Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Washington Post column -- Slumping Washington Caps need to trade for a goalie for Stanley Cup run

The following is this week's article for The Washington Post ---

Woe are the Washington Capitals.

Things are so bad in Caps-land these days that there's more talk about the next time the Caps play the hapless New York Islanders (Jan. 20) than there is about the Winter Classic against the Pittsburgh Penguins on New Year's Day.

Okay, just kidding.

The state of the Capitals really isn't that bad. You want bad, go back to Washington's inaugural season 36 years ago when the team won eight games. That was bad. What's going on right now is frustrating - illustrated perfectly by Alex Ovechkin's second-period fight with Brandon Dubinsky in New York on Sunday night - and it is concerning for a team whose season can't be a success unless it ends with a parade.

That's a new kind of pressure for this team, this organization and, in fact, this town. The last D.C. area team that entered a season expecting to win a championship was Maryland's men's basketball team nine years ago. The last professional team that had those sort of expectations was the last team of Joe Gibbs I, which entered 1992 as the defending Super Bowl champions and barely made the playoffs.

The last time the Caps were in this position was . . . never.

Click here for the rest of the column: Time for Caps to trade for a goalie


kratzmark said...

Your assertion seems to be that there's nothing wrong with the Caps that a good goaltender won't fix. Wow.

In the post-lockout era teams do not need hall of fame goaltenders to win the Cup. Look at the last five Cup winning goaltenders and tell me how many get there without a ticket.

The problem with the Caps is not that they are in a "slump". It's that the NHL has figured them out and the man in charge does not have a response. It wasn't Halak that beat them last Spring - it was defensively clogging up the middle, keeping the skilled players to the outside, and limiting them to one-and-done scoring opportunities - easy to do against a club that doesn't like to do the dirty work. Now they see that approach each and every night. In addition to all of that, they've played maybe five 60 minute games all year.

While a trade for a true #2 center or a defenseman willing to punish intruders would be welcome - its not going to solve the problem of an ineffectual response to the defensive schemes they are seeing every night.

IMHO, goaltending is the least of their concerns.

Elwood said...

I like your articles John on an overall basis. However, this is the second article in the last two months where I have extreme issues with your viewpoint (the McNabb-Shanahan issue being the other). I believe in my opinion, you need to pay closer attention to Capitals on a regular basis. if you did, I think you would come to the conclusion that the REAL problem ailing the Caps is that: 1) they do not play 60min as a whole, and as others have pointed out, NHL opposition has figured out how to beat them, 2) they have needed nasty Defensemen for years. One is on IR, and another has just got here in a trade...they need another...3)The forwards need to become physical, outside of Ovechkin....we only have two willing to do it....Knuble and Hendricks...The only thing that needs to happen with the GTs is Boudreau needs to pick one and stay with him....but they have to earn it. Trading for one as you suggest would be an ultimate disaster....I know you are from NY, but if you are going to comment on "America's Hockey Capital" you better get up to speed to before writing columns on the team.

-Elwood Harris
Randallstown, MD