It's always nice to open the paper (or in my case, click on a link) and see Dave Fay's byline in the Washington Times. It just sets the mood for a happy day.
Sarcasm, folks. Live it, love it.
Just days after the Caps made a pretty significant splash in the free agent market, a collection of moves that seem to have pleased both pundits and fans alike, we get an article from everyone's favorite crotchety old man with the following title: Caps Still Must Address Defense.
Okay. We all were here last year and the year before. We know that defense has, in recent years, not been a strong suit in Washington. No one is arguing that point, nor is anyone arguing that while the moves GMGM made were good this is still not a Stanley Cup-caliber team and they will at some point need a veteran, stay at home defenseman. Even McPhee himself has hinted that the Caps are not necessarily done retooling, a process that will likely and should continue through the arbitration period and right up to training camp.
But do we have to get all gloomy so quickly? McPhee has pulled off some near-brilliant moves, starting with the draft, and has improved this team significantly. Instead of pointing out that "All [three new Caps] have warts", (and honestly, very few players don't have "warts" as he so nicely puts it) why not focus on what they can add to this team? Power play presence, puck-moving ability, veteran experience...nothing? Nope. Here's what he says about the newbies:
Kozlov, 32, has worked with Alex Ovechkin previously in Russia. Assuming Kozlov is Ovechkin's right wing, that opens up avenues for the third-year player that were not there before. [Gee, I think he likes Kozlov, who to me was the weakest of the three signings...]
The complaint against Nylander, who turns 35 in October, wherever he has been is that he holds the puck too long, passing up scoring opportunities while playing keep-away. Chances are that can't be cured, but at least no one has been complaining about his defense. [Oh, snap! Clever, Dave.]
Poti's reputation has been as a "soft" defenseman, one who is not as reliable killing a penalty or even in normal defensive situations as he is setting up a power play, where he excels. Poti, 30, should be able to build on his reputation with the Caps. [Not really sure if he means that in a good way or a bad way...]
Dave does praise McPhee for doing what he's done and admits the team is better, but there are a few too many "buts" in this article for my liking, a few too many backhanded compliments. I'm not surprised, I'm just pointing it out - it's what I do.
One last rant and then I'll let ol' Dave be - Mr. Fay, please don't put words in my mouth or thoughts in my mind by saying stuff like this: "[i]t's just that fans are anxious to hear what sound a second shoe makes."
Please, I'm a Caps fan. I've heard plenty of other shoes dropping. Let me be happy, if only for a little while longer...