Tag Archives: olympics

The Legend-Ted Leonsis

I was fortunate enough to catch most of Lunch with a Legend today on ESPN 980′s the Sports Fix featuring Ted Leonsis.  The host, Kevin Sheehan, boldly came right at Mr. Leonsis and asked the important question “Will the Capitals win the Stanley Cup this year?”  Mr. Leonsis responded with the politically correct answer “I hope”.  He continued to say that he respects the process of the season and Stanley Cup playoffs and believes that he and GMGM have put together a team that can compete now and for years to come. Later in the interview he showed a little more fire in stating “We want to win NOW!” and referenced the trade deadline additions as proof of that.

Also mentioned during the trade deadline additions was the Capitals plan.  That plan being; to keep the core of young players on the team while continuing to develop prospects in Hershey and making key additions of role players in the offseason and throughout the season.  The deadline proved this by obtaining what was needed for the stretch run while only giving up Brian Pothier from the roster, prospect Oskar Osala and a few minor draft picks.  Mr. Leonsis also spoke about John Carlson, a topic Nasty Nate covered on March 8th.  He seemed real pleased, as I think many are, with Carlson’s play and would’nt be surprised to see him have significant ice time in the playoffs.

The 2010 Olympics were discussed as well as the controversy over the 2014 Olympics in Russia.  FYI Ted’s rooting order was for the US to win Gold and if they could’nt then for Russia to take it.  Mr. Leonsis greatest pleasure seemed to be that all of his players made it home without any injuries.  The negative aspect he spoke of was the total amount of time players were “absent” from the team.  He estimated the absence totaling a month; whether it was the mental break players took  prior to the Olympics, the 16 days they were gone, or the rust once they came back.

As for 2014, Mr. Leonsis seemed hesitant as to whether NHL players would be going back.  He spoke of the above mentioned month affect it has on the NHL season and the amount of guranteed contract money (estimated $150 million for the Capitals) being sent to Vancouver this year.  As we all know, the Olympics in Russia mean a lot to Ovechkin and he has stated that no one will keep him from playing in them.  Ted Leonsis has spoken with Ovie about this and quoted Ovie as saying “They would stop wars for these games, I think we can take off 15 days.”  He continued to say that he has Ovechkin’s back and that the NHL is a players league and if they want to go, we will do it.  I could’nt agree more with this and I hope NHL players are allowed to go and provide us with the best hockey out there.

Another thing discussed was Ted Leonsis’ book The Business of Happiness, which is currently the number 4 bestseller according to the Washington Post.  I was in and out during this discussion but basically the theme seemed to be that you should be happy and success will follow rather than being successful, making a ton of money, and then expecting happiness.  Sounds like a logical concept to me.  Overall it was a great 2 hour interview and I wish I could have heard the entire thing without constant interruption from co-workers.

-Smash

Michael Wilbon is an idiot

Just look at that face up there. Just look at it. The guy looks so undeservedly smug; i’d bet he DVRs episodes of Pardon The Interruption and replays them while masturbating furiously as he stares into a full length mirror.  And if there’s one guy around the DC area that should not be doing that, it’s him. After reading his articles and blog posts that deal with the NHL, I can say with confidence that he is among the worst around. Wilbon is a basketball guy, and just how little he actually knows about hockey becomes more and more painfully apparent with every passing sentence. In this post I will attempt to tackle his most recent atrocity, entitled “Crosby Miles Ahead of Ovechkin” Beware though, extended exposure to Michael Wilbon’s hockey writing has been known to cause AIDS in lab rats, so read at your own risk.

Wilbon doesn’t even give us enough time to buckle our seat-belts, before assaulting us with a heavy-dose of Stupid.

One of the biggest Olympic winners has to be Canada’s Sidney Crosby, who at 22 years old has already won Olympic Gold, the World Championship and the Stanley Cup. And for the second straight time Crosby went through Alexander Ovechkin en route to winning. If this doesn’t make Crosby the preeminent player in the world, I don’t know what does.

Though I have to give credit where it’s due- at least Wilbon admitted he doesn’t “know what does”…because he doesn’t. Ignore for a second all the other details that go into determining who the best player is. Ignore Crosby and Ovechkin, Canada and Russia, Pittsburgh and Washington. From these very first lines it appears that Wilbon is going to compare two individual players, by using TEAM SUCCESS as the measuring stick. That is prima facie idiocy.

Crosby didn’t exactly light it up, in terms of scoring; he’d have gone three straight games without a point had he not scored the game winner in OT against the U.S. But he did. And before that, Crosby’s team trashed Ovechkin’s Russian team, just as Crosby’s team went on the road to beat Oveckin’s team in a Game 7 during last year’s Stanley Cup playoffs.

Right, Crosby didn’t light it up, far from it in fact. Going into these Olympic games everyone knew that Canada had one of the most talented teams ever assembled in international competition. Their defensive and forward depth were simply amazing. Russia, on the other hand, lacked any semblance of shutdown defense, and aside from their top 2 lines, their forwards were not very scary. Perhaps those facts had something to do with Canada winning 7-3? Crosby went pointless in the game, which had become the norm for him during the elimination rounds, but that hasn’t stopped idiots like Wilbon from saying “Crosby went through Ovechkin again!” The media’s infatuation with “well his team won therefor player X must be better” is becoming very tired. I don’t know, call me crazy, but I find that giving an enormous amount of credit to one player for his team’s success when he wasn’t even one of their top 6 forwards for the tournament is the definition of stupidity. I guess that’s why I’m not a sports writer though.

Capitals fans might as well stop with the argument that Ovechkin is a better player; sure he is a bigger scorer and more entertaining player. But he can’t get his team past Crosby’s teams and they’re undeniable rivals and will be for the length of their careers. Right now, Ovechkin would need a telescope to see Crosby, who’s that far ahead in this race.

So you guys know all those other things, that we can quantify, that show Ovechkin is the clear-cut better player? Well, you can THROW THOSE ALL OUT! One Calder, two Hart trophies, 2 Pearsons, an identical point per game average as Crosby while scoring close to 100 more goals in that time period? Whelp, those mean nothing because the Penguins beat the Capitals in a coin-flip game 7 last season, and Canada won the gold medal! Grit, clutch, desire, and “Good ol’ Canadian Boy-ness”, well those are the things that REALLY go into to determining who the better player is.

First, he shoved a female fan’s camera and reportedly she suffered bruises in the incident. Now comes the news that he broke the camera of a man asking for an interview. There is video of each incident.

Bruises? Comeon Michael, that’s patently ridiculous. I’ve watched the video, and I find it hard to believe that a 2 second encounter like that would result in bruises, nevermind that the burden of proof is on you if you’re going to be throwing those accusations around. Now I’m not really excusing his behavior, but you’re talking about a guy who’s coming off the worst loss of his career, in a place where he can’t walk a millimeter without getting cameras shoved in his face. He took the loss badly and made a mistake. It’s hilarious that Wilbon of all people would really hit Ovechkin for that when he’s notorious for carrying water for two of the biggest assholes in professional sports- Tiger Woods and Michael Jordan. But hey, it’s pretty obvious that consistency isn’t paramount for writers:

Wilbon several weeks ago had this to say: Ovi is the best player in the NHL…The rage he plays with is irresistible.

And this: “Ovechkin is a beast. He explodes, like a tornado. Ovechkin is scary. His shot is scary. There’s an aggression about him, a barely controlled fury that Crosby, great as he is, doesn’t have. Nobody else has it … He’s the fastest, toughest guy with the biggest shot, the fewest teeth. Every great player wants to win. Ovechkin wants to beat you down.”

So all of that gets thrown out the window because the heavily favored team won the Gold Medal? Simply preposterous.

If Crosby is a rough equivalent of a young Kobe Bryant, in terms of talent and results, then Ovechkin is a rough equivalent of LeBron James, which is to say young and physically unstoppable but as yet undecorated.

That’s a comparison I can deal with, but the funny thing is that it’s pretty obvious Lebron is simply the best player in the NBA right now, and Wilbon doesn’t even realize the comparison contradicts everything he’s been saying. The difference between Lebron and Kobe isn’t some mythical BS about “clutch” or “grit”. The difference is that while Kobe has been on teams with an absolutely dominant Shaq, and another with Lamar Odom, Pau Gasol, and Andrew Bynum,  Lebron has played with Delonte West, and Anderson Varejao. It doesn’t take a genius to see that one player has had a clear advantage when it comes to surrounding teams. Put Ovechkin on Canada, and Crosby on Russia and what happens? Russia still gets demolished, and Canada still wins the Gold medal. If Max Talbot doesn’t score 2 goals in game 7 of last year’s Stanley Cup Finals does the sports media make Crosby answer for his woeful 3 points in 7 games performance? I know I would. The difference is that the rest of his team showed up, so him sucking gets swept under the rug. That is why doing what Wilbon is doing in this article- trying to use team success as the determinant of “who’s better?” is the epitome of hack-writing.

Somehow, Ovechkin’s lapses in judgment (or was it a disregard of civility?) went largely unnoticed. Ovechkin is damn lucky he’s not black and playing basketball; my brethren in the national (and local) media would have put on their Sunday church robes and preached him to death by now. We’d have read about “those thug basketball players” and such. Ovechkin, apparently, is for whatever reasons, beyond their reach. He’s untouchable. All these folks writing and talking about the Winter Olympics and I haven’t seen a word of criticism directed at Ovechkin, famous as he is.

Well if you’ve ever read a Wilbon column you knew that was coming- the obligatory race card and NBA reference. That is what’s called “grasping at straws” Michael. Pushing a camera, while not admirable behavior, is far from Earth-shaking, but I suppose your entire career is based on making mountains out of mole-hills. Would you prefer if it was front page news? The headline on Around the Horn or Pardon The Interruption?

The fact of the matter is that Michael Wilbon knows two things about hockey: jack and shit. He simply doesn’t have a clue of how to judge and compare players, so he sticks with the embarrassingly simplistic “well Crosby’s won” justification. Perhaps that justification would hold water if he actually showed up in the Stanley Cup Finals, or the entire elimination round of The Olympics, but in reality he didn’t. It’s just amazing to me that these writers attempt to compare individual players using essentially the least-optimal point of comparison. I’d laugh, if it wasn’t so tragic that the people with the power to influence millions of minds everyday thought on such a 1st-grade level.

-Nasty Nate

Rejoice losers!

Sounds stupid…. no.

I don’t think there was a single Caps fan out there that didn’t want to see Russia crush Canada… sucks i know.. apparently Russia showed up with thier Eurotrash game… Crazy Millbury .  Not that I would use the word eurotrash on national TV… but it definately was one of the more dissapointing moments of the Winter Games and watching that game was uncomfortable.

So our boys are all done.. and although I know gold is huge… getting them all back home early makes me selfishly happy…and we can all cheer for Team USA without any mix emotions.. or if you’re like my dirty Canadian girlfriend**, Team Canada. The question is who’s gonna show up….

Back to business!! As soon as WED.. which is a bump for the below post written yesterday. If you haven’t read it do so.. that DT fella is goooooddd.

One more thing.. everyone is talking about Semin’s hit yesterday on Boyle… I’m not gonna get into how I feel about it.. but I will tell you this… Semin’s face after being thrown to the ground made me feel akward.. it definately wasn’t man material thats for sure.

** My girlfriend is incredibly sexy and Canada breeds some gorgeous people. She also has a great sense of humor and never takes things too seriously… Please?

-IC

After the Olympics….

It’s tough to get away from Olympic hockey on a day like today but we’ve decided to take a look at five important topics facing the Caps after the break and into the playoffs.  They are listed in no particular order of importance.

1) The Deadline.

GMGM only has a couple days to make a move if he so pleases before the March 3rd deadline.  Will he make a move or will he stay put? The rumors have been flying about the Caps being involved in what seems like every player available.  Whether it be a veteran goaltender, a 2nd or 3rd line center, or a veteran D-man, we’ve heard it all.  It’s all going to come down to price.  If the team feels like they can make a move at the right cost, they’ll do it.  But GMGM is not one to overpay at the deadline.  It doesn’t appear like there’s an overwhelming amount of talent out there right now.  A center would help with the struggles Flash has had in the faceoff circle. He was even switched back to wing before the break.  Another D-man would help because rolling guys like Erskine and Sloan out there just won’t cut it come playoff time.  As much as I hate him, Andy Sutton from the Islanders seems to really fit the teams needs. A big, mean veteran D-man playing some good hockey right now.  Is the price right?  We’ll see.

2) Ovi’s pursuit of a 3rd straight MVP.

Ovi is arguably having his best season ever this year pacing the league in points with 89, plus/minus at +43, and goals tied with 87 from the Penguins with 42.  What makes this all the more impressive is that he missed eight games due to injury or suspension.  He’s played seven less games than Crosby and Henrik Sedin who currently is 2nd in the points race with 80. He’s also become a more well-rounded player with an increased role in the defensive zone.  He’s on pace to easily pass his career high in assists with 54 set in 05-06 and 08-09.  He currently has 47 with twenty games to play.  Oh yeah, not to mention he’s now the Captain of a team that sits first in the NHL which brings me to my next point….

3) The Caps pursuit of the President’s Trophy

The Caps currently are first in the NHL with 90 points, one ahead of the San Jose Sharks.  Chicago is another team fighting for the honor with 87 points and a game in-hand on both the Caps and Sharks.  The Caps as a franchise have never finished with the most points in the league so it would be quite the honor.  Even more important is what comes with the trophy and that’s home-ice throughout the playoffs.  The Caps are currently 23-3-3 at home good for best in the league.  Now we know home-ice doesn’t mean everything but ask yourself if you’d like to be on the road or at home for a Game 7.  Yeah, that’s what we thought.  And knock on wood, but if the Caps are able to make it to the Stanley Cup Finals, having that home-ice would be extremely important for a still young team.

4) Who’s the goalie for the stretch run and into the playoffs.

Cmon, you knew this one was coming.  We here at The Caps Lock touched on this a bit not too long ago so I’ll make it short.  Varly gave up six goals on only 28 shots against Ottawa in his first start in the NHL since Dec right before the break. That’s not very good.  Lets hope it was just rust.  Theo wasn’t great leading up to the break but his last 33 save effort against the Blues wasn’t anything to scoff at.  Money here is on Bruce letting the boys fight it out.  Not exactly the best feeling.

5) The Caps remaining schedule.

This is important in a variety of ways.  With the Olympic break, how will twenty games in less than a month and a half wear on the boys?  There have been a lot of complaints from players and coaches about the high amount of games in such a small time period.  Some say it’s caused more injuries.  The travel has also been plentiful and guys may be wearing down.  It’s times like these the Caps enjoy having a young team.  The Caps do however have one of the more favorable schedules in the league.  Nine of their final twenty contests are against Southeast division opponents.  Furthermore, twelve of them are at home, including four of the final six.  None of these factors should be overlooked when considering locking up home-ice throughout the playoffs.

It’s certainly going to be a great rest of the season.  Hopefully the boys come up big when it counts.

- Dominic Toretto

Time In

It’s been a few days since the last post has been up… I’m gonna go ahead chalk it up to a couple reasons…

1) The contributors are lazy ass bags that would rather dick around on facebook than post something totally awesome.
2) The CAPS win streak ended… leading to the start of a crap streak.
3) The winter games started… which… have lead to a small conflict in my even smaller brain.

I wrote about this a couple weeks ago… about how I would rather see Washington win the cup than seeing USA win gold.. now I’m watching, and finding myself in a strange mood, and I’ve realized these things..

-I totally want USA to be totally bad ass and win.
-I can’t cheer against any of our boys.
-I hate Team Canada with a passion.

Watching the Russians lose last night sucked… only because of Ovie and Semin (you too, Varly.)… and I REALLY wanted to see them win the shoot out since Ovechkin shot 3 times in 7 rounds.
Thats like an Ovgasm for any CAPS fan..sooo tight

Truth be told, I couldn’t tell you how I would feel watching USA vs Russia…. but I have slight favoritism to the Yanks.. and I think its gonna stick.

*** being that the winter games are finished, my previous statement is null and void. the picture remains.