Brian Pothier was the Caps' big offseason acquisition in the summer of '05. Let's repeat that. A team that finished with 70 points went out and got . . . Brian Pothier. Nothing against Pothier, who is a capable second pair d-man (or a stellar third pair defender), but a team that was nowhere near contention and adds only Pothier is obviously not hedging their bets on the upcoming season. Likewise, a GM that makes that his big acquisition knows he has some rope from upper management.
Pothier played very well the first half of '06-'07, but as his play went south, so did the play of the Caps. Pothier was nailed by the flu that hit the team in late december, but unlike most of the team, played through it, since there simply weren't enough roster spots to call up d-men to replace all the sick players. Then Pothier broke his ankle, and just wasn't the same player the rest of the season, even after his return.
Pothier looks to be a lock on the second pairing this season with either Morrisonn or Jurcina, a place much more suited to his skills. His ability to put together a consistent 82 game season will be a big factor in whether or not the Caps succeed or fail.