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Old
10-05-2009, 09:03 AM
  #1
strungout
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The Bottom Six

Just something I'm going to keep track of this season...and to this point, the weakest part of the team early in the season.

So far through 2 games...the bottom six forwards (Laing - Steckel - Clark and Kane - Gordon - Bradley) are a combined -8 with 1 point (a Chris Clark assist)

Once Fehr and Fleischmann return...hopefully this group improves...but it'll be interesting to see how the bottom six keep up with the top 6 (+14 and 24 points so far)

Steckel still looks like crap after a crap filled preseason...no sure what his deal is.

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10-05-2009, 09:09 AM
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I thought Steckel had hands of stone last season. Its even worse now. Fleischmann would add enough skill to help Clark. Laing belongs on the 4th line. His presence on the 3rd line with Steckel already there just stunts any hopes of offense.

Kane-Gordon-Bradley has no chance to finish anything.

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10-05-2009, 09:15 AM
  #3
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It's definitely an area where we could (and need to) see improvement. As you said, it should improve when Fehr and Fleischman return, and there aren't two AHL players there anymore.

Frankly, I think the Caps bottom six is similar to the defense right now. The defense is basically Green, Poti, and a cluster of bottom-pairing guys. The bottom 6 is Clark and a bunch of 4th liners, IMO. I've never been a Steckel guy, and think he'd be better suited for a 4th line/PK role. A Pahlsson, Madden, or Peca-type player would have been a nice addition, though it wouldn't have simplified the roster issues, to put it lightly.

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10-05-2009, 09:19 AM
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If Nylander were near as good on face offs as Steckel, then..........

edit: nah

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10-05-2009, 09:30 AM
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It's early to say this, but I think the bottom 6 is going to be more of a problem than we initially thought.

It could be just a hot streak for Laich, but I don't think it is. He is flying and I bet he completely cements his top 6 role over the next 8 games or so.

Flash-Steckel-Clark
Bradley-Gordon-Fehr

That's pretty weak.

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Old
10-05-2009, 09:32 AM
  #6
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had Laing hit either of the empty nets he had on Saturday, this would be different. Clark set him up beautifully twice and Laing couldn't bury it.

Which of course plays back into Strung's point about not being able to finish.

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10-05-2009, 09:32 AM
  #7
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I just hope BB doesn't put laich on 3rd line and Flash on 2nd straight away.

The 2nd line is missing the pure skill guy just as the 1st is missing the banger.
But you don't switch semin and knuble now with SOB clicking.

I have no clue how F and F fit into the bottom 6 if the top 6 stays the same.

I have to admit I don't mind what I've seen from Laing so far even strength.
He's still a tad slow on forecheck.

I hope if laing is sent down cause nyls and sloan are here when both F's return that our shot blocking as a team doesn't wane.

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10-05-2009, 09:34 AM
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It'll be interesting to see who is sent down beyond Kane when the Fs get healthy.

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10-05-2009, 09:35 AM
  #9
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I dont know why Bruce is giving those guys so much PP time. Sure its just the last 20 seconds or whatever but they play like they are trying to score a PP goal since well, they have a man advantage. But they expectedly fail and get in trouble.

We need to find some identities in those bottom 6 come up with a checking line and energy line. Or just two logical energy lines. Screw 3 scoring lines. It was a failure last year except for those few times Flash Nyls Fehr scored.

Stecks Bradley hasnt gotten a sniff. Thats about the only chemistry history down there. Bruce will fall back on it, its one of his aces up his sleeve. But it will happen.

Flash's great offense / lack of defense pickle is going to scramble all our lines again this season as we find a place for such a player. Disclaimer, if Bruce retains SOB Flash BM MK could work. Flash will start on two and force Laich down, but it wont last as we have seen before if paired with Semin. Then he will get dumped on three or 4. Score a goal, and get bumped back up. Over and over. So we need two players on each line to build off of on 3 and 4 no matter the rotating doors. And I think its:

XXX Steckel Bradley
XXX Gordon Clark

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Old
10-05-2009, 09:37 AM
  #10
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Lets not forget that the penalty kill has been perfect. Gordon, Steckel, and Laing have contributed significantly in that area. A 4th line of Laing-Gordon-Bradley is just fine.

The issue with the 3rd line is Fehr or Fleischmann being injuried and Bourque watching hockey in Pittsburgh. You add a 1 or 2 goal a season pk specialist to Steckel and you have no scoring on that line. Clark clearly seems to have is game back, but he's not going anywhere with those two next to him. Once one of Fehr or Fleischmann returns they could inject some balance to that 3rd line.

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10-05-2009, 09:37 AM
  #11
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Oh there is no doubt in my mind that Laich is top six.

I felt going into this season that he's a top six guy that might help the team playing on a 3rd line with Steckel and Bradley to help the overall balance of the lines...but to this point, he's the 2nd line LW and likely isn't moving down anytime soon.

So while the top six are set...the bottom is going to need work.

It's a matter of time before Andrew Gordon will be ready to make a jump in there somewhere...yet the salary cap/Mafki won't allow a standard call up for him. It'll take a LTIR or a move to get him up here.

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Old
10-05-2009, 09:40 AM
  #12
strungout
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Foy View Post
It'll be interesting to see who is sent down beyond Kane when the Fs get healthy.


Well...at least it should be.

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Old
10-05-2009, 09:43 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by txpd View Post
Lets not forget that the penalty kill has been perfect. Gordon, Steckel, and Laing have contributed significantly in that area. A 4th line of Laing-Gordon-Bradley is just fine.
The PK has been perfect against two teams who looked pretty unimpressive offensively.

There should be a forum rule that you can't cite anything as a trend until at least 10 games have been played.

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Old
10-05-2009, 09:47 AM
  #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HSHS View Post
I just hope BB doesn't put laich on 3rd line and Flash on 2nd straight away.

The 2nd line is missing the pure skill guy just as the 1st is missing the banger.
But you don't switch semin and knuble now with SOB clicking.
you seem to be controdicting yourself here. replacing Laich with Fleischmann would give the 2nd line the skill player you say they need.

I think the bottom line here is the penalty kill. Improving the PK is one of the priorities for the team this season. I think Boudreau given the choice between improving the offense from the bottom six and improving the pk, he will choose the pk.

This means that Fehr and Fleischmann are not getting back into the lineup at the expense of TWO penalty killers. Kane goes to make room for one, but I would not jump to the conclusions about the other. Laing may well not be sitting and I would be surprised to see Gordon or Steckel sit. Gordon is at 68.4% and Steckel 60% on faceoffs.

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Old
10-05-2009, 09:52 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BrooklynCapsFan View Post
The PK has been perfect against two teams who looked pretty unimpressive offensively.

There should be a forum rule that you can't cite anything as a trend until at least 10 games have been played.
Who said it was a trend? I stated a fact. We all know that the Caps need to improve the penalty kill. I am saying that the Caps are likely not going to find lineup space for both Fehr and Fleischmann while scratching or assigning two penalty killers.

Fleischmann has played on the pk, but is he better than Steckel or Laing in that regard? I don't think so. Fehr is not a penalty killer. I think Fleischmann gets in the lineup because he earned a top 6 spot last season. I don't think Fehr gets a 4th line spot that would otherwise be given to a penalty killer.

Strung:Agree on Sloan, but that just creates to extra forwards to be scratched and doesnt really change the question of who plays and who gets scratched.

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10-05-2009, 09:53 AM
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SOBless, Bruce with a healthy Semin and Flash is forced to try three scoring lines. Its all about finding a home for Flash. Flash and Semin play the same role, and Flash can't be a checker... so what to do. I am thrilled Laich got out of the gate strong, because he is always the one getting screwed in all the flash love. I am still pissed he got yanked off PP1 so early last year. Flash was horrible yet kept his spot as Ovi scored anyways.

Laich stealing that vacant 2LW spot will force three scoring lines once again. Laich is a center on my fantasy team damnit.

Flash-Gordon-Fehr
Clark-Steckel-Bradley

Gordo claims he has some offense up his sleeve. Former first rounder, blah blah blah. He is a crafty player but more so doing little things away from the puck. Takes the BIG hit to make the pass. And he has to be able to bring more O than Stecks, at least until playoff time. Having a strong faceoff guy for Flash is smart so he doesnt have to battle on the boards to gain possession.

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10-05-2009, 09:55 AM
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It is a contradiction so long as SOB is together. But you don't swap knuble and semin with SOB so hot.

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10-05-2009, 09:58 AM
  #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by strungout View Post
It's a matter of time before Andrew Gordon will be ready to make a jump in there somewhere...yet the salary cap/Mafki won't allow a standard call up for him. It'll take a LTIR or a move to get him up here.
AGordon is a RW, yes? The issue with the Capitals bottom six is not the wingers. I don't see opportunity there. The issue is that neither Steckel nor Gordon offer much offense. One you can live with, two is tough.

If you figure Fleischmann and Clark on the 3rd line and Laing and Bradley on the 4th, the wings are covered.

I sort of see where this might be going already and it depends on whether Tampa Bay is seller at the trade deadline or not.

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10-05-2009, 09:59 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by txpd View Post
Strung:Agree on Sloan, but that just creates to extra forwards to be scratched and doesnt really change the question of who plays and who gets scratched.
If there are two forwards to scratch...I think the answer is simple.

Flash - Steckel - Clark
Laing - Gordon - Fehr

I know you don't see him as scratch-able...but Bradley is indeed scratch-able.

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Old
10-05-2009, 10:00 AM
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HSHS
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One thing to remember is F and F aren't coming back together. Kane will be down as soon as fehr is cleared.

And the use of laing, fehr, and flash will be varied as things work and then stop working.

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10-05-2009, 10:00 AM
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Quote:
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I sort of see where this might be going already and it depends on whether Tampa Bay is seller at the trade deadline or not.
I've been thinking the same thing.

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Old
10-05-2009, 10:01 AM
  #22
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Quote:
Originally Posted by txpd View Post
AGordon is a RW, yes? The issue with the Capitals bottom six is not the wingers. I don't see opportunity there. The issue is that neither Steckel nor Gordon offer much offense. One you can live with, two is tough.

If you figure Fleischmann and Clark on the 3rd line and Laing and Bradley on the 4th, the wings are covered.

I sort of see where this might be going already and it depends on whether Tampa Bay is seller at the trade deadline or not.
You aren't thinking of a certain player who's had a number retired out from under him, are you? I doubt it. I think that boat sailed. It'd be fun, but I'm not sure it'd make a lot of hockey sense.

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Old
10-05-2009, 10:02 AM
  #23
txpd
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Originally Posted by RandyHolt View Post
Flash-Gordon-Fehr
Clark-Steckel-Bradley
The way Clark has been playing I see no chance that he is demoted to the 4th line.

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Old
10-05-2009, 10:04 AM
  #24
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please enlighten us folks that dont see where this is going WRTTB

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10-05-2009, 10:05 AM
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please enlighten us folks that dont see where this is going WRTTB
Halpern

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