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Parrallels 88-89 Caps vs 89-90 Caps and last years Caps vs This years Caps

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01-14-2011, 11:00 AM
  #1
BobRouse
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Parrallels 88-89 Caps vs 89-90 Caps and last years Caps vs This years Caps

For those of you old school fans I am sure you remember the 88-89 season. Its the year we battled it out with the Rangers in the offseason for Geoff Courtnall (I was pumped when we got that guy).

Anyhow 88-89 we were a VERY good team. We ended up with 3 40 goal scorers (Ridley, Courtnall and Dino) and a 37 goal scorer (Dave Christian). We robbed the Sabres at the deadline by grabbing Calle Jo for Malarchuk and a pick. Our D was stacked with Langway, Stevens, Rouse, Sheehy, Hatcher, Calle etc.

We got upset in the 1st round to a Flyers team we should have beaten (Hextall returned to his old form and Pete squared let us down)

Anyhow..the next year we had a "hangover". Ridley and Courtnall had their scoring go way down. Dino too but he was injured for some time. We struggled in the regular season. One thing about that team tho...we had a big injection of youth and far more physical players (May, Kypreos, Rod Murray etc).

Once we got into the playoffs we were outstanding and were it not for injuries we would have given the Bs a run for their money in the conference finals.

Now....last year we had zero problems scoring and got bounced in the first round. Alot of our guys had incredible seasons which lead to a "hangover" (this year) due to the letdown at the end.

This year alot of our scorers are struggling (just like the 90 team vs the 89 team) and we have added more youth and physical presence.

Somehow someway I have a very good feeling about this team and I wonder if anyone else kinda sees these parallels too or if its more wishful thinking on this old man's mind?

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01-14-2011, 11:39 AM
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29 teams don't win the Cup. Everything has to go right. This team's as likely as any to get it all straightened out in time. That's really all there is to it, IMO.

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01-14-2011, 11:39 AM
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Anything is possible, but the Caps have nothing like the D they had then and that team didn't get out of the East.

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01-14-2011, 11:41 AM
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RandyHolt
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Interesting parallels there. I am optimistic, this season and past month was exactly what the doctor ordered. Getting our kids their due time. Crapping the bed, the systems from PK to PP all forced to be revisited. And not just for a game 7.

Did we tank in 89-90 season forcing the coach to adjust? Overcome significant adversity? That would be the ultimate parallel. Bruce whether he wanted to or not, has been forced to adjust more than I can ever remember him doing.

I liked Rob Murray, and scrappy C's in general. Probably from watching Dale and his understudy, Killer K. It all starts on the faceoff. Our teams biggest deficiency seems to be at center.

I am not worried about our young D. Playing defense is a lot easier now than it was 20 years ago. There is like almost no forecheck now. None. Look no further than our own team this year as proof.


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01-14-2011, 11:48 AM
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I dig it.


Neither here nor there but I was too entrenched in being as metal as possible during the early years of high school to pay the Caps enough attention. I was just a casual fan during this time. I got all freakish about them in like 92, I think.

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01-14-2011, 12:01 PM
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Monty
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BobRouse View Post
For those of you old school fans I am sure you remember the 88-89 season. Its the year we battled it out with the Rangers in the offseason for Geoff Courtnall (I was pumped when we got that guy).

Anyhow 88-89 we were a VERY good team. We ended up with 3 40 goal scorers (Ridley, Courtnall and Dino) and a 37 goal scorer (Dave Christian). We robbed the Sabres at the deadline by grabbing Calle Jo for Malarchuk and a pick. Our D was stacked with Langway, Stevens, Rouse, Sheehy, Hatcher, Calle etc.

We got upset in the 1st round to a Flyers team we should have beaten (Hextall returned to his old form and Pete squared let us down)

Anyhow..the next year we had a "hangover". Ridley and Courtnall had their scoring go way down. Dino too but he was injured for some time. We struggled in the regular season. One thing about that team tho...we had a big injection of youth and far more physical players (May, Kypreos, Rod Murray etc).

Once we got into the playoffs we were outstanding and were it not for injuries we would have given the Bs a run for their money in the conference finals.

Now....last year we had zero problems scoring and got bounced in the first round. Alot of our guys had incredible seasons which lead to a "hangover" (this year) due to the letdown at the end.

This year alot of our scorers are struggling (just like the 90 team vs the 89 team) and we have added more youth and physical presence.

Somehow someway I have a very good feeling about this team and I wonder if anyone else kinda sees these parallels too or if its more wishful thinking on this old man's mind?
Nice, but you left out one very important piece of information about the 1990 playoff run. John Druce. The Druce was Loose. 14 goals in 15 games - nearly double what he scored in the entire season. For a third/fourth line checker to rack up goals like that in a short span was akin to having a red hot goalie. So the parallel will only be complete if Jason Chimera or Matt Bradley get at least 10 goals in this year's Stanley Cup playoffs.

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01-14-2011, 12:03 PM
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Thanks BR, I appreciate you posting this. I was 12 in 1990, so I didn't pay as much attention then as I do now. It's nice to see that there's a precedent for this season, and a hopeful one at that.

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01-14-2011, 12:14 PM
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Originally Posted by RandyHolt View Post
I am not worried about our young D. Playing defense is a lot easier now than it was 20 years ago. There is like almost no forecheck now. None. Look no further than our own team this year as proof.
this isn't true, rh. its probably harder. significantly so. you yourself regularly point all the things defensemen could do in the good old days that they can't do now.
no, hookie. no, holdie. no taking your hand off the stick to get a hold of a guy in the corner. no crosschecking in front of the goaltender. nobody holding up the forecheckers at the blue line to give the defenseman time to get to the puck and play it. now that forechecker is free and fast and hits like a freight train.

you can't be big and strong and slow with hands of stone and even play in the league anymore. you have to be fast and maneuverable to beat the forechecker, make the right play and avoid getting hit by the train.

Easier? no. hell no. At the very minimum its just as hard only completely different with fewer sources of quality advice and coaching because the position has changed so much. Karl Alzner is the prototype stay at home now.

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01-14-2011, 12:15 PM
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Two of the more frustrating years in Caps playoff lore, but for different reasons.

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01-14-2011, 12:19 PM
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br, one major diff between the ecf caps and the team that followed. the caps made it largely because they squeezed the very last drop of talent and will out of an aging elite goaltender to get to the ecf. had the caps had mike liut in his prime for a 5 season run, the caps might have won multi cups.

as it was liut went over the hill like Olie did that next season. i also seem to recall that the ecf team was the john druce team. right? 14 goals in 15 playoff games. the next season 1 goal in 11 playoff games.

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01-14-2011, 12:35 PM
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A couple things..

The 90 team fired Bryan Murray during season and replaced him with his bro Terry.

They traded Dave Christian for Bob Joyce. The Caps this year version of Christian is Flash. Traded a soft non playoff performer (albiet Hannan is a far more factor than Joyce was that season)

The 90 team had Beaupre as their starter and Liut didn't get in until Don got hurt.

John Druce did score a bunch of goals and I have a feeling that while Brooks is having a down year in terms of goals (I think he is at least) that he will be our Druce this playoff season.

BB really needs to field Bradley, Erskine, Hendricks, and King in the lineup every single night they are available. THAT i think is the big difference. We played our tough guys that year and while we have them this year for one reason or another not all can get in the lineup (mostly coaches decision i think).

The 89-90 season was filled with adversity. Sucky goaltending at first (I think it was Beaupre and Hrvnak), tons of injuries, players all having down years after a good one the previous year. The loss of their second line (Gus departed to Sweden and DC got traded for Joyce). Change of coach etc.

They had a very different kind of team (so do we this year being more defensive oriented and with more of a grinding style of play).

I really like our group of Dmen this year with Alzner, Carlson, Hannan and (hopefully) a full time Erskine. Vast improvement over Corvo, Shamo, Sloan etc.

Justin,

ROCK ON! Iron Maiden was the bomb for me back then.

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01-14-2011, 12:48 PM
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Good point..definitely plausible that the caps high scoring player might be experience a hangover season. Those of us oldsters that have been watching the NHL for a long time have seen this happen to other teams.

I find myself just more frustrated with this regular season with the negative aspects of the capitals current play probably due to really just wanting to fast forward to the 'real' season (playoffs). Obviously there is plenty of time. Something does just feel 'off' with team...something is rotten in the state of denmark.

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01-14-2011, 01:01 PM
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I wanted us to struggle a bit this season. They didn't need to streak through the year with no problem, no adjustments and then meet adversity in the PO's and be shell shocked.

I just wish Ovie and Nick were looking a little closer to normal. I don't mind having decreased numbers but they look really bad lately.

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01-14-2011, 01:17 PM
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RandyHolt
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Quote:
Originally Posted by txpd View Post
this isn't true, rh. its probably harder. significantly so. you yourself regularly point all the things defensemen could do in the good old days that they can't do now.
no, hookie. no, holdie. no taking your hand off the stick to get a hold of a guy in the corner. no crosschecking in front of the goaltender. nobody holding up the forecheckers at the blue line to give the defenseman time to get to the puck and play it. now that forechecker is free and fast and hits like a freight train.

you can't be big and strong and slow with hands of stone and even play in the league anymore. you have to be fast and maneuverable to beat the forechecker, make the right play and avoid getting hit by the train.

Easier? no. hell no. At the very minimum its just as hard only completely different with fewer sources of quality advice and coaching because the position has changed so much. Karl Alzner is the prototype stay at home now.
As usual, I contradict everyone of your points.

The fact that we have a young defense and are... errr were a top team in the league should speak volumes to you. Do you see the kids getting lit up on defense? No. Are only our young defensemen good? No. Have you seen a youth movement, a lot of highly skilled young kids on their bluelines across the league? Yes.

The fact that the modern day defensemen largely doesnt check hold hook heck even touch a forward makes it easier for undersized and under developed kids to hang in the NHL. We heard often how a young defensmen needs to fill out, get stronger. What feats of strength do you see Sarge, Carlson, Alzner displaying? Close to none, because you dont need to be as strong anymore.

Sarge, fast and maneuverable? There is no forecheck!

If you think the hit and forecheck free nuNHLite makes it tougher on young defensemen, as usual we will agree to disagree.

Just dont turn a blind eye to seeing what Green Sarge Alzner and Carlson have done right in your face.


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01-14-2011, 01:25 PM
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Interesting thread. The Caps have far better goaltending today. More top end skill all around. But today's team is much easier to play against. Those Caps teams always lost ultimately but they always outworked the other team. The coaching seemed better then. That team was more stable up the middle (Ridley, Pivonka, Hunter).

I don't think that team was all that close to winning the Cup. The same goes for today's team, unfortunately. :/

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01-14-2011, 02:21 PM
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I wonder what % playoff injuries, to your team or your opponents team, has in determining the series winning teams. That rough and tumble 1990 team lost Dino IIRC, and maybe someone else big limping into Boston. Versus the pens two years ago, our defense was near crippled with broken feet, and Green a shoulder I think it was. Semin getting hacked and whacked can be physically deterred in his primary goal scoring role.

Bruce needs to learn to not play those that simply cant hang. To fall back on our depth and Hershey. Green vs Pitt, Bruce refused to lay off the gas on the Vespa. Ignoring Juice and Pothier who by their health perhaps alone, were our best defensemen in that series. I hope he learned.

But what a monster team that was. 10 guys with 100+ PIMs. Those guys had an attitude. I think at full health, we were close to a cup. So again, just what percentage does injuries, durability, and playing through pain, have in determining if you win or not? I think its a lot more than gets discussed.

Knock on wood but I like Hannan for his durability. Who cares if he is a minus 7 in December. We need durable players in our hunt for a cup. The durable guys maybe turn out to be your best guys.

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01-14-2011, 02:50 PM
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During the regular season, I recall, something was "off" about that 1990 team as well. It wasn't til around the trade deadline where they sorta started playing better.

I do think they finished the season under .500 or close to that threshold. Their main guns couldn't score as well. Its almost as if they were "sweating off the hangover" from the previous year.

Then guys like Dino, Courtnall, Hunter etc elevated their games in the playoffs.

I disagree with the notion that we were not then/are not now a cup contender. We had a great team that year! Like RH said...10 guys with 100+ PIMS!! Showed we were just ruthless and evil.

We have more guys this year who are capable of consistently finishing their checks. The 90 team we had all but 2 or 3 skaters who did finish every one. I think this 2010-11 version is very capable when the right players are in there.

We started the year sorta like that with tons of fights..but SEEMS to have trailed off and we started struggling. Maybe a coincidence? Not sure.

RH - in the 90 playoffs not only did we lose Dino but we lost Hatcher too..in the same series vs the Rangers..ironically both to Kris King's knees. And Hatcher was a BEAST that year..the "early" Kevin Hatcher was a much different player than Hollywood Hatcher.

We further had Stevens playing with a separated shoulder in the Bs series which REALLY affected his play. Beaupre was out as well.

BBs a stubborn guy but he is smart too. He will figure out that we need to up the physical ante.

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