Remember how Washington Nationals GM Mike Rizzo said they needed someone with a “hockey mentality” and then brought in former hockey player Nyjer Morgan the next day? That got me thinking about the Washington Capitals woes that cost them the Eastern Conference quarterfinals this year. They weren’t going to the net to get dirty goals. Outside of Mike Knuble and Brooks Laich (who in addition to scoring a goal Wednesday night, changed a Caps fan’s tire on the Roosevelt Bridge – DC Sports Bog, The Post), the Caps are finesse guys who score from afar with beautiful goals that are youtube hits.
I’ve got several suggestions on moving forward.
1.) I think I’ve figured out how they get the pretty boys to get dirty, let’s call it the “broomball mentality.”
Broomball, played on a hockey rink, is pretty much just like it sounds like — using a broom (or broom like tools) to get the ball in the net. It is a sloppy game completely lacking in finesse and all about working hard for lucky bounces and close range shots. Traditionally, it is played with an open net, but for these guys, they’ll need a goalie. Let’s get Alex Ovechkin, Alexander Semin and Nicklas Backstrom playing a little broomball every week — they’ve got the broomball equipment at Kettler Capitals Iceplex after all.
2.) get another Mike Knuble type (because there are sooooo many available)
3.) a big time defenseman (because there are sooooo many available) and maybe shop around Semin and Mike Green, trading one of them if there is a good deal. Dumping Thomas Fleischman is the easy way out and that won’t really shake things up too much, though it probably wouldn’t hurt to do.
4.) Lastly, get Morgan involved! When he was with the Pittsburgh Pirates, he hung around with the Penguins and that seemed to work out well for them. Where was he this year? I want to see him wearing a Tony Plush Caps sweater next season.
I’m not sure if I’m serious about #1 or not. #4 obviously, is a silver bullet.