Tag Archives: youth

Caps vs. Leafs; round 2

5 Feb

Tonight the Caps take on the Toronto Maple Leafs for the second time on this shortened season. The last match up between these two was a doosey with the Caps losing 3-2. While they gained momentum with an early lead via Joel Ward, they were unable to keep the pressure for the full game which the Leafs capitalized on earning them two points in the standings. While the Leafshave great young talent, the Caps inability to play a full game is what’s plagued them throughout the start of this shortened season and has cost them many games in the third (think Ottawa and New Jersey).

Playing a full game is vital if the Caps want to amount to anything and even make the Playoffs, which is seeming less and less likely with each passing game. To even have a chance at winning this game, the Caps have to be able to keep offensive pressure on the Leafs and get pucks in front of the net, one’s gonna tickle the twine sometime.

This boils down to individual player responsibility. the so touted “big guns” need to actually show up. Ovechkin? He has half as many goals as Joel Ward and his points aren’t anything to talk about either. Backstrom? Other than the game against Philly, he’s been pretty invisible with only a handful of assists and points. I think I’ve made my point.

If the Caps want to be a true Cup contender or even a team that’s halfway decent, everyone needs to come out and play every shift, every game. Let’s hope they can pull it together tonight in the Phone Booth and secure another W in the standings.

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Youth hockey, it’s important

4 Dec

This site was an idea I had after the (relative) success of my Caps blog, and I decided the world (or whom ever reads my stuff) should become more familiar with youth hockey and give it more support. Because you only really see fans at professional and college level, unless you’re related to a player.

The main idea of this is to just put youth hockey into the limelight and give the players the credit they deserve. And it so happens to be with my High School, George Mason. Feel free to get involved and come to games and support us!http://gmhshockey.wordpress.com/

Islanders vs. girlscouts (5-3)

5 Nov

There was no mistake in that title, Caps fans. It was the Islanders vs. the Girlscouts. We were pitiful, damn pitiful. what part of defense is supposed to stay in their own zone and help prevent goals do the Caps not understand!? Girlscouts could’ve played better than the Caps did! (I say this being a former girl scout). How does a team that has won its division 7 times lose to a team who’s regularly in the bottom 10 in the standings? This game shouldn’t have even been an issue, much less a 5-3 loss.

The whole point of getting a lead is keeping it and rushing the net. What did we not do? Rush the net and keep the lead! This isn’t anything new, guys. They taught you this way back in pee wee hockey when you thought girls had cooties.

The Caps defense being as weak as diarrhea wasn’t the only glaring issue, but their old-enough-for-Depends goalie played just as well as my 9 month old cousin; HORRIBLE. Caps, you can’t honestly expect to win a Cup if your defense is weaker than water and you have an unpredictable goalie.

You can talk about it all you want, and try all the wacky line combos to your heart’s content. But until your defense gets serious, you’re no more a threat for the Cup than the Panthers. Keep that in mind next time, boys. You might actually show up.

DJ King on waivers…again

3 Nov

Oh DJ, where would our fourth line be without you? Well actually, they wouldn’t be any different…That’s the problem. As much as I love grinders (grinders gal for life!) and as much as we need grinders (come on, you know we do), they have to be able to do more than just get into scraps.

DJ, I love you to death, but the point of a succesful goon is to be able to play hockey as well as tear it up. And by play I mean score around 5 goals and, ya know, not turn the puck over.

If you look at our beloved goons stats, you’ll see he doesn’t really accomplish either of those things. To sum up his stats this season (he’s only played 1 game) is, well, zip. Zero. Nada. He has nothing across the board. Granted, he has only played one game and he is a goon. But if you look at his stats from last season, well, let’s just say they aren’t anymore impressive.

DJ isn’t a bad guy, and he isn’t a bad player. But the way he plays and his position on the team, so to speak,  isn’t speaking to the type of team the Caps are. Yes he is one player, and yes he doesn’t play every game looking for fights. But playing him against a team sends a real message. And is that the kind of message we want to send?

The whole reason I ask this is because that’s what DJ is asking himself. Being in the NHL means something, something important. It means you are an elite player, a player capable of playing above hundreds of thousands of other hockey players.

DJ is playing in the elite league of the NHL. Or at least he’s supposed to be. He’s a healthy scratch game after game, day after day, week after week. Until maybe, just maybe the Caps decide a goon might actually be a good idea. He just waits, for the opportunity to do what he loves.

Wouldn’t you want to have the chance and ability to do what you love? Of course that’s a yes! So why wouldn’t DJ King want to be put on waivers? being put on waivers is essentially letting all other 29 teams know he wants something different. The ability to actually play more than 10-20 games a year. Would you hold that against him?

While no one picked DJ up while on waivers this time, the message was sent. He wants to play. Whether or not the Capitals organization listens to that or keeps him as a healthy scratch game after game. The answer to this question will be answered in the up coming days and weeks. Until then, we’ll just have to see if his message was picked up. Or if he was left hanging.

“Paging the Caps defense, would you please come to the Verizon Center? the Ducks are kicking our asses!”

2 Nov

You know that thing of where players help protect their own end and prevent the goalie from having to play twister while standing on his head? yeah, that’s called DEFENSE. Something of which the Caps are significantly lacking!

Where can we check this out!?

Look, I know we won. Woohoo! pop the bubbly! But in reality, we have some major things to fix. You know, our weak as diarrhea defense and our inability to rush the net. If we don’t fix those things, we’re just where we were last year. Out far to early with far too much talent.

This isn’t a new problem either, this has been going on a LONG time. Think when I could quote Barbie out of Barbie Rapunzel. The issue isn’t that we   don’t have talented players, we do. But they just aren’t  playing smart defensive hockey.

I get we have some extremely talented offensive minded Defense guys, like Green and Carlson. But that doesn’t mean they aren’t responsible for their own zone. Their number one job is to protect their own zone, clear the puck, and help the goalie. Scoring goals and getting fancy comes afterwards. That’s how you win games. And THAT is how you win the Cup (See: Boston Bruins).

Experience vs. the fountain of youth

5 Sep

In the last few years, it seems the Caps focus is getting the youngest and freshest talent available. Don’t get me wrong, that’s not always a bad thing (see the Wonder Twins). But we need more experienced players, Knuble’s great but he shouldn’t be the only one know what he’s doing in the Playoffs. Which is why I thought signing Hannan and Arnott was a good idea, they’re both good players, both have lots of experience in the Playoffs and both Hannan and Arnott, respectively, have won at least one cup.

Which is what really baffles me about losing both Arnott and Hannan to free agency (yeah, that elephant). Yes, we did have to fit everyone under the salary cap but I don’t see how experience and good work ethics are less important than running around and getting surplus goaltenders. This isn’t the Clinton administration (oh yes, I’m still bitter), we’re caught with our pants down and with surplus, Leaving the most important things by the wayside.

We do have Hamrlick, Ward, Halpern, and Bouwer and time will tell whether they were good investments or not. But that doesn’t hide that we’ve made some rather boneheaded moves. Keeping Semin for one, he’s a good player but he’s more hot than cold and as ,ex Capital 4th line forward, Matt Bradley said “… he’s one guy who has so much talent, he could easily be the best player in the league, and just for whatever reason, just doesn’t care.” That’s a highly controversial fact, but look at the stats. They don’t lie.
 

Now maybe Brad’s comment will be disproved this season, and I really hope it does. But looking at the last few seasons, we haven’t done what we need to do in the off season. Whether that be getting rid of floaters, or acquiring more experienced players.

To conclude, both experience and youth are both important. It’s just the right balance and combination that makes the difference. Let’s hope the Caps got the combination right this year. As the (slightly) cheesy Caps playoffs commercials say “It’s our time”. LET’S GO CAPS!!!

Why we need Karl Alzner

9 Jul

As a Caps fan I’ve been compulsively checking the RFa’s(Restricted Free Agents) to see if the Caps have signed Karl Alzner.

why Karl Alzner? there are a plethora of reasons, beside the fact he’s my favorite player. Alzy, as I like to call him, has always stood out from his fellow defensive defensemen. His quick foot work and powerful stick handling has helped him stand out from the rest of the 22 year old, British Columbia born defensive defensemen. He moved quickly through the WHL as a defensemen for the Calgary Hitmen, with a career total of 19 goals and 117 points.

His talents as a leader and player shined as a member of the Canadian Gold medal winning team in the 2007 WJC (World Junior Championship). His leadership skills continued to shine as he was picked as an Alternate Captain in the 2007 Super Series and was named Captain of Team Canada for the 2008 WJC.

Although his career in the NHL has been short, he has preformed well in the last two seasons as a full time Capital with line mate, and friend, John Carlson. Their name among Caps fans and announcers is the “shutdown crew”, due to their ability to shut down any teams offense and keep them out of the Caps end of the ice while creating chances for the Caps offense.

He has not only done well on the score board, with 3 career goals and 22 points, but in the locker room as well. Even though Karl has never worn an “A” or an “C” he has always been a strong presence, even as a rookie. His quiet strength is noticed by fans and team mates alike.

If those reasons aren’t enough, his determination to be better and stronger every year speaks volumes.

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