Washington Capitals GM George McPhee was on DC 101 this morning and addressed some Caps issues. We will provide a one hit summary here. We heard some of these ourselves and others we thank OnFrozenBlog for.
This is not our issue of what is wrong with the Caps and post-Series wrap up. That will come Monday with a poll. So look for that.
Firston D Tom Poti. Poti took a shot to the face from a puck shot. That shot knocked Poti out of game 7 and also led to surgery on his eye. GMGM (GM George McPhee) said Poti did have surgery and had vision problems, but surgery has corrected that. He also had a plate put in his face. Good luck Tom and we hope you have a full, quick recovery. Look forward to your return.
Second, GMGM headed off any talk on the status of Head Coach Bruce Boudreau, saying Boudreau will be in Washington for a very long time. Fully expected. That is a full vote of confidence and one that shows that GMGM does not think the Caps playoff failures are coaching related.
One thing I can say is, the mantra so to speak, the swagger of Boudreau, as a turn around artist, has dissipated somewhat, as Boudreau now loses the 'image status' of a coaching genius, turning around the Caps franchise, to a new image next year, one of having to prove he can win outside just the regular season. Like it or not, right now Boudreau is an excellent regular season coach, but that success has not carried to playoff success (IE Marty Schottenheimer in the NFL).
Fair? Who knows. Reality? Yes.
Third, the system. Don't look for change. GMGM basically said the philosophy will remain to play an aggressive game. That means a run and gun type system. The question is --- it scores a ton and wins a ton, but can it lead to playoff success? Arguably, right now, it can't, until the Caps prove otherwise. The fact that Boudreau is retained also speaks volumes to the fact a philosophy change is not in the cards.
Fourth, Karl Alzner and John Carlson. The 2007 and 2008 first rounders are the cornerstone to the Capitals future defense. Bruce Boudreau was clear in the post-game press conference that both Alzner and Carlson have seen the last of regular season minor league hockey. That means other defensive changes are on the way. GMGM confirmed that this morning saying that Alzner and Carlson will be full time Caps next season.
Good. No more future. Future must be now with the big talent this team has. What about Mathieu Perreault? Has he proven himself? Does Cody Eakin, as young as he is, get a realistic shot?
Fifth, 5 to 6, to more changes on the way? According to GMGM, there will be at least 5 to 6 changes. That is quite typical. We will address this more in depth several times, but let's hope the changes are for tougher, more rugged type players, than speed and finesse. This team needs about 3 more Mike Knuble type players.
Sixth, goaltending. GMGM was pretty clear that goaltending does not deserve blame. We agree.
Whether we agree with the short hook Boudreau gave Jose Theodore, and we will address that on Monday, Semyon Varlamov was not to blame for the Caps series loss. Giving up just two to three goals per game, with the Caps offense, should translate to wins. Varly's goals he gave up did not cost the Caps. The Caps non-scoring cost the caps.
Finally, Seventh. Alexander Semin and Mike Green. GMGM was pretty clear that criticism levied at Semin and Green for playoff performance is warranted and deserved. Neither scored. Green was devastatingly awful in Game 7. Could either of these two be moved? Semin is in final contract year. Does he really deserve big money? Secondly, both of these are gaining reputations for regular season stars, but non-playoff performers. Warranted? Yes, so far, absolutely.
More Caps coverage on the way. Don't think since the Caps season is over, our Caps coverage ends. Not a chance.