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I Think Ted May Be Calling Out His Star Players

from Ted Leonsis of Ted’s Take,

To be frank, our youngest and first year players are our best players right now.

It is odd to see our core players being so unproductive….

We have many injuries to overcome. Our lines seemed jumbled. Our power play is unproductive and is manned by our best players. Our power play is contributing to our woes across the board. 8% conversion of late. No productivity from our star players.

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Filed in: NHL Teams, Washington Capitals, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

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I think Ted might be realizing his team is set up for failure again. I don’t watch them enough to know how to fix it but I do believe that leadership from top down is not cut out to win a championship.

It’s unfortunate that they’re going to end up wasting so much talent without a cohesive drive to the Cup.

Posted by Shane on 01/15/11 at 07:21 PM ET

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I watch a lot of Washington: they have a lackluster d compared to a lot of other contenders, but that’s a short-term problem that can be solved with some offseason moves. From what I can tell, their long-term problems are as follows:


-The core, outside Ovechkin and Backstrom, has questionable character.

Green: When the pressure’s on, Green usually sucks. Plus, it was interesting watching the reactions to that losing streak on 24/7. Brooks Laich got mad, Hendricks stayed positive and Green sat in a corner looking like he wanted to slit his wrists. Laich and Hendricks are UFAs. Green’s a Capital for the forseeable future. Caps should re-sign those two and flip Green for something else. Build the d around Carlson, who, unlike Green, has ice in his blood.

Semin: Streakiness is a problem, but the bigger problem is that it’s completely unclear this guy gives a crap, judging by his frequent disinterest on the ice.


-Ovechkin has never had a decent mentor

When you look at most great players who were also Captains, there’s usually an older, once-great guy they learned how to be a leader and what it takes to win from. Zetterberg learned from Lidstrom, who learned from Fetisov and Yzerman. Crosby learned from everybody from Roberts to Guerin to Recchi to Lemieux who, in turn, learned from guys like Lanny McDonald and Trottier.

The best, and only, mentor Ovechkin had was Sergei Federov, who wasn’t much of a Captain when he was one.

So, Ovechkin’s struggling this year. If he was a young Zetterberg, he could have lunch with Lidstrom or Yzerman (two Hall of Famers who’ve been through it all) and ask what adjustment he could make, player to player, to get his game back. If Crosby was having problems, he can walk across the courtyard and talk to Mario. If Mario’s had too much wine, I bet Crosby’s got Guerin on speed dial.

Who’s Ovechkin supposed to talk to about his lack of production? Boudreau? As a player Boudreau is a never was; he doesn’t know what it’s like to be a sublime talent who can’t score, let alone what to do to work out of it. Federov? Whenever Federov was slumping, he was content to keep slumping until his coach embarrassed him publicly.

It’s easy to see Ovechkin wants to be a great leader and work out of his funk; he just doesn’t necessarily know what to do because he never played with a leader and doesn’t know anyone who’s been in a similar situation who can help him. That speech from Knuble on 24/7 was probably the first time he heard something like that from a teammate.

Posted by StevieSteve on 01/15/11 at 08:51 PM ET

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Paul Kukla founded Kukla’s Korner in 2005 and the site has since become the must-read site on the ‘net for all the latest happenings around the NHL.

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