The Caps are currently riding high on a two game winning streak over teams battling for playoff berths and playoff positioning. Tomas Fleischmann is coming off the best game of his professional career, Olie Kolzig is back and better than ever, and Semin has notched another three-goal night.
So let's knock them down and kick them a few times...just for fun. Sound like a good idea? It does if you're Dave Fay, who makes his triumphant return to the Washington Times with yet another whiny, pessimistic piece about the little team that couldn't.
It's just a disgrace that he's allowed to print such absolute drivel and call it journalism, year in and year out. Fay is a legend, an institution who has been around for decades - but that doesn't mean he's allowed to just make stuff up, does it? If Fay was a columnist, a pundit who made his living on pointing out flaws and mocking teams, it would almost be okay. But he's a beat writer, someone assigned by his publication to cover a team with the same journalistic integrity with which one would cover the war in Iraq. It may be frivolous, but it's news and should be treated as such.
I'm 110% sure I can't really add anything to what amounts to a fantastic post over at Japers' Rink, nor do I want to try and compete with that. His analysis is spot on.
I can only say this - the assertion that Backstrom isn't coming over here is unsubstantiated at best (and who around here thinks GMGM won't be flying to Sweden this summer to make sure our new star center is here come October?).
The implication that the Caps won't be spending money this offseason is, if you listen to the owner, the GM, and the players, completely false. It's going to happen, and I think GMGM is going to surprise a lot of people. (PSSSST...George...Chris Drury. GET CHRIS DRURY!!)
The idea that the Caps should be right in step with the Penguins is so wrong I can't even get into it (although JP does an excellent job of explaining why that's not true).
Fay's implication that the Caps should have gone after aging players for one dramatic playoff push at the trade deadline, like Atlanta and Pittsburgh, is absurd. You can keep your Tkachuk's and your Roberts's, and say what you will about their value to their new teams - I think both of them are just happy to be out of bottom-feeding teams, and both are in the last years of their admittedly illustrious careers. That's just not what the Caps need right now. That's not where we are, not yet.
Look, the Caps get picked on by opposition teams, coaches and fans. They get mocked incessantly in those teams' media outlets. When they actually get national coverage they're a running joke, nothing more than a punchline. They don't need local media joining the pack against them, and that constantly seems like what's happening.
Why not focus on the good? Why keep drilling into the ground the fact that the team needs to add outside players when it has been stated over and over and over and over again that that's going to happen come July 1? Why turn off those few casual fans who might have considered going to a game?
For that matter, why knock down a team that for the first time in weeks, months even, is playing with a bit of a spark, a little confidence? How do you think the boys will feel when, after two triumphant and surprising wins over playoff-caliber teams, they read this:
Take Alex 1 and 2 off the roster and this is a team that would have trouble winning in the American Hockey League.Aside from the fact that its snarky and downright mean, that couldn't be further from the truth. Look at who scored the goals over the last two games. Now look at the roster of the Calder Cup-winning Bears. Yup, they'd have a hard time in the AHL, those...er...AHL champions...
Welcome back, Dave.