Give JFJ a Break. Goalie Musical Chairs. Where are the Caps? Sens No. 1

Obviously the biggest fish out there is Thibault and the Bolts who lost their goalie to the Hawks may look for his replacement from Chicago. If the Lightning wish to compete again for the Stanley Cup, they will need a proven number 1 guy. Though John Grahame has performed well as a backup, I am not sure he is the guy who can put them over the top. The East has gotten significantly tougher and the Bolts are going to have to keep up as they are now the biggest targets being the defending champions. This would go a long way to ensuring the likes of Lecavalier and St. Louis, who are free agents seeking long term deals, that the team wants to compete and stay on top.

As you can see, we could probably anticipate alot of goalies shuffling around and moving on to different teams. With seemingly every blueliner and every forward signing with new club over the last week, it seems logical that the goalies be next.

Speaking of goalies, one team that has a good one is the Washington Capitals. Olaf Kolzig is one of the best. But I think the Caps kind of forgot that they need to ice 18 skaters to play in front of Ollie the goalie. Where the heck are the Caps? The team has 6 players signed and have yet to dip into the free agent market at all. Everyone has harped on the Leafs lack of activity but at least they had some players under contract and enough to fill out a roster. The Caps have done absolutely nothing. I know there is a cap now with a maximum of $39 million but did the Caps get the memo that teams must spend a minimum of $21 million? The team has many prospects, the team has a future star to build around but the team needs to put people in the seats. Ted Leonis and George McPhee do not get a very high grade in my book. They have tried spending big, getting Jagr and giving him that horrendous contract. And they are now rebuilding, looking to the future and going with prospects. But efforts have resulted in losing. Once you get an owner who meddles in the day-to-day operations you get in trouble. The Caps are my pick to finish dead last in the NHL this season. This may land them another franchise youngster but after a year off from hockey that followed a year of losing and complete dismantling of the team, fans are not going to come back if the team stays this course. They have tried the marquee name approach already with Jagr and want to do the same with a kid who has never stepped onto the ice in the NHL. The best way to develop young talent is to surround them in a winning environment that will instill confidence and success in their game. they can field a team with a who’s who of prospects but success in lower levels does not always translate to NHL success and when they start to fail it could be crushing to prospects who had such high hopes.

Speaking of capitals, one team that has been very silent so far is the Ottawa Senators. But this was a team that had no need to make much noise this summer. They have a frontline goalie now, albeit old and coming off injuries, they have the best blueline in hockey, and a group of forwards that should thrive in the NHL. With all the moves of the Flyers, many people are writing off the Sens. That would be a mistake. having Dominik Hasek in goal is completely different than having Patrick Lalime in goal. Hasek gives the team the swagger, the confidence and the kind of proven talent they have never had in the nets. Hasek has much to prove. he needs to come back and establish himself as one of the best in the business once again. I think it would be foolish to bet against a former Hart trophy winner, a 6 time vezina trophy winner, a gold medalist and a Stanley cup winning goalie.

The Sens have been a great team the last few years but never had that extra kick in the playoffs. Every year they seemed to lose to the Leafs. I think alot of it has to do with the fact they dont have a killer instinct, they dont have that extra bit of *****iness, and they did not have the kind of competitive attitude that the best teams need to be successful. Alfredsson had the right idea but the rest of his mates were very cerebral and modest much like their coach. the last thing you can do is not give everything you have in the playoffs. That is what it has been like with Ottawa. But with a more fiery coach, and a big shot goalie, the Sens could be the team that brings the cup back to Canada. To me, they are the team to beat in the East as they have the best collection of talent in my eyes to take advantage of the new opened up NHL. Don’t take this as a slight against the Flyers. they have made some great moves and should definitely be cup contenders. But you cannot discredit the overall talent the Sens have as a group and I would never bet against Hasek when he has something to prove.

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12 Responses to Give JFJ a Break. Goalie Musical Chairs. Where are the Caps? Sens No. 1

  1. Tweek says:

    I agree about the sens, they only have one question mark and that is hasek and I think he just needs to be average for them to compete. The problem was that although they could beat the flyers they were never able to beat the leafs for whatever reason and with the leafs in a rebuilding mode they now can open up on the east, they have beaten all the east big shots in the playoffs before except toronto and this year should be the sens year.

  2. 92-93 says:

    as i stated in the last Leafs thread, this article should provide the other side (finally) to the JFJ debate:

    http://slam.canoe.ca/Slam/Columnists/Gross/2005/08/07/1163083.html

  3. skidragoon says:

    sens suck they are never going to win a stanley cup, they don’t have the heart and the grit and never have had a goalie who has been above average and yes if you guys can continue to insult belfour then hasek is no better… So let him beat a player with his stick and let hossa poke eyes out and let alfredson make cheap shots.

    GO LEAFS GO!!

  4. Basf93 says:

    Great article. Finally somebody that makes a bit of sense and is behind what the Leafs are doing. Nice to read a article that isnt garbage. As opposed to anything from Simmons, Strachan and 99% of the rest of the Toronto Media

  5. Ace_Bailey says:

    This is why other teams hate us.

  6. Ace_Bailey says:

    Pretty decent article. For years the Leafs have been raped as business and not truly run like a sports franchise. The Teacher’s Pension Union is another huge reason the Leafs aren’t willing to go the extra mile. Why risk losing money by signing players when they can still reap a huge profit without?

    I can only blame us loyalist Leaf fans. It’s because we support our team no matter what that the shareholders dont think about wanting to put together a Stanley Cup winning team.

  7. BigShow says:

    The Sens DONT suck, and this IS their year. I dont expect any Leafs fan to agree with me, mainly because they cant look at things for what they actually are.

    Yes, the Leafs have beat the Sens in the playoffs on multiple occasions but those days are now over. I still feel that the last time they met in the playoffs the Senators beat them in every area except wins versus Losses and it was in a game 7 when Patrick Lalime didnt show up to win.

    The problems of the past have been adressed and change will follow, so many things are now in the Senators favour that theres no way they CANT win the cup this year.

    Lets look at the issues:

    Goaltending: Lalime is a great goalie, but for whatever reason always came up short. I wish him all the best of luck with St. Louis and he will probably have a decent season there. Hasek is here to save the day, and lets wait and see how that plans out before everyone bashes his groin or his final season with Detroit. The man has something to prove here, why would he want to come back and do anything else but win? He can only go up from here and earning the respect of everyone before he finally retires (for good) is what he came back to do. He didnt pick Ottawa out of a hat, he knows theyre a contender and that he is a perfect fit and possibly the missing piece of the puzzle. Muckler and Hasek are good buddies and Dom knows Muckler is taking a risk on him, but he is here to show the world he’s not what you think he is and he’s here to win.

    Coaching: Bryan Murray may not have alot to put down on an all-star resume, but he doesnt nessecarily need to. Jacques Martin was a great coach but he lacked the fire to pump into his team when they needed it, and Bryan Murray is here to do just that. He has an amazing team to walk into and he is just enough to shake things up and get these guys going.

    Rule Changes: (specifically two line passes) Whether anyone wants to admit it or not, Ottawa has one of the best if not the best Right wings of any hockey team as it stands right now. To back that up they have some of the best defencemen the league has to offer. Take a second and think about this combination and how other teams compare and how the two line pass will help Ottawa more than others. I dont know how many times Ive seen Ottawa in their own end with some pressure and then Redden laces one up the ice to a streaking Hossa or Havlat flying down either side of the rink. That was in the old NHL where the furthest you could go was center and countless times that play has been whistled down as a two line pass. That isnt going to happen anymore and I think youre going to see more breakaways than ever.

    To sum up my Sens rant, I just want to say as much as you may hate them, the Senators are one of the best prepared teams for this season, and are one of the best teams to be affected by rule changes. We will have to wait and see what actually happens in the new NHL, but I think the Senators are going to be in great shape!

    GO SENS GO!

  8. CBA says:

    On the play where Hossa hit Berard in the eye, he just missed the puck on a shot. It was an accident. It wasn’t as if he went in and shoved his stick up Berard’s eye.

    Also, if you want to talk about cheap shots, look at your own team. Domi, Perrott, Belak (can you say slash-in-the-head?), Tucker…the list goes on.

  9. patty0707 says:

    Good article. I totally agree with you. The Sens definetly have the best right wing in the league , along with the best defence in the league. I think they need a second line center and a left winger woulld really look good to. But this is the Sens year (aside from what all the Leaf fans are saying (read the article on the best canadian team this year- actually dont, it will only get you mad and possibly alot dumber)

  10. nj814 says:

    haha yeah domi is the dirtiest player i have ever seen, elbow to the head

  11. nj814 says:

    yeah the sens were definetly one of the best transitions teams in hockey if not the best with redden feeding it to hossa and havlat and no two line pass is only going to help. i wish the devils would have signed neidermeyer because him and rafalski will probably dominant because they are good transitionaly and are offensively talented

  12. LeafsBeyondDoubt says:

    I might be wrong but last time I checked the Sens didn’t have Chara or Hossa signed, that supposed to make the team a contender?

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