Monday, April 02, 2007

Seriously, Is It Baseball Season Yet?

Oh, it is.

I just finished watching the Cardinals get creamed by the New York Mets 6-1. All I could think of was, "Thank goodness baseball season is back," because I can't waste my entire life just watching the Capitals' season swirl down the commode. I can also watch the Nats do the same.

The Caps needed a day off after a rough Florida trip. Even Tarik needed some time to himself. The Capitals only have 3 games on the schedule to go and all three are not very fun tests. It's back to work today (Monday) at Kettler as the Caps look to finish the year with some kind of positive. Any kind of positive.

On deck are the Florida Panthers who look to dominate the Caps for a fifth straight game Tuesday. Then the Caps catch a bus to Atlanta where Tampa Fans will be cheering the Caps on to give the Lightning a shot at home ice advantage and lead in the Southeast. Then it's back home to try to wrap up the season with a win over Buffalo and former Cap, Dainius Zubrus.

Right now the Capitals are not playing as a team and that is hurting them. Sure there are some outstanding individual efforts, but not much chemistry. And let's face it, the Capitals' special teams are a major disappointment this season. No consistent power play, a shaky penalty kill and lack of goal support for Ovechkin and Semin. All roads pointed to a miserable season.

The off season will bring on conversations on whether there really is a light at the end of the tunnel with nothing but young players coming into the system. Where the management may go wrong is where they went right before the lockout, dumping salaries for prospects.

There has to be a point where you start retaining veterans if for no other reason than to keep good lines together. The fear is in who to keep and who to ship off. The last thing the Caps want to become is a harvest of talent for the rest of the league, growing young prospects only to lose them to free agency, sloppy trades or just not being able to afford them anymore.

A delicate balance has to be achieved. The Capitals are close to growing up from fishing for prospects and using those prospects to their full potential by putting a cohesive team around them. That includes signing the right veterans and keeping them.

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