When I posted Ted Leonsis’s comments on Alexander Semin last week, a few readers thought it wasn’t a very strong defense at all. So here’s more, if you’d like.
“Hey Ted, why am I so disappointed in Matt Bradley and David Steckel?” Segal asked.
“You know, I think it’s best we all look forward,” he said. “I don’t think it’s appropriate ever to talk about a player on another team. You know, I just want to talk about our players, and I think that we have a really really good team.
“Those guys talked about Alex Semin, and I’m an Alex Semin supporter. He’s on our second line, we expect 30, 40 goals from him, and my big hope is that he stays healthy. If Alex Semin stays healthy and is focused, I think he’s one of the 10 best players in the NHL. He certainly has that skill level. And I like him, I’ve always gotten along with him, so I’m supporting our players and I’m hopeful that he comes out with a chip on his shoulder and is very very motivated to have a great year.”
Then Segal asked whether Semin is unfairly targeted due to a public persona less electric than Alex Ovechkin’s. And then the Semin thread sort of disappeared. But if you like transcriptions of Leonsis stump speeches, here’s to you.
“Well Alex is a once in a generation type of player and personality, but I always believe that there’s too much focus on individuals,” Leonsis said. “I think you win as a team and you lose as a team, and we’re seeing that, that we have to continue to build around our core and we want that core to mature and play well as a unit. We think that consistency, continuity is very very important. We injected a lot of change this year because we weren’t satisfied with the results that we had in the playoffs.
“We understand. We get the joke. Over the last four years we might have the best record in the NHL during the regular season. We’ve won the East the last two years, we’ve had a really really good team, but we can’t seem to get past that second round in the playoffs. That’s obviously what the focus is. I’ve said this last year and I’ll reiterate it: we’ve reached that point in the franchise’s development that there isn’t a lot to accomplish other than playoff success. Every ticket is sold, the brand is really shining, fans love the team, the team generates a lot of points, and sometimes I think we take that for granted.
“I think making the playoffs is the first big hurdle. There’s a lot of teams that don’t make the playoffs. And I think last year there was a lot of noise about well the regular season doesn’t matter. Well the regular season matters a lot. We have to develop the habits and the system and the trust in one another during the regular season.”
And so forth. Pixels, bandwidth, etc.