Monday, March 26, 2007

A Sheldon Can Do Your Income Taxes

We’re again at that point in the season where the Caps have single digits in games remaining on the docket, things are starting to wind down, and inevitably the talk turns to whom the Caps will pick up this offseason. Everyone’s licking their lips as they skim the UFA list and start making up their dream team with pencil and paper...or since we’re in the 21st century, with keyboard and computer screen.

Obviously one of the things the Caps need is a puck-moving defenseman - someone with more than 100 games of experience, someone with a good, accurate shot...someone old enough to vote would be good, too. I know we need it. You know we need it. Management, the coach, the team, even the guy selling those weird cotton candy tubs knows it.

One name that I’ve seen getting tossed around a lot is Sheldon Souray.

People, people, people.

Look, it’s no secret that I’m a Habs girl. I’ve loved that team for seven years, rooted for them, pulled for them in the postseason. And I love Souray, really – alleged wife-beating...aside - but he’s not our guy. I know those offensive numbers are pretty, but think of them as a piece of tin foil to a bird...shiny, distracting, but poisonous.

Yes, the guy can score. Yes, he has a wicked point shot. Yes, he’s setting records in power play points. everyone forgetting he’s supposed to be a defenseman?

He has 24 goals and 36 assists...and he’s a -22. Incidentally, that sparkling +/- puts him 293rd in the league, out of 296 total defensemen. Know who he beat out? Rob Blake in LA and two Flyers, Joni Pitkanen and Derian Hatcher. Now that’s some good company. Oh, and by the way, Pothier, Erskine, Eminger and Clymer all have better +/- ratings than Souray. Now there's something to chew on...

I know there are people out there saying, but he scores goals. The Caps can always use goal-scorers, right?

Not at the expense of defensive responsibility, especially on a blue line that is already one of the thinnest in the league. Not if he takes stupid penalties and can’t pass to save his life. And certainly not at the price Souray will be looking for, rumored to be in Chara country – around $7 million a season. There is a way to be defensively responsible and still produce offense. Look at the top ten +/- defensemen in the league right now. Every single one of them has at least 15 points, some have more. In the case of Lidstrom, a lot more.

+/- isn’t everything, I know that. It is but one stat in the long list of numbers maintained by the league, some of which are meaningless, others which are open for interpretation. And if the other Montreal defensemen’s numbers looked like Souray’s, I might be willing to budge on this. But the Habs have 8 defensemen on their roster, and the closest guy to Souray is Janne Niinimaa with -10. He’s only played roughly half the games this season...and there’s a reason. Mike Komisarek, on the other hand, is a +7. And he’s routinely pitted against the other team’s top line, like on Ovechkin the other night. So is Markov, +2 – with 47 points to boot.

I just think the Caps should be looking for someone who can not only pick up some offensive slack but maybe also teach our young defensemen how to, I don’t know, PLAY DEFENSE?!

Hell, even Gonchar is only -7, and he’s got one more point than Souray. Plus he takes about half the penalties good ol’ Sheldon does. (See? I just used Gonchar as a positive example. That’s how much I don’t want Souray here.)

So who should we get? Well, keep in mind that I have no nose for this kind of thing. I’m horrible at picking out players and would make the worst GM ever, but I’d love to see someone like Brian Rafalski (who needs size when you have the twin towers and Jeff Schultz hulking back there?) or Roman Hamrlik picked up. I like what both guys bring to the ice every night and everything I’ve seen and heard about them points to them being good in the locker room, which as we all know is key.

Just please, PLEASE not Souray.


JP said...

Plus, he beats his (very hot) wife.

If I had my choice and money was no object, I'd take Rafalski, fwiw.

CapsChick said...

"And I love Souray, really – alleged wife-beating...aside"

Oh, and I believe she's his ex (very hot) wife. Can't imagine why.

Beth said...

I've been saying Rafalski for quite some time now and people think I'm insane.

It's good to know I'm not alone in my choice of defensemen. Thanks.

Geeves said...

you're right. souray is going to sign with a team that will use him like montreal did - as a power-play pointman first and everything else a distant second.

but what makes you think rafalski would want to leave jersey, and on top of that, why would he want to head to washington? (he has already passed up beaucoup bucs once to stay in NJ).

CapsChick said...

Hmmm...ignoring the hidden insult to DC ;)

To be fair, I never said he would leave the Devils - I just want him to. In fact, that's one of the things I'm keeping in mind. No one ever seems to want to leave the Swamp. It's one of those teams that despite annual cap problems consistently holds on to this core group of players - it's amazing.

Maybe if we wave a cookie in front of his face...

JP said...

Not ex - estranged.

"Word out of L.A. is the Kings dumped captain Mattias Norstrom so they can make a serious run at Souray, whose ex-wife, actress Angelica Bridges, and daughter live there. Bridges is expecting the couple's second child in May and Souray hopes the two can reconcile. Hmm."