Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Brads is Sticking Around

First and foremost, that "Yippee!" sound you just heard was the collective cry of joy of Matt Bradley fans everywhere - including yours truly. The gritty RW inked a three year, $3 million contract that will keep him in DC and avoid the whole messy becoming a UFA thing July 1.

It's just another one of those great signings - keeping a key piece of the team in place, making sure the team chemistry is stable (Brads is unquestionably one of the leaders and favored goofballs in the locker room), and not breaking the bank to do it. Bradley definitely earned the raise, about $300K more per year, with his play this past season and during the playoffs. He's a fast skater, a hard hitter, a great shutdown guy and someone you love to have on your side.

It's hard to say what this means for a guy like Matt Cooke, the one person who could be impacted the most by this signing. There's money left right now and it's obvious he enjoyed playing here, just as we enjoyed having him on our team. It's possible we hang on to him as well - but whether we need another gritty winger is the question, especially with some young guys in Hershey who could be ready to make the leap. Plus there's the little matter of re-signing Mike Green, Shaone Morrisonn, Brooks Laich, Boyd Gordon...and oh yeah, we still need a goalie.

Now about those pesky playoffs...

Gee, I'm almost fainting with surprise at the fact that the NHL/media hype machine missed the target yet again. I'm sure no one who has followed hockey this year could have called the fact that, for all their talent, the Penguins are still not quite in the same league as the mighty Red Wings.

The series isn't over yet - you have to win four games, last time I checked. But Sid the Kid and his little friends haven't scored a goal in 120 minutes of play. Fleury the Wonder Goalie has been average at best. And the Detroit defense is absolutely smothering the high-flying Penguins O, including rent-a-jackass Hossa and Mr. Invisible, Evgeni Malkin. Do we expect all that much to change just because they go back to the Igloo?

(And don't even get me started on the irony of Crosby complaining about someone else diving. Just don't.)

You know, as Caps fans this was the matchup we were all dreading. The team that just has our number, a team we all love to hate, against the team that broke our hearts ten years ago by lifting the Cup on our home turf.

But you have to admit, it's not that bad rooting for Detroit. Sure, they've won a lot and rooting for a team like that is a little painful - but give them credit. Their scouts are among the best in the league at digging out hidden gems, the system they play works for everyone, and half the team is homegrown. It's self-perpetuating success, a cycle that invokes envy among the 29 other fan bases and that 29 other teams try to emulate. You think Ted and GMGM didn't have this model in mind when they stripped the team down and stockpiled prospects and picks?

If we're lucky, we'll see the Caps hoisting the Cup in the next few years - just once would be incredible. If we're really lucky, if the team knows what it's doing and sticks to the plan, that "just once" could become "just the first".

In other words...Go Wings.


Anonymous said...

No problem at all rooting for the Wings.

I am enjoying this immensely.

Chris & Sarah said...

Yea Brads!

Go Wings! (would a sweep of shutouts be too much to ask?)

At least we were able to pull off an OTL when we played them this year.

Jimmy Jazz said...

"Fleury, the Wonder Goalie"

I'm stealing that.

Carol in NoVa said...

There was this guy at work who got on the elevator wearing a Pens hat.

I said, very quietly but loud enough to be heard, "Go Detroit." He snickered. Bet he isn't snickering now.

DC=AIDS said...

you need a vacation from blogging. seriously. the caps season ended a month ago. there really, REALLY isn't twelve paragraphs worth of caps info to write every other day. there just can't be. and honestly, the caps aren't winning shit any time soon. you know it, i know it, and jesus knows it.

CapsChick said...

Anon: I have to agree. 10 years later I'm still a little bitter, but...it's amazing how a team facing the Pens will suddenly become my very favorite!

C&S: It would probably be too much to ask, but wouldn't it be lovely? *sigh* (And I know, right? Not that they wouldn't beat us if we were in the Finals, but at least we scored goals...)

JJ: Credit and royalties to CapsChick, please ;)

Carol: Nicely done! And glad he had a sense of humor. He'll certainly need it.

And last but definitelyleast...to my final commenter: Your name is so offensive that I considered deleting your comment on sight. Instead I'll let it stand as a testament to your stupidity, because no matter how intelligent your comment might have been, after that no intelligent person would give it any credence.

Luckily, you don't have to worry about that.

First of all, I wrote 2 paragraphs on contract updates, one on the contract's implications to another player, and several on the playoffs (barely mentioning the Caps). Just because hockey isn't being played in DC doesn't mean things stop for the team.

Secondly, it's my right to write as much and as often as I like, just as it's your right not to read it. I highly recommend you take advantage of that right in the future.

Oh, and unless Jesus is signing a 10 year deal to play center for the Caps, I highly doubt he has any say in the matter of whether they win or not - and I certainly doubt he cares. Thanks for stopping by.