Over at Japers' Rink, this morning, JP pens an essay arguing that one result of Trading Day is that the Caps face the stretch run and any playoff series having to look in the mirror to find their salvation. As he put it...
"...it's up to the guys in the room, the ones who have been there for the past year or two or more. It's up to the coach who took this team on a damn-near miraculous run last season and has them dreaming big this year. It's up to the most valuable player to show why he won the award last season and to recognize that there's also an award for playoff MVP. It's up to the free agent goalie, the re-born Russian veteran, the future captain, the enigmatic sniper, the Norris hopeful and everyone else on that team, in D.C. and in Hershey, because there's no help coming. Not this year. This year, they're on their own."
And that raises a point touched upon by Pierre McGuire during yesterday's coverage of Trading Day on TSN. He wondered if the Caps had become "too cool for school." We see the matter as one of simple imagery. Is this a team of rock stars, or is it one of hard hats?
The Caps present a hard hat to a player after each win, symbolic of having given an exemplary effort in a victory. It is a symbol.
The Caps have another symbol of sorts, and it is reflected in the video played before the team takes this ice each game. In it, the Caps are made up to look like rock stars with screaming fans left in their wake as they take the stage.
For this season, we're now at the point where the team is going to go in one of two directions with the players they have. They will take the hard hat symbol they bestow on one player and take it on as a team symbol, or they will be the rock stars that look splashy in their costumes and last --snap!-- that long.
Most rock stars make music that lasts until the next top-40 list comes out. They're last week before next week gets here. Hard hats build things that stand for years.
What's it going to be?...Rock Stars or Hard Hats?