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Cap Trap: Yay or Nay?

View Poll Results: Cap Tray: Yay or Nay?
Yay! 7 26.92%
Nay! 19 73.08%
Voters: 26. You may not vote on this poll

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Old
02-20-2007, 02:03 PM
  #51
Langway
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Originally Posted by BTCG View Post
But I'm not so sure that I'd call it a lazy reaction. Thing is...if you're implementing this type of strategy you've gotta expand your checking game...and this takes more energy.
If you mean the old system then, yes, that had been a concern of mine (the sustainability of a high energy style of play over the long haul). But I don't see this system as an improvement.

If you're playing a more conservative, turnover-oriented system then you have to have very savvy, consistent, focused, experienced two-way forwards that have good speed and are well-rounded offensively (guys like Jay Pandolfo, Jamie Langenbrunner and Sergei Brylin). The Caps don't have the personnel to make that sort of system successful offensively. I call it a lazy way of addressing their defensive issues because it doesn't address the root causes of their defensive liabilities...it only masks them at the expense of their offense. To me, that is a trade-off which doesn't make sense. You're strengthen one part of your team at a large expense of another other part...
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Teaching & developing players at this level isn't something you're supposed to have to do...and Casey Stengle's speech to the NY Mets comes to mind:

"Does anybody here know how to play this game?
Maybe so, but this is a rebuild with a lot of young players so it should be expected of the coaching staff to teach and develop them, including the simple basics of the game (transitioning out of your zone and passing effectively, getting shots from the point on net) which this team doesn't seem to be capable of most nights.
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We're implementing this system because it's really all we can do. Teaching a horse how to run faster sounds good...but I don't think it's all that practical.
It's not even a matter of teaching them to run faster so much as teaching them the value and necessity of consistently running at the same speed and staying focused. They're a young team, so they tend to get side tracked and move around while not accomplishing a whole lot. Teaching them to focus their energy effectively and to calm down when things get a little chaotic is part of a coaches duty and the veteran leaders on the team.

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02-21-2007, 08:56 AM
  #52
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Originally Posted by ididitlangway View Post
If you mean the old system then, yes, that had been a concern of mine (the sustainability of a high energy style of play over the long haul). But I don't see this system as an improvement.

If you're playing a more conservative, turnover-oriented system then you have to have very savvy, consistent, focused, experienced two-way forwards that have good speed and are well-rounded offensively (guys like Jay Pandolfo, Jamie Langenbrunner and Sergei Brylin). The Caps don't have the personnel to make that sort of system successful offensively. I call it a lazy way of addressing their defensive issues because it doesn't address the root causes of their defensive liabilities...it only masks them at the expense of their offense. To me, that is a trade-off which doesn't make sense. You're strengthen one part of your team at a large expense of another other part...
I had a friend who made his living at one time as a reporter explain this to me once...and I'll share it here.

One of the things that has always kept hockey from National tv is that, as the league has grown in team size, so did the disparity between teams. As a result, when they tried televising games nationally, the weaker teams would play the grinding, team game. They'd still lose...but they'd lose 3-1 instead of 8-2...so they wouldn't be embarrassed.
Of course...games like these were the last thing tv audiences wanted to see...so consequently...hockey became the red-headed step-child of televised sports.

You see...you don't need a Jay Pandolfo, Jamie Langenbrunner or Sergei Brylin to play this style. Anyone can grind. That's why grinders are a dime a dozen.

Now...we've got 2 guys who can score...that's it. So we have little choice but to play the team, grinding game. In fact, we've been trying to get the team to play this way all year...but they won't do it.

Lastly...did you hear Locker's explanation last night of what style we're playing:

"I wouldn't call it a style so to speak...it's more about physical play and energy"

We may not win many games playing this way...but it's really all that's left to us.


Last edited by BTCG: 02-21-2007 at 09:02 AM.
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Old
02-21-2007, 11:05 AM
  #53
Langway
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You see...you don't need a Jay Pandolfo, Jamie Langenbrunner or Sergei Brylin to play this style. Anyone can grind. That's why grinders are a dime a dozen.
I'm not talking about a grinding style (which the Caps used to play), I'm talking about a conservative neutral-zone, turnover-based system. They've been playing that passive style a lot of the past handful of games and it hasn't been successful either.
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Now...we've got 2 guys who can score...that's it. So we have little choice but to play the team, grinding game. In fact, we've been trying to get the team to play this way all year...but they won't do it.
They did it for the first two months of the season, but it's like at some point in late December the team had their collective drive taken away and now they just float through games with no urgency or focus. They rarely grind or play like a cohesive team.
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Lastly...did you hear Locker's explanation last night of what style we're playing:

"I wouldn't call it a style so to speak...it's more about physical play and energy"

We may not win many games playing this way...but it's really all that's left to us.
No, you're definitely not going to win over the long haul with that type of system...which is, as you note, not really a system at all but simply an ethic. (The lack of a system viz-a-viz offense has been apparent all year, as the team looks increasingly worse trying to put a string of passes together and break out of its own zone cleanly.)

It's a sad state of affairs when the talent you have on ice (or at least the talent you believe you have on ice) is so bad that your game plan is basically, go out there and try. That's not much in the way of direction and if you read some of the recent quotes from Ovechkin and Zubrus it's clear that they need more direction from the coaching staff in terms of how to attack offensively. They don't seem to be getting any and are left to their own devices as to how to succeed and put pucks in the net.

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Old
02-21-2007, 11:41 AM
  #54
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Originally Posted by ididitlangway View Post

It's a sad state of affairs when the talent you have on ice (or at least the talent you believe you have on ice) is so bad that your game plan is basically, go out there and try. That's not much in the way of direction and if you read some of the recent quotes from Ovechkin and Zubrus it's clear that they need more direction from the coaching staff in terms of how to attack offensively. They don't seem to be getting any and are left to their own devices as to how to succeed and put pucks in the net.
This is why some of us have wanted to get rid of McPhee & Hanlon...and their entourage.

But it's not likely to happen...it would cost money.

And who are we kidding anyway?

Ted wants to keep costs as low as possible and losses at a minimum. If the Caps win and can actually make the playoffs...fine.

If not, he's still got his tennant for the Phone Booth.

Sad but true...but all Ted is looking for is a competent business manager to run the team and keep costs as low as possible.

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