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2021-22 Washington Capitals Thread


ixcuincle
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If it makes you feel any better the league has so much parity that teams win cups and then regress constantly. Look at st Louis who suddenly forgot how to win playoff games after winning a cup. Boston won theirs and was ousted in 7 by Washington. Teams win cups, regress and rebuild. Boston after doing that suffered a bit but returned to SC finals. Pittsburgh won 2 in a row before retooling and losing 3 straight series including 2 in the first round or opening round. They seen okay now but that series is TBD.

 

The point before I sleep is that it's hard to have prolonged playoff success. Sullivan was infallible going 9-0 but had lost 3 series in a row. With the correct moves a retool might work.

 

As is this team is pretty old. They need more youth to play in games. They need more sharper trade acquisitions too.

 

I look at the rest of the league and I'm paranoid about them. The hot shots are Carolina, Tampa, Vegas. Even the avs. We aren't good enough to compete with them. We need to reach that level. The question is whether it can be done. The honesty is the caps have been up against the cap for years. Can they even afford to be on their level.

28 minutes ago, TheGreatBuzz said:


Never understood why we let him walk.

Because he was already focused on leaving after the cup and management tried to keep him but failed 

34 minutes ago, SkinsFanRob said:

Barry Trotz’s capitals almost never lost to the bruins. 
 

just saying 😬

They also went 4-0 in the first round. 

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33 minutes ago, Barry.Randolphe said:

I wonder what kind of prospects Kuzy and Samsonov can get us to retool quickly

 

Why would the Caps trade Samsonov??

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I'm not a fan who hits the nuclear button after every disappointing loss/setback/elimination.  But the fact is the window has closed on this current team.  Barring some unbelievably creative moves to give this club a total facelift, I think it's fair to say we peaked 3 years ago and we're on a downslide going forward, probably good for a couple more solid regular seasons based on talent alone, but we'll continue to be exposed as old, slow, and lacking will and appetite when the chips are down in the playoffs.

Things were supposed to change after 2018.  The guys knew what it took to win.  They were going to stop taking games off, everyone was going to sacrifice and pull on the same rope, and we were going to be a championship caliber team for the next few seasons.  Instead, we lost in the first round to an up-and-coming but extremely green Canes team in 2019, who were rotating journeyman goalies and were missing their most skilled player, unable to hold a 2-goal lead at home in Game 7.  Then we followed that up by being bounced in the first round the next two years - not because of a "hot goalie", not because of officiating, not because of bad "puck luck", not even because of coaching (because we changed coaches this year and got the same result).  We lost because the team who beat us each of the past 2 years was just clearly better, and everyone could see that by the end of the series.

If you look at the playoff history of the Rock the Red club aside from 2018, this core has always come up short in the playoffs.  Since 2008 (again excluding 2018), the only teams we've ever gotten past have been the ultra-lightweights except for once (in 2012, we upset the defending champion Bruins).  For 7 weeks in 2018, everything finally came together, and it was awesome, it was unforgettable, and nobody can ever take it away from us.  But looking at it in the context of everything else (especially their curl-up-and-die displays the past 2 years), 2018 was clearly an anomaly for this core, and it's almost definite they won't come close repeating it.

I'd hate to have GMBM's job.  He's not dumb.  He knows this team has peaked.  He knows that if he could trade Carlson, Kuzy, and Orlov (and Oshie if he's not taken in the expansion draft) he could assemble a stockpile of picks and prospects that would set this team up for another 10 year run.  Hell, if the return was right I'd even trade Wilson, whose value is sky high as hockey's premier power forward but who may really start to tail off in the next couple years as he gets older and as the league continues to try to neuter him.  But he knows Ovi (and likely ownership) would never accept a firesale and subsequent rebuild, even though the Rangers (who 3 years ago launched a rebuild and are now people's sexy pick to be Cup contenders next year) are proving it can be a quick process if done correctly and with some luck.

Thanks to everyone of these guys for the Cup run in 2018.  We'll never forget it.  But we're not getting back there with this group.  They just don't have it in them.  

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What I don’t get is how poor they play in the playoffs. The Capitals were the best 5v5 team in regular season this year, I just still can’t wrap my head around how it’s another first round exit. I don’t think the window is officially closed, I bet they make the playoffs again the next few years and try to catch lightning in a bottle again but who knows. The Bruins are also an old team with an aging core but they were disciplined and played like they wanted it more. I just don’t get it, I was certain Laviolette would give them a different vibe this post season. It was just more of the same 

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The Caps don't need to do a full scale rebuild right now but they have to be willing to play younger guys and GMBM has to stop giving every marginal veteran a contract extension. He also needs to stop giving away draft picks. I don't really view GMBM as a good GM. He built on what GMGM did but he's terrible with the cap. 

 

I've said this before but the Caps refusal to work in younger players has been a problem. I thought Siegenthaler was solid for the Caps the prior season but he barely played this year and got traded. He's only 24. It's time for guys like Fehervary and Alexeyev to get playing time. The Caps should lose one defenseman in the expansion draft. I would probably keep Carlson, Orlov, Shultz protected and hope the Kraken don't take Jensen. As much as I don't want GMBM giving up draft picks, it might be necessary to get the Kraken to take Dillon. Caps would still have TVR and Kempny but they could easily start one or two defensemen. 

 

I'd redirect any saved money from trades to a goal scoring left wing. Not having a guy like Vrana in the playoffs hurt. For whatever was happening behind the scenes, dude seemed to score timely goals. You can't have Sprong, Sheary and Hagelin as your LWs behind Ovechkin. (Don't get me started on the waste Hagelin is at $2.75 mill per season.)

 

As for Kuzy and what to do, he should only be traded if the Caps are getting a player that can step in and play either the first or second line center or LW. Otherwise, I'd go one more season with a full training game with Lavi and see how the season goes. The idea of just getting rid of him or letting Seattle take him is mindblowing, and not in a good way.

 

 

 

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My worry about Laviolette is he may be stuck in the past. We traded for Mantha because he wanted to play a "heavy" game. Speed wins in today's NHL, not hitting. Now Mantha is a very talented player and a good person to have under team control but our top 6 is way too slow. Oshie, Ovechkin, Mantha, Backstrom are all either slow or average skaters

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One thing I didn't understand about the Mantha trade was trading a LW for a RW. 

 

21 minutes ago, Sticksboi05 said:

My worry about Laviolette is he may be stuck in the past. We traded for Mantha because he wanted to play a "heavy" game. Speed wins in today's NHL, not hitting. Now Mantha is a very talented player and a good person to have under team control but our top 6 is way too slow. Oshie, Ovechkin, Mantha, Backstrom are all either slow or average skaters

 

Agreed it could be a concern and it wasn't like the Caps were hurting for guys that could play a heavy game. However, all the reporting on Mantha is that he is an above average skater speed wise. 

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2 hours ago, Sticksboi05 said:

My worry about Laviolette is he may be stuck in the past. We traded for Mantha because he wanted to play a "heavy" game. Speed wins in today's NHL, not hitting. Now Mantha is a very talented player and a good person to have under team control but our top 6 is way too slow. Oshie, Ovechkin, Mantha, Backstrom are all either slow or average skaters


Also, by my estimation Mantha doesn’t really throw his body around all that much for being as big as he is.

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16 minutes ago, TryTheBeal! said:

I just want you all to know that I will be jumping on the Winnipeg Jets bandwagon this year.

I was going to jump on the Oilers bandwagon after the Caps got eliminated, but that's not going well either

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4 hours ago, Hersh said:

One thing I didn't understand about the Mantha trade was trading a LW for a RW. 

I believe Mantha plays both sides.

 

2 hours ago, Springfield said:

Also, by my estimation Mantha doesn’t really throw his body around all that much for being as big as he is.

He's no Tom Wilson, but he's not Jeff Schultz, either.  I noticed him stepping up his physical game in the playoffs.  I think he's a willing combatant, but that it isn't his primary game.  And that's okay.  Would be interesting to see him playing alongside Brett Leason and Alexei Protas in a couple years.  That would be one heavy line of scorers.

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Still confused about how bad they fell off in games 4 and 5. They were competitive in games 1-3, and could've easily won 2 and 3. But something happened in 4 and 5 where they looked extremely disjointed and disorganized out there. Not sure if we were outcoached, the old guys got tired, or what. Passes were terrible, they'd constantly take the first bad shot attempt if they were ever able to enter the zone, no taking time to set themselves up, etc etc etc. And they never adjusted. So disappointing how that ended after having one of the best offensive teams during the regular season

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31 minutes ago, PokerPacker said:

I believe Mantha plays both sides.

 

He's no Tom Wilson, but he's not Jeff Schultz, either.  I noticed him stepping up his physical game in the playoffs.  I think he's a willing combatant, but that it isn't his primary game.  And that's okay.  Would be interesting to see him playing alongside Brett Leason and Alexei Protas in a couple years.  That would be one heavy line of scorers.

 

True but I think the Caps played him on the right side. 

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3 hours ago, mammajamma said:

Still confused about how bad they fell off in games 4 and 5. They were competitive in games 1-3, and could've easily won 2 and 3. But something happened in 4 and 5 where they looked extremely disjointed and disorganized out there. Not sure if we were outcoached, the old guys got tired, or what. Passes were terrible, they'd constantly take the first bad shot attempt if they were ever able to enter the zone, no taking time to set themselves up, etc etc etc. And they never adjusted. So disappointing how that ended after having one of the best offensive teams during the regular season

 

The problem is this core group just doesn't have the extra gear needed to get it done in the playoffs, and with the exception of a magical 7-week run in 2018 in which just about everything went right for them, they really never did.  For the past 13 years, they've put up great regular seasons based almost exclusively on superior talent.  But when the playoffs come around, and with it the added pressure, the lack of skating room due to tighter defenses and harder forechecks, and having to deal with the other team's A-game each night, this team has generally fallen flat.  And 13 years is a pretty damn big sample size.

I don't expect anything from this club next year, or the year after.  They already shot their "trade a top young player and high draft picks" wad on Mantha.  Hopefully he works out.  They don't have the cap space to go after one of the big fish in free agency.  They probably wouldn't trade a guy like Carlson or Wilson, even though they could each bring in a nice return.  Kuzy's trade value is in the toilet right now, so they're better off keeping him and hoping he can bounce back next year and maybe sell high on him before he does something stupid again.  Our best hope is that the few young prospects we have can make an impact, we again do well in the regular season on account of our skill, being a year older doesn't affect our vets too much, and we catch fire in the playoffs.  Is it possible?  Yes.  But I'm not betting on it.

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8 hours ago, capcrunch98 said:

 

The problem is this core group just doesn't have the extra gear needed to get it done in the playoffs, and with the exception of a magical 7-week run in 2018 in which just about everything went right for them, they really never did.  For the past 13 years, they've put up great regular seasons based almost exclusively on superior talent.  But when the playoffs come around, and with it the added pressure, the lack of skating room due to tighter defenses and harder forechecks, and having to deal with the other team's A-game each night, this team has generally fallen flat.  And 13 years is a pretty damn big sample size.

I don't expect anything from this club next year, or the year after.  They already shot their "trade a top young player and high draft picks" wad on Mantha.  Hopefully he works out.  They don't have the cap space to go after one of the big fish in free agency.  They probably wouldn't trade a guy like Carlson or Wilson, even though they could each bring in a nice return.  Kuzy's trade value is in the toilet right now, so they're better off keeping him and hoping he can bounce back next year and maybe sell high on him before he does something stupid again.  Our best hope is that the few young prospects we have can make an impact, we again do well in the regular season on account of our skill, being a year older doesn't affect our vets too much, and we catch fire in the playoffs.  Is it possible?  Yes.  But I'm not betting on it.

 

Kuznetsov is a negative he cannot be on this team next year. He made them worse as soon as he got back into the lineup.

 

The expansion draft is our chance to actually have some room. Leave him and Oshie unprotected.

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