Monday, February 26, 2007

Tick, Tick, Tick

28 hours to go...can you feel the excitement?


I hate this time of year. Really. I hate not knowing who will stay and who will go, whether we will bring in a big name or headline a blockbuster 15 player deal or sit idly by as other teams swap players like baseball cards. And this year in particular I'm feeling rather anxious. For the first time in a long time I like every single player on the team. I like what they bring to the ice, how they interact with one another. Chemistry is such a delicate thing to work with - throw one wrong person in there and it ruins the whole balance. I know McPhee understands this and it is my hope he will continue to work within that framework to improve this team.

Good news/bad news time.

The good news is that my temper tantrum yesterday about the possibility of Clymer going to the ArmPitt may have been a bit early. According to Tarik, McPhee has told him that we shouldn't read too much into Clymer and Eminger being perpetual scratches lately, stating that players who aren't playing well will sit from time to time. Now GMGM can be slick sometimes so I'm choosing to take this with a grain of salt, especially since I thought both of them were playing rather well when they were initially removed from the lineup. But specifically mentioning them and explaining their absence makes me feel just a bit better.

Another somewhat comforting thought, at least in terms of these two players, is the possibility they've been removed to showcase other players as trade bait. If the Caps were planning on moving them, you would think they'd be playing them to give other teams' scouts a better idea of what they're looking at. One or two games is one thing, but being scratched over the course of a week or two really doesn't give a team the best picture if they haven't been eyeing that player all along...and with these two guys somehow I doubt anyone has been.

By the way, judging by the handful of comments I got yesterday, I'm relieved to know I'm not the only one who would be sad to see him go...although I can't say I would have gone so far as to purchase a Clymer Penguins jersey ;)

Bad news...Zubrus, Zednik and Heward look to be on the move before tomorrow's deadline. Of the three I'm most concerned about the status of Zubie and am hoping the Caps get some last minute, 11th hour deal done with him to lock him up. I know that's not likely at this point but I have to keep the faith. I really think losing him could be detrimental to this team - he may not be the #1 center he's been assigned to be, but he's still a strong player who has helped mentor some of the younger guys and he would be missed.

As far as Zednik and Heward are concerned, I love both of them. Having said that, if they should find themselves somewhere else as of tomorrow afternoon, I'll shed a few tears but somehow I think I'll survive. As much as I have enjoyed having Zednik back in DC and as much as I know he wants to stay, it just doesn't seem to be working out. He's got that speed we all remember, but he has the tendency to give up on plays after the initial shot or hang on to the puck for too long...we've already got one lazy player, and he is ten years younger and is at least racking up the goals.

Heward is one of my favorite players off the ice and one of the ones who frustrates me the most on it. He has these mood swings, going back and forth between being a standup defenseman who makes the smart plays and being the guy who turns the puck over three times in one shift. The problem is these mood swings take place not from game to game but from shift to shift, so you never really know what's going to happen when he steps on the ice. My only concern with removing someone like Heward is that the average age of the blue line drops dramatically. The oldest defenseman then becomes Muir, who has been injured, followed by Pothier - who hasn't even turned 30 yet. It makes me very nervous to not have some sort of veteran presence back there.

So the clock continues to tick down and the hours remaining with the current roster slip away. I'll do my best to keep an eye on things as they progress while not getting myself fired in the process. I'll also make sure to keep the valium intake down so you can understand what I'm writing...although really, what's the fun in that?


Biff said...

As much as I like Zubrus and appreciate what he has done for this franchise, I think it is time for him to go. With Backstrom coming over next year and the Caps (hopefully) looking to pick up a true number one center, he will no longer fit in anywhere by the end of next season.

CapsChick said...

Oh, you LIAR! You hate Zubie, or should I say 'Esa'...admit it! ;)

Biff said...

Well, yeah... that too.