Question for the board: how often do the leaders on this team take the optional skate (captains and assistants). Traditionally the leaders are the hardest working players and try to lead by example. Haven't paid attention in the past as I just made assumptions but the last couple weeks I've been noticing same names skipping them and am wondering if this is historical or just something lately for them.
I don't keep track, but it seems everytime "optional skate" is brought up in the media OV's name is the first mentioned that did not participate. Never sits right with me when I hear that either, especially when the team is struggling. The team leaders, guys with C's and A's on their sweaters, should never take an optional skate off (unless they are hurt). They should be the first ones on the ice at every opportunity leading by example, trying to fix what isn't working.
The "Young Guns", it would seem over the years, have never skated when they didn't have to. Probably part of the reason this core of players have yet to reach their full potential.
that's a bad sign when it comes to Oates and his grasp of what's happening.
Johansson was better the last 2 games, in the part i could see in the last one he was probably the best PKer on a team that's not been able to kill them..
he is an important piece that seems to be getting better and some of his confidence back.. and he scratches him. ok..
To answer your question: That's how it's been for years, back to the prime Boudreau years (no recollection of Hanlon). I think Ovechkin and Semin were the most frequent absentees. When Ovechkin was playing well, though, it was speculated that he needed the time off because his style of play put so much stress on his body, which may be true.
At 1st Mariner, for the first time in forever, for the 2:30 Disney on Ice. Man what a dump. Baltimore needs a new arena desperately. Wife talked me into coming here this year instead of Verizon like last year. Never again.
Oates is all about shaking up the forwards and their lines, how about a little along the blue line.
Sit Carlson, he needs to know what it's like to watch the game from the press box. Sit Schultz if Poti's a go. Go with the following:
Alzner - Green
Erskine - Poti/Schultz
Hamrlik - Kundratek
Hamrlik is no longer part of this team. The only reason he played the other night is because Oates couldn't find someone short notice off of the street when Poti decided against facing the Penguins.
So in essence Hamrlik went from having a stellar playoff series while paired with Green. He was high man + / - by three and was sixth in even strength points. And actually led d-men in even strength points. So that performance earns a seat on the bench with no real chance.