I sent him an e-mail. I don't expect it to be in tomorrow 10-6 preview, but what the heck?
I told him that I think the bruins, isle, and thrashers are surely in worse shape. And tampa bay could be right there with them. I also told them they should be somewhere around 10th and that while he is right to point to the d as the weak point he is totally underestimating the growth of the youngsters and the puck possession game the caps will be able to play.
Bah... the east is tight, and until the Caps go out and show they've improved, a certain amount of skepticism probably isn't a travesty. I think they can make the playoffs, myself, but I'm not sure I begrudge anyone else who thinks there's still too much youth, too many new guys in the top six (4/6), and too many questions on defense. An outsider's conclusion that everything trends in the right direction, but it'll take another year... well, that's not an unreasonable assumption.
This is a tough year to have to pick the east. The margins are going to be razor thin.
if there's one thing our oc friend taught us, it should be that it's best to ignore silly people saying silly things. he had to pick someone 14th. acting like anything he says matters just...well...meh.
The Caps have been picked from 3rd to 15th in the East. It's a C(r)ap shoot, this year. Just wait and see.
yeah. i've noticed:
--fans seem to be at the high end of that spectrum, believing the team will win the SE outright or probably battle for a playoff spot
--close observers and knowledgable journalists seem to be mostly in the middle, thinking the division crown could be possible if everything happens right, but mainly the caps should be on the bubble for a playoff spot
--and large, distant media services--the kind that think Ben Clymer is a still a defenseman--tend to put the Capitals still in the basement, drawing off past results more than expected performance.
All three schools of thought have a few relative strong points, but also a lot of questions. How those questions are answered, obviously, will determine how season pans out...It will make some look pretty smart and some look like fools that over or under-estimated the team.
I think what Buccigross writes is perfectly logical. Picking Atlanta 15th is far more of a statement than saying the Caps might make the playoffs, but if they don't its still good for them.
He admits to being wishy washy afterall. He can see that they could be a lot better than 14th and says so. The issue is that what will get them into the playoffs or not is fairly unproven players on defense. Poti might have been a great choice, but his rep is not that of Nik Lidstrom just yet. Morrisonn and Jurcina are not household names and Green and Schultz are not established even.
Someone says the Caps end up 3rd thinks that the Caps will strike paydirt with the defensemen and that they will dine on a division where the other teams could all legitamately stink.
This just an opportunity for the anti-ESPN to take some shots. What he wrote is reasonable.