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05-13-2012, 09:40 PM
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Originally Posted by wickedwitch View Post
Our defense is much, much better. Carlson/Alzner are great, (and while I'm a homer, most Bruins and Rangers fans will tell you the same thing) a legitimate first pairing and are only going to get better. Green's still a first pairing player, despite the set backs from injuries. And Orlov looks like a top 4 player. And although Hamrlik is only a short-term solution, he was phenomenal in the playoffs. But even if we lose Green after next season, we will likely only need one more top 4 defenseman.

In goal, both Neuvy and Holtby have the capabilities to be good starting goalies. Holtby has the edge right now. And we have Grubauer, who looks solid, too.

But our forwards are much weaker. Ovi isn't the game changer he used to be, although he's also not as bad as some think. And we still need a 2C. Backstrom's excellent. Our bottom 6 is very good, but if Semin leaves, we need at minimum two more top 6 forwards - a 2C and another 1L/R. Both Laich, Chimera, and Brouwer are decent top 6 wingers, but none are first line players. Johansson or Perrault might be a 2C in the future, possibly as soon as next season, but they aren't quite there, and both might be better suited on the wing. My ideal but not totally absurd solution would be if Kuznetsov came over and we traded some combination of draft picks and prospects for a 2C like Plekanec or Pavelski. But who knows who will be available.

Overall, I like the composition of this team better, because the difference in the defenseman between now and then is greater than the difference in fowards.

That said, I'm not sure if Hunter can get the most out of this team.
That's what I was wondering, how caps fans generally felt about that. I tend to subscribe to the 'should have stuck with the offensive juggernaut style and it would eventually work (ie. as defence and goaltending matures)' theory. But I don't really watch the Caps more than once or twice a year. You guys do all the time. And this years playoffs certainly have not been kind to a run and gun offence.

I guess another way to look at it is: is the reduction in regular season performance and the 'hope' and excitement that creates counterbalanced by a feeling that this is now a team that is better prepared to win playoff series?

Originally Posted by TheMoreYouKnow View Post
That's such a tenuous thing in the NHL. A bad 10 game stretch next fall for Holtby and they may well not have one anymore.
After Crawford's performance in the playoffs last year I thought Chicago had found one too. Maybe they still have, but it certainly is tenuous.

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