Washington Capitals Fans: It's Time To Stop Hating On Schultz

T SContributor IMarch 29, 2010

WASHINGTON - MARCH 28:  John Carlson #74 and Jeff Schultz #55 of the Washington Capitals warm up before the game against the Calgary Flames on March 28, 2010 in Washington, DC.  (Photo by Greg Fiume/Getty Images)
Greg Fiume/Getty Images

Why is it that all over the Internet, Washington Capitals fans are ragging on Jeff Schultz?

Granted, there is nothing elegant about his play.  There's nothing sexy about Jeff Schultz.  There, I said it.  C'mon, not every defenseman can be Paul Coffey or Nick Lidstrom!

Have you noticed who is leading in +/- ratings this year?  The top 3 are: Alex Ovechkin (+44); Schultz (+37); and Nick Backstrom (+34).  Face it, Schultz gets it done.  He's not fleet of foot, but he has learned to position himself & take "smart" chances.

Schultz has greatly improved over the past two years, and has staked his claim to being a top-4 blueliner in the NHL.  He has quietly contributed to the team being at the top of the standings this year.

Schultz will be a restricted free agent at the end of the season, and the Capitals would be wise to keep him around rather than look to add more aging, mediocre defensemen.

Caps fans, it's time to love Schultz!