Must Read: Katie Carrera on the State of the Caps

Photo: Chris Gordon

Read: Washington Capitals’ problems began long before their playoff streak ended

This is the most mustiest must-read on the Washington Capitals this year. Superlative work by Carrera, it hits every topic: management, coaching, Ovechkin, and goaltending. I particularly like this Ovechkin quote:

“My job to score goals; that’s why I get paid,” Ovechkin said this week. “I didn’t get paid to put puck deep and create some other opportunities. As soon as I’m going to do that, you guys going to ask why I don’t score. It’s always going to be questions; there’s going to be remarks where I have to play better.”

Read the whole thing and let us know what you think.

Tagged with:
  • CadleCreek

    Read it and confirmed what I already knew. Adam is the same brat that he has always been.


    The Capitals own the worst record in the league when scoring two or fewer goals this season at 0-25-6. In two years under Oates, they’re 1-41-8 in such contests.

  • Such great reporting. All sources on the record. Very thorough, well-written piece.

  • Bilal

    Oh my gawd, Oates is such a suborn brat! Even when his “system” is failing, He still doesn’t try to change it!

    Love that article. If you are not a caps fan, and you read that, it may have been news to you. But Caps fans, we knew this was happening and for gawd sake we need it to end!

  • Rob W.

    The thing that shocked me was the situation with McPhee and player’s agents. When a player is a ufa or has a list of team to be traded too and the caps “intentionally arent on the list”, we have some serious problems


    Dave Prior, who had worked with the Capitals either as a goaltending coach, scout or advisor since 1997 and helped draft Varlamov, Neuvirth, Holtby and Grubauer, was fired in August 2013 when he refused to endorse and implement changes to the style of play Oates wanted.

    “Adam did not agree with how I coach, both in my methods and the content of what I coached,” Prior said from his home in Ontario. “My inflexibility was perceived as ignorance or stubbornness, but I perceive it as a much deeper knowledge of the position. . . . I have no regrets, I would do the same thing again because I stand up for what I believe in. I would gladly defend a goaltender and what I believe is the toughest way to play goal and lose my job over it than to pour gas on them or give them what I believe is bad advice.”

    Most telling part of the piece. Oates is a douc**b*g

  • Doublenickelporn

    My way or the highway, time to hit the highway Oates, I think this we all agree on.

  • CadleCreek

    Remember who the Caps played for their last preseason game and opener- Chicago. One of the staff wives was telling me how pissed she was about them flying out, back and then out again instead of just staying. Ao’s reason was he didn;t want the guys going out to the bars and getting into trouble.
    #1 if that’s a problem you have the wrong guys.
    #2 it could be some good bonding on the road, sure a little wierd for the cut guys to jump on a flight but it is a pro sport.
    #3 AO, I met you in a bar the night you were traded to DC. Pot meet Kettle.

  • Anthony Elworthy/scrubversive

    That section caught my eye too. Particularly the phrase: “My inflexibility was perceived as ignorance or stubbornness.” Ironic for an important long-time Cap employee to be fired by someone who exemplifies at least inflexibility/stubbornness, if not ignorance.

    I suspect Oates’s IQ is working against him like a mad-man. Too intelligent and arrogant about it to admit that he’s wrong and needs to try a different approach.

  • Igor Kleyner

    Oates reasoning in dealing with goalies reminds me of what famous physicist Wolfgang Pauli said once: “Not only this is not right, it’s not even wrong”. So wrong, you can’t even argue with it logically.

  • CadleCreek

    Oates logic..

    There are 3 ways to do things around here
    1) my Way
    wait what was I saying.

  • Todd N

    wow great read…one of her best

  • Pauli said the same thing about the comments on my post this morning.

  • Brandon

    It’s right up there with the bar and goalie coach, the irony of him trying to change players sticks. This is a guy who chopped off the end of his blade when he played. Man he’s nuts and I’ll be glad when he’s gone.

  • Guest

    It’s the only way to be sure.

  • Lawrence

    That was a great read, well done Katie.

  • OVECHKING – I would have liked your comment until you couldn’t hold back your personal attack on Oates. From experience – I actually have experience – he is a very kind person.

    Even if you think he not right for the job, separate your feelings on the coach from the man, please.

  • Matt Lauer

    Oh man that stood out to me like a sore thumb. This explains why we never could have been in the run for Nash, etc., on all those occasions.

  • Lawrence

    Peter, you said the ovechkin part was your favorite, why is that? Do you think he needs a different mind set? Or do you agree with him? Just curious what your thoughts were on that.

  • I think Ovi’s really sensitive (in the good way) to the precarious position he’s in– and he seems to know his position better than anyone else. He’s the best there is at what he does. But what he does, bub, is not very defense-y.

  • Matt Lauer

    I actually totally agree with Peter. This is the infernal bind that Ovechkin will always be stuck in.

  • Totally. I had heard rumblings about GMGM’s relationship with agents, but that was stunning.

  • p.s. Keds, huh?

  • The short blade is great for passing. And all he did was pass. He could shoot on his backhand with it. It was money.

    I don’t think him being passionate about how sticks should be cut and curved for each player is a bad thing at all. It’s his penchant for getting stuck with these details and missing the bigger picture that is the problem – such as having 3 LD and 3 RD suit up every night.

    Orlov had to change, he usually played on his off side. He admitted it was a bit of an adjustment for him.

  • We had lunch with Steve Kolbe a couple years ago. Knew even then that Oates was a bit of a character.

  • Nash matters less to me. It would’ve been nice to get another year out of those one-and-done 2Cs like Belanger and Morrison.

  • Topher Gee

    Channeling our inner hockey mom’s

  • Owen Johnson

    Since the comments have had a punk rock flavor to it the past couple days, I thought I would post this here



  • Can we say he is a d bag of a coach?

  • Lawrence

    Yeah you are right, he is sensitive and I think he used to read what a lot of people said about him, hopefully he has learned to not read things. I just think this issue falls on the GM ultimately for relying on one person to do multiple jobs. The guy scores more goals than anyone else in the world, if he is lacking on the defensive side, to me that’s well worth it. There is a reason there is countless defensive forwards (some on every team), but how many people can put up the numbers he can? The team proved it could be successful with ovechkin’s high flying offense, I just wish they didn’t make so many changes. Regardless, if GMGM wanted this team to be more defensive, why the heck didn’t he get a better D-corps?

    Well soon we might not have to ask these questions, as the management looks to be on its way out.

  • Topher Gee

    This best way to explain his position is a European football striker. Offensive work rate is very similar. SCOAR MOAR gooooooaaaalllllsss!

  • He and McPhee have the same disease:


  • CadleCreek

    Door open, yes I will let myself in.

    My gripe about OVI since he has been here is his d.

    Defense has a high scoring winger takes nothing more than skating back to your own zone with a smidgen of intensity and staying in the zone until possession is clear. I don’t blame this on Ovi-I blame his coaches from the time he was 10 to Oates. They were ‘mesmerized by his talent’ and never taught him properly or held him accountable. I see it a lot with youth hockey, where kids with skill are giving a green light to go crazy so a 45 year old man can hang a ribbon on his mirror.

    He doesn’t need to be a shot blocking machine but he should have the talent and knowledge to come back and pick up the correct guy on the back check. He needs to understand when and where to slide in his own zone, if it is only to get a stick in a lane or appear he is playing d. It’s not hard.

  • It’s the best Katie has ever done. Up to now, except for her breaking the dirt on the Orlov situation, she’s pretty much only given McPhee cream puff questions. Now she finally does something “tough” and McPhee wouldn’t be quoted for the story. You guys don’t want us to do name calling, so how can I refer to McPhee.

    Ok…he’s a … BAD general manager!

  • Who’s being silly now?

  • ThePat has told us about that. Not just player agents, but plenty of GMs just won’t deal with McPhee. All those McPhee quotes we hear and read paint him as incredibly arrogant. At least his time is about up!

  • McPhee treated Belanger with disdain. That was embarrassing even being a Caps fan.

  • CadleCreek

    I think an at The Mcphees in order

  • Soon.

  • Rob W.

    Doesnt this kind of show how out of touch Leonsis is with the management part of this team? If he knew this stuff he surely would of done something about it

  • I totally agree with everything you said. Ovi should be better when he doesn’t have the puck.

    But my angle is this: If he’s playing without the puck, that’s the bigger problem than HOW he plays without the puck.

    (but both are problems)

  • CadleCreek

    which without is the with??

  • Six years of the playoffs, record sellout streak, and lots of experts saying “this is the year” even when we amateur blogger types said otherwise (except we were right).


  • brb in 18 minutes

  • I could play this whole song on the drums back in high school

  • Katie is very good at what she does. Being a beat writer who has to cover the team everyday, you can’t go in guns blazing.

    Unlike that Ovechkin piece The Post came out with a few years ago where there unnamed sources everywhere, this is an article where everyone is on the record. This is scathing, yet fair. And that’s all you can ask for.

  • PhilR

    No tom, we have to be politically correct with this crowd

  • CadleCreek

    Craig StantonNEWLess than a minute ago
    so apparently in an unrelated incident, a black limo with 6 guys in black suits just showed up outside Katie’s house, confiscated her computer and did a courtesy panty raid.

  • And now, an all-new, “At The McPhees'”

    “What’s that, George?”
    “I got us some groceries, Adam, for the team barbecue.”
    “Really? Like what?”
    “I got us some steaks here I thought we could cook for dinner.”
    “Good, I’ll cook em for breakfast.”
    “And some pastries I thought would be good for dessert.”
    “We’ll eat them first.”
    “By the way, Adam, Alex always likes to sit at the head of the table.”
    “Let’s move him to the right side.”
    “And he likes to sit between Backie and Marcus.”
    “We’ll put him between Beagle and Volpatti then.”
    “Adam, are you always this difficult?”
    “What do you mean, George?’
    “Oh, harumpf, just forget it.”
    “By the way, George, before we eat, I’d like to borrow the cutlery so I can shave them all down. I think the players would eat better with shorter forks.”
    “Tell me again why I hired you?”
    “Because Ted told you to? And you can’t say no to him?”

    starring George Clooney as George and Ray Liotta as Adam


  • Greg

    I don’t think Oates comes across sounding like a douchebag or anything… he comes across to me as someone who’s a bit stubborn. It’s something that probably helped him as a player and hurt him as a coach.

    I’ve noticed this sometimes with former players (especially ones that were great): the notion that since they were successful at doing things exactly their way, that’s the CORRECT way, and everything else is wrong. It’s not so much about adapting a system to fit players strengths, but rather this idea that the player needs to adapt.

    Think about it in practical terms this season. There have been some things that Oates has dictated that have worked out masterfully, mainly the PP and Ovechkin’s goal scoring. BUT, when things haven’t worked out (especially with their zone exit strategies OR their woeful penalty kill), Oates simply hasn’t been willing to adapt and admit fault. Again, this stubbornness helped him as a player, but hasn’t worked out as a coach.

  • Anthony Elworthy/scrubversive

    Is that kinda like… chinballalitis? ‘cuz old devil face behind the bench would look better with a pair of balls on his chin.

  • WeAreLouder

    Bingo. Reminds me of the Ford commercial. “My way, my way, my way! Do I make myself clear?!”

  • Lawrence

    Well when he was drafted he was known as a two way winger. So his defensive lapses are probably because of caps management.

  • Shaun Phillips

    Greatest punk song ever. Truly epic.

  • Matt Root

    I enjoyed this. Thank you. lol

  • I really do have faith that you guys can be cultured intelligent people who can discuss things without being mean and take potshots at others.

    Mike Vogel calls it keyboard courage. Imagine if you’re speaking about someone else to their face or having a conversation with someone in person. If you wouldn’t say your comment like that to their face, don’t say it here or on the internet.

  • Myan

    What a piece! This was really eyeopening and disheartening at the same time. I had no idea of McPhee’s reputation in the league but now it really makes sense why we are literally NEVER in the conversation about big players. This organization really needs an overhaul and a makeover starting with the management. Thanks for sharing, guys!

  • He is an “elf-face,” not a “devil-face.”

  • Yes, I agree. It could have come out a few years earlier, but maybe that is nitpicking.

    The bottom line is a housecleaning is in order – D patrick, McPhee, Oates, calle Jo and Kolzig.

  • Matt Root

    Solid message, likely falls on deaf ear though. Such is the internet. Still commendable, though and quite ideal.


    LOL! This was hilarious!

  • I like how they found a way to make Eric Melvin’s “singing” work in it.

  • CadleCreek

    I don;t recall 2-way player and OV colliding in the same sentence. Aggressive, hard hitting,big bodied, intense but I don’t recall 2-way.


    Ovechkin goal scoring is ‘natural’ return. Oates hasn’t done much. Ovechkin scored more goals from the LW at even strength this year than right wing. It wasn’t even close. Their video guy, Blaine Forsythe, is the one who developed the current 1-3-1 PP system the caps use.So that really wasn’t oates either.

  • Jimmie

    That’s kind of the problem, isn’t it? Oates seems to spend so much time examining each tree on the microscopic level, managing every molecule of nourishment and centimeter of growth that he can’t see the forest is all wrong for the terrain and climate its in.

    He lacks a guy on his staff who can walk over and pull his head out of the weeds, who can let him know he’s gone to deep into the analysis, and refocus his gaze on the broader view matters.

    He’d make a great assistant, the kind of guy who’d quote Corsi from memory and give you a page of stats explaining why Orlov needs to play on the other side of the ice. You can’t use him as a head coach, though, because he has exactly the wrong skillset.

  • If I saw McPhee in person, I would tell him directly what I thought of his job performance. Go to any game in Boston, NY or Philly and you hear “You svck!” all game long. That is the nature of being in the public eye. I would never say these things about you or another person posting, but public figures are fair game. BTW, on the other sites, I am the one who almost never argues with anybody, and that’s because the Constitution says we are all entitled to our opinions.

  • RobT

    I honestly found this part to be the most troubling. It’s scary to think of who we could have brought in to fix the situation. I always ask myself “I wonder if the Caps are on this players list” when it comes to them asking for trades. Now i know…

  • HartKiller_09

    I was a kid when Oates played so I knew he was a great player but little else about him personally….in reading about his career, was he kind of a jerk? He seemed to have a lot of falling outs with teams, typically over money.

  • Yeah. A huge part of Ovi’s decline was due to Ovi not getting powerplay minutes under Hunter.

  • I have been doing them since 2008. The first episode was Nylander refusing to move out of McPhee’s house.

  • HartKiller_09

    He looks like Ray Liotta.

  • CadleCreek

    I would, but I also was a hockey player so the elevator might not stop on all the floors

  • He was big at renegotiating his contract.

  • McPhee’s attitude is known, it just hasn’t been published before. Agents hate him, other GMs too.

  • HartKiller_09

    Gaborik was available, McPhee got Penner. Whatever the reasons behind them McPhee is the king of the underwhelming trade. After two years of needing a 2nd line center the ghost of Jason Arnott was what he came back with?

  • Anthony Elworthy/scrubversive

    My bad, didn’t get the memo. Can’t see this photo and not think of him as innately sinister.


    Ovi still scored 38 goals under hunter without backstrom for half the year and limited minutes when team was up along with not playing the full 2 mins of PP. I think that’s pretty good output given the circumstances.

  • CadleCreek

    He was the kid that would take his ball home if things were not going his way. It’s pretty funny because he was a guy that wasn’t giving a shot but after a few years with Hull he was .a PIA


    Look at those situations like Eric Belanger. Promised one thing and did another.

  • CadleCreek

    What was it Arnott said about this team when he left. Something about the locker room or culture.

  • Lawrence

    3 mins in

    It was well documented that he was defensively responsible before being drafted.

  • “If I saw McPhee in person, I would tell him directly what I thought of his job performance.”

    I seriously doubt it.

  • Owen Johnson

    I can play MOST of it on bass. A couple sections I’m still figuring out. But damn. Playing it on drums must be a workout

  • Chris Cerullo


  • Owen Johnson

    Fat Mike: That’s Melvin on six string
    Fat Mike: Oh I think you can just don’t do it round me.


    I live in Toronto, and a light year ago, when John Ferguson Jr was the GM, not many people in this city were happy with the leafs. There was a time, when JFJ was conveniently walking out of the HHOF onto front street and a bunch of people noticed. What proceeded to happen was people began shouting vulgar insults at him like he was a rapist/murderer. One guy, looked like a construction worker, said if he didn’t need his job, he’d punch him in the face for i quote “****ing this franchise to hell”. JFJ could do nothing but listen and put a small grin on his face. He waited for his cab got in that that was that. Public figures are not immune to critics. People always get hated on, in “real sports markets”. Not sure if the Caps fan base in general is of that calibre (yet).

  • Mark Mille

    In the grand scheme of things, we need a top down change. Oates’ system just doesn’t seem to work with what we have. Does that mean Oates’ changes his system or we bring in a new coach, again. If we bring in a new coach, we might as well bring in a new GM as well. Like I have said before, this draft will be big, but now it’s not just because of the trade deadline.

    The only coach I can see staying is Kolzig, while what he’s selling messed with Holtby, I think it will make him a better goalie in the end. Remember last season, every few games you’d exclaim “WHY ARE YOU SO FAR OUT OF THE NET” as Holtby gave up an absurd goal. But remember, goaltending was never the problem to begin with. And with Halak gone thats about another 4 million in cap space available. I’d rather not rush Grubauer but we dont have much of a choice.

    I don’t see John Erskine making the team next year, question is does he retire or will we be forced to buy him out.

    Joel Ward: The man is having an amazing year. I love this man so much, he plays fantastic hockey. But when he has the second most goals on your team, then you’ve got a major problem. I really wish we could sell him while he’s hot, but the man is 33. I dont see him making a repeat performance. I can’t see an NHL team giving up very much for this man, luckily I don’t see him as a buyout candidate, but possibly part of a package deal. In the unlikely chance anything happens with this man, it will be a trade for a pick, sadly, it will probably be a mid to late mid round pick.

    Brooks Laich: I’m really on the borderline with this guy. If he can get healthy and stay that way then he’s fine, but if he continues to be a injury risk. Hard to trade this man with his cap hit. I feel like IF he were to be traded, it wouldn’t be during this post-season but possibly after or during the pre-season.

    Grabovski: Sign him now!

    Mike Green: There are rumors that his current state of mind does not appreciate the Washington Management and system. He’s a possible trade asset if that holds true, problem is what do we get from him? He’s not the same player he used to be and he never will be again.

    Jack Hillen: It’s frustrating. The man has had the worse luck while on this team. WHEN he’s been playing he’s been FANTASTIC, but that could just be noticeable based on the awful play our defense regularly provides. The man is cheap, and the man is good. We have another year, keep him and let him go to free agency then.

    Thats all I can come up with from the top of my head. Also, are we seriously paying Troy Browuer 3.6mil? oh come on

  • Myan

    Truth be told, I only started watching hockey & the Capitals during the series vs Boston in 2011. This team literally falling apart throughout the season has been truly eyeopening. GMGM seems like a very arrogant and stubborn man to work with.

  • One thing Katie’s article failed to do, and I know she can’t do this, is it failed to implicate Ted. Word has it that Ted was behind the Laich and Green contracts and has refused certain moves McPhee wanted to make. Word also has it that Ted chased Dale away, FWIW. Ted’s meddling is a big part of the problem too. Ted, McPhee, Oates, Kolzig and Calle Johansson all to blame to varying degrees.

  • CadleCreek

    I would love these commentators go back and hear themselves.

    hockey prospects never had him as a defensive guy.

  • I’m a diehard since 1980. The pain runs deep.

  • Bilal

    Can you be the next coach? Please?

  • Mark Mille

    I really do like McPhee, I’ve run into him a few times and he’s quite nice

  • At least it has driven me to drink, along with my children, my job and my ex-wife. That’s six drinks a day right there. Cheers! (I have three children.)

  • CadleCreek

    he might George is about 5’5″ and weighs as much as my leg.

  • Lawrence

    I remember reading multiple reports of him being strong defensively, so idk haha.

    It’s all perspective I suppose. I don’t think he is nearly as bad defensively as he is made out to be. Obviously he is no selky winner, but few wingers are imo and none of them are even close to as good offensively. People get set in their opinions and views.

  • Mark Mille

    Ted has had his influence on a few contracts from what I’ve heard, not much else

  • No, but after 35 years in defense industry as parametric estimator I can be capologist!

  • Myan

    I started watching hockey when I met my boyfriend who is a diehard since the 90s. In the last 3 years I’ve grown to LOVE this team despite their deficiencies…pain runs deep for me too 🙁

  • I once shared an elevator with him. Here is a full transcript of our conversation.











    Me: [sniffles]



    George: [looks at me]



    Me exits elevator.

    George exits elevator.

  • Me too. He made a joke about a question I asked at the Kuznetsov press conference. Talked to me afterwards. Thanked me for coming. One of the nicer guys in hockey.

    There’s lots to criticize about his performance as a GM (Forsberg [shakes fist]) but not the man.

  • I thought he had been hands-off since the fire sale.

  • Mark Mille

    For me it’s walking past he verizon center on my way to lunch during my internship in Chinatown thinking. Is that GMGM? Man he’s short.

  • Myan

    Napoleon complex?

  • CadleCreek

    squashed semin to st.louis for Backes and a pick
    told Dale to “play the Russians more” against the Rags

  • JessHughes

    I just emailed Katie Carrera through the WaPo to say, “bravo.”

  • Mark Mille

    It’s all rumors and speculation of course. You’d only know for sure if you were GMGM and Ted

  • Myan

    Why does it matter if the person is a public figure? Just be a decent human being, FFS.

  • Langway

    I read a number of sites and I can attest to your politeness. I don’t always agree with what your opinions, but I generally enjoy reading your posts.

  • CadleCreek

    or knew people that worked for the team or alumni that work for the team

  • Yes, thank you.

  • Mark Mille

    Sometime the Capitals fan base gets too invested, but if we weren’t this site wouldn’t exist. As fans we become to attached to this team and what it means to each of us.

    Also, any chance on an RMNB phone app? If you guys are gonna integrate ads, to the site might as well for the whole shebang right?

  • CadleCreek

    last time I tlaked to him was at piney.
    GMGM why are you here?
    Me: needed something from Sluggo
    GMGM: hurumph

  • CadleCreek

    He did have a funny comment at the OVI Bauer presser when #8 showed up in jeans and a t-shirt “thanks for dressing up Alex”

  • We get the dope from a guy who has a contact in the front office.

  • Seth

    Dale leaving was a bad thing?

  • Mark Mille

    I wouldn’t say so. He looked like a man with a plan. I respect that.

  • All in all, “Yes.” Look what Dale has done in London. Do his players complain about him? No, he turns out first round picks on a regular basis. He din’t have the support from Ted to really overhaul the team to have the kind of players he needed. We would have been the lunchpail Caps again, except for having Backie and Ovi.

  • Mark Mille

    I go on the CSN washingon boards too…it’s still speculation and I’d prefer to believe its not true

  • The specific meddling was forcing McPhee to keep Laich and Green because they were fan favorites. Seeing the way Ted operates, it would not surprise me.

  • The bottom line is Katie has finally “burned her bridges” with McPhee and Oates, so I must assume she thinks they aren’t coming back and those bridges won’t be needed. OTOH you can see she still gets comments from Boudreau.

  • Mark Mille

    I see that for the Laich contract, but for Green wasn’t he just coming off quite a few very good seasons when the contract was made?

  • Joran

    We got Grabovski and for the love of God, I hope we re-sign him.

  • No, the most recent three-year deal followed two down years. They could have given him a one-year QO for $5M but instead overpaid. Laich’s six-year deal came after two declining years as well and was inexplicable.

  • We also heard Ted told McPhee to lock up Semin long term, but if you recall George tried but “the player only wanted one year.”

  • 70Caps

    That was refreshing. I just read another piece by Wapo:
    Parts make Some sense, but really?
    “McPhee and Oates may soon lose their jobs as general manager and coach,
    but it’s Ovechkin who has posted the most disappointing season of his

  • Mark Mille

    Ovechkin has has one of the worst if not the worst 5v5 season of his career. Yes he’s scored 50 goals, yes that is amazing. But something is up

  • Ovi’s weak D cannot be overlooked. And he just doesn’t get it. Playing *some* defense should be required of all players. This isn’t MLB where you can be a DH like David Ortiz. Plus Ovi’s offense of late itself has been reduced to standing at the left dot and waiting for one-timers. Even his one dimension now only has one dimension.

  • Matt Root

    IIRC, they overpaid because the Leafs had interest in him. I could be wrong but that comes to mind. Regardless, I have disagreed with that move.. among others

  • Seth

    His 50/50 coin flip hockey was simply unsustainable, and his complete lack of communication with the players was astounding. He does great things up in London, without a doubt, but I don’t think he’s cut out to coach in the NHL.

  • Just like he overpaid Hamrlik because supposedly “15 other teams wanted him.” McPhee can tell some doozies.

  • Bilal

    except the thing about how agents hate GMGM and players never list the caps as destinations. That shocked the hell outta me, but it all makes sense now.

  • Possibly not, but we’ll never know since he’ll never coach in the NHL with his own, hand-picked players.

  • BorntoHula

    Considering how the roster was built (mainly the blue line) I don’t think he had much choice. Also that was the closest the Caps came (along with 09) to the third round since 98.
    I agree in that I don’t understand why he couldn’t communicate better though

  • Priscilla Villanueva

    From the insiders I’ve talked to, Adam Oates has an extremely high hockey IQ (like Greg Maddux does in baseball) and is quite kind. He’s been kind in the times I’ve met him as well. But like most really really smart dudes, they sometimes have difficulty adjusting to what doesn’t make sense to them. It’s not being a d-bag, it’s not being mean, it’s just a really crazy inability to adapt to circumstances that exist outside of their own heads. People like this make great individual contributors. They don’t usually make great managers.

  • Doublenickelporn

    Always brilliant. What will we do when George is gone.

  • Doublenickelporn

    When I guy constantly blows off leadership and talks about being pro’s thats all you need to know. Not just in sport, but in any job those that can lead and motivate will alway get the most out of their people. He’s Norv Turner 2.0, strong assistant, but not HC material.

  • kyle boyd

    the thing I’ll always love about this team is the accountability. they’ll always face the music and handle the fans with respect and consideration. like both the GM and owner declining to be interviewed for this story, perfect example of….oh wait.



    He’s very unprofessional or just doesn’t know how to conduct himself in the big leagues. From Erat incident, to thrown his captain under the bus to lack of respect towards his goalies… the mess he’s made is big.

  • Doublenickelporn

    Ovi will always take the brunt with the media. Bottom line is this team is attrocious 5-5 (Ward,Chimmer,insert C aside) and almost all regulars here are having their worst 5/5 +/- years of their career. Ovi on the Right Side is a joke. As he has truly become the leagues first Rover! Put him back on the left side and the d and neutral zone coverage will get better. We’ve seen The Caps be a top 5 D team – Ovi scored 32, 54 assists and a +24 and he was lambasted for those numbers, until he hoists, it will always be this way.

  • Owen Johnson

    I only read the first sentence. You know light year is a measurement of distance. Not time, right?

  • Matt DV

    Good article from KC. I hated the Erat trade, but seems like Oates gets petulant at times dealing with players. Baffling. But Oates still has great stick speed stabbing his defensemen in the back. He takes credit in one spot for knowing defense (um so this defense is intentional??), and then says he is playing guys who don’t deserve an NHL sweater. May be true, but he’s a coach not a commentator – frigging act like it.

    Let’s blow it up again (sigh).

  • Shmoo

    Did Nylander refuse to leave? Or did he agree that it was time to go, walked out the front door, got in his car and then proceeded to do donuts in the front lawn until the police were called?

  • Owen Johnson

    Well Arnott referred to the Caps as “they” even when he played here.


    yes mr.techincal physics. You are correct. My point was to reference a period in history “far away”. Why are we talking about this?

  • Shmoo

    Sonofabeetch, advertising all over this site now.

  • VirginiaPatriot

    tominsocal1- You may be spot on in your observations, so I’m not arguing with you in my comment. One of my concerns, has Ted “checked out” from the Caps since he now has his prize, the basketball team? Ever since I read Ted’s book, I have had a rather disturbing view that the Caps have only been a means to an end for Ted, and that end was NOT to win a Stanley Cup. it was to check off his 101 things (or whatever the number was) to do in his life, one which was to own a BASKETBALL team. Though all parties below his level have a lot to answer for, if the hunger to be a SC winner is not there for the owner, that is bound to translate into everyone else coming to work for a paycheck. As the article stated, Ted is soul-searching. I hope he re-commits himself to owning a Stanley Cup winning team.

  • Steve

    A bit off topic…but just watched Ovi sink a PP goal on Crawford in tonight’s game as if he was getting up for a morning stretch. It’s an amazing thought that scoring the way he does on the PP is him simply “going through the motions.” Okay – back to talking about the franchise being a mess and how he needs a bit more defensive awareness.

  • HartKiller_09

    Ovechkin’s obviously having a terrible year defensively and I’d never say he was the best two way player or anything, but he’s been a plus player for his career…something’s obviously wrong this year but a lot of people are talking about it as if it’s typical of him.

  • I will continue with “Life With Ted” episodes.

  • Yes, Nyles refused to leave. He parked himself on the couch, eating Cheetos (the cheese that goes Ker-runch).

  • His defense has gotten worse, but putting him with Johansson really killed the +/-. But then again, Ovi insisted on playing with MaJo because he loves being fed the one-timers.

  • He is a one-dimensional player whose offense has been reduced to only one dimension. He is truly great at that one aspect of hockey. He is the David Ortiz of the NHL.

  • It has always been said of Ted that basketball was his first love.

  • Priscilla Villanueva

    I could not agree with you more. Being from San Diego, I literally could not agree with you more.

  • OlietheGoalie

    I read this at work today and agree with everything Katie says. She’s spot on, and has been one of the best, if not THE BEST, writer The Post has had for a long time.

    The quote from Ovie is very telling.

  • OlietheGoalie

    He IS Ray Liotta? Ever seen them in the same room? Me neither.

  • OlietheGoalie

    God. Those teeth on Mr. Rightie over there.

  • OlietheGoalie

    It’s because Gabby was, and IS, a good coach.

  • Hockey mom

    You called?

  • GregV

    She not only did a thorough job, it was a fair piece, too. One of the many things it did — which is a sign of a good story — was expose all the elephants in the room without being ugly about it. She unwound all the pieces really well.

    My big question after reading it was: what does Adam Oates do after this?

  • JenniferH

    Yet another reason I love this blog so much. Thanks, Ian.

  • Doublenickelporn

    Everyone is having a career worst 5-5 season except the 25/42 line. Ovi on RW is a cluster, hes been camped on the Left side most of this game in the O zone. He’s constantly loss in the back two zones and is perfecting the Neutral zone loop to Nylander like perfection. Its comical

  • CadleCreek

    he has been on the ice for 9 shorties maybe all 10, so that gets you to -26. I detailed before how the 1-3-1s achilles heal is the ability of the wings to read the play and get back on d- a skill OVI doesn’t have or doesn’t do. Part of his minus is the lack of 5v5 scoring by 19 and the lw but the other part is he and 19 are not very good on the back check. Nicky takes the wrong guy more times than he takes the correct guy. Once the play settles, Nicky is an OK defender. It hasn’t helped that the blueline, especially 74,81&52, exasperate the issue by jumping up too soon and too far when #8’s line is on the ice.

    Is it completely OVi-No

    Is OVI a big part of it-yes but so are his team mates and coaches.

    The biggest thing is that the leading goal scorer leading in minus points to a dysfunction of some sorts.

  • JenniferH

    Read the article this afternoon and felt the same as all of you. The free agent stuff and the Dave Prior/goalie stuff is what stuck with me the most. I mean, wow. We knew, or at least suspected, but seeing it laid out like that… just… dang. Something had got to change. It better.

  • DG

    This is gold.

  • DJ

    “At the same time, Washington’s defense has been shaky. The Capitals own
    the worst record in the league when scoring two or fewer goals this
    season at 0-25-6. In two years under Oates, they’re 1-41-8 in such

    Wow, this is incredibly damning.

  • Man, just checked, and the latest installment of “At The McPhees'” got 26 thumbs up. Thank you all, means a lot.

    Whatever happens with George, you can bet tominsocal1 productions will continue cranking out the episodes. I mean, Clooney just called and said he’s afraid that McPhee might get canned, and that could spell curtains for the series. I told him not to worry, the sponsors want it to keep going.

    It might become, “At The McPhees’: The Calgary Years” or whatever. And of course we will continue “Life With Ted” with Danny DeVito in the title role. Keanu Reeves might be in trouble though because the team definitely plays better sans Mike Green. And Ray Liotta as Adam Oates, sorry, Ray, your time is up.

    Dudes, it’s been real, see you all on the red carpet. Weather here btw high 70s and sunny all day.

    Your pal in socal, Tom

  • Doublenickelporn

    Tom you are one of the best posters on the net, always enjoy your work. Even the night I almost ordered you a pizza from 2000 miles away.

  • HartKiller_09

    I’m more of an Ovechkin fan than a Capitals fan, so I haven’t followed the day to day happenings of the Capitals…so take this for what it’s worth.

    But I’ve been underwhelmed by the moves McPhee’s made for a couple of years now.

    Martin Erat was an underwhelming “win now” move. They needed a second line center for a couple of years, and by the time he got around to getting one it was Jason Arnott. When he finally did get a good second line center, he got rid of Semin. It’s not really about Semin personally but it felt like he was getting rid of a second line winger to get a second line center, which isn’t really a step forward. And that’s how I see most of his moves – they’re not making steps forward. They need scoring depth – so they get rid of their second line winger for a second line center. The next year they replace that center with another center.

    Varlamov was moved for the pick that became Forsberg. He was moved for Martin Erat? Erat was moved because he was replaced with Penner. Is there that much of a difference between Erat and Penner? And why do they keep jumping from goalie to goalie when they all seem comparable.

    How many 3rd line type players does one team need?

    Mike Green’s a defenceman who’s strength is offence, which he hasn’t been delivering, and he’s terrible defensively. And he’s their #1 defenceman. Maybe that’s why no goalie is better than the rest?

    This deadline Gaborik was available. The Capitals got Penner. That sums up how I see McPhee as a GM.

  • Owen Johnson
  • Ted Brandes

    Wonderful article!

    Ovechkin, you’re paid to win, not score. No real hockey fan or player gives a crap how many goals you score as long as the team is winning. When you “were having a down year” I told everyone who mentioned it to shut up, because you were doing your job: winning. Yeah, you weren’t scoring 50 goals, but you were scoring a lot of crucial goals, including playoff game-winners. QUALITY SURPASSES QUANTITY (otherwise the Sharks would win the cup every year, thank God they don’t) And even if it was just about scoring, then ask yourself if you’d rather be the king of scoring or the king of the NHL.

    Oates… just… just don’t talk. Actually, just don’t coach… at all… ever. Not only was your debacle with the goalie coach one of the most supreme examples of incompetence, but your coaching in general wouldn’t even be worthy of a letter grade. I’ve seen better hockey on NHL 14, and I’m sure at least a few of us know how bad it can get on that game (unfortunately I am of the younger generation of hockey fanatics). By the way, thank you for ruining about every goaltender that will come through your organization. As a fellow goalie, allow me to make a certain obscene gesture on behalf of your unlucky tenders.

    And Theodore (you’ve lost permission to be called “Ted”), I carry a big stick for a reason, don’t make me us it 😉 –> Your’s Truly, Ted.

  • Ted Brandes

    You guys haven’t seen anything, come to Philly XD


  • Ted Brandes

    The problem is a combo of horrible system implementation and poor positioning on Ovi’s part. A good number of Ovi’s minuses are on transition, where he’s caught out of position and out of the play. A great indicator of the real issue can be found in Marcus’ statistics, in which his total productivity dips whenever paired with Ovechkin (while his offensive stats spike). Happened in 2011 too when he was paired with Ovi a lot more, and then saw his +/- suddenly plummet. They need to find a system where Ovi can play offense and not jeopardize the defensive integrity when he gets out of position.

  • Catherine__M

    I find the constant negativity and aggression distracting from the point the writer may be making. Plus it is still possible to be fun or witty in an assessment of a bad situation (RMNB style) instead of dragging the mood down just for the he’ll of it.

  • Catherine__M

    Constitution says that Congress cannot pass a law prohibiting you from expressing your opinions.

    Different from giving license ignore the unwritten rules of a polite society or guaranteeing you right to say what you want how you want on a forum (not moderated by Congress) that has guidelines and rules.

  • Catherine__M

    I grew up in Philly. Philadelphia sports fans are the #1 reason I didn’t like sports until adulthood. ..When I moved to DC.