for the 'C,' personally.

But I also don't think that Clark should be stripped of it, unless Boudreau really feels that he's either outlived his captainly-usefulness, or that he's simply lost the ability to lead.

I think that Ovechkin should be captain with a very steady tandem of Fedorov and Clark supporting him.

b.orr4 said...

I got a chance to visit practice this morning and it was clear to me who's the real de facto captain of this team. Ovehckin was all over the ice; talking to teammates, offering words of encouragement, tapping guys on the shin pads and generally being a real presence on the ice. Clark, on the other hand, was nearly invisible. Never heard a word out of him, never saw him interacting much with anybody. I know Chris and AO are totally different personalities and I personally think the captaincy thing is overrated, but it's so obvious that Alex is the leader of this team that I think it's time his leadership is formalized. Unless Ovechkin really doesn't want the spot, it might be a good idea for Clark to voluntarily step down and let Alex take over. It might be the jolt this team needs.

JP said...

Not to pile on Clark, but there aren't too many other captains I can think of who, during his entire tenure, was never really his team's number one on-ice leader?

Think about it - when Clark first got the "C," Olie was the undisputed leader of the team, and since then, Ovechkin has emerged as such (not to mention Fedorov's impact).

Pepper nailed it with his Hanlon comparison, something I've thought for a while. I'm not saying take the "C" from him, but if he gave it up, I wouldn't beg him to keep it.

Sidenote: Gabby is bordering on treating Clark unprofessionally, imo. He's not there yet, but he's about a 9-iron from it.

Mike Teegarden said...

Maybe Clark would have an easier time talking it up with his teammates from the pressbox...which is where his play should have him these days.

b.orr4 said...

@mike-Agreed. The fourth line is one of the few combos that has consistenty played to expectations and now we have to break it up to find a place for Clark. Sorry, but Bradley is not third line material. Chris should be in the press box, Brads should stay on the fourth line and Fehr should be skating on the third. That's my uneducated opinion. And yes, jp, Gabby may not be handling this in the best manner (a little unusual for such a player's coach) but maybe Chris is putting them in a tough spot by his lack of leadership.

JP said...

@ b: My question any time a coach calls out a player by name (or close to it) is, "Is everyone being held to the same standard?" I'm not sure that's the case here.

As for the handling of things, if you demote a guy, quietly, you're doing what you have to do. If you rip a guy but keep him in the same role, maybe you're trying to motivate him while showing you still have faith in him. Combine the two at the exact same time when you're talking about a veteran and your captain, and it's marginal, but still OK, I suppose. If Gabby scratches him tomorrow night, however, I think it's gone too far towards scapegoating one guy.

MacVechkin, fka JR said...

As far as his 'play' is concerned, perhaps it's time we realized Chris Clark is not really a 30 goal guy, unless he is having a really good year and is playing with Ovechkin.

http://www.hockeydb.com/ihdb/stats/
pdisplay.php?pid%5B%5D=17873

pepper said...

And now Tarik reports that Uncle Ted attended practice for the second day in a row, and took a stroll around the room today and "briefly" stopped to talk to Clark.

Things are heating up around #17's stall.

Anonymous said...

Clark is clearly not the player that he was due to the groin injury and how long it took him to recover. I have been starting to wonder if he was going to become this year's Clymer or if the tradition of trading the Captain would continue. If he stays, I don't think they will take the captaincy away from him but I think Clark was the target of Boudreau's remarks.

NS said...

at this point, if Clark was benched and replaced by either Fehr/Bourque/misc. hopeful it would be an upgrade.

bleh.

sem-antics said...

is kolzig missed in the room? i think so.