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Are the Capitals Any Better Off Then Where They Were Two Years Ago?

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Old
05-12-2012, 09:19 PM
  #1
NeelyWasAWarrior
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Are the Capitals Any Better Off Then Where They Were Two Years Ago?

They moved to a more low scoring, tight, defenseive game and they lost in the 2nd round by 1 goal to another team playing a tight, low scoring philosophy.

The Caps certainly have lost alot of buzz considering Ovechkin isn't the same offensive force as he was when they were playing a high octane offensive style so what exactly have they gained here? I'm just not understanding why they would neuter one of the great talents in the history of the NHL for little to no gain.

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05-12-2012, 09:21 PM
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The don't have a better result and aren't closer yet.
Not yet, but they will be.

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05-12-2012, 09:22 PM
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No. McPhee needs to build a better team. Two coaches, same result. Backstrom, Ovechkin, Green, Laich, Carlson, and Alzner is a good core but he needs to fill it out with some others. Enough Wideman and Corvo types, he has Green who SHOULD be good enough in terms of offense.

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05-12-2012, 09:22 PM
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IMO, if they had a Holtby like goalie in 2008-2010, they would have never had to undergo this dramatic makeover.

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05-12-2012, 09:35 PM
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Lshap
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Ironic that we're talking about a Washington team in need of more offense. Amazing how things have changed. This team is now about Chimera, Laich and Backstrom more than it is about Ovechkin. New style, new coaching system, new values. Are they better? I think so, yes. This was their best playoff performance in years. The Caps came within a hair of beating the Rangers (think back to the last seven seconds of game five). They have an incredibly tight defensive structure and a possible new star in nets. Based on this series it's easy to say they need more scoring, but I wonder how many other teams could've managed to score against a Rangers team that was an impenetrable black hole to incoming forwards.

Bottom line, if you look at the core, the chemistry and the overall roster, the Caps are good to go for the future. But if you look at their past track record, they may have reached the tipping point of frustration over not getting anywhere close to the Cup. IMO they have a solid team in place for next year; it would be a shame to scrap it.

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05-12-2012, 09:40 PM
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They need to not re-sign Semin this off-season and sign a top 6 2 way forward. Also get a full-time coach in place of Hunter and replace Ovechkin as captain.

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05-12-2012, 09:44 PM
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Originally Posted by Lshap View Post
Ironic that we're talking about a Washington team in need of more offense. Amazing how things have changed. This team is now about Chimera, Laich and Backstrom more than it is about Ovechkin. New style, new coaching system, new values. Are they better? I think so, yes. This was their best playoff performance in years. The Caps came within a hair of beating the Rangers (think back to the last seven seconds of game five). They have an incredibly tight defensive structure and a possible new star in nets. Based on this series it's easy to say they need more scoring, but I wonder how many other teams could've managed to score against a Rangers team that was an impenetrable black hole to incoming forwards.

Bottom line, if you look at the core, the chemistry and the overall roster, the Caps are good to go for the future. But if you look at their past track record, they may have reached the tipping point of frustration over not getting anywhere close to the Cup. IMO they have a solid team in place for next year; it would be a shame to scrap it.
Pretty sure it's not a premiere for the Caps to loose in round 2.

To me, no they are not better.

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05-12-2012, 09:48 PM
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not better but better built for the playoffs. I really felt they deserved this series. when you got an mvp in net the result may have been different.

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05-12-2012, 09:55 PM
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Originally Posted by reffree View Post
Pretty sure it's not a premiere for the Caps to loose in round 2.

To me, no they are not better.
True, they didn't get further. But they weren't outplayed by New York. When you're that close it comes down to tweaking what you have, not rebuilding or calling the season a failure. I see more potential in this new Washington team than in the previous teams that scored more.

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05-12-2012, 10:06 PM
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Originally Posted by Lshap View Post
True, they didn't get further. But they weren't outplayed by New York. When you're that close it comes down to tweaking what you have, not rebuilding or calling the season a failure. I see more potential in this new Washington team than in the previous teams that scored more.
But they weren't outplayed by Pittsburg and surely not by Montreal.

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05-12-2012, 10:12 PM
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Yes but only because of Holtby (22), Alzner (23), and Carlson (22) look like an extremely solid Top Pair/Goalie moving forward, not because they switched from an offensive team to a grind it out team.

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05-12-2012, 10:17 PM
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Originally Posted by tony d View Post
They need to not re-sign Semin this off-season and sign a top 6 2 way forward. Also get a full-time coach in place of Hunter and replace Ovechkin as captain.
They had a great young forward in Tomas Fleischmann and George McPhee gave him away for an over the hill Scott Hannan. Probably his worst move as a GM. As for Semin, he wasn't great but he wasn't awful. As for all these series, It's always the Eastern Europeans blamed for the losses.

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05-12-2012, 10:19 PM
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Don't forget about Kuznetsov, he's going to be a huge impact player in the future.

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05-12-2012, 10:21 PM
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Semin WAS awful. He had four points all playoffs. Only one, an assist, came against New York.

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05-12-2012, 10:24 PM
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Hard to say. I expect some harsh responses to this, but here goes - I'm not yet completely sold on Holtby. In past years, the Caps played a much more Flyer-esque (by today's standards) run-and-gun game; which of course hung their goalie out to dry. I'm convinced that has a LOT to do with it (look how journeyman Mike Smith has thrived in Bryzgalov's old slot).

NHL shooters will adapt to Holtby (see Mason, Steve), and I'm not sure Washington can block as many shots in a full season as they did in a short series (I think the total for the 7 games was 168 blocked shots).

Kovalchuk has successfully reinvented himself to a new team concept. Ovechkin is in the process, but may not ever get there (he looked confused and disinterested in Game 7 tonight).

If they are sold on this style of play, it's probably better to let Semin walk and bolster with players more suited for this brand of hockey.

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05-12-2012, 10:35 PM
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But they weren't outplayed by Pittsburg and surely not by Montreal.
Disagree. Pittsburgh overpowered them, Montreal out-coached them. In both series, the Caps' relied on a strong offense but forgot about their weak spots, which were exploited to beat them. We saw that same issue in the past month with the Flyers and Canucks, two great teams with glaring holes that were exploited to beat them.

This year the Caps had no obvious weak spot. True, they didn't make the final-four, but they came as close to it as possible. Unlike Nashville, St-Louis and Philly -- three strong teams who were beaten convincingly -- there was nothing convincing about Washington's loss. They could/should/might have been in the final four just as easily as New York. I'm a Habs fan with nothing for or against Washington, but they really impressed me.

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05-12-2012, 10:38 PM
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I think they need a better center situation.

Given that, i see no reason they can't start to run the cycling, puck possesion game that allows for more offense such as the Red wings lived off for the better part of two decades.

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05-12-2012, 10:43 PM
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Lshap
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Hard to say. I expect some harsh responses to this, but here goes - I'm not yet completely sold on Holtby. In past years, the Caps played a much more Flyer-esque (by today's standards) run-and-gun game; which of course hung their goalie out to dry. I'm convinced that has a LOT to do with it (look how journeyman Mike Smith has thrived in Bryzgalov's old slot).

NHL shooters will adapt to Holtby (see Mason, Steve), and I'm not sure Washington can block as many shots in a full season as they did in a short series (I think the total for the 7 games was 168 blocked shots).

Kovalchuk has successfully reinvented himself to a new team concept. Ovechkin is in the process, but may not ever get there (he looked confused and disinterested in Game 7 tonight).

If they are sold on this style of play, it's probably better to let Semin walk and bolster with players more suited for this brand of hockey.
You're right that a team's system definitely helps or hurts a goalie. The Caps have turned into a goalie-friendly team that's certainly helped Holtby shine. But there's nothing gimmicky about his style, and nothing that forwards can easily adapt to. He's well-positioned, super-cool, with a great glove hand. His rebound control will improve with teaching and experience. In fact, I'd say there's a better chance he'll adapt to the shooters.

Yeah, obviously he'd have a tougher time on Philly or Toronto, but that's also true for Lundqvist, Rinne or Quick. Holtby's not in their league yet so there's nothing to be sold on, other than a ton of potential.

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05-12-2012, 10:44 PM
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Originally Posted by Marc the Habs Fan View Post
IMO, if they had a Holtby like goalie in 2008-2010, they would have never had to undergo this dramatic makeover.
Doubt it, he would have been 18-20 years old..

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05-12-2012, 10:47 PM
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no. they are a joke.

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05-12-2012, 10:49 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lshap View Post
You're right that a team's system definitely helps or hurts a goalie. The Caps have turned into a goalie-friendly team that's certainly helped Holtby shine. But there's nothing gimmicky about his style, and nothing that forwards can easily adapt to. He's well-positioned, super-cool, with a great glove hand. His rebound control will improve with teaching and experience. In fact, I'd say there's a better chance he'll adapt to the shooters.

Yeah, obviously he'd have a tougher time on Philly or Toronto, but that's also true for Lundqvist, Rinne or Quick. Holtby's not in their league yet so there's nothing to be sold on, other than a ton of potential.
Something else I noticed is that he doesn't see well through screens - granted that's the whole point of screening a goalie, but he needs to track the puck better. Both goals he let in today were a result of his own teammates screening him - not really his fault, but he needs to be better at knowing where the puck is. It has a lot to do with the increased NHL pace - particularly in the playoffs - and he'll get used to it quickly.

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05-12-2012, 10:59 PM
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Something else I noticed is that he doesn't see well through screens - granted that's the whole point of screening a goalie, but he needs to track the puck better. Both goals he let in today were a result of his own teammates screening him - not really his fault, but he needs to be better at knowing where the puck is. It has a lot to do with the increased NHL pace - particularly in the playoffs - and he'll get used to it quickly.
Fair point. But yeah, as you said, it's hard to say how much was Holtby's inexperience versus his D's bad positioning. Wideman in particular had a tough game.

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05-12-2012, 11:10 PM
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Originally Posted by Marc the Habs Fan View Post
IMO, if they had a Holtby like goalie in 2008-2010, they would have never had to undergo this dramatic makeover.
Semyon Varlamov was absolutely that guy unfortunatly repeatedly got injured.

The 2009 series with the Pens was really only a series due to Varly. Pens could have easily taken that in 4 or 5.

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Old
05-12-2012, 11:19 PM
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IMO they're in a good position, just need to stay healthy.

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05-12-2012, 11:19 PM
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Originally Posted by Lshap View Post
Disagree. Pittsburgh overpowered them, Montreal out-coached them. In both series, the Caps' relied on a strong offense but forgot about their weak spots, which were exploited to beat them. We saw that same issue in the past month with the Flyers and Canucks, two great teams with glaring holes that were exploited to beat them.

This year the Caps had no obvious weak spot. True, they didn't make the final-four, but they came as close to it as possible. Unlike Nashville, St-Louis and Philly -- three strong teams who were beaten convincingly -- there was nothing convincing about Washington's loss. They could/should/might have been in the final four just as easily as New York. I'm a Habs fan with nothing for or against Washington, but they really impressed me.
Even if Montreal out-coached them and Pittsburgh outpowered them, they still could have win those series. The way they play now, Caps will never loose a series in convincing maner, nor would they ever won a series in convincing maner. Flip a coin before every series and that gives you the chance they have to win. 50/50 everytime, every game, every series. Could they win 4 consecutive series that way? Who knows but I wouldn't bet the house on it.

As for the Canucks and Flyers, both have recently made their way to the SCF with those same glaring hole. Something Washington will have a tough time to do in the near future imo.

I have also nothing for or against the Caps, being a Bruins fan.

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