No Balance to Washington Capitals Lines
Carden Hedelt on Tue, 2012-08-21 18:47
Balance is good.
It's good for a lot of things. It's good for tires. It's good on a beam. It's good on a seesaw.
Having balance on a seesaw is having two riders of near-equal weight who get to enjoy flinging themselves up into the air with the help of the weight of the other rider. Without balance, the lighter of the two riders is stuck up in the air, legs waving wildly, until his fellow rider decides that this ride isn't worth it, gets off and sends his partner crashing back to the ground.
Expect a lot of wild waving legs from the Washington Capitals right wingers this season as the team is left-wing heavy.
Right now, the right wing depth chart looks a little something like this according to the fine folks over at Bleacher Report: Troy Brouwer, Marcus Johansson, Joel Ward and Jay Beagle.
Compare that depth chart to the left side: Alex Ovechkin, Brooks Laich, Jason Chimera and Matt Hendricks. The top three lines are left-side heavy.
Brouwer is in over his head on the first wing. Johansson is a center playing out of position on the right wing. He needs the top-six minutes to continue his development. These two might flop a little bit like they did in the playoffs last year but it's not really a comfortable position for either.
Semin's departure hurts most here, on the first two lines. It's where Semin played and no matter what percentage of his game anyone actually saw last year, defenders had to respect 100% of it. That's not the case with either Brouwer or the out-of-position Johansson.
Let's leave it with BR's Robert Theodorson for Ward because it's pretty much perfect as is:
"Ward is a player who excels at board play and little else."
The good news is that Joel Ward is making $3 million a year for the next three years! Real question: who had the worse contract in terms of cap space/team size/talent between Ward and Andray Blatche? Leonsis owns both teams (the Capitals and the Washington Wizards--AOL money all day) and those are two awful contracts. Somewhat real question: did Ted Leonsis ever ask Andray Blatche to put on skates just out of curiosity?
Jay Beagle actually fits in here. He's a good defender and he's got the right grit for the fourth line. For those scoring at home, that's one out of four Caps right wingers who fits in on the line he's on.
Blame falls with Caps general manager George McPhee for not going to get more talent in free agency. Shane Doan is still on the market but he'd eat up a majority of the 10 million in cap space the Caps have with John Carlson still to be signed and other players to lock down for the long term.
Maybe they were banking on 2010 first-round pick Evegeny Kuznetsov to come over to join the team, but he signed a two-year deal to stay in the KHL. Maybe they were banking on 2010 third-round pick Stanislav Galiev to be ready to make the leap into the pros, but he's only ready to play in Hershey this year.
There were no backup plans for acquiring anyone for the right. This is bad.
Of course, this is all bad only if there's a 2012-2013 NHL season. If not then it really doesn't mean anything.