Discussion in 'Washington Capitals' started by Calicaps, Apr 7, 2021.
Maybe Lavy has lost the room.
Side note of no value. The Caps skid without Panik in the lineup grows
In all honesty, he’s better than Carr.
The goaltending is pretty shaky, and this team’s confidence in itself and willingness and ability to play the crisp, up-tempo, quick-passing game that makes them successful (when they succeed) depends on feeling confident in their net-minder.
And, like tonight, how could you feel confident after the shit-tier goal Sammy gave up 33 seconds in. As a skater, how does that not make you more tense, and change your risk-reward calculus if POS shots like that are getting past your goalie.
It doesn’t matter that he was good later in the period for a spell - the damage was done 33 seconds in and why should anyone have confidence that Sammy was done giving up ridiculous goals for the night. What track record do they have to draw upon to believe that.
I’ve seen enough of Sammy to know he ain’t the guy - not this year and maybe not any year
It's just normal regression. Their true level is more slightly above middle of the pack than dominance. Their goal differential speaks to it. Their inability to draw penalties and general lack of pace speaks to it. Their tendency to slip in third periods and let teams back in speaks to it. IMO they're easily not a top five team and are more at the end of the top ten. Best-case I could see seventh but with question marks in net and with pace generally it's hard to be bullish on them when it really matters. Sure, grinding and checking is hard to play against but not if they're just chasing the play. It's always better to be the aggressor and without pace it's hard to truly like their position.
They want to be a structured, checking team but don't really play with a ton of buy-in. I don't think Lavy has lost the room so much as he's maybe not as pragmatic or flexible as he needs to be. He really needs to find a way to fix their pace issues because it can look pretty awful when they're just going through the motions.
Great post. I agree with all of this.
I don't know about others here, but it strongly feels to me that Samsonov is digressing. Right now he looks like a springy, athletic goalie who doesn't read the play well and is off on his angles. He's guessing too much and looks out of control. He's making too many spectacular saves because he's out of position. Vanecek is less skilled, but he's playing tight and compact, while being steady and controlled with his movements. Currently, VV is looking like our #1 and Sammy is looking more like #2/Taxi Squad!
I think the random number generator isn’t doing too great for Capitals goalies this season. But I don’t think I’d acquire another goalie because maybe their random number generator would come up with big numbers instead of goose eggs too. Lundqvist coming back might be the best option because while his numbers will also be subject to the same randomness, I could see his presence helping the team in the locker room in a non-insignificant way.
The good news is that these goalies could all turn into brick walls in the postseason due to pure randomness, and no real deviation from their normal level of play. Seeing eye pucks will start hitting them in the arm instead of leaking through their arm and body, shafts of goalie sticks could deflect pucks away, pucks could find their way into the 100 square foot opening to the glove instead of just above or beneath it, etc.
I think Henrik returning would be a huge motivation for this team. If he went through the wall for them, surely they'd want to return the favour.
Could be one of those intangible things that can't be measured. Team chemistry sort of thing.
I agree with you on most points. I put particular emphasis on being a very structured checking team. I'd add 'precise' to the list. We don't have the legs to keep up with most top contenders and have to be smarter than them. Passing must be precise, defensive gap control must be exact, shifts must be timed right. Life has to be made easy for two inexperienced and shaky goaltenders.
I think that shortening the bench earlier in the season is not doing this team any favors. We played a lot of periods with three lines and a lot of games with three centers. Chara played a whole lot of ~20min games to start the season and his game is showing cracks. Ovechkin is not showing the kind of jump he had 10 games ago. Hopefully the team can ramp it up by the end of the season.
I see us as a legitimate top-4 team in this division and if the team is in shape and playing to its ability, we can push through to the 3rd round. Beyond that, all bets are off. I also believe that considerable improvements could be made to both forward and defense groups in the next few days. Goaltending is a complete mystery to me and I have no notion whether they should just ride it out or trade for a goalie.
Interesting comparison. Pavelski and Couture vs Kuznetsov and Vrana..anybody who thinks those two tandems are equal...give your head a shake. Vrana has no business being mentioned in the same sentence as other three.
So the normal, we are bad and our window is closed and we should sell everyone and fire the coach. And the goalies suck and Richard Panik is the best player in the team.
its a normal mini slump. Every team has those. Tampa has those, Avs has those, Leafs have those, Bruins have those. Just grind through it. Its better to be slumping now than 3 weeks later. They have time to bounce back from it. And since we have built some leash on the playoffs battle we dont have to be overly worried right now either.
How do you fix their pace issues with a bunch of slow guys?
Pretty much can't play heavy (if they ever could with this lineup) because Willy is neutered. He can't hit a single guy hard, because if he miscalculates by a half-second, or a half-inch, he is now gone for 40 games.
They are slow, can't play heavy, some are marginally motivated at best.
They are just not as good as Boston or NYI.
Panik’s a curious one, because he isn’t the answer but also isn’t the problem. Playing him means something significant is still missing, but removing him seems to knock everything else off balance even more.
Have they tried this yet?
That’s probably the most balanced lineup we could get, and perhaps the best chance of getting legs moving. At least one player with speed on every line, guys who take care of board work and details on each, and no Sprong-Kuzy-Vrana like defensive deficiencies. I seem to recall Panik is good at driving play even if he can’t finish... putting him with Kuzy and Ovi takes the scoring pressure off him, and might help them stay in their own zone a bit more.
The Backstrom line needs to be more productive, so perhaps flip Wilson and Oshie. Sprong has a deadly shot and hasn’t played poorly, but I’m not convinced having Vrana, Sprong and Sheary as half your top 9 wingers gives us the right balance.
I haven't been able to watch every minute of every game recently so maybe this is off but....
If you were a fast team playing the Caps what would NOT want them to do?
You don't want them to slow the game down or clog up the ice. That means you won't want to see trapping, a zone systems that can't be exploited by movement, or dump and chase entries that punish you on the walls with "heavy" play. You don't want them pumping their legs to get to a position.
Knowing they're an older team with top-heavy scoring and fairly slow D-men, what would you WANT the Caps to do?
You'd want them to use some of their slower forwards to half-ass a forecheck that neither punishes or pressures so you can exploit their positioning.
You'd want them to try to stick to a man-defense formula regardless of score, situation, fatigue, etc., which allows you to skate circles around them as they glide and puck-watch, until you find a shot.
You'd thank the hockey gods they're trying to skate with you instead of slowing you down.
You'd love it that they have slow d-men trying to exit the zone with little assistance instead of finding support from multiple forwards.
You'd probably also be fine with them trying to play low-to-high with the puck if it means guys will be trapped down low or loitering on the perimeter after the shot from the point.
Didn't we see Trotz make this same mistake early on, back when the Rongos were really fast? Someone ask Hank.
Now as then, you can't blow up the whole roster for speed. Recall there was talk of this at one point a few years ago, possibly when Trotz was on the hot seat and right before they locked it down and won the Cup, but that seems to have been forgotten.
What's more more realistic right now?
Blow it up at the TDL and land enough speed to skate with the faster/younger squads
Keep playing a "hybrid" system that's neither fish nor fowl and seems to rely too much on age/speed/fitness we don't seem to have
Adjust the system to fit the roster strengths and see how far that takes you this year, then adjust in the offseason
As said, discipline and anticipation have to make up for it. For most of the season that engagement level hasn't quite been there. Passing and structure have to mentally make up for what they struggle to do physically. But also, crucially, I think the D personnel and their D upside is fairly limited ultimately. They're struggling collectively right now and that happens. But how good have they really been overall? That's the bigger issue. Aside from shooting ability I'm not sure they have an exceptional quality in them and that's been their calling card for a while now. Lavi has elevated the Dowd line and brought in man-on-man defense but I don't see much difference compared to past seasons. Experimenting with Carr at this point looks like a bad bet, perhaps hinting at what they'd like to upgrade. I don't doubt they do add a goaltender, though, very much in the vein of trying to buy their way toward an easy fix.
They can beat NYI/BOS/PIT but they can't just largely show up and do it based on talent level. The details they should be adding as season goes on instead are just a rehash of tired, flat play. Playoff motivation alone isn't going to do it. For me NYI is the best team in the division again. If that's who they face in the first round I'm not sure they're up for that challenge. The rest somewhat depends on the trade deadline and execution. I think we're mainly seeing that talent level alone can decay if the work isn't done to fully put it in position to be useful. That's hockey sense more than anything.
Didn’t even say they were equal, but if that’s the game you want to play the Capitals win the Ovechkin+Backstrom vs Thornton+Marleau comparison so hard that it doesn’t matter.
Not saying the goaltending has been the best recently but 0 even-strength goals in the last 2 games. Our D is bleeding chances all over the place. We have bigger issues to fill than goaltending.
Ironically we have good defensive players sitting out while the current ones always get a sweater.
We need to get faster if we want to compete with the big boys, its that simple. Being outskated every game isnt the healthiest recipe for success.
goaltending is the backbone or at least a building block of a team....foundational IMO. it should not be brushed off because as a weakness it permeates throughout the team.
Inconsistent goaltending wears on a D Corp, hell a team mentally. I think they’re intertwined, not solely the fault of one or the other.
So what goalies are there on the market who are consistently better than VV and IS and could come here to fix our D bleeding chances against?
Do you mean they should after an elite goalie? I don't see any on the market.
Or veteran presence? Don't we have Lundqvist and Anderson for that?
He can gladly take that elsewhere. There's not a chance paying him over 5 per is a smart move, unless he simply goes off in the playoffs, which seems damn near impossible at this point.
Haunt them how? He's literally been non existent in the playoffs two years running and really isn't putting in the effort that shows he'll be any different this time around. Holding onto a guy that clearly isn't a fit for what this team needs is just as, if not more regretful than moving him for something that does fit.
and then he'll flourish on a team that plays him in the role he's meant for like the avalanche are for burakovsky and then people will wonder where the hell was that his whole time here.
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