Put Me In Coach

Matt Bradley had a couple strong scoring chances in Tuesday night’s win over Ottawa, and he has been playing excellent hockey of late overall. After the Ottawa game, I saw Bradley downstairs and told him, “You’ve got one coming on Thursday, Brads. I feel it.”

“I’ll get one for you, Vogs,” was the reply.

By the time the shootout started on Thursday night after the Caps and Oilers dueled to a 4-4 draw through 65 minutes of real hockey, I figured he meant he’d get one for me in warm-ups.

I’m no sick kid in a hospital like in the movies, but Bradley came through. His shootout strike was the only lamp lighter in a 12-round festival of saves and misses.

Turns out that Bradley did play the Babe Ruth card, though. He called his shot.

Bradley told bench boss Bruce Boudreau to put him in.

“He didn’t even let me say, ‘Don’t go,’” said Boudreau after the game. “He said, ‘I’m going to score. Put me out there.’ He jumped over the boards and went in, did a great move and scored.

“It was fabulous. That’s what we need. You need guys that are going to go out there and not hope to score but know they are. Brads just wanted the puck. I thought it was great for him.”

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6 Comments on “Put Me In Coach”

  1. pgreene Says:

    as stupid as the shootout is, and as much as i hate that it matters, last night was kinda fun. it had to sting for guys like steckel and bradley to see erskine (!) go before them. but good on bradley. i’ve seen the story quoted a few ways, but it sounds like bradley went out there without being tapped.

    for as much as everyone was talking about letting bradley go early this year, he has played exceptionally well in his role. guys like him and laing are as much a reason we’ve had success recently as guys like ovechkin and green.

  2. Matt Says:

    Thats awesome little story.

    I hate the shootout, esp the long ones.

  3. Tom in FL Says:

    Speaking of Green, he’s a RFA at the end of the year. So are some other guys, but Green’s case is different. The Caps went and re-upped Semin for $9.2M over the next two years. When I heard that, I was shocked, expecting he would get maybe $5M over two years, still a nice bump from $1.25M a year he’s getting now. Anyway, it was this Penner guy I think that the Oilers signed away from the Ducks, correct? Wasn’t that at like $5M a year? And Brian Burke of the Ducks (GM) was PO’d in a grand way because Kevin Lowe (Oilers GM) had caused, in his opinion, inflation in younger players’ salaries? So, I was thinking, maybe that’s why the Caps gave Semin so much, because it was “scale” (Semin having better numbers last eyar than Penner) and McPhee afraid of having to match some outrageous figure next summer. Now fast-forward to next July….what will Kevin Lowe (PO’d at the Caps due to Nylander) or some other GM toss Green’s way? I mean, Green for a blueliner is worth what Semin or Penner are as forwards, isn’t he? So it’s quite possible that Green is in line to get “overpaid” in the same way those two players are being overpaid in the system. My opinion is that Green is a fantastic talent but needs to up his game in the defensive end before he qualifies as a top-end player. It’s apparently not like in baseball where a team fully controls a guy for six years and the players don’t get top money until they’ve reached 5-6 years in the league. There’s arbitration, but there’s no threat of a rogue GM setting a dollar figure for YOUR player. This is why Ovechkin and Crosby got top dollar while still in their entry deals – their teams didn’t even want to negotiate in the open and maybe make the player a little ticked by some offer or comment. It will likely be the same with Green. His offensive numbers alone will have some GM drooling and more than willing to toss “Souray bucks” (that’s $5M yearly I think) in Green’s direction. Of course, we’d get draft choice compensation in return. That would have been just great two or three years ago, but now we’re on the cusp and need to keep pushing. Mike Green (and Morrisonn, too, although as the “stay-at-home” part of the pairing he’ll command less) is exactly the kind of player the Caps CAN’T lose at this point in the rebuilding. The Caps will therefore pay. Each goal and highlight reel move simply ups the ante. If I’m McPhee, I toss around $8M on the table TODAY for the next two years and hope that’s all it takes.

  4. Tom in FL Says:

    For anyone interested, here’s a link to the team’s salaries:

    http://www.nhlnumbers.com/overview.php?team=WAS

  5. Tom in FL Says:

    For anyone interested, here’s a link to the team’s salaries:

    http://www.nhlnumbers.com/overview.php?team=WAS

  6. AJD Says:

    I’m pretty sure Green is going to get re-upped before he has a chance to get to test out the free agent market. There’s been some scuttlebutt floating around that McPhee and Ted L are talking to him about it, and those guys are pretty good at what they do.

    This is a very nicely run team, imo, and I can’t see them ever, ever, ever letting a guy like Green, who is young, talented, home grown, and with his best years in front of him, getting away.

    With AO, Semin, Green, Morrison, and Backstrom as a core, this team is looking like a powerhouse in the making. If Steckel or Fleischmann and another guy or two can take a step forward next year, they’ll be a handful for anyone.


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