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ECSF Game 2: Caps at Rangers 730 PM at MSG

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Old
05-01-2012, 11:43 AM
  #951
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Originally Posted by Capitlols View Post
I couldn't help but notice Carlson troll Richards all game.
I also noticed Richards trolling the entire Capitals team by making numerous good offensive plays.

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05-01-2012, 11:44 AM
  #952
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People who give a damn think that if the playing time trends continue, they won't win a Cup.
It's interesting fodder for us conspiracy theorists who believed Tarik's Ovi piece earlier this year.

Are they trying to win a cup? Or are they going all in to address and hopefully destroy a rift. If there really is a break between the Russian wingers and everyone else, well Dale has picked his side, and they aren't letting him down. I'm not saying that 8 and 28 are disappointing, they've been mostly very good, but Dale is clearly determined to win or lose as a team -even if you could probably win other ways.

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05-01-2012, 11:44 AM
  #953
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Ovi deserves a bit more but I'm not to mad about that in some situations it makes sense.

Backstrom is dumbest one for me... he's great in all situations Dale wake up. No reason whatsoever not to ride him

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05-01-2012, 11:45 AM
  #954
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If the Caps doesn't win the Cup with this strategy, then DH will most likely be fired (if not this year then next year) or not come back because you guys will run him out of town so what does it matter anyway?



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this and using this strategy is clearly embarrassing the caps franchise player. so far, he has been very professional and very mature with his comments to the media. i doubt very seriously that his rope is infinite. if they dont win the cup doing this or at least make the finals, a very unhappy franchise player may result.

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05-01-2012, 11:46 AM
  #955
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Originally Posted by sonsofcain View Post
I also noticed Richards trolling the entire Capitals team by making numerous good offensive plays.
The Caps trolled themselves.

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05-01-2012, 11:49 AM
  #956
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Can this type of play succeed against better teams or when the worm turns against you? My answer there is no. There is almost no margin for error, bad goaltending, or bad luck.
I'd say the defending Cup champs and this year's conference champs are pretty good teams.

As far as goaltending goes, Holtby has been very good, but I think part of the reason for the style being played here is the need to compensate for some of the flaws in Holtby's game - we're blocking a lot of shots, taking away shooting lanes, and sagging a lot in the D-zone. The end result is that Holtby's rebound control, which looks average at best, is not biting us.

We're also minimizing odd man breaks which is good because Holtby, like a lot of young athletic goalies, can be overly aggressive - which can get exposed when you face a odd-man break (that said, full marks to him for the stop on Kreider last night).

Fully agree that there's very little margin for error in this style. When we played a more wide open style where there was a higher margin for error, but the end result was - more errors. Fug R.J. Umberger, but the guy was right about us.

I just don't get all the teeth-gnashing over this - we all agreed (I thought) that the Caps couldn't win playing wide-open. They're now in the process of of evolving into a team that can have success in the playoffs - that's good. If this continues to work, the team gains more confidence, and that confidence creates a momentum of its own -- and that's how a successful playoff run emerges. We're not there yet, but we're showing all the signs you need to see to have such a run.

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05-01-2012, 11:50 AM
  #957
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If the Caps doesn't win the Cup with this strategy, then DH will most likely be fired (if not this year then next year) or not come back because you guys will run him out of town so what does it matter anyway?
Umm, because it's the Cup?

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05-01-2012, 11:50 AM
  #958
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Originally Posted by BrooklynCapsFan View Post
It's interesting fodder for us conspiracy theorists who believed Tarik's Ovi piece earlier this year.

Are they trying to win a cup? Or are they going all in to address and hopefully destroy a rift. If there really is a break between the Russian wingers and everyone else, well Dale has picked his side, and they aren't letting him down. I'm not saying that 8 and 28 are disappointing, they've been mostly very good, but Dale is clearly determined to win or lose as a team -even if you could probably win other ways.
yes, its a team game. can you point to a single franchise level player that gets middle of the lineup or less in ice time? Just one would do.

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05-01-2012, 11:51 AM
  #959
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Dale is being unpredictable. People can't wrap their brains around it, and some think we are winning despite him.

Yet there appears to be a completely different mindset of the team now. The players are keeping calm, presumed an extension of Dale.

When is the last time anyone saw Ovi gassed or loafing on defense? We are a different team now.

Dale is making an example out of Halpern, Knuble, Ovi, Ward; deliberately or not, and I think the other players have taken notice. And are bringing it.

Effort can triumph over skill. I think we see it every year in the playoffs.
I certainly can't wrap my head around it!

But I'll say this..I feel real comfortable with Beagle and Hendricks on the ice...those guys have infinite energy and just dog the puck all over the ice.

I like the 4th line too. Knuble/Ward are really bringing it.

Then you need to play the 2nd line and 1st line as well.

Just seems that there isn't enough icetime to go around overall...BUT...its pretty absurd to play Ovi and Semin for 12 or 13 minutes..Backstrom for about 15.

I don't agree with this at all personally but we are winning games and competing hard so maybe there is a method to the madness thats not transparent to us?

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05-01-2012, 11:55 AM
  #960
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yes, its a team game. can you point to a single franchise level player that gets middle of the lineup or less in ice time? Just one would do.
He actually doesn't have much of a leg to stand on. While he's paid to be a franchise player, and he executes those responsibilities off the ice, he hasn't been one on the ice for two years. Like I said, I think there's a larger point and its justifiable to a degree. I probably wouldn't have taken it this far, but here we are.

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05-01-2012, 11:57 AM
  #961
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Originally Posted by marcel snapshot View Post
I just don't get all the teeth-gnashing over this - we all agreed (I thought) that the Caps couldn't win playing wide-open. They're now in the process of of evolving into a team that can have success in the playoffs - that's good. If this continues to work, the team gains more confidence, and that confidence creates a momentum of its own -- and that's how a successful playoff run emerges. We're not there yet, but we're showing all the signs you need to see to have such a run.
* what is your take on how ovechkin will respond to being a weapon only deployed offense is needed?

* the clear uncertainty of the long term damage that might be done by lineup useage is what is causing the teeth gnashing. if you dont care if 8 is on the team next season, then you have nothing to fret over.

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Old
05-01-2012, 11:59 AM
  #962
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I don't think OV is turnover prone at all. I'm not sure where that is coming from. If he does turn it over then it's usually because he was trying to make a play in the ozone.

A turn over in the ozone is much more tolerable than one in the d or neutral zone (think Semin, Backstrom, Green, or Wideman).

Ovechkin needs to improve his hustle and decision making when his line is pinned in their own zone, that I will agree with.

My theory as to why OV's minutes are down is because Hunter wants his line to cycle the puck down low which Ovechkin is not comfrotable with. Cycling the puck is a much safer play than trying to score off the rush. Hunter does not like to take chances.
I'm a big Ovie fan, but yes, there are at least a couple scenarios in which he has traditionally been turnover-prone. One is at point on PP, another is down low in O-zone when, as you suggested, he opts not to cycle puck behind net but instead passes toward high slot even when no one is open there. That does frequently lead to counter-rush, esp. when Ovie and at least one other Cap forward are so deep that they aren't able to get back.

But the solo sorties into the O-zone are not a problem, IMO, in terms of turnovers. Those don't seem to lead frequently to good counterattack chances. And you are correct that the O-zone turnover, as a general matter, is preferable to the neutral-zone one or D-zone one.

One of the keys is so-called 'hockey sense,' knowing when to dump the puck or cycle it because no other good option exists.

Semin made a bad O-zone turnover recently, on a play where he should have unloaded puck deep or along the boards. That one led directly to a goal. So the O-zone turnover certainly can be lethal, to wit, Bickell's pass to Ward on first goal last night.

I like the idea of winning the Cup this year and then getting DH back to Ontario in time for harvest, and for continued tenure atop Knight organization. Let's do that. I am not ready for an 82-game season in which 8 plays 13 min a game. (Yes, yes, I know, playoffs are different. I'm just saying.)

Based on how some other players have responded after getting out of Hunter Healthy Scratch Jail, i am excited to see how Halpern, MP, and/or Orlov might perform, if they get a chance this series.

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05-01-2012, 12:02 PM
  #963
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Originally Posted by BrooklynCapsFan View Post
He actually doesn't have much of a leg to stand on. While he's paid to be a franchise player, and he executes those responsibilities off the ice, he hasn't been one on the ice for two years. Like I said, I think there's a larger point and its justifiable to a degree. I probably wouldn't have taken it this far, but here we are.
would you support staying this style next season and trading ovechkin to make room for players that fit the system better? ov out...parise in, say

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05-01-2012, 12:03 PM
  #964
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I think there's a lot to say about the fact that hitching the wagon to Ovechkin has only gotten so far, and that this method is trying something else.

Whatever. winning is more important than feelings and desire to play.

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05-01-2012, 12:05 PM
  #965
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would you support staying this style next season and trading ovechkin to make room for players that fit the system better? ov out...parise in, say
That's not what I'm saying at all. I think they're trying to develop Ovechkin as a player. He's never had tough love like this.

Again, if he had scored a hundred goals and developed a stronger game off the puck over the past two years, he wouldn't be sitting. And he knows that.

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05-01-2012, 12:10 PM
  #966
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I'd say the defending Cup champs and this year's conference champs are pretty good teams.

As far as goaltending goes, Holtby has been very good, but I think part of the reason for the style being played here is the need to compensate for some of the flaws in Holtby's game - we're blocking a lot of shots, taking away shooting lanes, and sagging a lot in the D-zone. The end result is that Holtby's rebound control, which looks average at best, is not biting us.

We're also minimizing odd man breaks which is good because Holtby, like a lot of young athletic goalies, can be overly aggressive - which can get exposed when you face a odd-man break (that said, full marks to him for the stop on Kreider last night).

Fully agree that there's very little margin for error in this style. When we played a more wide open style where there was a higher margin for error, but the end result was - more errors. Fug R.J. Umberger, but the guy was right about us.

I just don't get all the teeth-gnashing over this - we all agreed (I thought) that the Caps couldn't win playing wide-open. They're now in the process of of evolving into a team that can have success in the playoffs - that's good. If this continues to work, the team gains more confidence, and that confidence creates a momentum of its own -- and that's how a successful playoff run emerges. We're not there yet, but we're showing all the signs you need to see to have such a run.
The Bruins were a pretty good team, but most would acknowledge they weren't playing to the same level they were last season. They've won one game so far against the conference champs. Not bad, but not great. Like I said earlier, a well rounded team like the Kings would likely send this group packing.

Team defense has improved leaps and bounds from days gone by. Being #2 in blocked shots in the playoffs seems so.... unnatural. Plus, the rebound cleanup is in a different league than when Crosby was camped by the side of the net tapping in easy putbacks.

I still belive that the Caps could have gone much further in the past couple years, but things didn't break in the Caps favor. In the grand scheme of things, luck seems to be with the Caps a little more this year. I still believe that luck and injuries play almost as big a role as effort, skill, and coaching.

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05-01-2012, 12:19 PM
  #967
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Mike Knuble said to Yahoo of the situation: “If we’re down a goal, [Ovechkin is] going to be our main guy. He’s going every other shift. If we’re up a goal, then Dale tends to lean on other guys. That’s the way it is. I guess they can talk about it this summer after the season and figure it out. But for now, it’s working, and we’re going to run with it.”

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05-01-2012, 12:30 PM
  #968
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* what is your take on how ovechkin will respond to being a weapon only deployed offense is needed?
I think that's mostly a next year problem, and I don't think the reins will be quite so tight during the regular season (I also don't think Dale's coming back). For now, Ovy appears to have accepted the way his minutes are being managed for the good of the team. Good on him.

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the clear uncertainty of the long term damage that might be done by lineup useage is what is causing the teeth gnashing. if you dont care if 8 is on the team next season, then you have nothing to fret over.
I don't see any "long term damage" being done. We're trying to win in the playoffs, and instead of Dale getting in Ovi's ear about what he's not doing defensively (which fugged up Ovi and got Bruce fired), he's accepting Ovi for what he is right now and not getting pissed off at him for not playing like a Selke Trophy candidate -- which is probably a lot better for Ovi's confidence. I think Ovi is more likely to pick up his defensive game by being treated this way, than he would by having the coaches up in his ear "exhorting" him to play differently.

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05-01-2012, 12:32 PM
  #969
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Ironclad, guaranteed NHL contracts work both ways.

Ovechkin is under contract. If the golden goose gets away, it's because they cave, and take off the chain around its neck. He can ask for a trade and they can refuse, countering that he can go when he's 35. He can sit out and forego millions... but he won't. He can't support his lavish lifestyle on principled righteousness. He knows it, they know it, he knows they know it, and they know he knows they know it.
That being said, imagine for a second the contract that the KHL would give Ovechkin. He could make more playing there and he knows it, they know it, and he knows they know it.

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05-01-2012, 12:43 PM
  #970
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I think that's mostly a next year problem, and I don't think the reins will be quite so tight during the regular season (I also don't think Dale's coming back). For now, Ovy appears to have accepted the way his minutes are being managed for the good of the team. Good on him.



I don't see any "long term damage" being done. We're trying to win in the playoffs, and instead of Dale getting in Ovi's ear about what he's not doing defensively (which fugged up Ovi and got Bruce fired), he's accepting Ovi for what he is right now and not getting pissed off at him for not playing like a Selke Trophy candidate -- which is probably a lot better for Ovi's confidence. I think Ovi is more likely to pick up his defensive game by being treated this way, than he would by having the coaches up in his ear "exhorting" him to play differently.
thats one way of looking at it. ov's down with it.

knuble said it very well. ov and the team can work it out after the season. its not changing in the playoffs.

its about winning and not about one player's feelings is just fine in the moment. its more complicated when the player has 10 more years on a contract. if all you are worried about is this playoffs and could careless if there is a trainwreck afterward, thats a good way to look at it.

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05-01-2012, 12:45 PM
  #971
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I don't like playing not to lose one bit, but holy crap this whole biz with 8's ice time is overblown. You don't get bonus points for winning 5-1 vs 3-2.

I don't think Hunter wants his team to have breathing room because they've shown they don't play as hard when up more than 1 goal. It needs fixing, for sure, but I know I've observed this.

So we don't necessarily need to score a ton of goals. As far as wearing down the D, I do think Ovie should be doing more than that, but the NYR D are more mobile than Siedenberg/Chara, so maybe the thinking is that they will be tougher to punish.

The real problem in terms of physical play with the Rangers is their forwards pounding our D, particularly Callahan.

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05-01-2012, 12:52 PM
  #972
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would you support staying this style next season and trading ovechkin to make room for players that fit the system better? ov out...parise in, say
Speaking for myself - I was a Caps fan long before Alex got here, and I will be a Caps fan long after he is gone. Love watching him score 60+ goals, but if it came down to those vs. Stanley Cups, I will take the Cup 10/10 times. Regardless of who is on the team.

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05-01-2012, 12:55 PM
  #973
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I think there's a lot to say about the fact that hitching the wagon to Ovechkin has only gotten so far, and that this method is trying something else.

Whatever. winning is more important than feelings and desire to play.
There's a huge error in that line of thinking--hitching the wagon to Ovechkin would have worked in the past if he had better support around him. Playoff monster Ovechkin in the offensive Caps era didn't have a bottom 6 or defense that was anywhere near as effective as there is now.

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05-01-2012, 01:10 PM
  #974
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I'm not sure I agree with that logic.

You're still relying on Semin, Backstrom and Green to do the lion's share of work beyond Ovechkin. I think Semin and Green are inherently flawed parts in the playoffs. I think the verdict is out on Green, and I'm certain he doesn't provide the offense. I also think the top 6 on both of those teams is significantly better. Flash, Sergei, Kozlov, etc, were all better than the miscasts they have out there at times.

While I think the bottom 6 has gotten better, I'm not sure I completely buy it. Though Gordon and Steckel have had cameos as decent 2 way forwards with a good faceoff percentage. Heck, Gordon's been a complete shutdown menace in the past. Bradley for all his warts put on a decent effort in the first NY series. Cooke was here. Few others with servicable talents. I certainly would agree that the defense is upgraded, though Wideman and Schultz are still poor. I still think that if you take Carlson or Alzner from the bunch, they're a stack of cards. You also should note that Erskine has been one of the better playoff defenders on this roster in the last few seasons.

Yet, I wonder if some of what they're able to do is not as much a result of Hunter catering to his grinders strength and helping to make the defense better.

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05-01-2012, 01:13 PM
  #975
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I'm a big Ovie fan, but yes, there are at least a couple scenarios in which he has traditionally been turnover-prone. One is at point on PP, another is down low in O-zone when, as you suggested, he opts not to cycle puck behind net but instead passes toward high slot even when no one is open there. That does frequently lead to counter-rush, esp. when Ovie and at least one other Cap forward are so deep that they aren't able to get back.

But the solo sorties into the O-zone are not a problem, IMO, in terms of turnovers. Those don't seem to lead frequently to good counterattack chances. And you are correct that the O-zone turnover, as a general matter, is preferable to the neutral-zone one or D-zone one.

One of the keys is so-called 'hockey sense,' knowing when to dump the puck or cycle it because no other good option exists.

Semin made a bad O-zone turnover recently, on a play where he should have unloaded puck deep or along the boards. That one led directly to a goal. So the O-zone turnover certainly can be lethal, to wit, Bickell's pass to Ward on first goal last night.

I like the idea of winning the Cup this year and then getting DH back to Ontario in time for harvest, and for continued tenure atop Knight organization. Let's do that. I am not ready for an 82-game season in which 8 plays 13 min a game. (Yes, yes, I know, playoffs are different. I'm just saying.)

Based on how some other players have responded after getting out of Hunter Healthy Scratch Jail, i am excited to see how Halpern, MP, and/or Orlov might perform, if they get a chance this series.
I agree he is susceptible to pressure on the left point of the powerplay. As a righty he is at a disadvantage when the puck is coming up the boards fast and their is pressure on him. However the pro's that he brings playing that point on the pp still outweigh his cons. No coach can game plan for that wrister he unleashed yesterday from the blue line.

I also see him trying to make that long pass to the RD when he is around the half boards. That's a good play if you can get the pass through. These days though OV has so many people shadowing and backchecking him he barely has anytime to breathe. This is probably a point Hunter is trying to get through to him.

Am I crazy or does it seem OV favors his left side when hard stopping or cutting? He can throw snow 10 ft high when he stops with his right inside edges but I never see him do it from the other side. He might want to work on his skating this offseason.

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