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