Speculation: Caps General Discussion (Coaching/FAs/Cap/Lines etc) - 2021 "Season" Pt. 4

Discussion in 'Washington Capitals' started by Calicaps, Apr 7, 2021.

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  1. HecticGlow Registered User

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    Not meaning to attack Tarik personally, but I think the Caps are one of the more poorly-served teams on the Athletic. I follow every NHL team’s coverage on the Athletic and my impression is the Caps’ coverage seems to be less frequent than many teams’, and often less detailed or distinct. It’s rare that I find a piece by Tarik (or Chris before him) that has a very different perspective to what Samantha Pell or NBCSN are producing, and the content can feel very ‘here are some facts to throw your way’ rather than in-depth interviewing or analysis.

    I’m not just meaning the juggernaut teams like Toronto who get multiple writers and daily updates. Look at the content Joe Smith produces for Tampa Bay Lightning and it tends to have much more depth, more frequent interviews (that aren’t just quotes from press conferences), analysis with richer recent and historical comparisons or contexts, and a stronger awareness and understanding of competing teams’ threats and issues. Generally, the pieces are just a lot longer, too. Many other teams’ beats regularly include short videos or GIFs to illustrate their analysis of plays or players.

    For an example of the thinner Caps analysis, look at Tarik’s recent article on the Caps and the Expansion Draft. In it, he makes the assumption that the Caps won’t protect Oshie, but the only analysis he provides is about whether the Kraken would take him or not – rather than why the Caps won’t protect him. Most other commentators I’ve seen have argued that, although the contract might look ugly in the near-to-long term future, Oshie is too integral a part of the Caps core to move on and still be competitive. Now I’m fine with someone arguing Oshie shouldn’t be protected, or indeed that the sense they get from insiders is the Caps won’t protect him, but you have to explain your logic. Otherwise it’s neither journalism or analysis, just a guy writing stuff for the hell of it. (For context, he included Alex Ovechkin in his mock protection list, even though he went to great pains to stress Ovi probably won’t be protected because he won’t be resigned until after the ED. Instead, he suggested maybe Dowd, who’ll be a UFA after next season, would be the 7th forward on the list. Again, no analysis or explanation as to why Dowd > Oshie or Sprong).

    I don’t know if the Caps are much more controlling of access than other teams, or if it’s simply that budgets at WaPo and the Athletic are a lot lower for the Caps than equivalents for other teams, but it is frustrating as a fan (and paying subscriber).
     
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  2. HecticGlow Registered User

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    What’s the logic behind having only one guy who shoots left on PP1 and exclusively guys who shoot left on PP2? Wilson would have a much tougher time working on the half-wall and goal line than Kuzy does, and you’re limiting your passing and shooting areas on PP2 without anyone shooting right?

    Carlson
    Ovi–Backstrom–Eller/Sheary
    Oshie

    Schultz
    Wilson–Mantha–Kuzy
    Sprong/Sheary

    Would make much more sense, if you want Kuzy with Mantha (and depending on your PP2 setup). Although I don’t think having PP2 be a mirror image of PP1 would lead to it being significantly more successful, given it forces Ovi off the ice for PP2 and teams would just adjust to the other side. Using a somewhat different system for PP2 would be the best way to confuse PKers, but is also likely to confuse players (especially when covering for one another).
     
  3. Ovechkins Wodka Registered User

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    I haven’t really well thought out the lines to make it work yet. But having an elite power-play one timer on both sides of the ice on both power-play units would make it especially hard for defensive units and penalty kill specialist to defend. We would definitely be able to exploit some bad matchups

    And most elite penalty kills shut us down in the playoffs Our power-play has a decade of film it’s not that hard to stop I like to see the new wrinkle to throw some teams off guard
     
    Last edited: Apr 22, 2021
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  4. AlexBrovechkin8 At least there was 2018.

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    In fairness, the Caps have the worst goaltending by a large margin in the East and it’s not even really close except for maybe Pittsburgh. As a team they’ve give up 9 more goals than PIT, 35 more goals than NYI, and 31 more BOS, though Boston has played two fewer games. They’re the class of the East at scoring goals but we know scoring is harder in the playoffs and neither of the Caps goalies have given anyone any confidence that they can be counted on to backstop a team deep into the playoffs.

    I’m pretty nervous about our goaltending to be honest and think it’s entirely possible we have the best roster in the East but get bounced in the first round with our goalies pitching a collective .890 save percentage.
     
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  5. Ridley Simon Registered User

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    To your last paragraph.

    Those are the 2 options. Yes. But which is more likely? I’m a betting man, and I’d say it’s easily the first one. He will clash w his coaches and probably end up somewhere else again.

    I don’t think this is the Burakovsky situation again.....at all. Sure, from a purely macro perspective it could be seen that way. But from a micro perspective— Bura didn’t clash w coaches etc etc...he needed confidence in himself — more from a psychological standpoint. Vrana has seemingly too much confidence in himself, so much so that he won’t listen to anyone. Least, that’s my read. Both players need(ed) to grow up, but in vastly different manners. IMO.
     
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  6. Ridley Simon Registered User

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    See my post above re: Burakovsky and Vrana.

    it’s also hard to find the perfect player drafting that late.
     
  7. twabby Registered User

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    @Langway 's point about Detroit possibly moving Vrana again for more assets makes sense if he doesn't fit in with their rebuilding timeline, but I guess my point is that it's possible he becomes a star player somewhere and not necessarily Detroit in particular. He has the talent, and his numbers certainly indicate he can be a driver at 5v5. He'll need help, but even great players need help.

    I know he's 25 years old and that's not young in NHL years but it's still young in adult years and there's still a very good chance that he sees some personal growth from this moment. Being traded away from a contender in large part because of fit (i.e. clashing with your coach) could very easily send a message to Vrana that resonates. This is the first time he's really seen any consequences from his clashing with a coach, so maybe he takes it to heart and decides he needs to change.
     
  8. Artie Fufkin Registered User

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    Of all the teams currently sitting in playoff spots, only the Coyotes have given up more goals than the Caps. If the Blues were to pass the Coyotes, the Caps would be the worst.
     
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  9. tenken00 Oh it's going down in Chinatown

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    Pretty concerning considering both young goalies are in a pretty bad rut right now it seems like.

    10 Games. 10 Games to right the ship. Starting tonight.

    Hopefully finally having Caps fans in Caps seats in Cap Arena tonight after a year will get their mojo going.
     
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  10. max21 NBA Yungboy

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    I agree, kind of makes me nervous about the playoffs. I hope Samsonov goes Binnington mode in the playoffs
     
  11. twabby Registered User

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    I don't think they should care too much since the trade is already done and the team already soured on Vrana, but the team and Laviolette should reflect on the experience and seek to improve just as much as Vrana should reflect on it and seek to improve. If Vrana does become a top-flight player elsewhere there should be some discussion of why they couldn't make it happen in Washington, rather than just chalking it up to him needing a fresh start elsewhere.

    As I mentioned before I think the Capitals did well with the trade. Mantha certainly seems like a legit top line or at worst a top 6 winger, and I don't think adding a first round pick is a big deal given that Mantha is under contract for 3 more years after this one. I'd bet Mantha going to a winner will help, but even if it doesn't help I think his impact in Detroit has already been quite large so even if we get more of the same it'll be great.
     
  12. txpd Registered User

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    Oh, I just find it funny that the division winner and they probably will be is the least favored of the playoff teams. As to the goaltending. Flashing back to the off season the consensus was to roll with Sammy and a back up. Assuming the cheap veteran back up was not cup quality(and that includes Lundqvist), this is what we signed up for. I dont know why people are shocked and upset.

    For myself, I think they can win with average goaltending and that they can get that from Vanecek. They might not but its possible.
     
  13. txpd Registered User

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    Editor's note: I'm a dope.
     
  14. Langway Thoughts & Prayers

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    Maybe but by the time the verdict comes back on whether Vrana has put it together elsewhere so much time will have passed that it'll be somewhat useless to fully reflect upon. It was handled the way it was handled. It's water under the bridge and MacLellan decided to back his new coach. Even if they could have made it work somewhat better there still would have been the cap to figure out so structurally it may not have mattered much. Ultimately they moved for what they deemed the better near-term value. I doubt anything short of Vrana becoming a 40-goal scorer makes them reflect too hard on how they handled it. Even then it also depends on how Mantha performs and whether Vrana's fundamental game also has improved.

    As much as goaltending is a weak point I don't know how much elevation the defense core has in them. Whether it's Carlson with his general laziness or the limited likes of Dillon/Chara I don't know how much extra they've got in the tank. That goes for the whole team really. How much extra have they got in them? 1-4 in the division can be thrown in a hat.
     
  15. zappa4ever Music is the Best!

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    Don't be surprised if we end up 3rd or 4th

    I think it's even odds that we'll end up in any of the 4 playoff spots, essentially all 4 teams are tied with BOS likely to pick up all 4 points of their 2 games in hand

    We have the hardest schedule with 0 left vs BUF/NJD
    B's have 6 more games against BUF/NJD
    Isles and PIT have 4 each against BUF/NJD


     
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  16. AlexBrovechkin8 At least there was 2018.

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    Yeah, fair. The Caps have also done themselves no favors. If they win the division again this year that'll be six straight division titles with one Cup, two second round exits, and two first round exits to show for it... and that's without bringing up the Southeast Division days. I don't think anyone gives much credit to Washington for what they do in the regular season any more.

    Sammy and Lundqvist sounded a lot better than Sammy missing a month with Covid and struggling to regain form and Vanecek.
     
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  17. LesDiablesRouges Registered User

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    Mantha is going to become a PPG or near-PPG player here. My prediction.
     
  18. WetHog Out to Lunch

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  19. txpd Registered User

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    I write that because they have won 6 in a row. As questionable as their playoff mentality can be, when it comes to the regular they expect to win and will find a way to win. I will be wrong when they finally prove they cant
     
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  20. txpd Registered User

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    Maybe. My view was that Samsonov was a crap shoot from the start because he was trending down hard before he got COVID. I had no expectation of Lundqvist as a default starter should Sammy fail. I think Vanecek has been better than what Lundqvist would have been. I think had Hank played and Sammy gotten COVID, VV would have taken the job from Hank
     
  21. twabby Registered User

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    Just a reminder that goaltending is essentially random outside of a few notable cases that were never going to materialize in Washington:

    https://jfresh.substack.com/p/why-goaltending-is-basically-random

    I'm worried about goaltending the same way I'd worry about goaltending if Braden Holtby in his prime were still here. He was fantastic in 2016-17 and then laid an egg that postseason. He was terrible in 2017-18 and then played well that postseason. Maybe one of Vanecek/Samsonov can do the same.

    I think more important is just playing a tight defensive game and making the goalie's job as easy as possible instead of asking them to stand on their head.
     
  22. max21 NBA Yungboy

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    Just need a couple Sammy shutouts to get fired up before the playoffs, let’s go
     
  23. Melkor Registered User

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    Schultz out is a big blow. I don't care what anybody says he's the 3rd most important defenseman to this team. And it's not close with the 4th and the 5th. The only D who can make a solid breakout pass out his own zone. They're going to need to figure out who's gonna take on his duties.
     
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  24. traparatus Registered User

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    Caps coverage on Athletic is pathetic. All that Tarik writes reads to me like a C grade high school essay. Kind of on topic, minimum effort spent, no insight, no analysis. It's just junk.

    I'm really jealous of many teams when it comes to the Athletic, including most of our rivals. You can really learn a lot about other teams from there, just not the Caps.
     
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  25. Calicaps NFA

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    Bruh... never say that word out loud. Especially on gameday. Come on.
     
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