Sunday, March 16, 2008

This and that

Lots of things to talk about today. I'll start in the order of thoughts in my mind, which is both illogical and scary.
Random thought #1. Steve Eminger: Oh man, do I feel bad for him these days. I know, I know, I was hard on him not too long ago. But I never thought that the Caps would totally screw him that way that they have. And make no doubt, they are screwing him. And please remember, I do have a lot of affection for Hair Gel.

So what brought this about? This tidbit from Tarik El-Bashir's online chat at the WaPo:

Washington, D.C.: Have you spoken to Eminger since the trade deadline? On deadline day you reported he was pretty sure he was leaving. And, now, he's still here and will be lucky to have played 1/4 of the games. Has he become more frustrated and bitter or his mood about the same?

Tarik El-Bashir: I speak to Steve a lot. He's actually one of my favorite guys to chat with.He definitely expected to be moved at the deadline, and is definitely not happy with his current situation. How could he be? A guy (Erskine) goes down, and instead of playing him, they call up Sami Lepisto.

Eminger is beyond frustrated at this point. Something tells me that on breakup day (whenever that arrives), he's going to have plenty to say.
No one can blame the guy for being frustrated right now. In November, I thought that Eminger was being ridiculous because he was for sure going to get more of a chance to play. Either through an injury to a teamate or simply giving him another shot, I thought that within another month Eminger would be fairly regularly rotated through games. That hasnt happened at all, and for all the talk that Eminger hasnt lived up to his potential (picked12th overall in 2002), he is definitely a top six D-man. In the few games he has appreared in, he has been solid. Not great, but not terrible. And its pretty tough to be great when you are mostly sitting in the press box and have no chance to get a rythym going.

I also cant help but look at Jeff Schultz's play and at times think that I would prefer Eminger. I think that Schultz is coming along, and has been pretty solid when paired with Tom Poti, but he is not a physical presence. And he isnt a good enough defenseman to be a skill guy like Brian Pothier quite yet. Some of the plays he makes leave me baffled (as do some of the plays he doesnt make). Not to mention, he is 6'6. For the love of God, gain a few pounds and start hitting some people.

I thought the Caps would move Eminger at the trade deadline, but now that they havent and show no interest in playing him at all, I cant help but feel that they should cut him loose. As Tarik points out, even with an injury in the lineup, they chose to call Lepisto up rather then give Eminger a shot. Lepisto has been playing well and ultimately the the team has to do what it must to continue its longshot run for the playoffs. But, give the guy a chance to play somewhere in the league. After all the work he has put into his career, he deserves better.

And my final thought on this -- the Caps have been strangely silent about the Eminger situation. No thorough explanation of why he isnt playing. Maybe that means they think his play speaks for itself (and its not saying a whole lot) but I find it a bit odd. I hope they are being more communicative with Eminger.
Random thought #2:

So thrilling to see Sergei Federov score his first goal as a Cap. I'm not convinced that it was that thrilling for him (having scored plenty of goals in his lifetime, and a lot of them in the Stanley Cup finals) but I still feel excited everytime I see #91 flying around the ice.
Other random thoughts:
-Sami Lepisto is a pretty slick hockey player
-Cristobel Huet is a great goaltender and Bob Gainey must be senile. Except for the fact that the Habs are at the top of the East, so maybe Gainey is a secret genius?
-Brooks Laich is gonna get pretty popular with the dudes too if he continues to play score so many goals
-Everyone is oohing and aaahing over this quote from Laich:
"If you want money, go to the bank. If you want bread, go to the bakery. If you want goals, go to the net."
No shit Sherlock.What I wonder is why it took someone so long to actually do it, after I heard Bruce Boudreau mention it so much in his media comments that I was ready to jump on the ice and stand in front of the opposing goalie.



1) Emminger is making a million bucks to sit and rot. He's a RFA after this season.
2) To retain his rights the caps have to offer him a comparable contract. Does it make sense to give hm a million for sitting? Is he worth a million to another team if the Caps try to trade him?
3) If they don't offer him that, he becomes a UFA and the Caps lose him for nothing. Either way, its a bad decison by GMGM to trat him this way


1) If that quote is a Laich original, then he's gonna have a long career as a colar man after his playing days are over! As that beer commercial goes: "Brilliant!"

Bethany said...

Fedorov is so great, love him.