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02-06-2012, 01:48 PM
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Originally Posted by RandyHolt View Post
I like what Dale is trying to do too. We tried run and gun, it had its chance, we cant complain. Bruce gave it the old college try, but it just didn't work out. I think we were close, but needed our stars healthy. Hindsights using Varly, yet not going back to Theo, his number 1 all year. Versus Montreal, to haunt the former team, nor against Pitt. Sitting Green when completely ineffective via injury is another.

The caps of old, dump and chase, we were told we lost because we just didn't quite have the offensive firepower. We have that firepower now, only we are not shooting at every chance that this team has done for decades.

Dale is trying to be opportunistic, something we have not tried before. We have the firepower at full health. With our injuries, it remains a work in progress even more.

And no BTCG, the team showed up versus Pitt. We were just breaking down. Ovi missing his breakaway may have been the straw that broke the camels back. But more, it was Varly who had over acheived and was over worked, and simply broke down. Most all fans saw the writing on the wall in games 5 + 6, Varly was coming back to earth - fast. Green, Poti, Mo, Erskine, obviously injured and it showed. Semin had been cut down proper by Orpik, maybe even a broken wrist.

Pitt was not the beginning of the end. Ovi and the team gave their all the next season and won the presidents. Montreal was the back breaker.
I was at game 7: the Caps weren't. At heart, they're quitters. They quit when the played the Pens, quit when they played Montreal, quit when they played Tampa, and finally, quit on BB.

As for what Dale has accomplished: although I don't hold him responsible, the truth is, the team doesn't play a full 60 minutes, even when they win.

Helen Keller could see that.

What did Einstein say about doing the same thing and expecting a different result?

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02-06-2012, 07:15 PM
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Just checked in to see if anyone wished to dispute my last post.

I'm glad the board had the common sense not to.

I say we put personal differences aside, and try to come up with a united front on this.

ONE- I think the team will make the playoffs. If you don't, then shame on you. There's something about rooting against the team, even if it's to get rid of an obvious problem, that just doesn't sit right with me.

TWO: Once we're there, luck could, as the song goes "be a lady", and who knows? Stranger things have happened.

But if we end up like we have the last few years, I think Ted needs to make a change.

It truly worries me, that he may not.

If you ever get the chance, pick up a copy of Jim Bouton's "Ball Four."

Bouton explains quite well, and dispells the myth, that owners buy teams because they want to hang around the locker room. Professional sports is/are big business, and the primary goal of any owner... is to make money.

So consider: Ted has met his primary goal.

Anyways, I promised HS (who is a GREAT addition to the staff here, and who I hope is using my notes to improve his brisket) that I would be nicer, and I keep my word. We are all in this together, and I promise one thing: if somehow Dale can make the improbable happen, I'll be his loudest cheerleader. I truly like the guy.

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02-07-2012, 08:23 AM
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Originally Posted by Langway View Post
I would put the blame on Ovechkin's 'play my way into shape' off-season post-Montreal than any shift in approach. The shift in approach didn't happen until the offense went flat a couple months into the season.

So...five players basically. Healthy ones anyway. That's not a team. That's a handful of stars and a bunch of plugs, which is not how to build a team that has much of any identity. A better supporting cast up front and maybe I'd agree. If that was the case I don't think they would be getting dominated territorially nearly as much. Backstrom alone had them sagging much less.

The problem IMO is less approach (albeit not ideal) than dumb, lazy forwards and very mediocre depth.
No the change in approach happened when they went into training camp the next season with the idea of dialing the offense back a notch or two in order to try to be better defensively.

Did it help that apparently Ovechkin and Backstrom spent the whole offseason feeling sorry for themselves and came into camp not ready for the long season? No but the team was in the process of going away from what they did best already.

Yes they took a drastic step in that direction when Semin's great 20+ game run to start the season came to and end and the offense dried up as a result.

And yes 5 high end players and a few more guys good enough to keep up is more than enough to dictate how a team should play. Did the Oilers of the day have more Gretzkys, Kurris, Messiers, Coffeys, and Andersons or pluggers? I guess they should have been sitting back and letting other teams take the game to them also.

And as far as how many puck moving defensemen did the Caps have when they were an offensive powerhouse goes having the best offensive blueliner in the league putting up a point a game and scoring 20 goals playing 25+ minutes a night for you a plenty. The current team is stacked with blueliners who can move the puck very well even with Green on the shelf. But instead of trying to use their abilities to maintain the puck and drive offense they are asked to play in their own zone all game.

By my count Ovechkin, Backstrom, Semin, Johansson, Perreault, Green, Wideman, Carlson, and Orlov are all much better suited to an attacking puck possession style of play than what they are doing now. And Laich, Chimera, Hamrlik, Alzner, and up until this year Knuble are good enough to play complimentary roles offensively in a puck possession system.

They also have a much more proven goaltender now in Vokoun to backstop a risk taking attacking system of play than they did before.

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02-07-2012, 08:36 AM
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Originally Posted by BTCG View Post
I was at game 7: the Caps weren't. At heart, they're quitters...
I don't feel they are quitters per se but I do feel that as a group they are mentally fragile and don't handle adversity all that well, especially in pressure situations.

If they were simply quitters they wouldn't have had nearly as many come from behind victories during their offensive heyday as they did and they had a ton.

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02-07-2012, 08:46 AM
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Did Hellen Keller truly see that the caps quit in game 7 against Montreal? She was quite the woman, I suppose.

That late Ovi goal wiped out for Knuble being near the crease, the result of quitting? The later Laich goal, quitters luck? That late shot from Ovi from the RW boards off the blade of Halak, was there a white flag on his stick? Our high shot total, a symbol of our great surrender?

Rub your eyes hard enough, you can see anything you want to see. Us fans may lack common sense, but we can see just fine.

I saw a demoralized team in game 4 versus Tampa. That's it. Regular season Ovi became demoralized after Montreal, but he and the team never quit in a single playoff game as you allude, nor in any game 7's.

Last edited by RandyHolt: 02-07-2012 at 10:08 AM.
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02-07-2012, 08:55 AM
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I don't think they quit against Pitt. On the other hand, with the exception of 4-5 players, they sure as hell quit against Tampa.

They used to be tough as nails (see December through April 2007/8). But they might just be broken now.

Last edited by HSHS: 02-07-2012 at 11:57 AM. Reason: I hope no explanation is necessary. ;)
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02-07-2012, 08:58 AM
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Agreed that they didn't quit against Pitt. They lost confidence after the missed breakaway, but the effort was still there.

I don't think they quit against Tampa either. To quit, you have to show up in the first place.

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02-07-2012, 10:50 AM
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Originally Posted by Millhaus View Post
No the change in approach happened when they went into training camp the next season with the idea of dialing the offense back a notch or two in order to try to be better defensively.
Not dramatically so. It was a lack of motivation and performance from the heavy lifters that led to the real clampdown in December. Either way, it's on the coaching staff to get the most out of the roster. Veering from one unbalanced approach to another just shows that McPhee has no idea what it takes. He just got lucky that he happened to have a young, hungry team and an offensive-minded coach that had the spark for a while. The true test is staying relevant and this team isn't relevant right now.

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02-07-2012, 11:54 AM
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Originally Posted by BTCG View Post
Just checked in to see if anyone wished to dispute my last post....
No but I could use your ball washing recipe to get a promotion at work.

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02-07-2012, 12:28 PM
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I don't believe they're quitters. I think they have confidence issues, and that isn't always the same thing.

I do feel in a lot of ways they're maligned for some fault or slight they've caused, and it certainly hasn't helped when a large portion of the media anointed them and then has wanted to see them screw it up.

I also think they had some swagger that might have not been earned. They took some shots and so far they haven't been able to get that corrected.

That said, I think there are a number of teams who have been dogs until they won and weren't.

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