It’s mid-August; September is right around the corner. You hockey fans know what that means. Almost time for training camp and preseason hockey, baby!
In pondering the upcoming Caps season, and musing on Matt Bradley’s thoughts on last year, I came to the realization that besides my non-diva wish for the 2011-2012 season, there are a couple of things I’d like to see adjusted for the Caps. Being a simple blonde girl blogger, and not BB/GMGM/Uncle Ted, it’s easy to be an armchair analyst, right?
1. LET THEM GEL. My greatest wish for training camp and beyond is that Bruce will give the lines a chance to gel. We know how frustrating it is to watch the constant line changing during a game; just imagine what it is like for the players who are experiencing it. Feels a little like crisis management, doesn’t it? Hopefully, Bruce will use training camp as a starting point for creating some solid lines and then give them a chance to learn to play off each other’s strengths and weaknesses. Trust your instincts Bruce, and let the guys work together. You have lots of time to determine if it isn’t gelling. That’s when you make adjustments. And once you make those adjustments, give those new lines a chance to gel too. Use training camp and preseason games to get your lines set and then let them play together for a while before you start switching them up, ok?
2. LET’S SEE A LEAN, MEAN, RUSSIAN MACHINE. I know there were a lot of comments on Ovi being fat when his post-season interview with Mike Vogel was released. (I’m going to stick by my theory that he was just bloated from all his traveling around that time. That and he was slumping in his chair.) Now, if you research just a little, you will see the few pictures of Ovechkin taken this summer since that time. Doesn’t look fat to me at all. I hope you’ve worked hard over the summer, Ovi, please come back to training camp the lean, mean Russian machine we long to see. Oh, and I hope that lean, mean Russian machine is present in the locker room as well. I’m kinda tired of hearing about veterans making their presence known; I’d really like to hear that Ovi’s presence is being shown in the locker room. I am not one of those fans that thinks the “C” should be taken away from him, so back me up here, ok Ovi?
3. BACKY COMES BACK. I miss Nick Backstrom. I think we all miss Nick Backstrom. Dear Nicky, I hope whatever was going on last season is in the past. I hope whatever physical or mental obstacles that you encountered are gone. I hope you had a great summer of training and working on all the things that caused you to “stumble” last year and you come into training camp with a renewed sense of purpose. We need our #1 Center back in action, focused and strong. Love, all Caps fans.
4. NO OPTIONAL PRACTICES. Brads kind of alluded to this in his recent interview. My Twitter feed totally alluded to this during the entire season last year. Unless there is an injury, let’s see every player at every practice, ok? In order for wish #1 to work, you all need to be there making sure you are prepared for every inevitability. No excuses. Sorry, but if you expect to be a threat on the ice this year, everybody has to buy in to it. There is no I in team. (Yes, there is an M-E, but forget you heard that). While I don’t expect to have players punished with bag skates, that wouldn’t even be considered if everyone played their hearts out and participated in every practice.
5. DO NOT FEED US FALSE PROMISES. Do not give us promises of winning the Stanley Cup. Please, I’m begging here. All we want to hear is that the entire team is serious about being the best they can be. Yes, we all want the Stanley Cup, but we are a little tired of hearing how this is going to be our year. Let’s make “Giving our all” the motto this year, ok?
Just 5 simple wishes for the Caps 2011-2012 season. Not much to ask for, right? And I didn’t even use any cussing, aren’t you proud of me? So, what would you wish for?