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Old
02-16-2007, 09:59 AM
  #1
Bri
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Milan Jurcina

Hello Caps fans...I hope you'll welcome a question from a Bruins fan.

I was a big Milan Jurcina guy and was very upset with the way Dave Lewis used him this year: i.e. he didn't.

I see he's getting a ton of time with the Caps. What do you all think of him? Thanks.

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02-16-2007, 10:08 AM
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It has still been only a handfu of games or so but IMO he's look pretty solid/good.

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02-16-2007, 10:10 AM
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Pretty much been leading the team in ice time since he arrived, and the team's goals against numbers are way down. He's been a welcome addition.

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02-16-2007, 10:16 AM
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In the end we will realy miss him in Boston

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02-16-2007, 10:50 AM
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I'm not sure the Caps could have asked for anything more out of him so far, considering what they'd given up and what Jurcina had shown to be capable up prior to the deal.

He's playing physical, he's playing responsibly, he's not turning the puck over, and he's given the Caps a strong top pairing along with former Bruin Shaone Morrisonn. Both aren't at their peak potential just yet but we've seen signs of them being a very strong pairing defensively, often going up against the opposition's top line.

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02-16-2007, 10:55 AM
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we're trying to not get too excited, b/c new players frequently play over their heads in the first few games. but he's been absolutely everything we could have asked for, and worth far more than what we paid. so far.

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02-16-2007, 10:58 AM
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Originally Posted by Bri View Post
Hello Caps fans...I hope you'll welcome a question from a Bruins fan.

I was a big Milan Jurcina guy and was very upset with the way Dave Lewis used him this year: i.e. he didn't.

I see he's getting a ton of time with the Caps. What do you all think of him? Thanks.
You must understand something about the Caps....we have a bunch of crap on the blueline so pretty much any player that is a 5-7 dman on another team can come in and look solid.

Yes we have allowed less goals..but that is because once he arrived we have gone to a trapping style of game. Our GF are way down as well.

One thing for sure...he is currently better than all our dmen except for Morrisonn (and Erskine) who is another ex-bruin.

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02-16-2007, 11:14 AM
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Originally Posted by Tinordi24 View Post
You must understand something about the Caps....we have a bunch of crap on the blueline so pretty much any player that is a 5-7 dman on another team can come in and look solid.

Yes we have allowed less goals..but that is because once he arrived we have gone to a trapping style of game. Our GF are way down as well.

One thing for sure...he is currently better than all our dmen except for Morrisonn (and Erskine) who is another ex-bruin.
Which is why Erskine looks so good.

I have been pleased with Jurcina so far, certainly not bad value for a 4th rd pick. But we still have to wait and see if he can be anything more than a 3rd pairing D on a good team.

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02-16-2007, 12:14 PM
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Thanks for the feedback folks. For what it's worth I've thought Milan had the makings of a 4-6 D-man, maybe a 3.

As for Morrison, it looks like he's becoming what he was projected to be. Maybe the B's have been too impatient with their young d.

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02-16-2007, 02:00 PM
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I have been most optimistic since we got Jurcina because of all of his obvious tools, and because of our pathetic defensive core. Any change was destined to help, but we are trapping so the jury is out to some degree. But who cant like what they have seen so far compared to what have seen all year?

I am in the minority with this thought, but unless we trade for someone better I feel he is our top right defenseman. Yes already. A change of scenary is all many players need. I figured he would be a gentile giant type but he has been hitting a lot here. He is not a true top pair candidate by the boards concensus, although I still havent seen what is missing from his game that makes so many doubt his potential. I guess no pro scout has said he can be a one so everyone is following suit. I think he is in our top pair until someone de-thrones him. My candidate, Green, is no longer a threat having gone to Hershey. Eminger has seemingly fallen out of favor or is on the trading block, Pothier is a true 2. Heward... why is he here again. It's his job to lose and with no competition he is it.

Bri - perhaps you could point out the weaknesses of his game since you have seen a lot more of him than myself. Thanks.

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02-16-2007, 02:19 PM
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The thing he got criticized the most for was not using his size enough: i.e. hitting. He occassionaly made careless passes and some questioned his north-south skating ability. Those were the big knocks on him in Boston, though I think a lot of folks misjudged him.

As for me, I try to pick a relatively unknown guy each year at rookie camp that I think will be a decent NHL player. Milan was my pick a few years ago. What I liked about him was his size and his lateral movement. He forced guys wide well, even very speedy forwards. Last season he started looking really good and during and following the World Championship (paired with Chara) he really seemed to come into his own.

This year, early in camp (before Lewis started running the practices) he was paired with Chara and looked really good. Inexplicably, Lewis made him a helathy scratch for the first few games of the season, while playing guys like Jason York and Nathan Dempsey. When he finally cracked the lineup he was playing 7 minutes a game, often paired with AHLers (Dempsey, Lashoff) and later, York. He looked like a different player from last season and I attributed that to a lack of confidence in his game due to the way Lewis failed to recognize his talent.

On the plus side, I like the way he plays the body...he'll hit, but he seems to known when not to go for the hit in order to keep himself in position. He's got a very good slap shot, hard and low and, as I mentioned, his lateral movement. Could he be a number 2 guy? I don't know, I suppose it's possible, but I think he is a very solid 4-6 guy, maybe a 3.

I hate the trade, but I wish him well.

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02-16-2007, 02:32 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bri View Post
The thing he got criticized the most for was not using his size enough: i.e. hitting. He occassionaly made careless passes and some questioned his north-south skating ability. Those were the big knocks on him in Boston, though I think a lot of folks misjudged him.
I figured it must be a lack of hitting, a common knock against big players. It sounds like to me he is a classic candidate to thrive with a change of scenary, especially under a coach smart enough to tell him what his flaws are. I will keep an eye on his skating but he impressed me last night against St Louis and has against most all fast players Malkin Crosby etc that he has faced thus far. I have seen a few careless passes since he arrived (none that led to goals) but then again I remember seeing those same bonehead passes from Scott Stevens in his first few seasons here.

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02-16-2007, 03:30 PM
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Originally Posted by Bri View Post
Thanks for the feedback folks. For what it's worth I've thought Milan had the makings of a 4-6 D-man, maybe a 3.

As for Morrison, it looks like he's becoming what he was projected to be. Maybe the B's have been too impatient with their young d.
In his "Chat with Tarik" on the Post website, Tarik said it was a good trade for the Caps but that Jurcina will be, at best, a 5th or 6th defenseman in the NHL.

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02-16-2007, 03:50 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bri View Post
Hello Caps fans...I hope you'll welcome a question from a Bruins fan.

I was a big Milan Jurcina guy and was very upset with the way Dave Lewis used him this year: i.e. he didn't.

I see he's getting a ton of time with the Caps. What do you all think of him? Thanks.
So far so good ........ his skating is better than I thought (based on threads on the Boston boards I thought he'd be awful). I do like the fact that he is willing to take a shot from the point .... something our rear guard has been reluctant to of late.

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02-16-2007, 03:55 PM
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I don't think there is much question that the reality of things is that the Caps have a problem on defense.

Jurcina only highlights the problems. He can't get in the lineup on a losing Bruins team and after a few games is leading the Caps in ice time. I am not sure what that means though, since Nycolat lead the Caps in ice time for several games before losing his spot in the lineup.

Morrisonn and Jurcina played well together in their pre Caps days and they bring a little something. But lets be fair...its just a little something.

The Caps #2 young defenseman, Eminger, was just scratched. Their #3 young defenseman, was sent to the AHL. Their #4 looks good and steady, but so have the #2 and #3 young D for stretches before going off the rails.

The rest is....
Erskine: a healthy scratch with previous teams.
Heward: Marginal and scratched pre Caps
Muir: Marginal and scratched pre Caps
Pothier: 3rd pair pre Caps.

Now Jurcina a regular healthy scratch pre Caps.

Its scary to consider that Pothier and Morrisonn are the only Caps defensemen to be neither scratched nor sent to the minor leagues this season.

Frankly, make whatever reason you wish, that Eminger was scratched and Green sent to Hershey is not a sign of good growth in progress. Jurcina was traded for lack of growth. Erskine let walk for not cracking the lineup.

You can make a case that the rebuild is regressing in this area and the defense looks like an expansion team.

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02-16-2007, 04:15 PM
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Originally Posted by txpd View Post
I don't think there is much question that the reality of things is that the Caps have a problem on defense.

Jurcina only highlights the problems. He can't get in the lineup on a losing Bruins team and after a few games is leading the Caps in ice time. I am not sure what that means though, since Nycolat lead the Caps in ice time for several games before losing his spot in the lineup.

Morrisonn and Jurcina played well together in their pre Caps days and they bring a little something. But lets be fair...its just a little something.

The Caps #2 young defenseman, Eminger, was just scratched. Their #3 young defenseman, was sent to the AHL. Their #4 looks good and steady, but so have the #2 and #3 young D for stretches before going off the rails.

The rest is....
Erskine: a healthy scratch with previous teams.
Heward: Marginal and scratched pre Caps
Muir: Marginal and scratched pre Caps
Pothier: 3rd pair pre Caps.

Now Jurcina a regular healthy scratch pre Caps.

Its scary to consider that Pothier and Morrisonn are the only Caps defensemen to be neither scratched nor sent to the minor leagues this season.

Frankly, make whatever reason you wish, that Eminger was scratched and Green sent to Hershey is not a sign of good growth in progress. Jurcina was traded for lack of growth. Erskine let walk for not cracking the lineup.

You can make a case that the rebuild is regressing in this area and the defense looks like an expansion team.
I take issue with 2 things there.

From everything I've read, it wasn't a matter of Jurcina not cracking the lineup in Boston, it was a matter of Lewis did not want him on the ice. Lewis was coaching with a veteran bias and would rather have a more dependable 3rd pairing than go through Jurcina's growing pains.

2nd, I don't think Jurcina is getting the most minutes because he is our best defenseman. I think he's getting the most minutes (and I have a strong hunch he'll continue to get those minutes) because mgmt wants to see what he is capable of. They want to verify that he really is a 23 year old prospect with potential rather than a 6/7 career guy. They're giving him a long look (something he never got in Boston) because that's what you do in a rebuilding year; you take stock of your prospects so that you can thin the herd wisely when the time comes. Once we've adequately scouted him, we'll either qualify him or let him walk. So far, he's making a strong case to be qualified.

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02-16-2007, 04:38 PM
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In his "Chat with Tarik" on the Post website, Tarik said it was a good trade for the Caps but that Jurcina will be, at best, a 5th or 6th defenseman in the NHL.
So Tarik is a NHL talent evalulator now?

Nice.



Why can't he just report the god damn news?

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02-16-2007, 05:03 PM
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Why is Hanlon giving prime minutes and situations to MJ, and stunting others development, when he and seemingly everyone already knows Jurcina will only be a 4 5 or 6? Hanlon would be a fool to try someone as 2 already knowing they will fail miserably, wouldn't he? Perhaps he is not a fool.

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02-16-2007, 05:58 PM
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Why is Hanlon giving prime minutes and situations to MJ, and stunting others development, when he and seemingly everyone already knows Jurcina will only be a 4 5 or 6? Hanlon would be a fool to try someone as 2 already knowing they will fail miserably, wouldn't he? Perhaps he is not a fool.
Just because he is only going to be a 4,5 , 6 eventually doesn't mean he isn't on of the better players on this current team.

Jurcina was getting big minutes because Pothier and Erskine were out, Green wasn't playing very well (see the Green to Hershey thread) and he is better than Heward and Nycholat (which isn't saying much). Someone has to play.

I have been happy with Jurcina, but a good hockey club would want him as a 3rd pairing defensman, maybe a 2nd pairing if he is paired with the right guy (that "right guy" being very good).

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02-16-2007, 06:06 PM
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Someone has to play.
Exactly, and Hanlon doesn't give out ice-time based on potential. He gives out ice-time based on performance. MJ & Mo have been the best pairing since they were put together, so that's why he's getting a ton of time.

Whether or not he can be a 2, 3 or 4 in the NHL remains to be seen. Last year under a different coaching regime in Boston, he seemed destined to become a top 4. I think he has the potential to be a 3 or 4 but we won't know that for some time.

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02-16-2007, 06:29 PM
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I think the reality is that we are not going to bring in a top notch top defenseman as many had hoped (me included). We ARE rebuilding and I think would dumb to do unless all of our draft picks fail (or we can get something at a bargain). That bargain just may be Jurcina, and I dont know who in our organization is going to unseat him anytime soon. I think he can be a top D until the youngsters pan out. When he faulters this year I will concede that he was destined to mediocrity. Until then, his play will warrant whether he deserves top pair. I would like to think we all agree he has earned a longer look for a top spot. GH seems to think so.

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02-16-2007, 09:39 PM
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What would you think if the Caps went with Erskine, Eminger, Pothier, Morrisonn, Green, Schultz (or some other Hershey kid), and Jurcina as their defensive corps next season (plus a depth guy stashed in Hershey - Finley might be in Hershey next season) --- taking the money that they would have spent on that so called number one defensemen and use it to bring in a play making center for the second line (with Fehr/Semin as the wingers)?

I have this little niggling feeling that's what may happen.

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02-16-2007, 10:26 PM
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What would you think if the Caps went with Erskine, Eminger, Pothier, Morrisonn, Green, Schultz (or some other Hershey kid), and Jurcina as their defensive corps next season (plus a depth guy stashed in Hershey - Finley might be in Hershey next season) --- taking the money that they would have spent on that so called number one defensemen and use it to bring in a play making center for the second line (with Fehr/Semin as the wingers)?

I have this little niggling feeling that's what may happen.
If that's what happens....Mafki's going to get himself fired.

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02-16-2007, 10:34 PM
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If that's what happens....Mafki's going to get himself fired.
I'd say we're going to be as bad next year if that is the case, although the thought of Heward gone does make me a little giddy. There's a decent crop of UFA Dmen that will be available this year, we HAVE to bring in alteast one.

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02-16-2007, 10:35 PM
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What would you think if the Caps went with Erskine, Eminger, Pothier, Morrisonn, Green, Schultz (or some other Hershey kid), and Jurcina as their defensive corps next season (plus a depth guy stashed in Hershey - Finley might be in Hershey next season) --- taking the money that they would have spent on that so called number one defensemen and use it to bring in a play making center for the second line (with Fehr/Semin as the wingers)?

I have this little niggling feeling that's what may happen.
If that happens, I won't make my deposit, purchase, or even consideration of getting the season tickets I'm expecting to.

I also probably will go to 1 or 2 games tops.


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