Wednesday, April 02, 2008

My, but how far they've come

The Caps stand on the brink of a return to the playoffs. They have played at a 107-point pace since Thanksgiving. They are 9-1-0 in their last ten games. Simply put, they are -- right now -- a good and dangerous hockey team.

Not bad for a club that was all but an expansion team that headed into the lockout. Consider this comparison...the team that took the ice on the last day of the 2003-2004 season and the squad that took the ice last night against Carolina:


These rosters come from ESPN.com, and it looks as if they missed someone in that final game of 2004 (maybe it was Alexander Semin), but you get the point. Looking at that 2004 season-ending roster, how many of those players do you think could have dressed for the Caps last night?


15 comments:

exwhaler said...

Who the heck was Craig Johnson? I don't even remember him...

The Peerless said...

http://www.hockeydb.com/ihdb/stats/pdisplay.php3?pid=12125

Try going here...

Anonymous said...

Wasn't Semin suspended by the team for the last couple of games that season?

Claudia said...

Isn't that the game that Semin missed the plane to Pittsburgh?

The Peerless said...

claudia...

yup

Defdude said...

No, Semin was in Portland at the time for the Calder Cup playoffs, if I recall.

The Peerless said...

Well, according to the link in that post -- an article from the WaPo from April 5, 2004, Semin missed the flight to Pittsburgh, couldn't get a connection, and ended up not able to arrive until after that game started.

SM said...

It's funny though, because if you took a time machine and walked up to me in April 2004 and showed me the 2008 roster, I'm not sure I would've been able to tell you that the team would be light years better. Sure, I'd HEARD of Ovechkin, but no way would I have expected the mega star that he's become. I would've noted old guys like Feds, Kozlov and Brash and discounted them as way past their primes. But also, I would've had a hard time recognizing many of the names on the list (Backstrom? Green? Schultz? Jurcina?) and though some had just been acquired at the deadline (Flash, Laich) or had already been drafted (Fehr, Gordon) I'd have no way of knowing if they were contributors to a playoff push or just younger guys getting a shot on a team that was totally in the tank.

HHH said...

YAHTZEE!

maruk said...

I count only 4 guys from that '04 team still in the league: Willsie, Witt, Halpern, Kiwi.

Am I wrong?

In any event, an amazing turnaround in 3 seasons of hockey.

The Peerless said...

maruk...you forget Pettinger already?

Anonymous said...

Only one on that line up I would take would be a helathy Witt.

maruk said...

HA! Well, he only scored 2 more goals for the Caps than I did this year. I'd classify that as forgettable.

Thanks for the correction.

Victor said...

Halpern, I think, would've played last night were he still a Cap.

A lot of the other names, though...wow. I barely remember them

OrderedChaos said...

Nice work Peerless! I'd say the Caps could use Witt in a second- or third-pairing, particularly with Pothier & now Morrissonn hurt.

Victor, I agree re: Halpern, he would almost certainly could still be the Caps' third-line center. But the $4M per year offer Dallas gave him, well, can't blame the Caps for letting him go. If Halpie had stayed with the Caps for $2.5M-ish per year then he'd still be wearing the red, white, and blue.