Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Captain Obvious? Part 1 of a 6 Part Epic

Captain Obvious is a six part blog epic exploring all NHL captains, who deserves to be there, and who doesn't. Frankly, this is a result of my frustration towards the Pirates not scoring runs and my general disdain for Mike Richards. Since this is a Pittsburgh Blog, part 1 will focus on the Atlantic Division.

1. Pittsburgh Penguins

Captain: Sidney Crosby
Player who should be Captain: Sidney Crosby

This is pretty much a no-brainer. He's the best player in the NHL, and sets an example for the team on and off the ice. It was plainly apparent how much Crosby was missed during the stretch run of this past season. He's a guy who is able to elevate the game of everyone who laces up the skates with him. He's an all-world talent that has the mentality of a player who is just trying to make the squad. I could say more about him, but anything beyond this would be redundant and insulting to a Pens fan. Get better, Sid.

2. Philadelphia Flyers

Captain: Mike Richards
Player who should be Captain: Kimmo Timonen

Trying to choose what Flyer should be Captain is like choosing what gun you want to be shot in the face with. No matter what, it sucks. Richards has become just like every other Flyer, dirty plays that don't get called, and mouthing off to the media. Next thing you know, he'll be banging Scott Hartnell's wife. As for Timonen, at this point in his career, he's deserving of a captaincy. He's been a stalwart on Philly's defensive front for a few years now, and has displayed a Brooks Orpik-like calm and cool on the ice. As is usually the case with Finnish players, Timonen is a classy guy, and seems like a great locker room personality as well. Timonen is without a doubt the least of all evils.

3. New Jersey Devils

Captain: Nobody
Player who should be Captain: Patrick Elias

Beyond Marty Brodeur, no Devil is more recognizable than Patrick Elias. He's been a Devil since before I had pubes. Though he's 35, his productivity has shown no signs of slowing. Since the Captainship was vacated by the Jamie Langenbrunner trade this past year, Elias seems to me to be the logical choice.

4. New York Rangers

Captain: Chris Drury
Player who should be Captain: Chris Drury

It's pretty hard to argue against Drury. The only player in league history to win both the Hobey Baker and the Calder Trophies, a three-time Olympian, and one of the few players in the leauge who have captained multiple teams. Drury hasn't always put up huge numbers throughout his career, but he's a tough, gritty player who will do whatever it takes to win. Once Drury retires, however, the Captain position should be assumed by Ryan Callahan. I still think the Rangers may have beaten the Caps if Callahan were healthy, but he was too busy laying his life down in front of a Zdeno Chara slapshot to try to get the Rangers into the playoffs. What a human.

5. New York Islanders

Captain: Doug Weight (kind of)
Player who should be Captain: Mark Streit

Weight would be my Captain choice, but since he retired, that sort of takes him out of the running. Truly, the only logical choice behind him is D-man Mark Streit. Injured for most of this season, Pens fans know about Streit because he's really the only Islander we give a shit about. He's Swiss, which is awesome (also captains the Swiss National team), he can actually play defenseman or forward, a rarity in the NHL. The Islanders clearly missed his leadership this season, as they made a habit of going bat shit crazy during games.

Plus I'm not sure they could give the Captain tag to Trevor Gilles. Woof.

Part 2 coming soon.

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