Caps Lunchbox: Joe B. stops by to diagnose what is wrong with the Capitals-2/2
Machine Generated Transcript
CSN Washington dot com. Welcome everybody to capitals lunch box Kelly calendar joined as always on my far left by JP of -- drink. And centering our line today we have the man who needs no introduction. But I'll give him one anyway Q because I probably said mr. Joseph BMR Joe -- and not the caps play by play announcer welcome Joseph. I am looking forward to this on the -- and talk about maybe some tennis serve. The golf major or suitable -- what exactly you're special to your old. Let's he's overrated. I have -- capitals in the joy of joining them on the red who lost both games in Florida. There in the middle of a three game road trip -- Why is this team so different on the road and don't just something special tonight it's not just that I think it's more of a mindset more than anything else. When you see them play Verizon Center they have that much more confidence. And when they get to the road if things spiral the wrong way they tend to really spiral the wrong way and I don't know what it is but you'll see them go through spells where. Bad stretches of play escalate into game turning moments and all of a sudden now you've seen a game that was close turn into a one and two goal deficit. They rally try to catch up we can do it that's happened a week too many times a season. And more often than not on the road I wanna say they've won four of the last eighteen away from home that that's not acceptable. JP you -- a little miffed earlier by something that Carl's car had to say about playing on the road in Florida. Well I saw -- To the game last night he would answer questions trying to explain a little bit lack energy and he said it's sometimes hard to get up per game down in Florida do. Small crowd in the low energy level. And you know maybe your quote needed a little more context. But to hear guy say that they had has had trouble getting up for game. Against that division rival with first place on the line is a little disheartening but I think that. You know you mentioned the difference in the special teams at home they're terrific on both units on the road they're pretty terrible on both units. And you know another thing I think on the road. They sort of sit back and wait and see what kind of game it's gonna be rather than dictating the play which presence and I think they come out. And sort of try to impose their will more so on their opponents and they do an arm. So JP I have to ask you though they've made the coaching change and it doesn't seem like a lot has changed as far as their play goes. Is this team making progress under dale hunter. But I think it's I think after 28 games it -- be fair to expect a little more in terms of improvement. Then we have seen but it's still it is it would work in progress but I'll defer to -- -- -- with the team. All the time are are that. Players taking to the system are they taking to the coach. I think we've seen changes and some in some ways especially in the defensive zone dramatic changes. I don't ever remember and recall seeing Alex Ovechkin and Alex senate back skating in the neutral zone. Peeling off and playing in almost a trap posture that would never have flown under Bruce Boudreau. Dale hunter -- upon. They're better in the defense in zone the goaltenders have been facing much less in the way of a quality scoring up the opportunities when it comes to odd man rushes. -- believes the defense is going to win come crunch time. March April may June hopefully for caps fans. If you believe that they're better in that sense yes they are better prepared hopefully for these big games I just think. They're built to be offensive and this is a little bit of a shake. To the core here and for the first month that was not very attractive hockey to describe on the year or watch I'm sure from the stands. But the winds are starting to come they are very much still in the picture in the Southeast Division. But for Carl to say that they couldn't get up for gained in early February this February now we're not talking game Tony we're talking -- fifty. And we're talking about a game with first place on the line they had to be in a better place than they were last night. Now they've been treading water so far on this in his last three game period without a -- and it picked up three of six points not too bad not the worst thing that could happen but the good news. And of course is coming back Toby is their success hinging now on a -- for the rest the season or is it maybe upon another player. Everything hinges on Alex chart that I can understand that but I think more importantly though the player -- most instrumental to Washington success is Nicklas Baxter. And the need to have number nineteen back in the lineup is crucial he obviously helps make number eight be number eight. So where is actually with respected his head injury how soon to expect to see him back is there any timetable. That to me is more pressing. Alex Ovechkin who at twenty goals I think can get hot. And get to the point where we like to see him approaching 3540 in May be more ready to get white not to do so. I don't know if he can do that without number nineteen is a -- Is scoring the success at this team or is it something else taking. Well I agree with what did you says about getting it back to back obviously I agree with the overwhelming. Sentiment about canning of western backed into me the most important. Player the rest of the way is going to be Thomas broken this is team. That isn't playing great hockey the margin for error is. So small right now that if you're not getting great goaltending you're not going to be winning games I mean you saw. In Tampa I think -- degree that broken who's good -- very good maybe you know. He's even more and very good that he wasn't perfect and they lost you know they they gave up four goals. And they're not to win games when they allow four goals. So to me it's all down to the goaltenders obviously no effort to lesser extent that he won't be playing as much. But I do think. That if Thomas -- -- is great I think this team will be okay if he's mediocre. They're going to be in a lot of trouble. Now as time ticks down towards the trade deadline. Capitals have a couple wild cards on their hands not sure what's going to happen with my Green. Or Nicholas -- term if he'll be back in time and obviously that'll affect what they do come trade deadline. To be what should the caps and be buyers sellers did they stay holed. Yeah well they need to -- they need to buy this team is built to win and I know that things have not turned out anywhere near anyway shape or form what they wanted to have happen this season. Obviously if you had your druthers this team would be in first place comfortably like it has been in the past and building towards a long Stanley Cup run. That said things have gone up and down and up and down this year and still -- you have to behave that you're in the posture that you are in a race for first place in your division. If you do that you become a top three seed in the conference anything happens if you have a little home ice in the playoffs. You have to buy and build your team as well as you can to fortify them for any Stanley Cup playoff run. Ticket that your GM cap on you by there. But you know. It's like you said give -- to be wild cards and Baxter men and Green and it sounded like they got good news on Green on Thursday that you've been skating for three days and feeling a lot better. It's obviously great news. And what happens is if Baxter and Green can return to the lineup. Then first of all they don't have enough room to make many significant moves. And also he presumably they have less need to make lose because they've just gotten an all star center and all star defenseman back. If those guys aren't able to return to lineup I wonder how much coming -- you're gonna push into the pot. For this team because quite frankly without those two guys I don't know how far this team can go so I think they end up making some. Smallish type tweaks. But it's hard for me to see them being big time making a big splash. And less it's six point seven million dollar salary got went the other way. Off. It is a tougher decision that this year because last year they were pretty confident that they were going to make the playoffs this year they don't have that luxury that don't have the luxury. A putting someone on -- -- to save the cap space until they reach the playoffs which presumably is exactly what they did with my -- here right. And in a prison in. Believe -- and they are there are occasions where general managers will often say the best trades ever made were the ones that I didn't make and if that's the case the -- your hands are tied due to salary structure. And salary cap. I just think. -- -- -- Past history will be that you will tweak. And you'll add I'm not think sweeping changes I'm not saying blow up anything. And I'm not saying look to bring in three or four all stars you can't do that with the way the salary cap is structured on this squad. But I do think he will head. And try to enhance this team. Towards the end of February. QB I have -- comfortable in that seat because it's about to get a little bit hotter. Is this a playoff team. Oh gosh look at you -- -- -- -- is that a playoff team I think they should win the division no disrespect to Florida no disrespect to Winnipeg North Carolina or Tampa Washington should win this division. If they don't it will be a monumental failure and no pun intended with the ownership group of the watching capital and it would be a huge failure if they do not make the playoffs. I think they are a playoff team I think they will still win the division. That said if they do not win the division I think it depends upon do you believe in New Jersey and do you believe in Toronto. If those teams -- in their respective divisions there may be only room for one in the southeast -- Southeast Division -- JP my favorite little gray cloud. -- capitals playoff. I'm still hopeful that they are I think that they still can get it together and be out Florida in the division. But they need to start winning some games on the road. You look at this team very good at Verizon Center as we touched on earlier very terrible away from Verizon Center. This is the team that was even. Mediocre average on the road so far this year this would be very different discussion but -- they've been not average at all. And so they're not in good position and you know ultimately if they do miss the playoffs. That you're going to be able look back on their road record can you pinpoint the reason why. And since it is Super Bowl week of course I'd be remiss not to ask you guys for predictions -- -- -- we'll start with EO San Francisco 49ers. -- I'm not exactly that's maybe not where you think your money to -- the. He Brady and the Patriot who. To think that Patriots while I'm gonna pick my -- But that's -- and we have a capitals lunch box this week for LB and JP at an early in the course. I'm Kellie -- and we'll see you next couple -- box. CSN Washington dot com.