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Well, Whatever happens in Game 7, I am proud of this team

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05-14-2012, 08:58 AM
  #226
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Originally Posted by RandyHolt View Post
We are a mess but a defensive foundation was laid. BB did it for 20 games and then abandoned it.
Are people seriously so soon to forget just last season, when we marched into the playoffs as a #1 seed and not stumbled in 2 days before the seasons ended, that the Capitals allowed the fourth fewest goals in the league? Just 3 more than the second fewest? Ovechkin was still over a point a game, his +/- was +32 more than this season. This was a team with two extremely young goalies, no Vokoun. To say last seasons was a "failure" and this season was a "success" is such a crock of **** of elephantian proportions, it's not even funny.

We love Hunter for what he did as a player, yea, we get it. As a coach, this was ****ing pathetic. People need to stop being homers and let's be reality.

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05-14-2012, 09:10 AM
  #227
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Are people seriously so soon to forget just last season, when we marched into the playoffs as a #1 seed and not stumbled in 2 days before the seasons ended, that the Capitals allowed the fourth fewest goals in the league? Just 3 more than the second fewest? Ovechkin was still over a point a game, his +/- was +32 more than this season. This was a team with two extremely young goalies, no Vokoun. To say last seasons was a "failure" and this season was a "success" is such a crock of **** of elephantian proportions, it's not even funny.

We love Hunter for what he did as a player, yea, we get it. As a coach, this was ****ing pathetic. People need to stop being homers and let's be reality.
Hmmm, what the team displayed defensively is what is needed to win in the playoffs. This was the best I have ever seen it.

You also need a good blend of attack, forecheck, and puck possesion. The little things, including faceoffs. This is where we struggled and have a hard time pinning blame on Hunter here. Faceoffs yeah, maybe. But there were so many chances that were flubbed, or posts, not to mention Henrik. You cant miss that many odd man rushes and expect to win a series.

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05-14-2012, 09:19 AM
  #228
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Originally Posted by Kegger View Post
Hmmm, what the team displayed defensively is what is needed to win in the playoffs. This was the best I have ever seen it.

You also need a good blend of attack, forecheck, and puck possesion. The little things, including faceoffs. This is where we struggled and have a hard time pinning blame on Hunter here. Faceoffs yeah, maybe. But there were so many chances that were flubbed, or posts, not to mention Henrik. You cant miss that many odd man rushes and expect to win a series.
re: "best defensive system"...I'm pretty sure even the Blue Jackets can do what the Caps did in their own zone. Sit all of your players back, allow perimeter shots and hope they don't go in. What a strategic concept that ended us with a net result of...second round failure. I mean, the single thing we can "take" from this is..."we won when no one gave us a chance!" instead of getting upset. Except that...if we didn't stumble into the playoffs in the first place, it would have ended up being nothing but another upset.

How about not putting the guys with laser wrist shots in the offensive zone for faceoffs?

How about putting Jeff ****ing Schultz on the powerplay?

I mean, it seemed like our gameplan was "make the other guys tired, by dumping it in and not chasing, so we'll get em late in the third!"

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05-14-2012, 09:26 AM
  #229
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Originally Posted by Kegger View Post
Hmmm, what the team displayed defensively is what is needed to win in the playoffs. This was the best I have ever seen it.

You also need a good blend of attack, forecheck, and puck possesion. The little things, including faceoffs. This is where we struggled and have a hard time pinning blame on Hunter here. Faceoffs yeah, maybe. But there were so many chances that were flubbed, or posts, not to mention Henrik. You cant miss that many odd man rushes and expect to win a series.
Are you trying to say that not having a good blend of attack, forecheck, and puck possession isn't a function of the coach and his decisions?

Sure, the Caps missed their share of opportunities. Other teams miss opportunities and hit posts too. That bad luck/execution isn't exclusive to the Caps. What the other teams do though is have that blend you talked about earlier which allows them to win when things don't break their way. The Caps' system absolutely was not set up to succeed in those situations. Pushing for a two goal lead would have given them some margin of error. Having defensemen hold the blueline instead of bailing out every single time would have generated more zone time and likely have resulted in extra chances to convert scoring opportunities and wear down the opposition.

This isn't directed at you, but why do people think the Caps led the league in blocked shots? The players definitely made more of an effort than in years past, but playing in your own zone 70% of the time gives you lots of opportunities to pad that stat.

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05-14-2012, 09:30 AM
  #230
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Originally Posted by marcel snapshot View Post
Yep. Bruce tried to hector Ovi into getting better at the stuff he's not good at, and that didn't work. Dale more or less accepted Ovi's weaknesses, and tried to coach around them -- and the results were somewhat more effective for the team, but still stifling for Ovi.

As potent a weapon as he is, there's so many places where Ovi can improve as a player: his board work, his passing touch, his consistency in hitting the net, his situational awareness and hockey IQ, his D zone play. And he needs to come to terms with the fact that the goals he scored off the rush in his first few years aren't coming back -- at least not with the same frequency, because the other teams prioritize taking that strength away from him.

I think he actually gets a lot of this - but turning into results on the ice is a process and it requires more work and commitment from him. This whole NHL thing is much more of a grind than he perhaps anticipated, or wants it to be. But he's gotta accept that and he needs a coach who will be effective in getting him to accept that and work on the parts of his game that need improvement.
Great post. So much of what we talk about here should be about Ovi. From our biggest cap hit, to how his game forces the hands of our coach and opposition coaches the same, from him being the best player in the world just 2 or 3 years ago, almost all discussions should involve him.

The thing that I find almost ironic, was that whenever I have heard Bruce speak lately, he seems to go out of his way to compliment anyone but Ovi. Yet he had almost full control of developing Ovi. He embraced the offense and Ovi helped make him what he is, a bona fide NHL coach. And he helped make Ovi what he is.

Almost all players have flaws or limitations. Your list of what Ovi needs to work on seems dead on, but it sure seems a lot. BB fully recognizes those limitations but just rode him doing what he did best. Changing Ovi was not and will not be easy.

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05-14-2012, 09:37 AM
  #231
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Originally Posted by Kegger View Post
Hmmm, what the team displayed defensively is what is needed to win in the playoffs. This was the best I have ever seen it.

You also need a good blend of attack, forecheck, and puck possesion. The little things, including faceoffs. This is where we struggled and have a hard time pinning blame on Hunter here. Faceoffs yeah, maybe. But there were so many chances that were flubbed, or posts, not to mention Henrik. You cant miss that many odd man rushes and expect to win a series.
With that sagging defensive approach came a lot of disadvantages. One, by design we allowed opponents in our zone very easily so we rarely had short ice on the attack. Two, our offense had much less time to work because the sagging made it very difficult to clear the zone. NY defensemen beat our forwards to the puck in our zone with alarming regularity. Three, the keep everything to the outside model contributed to the time in our defensive one. NY simply planted its d-men along the boards at the blue line and, sure enough,would send it right back down low. Four, that approach, which was conducive to long stretches in our zone, meant that many many of our possessions were wasted on line changes. Five, the emphasis placed on forwards getting back precluded any consistent forecheck. Our forecheck was comical because one guy would go in from the left, for example, and the defenseman would simply go the opposite direction behind the net where there was no Cap in sight; the forward who would be there on just about any team that wants to forecheck is around the face-off circles, neither cutting the d-man off or even covering the boards. The only time we did not see this was when we were down late, or on the extra man.

There is no way, no how this particular brand of hockey can win a SC unless you have a team full of Malkins to make something out of nothing. My only ray of hope is that this is just the first part of an evolution, and Hunter plans to increase the system sophistication next season.


Last edited by Capsman: 05-14-2012 at 09:51 AM.
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05-14-2012, 09:41 AM
  #232
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Originally Posted by Kegger View Post
Hmmm, what the team displayed defensively is what is needed to win in the playoffs. This was the best I have ever seen it.

You also need a good blend of attack, forecheck, and puck possesion. The little things, including faceoffs. This is where we struggled and have a hard time pinning blame on Hunter here. Faceoffs yeah, maybe. But there were so many chances that were flubbed, or posts, not to mention Henrik. You cant miss that many odd man rushes and expect to win a series.
Again though I'm not sold that this is a team that's built to win with defense. Yeah scoring is lower yeah they block shots but they also don't have the puck anymore. Holtby saved their bacon on multiple occasions in both series. If he doesn't make many golden saves then we're out in the first round and nobody is talking about how great they are defensively now.

NY was able to do what they want on the cycle and puck possession pretty much at will. That's not defensive hockey. They still need a lot more work. Oh and also teams that are supposedly playing well defensively you would think could close out a game with 6 seconds left.

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05-14-2012, 10:00 AM
  #233
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Originally Posted by marcel snapshot View Post
Yep. Bruce tried to hector Ovi into getting better at the stuff he's not good at, and that didn't work. Dale more or less accepted Ovi's weaknesses, and tried to coach around them -- and the results were somewhat more effective for the team, but still stifling for Ovi.

As potent a weapon as he is, there's so many places where Ovi can improve as a player: his board work, his passing touch, his consistency in hitting the net, his situational awareness and hockey IQ, his D zone play. And he needs to come to terms with the fact that the goals he scored off the rush in his first few years aren't coming back -- at least not with the same frequency, because the other teams prioritize taking that strength away from him.

I think he actually gets a lot of this - but turning into results on the ice is a process and it requires more work and commitment from him. This whole NHL thing is much more of a grind than he perhaps anticipated, or wants it to be. But he's gotta accept that and he needs a coach who will be effective in getting him to accept that and work on the parts of his game that need improvement.
One might look at that and say that Ovechkin himself has caused the team to piss away some of his best offensive years by not dedicating himself to other aspects of the game. A single goal may have changed the outcome of the Habs series and if Ovie had a Plan B instead of shooting it into Gorges every time down the ice, they might have been able to do.

I loathe making comparisons to Crosby, but he identified the weaknesses in his game and worked to improve them. I don't think Therrien or Bylsma were the ones that forced Crosby to put in the hard work. Just because it appeared that Bruce appeared was fine with the country club atmosphere, doesn't absolve the players themselves from improving their game. Some of that motiviation needs to come from within.

There is plenty of blame to go around for the postseason failures the past couple years. From the players themselves, to the coaches, to the GM. Pinning it solely on one aspect is short-sighted.

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05-14-2012, 10:36 AM
  #234
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Well I gotta say, it's nice to see most of us in agreement and realization that Hunter's "system" is terrible and only fits teams that are classified as "cellar dwellers" with no offensive capabilities. It makes this loss even worse. We should've soundly beaten the Rangers like we always do, but DFH neutered this team hugely.

90% of our roster was the same as last year's. Last year we were 19th in GF/G and 4th in GA/G. This year we're 14th in GF/G and 21st in GA/G. We go from 2nd in PK % to 18th. Awesome defensive system Dale. We actually regressed defensively this year. Another wasted season because McPhee doesn't know what a real coach is.

The past few years I didn't question the organization so much because, even with the playoff failures, we were still a successful team. This year I can't help but say this organization failed miserably. I can't even believe we made the playoffs playing under Dale. I'm starting to assume we only barely made the playoffs on talent alone. BB knew what our team was and ran with it. Even with Dale trying to change us, the small amount of talent, still untouched, got us this far, luckily albeit.

I really hope Dale isn't resigned because I highly doubt he knows how to get us going offensively. I can see us missing the playoffs next year if we keep him.

After watching the post-game interviews, I really hope a lot of the players fluffed up what they said for PR. Laich is starting to get on my nerves as the coach's pet. I mean he knows he's overpaid so he'll say anything now. "I'm sure this is the right way to play because we've been shooting the lights out in the playoffs for 4 years now with no success". So does that pretty much means stop playing ANY offence?

I applaud Alzner for being the only player to say something negative. Sure he didn't rip on the coach but I know he and others on the team would love to right now.


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05-14-2012, 10:52 AM
  #235
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The Caps have been at a crossroads for 2+ years. Unfortunately the team architect is saddled with ineffectiveness...

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05-14-2012, 10:53 AM
  #236
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I don't buy the "should have soundly" beaten the Rangers. Could have, seems more accurate.

Richards Callahan Gaby, their collective defense (which seemed to do better than ours), coupled with a Vezina candidate, add in Torts a scrappy PITA that runs a tight ship, being a top seed in the ECF isn't luck nor an accident.

In our offensive hayday, it took a bad angle goal late in game 7 to beat them. Callahan broke his leg right before last years series, a back breaker. They were not the same team we beat in the playoffs past. We tried to out defend them and it almost worked.

Sure most all the players and fans hate defensive hockey, they don't want to block shots. They want to score goals and get laid... errr paid. Its not just Caps players hating it. But that is not the formula to win in the eyes of many coaches and GM's. Even sucking at it, we were a goal or 2 away from the ECF ourselves.

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05-14-2012, 10:54 AM
  #237
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Randy don't enable the excuse makers by giving them outs. We should have beaten the Rangers, end of story.

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05-14-2012, 11:00 AM
  #238
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CapitalsCupFantasy View Post
Randy don't enable the excuse makers by giving them outs. We should have beaten the Rangers, end of story.
They should of beaten the Rags. No question about it. They had more than their fair share of chances to pull out wins in this series (especially Game 5), and they didn't make the most of those chances. Story of the series and the reason the Rags are moving along to the ECF.

More than any other time in the OV era I see this offseason as a huge question mark. So many decisions to be made on coaches and players.

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05-14-2012, 11:13 AM
  #239
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What does soundly mean, 5 games? Is soundly 6? That seems like its cutting it close to a game 7.

No one I know expected us to beat them in 5 games. Did Vegas or any so called experts, or even the biggest homer fans here, even suggest such a sound beating?

If we should have won, we should have, we didn't. We rolled with our 3rd string goalie. Its a tough task for a kid to punk out a Vezina candidate.

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05-14-2012, 11:30 AM
  #240
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Praise Jesus:

http://www.csnwashington.com/hockey-...26&feedID=6357

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05-14-2012, 12:09 PM
  #241
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Originally Posted by Stewie G View Post
Are you trying to say that not having a good blend of attack, forecheck, and puck possession isn't a function of the coach and his decisions?

Sure, the Caps missed their share of opportunities. Other teams miss opportunities and hit posts too. That bad luck/execution isn't exclusive to the Caps. What the other teams do though is have that blend you talked about earlier which allows them to win when things don't break their way. The Caps' system absolutely was not set up to succeed in those situations. Pushing for a two goal lead would have given them some margin of error. Having defensemen hold the blueline instead of bailing out every single time would have generated more zone time and likely have resulted in extra chances to convert scoring opportunities and wear down the opposition.

This isn't directed at you, but why do people think the Caps led the league in blocked shots? The players definitely made more of an effort than in years past, but playing in your own zone 70% of the time gives you lots of opportunities to pad that stat.
Im saying he doesnt carry a stick, and we had equal scoring opportunities....our offense could not finish. You could argue this the case in game 3, game 5...

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05-14-2012, 12:12 PM
  #242
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Again though I'm not sold that this is a team that's built to win with defense. Yeah scoring is lower yeah they block shots but they also don't have the puck anymore. Holtby saved their bacon on multiple occasions in both series. If he doesn't make many golden saves then we're out in the first round and nobody is talking about how great they are defensively now.

NY was able to do what they want on the cycle and puck possession pretty much at will. That's not defensive hockey. They still need a lot more work. Oh and also teams that are supposedly playing well defensively you would think could close out a game with 6 seconds left.
It wouldnt have even come to that had Backstrom finished on the breakaway, or had Semin and Ovy's cashed in on their 2-1

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05-14-2012, 12:13 PM
  #243
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Would rather have him be GM quite honestly...

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05-14-2012, 12:17 PM
  #244
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Again though I'm not sold that this is a team that's built to win with defense. Yeah scoring is lower yeah they block shots but they also don't have the puck anymore. Holtby saved their bacon on multiple occasions in both series. If he doesn't make many golden saves then we're out in the first round and nobody is talking about how great they are defensively now.

NY was able to do what they want on the cycle and puck possession pretty much at will. That's not defensive hockey. They still need a lot more work. Oh and also teams that are supposedly playing well defensively you would think could close out a game with 6 seconds left.
Agree, i dont think this team was built correctly for this system either (dont think i said that, I may be wrong). But given what they had...i'd say they did about as well as you could ask.

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05-14-2012, 12:27 PM
  #245
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Originally Posted by CapitalsCupFantasy View Post
The Caps have been at a crossroads for 2+ years
Off topic, but this sounds like a fitting avatar tagline... Crossroad Team.

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05-14-2012, 12:30 PM
  #246
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Well, it is now safe to say that the Hunter era was a failure.

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05-14-2012, 12:42 PM
  #247
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He may have seen failure and gotten the hell out. But competing in round 2 game 7 after what a mess our team was, was not a failure to me. He close to met my expectations. He was hardly here long enough for it to be considered an era. He didnt even get a training camp, his playoff roster set for him 3 months before he was hired.

Would it still be considered a failure, if this is the farthest we get in the playoffs in Ovi's era? Or if Ovi comes into camp next year dedicated to playing smarter overall hockey? Its too early to tell the mark he left on this team.

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05-14-2012, 12:43 PM
  #248
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maybe he taught them a bit more of sacking it up. It certainly seemed like the figured out how to deal with adversity in the playoffs. If they got that, they're closer now.

The responses after losses was pretty impressive. They just came up short in the final game.

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05-14-2012, 12:45 PM
  #249
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maybe he taught them a bit more of sacking it up. It certainly seemed like the figured out how to deal with adversity in the playoffs. If they got that, they're closer now.

The responses after losses was pretty impressive. They just came up short in the final game.
They won a series after being down 3-1 before Hunter. They knew how to deal with adversity.

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05-14-2012, 12:47 PM
  #250
Stewie G
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Im saying he doesnt carry a stick, and we had equal scoring opportunities....our offense could not finish. You could argue this the case in game 3, game 5...
So a coach is never responsible for his team's play since he's not actually out there?

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