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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%
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Old
02-13-2013, 09:42 AM
  #526
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Why on Earth should we be benching Erskine at this point? I know he wasn't great last night (and did that wonderful face plant that led to the 4-on-1), but he's been one of the better guys this season.

I do think the idea of giving Hamrlik another shot is overdue. I realize Schultz is finally playing the body, but the combination of him and Kundratek hasn't had a whole lot of success at keeping the puck out of the net. We used Hamrlik a lot last season to help our struggling defensemen get through a rough patch, we should give him a shot with Carlson for a couple games and see if it helps.

Alzner - Green
Hamrlik - Carlson
Erskine - Kundratek
Schultz
Poti - IR
Hillen - IR

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02-13-2013, 09:44 AM
  #527
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I was checking out team stats and saw that Erskine has been averaging 19:13 a game. I like the guy well enough, but that is bound to catch up to him/the Caps at some point.

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02-13-2013, 09:48 AM
  #528
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Originally Posted by Mystlyfe View Post
Why on Earth should we be benching Erskine at this point? I know he wasn't great last night (and did that wonderful face plant that led to the 4-on-1), but he's been one of the better guys this season.

I do think the idea of giving Hamrlik another shot is overdue. I realize Schultz is finally playing the body, but the combination of him and Kundratek hasn't had a whole lot of success at keeping the puck out of the net. We used Hamrlik a lot last season to help our struggling defensemen get through a rough patch, we should give him a shot with Carlson for a couple games and see if it helps.

Alzner - Green
Hamrlik - Carlson
Erskine - Kundratek
Schultz
Poti - IR
Hillen - IR
That sounds like the best use of current personnel to me as well. Let Erskine get PK2 minutes and maybe get Kundratek some PP2 time. Schultz has been playing well enough that they can rest Hamrlik when needed.

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02-13-2013, 09:51 AM
  #529
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Have I been watching the same Hamrlik as you all?

I think Schultz has out performed him this year and by no small measure.

To me it really looks like Hamr is done. Maybe he could get a second wind come playoff time but he looks awful lethargic when he has played.

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02-13-2013, 09:53 AM
  #530
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Originally Posted by BobRouse View Post
He's very young but hasn't looked awful at all. He has been better than Poti or Hamrlik this year and I agree with him getting the nod over those vets.

Ribeiro is one crafty player. Very shifty.
You on my "re-sign him NOW Ted" bandwagon? I believe you wanted to take more than the 2 games sample I was using.

LOL, I may have been a little early with the decision, but I dont think I was wrong

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02-13-2013, 09:54 AM
  #531
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We haven't been watching Hamrlik at all, since he's only taken the ice once since the Montreal game. The guy has barely played, and certainly not enough to form a definitive opinion of him this season. Schultz has been better than previous years, but not so much so that he must remain in the line-up. Especially given that the Schultz-Kundratek pairing isn't exactly shutting down the opponent.

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02-13-2013, 09:55 AM
  #532
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Originally Posted by BobRouse View Post
Poti and Hamrlik have been awful this year. Poti I can understand since he hasn't played in a couple years. Hamrlik is running on fumes.

Not sure why you would put them in over Schultz and Erskine who have both done OK and are more physical (yes even Schultz) than either of those two. They aren't any slower than them either.
I disagree.........I honestly don't think it's fair to judge those two on the first couple of games especially Tampa Bay. With a new system, a new coach, new players and switching D partners every 5 minutes? I think they've both made strong defensive plays and have created offense in the games they were in. And I think we'll see Poti as soon as he's healthy again.

So you're calling last night a strong defensive effort against a weak Panther team? This team's wins are.............

Buffalo minus Vanek

Florida (2)

And an injury ridden Philadelphia team.

Meh...........I won't argue the point but this same thing happened last year. False hope until you play the biggies.

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02-13-2013, 09:56 AM
  #533
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Poti has an "upper body injury" right now anyway. Moot point with regards to him.

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02-13-2013, 09:58 AM
  #534
Ridley Simon
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mystlyfe View Post
Why on Earth should we be benching Erskine at this point? I know he wasn't great last night (and did that wonderful face plant that led to the 4-on-1), but he's been one of the better guys this season.

I do think the idea of giving Hamrlik another shot is overdue. I realize Schultz is finally playing the body, but the combination of him and Kundratek hasn't had a whole lot of success at keeping the puck out of the net. We used Hamrlik a lot last season to help our struggling defensemen get through a rough patch, we should give him a shot with Carlson for a couple games and see if it helps.

Alzner - Green
Hamrlik - Carlson
Erskine - Kundratek
Schultz
Poti - IR
Hillen - IR
We shouldnt. I think I saw that the Caps are now 4-2-1 and when he plays. 0-6 without. That's telling.

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02-13-2013, 10:08 AM
  #535
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Originally Posted by Ridley Simon View Post
You on my "re-sign him NOW Ted" bandwagon? I believe you wanted to take more than the 2 games sample I was using.

LOL, I may have been a little early with the decision, but I dont think I was wrong
I don't fall in love quickly and would not decide to get married after the 1st date.

We can decide what to do with him in the offseason. For now all he could be doing is increasing his trade value ala Robert Lang during the firesale.

$6 million (what you suggested) is too much for multiple years for a player north of 30.

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02-13-2013, 10:09 AM
  #536
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I'm okay with Erskine unless last night becomes the norm. It's just a little mind boggling to see Carlson struggle so much and have Oates not change anything. Carlson needs help and the third pair needs help. There are a couple of players eating hot dogs that I don't think have been given a fair shot with this system and could possibly be of help in both areas.

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02-13-2013, 10:12 AM
  #537
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Originally Posted by swimmer77 View Post
I disagree.........I honestly don't think it's fair to judge those two on the first couple of games especially Tampa Bay. With a new system, a new coach, new players and switching D partners every 5 minutes? I think they've both made strong defensive plays and have created offense in the games they were in. And I think we'll see Poti as soon as he's healthy again.
The shifts I saw him take this year (true its a small sample) were alarmingly bad.

Oates seems to see it this way too. Hamrlik is not part of the future either and seems to have hit the wall. He was never fast to begin with but wow it looks like he's lost 2 steps from what I've seen so far this year.

I really don't think Schultz has played all that bad. At this point he's faster and more physical than Hamrlik.

We've been playing well since that Montreal game overall (outside of the 3 game Erskine suspension).

I see no justification to give Hamr the nod. Oates apparently hasn't seen anything in practice to suggest otherwise either.

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02-13-2013, 10:19 AM
  #538
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Ribs has 18 shots (5 goals) and 12 assists, those are Oates like stats. Backstrom has 26 shots (1 goal) and a awful 3.8 shooting % along with 9 assists. From the stats it sure looks like Oates wants his top centers to play the way he did.

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02-13-2013, 10:56 AM
  #539
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Originally Posted by BobRouse View Post
The shifts I saw him take this year (true its a small sample) were alarmingly bad.

Oates seems to see it this way too. Hamrlik is not part of the future either and seems to have hit the wall. He was never fast to begin with but wow it looks like he's lost 2 steps from what I've seen so far this year.

I really don't think Schultz has played all that bad. At this point he's faster and more physical than Hamrlik.

We've been playing well since that Montreal game overall (outside of the 3 game Erskine suspension).

I see no justification to give Hamr the nod. Oates apparently hasn't seen anything in practice to suggest otherwise either.
Hunter wanted to blame the team's woes on Hamrlik too. Then he was "forced" to play him after Green was suspended and there was no looking back. And the old, slow guy ended up scoring the last playoff goal you may see for awhile, led the team in playoff + / - and led the team's d-men in ES points. Was regular season second overall in + / - without Green for the most part on a team that was split in + / -.

Montreal thought that they didn't need him either and finished last. Many Montreal fans fault Gauthier for not re-signing him or replacing the qualities he brought to the team. Again the justification I see is to maybe help a struggling Carlson or third pair. I realize he's not part of the future but it doesn't mean he can't help someone on the ice while he's here.

And you very well could be right. We'll see how it plays out.

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02-13-2013, 11:01 AM
  #540
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Originally Posted by swimmer77 View Post
Hunter wanted to blame the team's woes on Hamrlik too. Then he was "forced" to play him after Green was suspended and there was no looking back. And the old, slow guy ended up scoring the last playoff goal you may see for awhile, led the team in playoff + / - and led the team's d-men in ES points. Was regular season second overall in + / - without Green for the most part on a team that was split in + / -.

Montreal thought that they didn't need him either and finished last. Many Montreal fans fault Gauthier for not re-signing him or replacing the qualities he brought to the team. Again the justification I see is to maybe help a struggling Carlson or third pair. I realize he's not part of the future but it doesn't mean he can't help someone on the ice while he's here.

And you very well could be right. We'll see how it plays out.
I agree with all that.

However..father time catches up with everyone and it sure seems it has finally caught up to Hamrlik. Skills and play don't erode slowly all the time. Many times there is a steep dropoff (Calle Johansson for instance) when players get into their twilight years.

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02-13-2013, 11:04 AM
  #541
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I really think the mandated long term development plan of Sarge limits Hammer's chances to be on the ice.

George's preference for LH RH pairs limits any move to RD to find TOI.

Erskine's overall decent play, filling the role of goon, limits Hammers chances further.

The Mummy Poti back obviously hurts his chances even more.

Hammer probably didnt play during the lockout. I expect him to start slow, look slow, be slow. Remember a year ago?

Someone go bump that Hammer thread. It was all wrong.

Scratches aside, did Alzner clearly have a better year playoffs included, than Hammer? was HMR our best LD last year?

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02-13-2013, 11:07 AM
  #542
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I agree with all that.

However..father time catches up with everyone and it sure seems it has finally caught up to Hamrlik. Skills and play don't erode slowly all the time. Many times there is a steep dropoff (Calle Johansson for instance) when players get into their twilight years.
What exactly are you basing this all on? The 4 games he played so far with a mismatch of partners during a horrendous stretch of team hockey? If Hamrlik hit a steep dropoff, I don't know if there are words to describe Carlson's play during that stretch.

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02-13-2013, 12:09 PM
  #543
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What exactly are you basing this all on? The 4 games he played so far with a mismatch of partners during a horrendous stretch of team hockey? If Hamrlik hit a steep dropoff, I don't know if there are words to describe Carlson's play during that stretch.
But Carlson is part of the future. Hamrlik is not. That is a factor in deciding who to play as well.

Ever since Hamr exited the lineup we have played better. Clearly Oates has not seen anything in practice to suggest Hamr would be better than Schultz or Erskine both of whom, despite being limited players, have done well over this stretch.

Have we won a game with Hamrlik in the lineup? I am honestly not sure.

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02-13-2013, 12:18 PM
  #544
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Originally Posted by BobRouse View Post
But Carlson is part of the future. Hamrlik is not. That is a factor in deciding who to play as well.

Ever since Hamr exited the lineup we have played better. Clearly Oates has not seen anything in practice to suggest Hamr would be better than Schultz or Erskine both of whom, despite being limited players, have done well over this stretch.

Have we won a game with Hamrlik in the lineup? I am honestly not sure.
Your original claim was that his play fell off a cliff. I asked you what you based that on. I merely pointed out that Carlson has been worse. Those two don't compete with each other for ice time anyway. His main competition is the 3 headed Schultz/Poti/Erskine monster. I don't know if you can claim any of those 3 are really part of the future unless you count Schultz in that group.

It may be possible that the team hasn't won a game that Hamrlik has played in so far, but if he wasn't the cause for the losses, what does it matter? Unless of course you think his mere presence on the team causes everyone else to play worse and have goalies give up soft goals.

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02-13-2013, 12:22 PM
  #545
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Originally Posted by BobRouse View Post
But Carlson is part of the future. Hamrlik is not. That is a factor in deciding who to play as well.

Ever since Hamr exited the lineup we have played better. Clearly Oates has not seen anything in practice to suggest Hamr would be better than Schultz or Erskine both of whom, despite being limited players, have done well over this stretch.

Have we won a game with Hamrlik in the lineup? I am honestly not sure.
I wonder if any other factors have changed since the first four games.

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02-13-2013, 12:24 PM
  #546
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I wonder if any other factors have changed since the first four games.
You mean Erskine taking his minutes?

We are winless with one player in the lineup and don't have a win when the other is OUT of the lineup.

Give me some tangible justification as to why Hamrlik should play?

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ay. His main competition is the 3 headed Schultz/Poti/Erskine monster. I don't know if you can claim any of those 3 are really part of the future unless you count Schultz in that group.

.
Poti hasn't been good and is now injured. No qualms there.

Schultz is on contract after this year and is younger, more physical and quicker than Hamr at this point. Thats not saying much but it is what it is.

Erskine provides something NONE of our other defenders do and I have gone over that several times.

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02-13-2013, 12:27 PM
  #547
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Kundratek is a quality PP specialist and pretty good at starting the breakout. But he's not a great presence defensively. Not awful, and he certainly hasn't looked Carlson bad, but he's been outmatched. Of our regulars on defense, nobody has a worse GA/60, and that's while he faces the easiest competition on the team with the highest percentage of offensive zone starts among our regulars.

Is he an NHL talent? Sure, in a specialized/limited role. For a team that either uses 7 defensemen regularly (Tampa) or basically uses five defensemen at even strength (Rangers) he could be a useful PP specialist. Maybe his defensive game can improve in the future, but personally, I can't wait until Orlov is back.

Granted, he's still miles better than some other players we've had on our blueline (Sloan, Collins, etc).
Great post. Kundratek has exceeded expectations overall for sure, but people here have trouble distinguishing between performance and performance/expectations. He has definitely shown notable talent as a PP player, and probably has more to show since he hasn't gotten his shot off much yet, but his ES play hasn't been as strong. He's in the lineup because he can make an effective breakout pass and skate (and help the PP), which is fine, but I doubt Oates looks at the third pairing and sees Schultz as the weak link defensively. Like I said, he's exceeded expectations, but people are talking him up a little too much here. Orlov would be a huge upgrade.

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02-13-2013, 12:32 PM
  #548
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You mean Erskine taking his minutes?

We are winless with one player in the lineup and don't have a win when the other is OUT of the lineup.

Give me some tangible justification as to why Hamrlik should play?
I'm not even that pro-Hamrlik. The point is, I don't think the 2LD is the biggest difference maker in the lineup, and that correlation is even more meaningless for Hamrlik than the reverse one is for Erskine. In terms of the record, I think Ovechkin's play, the PP's success, relatively better goaltending, better systems execution, etc., have had much more of an impact. Erskine has played well, and been very lucky (until last night). Carlson has been better in the last few games than he was at the beginning of the season, and having watched most of the games I think he's had a bigger impact on his partners than they've had on him.

There's no "tangible evidence" Hamrlik should be in the lineup, but for much of his career he was a legitimate top-pairing defenseman. He's getting old, but writing him off based on a four-game sample when the team was a cluster**** is ridiculous.

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02-13-2013, 12:46 PM
  #549
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Originally Posted by Liberati0n View Post
I'm not even that pro-Hamrlik. The point is, I don't think the 2LD is the biggest difference maker in the lineup, and that correlation is even more meaningless for Hamrlik than the reverse one is for Erskine. In terms of the record, I think Ovechkin's play, the PP's success, relatively better goaltending, better systems execution, etc., have had much more of an impact. Erskine has played well, and been very lucky (until last night). Carlson has been better in the last few games than he was at the beginning of the season, and having watched most of the games I think he's had a bigger impact on his partners than they've had on him.

There's no "tangible evidence" Hamrlik should be in the lineup, but for much of his career he was a legitimate top-pairing defenseman. He's getting old, but writing him off based on a four-game sample when the team was a cluster**** is ridiculous.
I'm not quite writing Hamr off. I even said perhaps by playoff time he could get a 2nd wind.

But the fact remains he has done nothing, as of now, to justify him playing ahead of Schultz or Erskine.

Calle Johanson was a legit top pairing dman for much of his career. Then suddenly he was riding the pine as in the span of a single year lost 2 steps. Same thing happened with Brian Leetch. At some point it happens.

Hamrlik will just have to wait his turn. I do not advocate inserting him into the lineup right now. Unless the play of another guy drops off badly or there is injury I believe this is how it will go.

When Orlov comes back he will leap Hamr on the depth chart as will Poti.

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02-13-2013, 12:51 PM
  #550
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How do you expect Hamrlik to do anything to prove he should be playing ahead of Schultz or Erskine from the press box? Schultz, for as much as you apparently think he's better than Hamrlik, isn't getting the job done paired with Kundratek. Time to try something else, even if just for a couple games.

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