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has the offseason changed your opinion?

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Old
07-11-2011, 01:30 PM
  #51
Codependent
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I'm hoping Hamrlik-Green works out, but its still a question mark. I like Halpern and Ward's addition even if they had to over pay on Ward and I like Brouwer too. I think they all added missing elements. Obviously they still don't have a proven 2nd line center and I think Johanson has a better chance of being that guy then Brooks but he could use some more time to develop. Vokoun is the big coup and potential game changer but he's not proven in the playoffs yet, so there's only one way to find out. I'm more optimistic about the players then I was going into the off season but I'm just as pessimistic about the coach. Green and Semin performed a little better but they both still have health and performance concerns and sadly now Backstrom is a concern as well, though I believe a coaching change would do him well. Also, I don't believe players like Backstrom are quitting on Bruce necessarily but I do believe they lack confidence and focus under him and he is unable to exercise leadership effectively enough at high pressure moments, especially when the going gets rough. I'm concerned they make it to the next round and then lose and they keep Bruce anyway and look more and more like the Sharks, although the Sharks are more successful then them at this point. I'd like to think the combination of leadership, goal tending, experience and toughness they've added helps change the chemistry of the team and that they overcome their past failures. I think the further development of Johanson and Carlson-Alzner will help as well. I would be glad to be proven wrong about the coaching- he certainly should have a good shot with this squad.

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Old
07-11-2011, 01:44 PM
  #52
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basics. teams that move the puck up the ice as if to a plan generally do so defensemen to forwards. by game two of the second round wideman was out and both green and carlson injured. by game three wideman and green were out and carlson should have been.

lets be honest that is serious problem when there are only 8 teams left alive.

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Old
07-11-2011, 01:58 PM
  #53
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Matt Bradley: 6'3"
Boyd Gordon: 6'0"
Eric Fehr: 6'4"
Jason Arnott: 6'5"
Marco Sturm: 6'0"

Joel Ward: 6'1"
Troy Brouwer: 6'2"
Jeff Halpern: 6'0"
Mattias Sjogren: 6'2"

Up front, we got rid of some big bodies for some slightly smaller (but by no means small) bodies. The difference is that, aside of Arnott and Bradley, none of those big guys really played like they were big guys. And Arnott was inching closer to the door (if NJ or his play in the playoffs was any indication, I highly doubt he could have kept up a high level of play all year with us). Bradley was a quality guy and I love him, but Hendricks and Brouwer made him more than expendable, nor did I really think he could be a driving physical force on a cup winner. The guys we brought in use their size a lot more than the guys we sent packing.

I feel more confident about this team than I did at the end of the season. We haven't been "tough to play against" since the days of Konowalchuk. This team is more assertive than it was last year. Ovechkin, and arguably Chimera, were really the only players on the roster last year who would attempt to assert their will on the ice, both with and without the puck. Guys like Semin, Green, and Backstrom found holes in the opponent and exploited them, but they didn't control the opponents' play on both ends of the ice. They play a reactive and opportunistic game. We had too many players like that, and now we have some more that play a tenacious and pro-active game, that try and control the play all over the ice.

But my confidence has limits. We still lack a proven 2C and our center depth is non-existant. If Laich ends up back on the wing or a center gets hurt, who is our 3C? Sjogren? Eakin? Halpern? Hendricks? Beagle? All acceptable options for a stretch of games in the regular season, but right now I wouldn't be comfortable with any of them in that role when the games matter. God forbid our centers suffer a rash of injuries similar to our PMD last season.

And we have negative cap space. We're cap compliant given LTIR, but we don't bank any space that way, so the only players we can add at the deadline are more injury replacements.

Our powerplay is still a mystery. Hamrlik gives us another option at the left point should Boudreau move Ovechkin and Brouwer another option in front of the net, but I don't think any of us really questioned whether we had the pieces needed for a succesful powerplay in the past. We just need to find a system to allow it to flourish and adjustments to keep it flourishing. That's on the coach more than the personnel.

We have hungry vets in Vokoun, Hamrlik, and Halpern. We have cup winners in Knuble and Brouwer. We kept Laich around. Hopefully there are enough leaders in the room to keep everyone motivated and hungry, and to offset any truths to the common perception of Boudreau.

This is the most well rounded the Ovechkin Capitals have ever been. But every team has warts. We just have to hope ours are less grotesque than the rest of the league's.

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Old
07-11-2011, 02:02 PM
  #54
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Fehr at 6'4" is really stretching it! Playing big is more affective then just being big.

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Old
07-11-2011, 02:22 PM
  #55
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If the plan is for Laich to play center, and everything coming out of the organization says that, then I have no doubt he can be an effective 3C.

And based on his play in the 2nd half last year and in the playoffs I am confident Johansson can be an effective 2C.

But the way Boudreau loves to shuffle lines after every subpar period I am sure every centerman on the roster will get a chance to center every winger on the roster at some point.

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Old
07-11-2011, 02:25 PM
  #56
Mystlyfe
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Sjogren - Laich - Ward

Shutdown line. Roll it.

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Old
07-11-2011, 03:06 PM
  #57
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Quote:
Originally Posted by txpd View Post
basics. teams that move the puck up the ice as if to a plan generally do so defensemen to forwards. by game two of the second round wideman was out and both green and carlson injured. by game three wideman and green were out and carlson should have been.

lets be honest that is serious problem when there are only 8 teams left alive.
whether it matters or not.....Pit, minus SC and EM, went 7 games....Caps got swept. Lets not forget TB was missing a very good D and forward too....and, it was a sweep

There is no way around it.....Caps got it handed to them

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Old
07-14-2011, 07:30 AM
  #58
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I'm not very optimistic. There's been many changes, yet so far none of the major issues have been addressed:

1. Boudreau is still the coach.
2. Our defense hasn't really improved.
3. We're still missing a legitimate 2C. Mojo is progressing, but he's not there yet.

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Old
07-14-2011, 07:54 AM
  #59
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Until Alzner is signed I'll refrain from calling the off-season a complete success.

One thing that I think has happened, is GMGM has separated himself from BB. When GMGM didn't get rid of BB, I was of the feeling that GMGM's career was in the hands of BB having a successful playoffs. BB fails, and they were both out the door next season.

With the moves, and signings that GMGM has pulled in this off-season, I believe he has pulled himself away from BB off-season success/failure. We have gotten tougher, D has improved simply by the fact that Alzner(contract pending)/Carlson are older, and will more then likely improve. I call the Hanna/Hamrlik a even swap. If we can get the same or similar season out of Erskin that would be a huge bonus.

We have gotten rid of a few injury bugs, and added some quality pieces. The off-season still hinges on the resigning of Alzer though.

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Old
07-14-2011, 11:49 AM
  #60
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Atlas View Post
I am, of course, not impressed again this offseason.

Gaffes: signing Laich at all, signing Laich--a utility infielder--to an All-Star SS contract, keeping Boudreau around for more punishment

The moves that were made were not cohesive. If Alzner bails, then the D will actually be bad again. If he stays they should be better with Hamrlik.

Varly was the best goalie we had and he's gone now. Vokoun might help for this year, but what then? Can we sign him for 4-5mill next year? I don't think we can so he is not the long-term solution at G.

Our C depth is comical. Center is the most important posish there is except for goalie. The Caps are eternally weak at C. It's no surprise we get swiftly bounced every year.

The new wingers should add a little energy. But the team
is still way too easy to play against.

Don't shoot the messenger.
I usually agree with most of your takes on things

On this, I respectfully disagree.

Yes, Laich was dramatically overpaid, and you simply do not sign a grinder to a long-term deal.

BUT... when he's on his game, he's a darn good grinder. If we could ever get him to give 100% on every shift, he might actually be worth what he's being paid.

As for the other moves, I like em, especially the return of JH. The late game face-off improvement by having him back will pay instant dividends.

As for Cocoon, all we need is a year or 2. The other 2 ought to be fully ready to assume the duties by then.

BB? Yeah, still the coach, but on a short rope, I'd wager. Anything less than a great start and it wouldn't surprise me if the plug is pulled on him.

Good moves the off-season or not, if Ted truly wants a Cup, I don't see us going much farther with McPhee if we falter.

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Old
07-15-2011, 06:17 AM
  #61
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BTCG View Post
I usually agree with most of your takes on things

On this, I respectfully disagree.

Yes, Laich was dramatically overpaid, and you simply do not sign a grinder to a long-term deal.

BUT... when he's on his game, he's a darn good grinder. If we could ever get him to give 100% on every shift, he might actually be worth what he's being paid.

As for the other moves, I like em, especially the return of JH. The late game face-off improvement by having him back will pay instant dividends.

As for Cocoon, all we need is a year or 2. The other 2 ought to be fully ready to assume the duties by then.

BB? Yeah, still the coach, but on a short rope, I'd wager. Anything less than a great start and it wouldn't surprise me if the plug is pulled on him.

Good moves the off-season or not, if Ted truly wants a Cup, I don't see us going much farther with McPhee if we falter.

That's cool, BTCG. You have more patience than I do with Ted and McPhee, but I appreciate you being intelligent and benevolent about it.

I supported McPhee for years. Regrettin' it. LOL

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Old
07-15-2011, 06:22 AM
  #62
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If they can move Schultz, I'll consider the offseason a success.

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Old
07-15-2011, 12:43 PM
  #63
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Alzner signing makes me happier. Still want to see playoff results though.

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Old
07-15-2011, 12:55 PM
  #64
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Definitely making strides to get better. Based on last year:

Brouwer > Fehr
Ward > Bradley
Vokoun > Varly
Halpern > Gordon
Sjogren < Arnott
Hammer = Hannan

The more I think about it, the more I am thinking that Hammer pickup may be huge. Blocks more shots than Hannan, presumably more mobile, and he can be that late game down a goal LD we have been lacking.

If Marcus progresses as much as he did last year again this year, we may be set at C. That is asking a lot, but with the right linemates, I think it can happen. Otherwise, C is our weakspot.

It comes down to, can Bruce put it together. Teams with less talent have gone farther.

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Old
07-16-2011, 08:47 AM
  #65
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personally I think you guys would be my cup favorites if you guys had a coach who wasn't useless, would have been insane if you could have made a move on Muller. Plus I love the Varly trade and then picking up probably the most underrated goalie in the league for nothing. Second line may be a bit of an issue aswell, appartently noone here is really keen on Laich as the c over Johasson but I think it would work. Who figures to be the lw on that line aswell?

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07-16-2011, 11:30 AM
  #66
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no offense but Muller is a rookie coach. Rookie coaches that look like a sure thing turn out like Johnny Mac all the time.

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Old
07-16-2011, 12:58 PM
  #67
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no offense but Muller is a rookie coach. Rookie coaches that look like a sure thing turn out like Johnny Mac all the time.
Trottier

what happened there anyway?

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Old
07-16-2011, 08:04 PM
  #68
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Question for those following hockey for a longer time than me: other than the fact that Mojo was a rookie last year, what gives you paise about our center depth? MJ had a much better playoffs than Backs, and he seemed to get better with more experience. It seems like we are strong down the middle. We're not at Pittsburgh's level in terms of center depth, but few are.

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Old
07-16-2011, 08:15 PM
  #69
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lard Stanley View Post
Question for those following hockey for a longer time than me: other than the fact that Mojo was a rookie last year, what gives you paise about our center depth? MJ had a much better playoffs than Backs, and he seemed to get better with more experience. It seems like we are strong down the middle. We're not at Pittsburgh's level in terms of center depth, but few are.
Because the Caps have one player that's scored more than 46 points as a center at the NHL level.

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07-16-2011, 08:32 PM
  #70
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Originally Posted by NobodyBeatsTheWiz View Post
Because the Caps have one player that's scored more than 46 points as a center at the NHL level.
So, there's no room for improvement in a 20 year old player? You don't think an improved Mojo can't get 46 points playing with a healthy Semin just by farting on the puck?

Last sentence might be exaggeration.

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Old
07-16-2011, 08:36 PM
  #71
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So, there's no room for improvement in a 20 year old player? You don't think an improved Mojo can't get 46 points playing with a healthy Semin just by farting on the puck?

Last sentence might be exaggeration.
He might, but it's not something you want to depend on as a Stanley Cup contender. Very little proven offensive talent down the middle.

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Old
07-16-2011, 08:41 PM
  #72
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Originally Posted by Lard Stanley View Post
Question for those following hockey for a longer time than me: other than the fact that Mojo was a rookie last year, what gives you paise about our center depth? MJ had a much better playoffs than Backs, and he seemed to get better with more experience. It seems like we are strong down the middle. We're not at Pittsburgh's level in terms of center depth, but few are.

MoJo is a weird player to project. A tip top skater, he competes hard, shows good hockey sense, a hard shot, sometimes good passing, good positioning. But for the life of me I don't know what all that adds up to. I can't think of a past NHL player like him. Is he skilled enough to be the rock at 2C. Not this year IMO. Maybe one day. Maybe not. But he doesn't seem right at 3C either. Maybe as he gets older he'll be the perfect 3C. That's my best guess.

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Old
07-16-2011, 09:42 PM
  #73
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the difference between last offseason and this os, is i know whats coming, that makes it even worse, i must warn u since i will spread my hatorade all over this board, u may block me now.

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Old
07-16-2011, 09:54 PM
  #74
NobodyBeatsTheWiz
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the difference between last offseason and this os, is i know whats coming, that makes it even worse, i must warn u since i will spread my hatorade all over this board, u may block me now.
Or, you could not troll, which would be better for everyone.

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Old
07-16-2011, 10:09 PM
  #75
usiel
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Atlas View Post
MoJo is a weird player to project. A tip top skater, he competes hard, shows good hockey sense, a hard shot, sometimes good passing, good positioning. But for the life of me I don't know what all that adds up to. I can't think of a past NHL player like him. Is he skilled enough to be the rock at 2C. Not this year IMO. Maybe one day. Maybe not. But he doesn't seem right at 3C either. Maybe as he gets older he'll be the perfect 3C. That's my best guess.
IMHO everything that he showed this past season projection wise looks like his top end is a 2C..with his speed and hockey sense 3C would be the bottom projection.

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