Thursday, January 18, 2018

Cap scratch fever

Andre Burakovsky will be a healthy scratch again.  This is not breaking news anymore.  It is expected.

Is a trade pending?  Who knows?  His $3 million cap hit is ripe to be swapped for defensive help.

We would much rather have the Thunder from Down Under be the 13th forward anyway.

Friday, January 12, 2018

Offsides challenge

Hypothetical situation:

What happens if an attacking team is offsides, but the defending team rushes up the ice and scores?  Can the team that was scored against call for an offsides review on themselves?

Thursday, January 11, 2018

The one move the Capitals should make

At Contrarian Sports, we do not often advocate for trade deadline deals.  The trades that contenders make to beef up the roster generally end poorly, with the acquisition either disappointing or the team falling flat, or both; the Capitals worsen the bargain by trading away future All-Stars for sloppy seconds.

But it might work for us!

No one wants to enter the postseason with two rookie defenders.  Madison Bowey and Christian Djoos have played exceptionally well, but it is not ideal for them to eat minutes with Taylor Chorney as the only NHL defender ready to step in.  With the potential for 80 or more minutes of hockey, Brooks Orpik might not ideal on the second pair either.

Enter Erik Gudbranson.

He is big, mean, and surly, who plays a game that Bowey can model after (Orpik is great for this, but maybe a right-shot will help Bowey learn to control breakouts better).  His ice time has been cut - his 17:37 per game is the lowest since his rookie season and is good for 6th among Canuck defenders.  Oft injured, and a pending first-time UFA, he may come with a slight discount, as Vancouver would rather lose him for something than nothing.

Should the Capitals trade for him, he will come with low expectations, but should represent a significant upgrade to the blueline.

With John Carlson playing the best hockey of his career, earning himself a hefty pay raise, this trade may be prudent - so long as the team does not mortgage the future again.

Sunday, January 7, 2018

Thursday, December 7, 2017

Tom Wilson, MVP

Well, maybe not season MVP, but certainly last night's MVP.

Wilson notched his second career two goal game (his first being last month against Boston), and his first career four point night against the Blackhawks.  He also defended his captain in a big way from a potentially nasty knee-on-knee (but Russian machine never break).  RMNB had a great write-up.

We have long advocated for increased use of Wilson, to develop him into a complementary power forward, a la Scott Mellanby.  He has been long respected for his physicality, recently for his defensive play.  With a prolonged chance alongside Ovechkin and Backstrom, with whom he has played sporadically in the past, he should develop into a solid banger who can slam home rebounds, tip in shots, and cause mayhem in front of the net.

And as we have seen on numerous occasions, as well as last night, Wilson provides much needed muscle to one of the softer teams in a soft league.

It may have taken longer than expected, but Wilson is earning his draft selection.

Now if only the Caps still had the other guy they drafted that year...