By Larry GLicken

I agree with EVERYTHING  said about Alex Ovechkin. Because of his shortcomings on the other side of the puck I consider him an over-rated player–as much as that can be said of anyone who scores roughly fifty times a year besides the fact that he hits people all over the ice. But he–like Mario Lemieux back when  #66 was in his athletic prime–is indifferent (to say the least) on defense. Alarmingly, so is Mike Green, who’s paid to be competent on “D”. Unlike you, though, I didn’t even think Green was a good defenseman earlier in his career even though he made two All-Star teams. Mike always did take poor angles to puck carriers, have a hard time clearing the puck out of his own end (after HE coughed it up) and too frequently took inexplicably DUMB penalties for a veteran player. And on top of all of that he’s ALWAYS injured–last week being yet another case in point.

 

For all of the aforementioned reasons I view Green’s All Star selections the same way I once did Mike Piazza’s: OFFENSIVE PRODUCTION–PERIOD. I’d like to see George Mcphee grow a pair and trade Green to any other GM stupid enough to think he’d be getting a real bargain. But In George McPhee we’re talking about someone who falls in love with marvelously talented–but lazy and stupid–players (can anyone say ALEXANDER SEMIN??) to the lasting detriment of a team that will NEVER win Lord Stanley’s cup the way it’s constituted–they just don’t have enough quality two-way players on their team of the kind clubs like the Ducks, the Bruins, the Avalanche,  the Kings and the Penguins  (in short, the very teams they’d be facing in the post-season…) are LOADED with…

 

One last comment refers to Mr. Bakstrom–he of the deft hands and poker face….Four seasons ago Niklas rang up 33 goals and tallied 68 assists, as I recall. But ever since then his goal scoring has plummeted each season. The fact that he scored over 30 goals and still managed to dish out nearly 70 assists suggests very strongly that he’s capable of doing BOTH. But ever since that break-out year Niklas seems content to pass the puck even when there are no passing lanes available. I’ve seen him pass up wide open shooting opp’s in a vain attempt to dish the puck to a teammate who clearly isn’t open. What he should do, instead is SHOOT the damned puck so a teammate can pick up a carom and score THAT way. It might not be as pretty, but either way Saint Nik would get an assist–n’est’ce pas???? Too often he’s just being a non-aggressive pussy. It’s NOT team play on his part or unselfishness either. To me, very often it’s either cowardice or lack of confidence–one hand soiling the other. And to complete the  farce, NONE OF YOU IN THE LOCAL MEDIA get on Bakstrom about it–instead you prefer not to rock the boat and upset a good guy who, in other respects, is a real asset to the team.

 

But it doesn’t matter. This Capitals’ team–with the deplorable defense that would reduce Martin Brodeur to Donald Duck over night–simply isn’t worth watching. They were dumb and alarmingly incompetent on “D” under Bruce Boudreau, dumb and alarmingly incompetent in a variety of ways under under Dale Hunter, and much the same can be said about their play under Adam Oates as well.

 

The real problem is Leonsis and his sock puppet GM–whose latest gaffe involved giving up a 19 year old power forward prospect most scouts thought highly of (Phillip Forsberg) in exchange for a 32 year old left wing who never scored more than 28 goals–and who only scored one time for the Caps while he was here (Martin Erat). When asked why he pulled the trigger on such an absurd move shortly after he made it, McPhee was quoted as saying “I want to win NOW…” (as though anyone with two brain cells firing in unison could ever look at this team’s roster and conclude that adding Marrtin Erat to it would give them a chance at winning the Stanley Cup…

 

What an idiot……

 

I hope I’m wrong about all of the forgoing–but recent experience with the Capitals suggests that I’m not…

 

Disgusted,

 

Clifford

Santa Monica

 

 

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