Now that almost every Cap is clicking on all cylinders, I thought it would be the time to ask the Japers' Rink community what they think about this roster and our future roster. Let's get into it!
The First Line
Nothing makes me happier than to see Ovi and Nicky on top of their game. Without a doubt Ovechkin and Backstrom are 2 of the top players in the league and I expect that to keep up for at least a couple of more years, but I honestly have no idea how long Ovi is going to be Ovi. The main question on my mind about this trio is Marcus Johannson. I don't know what to think of him, is he just benefiting from the aftermentioned duo, or is he actually giving the line another dynamic winger that elevates the others game? My guess is a little bit of both. It is impossible to not play with Ovi and Nicky and not benefit, impossible. But I do think his speed brings something to the line, but I do not see Mojo as a long term 1st liner.
The Second Line
I'm not exactly sure what to think of this line, but one thing I do know is that the Martin Erat trade was a great deal for the caps. He showed me last night why we need him in the team, 3rd period in the most important game in this regular season and he uses his speed, races the d man to the puck waiting in the corner and lays a check on him to gain possession and burn some more precious time off the clock. I had no idea he can play the body well and he has showed me that playing in Nashville really has developed a great 2 way player who can contribute as a great 2nd line forward. On to Brouwer, in my opinion Troy Brouwer is the player on this team who can make the biggest difference in the playoffs. Of course Ovi is also up there but due to the fact that he will get the Chara's every time he steps foot on the ice, Brouwer will get less difficult opposing players. Brouwer is also so important in my opinion because or everything he can do. Great shut down forward and body checker to add to his now great goal scoring touch. Now to the player that I really don't know what to think about him, Ribs. I really dont know if we need him for as long as he wants a contract. Just think when Kuzya makes the jump and he takes up a top 6 spot, if we have Ribs then which player moves down to the 3rd that right now no one wants to break up. I would be happy with a 1 or 2 year deal but nothing more.
The Third Line
This one will be short and sweet, Matty P's playmaking ability, combined with Fehr's strength, and Chimmer's speed provides us with a dynamic 3rd line.
The Forth Line
When no one else was fighting or even trying, Matt Hendricks was doing both. This line is the heart and soul of our team and they also do a hell of a job eating tough minutes. Im good with this line for the next couple years minus Volpatti and the addition of Chimmer or Ward. If there was a Heart Trophy for actual heart shown then Hendricks would most definitely be the recipient. And for your entertainment, the Beagliest goal anyone could ever imagine.
http://video.capitals.nhl.com/videocenter/console?hlg=20122013,2,193 (Just click on Beagle's highlight)
The Carlson/Erskine Line
In my opinion John Carlson is a true defensive centerpiece and a future Norris Trophy winner. I don't like Erskine with him though. Alzner is my preferred partner for him but I like have a great defenseman on each line. I would really like Orlov with him and Erskine moved to a third pairing with Hillen. Erskine is too slow and it makes much more sense to have someone like Orlov who can hit and skate then just a physical presence.
The Alzner/Green Line
This line might be the least shocking combination of players on this team. Team up the best defensive d man who is lacking offensively with the best offensive d man who is lacking defensively. Good line with a presence at both ends.
The Hillen/Oleksy Line
I love Hillen's skating and puck moving abilities for our 3rd d line. The sad thing is that I've watched every single game and all I know about Oleksy's playing style is that he is good getting the puck to the net. Maybe that is a sign of something. I would rather have Erskine here.
Braden Holtby has been nothing shirt if spectacular for the majority of this season. Take out his first 5 games of the season and those stats put him in the middle of the Vezina Trophy conversation. He WILL win at least 1 Vezina before he hangs up the skates. I really hope more than anything that he is as clutch this year as last year. And he also has set the record of my made up stat, most shutouts lost late in blowout wins.
I fear he may never be a regularly be a member of the caps again. His presensce brings a great amount of leadership, defensiveness, and hard work. Not having him as a member of our 3rd line really hurts us because our 3rd line could be one of the greatest in the league.
After having a great start he cooled off a whole lot. Right now I can only see him maybe in Chimmer or Volpatti's place. We miss his strong play along the boards, but other than that, I don't miss him much.
Compliance buyout anyone!? He doesn't deserve to earn 3 million a year, I don't even think he deserves half a million.
Good signing by GMGM but he couldn't get his career back on track. Good luck in your next attempt bud!
Here is my ranking of Caps prospects determined by potential role and how soon they may play
1. Evgeny Kuznetsov - may be here next spring! *superstar alert*
2. Tom Wilsom
Thanks for the read and tell me what you think about my evaluations and my top 5 prospects!