It was on this date back in 2003 that The Rebuild™ can be said to have begun, as the 1-4-1-0 Caps shipped then-captain Steve Konowalchuk and a third round selection in 2004 to Colorado for Bates Battaglia and Jonas Johansson.
With yesterday's day off, there's not much news out of Capland, so feel free to discuss the state of the team as you see it today. Are the Caps closer to contending for a playoff spot or another top five pick (I still believe it's the former)? With 20/20 hindsight, how would you have handled things differently if this was your team back in the Fall of '03? And what does the team have to do now to right the ship and make the playoffs this year?
As to that last question, I'm not sure it would help, but if I was coaching the Caps, I'd incorporate something like this into the pregame skate ritual. Two words: bad ass.
Elsewhere 'Round the Rinks:
Blood, we're told, is thicker than water, and Ben Clymer got a first hand example of that on Saturday night. During his first shift of the season, Clymes dropped the gloves with Rico Fata's little brother Drew. "It's funny," said Clymer, "but I fought his brother last year. He was on our team, and we didn't really get along. That's life. Whatever."... Happy 27th Birthday, Matt Pettinger.... As we clamor for another NHL-caliber right wing, here's a name for you - Alexander Frolov. He's got the right name and nationality, and word is (yeah, I know it's Bruce Garrioch - grain of salt, etc.) he's on the block. The Kings aren't a great trade partner here (they're looking for a goalie), but since we know that every Russian player in the League will be rumored to be traded to the Caps before his career is over, I thought I'd get out in front of this one.... Finally, while we're on Garrioch, he reports that "Washington could move W Matt Bradley." If only, Bruce. If only.
- Hart: Curtis Sanford (W, 35 saves on 36 shots against)
Ross: Ryan Kesler, Pavol Demitra (2 points each)
Norris: Kevin Bieksa (Game-winning goal, +2, 4 SOG, 2 hits)
Vezina: Curtis Sanford (W, 35 saves on 36 shots against)
Richard: Ryan Kesler (2G)
Calder: Kris Russell (4 SOG, 3 blocked shots, 1 hit)
Aiken: Pascal Leclaire (L, 3 goals allowed on 18 shots against)