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Can McPhee save the season in Washington?

Feb 14, 2012, 1:43 PM EDT

McPhee

As per usual, CBC’s Elliotte Friedman gave us plenty to think about in his weekly “30 thoughts” column.

One thought that stuck out for me was this one:

Apparently, no GM is burning up the phone lines more than George McPhee. The Capitals face Canadian-franchise-level pressure to succeed.

After last night’s home loss to San Jose, Washington sits one point back of Toronto for the final playoff spot in the Eastern Conference.

Meanwhile, Caps goalie Michal Neuvirth is peeved at coach Dale Hunter (and presumably vice versa) and veteran forward Mike Knuble is fuming in the press box as a healthy scratch.

“If you had told me on opening night that we’d be sitting here right now outside a playoff spot, I’d have been very surprised,” McPhee told The Washington Post’s John Feinstein yesterday. “I liked the team we had put together this summer.”

McPhee added: “I still think if we get our guys [Nicklas Backstrom and Mike Green] back and if we can add something here in the next couple of weeks we’re good enough to win the Stanley Cup.”

But if Washington doesn’t make the playoffs, McPhee’s job could be no more. In fact, he probably needs to do better than just make the playoffs. So what could the GM do prior to the Feb. 27 trade deadline?

Writes Feinstein (after suggesting Knuble could be dealt):

McPhee has other chips he can play. If he believes Green is going to be healthy he has two young defensemen, John Carlson and Dimitry Orlov, who many teams would covet. He also has Dennis Wideman, an all-star defenseman who is a free agent this summer. What’s more, he has two first round draft picks in a draft reportedly chock full of talented defensemen.

He could also shop Alex Semin, whose expiring contract could be absorbed by a handful of teams, assuming one would take a chance on the inconsistent Russian. Then again, with no Backstrom, who’s out indefinitely with concussion symptoms, the Caps might not want to lose Semin’s offense. Underperforming or not, he’s still the team’s fourth-leading scorer.

What do you think? Can McPhee save the season with a deadline more? Any ideas? Maybe he’s a PHT reader and gets most of his ideas from the comments sections of blogs.

  1. djamesbart - Feb 14, 2012 at 2:06 PM

    I can’t believe Ovechkin has been a healthy scratch the last couple games

  2. bigbear42 - Feb 14, 2012 at 2:38 PM

    It can be saved because they are in a terrible division

  3. ravenscaps48 - Feb 14, 2012 at 2:44 PM

    This team needs to be blown up… Being a fann of this franchise can be one of the most frustrating things in sports…. Besides the Chicago Cubs… Feel bad for those fans

    • djamesbart - Feb 14, 2012 at 2:54 PM

      oh please let the Pens play the Caps first round

  4. solador78 - Feb 14, 2012 at 3:01 PM

    The 2 big problems with the Caps are the coach and cocaine.

  5. welkersstache83 - Feb 14, 2012 at 3:40 PM

    And ovechkin and semin

  6. AppealToReason - Feb 14, 2012 at 9:01 PM

    There is nothing here than has galvanized this team from individuals into a whole unit. You can just tell when they’re playing that most of the players are on different pages from each other and the coach

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