Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Decision 2008

No, not a post about politics. Though I did just get my hair cut and I asked for "young and fun". Instead, I got this.

I have posted a bit on Cap Addiction about my hectic spring and summer, which saw me traveling for work about 80% of the time. Some of it was fun, some stressful and some of it just plain sucked. Like being stuck at Albuquerque Airport during Hurricane Dolly. I also had some bad moments about leaving this blog unattended for so long, but there wasnt much I could do about it. And as usual with me, I eventually got over it.

With the first pre-season game tomorrow, the decision I have to make is over my season tickets. With all that traveling, something became really clear to me -- I want to continue traveling. And not for work, and not just in America. So after a two week stint on the road, I came back to my office and resigned. And for right now, all my future plans entail is a road trip I am leaving for tomorrow, a trip to Central America in November, and an extended trip to Asia and the South Pacific in December and January. Not much time for hockey, eh?

I have been holding onto my season tickets, even as I booked my flights and started packing up my apartment (yup, I'm leaving DC too). Even as I am writing this post, my season tickets are sitting on my dresser. And even as I get ready to leave tomorrow, I dont know that I am going to be able to call and cancel them. I have every logical reason to give up my tickets and every emotional one to keep them and try to get to any game that I can. Decision 2008 isnt going to be an easy one for me, at least in one sense.

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

ESPN kinda blows

So the one nice thing about traveling this much for work (well, two nice things -- I just got to spend a weekend in San Francisco), is that I get to watch some TV. I'm not really a huge TV watcher in my normal life (normal life = being home 95% of the time) but spending this much time in hotels and airports means I watch a LOT of TV. And since most hotel TVs give you HBO, 4 channels of ESPN or CNN, ESPN seemed like the best choice. HBO always that Bunny Ranch show on, and while I'm sure plenty of people enjoy it, its not really my thing. CNN just annoys me...Wolf Blizter has got to be the worst fake anchor name of all time.

I stopped watching ESPN a handful of years ago, when they decided beach volleyball and bowling where more important to broadcast then hockey. But even when I stopped watching, I had no idea that it had so completely gone down the tubes. ESPN kinda blows.

Problem 1: They have nothing on hockey. Fine, self explanatory. Its summer, and they really dont cover hockey anyway.

Problem 2: ESPN is like CNN's stepchild. Everything is on loop. Constantly. I started putting ESPN on in the mornings, and in the hour it takes for me to shower, put on make up, and slap some gunk in my hair, they repeat the same news, the same teasers, the same commericals, over and over. Nothing original whatsoever. By the time I left California, I could perfectly imitate Jeremy Schaap's voice saying, "Why Joe Torre isnt upset over Manny being Manny...coming up next". Except it never came up next. They just looped back to same news stories they showed 15 minutes earlier.

And this isnt just on ESPN news...its every ESPN channel. And when they arent busy looping the same news, its either those SportsCenter commercials (can I recommend that they spend less time on the commercials and more time on original programming?) or beach volleyball. Or lacrosse. Or college wrestling.

Problem 3: The jokes. Oh, the jokes. I know the jokes are supposed to be aimed at the audience in some sort of "I mean this ironically but not really if you laugh and no one is as smart as I (an ESPN writer) so even if you dont laugh, I am laughing at you for not laughing" kind of way. Yes, I can discern all that from the smirks on the faces of these anchors when they deliver their not funny jokes. But seriously, stop it with the jokes. It's a little pathetic.

I am moving back to HBO. When they dont have Bunny Ranch on, they have Generation Kill on loop, and at least I kinda like that show. Much better then watching Jeremy Schaap preen at the camera, AGAIN.

PS: I know many of you already came to this conclusion long ago, so pardon me for being a little slower to get there. I really didnt watch it until the past couple months or so and I'll probably never watch it again. Until I am in an airport next week.

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

Now we just need Mike Comrie!

So the Caps signed Jose Theodore. I can only say...that's hot.

Photo from

Saturday, June 14, 2008

I miss hockey.

I'm re-posting here what I blogged about on HLOG about three months ago. Its even more appropriate to my life now.

In the past few months, the whole blogging vs. job that pays me money argument has taken up a considerable amount of room in my thoughts. Granted, my thoughts usually revolve around hockey, Chipotle and if I can get away with another day of not shaving my legs.

What brought about this internal argument was a career change. I recently started a new job that has long hours, lots of travel (to weird places with no hockey teams) and is 100% consuming of my time at work. The perk to my old job was that while some days were high stress, I still had time during the day to read hockey blogs, comment on them, and post on Capital Addiction, even if just on my lunch hour. My weekends are typically spent away from the computer so I dont have much time to post then either.

The question I have been struggling with is what makes a good hockey blogger (who posts the most?), and how do you assauge your guilt over not tending quite as diligently to your blog as you may have in the past? Or in other words, how the heck do I have a crazy job, season tickets to the Caps, soemthing of a social life, and still find time to be a good hockey blogger?

To give some perspective to this argument, I'll note here that I used to post about 1-2 day at least. Currently, I am lucky to post 2 times a week on my blog.

I still dont have all the answers, but in thinking about this, I've come to a few conclusions. Yes, I would love to be paid to write about hockey all day. But I'm not, people still pay attention to John Buccigross more then me, and I have to pay the rent, so life goes on. I havent found a solution to the guilt I feel over leaving my blog without new content for days at a time (the closest feeling I can compare it to is feeling like a bad mommy). My hockey blog is incredibly important to me, definitely not as much as a child, but it remains a fulfilling part of my life.

I've also realized that if I forced myself to post as much as I used to, the consequence would be poorer quality of posts, not to mention some growing resentment towards something that was a valued hobby. As much as I would like to post at least 30 times a month, perhaps its better that I write 15 good posts a month?

As I mentioned, I dont have all the answers on this one. As hockey bloggers who are also mothers, students and career jugglers, many of us are facing this same struggle. I imagine that some hockey bloggers out there, male or female, might be facing the same internal struggle and guilt, so I thought I would share my thoughts on this.

Originally posted to HLOG on March 30, 2008.

Friday, May 9, 2008

Bear with me...

I'm almost back, I promise! To the lovely folks who have emailed me, I havent gotten hit by a bus or diappeared completely, just working. In the meantime ... Go Penguins. Yes, really.

Also, cant figure out if I am happy that the Flyers have gotten so far because that "justifies" the Caps early knock out, or if I am still just disgusted.

Wednesday, April 23, 2008


I have had a work project for the last few weeks that has kept me in the office about 18 hours a day. Not a lot of time for blogging in there. I managed to catch most of the Caps games on TV, and all of them in person.

I suppose I thought the forced days of hockey exile would inoculate me a bit if the Caps lost tonight. That's not the case, at all. Like every other Caps fan, I am heartbroken. I'm grateful for the most amazing season of hockey that I have ever seen. I'm grateful to have seen Alex Ovechkin undoubtedly take over as the super star of the NHL, have my heart lift at the sight of Sergei Federov flying around the ice one more time, and watch Olie during what will probably be his last season in Washington. And most of all I am grateful for the amazing effort that every member of the Caps put forward.

But my heart is still a little cracked.

Monday, April 14, 2008

From flying high to crashing low, all in one weekend

Hm. I was too hung over to post anything about the Caps edge-of-your-seat win on Friday night. And now I am glad I didnt.

As I have mentioned, there are some aspects of the Capitals' collective game that make them successful. Consistent play and a good forecheck are the two most present factors in the Capitals wins. Unfortunately, neither of these two showed up for very long on Sunday (if at all), and the Capitals lost an important game on home ice. They now go into Tuesday's game in Philadelphia under the gun -- they have to win at least one on Philly's turf in order to return to DC with the series even. A much better prospect then returning with three losses, and their head on the chopping block if they should lose one more game.

Here is what sticks out for me the most:

I've got to give it to the Flyers, they found a way to shut down Ovie, sneak some past Huet and keep the game under their control. The Caps looked as nervous as a virgin on prom night, which certainly helped the Flyers keep their game going.

Give me Steve Eminger over John Erskine. John Erskine has got two inches and six pounds on Steve Eminger. Steve Eminger has got a brain. I'll take Eminger, please.

It was pretty plain to see that the Flyers were picking on Cristobal Huet. In the third period, Huet was finally fed up and tossed around some healthy shoves. Good for him, but the Caps d-men need to do a better job of kicking those Flyers out of the crease. Scott Hartnell was parked there for so long, I memorized every wrinkle in the back of his jersey.

Ovie might have been shut down offensively, but defensively he did a pretty good job. In that category, he is a ton better then he was last season.

Milan Jurcina. Not sure what to do with him. When he uses his huge size, he is scary and effective. But more often then not, I see him playing too tentatively for a guy who is 6'4 and 230 lbs. Consistency and confidence issues are what got him booted out of Boston, lets hope they dont continue to haunt him here.

I would give anything to see Scott Hartnell stop being a little bitch and actually fight Donald Brashear. It would be the ass kicking of a lifetime.

So, anyone braving Philly for a game?

Friday, April 11, 2008

Flyers vs. Capitals, Game 1


Thursday, April 10, 2008

Too much hype

Dear ESPN, TSN, Pierre McGuire, Don Cherry, etc:

Stop talking about my team. Pretty please? Stop talking about our "Cinderella run", how under-rated we are, how hard working, how we are definitely going to trounce the Flyers. Please, please, stop. Have I officially lost it? Maybe. Read on, then judge.

I've had Caps season tickets for two years and watched them on and off for a handful of years prior to that. What I have liked most about being a Capitals fan (and this is essentially selfish) is our little community. Yeah, there isnt a huge hockey community in DC but its a loyal one that has been selling out homes game. But the community here is tight and we all sort of recognize each other, going in and out of the metro to the Verizon Center for six months. We see each other at practice, nod hello on VC escalators, comment each other to death on blogs. And since DC is a classic band wagon town, we'll see a our ranks swell when the Caps are on a run, then even out again to the loyalists. Its as intimate an experience as you will ever get in professional sports.

But all of sudden, the Caps are everyone's team. And after watching a painful rebuilding process for the Caps, I cant help be a little weary of all these new accolades coming our way. As Shan pointed out, where are all the gloating Caps fans? Well, we are hiding behind our computers and vintage Langway jerseys, hoping that all this sudden attention doesnt distract our very young team, the majority of whom have a season or two under their belt and no playoff experience. I cant help but be a little fearful when I hear that the press box can hardly contain all the out of town journalists, after the press box used to ring if not emptily, then at the least was a bit lonely with beat writers from the Washington Post and Washington Times as the only print news regulars.

I also want to add the caveat here that I am not worried about all the chatting blogs are doing about the Capitals (including, of course, my own). I'm superstitious about all the talking heads claiming that the Flyers are going down because the Capitals are hot, hot, hot. And Cinderalla. Or some version of that.

Its entirely possible and likely that I am being paranoid, and as the Caps are consummate professionals, they will go into the playoffs with the same vigor and determination they showed in the last weeks of the off season. But I hope you dont blame me for being just a bit scared, and crossing my fingers every time I see the words "Cinderella" and "Capitals" in a story.

Note: I regularly blog over at Hockey's Ladies of Greatness, and this is a piece originally written for that site. Be sure to head over there and check out a great hockey website, written entirely by fangirls.

Note 2: I may have blogged too soon! Here is another article on the Caps, and its nice to see some love for Tom Poti.

Wednesday, April 9, 2008

McGrattan likely out of Ottawa after post season

The Ottawa Sun has an interesting piece on Sens enforcer Brian McGrattan, which features some pretty candid quotes from McGrattan:

"I understand my role here. I don't have a great education. My brother has a university degree, but I hated school. I couldn't wait to get out. I have a choice: Back home working in the steel mill or fight for 20 seconds with 20,000 people cheering. The people love it. I really don't care what some people's negative perception of me might be. They can think what they want."
I have to admit that I have a soft spot for enforcers (not to be confused with goons because there is a difference). McGrattan doesnt feel sorry for himself at all, but you can tell that he yearns to play for more then 3 minutes a night or be a healthy scratch more often then not. I cant blame him. There is no doubt that big, physical players belong in the league, but post lockout there seems to be a sense that there is very little middle ground for these guys -- they are either meant to keep the other team in line, or to be benched.

With all the focus on small, speedy players after the lockout, many of these enforcers have been put in the position of trying to validate their role. Just look at our own Donald Brashear, who astutely assessed where the NHL was headed after the lockout and made sure that he showed he was much more then just ice police. Brasher has played a vital role for the Caps, including energy guy on a line with Matt Bradley to shake up the opposing team's forwards with hard hits and has most importantly played the role of enforcer competently (ahem, John Erskine). I'm not scared that Donald Brasher is going to make a foolish mistake every time he steps off the bench, which I'm note sure that Flyers fans can say about Steve Downie or Rangers fans about Colton Orr. Dont tell me that players like Brash should be on the ice for a maximum of three minutes a game.

Wow, I guess that was more of a rant then a post on Brian McGrattan, but I do hope that he finds a team that can value his play and give him a role similar to Brashear's. Something tells me that Brian McGrattan will surprise a lot of people as a solid fourth line center, once he gets a fair shake.

Tuesday, April 8, 2008

Dan Steinberg, mad Caps blogger

Steinberg once called me a mad Caps blogger (it brought to mind images of 1998, which is the last time I can remember using the term "mad"), so I am going to throw it back at him. Lately this guy is covering the Caps like nobody's business - which is awesome - so I'll just point you in the direction of his blogging and let you have at it. This must be what it feels like to be a Wizards fan and read DC Sports Bog.

To recap:

-Don Brashear has a blog (I'm scared not to read it)
-Mike Green thinks he can grow a beard (I'm not even sure that Mike Green can shave, but ok)
-Someone is roaming around with a mohawk

And some more goodies. Go check'em out.

The Caps are mainstream!

After years of being laregely ignored by the Washington Press, the Caps have made it. How do I know? Sergei Federov made it into The Reliable Source:

· Sergei Fedorov celebrating the Caps' playoff-clinching victory Saturday night with a dinner for about six or seven at Teatro Goldoni. The newly acquired center came in wearing a baseball cap but politely removed it.
Or maybe the Caps made it when the powered their way into the playoffs and the Washington Press is just catching on....

Sunday, April 6, 2008

Lecavalier to have shoulder surgery

Something tells me that Matt Cooke isnt going to be on Big Vinny's Christmas card list this year:

Tampa Bay Lightning center Vincent Lecavalier will have surgery to repair damage to his right shoulder.

Lecavalier was hurt in Thursday's game at Washington. His shoulder was dislocated when he fell awkwardly after a hit by Washington's Matt Cooke.

Personally, I saw the hit and thought it was clean. Cookie (a perfect nickname for a top instigator, no?) was fined $2,500 for it, but that seemed more of a "OMG, how could someone hurt NHL superstar Vinny?" type of deal to me. The refs didnt call anything on the play for a reason.

In other news, the Caps will play the Flyers in the first round of the playoffs, most likely to start on Thursday. I'm still flying high from yesterday's win, but when I come down, I'll have lots to stay about the league's dirtiest team. Most of it will start with the letter F.


An unbelievable and unforgettable night at the Verizon Center.

To the Washington Capitals players, coaches and staff -- thank you for an amazing season. Watching the team come full circle has been a wonderful experience as a fan and one I will never forget. No matter what happens this post season, I promise to keep believin'.

Photo courtesy of ESPN

Saturday, April 5, 2008

A perfect opportunity

For many of the Washington Capitals, tomorrow's game will be the biggest of their career. With Carolina losing its last game of the season to the Panthers tonight, they are stalled at 92 points. If the Caps will against the Panthers tomorrow, they will win the SE Division outright and a ticket to the playoffs as the third seed.

Pressure? Maybe just a bit. So what do the Caps have to do to win?

- Dont underestimate the Panthers. Yeah, they are out of the playoff race. But, the Cats are a dangerous team. Until the Capitals eliminated them from playoff contention a week ago, they were still making a run for it. Much like the Capitals, the Panthers have been trying to rebuild and are slowly - at times painfully - getting there. After tonight's win against a Canes team that had once ruled the SE Division and were desperate for a win, the Panthers are going to feel pretty confident. And when you are out of playoff contention, whats more fun then playing spoiler?

- Get physical. When the Caps are throwing their weight around, are aggressive on the forecheck and pass the puck well, they are very very good. Milan Jurcina, Tom Poti, Matt Bradley, Matt Cooke, Donald Brashear and of course Alex Ovechkin are all capable of bone jarring hits. The trouble with the Caps is that they often dont maintain their physical play through the game, which leads to...

- Consistency. What has made me the most hopeful about the Cap's recent run is that they have become more focused and consistent for all 60 minutes. Yeah, there are some blips here and there, but for the most part their minds are wholly in the game. If the Caps can be consistent in playing their game, they'll emerge the SE Division champs.

- Alex Ovechkin. No doubt, AO has carried this team all alone at times. Now that he is getting some more help from the likes of Brooks Laich, Matt Cooke, Sergei Federov, and Victor Kozlov, AO can relax...just a little. For the Caps to win tomorrow and in any playoff round, the AO machine must continue on track, and there certainly isnt an indication its slowing down. Something tells me the pressure of the playoffs would only ignite Ovie some more.

- Secondary scoring. Ok, ok...I just said that Alex Ovechkin's scoring was one of the key points of the Caps recent streak. And this point also very much pertains to any games that the Caps would play in further rounds but the likes of Brooks Laich, Matt Cooke, Sergei Federov, and Victor Kozlov must continue racking up the assists and/or goals. Defensemen will be on Ovie like a puck bunny at a player's party, and he'll need some help.

At the end of the day, the Caps know what they must do to win. Carolina handed them a perfect situation tonight to show the NHL how far the Caps have come in a short period of time, and I dont think anyone on that team is going to give up that opportunity.

Friday, April 4, 2008

Thursday, April 3, 2008

I never thought I would say this

Thank you Pittsburgh Penguins. For today, you are off my shit list. If you lose to the Flyers on Sunday, you are back on. Actually, you are back on no matter what but enjoy these few days of less hatred being aimed at you.

And Crosby, this was unnecessary.

Photo blatantly copied from ESPN

Tuesday, April 1, 2008


Thats the word Alex Ovechkin used here to describe tonight's 4-1 win over the Canes and I couldnt agree with him more.

If someone claims that the Phone Booth wasnt as loud tonight as one of those "hockey towns" like Calgary or Montreal, that person is a tool.

From the blanket of red that covered Verizon Center to the chants of MVP to the great saves by Cristobal Huet to the bone crunching and at times emotional play to the last joyful celebration by the Caps on the ice, it was all unbelievable.

I can hands down say that tonight was one of the best live games I have ever attended, for any sport.

The Caps came out with a hard, desperate edge, fully aware that their playoff hopes were hinged on tonight. That tonight would determine if every painful injury and long road trip was worth it. That tonight would help prove that they had graduated from what many last season considered an AHL team playing in the NHL, to a full fledged playoff contender demanding of respect. And they did it.

Matt Cooke's first goal took the edge off, but as the Caps seemed to be resting on their laurels a bit too much in the beginning of the second period - which resulted in a Canes goal to cut the margin to 2-1 for the Caps - they came alive. Its as if the Caps came full circle in tonight's contest, with many of those tough calls that happened in Boston and Pittsburgh losses finally falling to our favor. They let the Canes re-dominate the play a bit again in the third but most importantly, they once again pulled themselves back from that edge and finished the job. Exactly what they will have to do if their season should continue past Saturday.

No doubt that there is a tough road ahead. The Canes play the Ning in Carolina tomorrow, then the Panthers in Carolina as well. Should the Canes win both those contests, and the Caps win their next two contests as well, the Canes will still win the SE Division due to having one more overall win on the season then the Caps. The Caps are currently at 41 wins, the Canes at 42.

Philly and Boston remain tied in the 8th and 7th slots with 91 points. They also each have a game in hand on the Capitals. Should they each win their next three games, even with the Capitals winning their next two as well, Philly and Boston would still beat us with 97 points to the Caps 94 points. The Rangers stand at number 5 in the East with 93 points and three games while the Senators stand at number 6 with 92 points and two games remaining (one against the Bruins in Ottawa).

But for now, we are still alive and tonight was still unbelievable. For tonight, that's all that matters.

Please. please.please.please.please.please

Thats how my sentences are starting lately and will likely continue through 9:30pm.

We MUST win this game. I dont have to add anything else, its all been said (and hopefully will be said again in the Caps lockeroom before the game).

I am going to spend the rest of the day at work, containing myself until tonight.


Saturday, March 29, 2008

From Daniel Alfredsson's lips... God's ear. Let the prayers begin, with four games left and a margin of error at zero.

Fifth-place Ottawa, which has won once in its last five games, could still earn home ice in the first round -- or miss the playoffs entirely.

"It's a possibility," forward Daniel Alfredsson said. "We know we could lose all three and Washington wins out and we could be out. And then we don't deserve to be in the playoffs, it's as simple as that."

Read the whole thing here, which also recaps the Bruins 4-0 drubbing of the Sens this afternoon.

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Surprise, surprise

As I am anxiously awainting the start of the Caps/Canes game (serious nail biting and antacid popping is taking place) I wanted to share a piece of hockey news that just shocked me. I mean truly really was unblievable........

Quebec Remparts goalie Jonathan Roy was suspended for seven games, and Remparts coach Patrick Roy -- Jonathan's father -- was suspended for five games following Saturday's melee between their team and the Chicoutimi Sagueneens in a Quebec Major Junior Hockey League playoff.
Also, isnt it kind of weird that Jonathan Roy refers to his dad as Patrick?
"Patrick looked at me and told me to calm down," Jonathan Roy said. "I said to myself, 'He doesn't want me to go,' but when the line judge released me, I said to myself ... 'I'm going.'"

Friday, March 21, 2008

Happy 60th (sorta)

Congrats Alex!

Gay hockey fans uncomfortable at the Garden

A really interesting (and worrying) read from the NYT. I think we are pretty lucky at the VC to not have a lot of garbage like what is written below (at least that I hear):

During the final 10 minutes of many Rangers home games, the spotlights focus on Section 407 as Larry Goodman, a longtime season-ticket holder, pumps up the crowd with a goofy dance.

As Goodman’s routine is broadcast on the giant monitors above the ice, a familiar chant picks up momentum. “Ho-mo Lar-ry!” the crowd shouts. “Ho-mo Lar-ry!”

The chant is one example of what several gay hockey fans describe as a toxic atmosphere during Rangers games and that Madison Square Garden, which owns the team, is not doing nearly enough to address their concerns.

And if you think calling someone a homo is a good way to communicate, you are an idiot. Ahem, Rangers fans.

Tip to Nicole for the heads up.

Sunday, March 16, 2008

This and that

Lots of things to talk about today. I'll start in the order of thoughts in my mind, which is both illogical and scary.
Random thought #1. Steve Eminger: Oh man, do I feel bad for him these days. I know, I know, I was hard on him not too long ago. But I never thought that the Caps would totally screw him that way that they have. And make no doubt, they are screwing him. And please remember, I do have a lot of affection for Hair Gel.

So what brought this about? This tidbit from Tarik El-Bashir's online chat at the WaPo:

Washington, D.C.: Have you spoken to Eminger since the trade deadline? On deadline day you reported he was pretty sure he was leaving. And, now, he's still here and will be lucky to have played 1/4 of the games. Has he become more frustrated and bitter or his mood about the same?

Tarik El-Bashir: I speak to Steve a lot. He's actually one of my favorite guys to chat with.He definitely expected to be moved at the deadline, and is definitely not happy with his current situation. How could he be? A guy (Erskine) goes down, and instead of playing him, they call up Sami Lepisto.

Eminger is beyond frustrated at this point. Something tells me that on breakup day (whenever that arrives), he's going to have plenty to say.
No one can blame the guy for being frustrated right now. In November, I thought that Eminger was being ridiculous because he was for sure going to get more of a chance to play. Either through an injury to a teamate or simply giving him another shot, I thought that within another month Eminger would be fairly regularly rotated through games. That hasnt happened at all, and for all the talk that Eminger hasnt lived up to his potential (picked12th overall in 2002), he is definitely a top six D-man. In the few games he has appreared in, he has been solid. Not great, but not terrible. And its pretty tough to be great when you are mostly sitting in the press box and have no chance to get a rythym going.

I also cant help but look at Jeff Schultz's play and at times think that I would prefer Eminger. I think that Schultz is coming along, and has been pretty solid when paired with Tom Poti, but he is not a physical presence. And he isnt a good enough defenseman to be a skill guy like Brian Pothier quite yet. Some of the plays he makes leave me baffled (as do some of the plays he doesnt make). Not to mention, he is 6'6. For the love of God, gain a few pounds and start hitting some people.

I thought the Caps would move Eminger at the trade deadline, but now that they havent and show no interest in playing him at all, I cant help but feel that they should cut him loose. As Tarik points out, even with an injury in the lineup, they chose to call Lepisto up rather then give Eminger a shot. Lepisto has been playing well and ultimately the the team has to do what it must to continue its longshot run for the playoffs. But, give the guy a chance to play somewhere in the league. After all the work he has put into his career, he deserves better.

And my final thought on this -- the Caps have been strangely silent about the Eminger situation. No thorough explanation of why he isnt playing. Maybe that means they think his play speaks for itself (and its not saying a whole lot) but I find it a bit odd. I hope they are being more communicative with Eminger.
Random thought #2:

So thrilling to see Sergei Federov score his first goal as a Cap. I'm not convinced that it was that thrilling for him (having scored plenty of goals in his lifetime, and a lot of them in the Stanley Cup finals) but I still feel excited everytime I see #91 flying around the ice.
Other random thoughts:
-Sami Lepisto is a pretty slick hockey player
-Cristobel Huet is a great goaltender and Bob Gainey must be senile. Except for the fact that the Habs are at the top of the East, so maybe Gainey is a secret genius?
-Brooks Laich is gonna get pretty popular with the dudes too if he continues to play score so many goals
-Everyone is oohing and aaahing over this quote from Laich:
"If you want money, go to the bank. If you want bread, go to the bakery. If you want goals, go to the net."
No shit Sherlock.What I wonder is why it took someone so long to actually do it, after I heard Bruce Boudreau mention it so much in his media comments that I was ready to jump on the ice and stand in front of the opposing goalie.

Saturday, March 15, 2008

Simon wonders at lack of Pronger suspension...along with the rest of the world

In general, I find Chris Simon to be an idiot. But he might actually have a point on this one:

Chris Simon thinks there's something wrong with the NHL's system for handing out discipline.

After watching Anaheim's Chris Pronger step on Vancouver's Ryan Kesler and walk away unpunished, the oft-suspended Minnesota Wild forward wondered why.

"It would be nice to have things treated fairly, at least," Simon said after the Wild practiced on Friday. "I don't think in that instance it's fair at all. I couldn't believe right away that nothing was going to be done about it. I still can't believe it."

The play happened Wednesday night when Pronger and Kesler became tangled behind the Vancouver net. As Pronger turned to head back up ice, replays show him stepping on Kesler's leg as the Canucks forward lay on the ice.

That is pretty ridiculous. You cant suspend a player thirty games for an incident like that, then look the other way when the next guy does it. There has long been the feeling that the NHL doesnt have the clearest policy on suspensions, and this incident isnt going to help it at all.

UPDATE: As commenter Dan, Jr. pointed out, the NHL rethought not suspending Pronger and he is now on the hook for 8 games. What I still dont understand is why their wasnt an automatic suspension, and why the length is so much shorter then Simon's 30 game ban. This isnt just a double standard (remember, Pronger now has 8 suspensions in his career, and Simon has the same number), its actually a full blown mental fart.

Friday, March 14, 2008

Bonjour, college hockey

Everyone agrees hockey is a sport best enjoyed live and in person. That is especially the case for US college hockey. In fact, this is usually the only way TO see games, because unless your cable package includes ESPN8 ("the Ocho!") or every regional sports station in the country, chances are you won’t see any games on TV. But lack of mainstream coverage is a part of what makes cramming into a hockey arena with a capacity of 2,300, and smells about the same as each of the team’s locker rooms, to watch a game so special.

Recently I returned to my alma mater, Colgate University, to see them take on Dartmouth. Colgate Hockey plays in the ECAC. While this is not one of the major college hockey conferences, compared to HockeyEast or the WCHA, the ECAC has its own charm and scrappiness. Not to mention it has produced some notable NHL talent of late: Erik Cole of Clarkson, Martin St. Louis of UVM (While UVM now plays in the HockeyEast, at the time of St. Louis tenure there they played in the ECAC) and Andy McDonald of Colgate.

There was no such talent on display last Saturday. It was a sloppy game with lots of stupid penalties. Being that the college game is much slower than the NHL, it places an even greater emphasis on special teams play. This was especially obvious in this game, as 4 of Dartmouth’s 5 goals came on the power play(ouch). As you can guess, Colgate lost the game, 5-2. The lone highlight for Colgate being a nice break away goal scored by Francois Brisebois. (Is that not the most awesome French Canadian hockey player name ever????)

But college hockey games are about so much more than just the box score. They are about packing into a small arena with bench seating. They are about yelling, screaming and the chants. (at Colgate, the tradition is after the announcer states “One minute remaining in the period” to yell “And [opposing school] still sucks!!!!!”). And of course, they are about running out during the intermissions to the stash of beer cans you hid in the snow behind the arena, and sneaking booze back in your soda cup.

VT is a college hockey fan, sometimes Capitals fan, and all the time Habs fan. Despite that, look for more posts from him in the future.

Thursday, March 13, 2008

Brooks Laich: has officially made it...

He has a fan site.

Via Ted's Take, this is amazing. Just imagine a world where Chuck Norris and Brooks Laich can live together...

Holy Mother!

Photo blatantly stolen from DC Sports Bog

Warning: This has nothing to do with hockey.

Can someone please please report back from this party? I figure that at least Ovie has to be getting an invite, right? I am desperately hoping that Dan Steinberg attends and reports. Since there are never any big sports parties in DC, and this one has so much potential to be a complete shit show, I am gonna need a full report. I can easily see the following things happening as a result of this party:
-Kim Kardashian sex tape, part two
-The Hoyas show up with a keg and peer pressure Richard Jefferson into doing a keg stand
-Someone decides throwing things at passing cars is a good idea and we get some great mugshots out of that. On the other hand, I shouldnt judge the Wizards on the actions of albino Canadian farm boys.

I'll have actual hockey news tomorrow, but this was too good to pass up posting about. By tomorrow I'll also have convinced myself to not post about my wild conspiracy theories around Gary Bettman's agenda against the Caps, to be played out by refs making bad calls. All in my head? Possibly, but this is the internet, so I can post all sorts of crazy thoughts!

Monday, March 10, 2008

Still speechless

Ok, not really speechless. I can bitch, which is what I am about to do. Its also ten times better then the profanity laced tirade I was going to unleash on the internets on both Saturday and Sunday afternoon.

Un-fucking-believable (a little profanity was called for). Saturday's horrific loss, and Sunday's massive fuckup were completely winnable games. Yeah, I feel bad for Nicky and the own goal. That sucks, and was a complete accidental fuck up. But I saw one Capital crashing the net all night, and low and behold....he scored a goal. Congratulations Brooks Laich.

Saturday's loss was hard to swallow, through a maze of bad calls and some serious lack of discipline. But the lack of urgency I saw from some of the Capitals on Sunday was even harder to cope with.

I've been sitting on this post all day, so I am finally going to stop wrestling with my thoughts and hit publish. But I do it very sadly, and with dimmed hope for April/May.

Saturday, March 8, 2008

While watching the Bruins game...

A couple thoughts really stick out. No, not the opening fights, or hard hitting game, or Brooks Laich's continued (surprising) offensive push.

First, the Caps should never show this commerical again. Ever. I am as big an Ovie fan as you can find, but even I think this is a ridiculously bad...and not in a good way:

Two: Was GMGM wearing a mock turtleneck during the Nicklas Backstrom special with Lisa Hillary? I think he was, which completely cancels out any points he got for his superior wrangling skills in getting Cristobal Huet for a second round pick. And not just a mock turtleneck, but a pinstriped suit on top of that. I think someone's closet it still stuck in 1988, when Michael Keaton, mock turtlenecks, and men drinking red wine was hot.

PS: Matt Cooke...I'm not sure I believe that knee on knee hit to Allen was an accident.

PPS: Ouch. Chara just hurt his shoulder and went to the lockeroom. If I'm a Bruins fan, I'm flipping off the game and hurrying to Church for some Hail Marys.

PPPS: No, I didnt mean to live blog the game. Sort of happening by accident, inspired by that bad commercial and the mock turtleneck.

PPPPS: A triple minor on Brash, a penalty for Erskine, and a penalty for Poti. $%&^!!!!!!

Wednesday, March 5, 2008

Not a hockey town?

Monday night game
I meant to post this on Monday, but I was beer.

I hear a lot of crap about DC not being a hockey town, about DC not being able to support a hockey team, about DC only being a football town...blah blah blah.

I hope some of those naysayers watched the Bruins/Caps game on Monday night. A Monday weeknight, gorgeous weather, the Caps playing a team that doesnt necessarily have the draw as teams like Toronto, Buffalo and Pittsburgh. The factors werent exactly ideal for a rousing crowd, in most cities. My seatmate and I both thought that there would be usual crowd of about 12K in the Phone Booth.

We were pleasantly surprised shocked.

The place was packed, and not with a bunch of yellow sweaters either. It was packed with Capitals fans. Yes, on a Monday night, with gorgeous weather, playing the Bruins. And not only was it packed, it was electric. I dare those naysayers to speak up now. The crowd was on its feet with every call, oohing and aahing with every swish of blades, hard slap shot, and curving wrister. They were passionate and involved and everything that you could ask a sports fan to be.

Bandwagoners? Maybe. The Caps are certainly providing the most exciting run in DC sports right now. And what individual is more exciting in DC sports then Alex Ovechkin? So I dont want to hear any BS on DC not supporting a hockey team. Those fans on Monday will have somthing to say about that.

Wilson High Update
THANK you to everyone who came out for Friday's fundraiser. Nearly 100 people raised over 2K for the Wilson High team...the ONLY varsity team in the District. Some of the Wilson players came with their parents, and they were terrific. One exclaimed to me that he couldnt believe that all these people cared enough to help support his team. Heck yeah, we really care. So thanks again for your generousity and you can still donate to the team here.

Friday, February 29, 2008

A good cause

I dont usually ask a lot of Cap Addiction readers. Yes, yes...I ask you to be that annoying drunk guy at the wedding who got up and made toast to the bride's anatomy, or be that person who believes that you are never too old for keg stands, etc. But, I havent asked you for your money (yet).

Cap Addiction, On Frozen Blog, Japers Rink, Peerless Prognosticator, 3 Grumpy Caps Fans and Off Wing Opinion are hosting a fund raiser tonight for the Wilson High hockey team. They need our help with funding to continue being the ONLY high school in the District with a varsity hockey team. They've been through some tough times lately, and our generosity will help them continue to play hockey.

Here are the details: (and you can read more here)

Where: Clydes at Gallery Place, second floor event room
Who: Hosted by six Capitals blogs, all money raised will go the Wilson High School hockey team
When: Doors open at 6:30pm, the Capitals game will be broadcast on the TV in the room. Food will be served, and there will be a bar. Ten bucks to get in, and we'll feed you at that!
What: AUCTION. Thats right, there will be an auction to raise money. Items include an Ovechkin stick signed by him, a stick signed by all the members of the Bears, and even more. Bring your checkbooks, no credit cards will be accepted.

Cant be there? You can donate online HERE.

Tonight, please open your hockey lovin' heart and your wallet to help hockey flourish in our Capitol.

See you there!

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

To ponder

GMGM on Sergei Fedorov:

"We're hoping he's got one more good fight in him," McPhee said. "He's a veteran guy who's had success in this league, who's good on faceoffs and can still make a play."
Every Caps fan tonight is hoping (this one desperately) that Fedorov does have one more good fight in him. He could have languished in Columbus and retired without any last glorious run. If there was ever a last chance to do something amazing, to prove that you alone can lift a team to another level -- and not just with goals -- Fedorov has the opportunity for it here. By providing some much needed post season experience and mentoring, Fedorov can help the Caps to the offseason.

Matt Cooke on playing for the Caps:
“I look forward to coming somewhere where you’re used in the proper way and you feel like you’re wanted; you’re supporting the rest of the cast as well. I look forward to the change and the opportunity with the Washington Capitals.”
And this is an interesting one from Pettinger, as I didnt hear a whiff of it (though, you have to imagine any player not getting ice time is not happy with the Coach).
Pettinger said he's seen his ice time drop since Bruce Boudreau took over as Washington's head coach.

"We sort of butted heads a little," said Pettinger. "Some coaches get along with certain players and some coaches don't.

"I know I haven't played unbelievable hockey this year. I know my potential is there and I have proven it in the past. I'm hoping the change of scenery will sort of ignite me."

Unbelievable hockey? I would have taken mediocre but he didnt even have that after plenty of opportunity to turn his season around. Either way, good luck to Pettinger in Vancouver.

Hot or Not: Trades

As always, my timing couldnt be better. Yes, that is indeed sarcasm. I had to go on the road before the trade deadline and at an important stretch of the season. Nice.

That said, lets look at the trades that have happened so far and rate them (based on our hot or not scale, sanctioned by the NHL. Maybe).
Note: Hockey DB is down, I am sure due to all the traffic, so be ready for some fun facts based on my googling skills.

Sergei Fedorov to the Caps for Theo Ruth: I have never heard of Theo Ruth, but on the other hand, I have barely heard anything from Federov for the past couple seasons.
Ruth stats:

played in 39 games for the Under-18 team in 2006-07 with five goals and 11 assists for 16 points ... had 64 minutes in penalties ... three of his five goals came on the power play and one was a game winner ... served as alternate captain for the U.S. Under-18 team ... was the highest ranked Notre Dame player by Central Scouting prior to the 2007 NHL Entry Draft ... was ranked 32nd among 210 North American skaters and the 11th-best North American defenseman ... was chosen in the second round, 46th overall by the Washington Capitals
Fedorov stats: 50 games with 9 goals this season. We all know that Sergei has been injured a quite a bit, but its also fair to say that he has been on the downswing for some time. Just like another (former) professional athlete he knows. That said, Fed still serves at one of the all time leaders in goals at number 51. Not too shabby.

Key question: Does Fed still have anything in the tank that makes it worth it for the Caps to trade away a solid D-prospect? I dont know. I do know that if anyone can squeeze the last drop of talent out of you, Bruce Boudreau can. Not to discount the ever stern Ken Hitchcock, who couldnt really do the same for Fed in Columbus. The Caps are hoping that Fed still has some juice left, and he will expend it working on a team with the best player (who happens to be Russian) in the NHL. Not to mention that Alex Semin fella. Fed's chance at redemption, and going out on a high note? Lets hope so.

Not to forget: Fedorov has one 3 Stanley Cups with the Wings, so his post-season experience will certainly be valuable for a relatively green Caps team. Lets also hope he is a positive force in the locker room. All in all, a hot trade if Fed capitalizes on this opportunity.

Cristobel Huet to the Caps for a second round pick in 2009: Ouch. At least, thats what Brent Johnson and Olie Kolzig are thinking. Actually, it might be more like %#$&!

Second round pick stats/advice for him: Good luck in Montreal. Really. You'll need it. Btw, make sure you flay yourself once a week to toughen up for the Montreal media. That should get you at least 50% ready.

Huet stats: I dont like Huet. Its not a virulent dislike, but I'm not a fan. He has Euro-trash hair. Again, not quite solid, hard hitting reasons. Huet has been up and down this season, and I am sure having Jesus reincarnated in the eyes of Habs organization/up yours Patrick Roy/prodigy goal tender Carey Price breathing down his neck hasnt done Huet any good. He has played well against the Caps, and there is no doubt that the is one of the better netminders in the NHL.

In 39 games this season, Huet is 21-12-6 with a 2.55 GAA. For comparison, Kolzig has a 3.03 GAA in 47 games this season. Considering that Kolzig has played more, has a younger defense, and a risky offensive style to contend with, they are about even. Kind of.

Key question: Three goal tenders, one goal. Getting awfully crowded, no? Johnson was signed to a two year extension for about 1.6 mil that will keep him in red, white and blue till 09. Kolzig is in the last year of his contract, and has been the glue for the Caps for almost two decades. Huet is a free agent at the end of this season. So, whats next for the three goalies? Unless Olie asks for a trade, sending him away would be a horrible way for the Caps to end a great relationship with an immensely popular player. Kolzig is no spring chicken at almost 38, and his game has been off for months. Johnson has played well at times, but consistency has always been his issue. What do the Caps do? Ride Huet into the playoffs, then platoon him with Olie if Kolzig is amenable (and depending on how that scenario fares, re-sign Huet and try to ride that double netminding team into next season)? They would have to dump Johnson's contract, but I dont see Johnson having much of a future with the Caps now that Huet is here...for now.

Not to forget: Kolzig is a free agent after this year and the Caps have not started new contact talks with him yet. Could be a hot trade depending on how the Kolzig/Huet dynamics work out.

PS: And Sasha number three is back!

Sunday, February 24, 2008

Wilson High Hockey Fundraiser

I am still hopscotching cities, but I can tell you that a week away from the internet has been brutal. I heard something about a debate in Texas, Britney Spear's Mom, and the weather in OK City. Obviously my news sources were not the best. I'll have more on my grand trip and return to the 21st century son, but for now, OFB puts it best (ugh! I would have had something on this up earlier if I wasnt on the road. I better see you all there!)

Bloggers, Readers, and Pro Hockey Teams Banding Together for Wilson High
By The OFB Team
We hinted at wanting to do something for the District’s Wilson High School hockey team when we learned about their
extraordinary story last month. To sum up: Wilson is the District’s only public high school with a varsity hockey team. It was, until last year, guided by an impassioned trailblazer, Paul McKenzie — the type of coach who changes lives and improves his community. He succumbed to pneumonia last winter, and the program, through no fault of the tireless and committed student athletes and parents upholding it, is today stuggling for solvency.

A coalition of Caps’ bloggers — Japers’ Rink, Capital Addiction, Off Wing Opinion, The Peerless Prognosticator, Three Grumpy Caps Fans, and OFB — with the committed assistance of both the Washington Capitals and the Hershey Bears, has worked in recent weeks to cobble together a Friday evening of puck watching at one of D.C.’s best hot spots — Clyde’s at Gallery Place, adjacent to the Verizon Center — and hold an auction to benefit the Wilson High hockey team.
For the price of a movie ticket — $10 — we would ask each and every reader of these six blogs living in or near D.C. to make Friday night, February 29 one for hockey history in Washington.

At 7:00 p.m. that evening at the Clyde’s of Gallery Place we’ll gather upstairs to watch the Caps take on the Devils in New Jersey, throw back a few puck sodas, and try and raise some urgently needed money for this desperate and inspiring hockey club.

Many of Wilson’s players never knew of hockey before being introduced to it by Paul McKenzie. We want to help keep these kids skating. Badly.

And Friday night, February 29, will also inaugurate a weekend designated in Paul McKenzie’s honor: the Wilson team will skate that Saturday and Sunday in the first-ever Paul McKenzie Memorial Hockey Tournament in Frederick, Md.

We’ve never before asked anything of our readers in the way of contributions for a cause, but our bloggers’ coalition and the Caps and their affiliate believe in the urgency of this one. Both pro hockey teams have donated items for the auction (including, yes, items signed by Alexander Ovechkin). The entire Bears’ team signed Daren Maschesney’s hockey stick for this event.
Officials from the Hershey Bears will travel down for the event, and Caps’ reps, too, will be on hand. We’ll have Wilson hockey parents on hand. We heard from Kathy Cox, Executive Director of the Friends of Fort Dupont Ice Arena, who told us, “Consider us a part of the team to help the Wilson hockey club.”

It promises to be a memorable evening for an eminently worthy cause. Bring some cash, bring your checkbook, bring your thirst. Even Clyde’s is getting into the giving act.

We are working still on an idea to get some technology involved that would allow folks outside of Washington and unable to make it to Clyde’s on the 29th to chip in for the team. We’ll keep you posted on that front.

In the “Without Whom” department: OFB would like to thank Clyde’s of Gallery Place for generously offering to host the event. Many thanks also go to Shmee of Capital Addiction, whose event-organizing expertise was invaluable to this endeavor. Eric McErlain of Off Wing Opinion offered valuable fundraiser guidance. Our friend Peerless spent hours gathering and editing images and artwork. All of the bloggers involved have been generous and supportive.
And certainly we could not pull off this kind of event absent the support of two very community-oriented hockey organizations, the Washington Capitals and the Hershey Bears.

Update: For those readers not in the DC area who cannot attend but still wish to help, we are working out details for how you can donate from wherever you are. We’ll post more information as it becomes available.This event is sponsored by your friendly neighborhood Capitals blogs; we’re looking forward to seeing all of you on the 29th!

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

guest post

Hi kids-
belmontmedina here, guest blogging for Shmee. My usual blogging universe revolves around food, football, and Duke, but I told her I'd help her out. She's on a grand tour (well, she's in Oklahoma City right now, so I'm not so sure it's grand but whatever, she's also getting a free weekend in NOLA) around the country right now, but wanted me to let her adoring public know that she'll be posting soon. In the meantime, as a casual hockey fan, here's a link to Ovie's adventures in online dating.

And a gratuitous link to Ray Emery, because even if he's an asshole, I still think he's kinda hot.


Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Chunk re-signs for two years


Left wing Tomas Fleischmann signed a $1.45 million, two-year contract extension with the Washington Capitals on Wednesday.

The 23-year-old Fleischmann has six goals and 15 assists in 53 games this season. He has 10 goals and 21 assists in 96 games over three seasons with the Capitals.

Fleischmann was a second-round pick by Detroit in 2002 and was traded to the Capitals in 2004.

Oh Flash....dear dear Flash.

We had such hope for you, with your curly red hair and flashes of brilliant play. Then you squandered half a season during which you got many opportunities to play on lines featuring names like Nylander, Ovechkin, Kozlov, Backstrom, and Semin. You get the picture.

We cheered for you, and thought of you as our scrappy underdog. Kind of like our very own Chunk from the Goonies, with a dash of Inigo Montoya because you had to have your revenge by playing brilliantly and showing everyone they were wrong about you. (Note: Princess Bride, Goonies, and Wonder Years references are always welcome at Cap Addiction.)

And you did play well (sometimes) and seemed to have a fire lit under you(sometimes) but most of the time we forget you are on the ice, even with curly red hair sticking out of the side of your helmet. This is not good...not the hair (which is awesome) but the part about being invisible. We cheer for Steve Eminger, and no one cheers for Steve Eminger anymore. Its not good when even Cap Addiction starts to forget about you.

In our roundabout, was-she-drunk-when-she wrote-this kind of way, we are trying to encourage you. So maybe is the final push you need to step up to plate...we are hoping so, because we really are rooting for you. Tarik says that BB thinks you are on the verge of a breakthrough. The Caps have shown clear confidence in you with this move, and your long time Hershey coach Bruce Boudreau has your back up here. So please, find your inner "Captain Chunk" and start scoring some goals. Here is a little inspiration:

Monday, February 11, 2008

Is it wrong that we laugh?

Actually, we dont care cause its funny:

TAMPA, Fla. -- Two Montreal Canadiens players arrested Monday morning outside a Tampa nightclub will not face disciplinary action from the hockey club.

Rookie defenceman Ryan O'Byrne and veteran winger Tom Kostopoulos were arrested at about 3 a.m. outside Whiskey Park, a Tampa nightclub.

Police said that O'Byrne, 23, stole a woman's purse while Kostopoulos resisted an officer. O'Byrne told police it was his girlfriend's purse, but police said it belonged to another woman.

O'Byrne was invited to take a seat in a police cruiser. At the same time, a group of club-goers, including several hockey players, surrounded the car. On a number of occasions, police say they ordered the group to disperse.

Kostopoulos, 29, was charged with resisting an officer without violence while O'Byrne was charged with grand theft. Both players were released on bail, accompanied by teammates Christopher Higgins and Cristobal Huet. was his girlfriend's purse? Weird that his girlfriend would follow him to Tampa Bay for a game and be at the rookie dinner, which is where he got arrested.

Big hit to Dan over at Junior's Eyes, for cracking us up after a long Monday in the office.

Former Cap Zednik in stable condition

Richard Zednik was seriously injured during a game a Panthers-Sabres game on Sunday

Zednik was behind the play and skating into the right corner of the Sabres' zone, when teammate Olli Jokinen was upended by Sabres forward Clarke MacArthur. Jokinen fell head-first to the ice, and his right leg flew up and struck Zednik directly on the side of the neck.

Clutching his neck, Zednik raced to the Florida bench, leaving a long trail of blood. When he arrived, he nearly fell into the arms of a team trainer, who quickly applied a towel to the cut. Zednik was then helped off the ice by the trainer and teammate Jassen Cullimore, and escorted to the Panthers' dressing room.

The good news is that Zednik is in stable condition at a Buffalo hospital. I am sincerely hoping for a speedy recovery for him.

Sunday, February 10, 2008

No words necessary

Ok, just a few words.

1. Jaromir, you arent a young girl anymore. Stick to solids without any horizontal stripes to minimize your thighs! And I told you to listen to Scott Gomez when he said that he prefers you as a blonde.
2. 2007-08 stats so far: Ovie- 73 points, Jagr- 47 points. Now, enough has been said.

Wednesday, February 6, 2008

Coming full circle

It seems fitting that the Caps moved into first place tonight in the SE Division by winning a 4-3 game against the Flyers. Bruce Boudreau, who intiated the Caps resurgence after his Thanksgiving Day promotion from Hershey, led this team to a 4-3 win versus the Flyers during is first game behind the bench.

From Ovie after that first win under BB:

This win was very important for us because of the hard situation for our team."
More to come tomorrow, but for tonight, I'm just enjoying the Caps perch.

Tuesday, February 5, 2008

Bruce Boudreau online chat/Caps biz

BB will be online Thusday at the Washingon Post to take all your pressing questions. An online chat with a man nicknamed Gabby....this has the potential to be nothing short of awesome.

The Washington Capitals have been one of the hottest teams in the NFL since Coach Bruce Boudreau took over in November. He will be online Thursday, Feb. 6 at 1:30 p.m. ET to take your questions about the team and his coaching philosophy.
You can submit your questions here. Anyone going to ask about the clothes? I thought the green shirt the other night was particularly fetching.

The Caps are continuing their ESPN Zone Q&As. Brooks Laich is up next:
Capitals center Brooks Laich will be at ESPN Zone Washington D.C. on Monday, February 11th, to talk with fans in a dinnertime question-and-answer session. It’s the perfect opportunity for fans to get personal, candid answers to all their hockey questions while getting better acquainted with Laich, now in his fifth year with the Capitals organization.

After the Q&A, which will be hosted by a Capitals broadcaster, Laich will sign autographs and help give away Caps memorabilia, including autographed sticks, pucks, and more. Fans can also enter to win an autographed Capitals DreamSeat recliner, which will be given away later in the season.
Laich is scheduled to take questions from 7-8pm.

And a final plug for a good cause:
The Washington Capitals players and their wives and girlfriends would like to invite you to the 2008 Amazing Auction, which benefits Washington Capitals Charities and Sports Plus. This year’s event will follow the Caps game against the Boston Bruins on Sunday, March 16. The auction will take place from 6-8:30 p.m. in the Acela Club located on the second floor of Verizon Center.


All funds raised from the 2008 Amazing Auction will benefit Washington Capitals Charities and Sports Plus. [...] Sports Plus is a metropolitan Washington-based nonprofit organization that offers year-round, uniquely structured co-ed sports and swimming programs for children between the ages of 5-14 with mild to moderate autistic spectrum disorders, ADD/ADHD and other developmental disabilities.
Tickets are $125 for adults and $50 for kids 3-10. My seatmates tell me that they went last year and they had a blast. They have already bought their tickets for this year's auction. Apparently, its a pretty small crowd and a great opportunity to meet your favorite Caps, get autographs, and bid on some pretty cool stuff. Buy your tix here.

Fehr: Time to put up or shut up

Tarik's article in today's WaPo focuses on the return of Eric Fehr to the Caps. Fehr, the 18th overall pick in the 2003 draft, has been a vaunted prospect in the Capitals organization for a handful of years. Fehr has only played ten games in Hershey this season, after suffering a herniated disk that kept him out of hockey for nearly a year.

With only those ten games in the AHL this season, Fehr comes to the Capitals with a lot of pressure on that recently healed back. The Capitals are in desperate need of scoring from someone not named Ovechkin, and they are hoping Fehr is that person. Fehr is ready to take up the challenge:

Fehr finally returned to Hershey's lineup on Jan. 9 against the Norfolk Admirals and recorded an assist on his first shift. He has played in 10 games for the Bears, amassing two goals and four assists.

"I've taken a few hits and I given a few hits," Fehr said. "I've rolled around on the ice battling. It's like nothing ever happened to me. . . . Now it's time to put up or shut up."

If it's Fehr's time to put up or shut up, the same goes for the Capitals. After Boudreau's Thanksgiving Day takeover the Caps have gone 18-10-4. In theory that looks okay, but in the tight SE Division (and after a slow start), the Caps need to be winning a solid 2/3 of their games to make the playoffs. And even more importantly, they need to be winning against their SE Division rivals.

Sounds like nothing the Caps and the fans dont know, right? But in the words of Eric Fehr, its time to put up or shut up. The last and toughest stretch of the season has just begun. The Caps kicked it off with a loss to the Thrashers, after Ovie's heoric performance saved them in a tight game against the Habs just a few nights earlier. But even AO cant save the team every single night, and if the Caps are going to remain in the playoff hunt, fellow first liners, along with second and third liners, need to start putting up some numbers. Enter Eric Fehr.

Its not fair to put all the burden on Fehr's shoulders, but the Caps are desperately hoping he can be an offensive spark. Chris Clark was one of the few Caps to crash the net and grind out some gritty goals. Brooks Laich has already matched his career high in goals from last season (8), but he, Boyd Gordon and Dave Steckel are going to have to work harder to step into the hole left by indefinitely injured Clark. Victor Kozlov has overcome his slow start to the season with 11 points in his last 10 games, but with Fehr's call up, he will become the second line pivot. For the Caps to be successful, Kozlov needs to continue that pace with Flash and Semin on wing. Caps fans can only hope that his switch back to the second line will set off Semin, who has been centered largely by Gordon since Michael Nylander's mid-season exit with a shoulder injury. And with the return of Shaone Morissonn, a confident Mike Green should start racking up points again.

For the Caps to extend their playoff hopes, they have the perfect opportunity to beat up on their SE rivals over the next two months. The Caps have 29 games left and nearly half are against SE Division teams. Thats a departure for the Caps, who have largely been playing outside the SE Division in December and January, when Bruce Bodreau took the reins. So for the Capitals, the next two months are their time to put up or be shut up.

Monday, February 4, 2008

Eric Fehr recalled

After the Atlanta game, this might be the Caps only option to get some secondary scoring, short of a trade:

In desperate need of some secondary scoring after being shutout in two of the past three games, the Caps have recalled prospect Eric Fehr from Hershey. The 6-foot-4, 212-pound right wing, who missed 10 months with a mysterious back-hip ailment, has been assigned to the first line with Alex Ovechkin and Nicklas Backstrom.
Victor Kozlov is heating up after a slow start to the season, but its pretty obvious that Alex Ovechkin is scoring the majority of goals for the Caps. A quick look at the Caps stats proves that - AO leads the Caps with 70 points, and Backstrom is in the number 2 slot with 42 points.

While there is no doubt that a star like AO will be scoring far and away more goals then any other Capital, there is also no doubt that a team cannot go very far without second and third line players chipping in. Case in point, the Saturday night loss to Atlanta.

Thursday, January 31, 2008

The Alex Ovechkin show

Photo courtesy of ESPN

Every once in a while, an athlete comes along who has a transcendent season. You cant ever predict when its going to happen, but you know it when you see it. And its amazing to watch. Every little bit of magic needed to get the puck to the net, or make an extraordinary pass, just happens. So AO, thanks for taking me along for the ride tonight, and so far this season. I'm already looking forward to watching the AO show on Saturday.

Wednesday, January 30, 2008

In honor of playing the Habs...

...and my little contest with CapsChick and the guys at Four Habs Fans, lets discuss some Habs legends. Perhaps Guy Lafleur? I wonder what he has been up to lately...

Montreal police have issued an arrest warrant for former hockey star Guy Lafleur, accused of giving contradictory evidence as a witness at his son's bail hearing.

Lafleur's lawyer, Jean-Pierre Rancourt, says the former Montreal Canadiens great will turn himself over to police Friday morning.

Mark Lafleur, 23, faces more than 20 criminal charges, including sexually assaulting a minor, armed assault, uttering threats and forcible confinement between 2004 and 2007.

A Quebec judge said the elder Lafleur testified before a court in November that his son was abiding by a court-ordered curfew while he was staying with his parents. But Lafleur later admitted he drove his son to hotels to spend nights with his teenage girlfriend.

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

A tie (at trash talking, the Caps still lost)

Well, CapsChick and I won some of our wager against the guys at Four Habs Fans, though we would have preferred to lose this part of it:

Winner of Tuesday night game: Habs
But it was also a night of triumph for trash talking. I've got some of the highlights below:

Habsfan10 said...
I don't think any Caps fan should be throwing stones over hairstyles. That's a pretty big glass house your superstar lives in.

His haircut costs $14. Never a good sign. It also looks like his "hairstylist" plunked a bowl on his head and cut around it.

HabsFan33 said...
Speaking of horrible hair, Al Iafrate used to look like a serial killer from the movie Fargo.
Shmee: We dont deny the truth. Well, except when we lie. Which is a lot.

panger76 said...
Oh, and we have 24 more Stanelty Cups than you.
Shmee:Ouch again.

HabsFan29 said...modern technology! i can trash talk via my Palm while im at my crappy lawyers meeting
Shmee: We love technology.

Shmee said...
And I'm sorry, where is Huet or Halak's Vezina? Oh thats right, neither of them have one. But Olie does.
Shmee: Good, right? Or so I thought.

Habsfan10 said...
I will concede that you have the overwhelming lead in fluke Vezinas ... hey, how is Jim Carrey these days?
Shmee: I believe the term is, "Laying the smack down"

CapsChick said...
I hear he's's Jose Theodore? Geez, at least our fluke Vezina winner had the courtesy to disappear off the face of the earth. Yours is doing better for another team!

Shmee: We can always count on CapsChick.

DC Sports Chick said...
Wow, I never knew Montreal fans were so bitter just b/c Ovechkin spurned them. I'd say that they sound like a bunch of dumped girlfriends, but that would imply that Ovie had some sort of connection with Montreal in the first place. ("But he said he loved playing in Montreal!") So sad.

Then again, you have to wonder about a team that would force Patrick Roy out...too bad about that Curse of St. Patrick.
Shmee: Nice.

Shmee said...
The Habs PP is officially strong enough to inseminate every woman within a 50 mile radius of the Bell Center.

Habsfan10 said...
That's gonna result in a whole lot of pregnant strippers.
Shmee: These guys are good.

CapsChick said...
And the Caps are on a streak of not losing back to back in regulation, so we'll see what happens on Thursday ;)
Shmee: And CC finds the silver lining for us!

We are having a ton of fun with our threeway (contest), so thanks to CapsChick and Four Habs Fans for showing us a good time. On the internet we mean. And thanks to everyone who has commented. We expect to win this thing on Thursday, which just means that the Caps have to score...six goals. So free wings for everyone.