Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Playing Catch-up

Sorry about the 2+ months of non-posting. Class got pretty intense before it ended, and then I had two weeks back in Canes country before I came back to start the first semester of my senior year of college. Things are pretty hectic around here. Caps did fairly well in the preseason, 5-1-1. Season opening game in Atlanta was a crapper. Bad, bad, bad everything. We got a lesson in something, overconfidence, lack of communication? Heck if I know. Came back to DC and played the 'Hawks for the home opener. Better game. Didn't look to promising right off, but we played well. The game against Vancouver was a study in how to do things right. We held them to 10 SOG, a new franchise record. The game was spent mostly in the Vancouver zone. And we won 5-1. Which means all the more when you realize that Ovie was held to no goals. Two from Sascha Semin, a penalty shot from Nyls (Luongo=schooled), a goal from Juice(really?), and one from Green (yet again). We even got ole Bobby Lu pulled after the 2nd. Theo has looked sorta shaky in the first two games, but finally got around to looking okay at the end of the Chicago game. Johnny's win over Vancouver was his 100th, so congrats go to him.
The Spirit Squad AKA Ice Girls AKA Red Rockers started out in long sleeve Ts and khakis, but have devolved to spandex or Lycra or something else equally tight and non-breathable *shudders*. Finally broke down and got Directv so I could watch games. Which involved getting DVR, so now I don't have to ruin my roommates TV lives.
Got a couple of game trips in the prelim stages of planning. One to Hershey (prospects and bus league hockey=yay!) for a game against the Bridgeport Sound Tigers. (And if someone can explain to me what the heck a Sound Tiger is, they win a cookie or something) Second trip is to DC for the game against the Blues. Unfortunately, a new (somewhat sports related) job and being a senior means I can't just drop everything for tickets and now requires school breaks and coordination of resources, people, and timeslots mainly seen by the likes of the NSA.
Probably will be a bit before I post again. I'll try to do it regularly, but school likes getting in the way of things like this.

Monday, July 14, 2008

Signings, Camps, Etc

Huet is gone, Cooke is gone. Everybody else? Back! Fedorov, Laich, Gordon, Fehr, Green, etc. Only one left to sign in Morrisonn, who is going to arbitration. Jose Theodore is now our #1 goalie. I'm going to give him a chance and pray that the Jose Theodore I watched as a kid is the one that shows up in DC in September.
Went out to FanFest to watch the final Development Camp scrimmage. Alzner once again lived up to his billing as a smooth skating, responsible d-man. Jake Hauswirth, a guy who got passed up by everybody at the draft, showed that he belonged in the future of an NHL team. Hopefully ours. Got to listen to Brooks Laich and Ted Leonsis in their Q&A session. I'm glad Brooks is back and I'm especially happy we have such a great owner in Ted.
There was some controversy surrounding the Caps new Spirit Squad. Original descriptions painted them more like Ice Girls, but it seems their now just a formalized pep squad. Lots of discussion on it on the CI board. Everything is okay now though it seems.
Pre-season schedule was announced-home-and-homes against Carolina, Philly, Boston, and an away game against the Devils. I may have to get cable now, since my game source graduated. Hoping to make it out to one of the pre-seasons. I guess we'll see what happens.

Tuesday, June 3, 2008

Kinda Off-topic

So I just watched Game 5. What a game. Three OTs later, I've got a marketing exam in the morning and I haven't finished studying yet. I'm on enough Mountain Dew to cause major issues in a normal human and I'm verging on drunk, if you can get that way off MD.
But the game was great, except for that whole Penguins winning thing. Its been a long time since I watched a non-Caps game that intense. If you squinted, you could almost believe the cardiac Caps were on the ice, red jerseyed Wings and all. Reffing was pretty awful, except for the last, game-ending call, which the refs couldn't not call. But now I'm studying and I'm bordering on a diagnosis of ADHD and I realized I hate Febreze and love Nickelback. Not something I knew. Huh, well, enjoy your night!

Friday, May 30, 2008

Give me time?

Apologies for the delay in writing. I'm in the middle of the biggest class I will ever take in the shortest possible time to take it. I'm beyond stressed out, but it will be over the middle of July.
My team finished somewhere in the middle of the pack in the fantasy league. Russia defeated Canada for the gold, with the "Capital Punishment" line of Ovie, Semin, and Feds dominating the tourney. Pens-Wings in the finals. Wings up 2-1, game 4 tomorrow in Pittsburgh. Rooting for the Wings, who gave Osgood two shutouts in the first two games. Pens' flightless wonderboy finally scored in game 3--first goal of the series for them (130+ minutes without a goal).
Brads is back in a Capitals jersey. Three years-$3 million. Karl Alzner signed his entry-level deal. It will be interesting to see where he ends up next season, Hershey or DC. Waiting for more signing news. Word on the street is that Feds wants to come back (per Ovie). How awesome would that be?!

Sunday, May 11, 2008

Three Weeks Later

And so the long, boring off-season begins. Wait, did I say boring? Didn't mean that at all. Got a few updates that I'm behind on posting. The Caps are doing well at Worlds. Our Russians have been lighting it up, with the three forwards all scoring a goal today in Russia's 3-2 win over Nick's Sweden team. Nick is bringing some Washington style to the Swedish team, although they aren't doing as well as I would hope as a fantasy owner. Flash is chipping in every once in a while for the Czech team. Varlamov injured his ankle, so he's not playing for Russia. Lepisto was cut from the Finland team, but added after preliminaries. Green is definitely helping out Canada, scoring the first goal and getting an assist on the game-winner in their game the other day. One of the announcers called him "one of the premiere offensive defensemen in the world". I was so proud. He's a little bit older than me, but I get proud of him like I would a little brother. Huet did very well, backstopping France. However, France didn't do so well for him and they're finished for the tournament after beating Italy in relegation.
My fantasy team is suffering. My Russian players are dropping like flies. First Medvedev gets cut, then D. Markov gets hurt, now Morozov goes down when I get Markov back. I added Andrei Markov in the supplemental draft along with Swedish forward Warg. My Latvian goalie did very well for me the other day, stopping 62 shots to put me up in the middle of the pack. But Canada's 10-1 win over Germany and the subsequent points gained by my fellow GMs dropped me back down to my home at second-to-last.

Sadder news. Olie is officially gone. Not sure where he'll go or what he'll do, but I wish him the best and respect the hell out of him. I won't say much else, because everything's been said.

Off-season is here, but have no fear. The Caps will be very busy...

Thursday, May 1, 2008

IIHF World Championships

Things are getting better every day. Eight Capitals and 1 prospect are playing for their home nations in the IIHF World Championships. Alex Ovechkin, Alex Semin, Sergei Fedorov, and Simeon Varlamov are all playing for Russia. Tomas Fleischmann is playing for the Czech Republic. Mike Green is playing for Team Canada. And Sami Lepisto is playing for Finland.
Some of the regulars over at WaPo C.I. are running a fantasy league surrounding the tournament. I entered, not quite realizing what I had gotten myself in to. I've gotten 12 hours of sleep in the past few days because I've been up all night researching. I had 7th overall pick out of 8 drafters with a serpentine draft style. I figured the other GMs would draft the good NHLers, which is all I know. So I went out and researched the other guys. Superleague, Latvia, Sweden, I looked at them all. We picked 2 national teams, 4 defensemen, 6 forwards, and 2 goalies. I've got 2 Russian forwards, 2 Russian defensemen, and a Russian goalie. I've obviously got a thing for Russians. I've got a Swedish defenseman, a Swiss forward, a Latvian goalie and a forward. Rounding out my team, a certain Czech forward with red hair, Slovakian defender, and a Canadian forward/captain. My two national teams are Sweden and Germany. Russia was taken...

More Caps news: Boudreau was nominated for the Jack Adams alongside Babcock and Carbonneau. Ovie was nominated for the Hart & Pearson. Iginla and Malkin are also up for both. Backs is up for Rookie of the Year. Laing was put up for the Masterton, although he hasn't been nominated yet.

I'll keep you posted on the fantasy league/IIHF results. Tune in June 12th to see the NHL Awards and watch our boys take home a ton of hardware.

Thursday, April 24, 2008

Countdown until next season


Thanks mauree...

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Hockey Hangover

When I woke up this morning, it was a beautiful day out. The sun was out, the birds were singing, everybody was cheerful. Except me, at least at first. I've been in a weird mood all day. I waver from really sad, to excited for next year. Then I just feel blah. I don't know what to do with myself. I checked blogs, listened to the Caps Report, watched the interviews of the guys on their last day at Kettler for the season. I went to class, stopped by work briefly. I'm still not sure what's going on. It'll hit me sooner or later. Until then, I'm in the middle of the final two weeks of class for the semester, so I'm going to pour my energy into papers, exams, etc. I'm on a self-imposed game exile for a week. I'll check on news, but no hockey games. Hopefully the time off will give me time to work on my grades and get my head screwed back on straight.

Until next week, readers...

PS...Cup Bracket is updated with the new matchups.

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

And this is how it ends....for now!

Joffrey Lupol scored in OT to carry the Flyers into the Eastern Conference semi-finals, eliminating the Caps from the playoffs. It makes me sad. Sure, I could whine about the officiating--God knows I hate Koharski. But I won't. Because that would cheapen what we have accomplished this season. This group of guys, most of them still kids, really, have gone from last in the conference to the Southeast Division champions and third in the conference. We've done so much. A recap:

Washington Capitals to-do list for the season:

Sign talent in the off-season...done!
Get a new head coach that may very well be a Jack Adams nominee...done!
Get Alex Ovechkin to have a record-breaking, Richard- & Ross-trophy winning season...done!
Get 4 players their 1st NHL goals...Stecks, Laing, Backs, Schultz, done!
Get Nick Backstrom to have a stellar rookie season...done!
Get Mike Green a lead goal-scoring defenseman title...done!
Get Semin back to top form...done!
Get Brooks Laich a career-best season...done!
Get scoring help for the Alexes...see above!
Get 300+ career wins for Kolzig...done!
Acquire talent through trade...Cooke, Fedorov, Huet, yeah, I think we're good on that!

What these guys have accomplished this season has been nothing short of miraculous. Making it to the playoffs was never beyond Boudreau's dreams. It never seemed beyond the guys' dreams, either. Beating Philly would have been sweet. Making it this far may be doubly so.
I am looking forward to next season. That was the only thing that kept me from bawling after the game. The future is so bright for this team and I look forward to what deals happen this summer, the rookie camp, everything.

The only dim spot for me is that Tarik el-Bashir of the Washington Post has reported that Olaf Kolzig, the man who gave 18+ years to this team, has removed his name plate from his locker that the Verizon Center. What does this mean? I think its a clear sign that Olie's future does not lie with the Washington Capitals. Where it does lay, only Olie knows. Maybe its selfish of me, but I'd rather see him retire from active play and become front office or coaching staff than play for another team. He's always been a Cap and I would like to see him retire a Cap. Olie was the backbone, the heart, and the soul of this team for such a long time. I may be a new fan, but even I can see that. He's been through everything awful with this team, and everything good. If this really is goodbye to Olie, then I wish him the best. But I also wish him to stay here, in DC.

So here's a cheer to the boys from the District! The boys who took everything we could give them and returned it with interest. The boys who fought tooth and nail for where they got. The boys who left it all on the ice. The boys that brought real hockey back to DC and fans back to the Phone Booth. The boys in the Red, White, and Blue. The boys who will be back next year!

Let's go Caps!!!!!

Monday, April 21, 2008

"Handshake Gate"

I've seen the video of what Sean Avery did. Maybe I have a thing for guys with issues. But I have no problem with what happened. Avery looked like a complete and utter dork. Did he defile the game? Hardly. Did he embarrass the league? I think I'm more embarrassed that it took Sean Avery to figure out that it might work. I thought it was a brilliant stroke of remembrance from playing pond hockey as a kid. Well, maybe brilliant is a bit strong, but honestly, I don't care. I thought it was funny as hell. And it seemed to work. Which is maybe why people are making such a big deal out of it. Just a few minutes after it happened, Avery got a shot past Brodeur. However, all the rule "clarification" nonsense is a tad bit ridiculous. Had the NHL not clarified, I feel like this would have happened a few more times before somebody got a wicked slapper to the back of the head and the nonsense would have stopped right then and there. It was funny verging on idiotic and I got a good laugh out of it.

I've seen Marty's "response." Personally, I think neither of them attempted to shake hands. Which makes them both a little class-less. If I was Marty, I would have at least held out my hand. Then, if Avery refused, he looks like a jackass, not me. Avery looks like he just kept his hand up and moved on to the next guy in line. Doesn't seem like a huge deal, but the fact that his hand was still up makes it seem like he might have tried and makes him look a little bit less like an idiot.

On Sean Avery in general: He's a talented player that contributes to his team's goal totals. He's a good looking guy. He seems to attract Hollywood "it-girls" like flies to honey. But honestly, he makes me laugh. Every time he pulls something, I just roll my eyes. Somewhere out there, there's a video of him in the most blatant of dives that its just funny. He's kind of like the class clown. Fun to have around, yet most of the time, nobody really likes him because he's such a douche. Its more of a pity-like than anything. Like how you're nice to the slow kids. I don't have feelings towards him either way right now. However, should he decide one day to play for the Capitals, I would probably be secretly thrilled. (I guess its not really secret anymore)

Playoffs thus far:
Eastern Conference: Penguins swept the Senators; Bruins and Habs going into Game 7 tonight; Caps are rolling to Philly for Game 6, trying to avoid elimination; and the Rangers beat the Devils in 5.
Western Conference: Sharks and Flames are going to Game 7, the Stars went hunting and bagged themselves the defending-champ-Ducks, Avalanche tamed the Wild, and Detroit took care of the Predators.

Looking for the second 3-1 comeback in Caps history against the Flyers. Let's go Caps!!

Week Recap (Stress Level Now through the Roof)

Wow, its been a whirlwind two weeks in Capsland. We made the playoffs.
First game wasn't our best, but we came out in the third and won.
Second game, ouch.
Third game, double ouch.
Fourth game, now its coming together. We played much better, made it to the 2nd OT, before losing.
Fifth game, heck yeah! These are the Capitals I know and love. Great dump-n-chase and forechecking, more traffic in front of Creepy Eyes Biron, connecting on the power play. Officiating finally went closer to our way, although I think this series has seen the playoffs' worst officiating, going both ways. Noncalls, imaginary calls, both teams have had some shitty luck with the reffing. I think they cost us game four, but that's just me, and Vogel, and everybody else.
Ovie hasn't been a goal-scoring machine in the playoffs, leading many to think he's just another regular season wonder, who will never excel in the playoffs. However, while he may not be scoring goals, he's kicking his physical game into high gear. He's hitting everything in a Flyers jersey. He hip-checked Dowd into the Flyer bench, then calmly attempted to dump him the rest of the way in with a strategic move of attempting to get his arm free. He was only credited with 3 hits in the game, which prompted even NBC to ask if he had to get the guy all the way to the third row before it counted.
Cris Huet has been outstanding, even with the D fall apart that took place in the first 3.5 games. He made the prettiest save I may have ever seen in game 4. He makes one save to the left hand side of the top of the crease. Then, when he loses the rebound, the Flyers try to go right hand side on him. He sees it, tosses his stick into the net and makes a beautiful diagonal dive clear across to the other side of the net that knocks the puck farther out and into the possession of a Caps D-man. We had to watch the replay several times, because we didn't even see him touch the puck, it was just there and suddenly it wasn't. We thought it bounced off a defender or a Flyer. I will still have his babies, should he need me.
The entire team has stepped it up. Feds has played D; Green has kicked his offensive game into high gear and (disregarding a few times) has made great defensive plays too; Steve Eminger is making folks wonder why he hasn't played all year, and Nick and Sasha have both gotten physical, to the point where I thought Nick was gonna take a swing at Danny Boy Briere.

In a fit of thoughtfulness and planning ahead *gasp*, I took tonight off from work. The thought was, if the Caps won on Saturday, I'd be able to watch the game and if the Caps were eliminated on Saturday, I'd have an extra day to mope and be sad before thinking about next year and wetting my pants in glee (and not in the pee way, either). So here I am, having taken tonight off. With one b.i.g. p.r.o.b.l.e.m.
I agreed to work Tuesday night instead. Well shit. That's Game 7!!!! So as I watch the Caps win tonight, I will curse myself for being far-sighted enough to take the day off, but too short-sighted to realize that I should have just let it be. I have just proverbially jumped out of the frying pan and into the fire.
As I sit here, I can't help but be excited. We may be headed back up to Philly, but the Caps have been stellar when it comes to do-or-die hockey. Put their backs against a wall and watch them work. They'll have your shirt off your back, your girlfriend, your wallet, and the game by the end of 60 minutes of hockey. The momentum is swinging back and we love us some momentum.

Sunday, April 6, 2008

Stanley Cup Bracket

Well, here it is for all you bracket-ologists.

Teams and rankings should be right. Have fun making predictions and following the playoffs!

Let's go Caps!

Saturday, April 5, 2008


Caps are Southeast Division Champions!!!!

A little Foo Fighters to celebrate (with a few creative liberties from yours truly):

"Long Road To Stanley"

Here now don't make a sound
Say have you heard the news today?
Canes flag was taken down
To raise a Caps one in its place
A young team from above
The Russian phenom brings the heat
Our hope, our life, our love
All Caps fans chanting M-V-P

May this be the season
The colors change in the DC skies
Hated Canes you’ve sealed your fate
Off to the golf course, playoffs can wait

Long road to Stanley there on the ice
Under the VC lights
No tomorrow, no dead end in sight

Let's say we take this town
No Skins or Nats matter today
Get up to shut it down
Open the streets and raise the gates
I know one MVP
I know a Calder candidate
Head on without a care
Before it's way too late

May this be the season
The colors change in the DC skies
Dear Bruce you’ve sealed our fate
Off to the playoffs, golfing can wait

Long road to Stanley there on the ice
Under the VC lights
No tomorrow, no dead ends

Long road to Stanley there on the ice
Under the VC lights
No tomorrow, no dead end in sight

Now every game point falls in place
No playoff won without a race
Our future takes its shape
No turning back, don't turn that page

Come now, we're winning here tonight
Come now, let's leave the past behind
Please stop the puck, Huet
Off to the playoffs, golfing can wait

Long road to Stanley there on the ice
Under the VC lights
No tomorrow, no dead ends

Long road to Stanley there on the ice
Under the VC lights
No tomorrow, no dead ends

Long road to Stanley there on the ice
Under the VC lights
No tomorrow, no dead end in sight

Saturday, March 29, 2008

Of Fans and Playoffs

It has occurred to me in the past few days that fans can be very misunderstood--by the media, their friends, family, etc., and most of all, by their fellow fans. Bear with me. You've heard the phrase, "Biting the hand that feeds it"? Now, to me, fans, especially fans who have gotten their first whiff of "playoff blood" for the first time in a long time, are prone to become more animalistic in their reactions than others. We're not used to it, we don't really know how to react. The closer the team gets to the playoffs, the more magnified the mistakes become, and the more the fans turn on each other and the team.
Take the Caps' fans Huet v. Olie debate. Now, there are folks on both sides, Huet is a better goalie, Olie's been here and deserves to have his loyalty rewarded, they work well alternating, etc. I personally have no opinion because I haven't really seen Olie's work pre-Boudreau. Both arguments have merit and both sides can see that. But as the new NHL marketing campaign says, "the Cup changes everything." We're not there yet, but the playoffs are so close, fans can taste it. Teams that are perennial contenders have fans that are rooting for them, but rabid? Eh, not so much. It becomes old hat, unless you keep making it in and then losing out, then you're the Toronto Maple Leafs, who make it in occasionally (last time was 03-04), but haven't made it to the finals in 39 seasons, when they ran the table in four of six years. To the Leafs fans, losing in old hat. But Caps fans haven't had a run in what seems like ages. Ten years? In sports, with the shelf life of a pro athlete sitting at about 15 years, (Chris Chellios not withstanding...retire already!! I watched you play as a kid and you were old then!) ten years is almost eternity. Washington has been to the Cup finals once in franchise history (30+ years).
This season has out-done itself in terms of heartbreak, absolute joy, and bitter frustration. Caps fans are getting a little rabid. Look at any Caps blog and you'll see the obvious, everyone would like to be GM. They're already signing players for next season, shipping some off to teams unknown, demoting some, pulling some up from the minors, and trying to force a select few into retirement, early or not. Thus is the nature of sports fans, not just Caps fans. Everyone thinks they can do it better. During football season, fans become "armchair quarterbacks", criticizing every poor throw, missed block, poor tackle. But I think that in hockey playoff season, fans take more to becoming "message board GMs.".
I missed the rebuilding years in DC. I've missed all those "bitter mistakes" GMGM made. But I also see the great things that are happening here. Its obvious to hockey fans in DC (and some non-fans), and its starting to become obvious to the rest of the league too.
I recently watched the behind-the-scenes clips from the Backstrom draft year. My estimation and respect for GMGM grew exponentially. Granted, I had a slight idea at what happened during the weeks leading up to the draft. But wow. Youtube them if you're curious. There is so much feeling out other GMs to see who they're taking before hand. Draft day, there's even more wheeling and dealing to get picks. If I recall correctly, Boston offered a couple of picks for the Caps pick (#3 or 4, can't remember) with the intention of drafting "the Swede". What I do remember though, is that GMGM told the Bruins GM that he had to talk it over with his guys. He goes back to his table, and calmly starts talking to his (scout, president, golf caddy? again, my ignorance shows) about the weather (or was it the guy's family?). They idly chitchat for a few moments, before GMGM calmly gets back to the rival GM with a, "thanks, but no thanks, they would have my job then kill me if I did it, but the offer was super tempting," absolute brilliant bit of acting that, if I handed them out, would have won him at least an Emmy. (no, not Steve, although that's another thing people are bickering about) GMGM and Ovie calmly ascend the platform, shake hands with Bettman, then GM introduces Ovie, who, in still heavily accented and halting English, says "The Washington Capitals are happy to pick Nicklas Backstrom." It put a smile on my face, thinking that a few years later, these two would be lighting it up and becoming as dynamic a duo as Lemieux and Jagr, Gretzky and Kurri.
So while others debate goalie status, free agency, how much to pay players (lets face it, I may never be able to comprehend those numbers, they're so high), whether we can afford so many blueliners without signing a "rugged, stay-at-home" type, what forwards go (we seem to have a problem with having a vast number of players for each position, including being talent-heavy on the left), injuries, etc, I'm just going to hang back. Offer a stat or two if I can think of it, give my general impression, but that's it. I'll let them hash it out. But I will say this, unless he signs away our best players (and I mean Ovie), institutes Capitals Ice Girls, or jacks ticket prices so high I won't even be able to afford to watch games on TV, I'm just going to sit back and let GMGM do his job. He's got a talented team feeding him info, one of the league's best (if not the best) owner in Ted Leonsis, and a squad of great, young guys led by a coach who seems to know exactly what this team needs.
So sports fans, don't get worked up over the little things. A win is a win is a win, regardless of who is in net. I respect Olie greatly, on and off the ice. And I may be in love with Huet. But I'm still an outsider looking in. I haven't quite crossed that threshold from rookie to veteran. I guess I picked a weird time to become a Caps fan if I really want to be taken seriously. I'm just gonna sit back, relax (as long as the guys let me) and take it all in. Because if they play for the next thirty years how they've played in the past thirty games, I'm going to need all the laid-back I can take between games. Cardiac Caps, indeed!!

Oh, and we won last night. On a OT goal by a guy most folks would be fine with shipping back down to the minors, or to another team; after a pretty goal by a guy that most folks think has the "sense of a rabbit" to tie the game.

Kharma's a beautiful woman with bad teeth and body odor.

Thursday, March 27, 2008

Thursday night is Hockey Night

Caps @ Tampa Bay Lightning

I think I'm just going to list thoughts that cross my mind during the game:
First period, no deep thoughts.
Great feed by Feds to Laich. Can't Jeff Halpern help out his hometown team? And the guys need to pick it up.
Second period, hmmmm....
First off, the point of face-offs is to get low and get the puck. But if Gordo gets any lower, we may have to get him a pool cue. I Love Huet! Mike Green can really hustle. (kind of a duh statement, but I'll make it.) John Tortorella gives great face; the camera angles on him are hilarious. I think Nick Backstrom is taking checking lessons from OV. He's got a good body check going on, including an open-ice shoulder hit. Oh and Milan Jurcina is pretty freaking awesome. John Erskine, eh, not so much. But Big John has his good points, so I won't crucify him. Brads may have a future as an outfielder or wide receiver if he decides he doesn't like hockey. Nice catch and release for a go-ahead goal. And I'll give Picard props, even though he tied it back up for the 'Ning, because that was a great shot.
If I hear Joe B say "two-two, through two" one more time, I may scream. DC has really bad commercials. That stupid "Pass Gas" commercial is getting to me. I can't figure out if I should laugh or scream in frustration. Of all the car commercials in DC that I've seen, apparently no one drives anything but luxury vehicles. Toronto needs to pick it up. They need to win in regulation. Ottawa needs to keep scoring goals. If they win in regulation, that would be nice.
Third period:
Why do people in Northern California care about our games? They always broadcast them there. Damn, the one time when Juice being able to skate faster would have been amaaaazing. I love Huet. Not to whine, but why can't the Lightning just accept the stellar draft pick that would be headed their way if they just let us win.... I'm stopping now. I'll post after the game.

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Tuesday night

I had every plan on blogging about the game tonight, but I found D2: Mighty Ducks on TV. Oh, the wonderful days of childhood. Anywho, Caps won in a shootout. Viktor Kozlov is my hero, once again... Oh, and did I mention I love Russian forwards and French goalies?? Hmmmm.... my night is complete. Oh, and Ovie is now sole possessor of Caps' single season goal record...

Saturday, March 22, 2008

Hockey Hangover

Well, its not as bad as the drinking hangover, but today, my heart still skips beats randomly whenever my thoughts turn to last night. My breath gets a little shallow and my head spins (mainly with the possibilities of it all). I did a little happy dance when I got up this morning/afternoon. How sweet it is to be a fan of the Capitals right now. Although I may need a new heart after season's end (whenever that may be) to replace the one I've got now that is seriously being overworked.
Well, I've got laundry to do and a paper to write. And I should probably go to church tomorrow....

Thank God for the Washington Capitals!!!

Friday, March 21, 2008


Victory, thy name is Nicklas Backstrom! Hell Yes!! Final score 5-3.
I lost my wireless internet connection with about 5 minutes left in the game. I freaked. I tried to reconnect four times before throwing my hands up in defeat and making a mad dash for my friend's desk to plug in. Backstrom scored twice in 32 seconds to tie the game and put us up by one. With less than a minute left, Gordo hits an empty netter. 82 points, 9th place. Two points out of 7th, one point out of 8th. But also, one point out of our old stomping ground of #10. We really don't need to do that again, especially if the Caps want fans alive enough to cheer for them.

Oh, and did I mention, Ovie hit 60??? Yes!!!

Oh Lord Why?

Wow, these guys are really trying to test me loyalty, aren't they?? The game versus Atlanta is only in the second intermission as I write this. Every game from now on is really a "must win", its pretty redundant to say it. But this game is a must win. #59 by Ovie in the first. Then, 3 unanswereds by Atlanta, including two from a guy who had scored four all season prior to tonight. Some folks are of the opinion we can come back. I'd like to agree, but lets face it, Atlanta really does look like they spent the past week studying every single game tape that is available on us. They know exactly how to exploit every weakness we've got (which can be numerous depending on the game). They've had a PP goal, a shortie, and an even-strength goal. Others are already talking about who the Caps fans should cheer for come playoff time since we're obviously not going to have a home team to cheer for.
Once again I'm perched in front of my laptop, listening to Steve Kolbe calling the game, watching shots and plays on CBS Sportsline and wishing against all rational wishes that we can pull it together for the third and get it back. We need these points. Hell, we'll take a three point game if we have to. On the plus-side, the Maple Laffs are beating the Buffaslugs 3-1, too. The Rangers are tied up at two with the Flyers, which doesn't help us at the moment. We need the Rangers to win tonight (in regulation) to make it easier for us to take that #8 spot. Although if the Slugs and the Flies lose tonight, it doesn't do us a damn bit of good if we do too.
So here I go, diving headfirst (kinda like Sindy Crosby) into the third period, a wish and a prayer in my heart, and a gleam (vaguely resembling the Cup) in my eye.
Lets go Caps! You really shouldn't test my loyalty this far into it. Cause like LeeAnn Womack sings, "I may hate myself in the morning, but I'm gonna love you tonight." And as long afterwards as it makes sense....

Wednesday, March 19, 2008


Okay, that one hurt. I didn't get to see the game, but listened to the second and third periods via the Blackhawks website. I gotta say, parts of me are really happy I didn't actually have to watch. Those same parts are also glad I missed the first period. Folks around the web pretty much have the same opinion (with the exception of a few who just hate us), that we looked tired, couldn't do anything right to save our souls, and just overall fell apart. And I, for one, (although it was painful to listen to and sit through) am glad. Yeah, we needed that. Folks back home in the south use cattleprods to jolt slow cows into action. So the game tonight, lets pray, was the worlds biggest cattleprod to the collective hind-end of the Washington Capitals. Lets also pray that the guys get some rest tomorrow in Atlanta so they can come out swinging (please God, not literally though). I'm trying to stay with the team motto "One game at a time". Since we're already on our knees, lets also pray that the reason Ovie only registered 2 shots on goal (that can't be right) is not an injury. Because if they think that Ovie shouldn't win the Hart just because the Caps don't make the playoffs, watch what happens if we lose him. There won't be a Capitals team left to make the playoffs should that happen. Of course, we could turn into the Canes or Pens and play better without him (which would be sad), but I wouldn't hold out much hope for us should he have to sit out a game or two (or please no, more). Eh, life is weird sometimes, ya know?? If I was drinking, readers, I would raise my glass to you and say "Here's to Friday! And to an Atlanta team that has hopefully forgotten where that vulcanized rubber disk goes! Cheers!"
Back on Friday after the game (or Thursday if something important comes to my attention).

Introduction to the Blog

I guess I should start by telling the world a little bit about myself, in relation to hockey and why I'm back in the game. I grew up in Nova Scotia (which does not disqualify me from being an all-around Sindey Crosby-eye roller. More on that later.). I moved to rural Southern Virginia against my will (parents) at ten. Life was hard for a foreigner in a county not many people leave, let alone move to. I did my best to fit in; dropped the accent and picked up a Southern one, stopped watching hockey (as if we got games on TV as it is), even played softball for a season (which I am unequivocally awful at). My eighth grade year, a kid moved to our county from up north (Indiana, Pennsylvania, somewhere) and bless me, he was a hockey fan. Not die-hard, but he knew the game.
I started watching hockey again my junior year of high school, trying to keep up with the teams, etc. I rooted for Carolina because they were close. (Let me just explain briefly that I was the worst bandwagon-jumper you've ever known, in all sports, all seasons, until this one. I'd barely pay attention to the season but would pick a team every year in the finals, follow them until they got knocked off and pick somebody else. I had no loyalty whatsoever) I cheered for Calgary to win that year because Tampa beat out the Canes (if I remember correctly). (bad choice) Senior year--lockout. Damn you!
My freshman year of college, I moved to within a few hours of DC, although I was still a Canes fan. I won five dollars off my brother that year because I said the Canes would go all the way, although in my heart, I kind of wanted the Oilers to win because they're a Canadian team. 2006-2007 season I didn't really follow the season (life got in the way), but come play-offs, I was gunning for the Senators (Canadian team).

I had never actually been to a hockey game (aside from the Junior A games as a kid) before this year. A good friend and I decided to take advantage of the Student Rush nights that the Capitals offered and went to a game with my older brother--December 20th. Habs @ Caps. Final score? Habs-5, Caps-2. (Ironically enough, Huet was in net for the Habs and getting heckled by the folks in the seats around us (which were in the lower bowl, attendence was that low)). The Caps lost, but I was hooked. After that, every game, I was in front of my friend's big screen TV (or on my laptop hitting refresh every five seconds) or at work cursing my luck and praying TiVo was working.
So far this season, I have taken off work to watch a game. I told a professor that I had to leave class for an appointment in DC just to get to the box office in time to get a ticket (hey, an important appointment in my book). I've bitten my fingernails off, come very close to several aneurysms and heart-attacks, gone to what passes for a honky-tonk in my jersey after a big win(which earns me hard stares everytime), nearly burned my jersey (it's bad luck for me to wear it during a game, but that's a bit extreme), had tears form (once), and yelled at someone who told me the score when I was at work with the game being TiVo'd back home (the Minnesota game we won 4-1). I've scared the dog, probably scared my friends, and I'm still looking for someone in this town who knows the game well and will dissect each and every game with me and teach me a few more things about the game (my friends are great, but just kind of nod along like I do when they're talking about basketball or baseball).
Longtime Caps fans may accuse me of being a bandwagon-jumper. (Hey, I admitted to being one at one point and I did technically start watching after they put Boudreau behind the bench, which has been a big part of the upturn in their game from what I've heard) But this is something different. For the first time, I actually own a jersey for a team I actually care about (sorry Aunt Mary, but the Canucks jersey doesn't count), not that I can wear it during the game. I'm watching the regular season (helps to have CSN) with the attitude that even if we don't go all the way, there's always next year (with the same team). The Caps have a great, young, talented team. Sure I might groan about dumb plays during the game, but that's what youth is for (I should know, I'm the OV of being young and stupid). I have every faith that each season will only get better. I have complete faith that, one day, OV will raise the Cup above his head in DC. Would I like it to be this season? Of course. But whether its this season, or the one after, etc., it will happen. Because those awful "rebuilding years" longtime Caps fans joke about are going to pay-off. They can do it, and when they do, their newest fan will be right there screaming at her TV, or if luck is with me, in the stands screaming.