Friday, November 16, 2007

A (Coaching) Change in Optimism? ?

We’ve been pretty much silent on the brewing Fire Glen Hanlon storm, but perhaps now is the time to throw our modest bright-eyed voice (bright-eyed voice? What does that mean?) into the fray.

To start, there are a pair of welcome well-thought-out, non-emotionally reactionary commentaries on the situation from CapsChick and Caps Blue Line worth reading. Both point out how Hanlon came into the Caps job following the debacle that was Bruce Cassidy and his band of highly paid massive underachievers (not quite what we have in front of us today, but the warning signs could be there). I liked Hanlon and his ‘tism-affected attitude well before this blog turned me into a full-blown optimist with never a negative thing to say about any of our local teams (my wife will surely back me up on this). Like most fans, it seems, I saw him as a great fit for a young (if struggling) up-and-coming team. More so, I like him because Hanlon is a good cross-town counterpart to our hero and inspiration, the Master of Optimism himself, Manny Acta (all hail). Manny’s unrelenting positivity carried the Nats way past their pre-season expertely assigned domain of last place, and we’ve seen flashes of that in Hanlon’s tenure as well (think early last season, last week in Ottawa).

The arguments presented in the two blogs mentioned above are sound, and it may come time to shake things up. Perhaps not just now, but maybe soon. It’s at least worth seeing how the full, healthy, team plays together and seeing if some coherent and consistent lines can be put together. Clark is back, Poti is back, Semin could be back Monday (the very day DCO will be in the arena? Can’t be coincidental, can it? Maybe).

Is this a little too bleak? Or at least a little too not-fully-optimistic? Not really. Good will definitely come of this. Either a near-totally healthy team will in fact turn things around in the short term to get back within true striking distance of Eastern Conference legitimacy (playoff positioning still only six points away), or the team will continue to drift, in which case something would almost certainly have to be done, and the fans calling for a firing could have their firing. A timeframe? Two weeks, perhaps? Enough time to gaugue a healthy, and a little desperate, team and its perhaps equally despearate coach.

After that, maybe we’ll see an Atlanta-like turnaround with (new coach?) behind the bench. They’re 8-4 since dumping their boss. Who around here wouldn’t absolutely love something akin to an 8-4 run by the Caps?

It’s still only 18 games into the season, and while things will seem to progress rapidly from here on out, we shouldn’t be overly, overly hasty here. Look at the calls for Eddie Jordan’s dismissal after 0-5. Now the Wizards have won two in a row and are obviously ready to make some noise. The Caps could still surprise us all, in their current coaching iteration, with making some standings-climbing noise. As this very important season drags on, however, all options should be considered.

We’re still optimistic. Really.

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