Basically missed a week on here. Oops.
Basically missed a week on here. Oops.
The big question about the Predators was can they score with no real #1 star forward?
The answer is a resounding no.
Legwand (19 goals on the season) had 5 shots, Dumont (12 goals on the season) had 3 shots and Fiddler (9 goals on the season) had 3 shots. All other Nashville forwards had less than 3 SOG.
Arnott has 27 goals on the year, but managed 1 shot. That is in part to the fact that he left the game with injury due to a hit. That's what Nashville gets for attempting to play a physical game. Nashville begins picking fights early, continues to hit hard and sure enough the Caps respond by knocking Arnott out of the game. Well deserved.
Weber and Suter did a good job against Ovechkin, he was in check for the bulk of the game, and his shots were very often blocked or wide. Wide shots are normally because the defender has cut down your shooting angle, and the defense did this very well against Ovie. The one problem with the OV focus is that you lose track of his linemates, and that's exactly what happened in this game. The first Caps goal exploited that problem.
Kozlov dished the puck to Ovechkin, and with Suter playing the puck (Kozlov) at the point on the rush, Weber was forced to go out and quickly cover Ovechkin's shooting lanes. This led to Backstrom being able to cut into the slot, between Suter and Weber, without a problem. Ovechkin spotted him and that promptly tied the game, as Ellis was helpless on the break.
That goal showed how hard it is for opposing defenders to shut down the top line. Even when you cut off Ovie's shooting lanes, the top line can still be effective with wise passing plays and timely cuts.
Big win for the slumping Caps. I'll be in Philly on Thursday night, so look for a few pictures.
Wow. The Rangers carry the torch for the Yankees in baseball offseason. Big stunner.
Are these 2 players going to fix the lack of production that the Rangers currently face? I doubt it. The reason the Rangers "needed" to go out and get these players is because of the fat contracts they currently have with Gomez, Drury and Redden. Trading for 2 average players and selling away future assets to get them isn't going to fix past blunders. This is a lesson learned the hard way by the Capitals. In 2002 the Capitals bought Jagr, bought Lang and tried to buy a stanley cup. Much like the Rangers have been doing. That failed big time, so the Caps rebuilt. Look where the Capitals are now, a division leader (with no one close) and a team fighting for first in the conference with its best days still to come.
The Rangers on the other hand have accrued a team good enough to lose in the first round of the playoffs, keep pushing the salary cap with overpaid underperforming players and secure a draft pick in the bottom 15 of every draft, giving them average prospects, until the team is firesold.
Many teams in the east have gone the way of re-building. Pittsburgh and Washington have rebuilt and are on their way to stanley cups, Atlanta, Tampa Bay and the New York Islanders are currently in stages of the rebuild. The rebuild takes patience and foresight. These teams are building the painful and time consuming way.
The Rangers just don't get it. Stop spending to make the playoffs, start building to win championships.
Rangers trade deadline grade: F-
John Tavares - A very highly skilled forward. Dubbed "the next next one" by the Canadian Media (apparently Crosby is the next one). Tavares was the star in Canada's gold medal victory in the world junior tournament. Tavares broke Gretzky's 25+ year old goal record for most goals by a 16 year old in the OHL. He is touted as a player who will come into the NHL and score 100 points immediately, much the way Crosby and Ovechkin did.
Victor Hedman - A well rounded defenseman who has had his game compared to Nick Lidstrom. Currently in his second season in the Swedish Elite League, playing as an 18 year old against grown men, he has 21 points in 43 games and is a surprising +22 on a team that has allowed 24 more goals than they have scored. Keep in mind that in Europe, leagues use a larger ice surface that makes scoring less abundant.
I guess it would depend on the team that has the luxury of drafting 1st overall. A team like the Islanders needs everything except goaltending, they have used a 1st overall selection in the past to select DiPietro and then promptly signed him to a 15 year deal despite his history of injuries. They basically need EVERYTHING else. Right now, they'd be a competitive team in the AHL, and they're looking to deal players like Guerin and probably Weight and Witt as well.
If you take an example like the Blues or the Kings, both of those teams would almost certainly take Tavares because both of them have gone through re-builds where they have stocked VERY high end defensive talent with the likes of Pietrangelo and Erik Johnson in STL and Doughty, Hickey and Jack Johnson (trade from CAR) in LA. When you look at these teams upfront, both of them could use a 100 point center. The only center in STL projected to put up 100 points in the future is.......? Berglund? No dice. The Kings have a better option in Kopitar but after that, who's next on the list? Moller? Boyle? Not much depth. Tavares for STL or LA.
If you look at a team like Pittsburgh or Washington (neither will be in the top slot, but it's an example) both of these teams would certainly take Hedman. In fact Washington has taken Hedman before, just not the more skilled of the 2 brothers. Both of these teams are STACKED to the teeth in offensive talent. Players such as Crosby, Ovechkin, Malkin, Backstrom and Talbot. Ok, maybe not Talbot, but you get the idea. These teams don't have many blue chip defensive defensemen. In fact I'd say the only top tier prospect defensive Dmen in either system would be Alzner (Orpik is young, but not a prospect or a blue chipper). These teams have the offensive rearguards in Green, Letang and Goligoski, but these players lack the true 2-way value that Hedman projects to bring.
Do you take the mentality that you would draft the best player available? Do you draft the best player for your system? Do you draft based on your immediate needs? If you are the Islanders, who do you take and why?
Defense wins championships. Caps take 6 minor penalties to the Panthers 2, reflecting the final. Panthers 6 Caps 2.
1st period summary: Caps take 3 penalties, Panthers score 3 PPG. Ouch. Remember that Boston post the other night? I detailed the PK troubles, and how if the Caps stayed off the PK, there was a chance for a regulation win? Caps give up a PPG inside 5 minutes left in the 3rd to allow Boston to steal an OT point. Caps stole one with a Semin floater on Saturday. Not so lucky on Sunday.
I still like Neuvirth in net. Kid seems pretty sound technically. Have to like how the team is built in net with Varlamov and Neuvirth. Both net minders have looked very solid at the NHL level, both are VERY young, both play a different style of goal and both seem to be ready for duty. Also a great thing is that neither were drafted before the 20th overall pick, kudos to GMGM and the scouts on that one.
I'll leave this one on a high note. The ONLY good thing about today's loss is that giving the Panthers 2 more points makes it that much harder for the Penguins to get into the playoffs. Who would have thought after last year that we would be saying that this late in the season? While Pittsburgh enters Monday sitting in the 8th spot, remember that Buffalo is behind by 1 point and has a game in hand. Carolina is 1 point back with no games in hand but they do meet with Pittsburgh in Carolina on Saturday April 4th. Canes and Pens have Friday April 3rd off, but Pittsburgh will be in Florida the next night, Sunday April 5th, and the Panthers will be sitting waiting with Saturday April 4th off and will have been at home since Sunday March 29th. Carolina also sees the Capitals 3 times in March, so the Penguins will be doing some indirect cheering.
Please watch Don Cherry make an ass of himself. This is the most biased opinion I've heard since the last time I talked to a Yankees fan. "Act like Joe Thornton (Canadian), Sakic (Canadian), Iginla (Canadian), Shanahan (Canadian), Bobby Orr (Canadian), Yzerman (Canadian), guys (Canadians) like that." "Act like Jason Strudwick (Canadian)."Who would have guessed that Cherry could roll Canadian names off his tounge in a matter of seconds?
Ovechkin is a "goof" and conducts himself along the same lines as Sean Avery. .....Seriously? Avery? The same Avery that was demoted from the NHL when the Stars were struggling?
Placing Avery and Ovechkin side by side and attempting to compare them is a joke. Both of them are flamboyant, and that's where the comparisons end. Ovechkin is a world class talent, Avery is a world class moron. The best comparison to Sean Avery isn't Ovechkin, it in fact is Don Cherry.
Both of them are flamboyant idiots. Both of them publicly bash people who DON'T deserve to be stepped on. Both of them lack appreciation for world class players. Last but not least, NEITHER of them are appreciated by the American hockey fan base.
Questions of the Week: Will Don Cherry ever praise Ovechkin's goal scoring ability or his leadership?
What would Don Cherry do if Ovechkin won the Conn Smythe? Suicide Watch?
Good news for the Capitals is that both Lucic and Savard are questionable for the Bruins lineup on Saturday. Among all players, Savard enters Saturday 7th in assists and tied with Iginla for 8th in points. Savard also has 44 points in 34 career games against the Capitals. He's a player that Caps fans won't miss seeing on Saturday. Lucic is an emerging power forward, he's basically Iginla with about 1/2 the skill (and 1/2 the points). Lucic is young quality player who is capable of digging the puck out of corners and dishing off to the skilled players like Savard to make plays happen. He's a vital cog for physical presence on the forecheck. He's a player the Caps defensemen won't miss seeing on Saturday.
As typical with good teams, when injuries strike, someone will step up. That player has been Michael Ryder. He's got 4 goals in his last 4 games and 7 points in that span. Ryder has four 2 goal games accounting for 8 of his 22 goals, oh and 7 of his 22 goals are GWG, however only 2 of his GWG have come in the 3rd and he has not scored in OT. He has 9 goals and 15 points in 17 games against the Capitals. He has 21 goals in 40 games that Boston has won and a mere 1 goal in 14 games that they have lost. If Ryder is a non-factor, that does not sit well for the Bruins.
Caps come in after a 4-3 win over the lowly Thrashers. It was all powerplay for the Caps in their last game. The Caps scored 3 on the man advantage and gave up a shorty. The powerplay remains red hot and is 3rd in the league, behind SJ by 0.1%. Speaking of special teams, the Caps have got to eliminate penalties in Boston because their powerplay sits at 5th, and the Caps already gave a game away in Boston in OT while shorthanded. The Capitals are currently an unimpressive 20th in the NHL on the penalty kill at 80%. Needless to say the PK unit needs to stay off the ice. The Capitals are 3rd to last in Powerplay goals allowed with 61, ahead of only the Ducks (62) and the Thrashers (68). I'll say it again, the PK needs to stay off the ice. Think of any team in the NHL not in Anaheim or Atlanta and they've allowed less goals on the PK than the Caps. Islanders?...Lightning?...Senators? Yeah. PK is hurting.
On a positive note, Ovechkin has 16 points and 7 goals in 15 games against Boston. Backstrom has 7 points in 7 games against the Bruins. Nylander scored in his last game against the Bruins and he has 33 points in 37 career games against Boston. Love to see him get back on track........wait, get ON the track. To say he has struggled would be underestimating. Hopefully Brashear and Thornton throw fists, its always fun to see 2 of the NHLs best fighters go at it. Brashear had a great fight against Boulton on Thursday.
Caps need 2 in regulation to keep the 1st place hopes alive. Lets go Caps.
Smart. Personable. Philanthropic. Pompous Hypocrite.
Why is it that every philanthropist thinks that their ability to part with a fraction of their gazillions of dollars gives them license to be as blindly hypocritical as possible?
In the latest rendition of Ted’s Take, aka the propaganda machine that the Capitals and their fans are the moral compass of the NHL and the quintessential purveyors of class and dignity, Ted is on his high horse again stating the Capitals are the victims of the referees, but do not ‘whine’ about it. Sure Ted, no Capitals ever talk back to referees. Gary Bettman, in his grassy knoll skybox in Verizon center, has made sure that the referees have been instructed to keep the Capitals down at all costs. This is why the Capitals have not won a cup yet. There can be no other reason.
Maybe I need to reexamine a few games to really determine the extent of how much or how little the Capitals react to penalties called on them. This is provided I can drown out the din of whining done for them by their fans and owner.
Ted, you are a good owner and a benefit to the community of Washington. However, stop pretending the Capitals and its fan base are morally superior to anyone. I know you want to believe that you have built a “city on a hill”. What you have a built is an extremely talented hockey team and given the true Capitals fans hope of a Stanley Cup (Yes, real Capitals fans, I am almost happy for you if I did not despise your team. However, this “almost sentiment” does not apply to the multitude of Capitals fans that don’t know a blueline from a tan line-- the ones that are only Capitals fans, but not fans of hockey).
However, they are a team like any other in the NHL. The Capitals have the same moral pitfalls, cheap shot artists, and complaining issues like every team in the NHL. Furthermore, you have a fanbase with a large chip on their shoulder from years of disappointment. They are just as virulent as other fanbases (the obvious exception being the Philadelphia fanbase; those kind hearted folk are in a class all their own), proven irrefutably with all of the Crosby venom.
If you want to take the real high road Ted, stop churning out illusions of ethical grandeur and standing about your team. Embrace the fact that you have brought the Capitals into the hockey forefront, with all the same flaws that comes with putting together a bunch of dexterous barbarians that swing sticks.
Your team is like any other Ted. Be proud of what they are, and not what you would magically make them in your head.
P.S. This will be the last Caps oriented post by me for awhile. I think these last two posts should be enough to get Caps Fans and me off on the wrong foot. Stay tuned for Penguins coverage.
P.P.S: Don't worry Caps fans, he's not always this full of hate. The lack of sunshine on the U.P. could be deeply affecting Flex. We think. His Pens insight is rather keen, not to worry. -PF-Lupashuck
I suppose there was one victory for Penguins fans yesterday; it has exposed the Crosby attention conspiracy for what it mostly is: a fabrication created by Captials fans and supported by select other fans from around the league. Now, I am certainly not denying that the NHL used Crosby as their poster boy and billed him up plenty. However, if you examine a random sampling of innocuous threads in relation to the Penguins and Crosby with no mention of them, you will find a surprisingly large portion of the threads turn to Crosby hating rather quickly.
Headline: Capitals defeat Team X
You won’t have to scroll far before the first “Did you see that Ovechkin goal…So much better than that cry baby Crosby’s non-goals.” Or you will find some equally trite or juvenile comment in regards to “OVECHKIN Pwning” and “Cindy Cry-Baby”.
Alright, let us step back a moment. Maybe Capitals fans have been living so vicariously through Ovechkin that they have felt extremely slighted by the NHL’s coverage. Therefore, every achievement of Ovechkin’s is seen through Crosby-shaded glasses and cannot be separated from Crosby’s.
I present Case B:
Headline: Team X defeats Team Y
Even a large portion of these which have no mention of Crosby or the Penguins suddenly spark Crosby hate-a-thons. Some of these are started by random Crosby hating fans around the league, others by Capitals fans trolling other places. It isn’t even related to Ovechkin at this point.
Here’s some food for thought:
2 years ago Crosby was the Art Ross, Hart, and Pearson award winner. Last year his team was spanking teams in the playoffs until they ran into the brick wall that was the Red Wings. So the coverage he received was well deserved. Now that Ovechkin has won a round of trophies, the coverage on him has been upped. Today, there was more Ovechkin coverage than Crosby coverage and the clowns that are Pierre McGuire and Mike Milbury (aka the black sheep of HNIC) said that Ovechkin is by far the best player in the league. Surely the wrongs have been righted for Capitals fans and all is well in the world. WRONG! The Crosby nonsense continues.
The reality is most of the Crosby coverage is a result of: are you ready for this? CAPITALS FANS. That’s right ladies and gentlemen; don’t point your finger squarely at the NHL execs. Capitals fans bring up Crosby more than Penguins fans. In fact, I have met more Crosby haters than Crosby supporters. Maybe the Crosby haters are just more vocal. This would again support my point that the Crosby attention falls squarely on the haters’ shoulders.
Capitals fans who are vocal about their hatred for Crosby are like the middle-aged women plopped on their couches that bitch about how Paris Hilton is on the news again while they flip open their National Enquirer and turn on TMZ.
Dear Capitals fans,
Crosby is more important to you than he is to the Penguins’ fans. He is your sacred pariah that you can accurse at the water cooler each day with your coworkers. His failures are more important to you than Ovechkin’s successes. Your views of him exemplify the consequences of predisposition and selective criticism. He unites your fans under a banner of hate. And when you go home from the playoffs early, he will be the one crutch, the one consolation, the one cure for your disappointment. The Crosby coverage phenomenon is your doing Capitals fans, and apparently it is something you can’t live without.Love,