Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Nylander's Done - Whom You Should Blame

So Michael Nylander is out for the year with a torn rotator cuff. Whether or not Nyls has been all that you hoped he would be thus far, you, as a Caps fan, are understandably disappointed and frustrated at this turn of events (unless you're one of the morons who think that the Caps won't miss the guy who's leading the team in power play scoring, is second in overall scoring and in ice-time among forwards and has taken the second most faceoffs on the squad... then again, if you are one of those morons, this probably isn't your blog of choice).

And since you're American, the obvious question is "Who can I blame for this crap hand I've been dealt?" Here, then, is a list of folks at whom to direct your anger:
  • Michael Nylander. While I don't normally advocate blaming the victim, this is one instance where it might make sense. Did Nyls injure his shoulder attempting to sign one too many SPCs in the off-season? Is he faking the injury in attempt to duck Kevin Lowe whose Oilers come to town for a game Thursday night? Did dipping his shoulder on one thousand too many offensive-zone pirouettes do the harm?
  • The New York Rangers. Did those bastards send a lemon into unrestricted free agency just to screw us? Is the curse of Jaromir Jagr alive and well?
  • The Verizon Center Ice. It's been blamed for just about every other injury the team has suffered so far this year.
  • Nolan Yonkman. It wouldn't be the first time...
  • Me. Is karma paying me back for this morning's line about Dany Heatley's shoulder?
What are our other options? It can't just be bad luck, can it?

On a sidenote, a beer on me to whomever is first with the inevitable rumor of the Caps pursuing this guy to fill their newly found "veteran Swedish center" deficit.

[Note: In all seriousness, Nyls deserves kudos for playing through the pain as long as he did, even when other teams were targeting the injury. You don't typically think of him as a "tough guy," but he certainly demonstrated both guts and leadership to a young team - which is part of the reason he was brought to town in the first place.]


Chris said...

I am not sayign they won't miss the guy, but I definitely do wonder if they will miss him as badly as many people think. He is a -19 and was playing terrible defensive hockey. (If that was, in part, due to the injury, I don't know.) If some of the other boys step up I'm really not that worried.

JP said...

As of this moment, the power play is 30-for-188 (16.0%), which is 23rd in the League. I think it'll be interesting to track how its efficiency changes with 92 out of the lineup.

noonan said...

they will definitely miss him, especially considering that he would probably have 5-10 more points and a better +/-, had he been playing healthy this whole time.
the question now is, assuming boyd gordon is not the full time replacement, which i have, who will it be and what will the lines look like from here on out?

JP said...

To me, the obvious "answer" (if it is one) is to have Kozlov center the second line with Clark on the top line and Petty or Flash on the second.

HotDog88GT said...

Faceoffs, faceoffs, faceoffs.

~Mark said...

I have to say Japer, I had that very thought this morning, that Nyls was just ducking the Edmonton game. I remember from summer how folks were looking forward to it.

JR said...

I have to admit, I might be one of those 'morons'. The minus-19 has already been mentioned. The PP has been better but still is below average. I look at this as an opportunity for some other guys to show what they can do. We still get to dress 20 guys each game.

Anonymous said...

On a sidenote, a beer on me to whomever is first with the inevitable rumor of the Caps pursuing this guy to fill their newly found "veteran Swedish center" deficit.

I appreciate your enthusiasm for the guy, but Bengt Gustaffson is almost 50 :-)