Before there was West Wing, there was Sports Night. One of my favorite piece of comedic/dramatic television ever is the Pilot of that show is the Pilot, wherein we get to meet the cast. The first introduction of Jeremy, the stats guy and sports nut, is hysterical, and it sums up my general problem with today’s column. See, I’m a baseball/football kind of guy. The winter sports are hard for me. But, because I’m a trooper, let’s take a look at how the local teams fared this week.
Past Two Weeks: 3-2
Place: 2nd in the Southeast.
The story of the season so far has to be Alexander Semin. While he’s fallen from the top of the points chart, he’s still got 21 points in just 12 games, and his +/- of +11 is first in the NHL. The Caps’ front line of Semin, Ovechkin & Federov sounds an awful like a Russian Mob Law firm, and their effects on the Caps’ opponents might be equivalent. They ended up +7 on Saturday, though Federov left in the 3rd period with an unknown injury.
I keep waiting for Ovechkin to show off the superstar quality that he shined to a high gloss last season, but it just doesn’t seem to be coming. He’s stuck with just 8 points, and only two goals. If the Caps want to be a 1st place team, and I think Ted Leonsis wants them to be, then Alex is going to need to find where he left his accuracy. 4% accuracy just isn’t going to cut it in the NHL. Caps play the Lightning at the Phone Booth tonight, then head out to Carolina for the Hurricanes on Wednesday. Let’s see if you can’t get a few points, eh, Alex?
Past Two Weeks: 0-5
Place: Last in the Southeast. Last in the Eastern Conference.
Oofda. Well, 0-5 sounds pretty bad…largely because it is pretty bad. Antawn Jamison said, after the fifth straight loss to open the season: “The makeup of the locker room, the environment of the locker room needs to change. I’m not saying that it’s almost like acceptable, but guys are not upset. Guys are not hurting. This is your job. It’s all about representing what’s on your chest and doing it the right way.” This is not the Wizards team that played their hearts out the last few seasons. This is the Wizards team that might have a tough time taking down North Carolina. And well, that’s no way to start a season, is it?
Two weeks ago, we said that if the Wiz want to win, Caron Butler, Antawn Jamison and Nick Young would have to play like they mean it. So where are we?
Caron: 36 of 81 from the field, and 3 of 10 from 3-point range. 31 rebounds. 107 points in five games. Not bad, but not leadership material either.
Antawn: 34 of 81 from the field, and 5 of 23 from 3-point range. Ouch. 36 rebounds. 108 points in five games. Again, not bad, but not leadership material either. 5 of 23 beyond the line? My God man, just step in a little closer if you have to. That’s just abysmal.
Nick: 31 of 56 from the field, and 2 of 11 from 3-point range. Okay, not bad. Better yet, 19-21 from the line. Not bad for a rook.
Things drop of pretty precipitously from there. Those are the only three guys averaging double-digit points for the whole squad. Everyone else is stinking up the joint like Jason Kidd’s gym socks. Gotta produce to matter, Wizards! Let’s get those point totals up a little bit, yeah? Make it work. Wednesday the Jazz is in town, then it’s off to Miami on Friday. Let’s see if we can’t make it 2-5 before the weekend?
Past Two Weeks: 0-1
Place: 2nd in the NFC East
The Skins’ harbinger loss to the Steelers last week may have propelled President-Elect Obama to his current seat of power, but that was no reason for DC fans to be all that excited about last weekend’s game. With just two Suisham field goals in the first quarter, and no other offense to speak of, the Redskins had their bye week to think about how they screwed up before they face the Cowboys this coming Sunday in an 8:15pm Grudge Match on NBC. The ‘Skins won their first matchup with the hated and evil Cowboys earlier this season, and seek to revisit the hurt against an injured Cowboys squad. We’ll see just how this one turns out.
DANA: What’s your favorite sport?
JEREMY: I beg your pardon?
DANA: Where are you strongest?
JEREMY: Football, I guess.
DANA: Great, let’s talk about basketball.
JEREMY: I said football.
DANA: I heard you. Let’s talk about basketball.
JEREMY (HOPING): We could talk about baseball. Or hockey.
DANA: You’re pretty strong in baseball and hockey are you?
JEREMY: Not as strong as football, but–
DANA: Great, let’s talk about basketball.
JEREMY: I’m not gonna get the job, am I?
Tom Bridge is We Love DC’s Sports Fixer, but if you’re hot to write about hockey or basketball, shoot him an email at tom at welovedc dot com and see if you can’t talk him off the ledge before Spring Training.