Monday, August 6, 2012
Hello there, fellow Washington Capital Fans, after a three month hiatus, I decided I'm going to start blogging again here on my Mark's Musing's page. For the most part I again plan to spend most of my blogging Musing about the Washington Capitals. We've "re-upped" our season tickets again this year and are looking forward to another season being that "Usually Frustrated Caps Fan." That said, given my break and the fact this year I've resumed another long-standing avocation - sailing, you can probably guess I'll have some musings about that as well as the life of a 50 something living in these United States. I'll try and give you fair warning of the main thrust/content focus of each blog post so you can read on or stop early on as well. This post will, surprise be mainly about, my feelings, hopes and dreams for this season 2012-2013 Washington Capitals team. While it might be hard to get inspired about ice hockey during a muggy, steamy August day in DC while we're not even positive this upcoming NHL season will start on time, I got inspired to muse about the Capitals today thanks to good ol' Corey Masisak's 30 in 30 post on NHL.Com... So what got me "Musing" well, of course I've been lamenting the signing of one of my favorite Capitals, Alexander Semin by the SE rival Carolina Hurricanes for some time and the fact it doesn't seem the Capitals changed much since NOT winning the Southeast Division for the first time in five seasons in 2012 and then I took a good look at the lineup Masisak is projecting for the 2012-2013 Capitals: Forwards Alex Ovechkin - Nicklas Backstrom - Marcus Johansson Mathieu Perreault - Mike Ribeiro - Troy Brouwer Jason Chimera - Brooks Laich - Joel Ward Matt Hendricks - Jay Beagle - Joey Crabb Wojtek Wolski Defensemen Karl Alzner - John Carlson Roman Hamrlik - Mike Green Dmitry Orlov - Jeff Schultz John Erskine - Jack Hillen Goaltenders Braden Holtby Michal Neuvirth. Well bottom line is despite the fact the rest of the Southeast seems to be pretty well upgraded going in to the 2012-2013 regular season, I'm thinking the Capitals will have a heckuva good team, IF they can find the offensive outputs that their top three lines are clearly capable of while not back-peddling on defense this season. Also I like the fact the Capitals will likely start the season with ten (10) plus (+) million of Cap space. That should enable GMGM to make a trade or two and bolster the blue line corps if he needs to do that or do anything else that might need to be done during the season. Also you have to wonder if 2012-2013 is a "retooling" year, then what else really needs to be done, even without Semin, the Caps have a very solid set of forwards. There are at least nine guys capable of 20 goal seasons on that list and I see Wolski getting a sweater more nights than Crabb, and that doesn't even begin to look at some of the guys in the pipeline like Stan Galiev or Evgeny Kuznetsov, though it is indeed time for the Capitals to "reload" the talent pipeline. Just three short years ago the Caps talent pipeline was ranked in the top five in the NHL by Hockey's Future and now it's in the bottom five, this seems a bit harsh to me but not ridiculously so. That's the problem, given how much talent has "graduated" from prospects to clear NHL players in the Capitals organization, well bluntly and clearly, once again the time for success is "now". The fact true post season success hasn't happened yet is clearly frustrating to both we fans and the entire Capitals organization. What is/has been the missing ingredient, that "secret sauce" that will push them over the edge and into the true NHL elite, which to me is "the final four" teams in the playoffs? I really do not know and that's not my job. I'm just a fan, a happy go lucky fan. I love to watch a well played NHL game; I get smiles watching guys like the Great 8 make moves I know only he and a couple other humans alive can do, almost every night he plays. I enjoy the "heck" out of watching guys like John Carlson, Karl Alzner, John Erskine, Roman Hamrlik, Brooks Laich, Troy Brouwer, Joel Ward, and especially Jason Chimera and Matt Hendricks playing "the game" - "theee right way." I get goosebumps watching Mike Green take the puck end to end and setting up an offensive flurry by the other high flying speedy guys like Nicklas Backstrom and Marcus Johansson. I really, really do. That's why I will indeed really, really miss Sasha Semin. It's also why I really don't know what's been missing, other than to call it that last little catalyst called chemistry. it's also why clearly I miss hockey and sooo terribly hope that nothing as stupid as forgetting what caused the last lockout and how much that hurt EVERYONE who wants to see professional hockey succeed delays the start of the 2012 - 2013 NHL Regular season. LETS GO CAPS!!!!!!