The Canadian press had some interesting things to report on the Caps earlier today. There were the expected comments about being a playoff team -- George McPhee noted that, "we think we should be knocking on the playoff door, that we'd like to be battling to get in that seventh or eighth spot..."
Yeah, yeah, ok...we'd all like to be seeing the Caps battle for that spot. But it was the comments that followed -- buried in the story -- that should get brain cells firing and imaginations whirring. The juxtaposition of two comments from McPhee is especially provacative...
"We absolutely had to have a centre (Nylander) that could make a play. We had to have another defenceman (Poti) who could move the puck. And we had to have another player (Kozlov) to play with Ovechkin."
"We know we have a very smart player [in Nicklas Backstrom], a very responsible player, someone who can make a play, someone who is good on faceoffs and really sharp defensively. But you just don't know if they're ready to handle that centre-ice position."
McPhee went on to emphasize that Pittsburgh's Jordan Staal and Boston's Phil Kessel played the wing most of last season, despite each being a natural center.
Well, gee...If Kozlov is going to play with Ovechkin, and Nylander centers those two....and Backstrom ends up on the wing...uh, who is centering the second line?
No plan is (or should be) etched in stone, so if Backstrom can't handle the center duties, Kozlov might move to the second line, with Chris Clark going to play on the right side up top. That'd sure mess up our little benchmarks...but there is a tiny little voice in The Peerless' head asking...."is there a September surprise coming on the personnel front?"