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10-13-1. "A bunch of donkeys on skates"

View Poll Results: What should the Caps do?
Tank and trade UFA's 1 20.00%
Tank and re-tool 4 80.00%
Trade futures to right the ship 0 0%
Stand pat, hoping they pull it together. 0 0%
Voters: 5. You may not vote on this poll

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Old
02-11-2013, 10:33 AM
  #376
Stewie G
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Originally Posted by NobodyBeatsTheWiz View Post
I'm a realist. Those teams were up-and-coming with a bright future, and had a chance to win it all (especially that 2009-10 team).

That's not where we are right now. The stars aren't firing, the goalies aren't stopping anything, the PK is a disaster, and the PP isn't much better. Combine that with the hole we've dug ourselves and having a new, inexperienced coach, and you get a situation where playoffs aren't likely. Even if Oates turns out to be a good coach, it'll probably take half of this season for the team to figure him out.

Which of these scenarios woudl you rather see?
1- The team starts winning at a modest pace (think last season) and finishes 9-10 in the conference, gets a pick somewhere around 14 and loses the UFAs for nothing. The run for a playoff spot convinces GMGM and Ted that only minor tweaks are needed. Next year we see basically the same roster, with one or two middling FA added (of the Hamrlik/Ward ilk).

2- The team continues to be mediocre to bad, is out of the playoffs by the deadline, trades the UFAs for pick and prospects, gets a top 5 pick, and one of (or both of) GMGM and Ted realize that a major change is needed.
Why are those the only 2 choices?

3 - Something finally clicks and the team takes to Oates' system and finishes the season strong as a 7 seed and carries that momentum to a ECF berth or better. The psyche of the team improves by taking a step forward and pushes the organization forward.

4 - The team continues to be mediocre, but other teams around the league are worse and the Caps end up with the 9th pick. The team gets a couple of extra draft picks but the spiral of Ovechkin and others continues as the external pressure increases, pushing the organization further back. None of the draft picks contribute right away and UFAs shy away from a team that is trending the wrong direction.

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02-11-2013, 10:38 AM
  #377
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NobodyBeatsTheWiz View Post
I'm a realist. Those teams were up-and-coming with a bright future, and had a chance to win it all (especially that 2009-10 team).

That's not where we are right now. The stars aren't firing, the goalies aren't stopping anything, the PK is a disaster, and the PP isn't much better. Combine that with the hole we've dug ourselves and having a new, inexperienced coach, and you get a situation where playoffs aren't likely. Even if Oates turns out to be a good coach, it'll probably take half of this season for the team to figure him out.

Which of these scenarios woudl you rather see?
1- The team starts winning at a modest pace (think last season) and finishes 9-10 in the conference, gets a pick somewhere around 14 and loses the UFAs for nothing. The run for a playoff spot convinces GMGM and Ted that only minor tweaks are needed. Next year we see basically the same roster, with one or two middling FA added (of the Hamrlik/Ward ilk).

2- The team continues to be mediocre to bad, is out of the playoffs by the deadline, trades the UFAs for pick and prospects, gets a top 5 pick, and one of (or both of) GMGM and Ted realize that a major change is needed.
I dont think that's fair you only give me two of a plethora of options. My obvious choice is the team turns it around and starts winning, gains some confidence, Nicky and Ovi find their stroke, Holtby gets crafty with the glove and Carlson stops making dumb plays. My choice is for the team to snap out of their annual funk, make the playoffs (even as an 8 seed) and try to do some damage in the playoffs.
Granted, as you pointed out come trade deadline and we're last in the conference and you want to trade McRib and Hamr etc I'm all for it Wiz.
My only point this entire time, and maybe I was unclear for which I apologize, is that in MY opinion its too early still to wish for this team to intentionally tank. To start rooting against my team in favor of a higher draft pick.
Later in the season when its inevitable that we wont make the playoffs I'm on board with you man.

And Ridley, my "whoever it was" comment was not meant to offend you, I just legit didn't have my second monitor available to look it up and wanted to close out the response before moving onto my next task here at work.

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02-11-2013, 10:40 AM
  #378
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This week seems like the week that may determine the future direction. Do they win a couple on the road to inject hope? If they lose two out of three and one of those losses is to Tampa Bay then I'd say they are done if they are not already. But I see catching Tampa Bay or winning the division as the only real chance to make the playoffs. Can't see the Caps leap frogging a half a dozen teams to get 8th place so it seems they'd have to have a great record against their own division. And they are already behind the eight ball.

To make room for Bruce Laich they must make a move. I'm guessing it will be either a send down or trading Hamrlik or maybe a surprise but I'd bet on Hamrlik. If they turn in a losing record this week then start think about selling off, especially Ribeiro. If he wants to come back to Washington he'd still be able to do that. Other moves I have no clue except the UFA's.

Chimera maybe would be a decent bargaining chip. I don't think he's as fast but the rest of the league may not realize that. He seems to be taking his share of penalties too. Would Chimera + yield a top six winger?

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02-11-2013, 10:42 AM
  #379
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Stewie G View Post
Why are those the only 2 choices?

3 - Something finally clicks and the team takes to Oates' system and finishes the season strong as a 7 seed and carries that momentum to a ECF berth or better. The psyche of the team improves by taking a step forward and pushes the organization forward.

4 - The team continues to be mediocre, but other teams around the league are worse and the Caps end up with the 9th pick. The team gets a couple of extra draft picks but the spiral of Ovechkin and others continues as the external pressure increases, pushing the organization further back. None of the draft picks contribute right away and UFAs shy away from a team that is trending the wrong direction.
Because they're probably the two most likely scenarios?

Regarding #3 - This team isn't playing the 107 point hockey it would take to make the playoffs. They'd have to be one of the 3-4 best teams in the NHL over the rest of the season. No chance, IMO that happens.

Regarding #4 - First of all, this scenario doesn't really apply, since I'm talking about positioning the team for the off-season, and it considers next season's results. UFAs follow the money, and if the Caps are being aggressive on the UFA and trade markets, it shows they want to move in the right direction. And if Ovechkin's downward spiral continues, it's all the more important to have additional elite young talent to fill the void.

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02-11-2013, 10:47 AM
  #380
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Assuming the team has no chance to be a "contender" this year (safe assumption IMO, but if you still hold on to a prayer...), the best thing for them would probably be to be like last season's MTL... much worse than their record due to bad "luck." You want them to have the underlying signs that point to positives (picking up the system, controlling possession or generating chances or having the right "touches" or whatever Oates is looking for) but to just not actually convert that into useless points. You want Ovi, Backstrom, and the rest of your core to be in a good place when all is said and done. You want the important guys to have reason to believe in Oates come camp next year. But you don't want to end up 9th in your conference.

Be MTL, a middling team that underperforms into a very good pick. Don't be CGY, a bad team that overperforms into no-man's land. Again, assuming you can't actually be "good" (and right now, I think that's way off the table).

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02-11-2013, 10:47 AM
  #381
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MiSe View Post
I dont think that's fair you only give me two of a plethora of options. My obvious choice is the team turns it around and starts winning, gains some confidence, Nicky and Ovi find their stroke, Holtby gets crafty with the glove and Carlson stops making dumb plays. My choice is for the team to snap out of their annual funk, make the playoffs (even as an 8 seed) and try to do some damage in the playoffs.
Granted, as you pointed out come trade deadline and we're last in the conference and you want to trade McRib and Hamr etc I'm all for it Wiz.
My only point this entire time, and maybe I was unclear for which I apologize, is that in MY opinion its too early still to wish for this team to intentionally tank. To start rooting against my team in favor of a higher draft pick.
Later in the season when its inevitable that we wont make the playoffs I'm on board with you man.

And Ridley, my "whoever it was" comment was not meant to offend you, I just legit didn't have my second monitor available to look it up and wanted to close out the response before moving onto my next task here at work.
The thing is, it's not too early. It's 25% through the season. That's equivalent to being 20 games through a normal season.

Remember when Boudreau took over and the Caps made the best run in history to grab a playoff spot by one point? That was after 21 games, and the Caps were 14th in the conference, not 15th. So we're in a worse position at essentially the same spot in the season. The chances of the same team making two historical playoff turnarounds in the span of a decade are very small. And the first one was made when Ovechkin was the best player in the world.

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Old
02-11-2013, 10:51 AM
  #382
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Originally Posted by swimmer77 View Post
This week seems like the week that may determine the future direction. Do they win a couple on the road to inject hope? If they lose two out of three and one of those losses is to Tampa Bay then I'd say they are done if they are not already. But I see catching Tampa Bay or winning the division as the only real chance to make the playoffs. Can't see the Caps leap frogging a half a dozen teams to get 8th place so it seems they'd have to have a great record against their own division. And they are already behind the eight ball.

To make room for Bruce Laich they must make a move. I'm guessing it will be either a send down or trading Hamrlik or maybe a surprise but I'd bet on Hamrlik. If they turn in a losing record this week then start think about selling off, especially Ribeiro. If he wants to come back to Washington he'd still be able to do that. Other moves I have no clue except the UFA's.

Chimera maybe would be a decent bargaining chip. I don't think he's as fast but the rest of the league may not realize that. He seems to be taking his share of penalties too. Would Chimera + yield a top six winger?
Bruce Laich? Xd, I think winning the division is too much of a stretch, the 4 other teams in our division can go on a winning streak anytime of the season. I'd be happy losing more games than trying to make the playoffs and failing at the 9th-10th seed. According to this site below we have a 4.9% chance of making the playoffs. There is also a 1% chance we win the Division.

http://www.sportsclubstats.com/NHL.html

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02-11-2013, 10:56 AM
  #383
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It is a wee bit early to root for a tank, unless you think that closed doors weighted ping pong ball drawings are a wild crazy internets invented conspiracy.

And that there are numerous once in a generation type impossibustable kids one of which we are ensured to land, and IS the missing piece. The young guns are not spring chickens anymore. Barkoff being the glue may be off the mark. off.

George wants to compete every year. And George is largely defended in all he does. He wants to horde his young D. You tote the line. Carlson is not available! Why flounder only 10 games in on George's plan to compete every year?

If you think we only have a 4% chance of making the playoffs, rooting for the tank is your privilege. Boournpick!

I want to be entertained and to squeak into the playoffs. I am not sure how wise it is to propose sacrificing a season of Ovi Green and Nick for a 17 year old kid that historically is probably a 50% shot to bust.


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02-11-2013, 11:02 AM
  #384
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It's only sacrificing a season if you believe there's a chance the team will do something meaningful.

I'd rather sacrifice a season with the intention of making a significant change than waste a season watching the same group fail when it counts.

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02-11-2013, 11:09 AM
  #385
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I think its better to root for a roster trade. Thinking adding a kid 1 or 2 years down the road is best for us now, with the same (largely presumed unchanged and flawed) roster, is only delaying the inevitable.

But we have been adding great picks. We must be moving on a decade now. I don't see draft picks or positions the key to changing anything.

Focusing on the draft is what a rebuilding team does. They have no other choice.

George has other choices but refuses to use them.

While it may be late now, what was stopping George from moving his 1st, a 1st teams thinking it may be 1 overall. George knows the system is sinking in, the cellar we will soon emerge. That is the stuff he is scared to do. I am still surprised he spent a 1st on Brouwer, to be honest.

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02-11-2013, 11:11 AM
  #386
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Don't you think it's more likely he continues to refuse to use those other choices if the team sneaks into the playoffs?

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02-11-2013, 11:11 AM
  #387
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What exactly is tanking going to achieve?

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02-11-2013, 11:12 AM
  #388
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What exactly is tanking going to achieve?
I think it's pretty clearly spelled out in this thread.

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02-11-2013, 11:14 AM
  #389
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Because they're probably the two most likely scenarios?

Regarding #3 - This team isn't playing the 107 point hockey it would take to make the playoffs. They'd have to be one of the 3-4 best teams in the NHL over the rest of the season. No chance, IMO that happens.

Regarding #4 - First of all, this scenario doesn't really apply, since I'm talking about positioning the team for the off-season, and it considers next season's results. UFAs follow the money, and if the Caps are being aggressive on the UFA and trade markets, it shows they want to move in the right direction. And if Ovechkin's downward spiral continues, it's all the more important to have additional elite young talent to fill the void.
With the way the schedule is set up to face only Eastern Conference teams, I think a team has a better chance of making up ground this season than in a regular year. I'm not saying it is way off, but how did you come up with your 107 point pace number? If you think the season is too far gone, then this discussion really is fairly pointless.

I'm not following you on the rest of the post. How does that scenario not apply?

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02-11-2013, 11:21 AM
  #390
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Originally Posted by Stewie G View Post
With the way the schedule is set up to face only Eastern Conference teams, I think a team has a better chance of making up ground this season than in a regular year. I'm not saying it is way off, but how did you come up with your 107 point pace number? If you think the season is too far gone, then this discussion really is fairly pointless.

I'm not following you on the rest of the post. How does that scenario not apply?
The 107 point pace number comes from the fact that over the last 5 years or so, it's taken 92 points, at the lowest, to make the playoffs. In a 48 game season, that's 54 points. To get to that 54 point mark, the Caps would have to play at a 107 point pace over the rest of the season

That scenario doesn't apply because it's not considering the same time period. The first three consider from now to the end of the season. That one takes it 3 months further (at least) to the beginning of next season. It's not comparable.

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02-11-2013, 11:25 AM
  #391
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Scouts say that this upcoming draft is packaged with the most talent they've seen in years. McPhee needs to take advantage of the opportunity if he is wanting to rebuild this club. While we have some good players, there are big holes that need filling for us to stay competitive.

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02-11-2013, 11:29 AM
  #392
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Bruce Laich? Xd, I think winning the division is too much of a stretch, the 4 other teams in our division can go on a winning streak anytime of the season. I'd be happy losing more games than trying to make the playoffs and failing at the 9th-10th seed. According to this site below we have a 4.9% chance of making the playoffs. There is also a 1% chance we win the Division.

http://www.sportsclubstats.com/NHL.html
Small sample size still plays a role in those numbers. Take a look at the number for the Islanders. Two more points than the Caps (with 1 game in hand) and they have a 25% chance of making it. One decent winning streak and that number looks a lot more manageable. Another win over FLA and then a win against TB would put them at 11. If the Bolts also lose their game against the Habs, that would put the Caps 1 point behind the Bolts.

Yes, I'm Mr. Optimistic. Life is more fun to me that way. I might change my tune as early as tomorrow night if they fall apart again, but until then I'll be over here while the everyone else decides how to chop up the corpse.

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02-11-2013, 11:38 AM
  #393
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Tanking for the sake of tanking. Tanking because we need to bring in more talent.

Sure this team could use more talent, so could ever god damned team in the league. But here is the fact - this team has made it to the playoffs 5 seasons in a row. You don't do that unless there is talent on the team.

Now, the team hasn't made the best of their playoff chances, but they have gotten there year in and year out. This isn't a team that needs an 'infusion' of youth. They need some steady vets who will work hard to make the rest of the team accountable. Plus they have some potentially good youth in the pipeline anyway.

At this point its more about retooling the roster than blowing it up and restarting. We have a good group to work around.

I'd rather watch a team that makes it to the playoffs than a team that struggles to be relevant in the regular season. This is why I hope we turn things around soon.

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02-11-2013, 11:44 AM
  #394
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Bruce Laich? Xd, I think winning the division is too much of a stretch, the 4 other teams in our division can go on a winning streak anytime of the season. I'd be happy losing more games than trying to make the playoffs and failing at the 9th-10th seed. According to this site below we have a 4.9% chance of making the playoffs. There is also a 1% chance we win the Division.

http://www.sportsclubstats.com/NHL.html
Bruce Laich??? I didn't suggest he be traded if that's what you mean.

Winning the division is too much of a stretch? If place in standings would be awarded according to points and not divisional standing - right now today Tampa Bay would be tied for eighth. I'd be surprised if more than one team from the SE makes it. It will be interesting to watch but I'd say the Caps have a fair chance if they do well this week by default of the weakest division.

Whether that's a good thing or not is another story. This team hasn't won on the road yet nor has it beat a meaningful team.

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02-11-2013, 11:46 AM
  #395
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Tanking for the sake of tanking. Tanking because we need to bring in more talent.

Sure this team could use more talent, so could ever god damned team in the league. But here is the fact - this team has made it to the playoffs 5 seasons in a row. You don't do that unless there is talent on the team.

Now, the team hasn't made the best of their playoff chances, but they have gotten there year in and year out. This isn't a team that needs an 'infusion' of youth. They need some steady vets who will work hard to make the rest of the team accountable. Plus they have some potentially good youth in the pipeline anyway.

At this point its more about retooling the roster than blowing it up and restarting. We have a good group to work around.

I'd rather watch a team that makes it to the playoffs than a team that struggles to be relevant in the regular season. This is why I hope we turn things around soon.
Do you disagree that this team needs an infusion of talent (regardless of age)?

Do you disagree that this roster was built terribly?

Do you disagree that if we keep the team as presently constructed, we'll have trouble adding anyone significant next season due to the salary cap?

Do you disagree that the first 12 games of this season have been as bad of a stretch as the Caps have had since they hired Boudreau?

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02-11-2013, 11:49 AM
  #396
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Originally Posted by NobodyBeatsTheWiz View Post
The 107 point pace number comes from the fact that over the last 5 years or so, it's taken 92 points, at the lowest, to make the playoffs. In a 48 game season, that's 54 points. To get to that 54 point mark, the Caps would have to play at a 107 point pace over the rest of the season

That scenario doesn't apply because it's not considering the same time period. The first three consider from now to the end of the season. That one takes it 3 months further (at least) to the beginning of next season. It's not comparable.
I'm still not following you. Is it not possible that the Caps stink, but not as bad as other teams the rest of the way, and end up with the 9th pick? Is it not possible that they realized they stink, traded off UFAs to pick up a couple extra draft picks, but not have any of those picks contribute to the big club in the next 2 years? Is it not possible that UFAs look at the Caps as a team going backwards and sign someplace else?

The butterflies and unicorns scenario of tanking sure sounds good, but isn't guaranteed by any measure.

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02-11-2013, 12:00 PM
  #397
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It is a wee bit early to root for a tank, unless you think that closed doors weighted pin pong ball drawings are a wild crazy internets invented conspiracy.

And that there are numerous once in a generation type impossibustable kids one of which we are ensured to land, and IS the missing piece. The young guns are not spring chickens anymore. Barkoff being the glue may be off the mark. off.

George wants to compete every year. And George is largely defended in all he does. He wants to horde his young D. You tote the line. Carlson is not available! Why flounder only 10 games in on George's plan to compete every year?

If you think we only have a 4% chance of making the playoffs, rooting for the tank is your privilege. Boournpick!

I want to be entertained and to squeak into playoffs. I am not sure how wise it is to propose sacrificing a season of Ovi Green and Nick for a 17 year old kid that historically is probably a 50% shot to bust.

I agree Randy. While there maybe some benefit to tanking I'd much rather be entertained. I've never been one to root for a loss but a loss in this kind of situation surely stings less as you can look at the bright side.

Last year LA looked pretty brutal during the regular season and squeaked in.

A few years back the Flyers looked brutal during the regular season and then went on a playoff tear.

One of our best runs ever came in 90 when we finished under .500. (Jim Hrvnak and Don Beaupre were our goalies for much of the year until Liut came in)

So yeah I want the Caps to win. I can't ever seem to actually root for a loss (even in the Matt Yeatts days)

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02-11-2013, 12:04 PM
  #398
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Originally Posted by NobodyBeatsTheWiz View Post
Do you disagree that this team needs an infusion of talent (regardless of age)?

Do you disagree that this roster was built terribly?

Do you disagree that if we keep the team as presently constructed, we'll have trouble adding anyone significant next season due to the salary cap?

Do you disagree that the first 12 games of this season have been as bad of a stretch as the Caps have had since they hired Boudreau?
The team has talented players. I bet more than half the teams in the league would trade their roster for the Caps' roster. They could get an infusion of talent just by getting those underachieving players to return to form. Having those players perform helps the rest of the roster sort itself out and makes the salary cap numbers work much better. Ovechkin has 1 ES goal and 3 ES points in 12 games. Let that sink in. Backstrom has 1 ES goal (albeit with an unsustainable low 4.2% shooting percentage). They're producing like 2nd/3rd line players. Paying those two guys 1/4 of the cap is going to make any situation untenable.

Agreed that the roster has pieces that don't fit. Also agreed that the first 12 games have been borderline unwatchable. That doesn't mean that the best/only fix is send an already fragile team down the creek for a season and hope that the draft and UFA class are going to be magical fixes to what ails them.

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02-11-2013, 12:05 PM
  #399
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I'm still not following you. Is it not possible that the Caps stink, but not as bad as other teams the rest of the way, and end up with the 9th pick? Is it not possible that they realized they stink, traded off UFAs to pick up a couple extra draft picks, but not have any of those picks contribute to the big club in the next 2 years? Is it not possible that UFAs look at the Caps as a team going backwards and sign someplace else?

The butterflies and unicorns scenario of tanking sure sounds good, but isn't guaranteed by any measure.
My scenarios end at the end of the season -- where the team would be draft pick-wise, salary cap-wise, and management mindset-wise. Yours went beyond that to the worst possible outcome of that position. Hence it not being comparable.

Making the playoffs is much more butterflies and unicorns than getting a top-5 pick. Sure, we're only 5 points out, but 5 of the 7 teams we'd have to pass have at least 1 game in hand on us.

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02-11-2013, 12:11 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Stewie G View Post
The team has talented players. I bet more than half the teams in the league would trade their roster for the Caps' roster. They could get an infusion of talent just by getting those underachieving players to return to form. Having those players perform helps the rest of the roster sort itself out and makes the salary cap numbers work much better. Ovechkin has 1 ES goal and 3 ES points in 12 games. Let that sink in. Backstrom has 1 ES goal (albeit with an unsustainable low 4.2% shooting percentage). They're producing like 2nd/3rd line players. Paying those two guys 1/4 of the cap is going to make any situation untenable.

Agreed that the roster has pieces that don't fit. Also agreed that the first 12 games have been borderline unwatchable. That doesn't mean that the best/only fix is send an already fragile team down the creek for a season and hope that the draft and UFA class are going to be magical fixes to what ails them.
I'd take that bet. Most of the rest of the league has more cap flexibility, and much more cohesive rosters, if not more talented. The Caps have some elite top end talent, and some good grinders, but there's almost nothing between them.

Hoping Backstrom and Ovechkin return to their former glory after the past few seasons without heavily utilizing the draft and free agency is much more of a magic fix scenario than I set forth.

I want a roster where we don't have to depend on them being elite. I can't think of a better route to get to that point than a top draft pick, a deeper futures pool to trade from, and more cap flexibility to allow moves in the FA/trade market.

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