Tuesday, November 20, 2007


When Will Hanlon Get the Boot?

by Jes

So, a little note from our Southern Correspondant got me thinking ...
Since this will be most likely my last post before the holiday, let me make a prediction:

If the Thrash beat the CAPS in D.C. on Wednesday night, look for Glen Hanlon to be fired before the end of the month.

Now, after a hot start, the Washington Capitals are back to being the Crapitals with a 6-13-1 record. Fans and chanting for Hanlon to be fired, and Ovechkin seems to be pouting and dropping hints of his unhappiness. Not good times.

Now, I don't watch the Capitals enough to gauge if Hanlon is a good coach or not, but I don't see how he should be the lone goat when even the game's best coaches couldn't do much with the roster as it stands now.

When it comes to the league's worst defensive corps, the Caps are pretty much at the top of the list. How can any team hope to compete with Brian Pothier as their #1 defenseman? Rounding out this fine crew are Mike Green, Tom Poti, John Erskine, Shaone Morrisonn, Jeff Schultz, and Milan Jurcina. This group is short on talent and experience, and it's no surprise that the Caps are sucking as hard as they are.

The Caps are also a one-line team, thanks to the absence of Alexander Semin. Kozlov-Nylander-Ovechkin is one bitchin' first line, but Nicklas Backstrom (another rookie) is the next-best scorer with just 9 points in 20 games.

Let's face it, the Caps have very little talent, at least not until a few years down the road when some of these youngsters really develop to their full potential. There was a reason I picked them to finish 13th in the Eastern Conference, and, despite Ted Leonsis public chest-thumping, this is NOT the year the Caps are going to make the leap. If anything, the Caps have such a long way to go that I can't see them making the playoffs next season, either.

So, Hanlon will very likely be dumped as the Caps struggle. It's too bad that it won't fix the real problems, which is a lack of depth and experience on the roster.

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McPhee is the one who should be fired. A team that was routinely giving up 35 shots a night last season signed noted backcheckers M Nylander, V Kozlov and T Poti to big off-season deals?
1) Just to clarify a few things. We have seen almost all Caps games (yes, and survived)! this year so we believe we have a good perspective on them.
2) Their defense has NOT been the biggest problem. Their goals against is far from the NHL worst.
3) Pothier actually has been their best defender because he has NOT been used on their top pairing. Morrisonn/Poti and Jurcina have had that distinction.
4) Kozlov is a slug. He takes shifts and games off. Why GMGM didn't know this before hand is amazing?
5) Hanlon has done an unbelievably bad job with his line combos. Earlier in the year the team promoted a life time AHL-er (Joe Motzko) Hanlon places him on the top line with Ovechkin and on the top power play unit. After 3 games of this not working Motzko is sent down and we find out later was demoted to the 4th line in Hershey!
6) The special teams remain at the basement in the league/a joke. Again, definitely a coaching issue
7) If not for above average goaltending by Kolzig things would be even worse, if that possible. The roster is NOT this bad. They are probably not a playoff team yet, but they neither should be a lottery pick team either.
8) Compare the rosters of the Craps and NY Islanders. Then look at where each team is in the standings. The difference? Coaching. Yes, a change is OVERDUE!
Looks like the wait is over.. he got fired this morning after a 5-1 loss to Atlanta.
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