24 April, 2014

A Fresh Independent Verdict: More Heft on the Back End Needed

A brand new Dan Rosen file for NHL.com examines seven NHL general managers worth watching in the weeks and months ahead, and it caught my attention most particularly for its diagnosis of the Capitals’ ongoing vulnerabilities.

I swear I haven’t exchanged private Tweets or email with Rosen, who wrote this:

“The Capitals were clearly a flawed team last season, even though they won the Presidents’ Trophy. They lacked a defensive stopper who could shut down Michael Cammalleri in their first-round loss to Montreal, when they blew a 3-1 series lead. Alexander Semin, who has enough talent to be one of the League’s best players, was basically invisible for the entire series. Tomas Fleischmann, a 23-goal scorer, was scratched. Norris Trophy candidate Mike Green had a second straight forgettable postseason . . . Making life just a little bit tougher for the Caps is the increased talent throughout the Southeast Division. They’re still the heavy favorites, but winning the division for the fourth season in a row might not be as easy as it was in 2009-10.”

“McPhee has the pulse of this club — and even though no one is saying it, he has to be thinking that he could pay a big price if the Caps experience another playoff disaster. Expect him to go to work on this roster in preparation for the big show in the spring.”

Couldn’t agree more, and I hope Rosen’s right that our GM’s roster work isn’t done.


  1. It is basically my prayer every night that when I wake up we will have done something. I have no problem with Green, Alzner and Carlson. And I guess Schultz is here for at least another year, but can we do something with Poti or Erskine? If it goes Green-Schultz, Alzner-Carlson, and Poti-Erskine I don’t like our chances with our 3rd pairing out.

    22 July, 2010 at 11:33 am | Permalink
  2. Hittman wrote:

    I would be very pleased if Semin were traded along with a d-man for a shut down guy and maybe a 1st rounder. It would free up cap space like whoa, move some of the talent to the back end, and allow the future to be secure.

    However, I take issue with the comment that Semin was invisible in the series against Montreal. He had like 400 shots on goal. Sometimes THEY JUST DON’T GO IN.

    22 July, 2010 at 12:27 pm | Permalink
  3. Yea I would agree that “invisible” ought to be more directed at the likes of a Joe Thornton of playoff years gone by as opposed to say Semin this postseason. He wasn’t effective, but he wasn’t invisible either.

    22 July, 2010 at 1:13 pm | Permalink
  4. VMC wrote:

    In 2008 (and even in 2009) The wings made Crosby a non-factor not with a shut down defenseman but by dogging him with FORWARDS committed to playing both ends of the ice.

    McPhee is not the problem. The problem is Boudreau. You could blame the players, but that would be a waste of time. Adding a shut down d-man to this team with its current system will change nothing. Installing a coach who can design a system around the talents of the current roster AND get them to buy into it is what is needed.

    23 July, 2010 at 9:48 am | Permalink
  5. VMC wrote:

    Forgot 2 words from ym last sentence. Should have read:

    Installing a coach who can design a TWO-WAY system around the talents of the current roster AND get them to buy into it is what is needed.

    23 July, 2010 at 10:00 am | Permalink
  6. Alex wrote:

    What playoff series were you watching? Problem wasnt the defense. Problems the coach.

    23 July, 2010 at 10:32 pm | Permalink
  7. RAL wrote:

    @VMC I was hoping GMGM could surprise us with Mikko Koivu (those Wings had several strong two-way forwards and two elite ones in Datsyuk and Zetterberg) but now I guess I need to hope for Patrice Bergeron or some trades that open up roster space and cap space for John Madden or Eric Belanger.

    25 July, 2010 at 2:31 am | Permalink
  8. Hittman wrote:


    While Erskine and Poti are not the flashiest or most fleet of foot, Poti was 2nd only to Captain America in my eyes in terms of playoff performance (including the fight with Gomez), and Erskine is the only tough guy we have left on defense.

    25 July, 2010 at 11:59 am | Permalink

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