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2/9/13 7PM Florida Cats Vs. Washington Pus...hovers.

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Old
02-10-2013, 03:44 PM
  #326
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I don't get why Ovechkin needed to be better at defense crap. He was a +45 in 09-10.

blah blah +/- is stupid stat blah blah. Typical crap. +45 means they scored 45 more ESG for then against. What more can you ask?

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02-10-2013, 03:53 PM
  #327
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I don't get why Ovechkin needed to be better at defense crap. He was a +45 in 09-10.

blah blah +/- is stupid stat blah blah. Typical crap. +45 means they scored 45 more ESG for then against. What more can you ask?
What more can you ask? Duh +50 of course because we all know +50 is the standard for great defense...

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02-10-2013, 03:54 PM
  #328
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My take on Ovie:

He needs to find the basics of his game... Shoot a ton and a score 40+ before he can begin to fix the weaknesses in his overall game. When he was dominating the league, no one (read BB) seems to have challenged him to grow as a player. Then when things started going bad, all the talk was about his incomplete game and he was pressured to change entirely with left him with basically no strengths.

One of the things I am excited about with Oates is that I think he can restart the neglected process of Ovie's development, first by helping him rediscover his natural talents and then build a more complete game from there.
He has to be committed to putting the work in first. Not avoid it.

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02-10-2013, 04:02 PM
  #329
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He has to be committed to putting the work in first. Not avoid it.
I am not convinced he isn't... Not totally convinced he is either. Still TBD, but starting from a positive place and learning to improve is sure as hell more motivating than waking up one day and discovering you suddenly suck and do everything wrong.

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02-10-2013, 04:05 PM
  #330
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Originally Posted by SimplySensational View Post
I don't get why Ovechkin needed to be better at defense crap. He was a +45 in 09-10.

blah blah +/- is stupid stat blah blah. Typical crap. +45 means they scored 45 more ESG for then against. What more can you ask?
Because he can be even a much better player -- not just by playing some D, but by stopping his bad habits like flying by the net on O or the puck carrier in the D zone.

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02-10-2013, 04:16 PM
  #331
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AO's got a fixed contract that'll take him thru the next Mayan calendar... and enough guaranteed cash each year to choke a horse.

Stats are a personal thing to him.... and his game is much like my game would have been, if given my druthers when I last played baseball.

If I'd have had my way... I would have just hit... and not bothered playing in the field.

Alex has pretty much decided that all he wants to do is score. It was crystal clear last night: he was speedy gonzalez when he was skating the puck in... or wheeling around the kitten's zone waiting for a pass so he could get off a slap-shot.

But once it was clear that we had lost possession, his speed dropped to the speed of motor oil dripping in January... and in pursuit ... he glides. I think I know why he does this: if he's behind the play, and the kittens cough up the puck, one of our guys can grab the puck and pass it up to him... giving him a few steps on the other team (cherry-picking).

This is why you can put a guy like Shaq on his line.

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02-10-2013, 04:22 PM
  #332
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You do know Ovechkin is wing not a center. Wings job is to cover the point in the D zone not rush back to make a play on the puck.

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02-10-2013, 04:24 PM
  #333
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Originally Posted by BTCG View Post
AO's got a fixed contract that'll take him thru the next Mayan calendar... and enough guaranteed cash each year to choke a horse.

Stats are a personal thing to him.... and his game is much like my game would have been, if given my druthers when I last played baseball.

If I'd have had my way... I would have just hit... and not bothered playing in the field.

Alex has pretty much decided that all he wants to do is score. It was crystal clear last night: he was speedy gonzalez when he was skating the puck in... or wheeling around the kitten's zone waiting for a pass so he could get off a slap-shot.

But once it was clear that we had lost possession, his speed dropped to the speed of motor oil dripping in January... and in pursuit ... he glides. I think I know why he does this: if he's behind the play, and the kittens cough up the puck, one of our guys can grab the puck and pass it up to him... giving him a few steps on the other team (cherry-picking).

This is why you can put a guy like Shaq on his line.
So you can read his mind then? If you're so psychic, how about sharing some lottery numbers.

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02-10-2013, 04:28 PM
  #334
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Originally Posted by californiacapsfan View Post
So you can read his mind then? If you're so psychic, how about sharing some lottery numbers.
His entire career has been spent hugging the blue line, while the rest of the team is trying to keep our opponents from scoring.

It doesn't take a magnifying glass to see him stop skating, and start gliding, well behind the play.

He has no interest in playing D.

How could you watch the team, and not notice this?

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02-10-2013, 04:51 PM
  #335
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Okay.... I don't want to come across as being mean, so I'll make this point.

If you're only way to see the team is on television, or via stream, you really do have a limited view of the game.

When you're at the game, and you can see the entire sheet of ice, you can see a lot more than what a partial view of one camera shows.

For years, AO has hugged that blue line just above our opponents end.

When he was leading the league in goals, you could overlook this... heck, he was scoring more than Brad Pitt in the LA night clubs.

But hanging behind the play when we're struggling is going too far.

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02-10-2013, 05:01 PM
  #336
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First off, I have gone to several Caps games each year of Ovie's career.

And I have seen what you describe. But I have also seen other things, from time to time.

But really my point was that this organization drafted him and owned a lot of responsibility for his development. Everyone was so awed by his skills that they fully bungled that responsibility. He does what he's always done, but that does not mean he cannot or will not grow. As I said, I think Oates may well be the right guy to reset his development. Whether Ovie will be receptive remains to be seen. But I am not convinced he won't or that he's a done deal.

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02-10-2013, 05:48 PM
  #337
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Originally Posted by californiacapsfan View Post
First off, I have gone to several Caps games each year of Ovie's career.

And I have seen what you describe. But I have also seen other things, from time to time.

But really my point was that this organization drafted him and owned a lot of responsibility for his development. Everyone was so awed by his skills that they fully bungled that responsibility. He does what he's always done, but that does not mean he cannot or will not grow. As I said, I think Oates may well be the right guy to reset his development. Whether Ovie will be receptive remains to be seen. But I am not convinced he won't or that he's a done deal.
Well... that's an interesting question. Who is to blame, the team, for not developing him, or AO, for not wanting to play D?

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02-10-2013, 07:32 PM
  #338
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Well... that's an interesting question. Who is to blame, the team, for not developing him, or AO, for not wanting to play D?
It's shared blame. But I put more on the organization. For years they just let him do what he'd always done with no real development plan to help him grow into a complete player. Then when that stopped working they blamed him for not being a more complete player. Ridiculous! Now should he have been more eager to learn from others around him during the good times? Probably, but when everyone's telling you you're the best in the world, where's the incentive to change?

You assume he's just unwilling. Maybe, but I'm not sure that's true. His job isn't to be a defensive stalwart, just to know and play his assignment effectively enough. Understanding how that can be a part of his overall game and how it fits with his offensive responsibilities is something the organization has failed to teach.

FFS they haven't ever had a balanced game where defense and offense were related his entire career so how would he learn?

More than D though, I want him to be better in the O zone. Go to traffic areas, forecheck, and follow his shots to the net. Floating away from the play and waiting for the puck--what you've called cherry picking--is something he does all over the ice. It's how he gets in position to receive a pass and shoot. Creating more opportunities for himself and to using his linemates better are things he needs to learn.

I believe he can be a great player again and a more all-around player. And I think he wants to be the best he can. He's never had the right support for that, and he's carrying huge responsibility for offensive production so his focus is just trying to score. Thus he falls back on old habits because they worked well for a long time.

I am hoping Oates can help him see the bigger picture, break some of those old habits, and put a more complete game together. A lot of what I've read from Oates's former teammates has been very encouraging in that regard.

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02-10-2013, 08:42 PM
  #339
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Originally Posted by californiacapsfan View Post
It's shared blame. But I put more on the organization. For years they just let him do what he'd always done with no real development plan to help him grow into a complete player. Then when that stopped working they blamed him for not being a more complete player. Ridiculous! Now should he have been more eager to learn from others around him during the good times? Probably, but when everyone's telling you you're the best in the world, where's the incentive to change?

You assume he's just unwilling. Maybe, but I'm not sure that's true. His job isn't to be a defensive stalwart, just to know and play his assignment effectively enough. Understanding how that can be a part of his overall game and how it fits with his offensive responsibilities is something the organization has failed to teach.

FFS they haven't ever had a balanced game where defense and offense were related his entire career so how would he learn?

More than D though, I want him to be better in the O zone. Go to traffic areas, forecheck, and follow his shots to the net. Floating away from the play and waiting for the puck--what you've called cherry picking--is something he does all over the ice. It's how he gets in position to receive a pass and shoot. Creating more opportunities for himself and to using his linemates better are things he needs to learn.

I believe he can be a great player again and a more all-around player. And I think he wants to be the best he can. He's never had the right support for that, and he's carrying huge responsibility for offensive production so his focus is just trying to score. Thus he falls back on old habits because they worked well for a long time.

I am hoping Oates can help him see the bigger picture, break some of those old habits, and put a more complete game together. A lot of what I've read from Oates's former teammates has been very encouraging in that regard.
I'll answer you in the morning... gotta go watch "White Collar" with the missus (her fav).

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02-10-2013, 08:46 PM
  #340
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I'll answer you in the morning... gotta go watch "White Collar" with the missus (her fav).
I like that one too! Enjoy.

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02-11-2013, 09:47 AM
  #341
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I like that one too! Enjoy.
CCF,

It was a good episode. The episodes where Mozzie has more than just a bit part are the ones I like the best, and this one featured him... although I'm still trying to figure out why a master con-man resorts to driving a cab... but hey, it is a tv show, after all.

So, back to the Caps and AO... I get what you're saying. And certainly, the team is paying his salary and making the decisions on the style and philosophy of the play.

Management (the GM and coaches) is/are also the last word on discipline, as well. If a player is in disagreement over things like conduct, certainly, the bottom line is that the team must right its own ship, so to speak.

But the issue of AO, seems to me to be more than just one issue.

It's not just that AO does not want to play the physical, defenceive game. In addition, he's not very good at it, and does not seem to possess the stamina.

To me, that's 3 things:

1-conditioning
2-ability
3-desire

I think that you can task the team with enforcing issue #1.

They can hire special trainers, make optional practices mandatory, double his workouts, etc.

But issues 2 & 3 are entirely on him. Edison once said that success was 1 percent inspiration and 99 percent perspiration. If so, AO isn't perspiring much.

Now, the argument can be made that some players are just naturals at this aspect of the game. And it's probably true that AO will never win the Selke.

But certainly, AO could improve his defenceive skills dramatically if he wanted to.

So this... I think it fair to task AO with. And... that is 2 of the 3 issues.

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02-11-2013, 12:08 PM
  #342
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CCF,

It was a good episode. The episodes where Mozzie has more than just a bit part are the ones I like the best, and this one featured him... although I'm still trying to figure out why a master con-man resorts to driving a cab... but hey, it is a tv show, after all.

So, back to the Caps and AO... I get what you're saying. And certainly, the team is paying his salary and making the decisions on the style and philosophy of the play.

Management (the GM and coaches) is/are also the last word on discipline, as well. If a player is in disagreement over things like conduct, certainly, the bottom line is that the team must right its own ship, so to speak.

But the issue of AO, seems to me to be more than just one issue.

It's not just that AO does not want to play the physical, defenceive game. In addition, he's not very good at it, and does not seem to possess the stamina.

To me, that's 3 things:

1-conditioning
2-ability
3-desire

I think that you can task the team with enforcing issue #1.

They can hire special trainers, make optional practices mandatory, double his workouts, etc.

But issues 2 & 3 are entirely on him. Edison once said that success was 1 percent inspiration and 99 percent perspiration. If so, AO isn't perspiring much.

Now, the argument can be made that some players are just naturals at this aspect of the game. And it's probably true that AO will never win the Selke.

But certainly, AO could improve his defenceive skills dramatically if he wanted to.

So this... I think it fair to task AO with. And... that is 2 of the 3 issues.
All good points. We obviously just disagree about AO's desire/what he's willing to do. And that's fair. There's no real knowing.

So a couple more thoughts on #s 1 & 2:

The organization built a core of highly talented guys in their early 20s. Like all players that age, they were, in many ways, 1-dimensional. Mostly offensively gifted in this case. So what did our brilliant management do?

They hired 1-dimensional coaches. IMO, BB and Hunter were effectively the same coach. Hockey is a 3-zone game and both of them coached 1-zone hockey. BB's philosophy was that if you play enough offense, you don't need to play defense. Hunter thought if you play enough defense you don't need to play much offense. Both were unsustainable systems that ultimately ignore 2/3 of the ice and can't win.

But worse than not winning, they were disasters for the development of our young core, maybe Ovie most of all. BB didn't teach them to play a 3-zone game when they were young. But for all the praise Hunter received for "teaching" them D, he didn't teach them a 3-zone game either. Where BB just let them carry on with the skill sets they brought with them to begin with, Hunter devalued those skills entirely and demanded that they play a game they didn't know or understand, didn't have natural skill for, and, maybe, didn't really want to do.

That is on our management and it is a colossal failure. Anyone who has ever managed people knows that you have do both let them excel at what they do well AND require them to cultivate new skills. If you do only the former, your workers become 1-trick ponies, or worse, obsolete, and cease to be effective (sound familiar). If you do only the latter, you diminish their confidence and likely teach them to hate those new skills/responsibilities. (also pretty familiar, don't you think?)

Assuming for the moment that Ovie does have the desire to be a better, more complete player, and that may be a false assumption, but just suppose... when was he ever exposed to a 3-zone game that made it clear how to play meaningful defense? Not Hunter's trap, panic, and dump system (which btw, kept them hemmed in for long periods), but defense that both prevents goals against and leads to offensive opportunities. Say what you will about last playoffs and beating Boston, they were ultimately no better or more successful than BB's teams and in fact lost to a team they'd beaten the 2 years prior. 1-trick ponies all.

Anyway, this is one pretty by now, I guess. We'll see whether I'm right about Oates and Ovie or whether it's really a matter of not having the heart of a winner.

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02-11-2013, 02:38 PM
  #343
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I was gone all weekend but I did watch the game. Was nice to see a great game, although I feel Florida was out of it. We'll see tomorrow night. I can't believe I'm saying this, but I thought Schultz did fine. I was glad to see Erskine back. Hopefully these guys can build off this win.

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02-11-2013, 02:40 PM
  #344
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Great game by the Caps....props to Fehr for hustling all game and Johnny for being one of the most underrated tough guys in the league.
I completely agree!

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02-11-2013, 04:59 PM
  #345
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All good points. We obviously just disagree about AO's desire/what he's willing to do. And that's fair. There's no real knowing.

So a couple more thoughts on #s 1 & 2:

The organization built a core of highly talented guys in their early 20s. Like all players that age, they were, in many ways, 1-dimensional. Mostly offensively gifted in this case. So what did our brilliant management do?

They hired 1-dimensional coaches. IMO, BB and Hunter were effectively the same coach. Hockey is a 3-zone game and both of them coached 1-zone hockey. BB's philosophy was that if you play enough offense, you don't need to play defense. Hunter thought if you play enough defense you don't need to play much offense. Both were unsustainable systems that ultimately ignore 2/3 of the ice and can't win.

But worse than not winning, they were disasters for the development of our young core, maybe Ovie most of all. BB didn't teach them to play a 3-zone game when they were young. But for all the praise Hunter received for "teaching" them D, he didn't teach them a 3-zone game either. Where BB just let them carry on with the skill sets they brought with them to begin with, Hunter devalued those skills entirely and demanded that they play a game they didn't know or understand, didn't have natural skill for, and, maybe, didn't really want to do.

That is on our management and it is a colossal failure. Anyone who has ever managed people knows that you have do both let them excel at what they do well AND require them to cultivate new skills. If you do only the former, your workers become 1-trick ponies, or worse, obsolete, and cease to be effective (sound familiar). If you do only the latter, you diminish their confidence and likely teach them to hate those new skills/responsibilities. (also pretty familiar, don't you think?)

Assuming for the moment that Ovie does have the desire to be a better, more complete player, and that may be a false assumption, but just suppose... when was he ever exposed to a 3-zone game that made it clear how to play meaningful defense? Not Hunter's trap, panic, and dump system (which btw, kept them hemmed in for long periods), but defense that both prevents goals against and leads to offensive opportunities. Say what you will about last playoffs and beating Boston, they were ultimately no better or more successful than BB's teams and in fact lost to a team they'd beaten the 2 years prior. 1-trick ponies all.

Anyway, this is one pretty by now, I guess. We'll see whether I'm right about Oates and Ovie or whether it's really a matter of not having the heart of a winner.
Very, very good post CCF! I'd had to grin at the first section I underlined, as I've never hear or read that analogy quite like that.... but I get your point, and see where you're coming from.

One caviat: the system being called Hunter hockey has been around for many years. I think it's important to remember what direction we were heading in when Dale took the job... LOOK OUT BELOW.

To go from there, to one goal from the semi's in the very same season, is an amazing feat.

Given this, you've gotta wonder why we'd change the system. Tweaking the roster a bit and continuing down the known good path would seem to make more sense. And of course, this is fuel to the fire as to your point: another bad decision by management.

Now, let's throw in my missus theory: we changed the system, because AO didn't want to play it.

My theory: AO was somewhat double-crossed, as Adam has had him out there on the PK.

Of course, as you say, enough beating the dead horse. Good posts, I really enjoyed reading them!

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02-11-2013, 05:42 PM
  #346
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Hey,

How is Ribeiro playing? Always been a fan of him.

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02-11-2013, 05:47 PM
  #347
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This notion that the team, which in the weeks preceeding BB's firing played to roughly the same winning percentage it did at times during Hunter's reign, was somehow uncontrollably spiraling toward an inevitable last place finish is one of the most mind-boggling.

It wasn't the worst run in BB's tenure, let alone was it assured that the team would have somehow finished last. They were STILL IN PLAYOFF SEEDING at their worst point.

There was nothing miraculous about Hunter's time here.

This team's problem, at it's core, is an identity problem, and it's because the GM doesn't know what kind of team he wants. Without that, you can't hire a coach and acquire players to fit that identity.

Everything else is a symptom of that.

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02-11-2013, 06:04 PM
  #348
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Very, very good post CCF! I'd had to grin at the first section I underlined, as I've never hear or read that analogy quite like that.... but I get your point, and see where you're coming from.

One caviat: the system being called Hunter hockey has been around for many years. I think it's important to remember what direction we were heading in when Dale took the job... LOOK OUT BELOW.

To go from there, to one goal from the semi's in the very same season, is an amazing feat.

Given this, you've gotta wonder why we'd change the system. Tweaking the roster a bit and continuing down the known good path would seem to make more sense. And of course, this is fuel to the fire as to your point: another bad decision by management.

Now, let's throw in my missus theory: we changed the system, because AO didn't want to play it.

My theory: AO was somewhat double-crossed, as Adam has had him out there on the PK.

Of course, as you say, enough beating the dead horse. Good posts, I really enjoyed reading them!
Agree! Thanks for the dialogue. One of the better exchanges I've ever had on these boards.

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02-11-2013, 06:06 PM
  #349
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Originally Posted by mrwarden View Post
This team's problem, at it's core, is an identity problem, and it's because the GM doesn't know what kind of team he wants. Without that, you can't hire a coach and acquire players to fit that identity.

Everything else is a symptom of that.
I agree with this, but also feel this team lacks..........a true sack. What I mean by that is this team doesn't have a lot of balls. No one clears the crease when it needs doing, or sticks up for a goalie when he gets run. Just a lot of turn the other cheak.

Not looking for Hendricks to get his ass beat over and over, but a couple more scrums around the nets with a face wash or two thrown in would be nice to see.

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02-11-2013, 06:19 PM
  #350
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Agree! Thanks for the dialogue. One of the better exchanges I've ever had on these boards.
I enjoyed it too, and will watch for your takes on other subjects in the future.

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