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-   -   The Caps new nastier direction (http://hfboards.hockeysfuture.com/showthread.php?t=1397415)

BobRouse 04-06-2013 12:15 PM

The Caps new nastier direction
 
I want to preface this by saying that I am fully aware that there is more than one way to skin a cat..to win a cup...Red Wings w/Lidstrom are a classic example.

However I am liking the new Caps direction. Getting Brouwer then drafting Wilson, getting Latta, extending Erskine, bringing aboard Vol;patti and Oleksy...

Its no secret that we are going to that direction. Not just physical play...but some more nasty. Whether it be acquisitions or just how the Caps will play.

Lets take a look at the Isles game a couple nights back. Wasn't perfect but we won. We outhit them 2-1 and it showed. We took all kinds of liberties with Tavares both before and after the whistle and it clearly intimidated him to the point where Capuano had to move Boyes of his line and insert Matt Martin in the third. I believe that worked and helps achieve victory.

History of the Caps alone should drive home the point.

Lets look at the two teams that made it farthest in playoffs in Caps history.

1990 - We had 10 guys with 100+ PIMS. We cleary intimidated the Devils on the way to an upset in the first round and went deep into the playoffs.

1998 - We had Tinordi/Witt/Klee on the backend. Back then Reekie was sneaky nasty and Gonchar actually hit. Simon/Hunter/Berube was an insane 4th line. Then we had Tikkanen agitating Allison and Yashin. We had Bellows and his fiesty play.

Now we had great teams in 91-92 and 09-10 that quickly faded out of the playoffs and its no secret they had little toughness. Sitting Erskine vs Monty was a critical mistake for instance.

In 08-09 the Pens were far dirtier and more physical than the Caps (Kunitz crosscheck to Varly's face for example). BB didn't dress Brashear that series ..one of his greatest errors as a coach here.

In 07-08 we got Cooke at the deadline but went into the playoffs vs the Flyers. Those first 3 games they would abuse Huet (Briere incident) and intimidate our young players. BB had the turn the other cheek approach (he said so in a press conference essentially)...until game 4.

It started with Semin getting an early roughing retaliation penalty. Later Backstrom delivered a crosscheck to Upshall's face (he was a pain all series) that went undetected. We lost that game but surely deserved to win. Biron played great.

In game 5 we came out as physical as i"ve ever seen in that 1st period and really outplayed the Flyers from then on.

In 86-87 we had a good team but we were not going to make it out of the Patrick division even if we wont the 4OT game vs the Isles. Flyers were nasty that year and bullied their way to a 6-0 record vs us in the regular season.

This was the catalyst for the Hunter trade in 87-88. Had to keep up with the arms race so to speak and match the Flyers toughness. We all know what happened when we faced them in the playoffs that year.

Getting under peoples skin, finishing your checks, standing up for each other and getting physically involved in after whistle scrums...these things are highly undervalued.

Seems like GMGM , after all these years, has reluctantly conceded this point and it building his team in this direction. I think it is great to see and will have long term benefits regardless of what happens this year. Wilson and Latta are a great start.

I personally give credit to GMGM and hope he sticks around so long as he continues this trend. I want to see the rest of the story.

tycoonheart 04-06-2013 12:23 PM

Great post Bob. I said in another thread that this new direction is probably why McPhee didn't sign Semin. And possibly why Forsberg was expendable?

Anyway, the first period against the Isle was great. The physical presence was so evident. There was a series of plays where every line made a crunching hit, led by Ovi of course.

If George really had this epiphany I'm willing to give him another shot to see how this thing shakes out.

Lets see how this group does for the rest of the season first, I guess.

txpd 04-06-2013 12:32 PM

dont go overboard. i forgot voltpatti is even on the team. king by another name. gone next season.

yea, tom wilson looks to be a keeper. mcphee clearly preferred wilson to forsberg. but oleksy is probably not a keeper. caps have green, erskine, carlson, and alzner for next year. if you assume schultz traded or bought out, that still leaves hillen and orlov. you would expect one of schilling or schmidt to be in the lineup next season.

oleksy looks like 9th on the depth chart next year.

PuckBuddy 04-06-2013 12:35 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by txpd (Post 63425041)
dont go overboard. i forgot voltpatti is even on the team. king by another name. gone next season.


LOL Say whaaat?

BobRouse 04-06-2013 12:36 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by tycoonheart (Post 63424713)
Great post Bob. I said in another thread that this new direction is probably why McPhee didn't sign Semin. And possibly why Forsberg was expendable?

Anyway, the first period against the Isle was great. The physical presence was so evident. There was a series of plays where every line made a crunching hit, led by Ovi of course.

If George really had this epiphany I'm willing to give him another shot to see how this thing shakes out.

Lets see how this group does for the rest of the season first, I guess.

Right on. The Caps certainly did establish the tone in the 1st. They were abusing Tavares throughout too especially.

Regardless of this season its the direction I like. Latta and Wilson aren't on the team yet.


TX,

Oleksy is a RD. Green and Carlson ahead of him.

I believe Orlov is left handed isn't he? Erskine, Alzner, Hillen all left handed.

I think its between Oleksy and Kundratek for that 3 RD.

Oates loves the whole handedness thing.

californiacapsfan 04-06-2013 12:38 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by txpd (Post 63425041)
dont go overboard. i forgot voltpatti is even on the team. king by another name. gone next season.

yea, tom wilson looks to be a keeper. mcphee clearly preferred wilson to forsberg. but oleksy is probably not a keeper. caps have green, erskine, carlson, and alzner for next year. if you assume schultz traded or bought out, that still leaves hillen and orlov. you would expect one of schilling or schmidt to be in the lineup next season.

oleksy looks like 9th on the depth chart next year.

Orlov's a hitter, too tho. (My theory on his benching is strength issues after so long sitting, btw)

And on Oleksy, even if you're right, that depth is still great to have. It doesn't really dampen Rouse's point. Tend to agree on Volpatti tho. We'll see for next year if he comes cheap, especially if Hendy wants big $$.

kicksavedave 04-06-2013 12:42 PM

Your point may be made, but I have to wonder why it may have taken GMGM 15 years as a GM to figure this all out now? And even if the roster/prospects looks to be getting nastier in makeup, its hard to believe Adam Oates sees any value in that game or has shown a great willingness to dress the right players and ask them to play that way.

I've said for years that the Cup playoffs are a war of attrition and that teams that wilt when pushed around, never ever go far. A team doesn't necessarily have to dish it out a lot, but they have to be able to take it and frankly its better to dish than to receive that sort of punishment. That's why the teams who count on players like Kozlov, Semin, Flash, MaJo, etc, usually don't go far.... those guys simply wilt when the going gets rough, tough and nasty.

Its nice to see the Caps adding some of the right kind of players... but it still doesn't mean to me that GMGM has changed his philosophy of what it takes to win a Cup or that Oates knows either. But we will find out, won't we?

BiPolar Caps 04-06-2013 12:47 PM

Agree. GMGM is definitely laying the groundwork for next season and the realignment, with the likes of the Pens and Flyers in the same division.

Bob, rather than use certain series as an example, I'll go to something more recent and it was just one game the Winter Classic. In that game Erskine tooled Rupp to the point where Rupp asked him to stop because he lost his contact, then Backstrom got away with one by going up high with a stick I believe on Matt Cooke resulting in Cooke needing trainer care on the bench and going ballistic about it (courtesy of 24/7) and of course the inadvertent but effective Steckel hit. We know the result of that game but I have to believe these three events contributed to that win as much as Fehr scoring the goals and for that matter Ovie's agressive play that resulted in a goal being waived off (Mario's influence for sure).

Capsman 04-06-2013 01:01 PM

Umm, then, why, may I ask, did McPhee draft Forsberg in the first place? Did he see Forsberg as trade bait from the day he drafted him? If that is the case, I'm curious what a #11 pick would have netted straight up. If Erat and Latta are more than we would have gotten for a #11 straight up, it's a great move. If less, then claims of McPhee being visionary are just untrue.

PuckBuddy 04-06-2013 01:04 PM

Actually, txpd, I apologize - that D. J. King comment might be truer than I thought; #24 never played special teams in Vancouver.

Why doesn't Volpatti kill penalties? He has an Ivy league degree and from what I've seen is a good skater. A guy like that should have some special teams or situations role or that's an inefficient use of roster and cap space.

BiPolar Caps 04-06-2013 01:09 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Capsman (Post 63426251)
Umm, then, why, may I ask, did McPhee draft Forsberg in the first place? Did he see Forsberg as trade bait from the day he drafted him? If that is the case, I'm curious what a #11 pick would have netted straight up. If Erat and Latta are more than we would have gotten for a #11 straight up, it's a great move. If less, then claims of McPhee being visionary are just untrue.

From what I've read here and elsewhere is that McPhee was surprised he had dropped to them and hadn't planned for it hence the lengthy discussion and delay when making the decision by GMGM during the draft. The talk was that it was the scouts that had to convince him to pick Forsberg at that time, I suppose they were feeling go for the BPA and sought it out later. Seems Wilson may have been his target all along and there was talk the Flyers were looking at Wilson as well.

Langway 04-06-2013 01:11 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by txpd (Post 63425041)
but oleksy is probably not a keeper. caps have green, erskine, carlson, and alzner for next year. if you assume schultz traded or bought out, that still leaves hillen and orlov. you would expect one of schilling or schmidt to be in the lineup next season.

oleksy looks like 9th on the depth chart next year.

But only Kundratek, who you left out, plays RD so he has a clear advantage in that regard. My guess Schilling doesn't fit this coaching staff as well as the old coaching staff IRT mobility as a high priority and that waiver-exemption keeps Schmidt in Hershey unless he rips it up. That leaves Hillen, Orlov, Kundratek & Oleksy in the mix for spots 5-7 or 8 but I think one of Orlov or Kundratek will be traded this summer (the later being most likely IMO).

Garrett Mitchell also belongs in this overall conversation. He could make for a strong PK and energy depth RW as soon as next year. That said, I'll believe it when I see it on the ice. These players have the capability of bringing much more edge but there also tends to be a complacency surrounding this franchise that extinguishes it.

fedfed 04-06-2013 01:42 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Langway (Post 63426715)
Garrett Mitchell also belongs in this overall conversation. He could make for a strong PK and energy depth RW as soon as next year. That said, I'll believe it when I see it on the ice. These players have the capability of bringing much more edge but there also tends to be a complacency surrounding this franchise that extinguishes it.

Interesting that last night Bears iced Byers - Latta - Mitchell as starters. Mitchell has the least PIMs of the three with 90-something. Byers and Latta well over 100.

MoJoSauce 04-06-2013 02:26 PM

I definitely think the caps are trying to go in that direction. Even last season in the playoffs playing the Bruins the caps were just as nasty as the Bruins, who are notoriously dirty. Alzner calling Lucic a crybaby, the Backstrom suspension for the cross check to the face are clear examples of this team having some grit. Not that those guys will go out and brawl all the time, but they were playing with an edge last year.

BobRouse 04-06-2013 02:58 PM

KicksaveDave

I agree that its taken too long for McPhee to realize this and it is weird that we are acquiring such player with Oates as coach since he was never that kind of player. But it does seem like this is a purposeful direction.

Ref

In the past the Caps have now and then played like they did in the winter classic but it was never consistent mainly bc of the lack of the proper personell.

Mojo

Last year we did stand up to the Bs. I hated Hunter's system but he did get the guys to play hard and as physical as they were able. Heck even Schultz now and then threw his weight around.


I think this new direction is calculated and deliberate. I forgot about minor league guys like Byers. This bodes well for the future.

Its better late than never. Lets hope its not too late for this year.

BiPolar Caps 04-06-2013 03:25 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Langway (Post 63426715)
But only Kundratek, who you left out, plays RD so he has a clear advantage in that regard. My guess Schilling doesn't fit this coaching staff as well as the old coaching staff IRT mobility as a high priority and that waiver-exemption keeps Schmidt in Hershey unless he rips it up. That leaves Hillen, Orlov, Kundratek & Oleksy in the mix for spots 5-7 or 8 but I think one of Orlov or Kundratek will be traded this summer (the later being most likely IMO).

Garrett Mitchell also belongs in this overall conversation. He could make for a strong PK and energy depth RW as soon as next year. That said, I'll believe it when I see it on the ice. These players have the capability of bringing much more edge but there also tends to be a complacency surrounding this franchise that extinguishes it.

Kundratek definitely helps his cause when he has nights like last night scoring 2 goals on 3 shots and finishing the night a plus 3.

I have to think Orlov needs to be paired with a veteran d-man to help his development. A Russian vet d-man might be the best from a communications standpoint.

MoJoSauce 04-06-2013 05:13 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Ref9 (Post 63433817)
Kundratek definitely helps his cause when he has nights like last night scoring 2 goals on 3 shots and finishing the night a plus 3.

I have to think Orlov needs to be paired with a veteran d-man to help his development. A Russian vet d-man might be the best from a communications standpoint.

I think Orlov has done well to improve his english this season. Him being down in Hershey without any Russians on the team essentially forced him to learn english, which I think he was quoted by RMNB as saying it has helped him adjust more.

Orlov does play with a nastiness few of our Dmen have, but I think his concussion/upper body injury and lengthy absence from the game are the cause of him not being up on the big squad right now

RandyHolt 04-06-2013 06:04 PM

Good thread Rouse

George clearly has started targeting players that he doesn't have to hope will give their all on the ice. Those that want a clean game aka the Mario Visionary types, must be horrified.

Its not a coincidence Forsberg is gone, and Latta and Wilson are here. Although I think its obvious we never really wanted FF, but just went with the media's BPA and regretted it and moved him at the first chance.

In before someone saying aggressive players only take dumb penalties. As is standing up for a teammate is always detrimental to the team. Seen just last week when Voracek went after Oleksy. Quickly down 2, the Flies still rallied and somehow still won. Mystifying to some, not to me. Recently getting smacked around by Boston reaffirmed George had more work to do.

It cannot be easily measured - how standing up for one another solidifies the team, but think its safe to say no one wants a team that doesn't stand up for themselves, including the ice capade brigade.

While I think Hendricks will be gone next year, I do wish we could retain him without overpaying. I want Volpatti in if not.

msrulo 04-06-2013 10:03 PM

I have to agree with this thread. In 1-2 years expect a scary Caps team, if not already.

Acallabeth 04-06-2013 10:18 PM

Good thread.
I wouldn't call this nasty direction, but certainly getting rid of "too nice" image.

g00n 04-06-2013 10:23 PM

Like they used to say hitchhikers, "ass gas or grass".

In the case of the Caps, it's "production or destruction". If you're not scoring or setting up goals, you'd better be able to knock some bodies around. No more free rides for softies who don't score, or "grinders" who just skate around and occasionally get in the way.

artilector 04-06-2013 11:22 PM

W/e.. bad asset management -- doesn't matter what type of a team you build, it ll still be inferior on balance.

BobRouse 04-08-2013 07:02 AM

Maybe its just me seeing things the way I want to see them as opposed to how they really are but it does seem like we are turning things up.

Targetted Tavares the other day and brutally outhit the Islanders. We were in JTs face all night and giving him shots both before and after the whistle.

Last night Fehr was getting under St Louis' skin and we outhit the Bolts as well.

I know the folks at RMNB, and alot of other posters here, would really prefer Wolski in the lineup over Volpatti. The numbers would clearly support their case...

However we lose a scoring winger and instead of putting WW in Oates put in Volpatti.

Kundratek and Orlov in the AHL as opposed to Erskine and Oleksy.

Hillen playing an "in your face" style game lately. Carlson hitting more than ever.

Maybe its a coincidence. Maybe my eyes are deceiving me. But with the recent acquisitiions, line up decisions and what I can see on the ice it does look like a deliberate move.

RandyHolt 04-08-2013 07:34 AM

ROR

Right on Rouse

I think we outhit Tampa ~2:1. It was great seeing Fehr getting fired up, and Stamkos had to go to the rescue. We should have taken him off as well. But small steps.

I have missed the past 2 games but am thrilled to hear Hillen seems to be on defensive in your face assignments. While he is not a perfect defender, at least he tries.

Carlson is hitting a little more, caring lets call it. Oleksy seems to have cooled off but is fresh off of getting us 2PPGs via a black eye.

It seems like as Ovi goes, the whole team goes. And its not goals. Its Ovi hitting and leading the charge. George is slowly assembling a cast that can try and keep up.

let me add to the list of tough guys that George has added. Eric Fehr. While he will not drop the gloves he a big scrappy SOB that does not back down.

stanleycaps98 04-08-2013 07:53 AM

Priceless is seeing the reaction to Fehr on the Jets board.


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