Sunday, April 05, 2009

Sunday Smorgasbord 4-5

  • Is it us or does it seem like the Penguin Scum are tanking once again in hopes of avoiding the Philadelphia Flyers in the first round of the playoffs?
  • If you've ever wondered why we don't pay attention to the NHL's byzantine tie-breaking system for the standings, take a look at the current Eastern Conference standings page. Doesn't it seem odd to you that the fourth seeded Philadelphia Flyers have not officially locked up a playoff spot but the 5th seeded Carolina Hurricanes have? Well, thank Gary Bettman and his idea of breaking ties. The first official tie-breaker of course is fewest games played. That is the reason why the NHL right now officially gives the 4th seed to the Flyers over the Hurricanes. However, if Philadelphia were to lose their four remaining games in regulation and the Panthers were to win their three remaining games, Florida would have the second tie breaker over Philadelphia which is wins. Therefore, Philadelphia needs one more point to ensure a playoff spot because they current have 95 points which is the current maximum for the Panthers. The Carolina Hurricanes on the other hand would still have more wins than Florida should the Canes lose their last 3 games in regulation and the Panthers were to win their last three games. That's why the Canes have secured a playoff spot and the Flyers haven't. Any reasonable person should look at the NHL tie-breakers and throw out the first tie-breaker because at this time next Sunday, every NHL team will have played the same number games. To act as if a team that has played fewer games should be given a higher position does nothing but acknowledge the fact that we are in an era of standings point inflation thanks to Bettman.
  • Of course, if you're looking for clarity for the NHL playoff picture heading into this final week, forget about it unless you're looking at the top seeds. Looking at the Caps and the Caps only, the Caps are most likely to play Montreal in the first round right now though the Penguin Scum could tank their way into 7th or continue to hover in 6th, avoiding Philadelphia at all costs and ready to face the Caps should they fall into the 3rd seed. The Rangers could sneak up to the 7th seed, but we're not counting on it. Florida would only be an 8th seed should they sneak in.
  • We told you a few weeks ago that the lack of defense would be the undoing of the Maryland Women and that is exactly what happened on Monday night when the Terps fell to Louisville in the Elite Eight. The Terps never led in the game and quite frankly, never showed enough commitment to the defensive end to get the job done. With the graduation of Marissa Coleman and Kristi Toliver, the future of the program will hinge on whether or not Brenda Frese will find a commitment to defense. Simply put, the Terps won't sneak up on anybody the way they did in 2006 to win the National Championship. There is no doubt that she can get the talent she needs, she just needs to employ them in a more sensible way than just trying to simply outscore everybody.
  • So let's make sure that we understand this fully. There is some thought, though not everybody agrees with it, that Jason Campbell is not the quarterback that Jim Zorn needs to make his offense click. However it is an outrage that they would consider dumping Campbell in favor of Jay Cutler who was traded by the Denver Broncos to the Chicago Bears? First of all, we applaud Campbell for his comments and handling of the situation. The fact that he realizes that the NFL is a business shows just how grounded he is. But what we fail to understand is how looking into a possible upgrade a bad thing? Cutler may be no better for Zorn's system than Campbell, but it isn't as if Campbell is a 3 time All-Pro on his way to the Hall of Fame and Cutler is the second coming of Ryan Leaf. Our position, that is doesn't matter who is at quarterback as long as the offensive line remains as bad as it is nobody is going to be successful in that position, is well known and our only objection to the potential trade for Cutler was the asking price of two first round draft picks. We need all the draft picks we can get to draft linemen on both sides of the ball. Trading two first rounders for him would have ensured that Cutler would have not done any better than Campbell has done, because he would be running for his life more often than not.
  • This week, the Caps finish off the regular season when they travel to Atlanta on Tuesday, Tampa on Thursday, and Florida on Saturday night. The Nationals start their season in Florida tomorrow for the first of three games with the Marlins before they travel to Atlanta to help the Braves open their home schedule with a three game weekend series. D.C. United, who pulled out a 1-0 win last night at home over the Houston Dynamo, travel to face Real Salt Lake on Saturday night.
  • As always folks, please send all comments, criticisms, corrections, suggestions, questions, and recipes for fried modems to "capsnut" over at gmail dot com.

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