- The Sunday Smorgasbord returns with the odd note from Corey Masiak yesterday about how bad the Caps have been outside of the Southeast Division. First of all, when Detroit was fattening their record on a weak Central Division, hardly anybody called them on the carpet as they were always considered one of the elite hockey teams in spite of it. And mind you, last year was the first time since the lockout that the Central Division sent more than just Detroit and Nashville into the playoffs. The Blues, Blue Jackets, and Blackhawks were hardly considered stellar opponents. We've heard many times before "beat the teams you should beat, go least .500 against everybody else, and you'll be surprised as to how well you do." While there are too many hockey games to do exactly that, we look at the Caps 3-4 record against the next ten teams behind us in the standings and feel rather comfortable. Furthermore 3 of those four losses have come at the hands of the New Jersey Devils. Our game against Colorado on Tuesday will be a better measuring stick for where this team is than another second game in a row on the road on Saturday night in Toronto is. Finally, while a team may be at the bottom of the standings, that does not mean they aren't currently playing well or are a bad team. Corey conveniently leaves out the 8-2 pasting of the Philadelphia Flyers last week in his example.
- Well, give the Natinals credit, they're trying to give fans a reason to come to the ballpark to watch them lose another 100 games with the signing of Ivan Rodriguez earlier this week. Maybe we're being too hard on the poor Natinals. But the idea that Pudge is going to lead this team into playoffs in two-three years is laughable at best. Yes, the Natinals could use a player who knows how to win in the clubhouse. But with Jim Riggleman as the manager, the Natinals won't be challenging for a playoff spot in the National League. We give Mike Rizzo credit, he's doing his best to restock a depleted minor league system and overcome the damage created by the Jim Bowden era. But his work is cut out for him and it will be at least five years in our opinion before the Natinals are any good.
- Ok folks, we'll admit it. We were wondering just how the Redskins were going to blow it this week when they opened up a 10 point lead on Oakland early in the fourth quarter today. For all the accolades given to the defense, we wonder just how good it really is when it has shown an inability to keep the other team off the scoreboard when the chips are down. Today though, the Raiders were totally inept once Bruce Gradkowski was knocked out and the offense kept on putting up Bingo after Bingo in the fourth quarter. There's no doubt that the Redskins have been playing better and harder since halftime of of the Falcons game. But even counting the second half against Atlanta, which they "won" 14-7, the Redskins are 3-3, which is about what we expect of this team. We've felt that the Redskins at their core are an 8-8 team. Should they stay healthy and catch a few breaks, they could win up to 12 games and a playoff game or two but never be a serious threat to win the Super Bowl. Should the Redskins suffer key injuries and have some bad breaks, they could easily lose 12 games and be out it by Thanksgiving. Finally, don't be fooled by what you've seen the past few weeks, while the absence of Clinton Portis is a good thing, Redskins still need a complete overhaul from top to bottom of the roster if they want to break this cycle.
- Well folks, it wouldn't be a Sunday Smorgasbord without a "Diversify or Die" moment, and we dug this one up over the summer about an idea our Wonderful, Gracious, and Peace Loving Dear Leader hadto boost our economy. May we suggest trying this with Pittsburgh? It's not like anybody actually lives there anyway...
- And speaking of ugly messes, what is Debbie Yow doing in College Park? Less than year after getting her you-know-what handed to her after trying to run Gary Williams out on a rail, she tries the exact same thing with Ralph Friedgen with the exact same results. First of all, Ralph is a victim of his own success. Too many people look at him coming in 2001 and winning an ACC Title right away and thought he could put the Terps consistently on the national scene. The problem is, now that everybody takes him seriously, he can't sneak up on anybody anymore. Furthermore, when the Administration, and we don't mean Debbie Yow, refuses to provide any support to the program, this is what you get. It is foolish to think that by avoiding questionable recruits, either academically, socially, or both, along with playing entirely by the NCAA's arcane rules that you'll be able to consistently contender for National Titles. If the school isn't going to cut these kids a break or two or three then they cannot expect the coaches to produce the National Championships people actually care about. And this goes for Gary Williams too who we think is once again on the hot seat because despite coming off a Second Round NCAA Tournament Appearance, the Athletic Department was selling Men's Basketball Season Tickets to the General Public for the first time in who knows how long. We guarantee you that if the Terps start to slide on the bubble this year, that fact will be used against Gary and with the deaths of Jack Heise and Bob Novak, Gary is missing a couple of heavy hitters who helped him out last year.
- And uh, just in case you were wondering, we're not touching this Tiger Woods story with a ten foot pole...
- This week, the Caps head out west with a game on Tuesday night in Colorado at 9:30 pm. They then head to Vancouver for a Friday game at 10:00 pm and then play their last Hockey Night in Canada regular season game on Saturday night in Edmonton at 10:00 pm again. Terp Men are off for exams but the Terp Women come back from them next Sunday when they head to Bender Arena to play American at 2 pm. The Redskins play their second and final Monday night home game next week against the Jints.
- As always folks, please send all comments, criticisms, suggestions, corrections, questions, and Muppets videos to "capsnut" over at gmail dot com.
Labels: Sunday Smorgasbords