Category Archives: Washington Capitals

Playoffs! Playoffs! Playoffs!

It was a busy month in my world, so I apologize for not posting anything about that wonderful first round of playoffs.  It’s funny how I can be so sad about the Stars missing out (again), but then actual playoffs teams remind me how much I love this sport.

The first round saw me feeling warm and fuzzy toward the Flyers as they took down the Penguins for me.  Those feelings still linger, and I hate that fact.  I used to hate them all, and now I’m starting to think that Claude Giroux’s pretty awesome and that maybe Scott Hartnell isn’t so bad after all.  Max Talbot, however, is still a tool.  The Canucks were thankfully eliminated as well, but I’m not feeling good feelings toward the Kings.  It’s a Pacific thing.

Speaking of which, the last thing I want right now is a Pacific-themed conference final.  Neither the Kings or the Coyotes have ever won a Cup, and I’d like to keep it that way.  I like being one of only two teams in the Pacific to have a championship.  And I kind of hate the Kings.  The Coyotes are tolerable, but the Kings…no.

Out East, that Caps-Rangers game last night was pretty awesome.

Fun fact: it was the longest game since May 4, 2008, which was–you guessed it– Game 6 between the Stars and Sharks.  That epic 4 OT one.

Who knows what the playoffs will bring next, but they’ve been pretty fun.

Advertisements

Who’s That Team at the Top of the League?

Oh, that’s right…US!

After a completely awesome dominating win over the Washington Capitals, the Stars are at the top of the league, bishes!  Did I mention that these same Capitals hadn’t lost in regulation at home since February 25?  Yeah, it’s pretty neat. Also, the Caps had to endure an epic bag skat today because of their loss last night…to us.

I feel like all the praise I can give them is repetitive, and that’s a good thing.  The Bennster was a monster again; Loui continued to make us all forget Brad “Richman” Richards (who?); Sheldon Huggy Wonderbobm Souray kept showing just why he’s the best siging made in the offseason…period; Michael Ryder continued to look at home on my new favorite line; and Kari proved himself yet again to be one of the current best goalies.

Maybe this team is truly for real.  I’m afraid to jinx it, but they really are playing wonderfully.  What seems so different from the past few years is that they’re playing like a team.  It’s beautiful.

And now we’re at the top of the league.  Who’d a thunk?

Why Can’t We Be Friends…

Over at Battle of California, an amusing little blog, commenters named their top 5 most loved and most hated teams.  I’m a list junkie, so I thought I’d throw one together and share it with the world.

My Top 5 Most Loved Teams…

1. Dallas Stars.  Duh.

2. Washington Capitals.  They might choke in the playoffs, but they’re the most exciting team in the league.  Plus, I have this irrational love of Alex Ovechkin and his BFFs, Nicky Backstrom and Sasha Semin.  The Caps are my fall-back team, and I support them on the Stars’ off-nights.

3. Chicago Blackhawks.  I’ve really embraced the Hawks this year.  I don’t know what it is about them, but they’re just so likeable.  From 20 Cent to Captain Serious to the handsome Patrick Sharp, they’re a mixed bag.  Sadly, they’re only half the team they once were.  Now I might have to root for the Atlanta Blackhawks.

4. Tampa Bay Lightning.  I loved B-Rad and his besties, Vinny Lecavalier and my munchkin, Marty St. Louis, back in their Cup year and I still love them. I’m glad that they’re getting better because I really do like them. 

5. Carolina Hurricanes.  My fifth most favorite team is kind of a default.  in case y’all didn’t know, Jussi Jokinen is one of my favorite former Stars ever.  I follow him more so than others partly because I have an easier time rooting for the Canes than, say, Nik Hagman and the Flames.

The 5 Least-Loved…

1. Pittsburgh Penguins. I don’t like teams that get a lot of concessions from the league, like the Bettman Penguins.  My hatred of the Pens is part jealousy, part anger.  I’m jealous that they were able to snag Crosby and malkin because of the lockout.  I’m jealous that they always seem to win everything.  I’m jealous that they have Sidney Crosby.  The anger stems from 1991 and 2009 when they beat a couple of my teams.  I just don’t like them.

2. Anaheim Ducks.  They’re a division rival, and even though we seem to beat them a lot, I still can’t bring myself to like them.  The Ducks are a dirty team with the likes of Chris Pronger, Corey Perry, James Wisniewski, et cetera.  I think the only players I like on Anaheim are George Parros and Jonas Hiller.  I love Teemu Selanne, but his future remains up in the air.

3. Vancouver Canucks.  Alain Vigenault is a whiner.  His whining about every little call irks me to enormous levels.  Then I don’t like Luongo and his arrogance or Burrows and his pestiness.  Plus, I don’t think I’ll ever forgive them for 2007.  Ever.

4. Ottawa Senators.  Part of the hate comes from my masochistic love of the ?Leafs.  By default, I guess I’m supposed to hate the Sens.  And I do.  I can’t even explain why I don’t like them; I guess there are just teams that do that to you.

5. Team Canada.  I have nothing against the country or anything, but I do not like Team Canada’s hockey teams.  It’s no fun watching them win every gold medal that comes their way.  The 2010 World Jr.’s (starring Jack Campbell!) were sweet, sweet revenge.

So.  That’s it.  Back to hockey withdrawal…

The Morning After the Meltdown

I must be the only person in the world who isn’t surprised that the Caps blew it.  I had a bad, awful feeling about the Habs-Caps matchup going into the series and I came out of it with that same bad feeling.  To put it bluntly, I hated the matchup.  The Habs had given Washington some trouble in the regular season, a bit more so than other playoff teams.  If you recall, it was the Habs who ended the Caps’ 14-game winning streak.  On paper, the Habs had no chance.  They were midgets playing against the league’s top-scoring team.  But they found a way.

Here are some reasons why I think the Caps blew their series and Alex Ovechkin’s Stanley Cup bid.

1 Jaroslav Halak. Yeah, I know, blame the opposing goalie because it makes everyone feel better about the Caps’ meltdown.  But in this case, Halak stole the series.  We really should have seen this one coming ever since he led Slovakia to their stellar fourth-place finish at the Olympics after dethroning the Swedes.  Also, Halak was pretty darn good in the last few games of the regular season.  Jacques martin probably looks like a genius for putting Halak back in.

2. Tomas Fleischmann. While everyone else was blaming the Caps’ struggles on guns, Mike Green and Alex Semin, Fleischmann silently choked.  He had a strong regular season, and I’d expected to see more out of him than he did.  I think he had, like, one lousy assist in the entire series.  To the so-called experts, it’s not all Greenie and Sasha’s faults; you need to blame Flash, too.

3. Lack of secondary scoring. Two of the big guns, Alex Ovechkin and Nicky Backstrom, did their jobs.  Each finished the series with ten points and plus players.  They did their job; the second, third, and fourth lines did not.  Well, let me rephrase that.  Everyone on the second, third, and fourth lines failed to convert except for Eric Fehr.  Fehr had a good series, but his linemates did not.  The only other secondary guy who was decent was Boyd Gordon who was a critical part in two shorties that should have changed the series.  Alas…they did not.

4. An atrocious power play. The really disappointing part of the Caps’ meltdown was that they scored one power play goal in the entire series.  A team that had the league’s number-one regular season power play should not struggle like that.  The Habs were undisciplined at times and they should have paid for it.

5. They fell into the trap. When you have a team that has amazing scoring, but not-so-amazing defense, you get the Washingotn Capitals.   The Caps fell into a trap against the Habs.  Montreal had better goaltending and more consistent defense.  An offensive team is nothing if you can shut them down like the Habs showed.

Bottom-line, the Caps shouldn’t have lost the series.  What they really need to do is get a shut-down defenseman who can get it done for them. Also, a good move wouold be to trade Alex Semin for Mike Ribeiro, but what do I know?  I’m a Stars fan. 😛

Playoffs- All Tied Up!

So far, every series that has played two games is tied up.  The fate of this trend rests on the shoulders of the Chicago Blackhawks.  If they lose, they ruin everything.  But no pressure, Hawks.

Anyway, there were some exciting games yesterday, my favorite being the Caps-Habs Game 2.  After being down 4-1, the Caps rallied to win in overtime 6-5.  Nicky Backstrom and Andrei Kostitsyn each had a hat trick.  The last time each opposing team had a hat trick in one playoff game?  May 4, 2009 when Alex Ovechkin and Sidney Crosby did it.

These are just some thoughts I took from the game:

-I saw some deja vu from Jose Theodore.  He was pulled by BB (Bruce Boudreau) after allowing two goals on that many shots.  Semyon Varlamov took over and cleaned up for Theo, much like he did last postseason.  It wasn’t a pleasant sight.

-All the talk about the play of Nicky and Ovie overshadowed the great game that American hero, John Carlson had.  Carlson tied the game late in the third that sent the game to OT.  It was oddly reminiscent of his World Jr’s goal.  Same shot, same fist-pump, same delirium.  Also overshadowed was Eric Fehr and the third and fourth lines of the Caps.  Fehr’s breakaways goal in the first period gave the Caps life and those lines kept them in the game.  I’m just giving them the credit they deserve.

-Mike Green is an overrated goat.  Watching him last night was like watching Matt Niskanen all season.  At one poin during the game I screamed, “NISKERS!”  before realizing that, no, it wasn’t Niskers, but Mike Green.  Greenie’s choking just like last year.

On Vancouver and LA…

-I was happy to see the young, widdle Kings win.  Most of them have never even played in the playoffs before.  It’s nice they got a win under their belt.

It’s That Time of the Year.

Playoff time!  I know the Stars aren’t in it, but I watch the playoffs anyway.  Why?  Because there is nothing in sports like the NHL playoffs.

The playoffs bring amazing stories.  Think last year’s Cardiac Canes.  Ovechkin vs. Crosby.  Ray Bourque.  Cinco de Morrow.  Game 6 in Buffalo.  Unforgettable moments that you appreciate as a hockey fan.

Now, I’m not one to make predictions.  I’ll leave that one to the experts.  Rather, I analyze each team’s chances.  Here we go…

Washington vs. Montreal

Why Washington Will Win: They have the best offense in the entire league.  A team with such superstars as Alex Ovechkin, Nicklas Backstrom, and Alex Semin is bound to be.  They’ve shown in the regular season that you can win with pure offense.  Jose Theodore has fought personal demons (his son’s death) all year long and has a great chance to win the Masterton.  He’s seemingly back to his 2002 Hart Trophy form.  He’s had shaky playoffs in recent years, but who’s to say that that will continue?  The Caps are the real deal and I could see them winning not only this series, but the Cup.

Why Montreal Will Win: Special teams could spell a Habs victory.  Their powerplay is second only to the Caps’ and they have a much better PK than Washington.  Jaroslav Halak has been magical at times and he could steal the series.  Don’t count on the Habs taking the series, but you never know.  Stranger things have happened.

New Jersey vs. Philadelphia

Why NJ Will Win: They have Martin Brodeur, pure and simple.  That should be enough to take a playoff series, don’t you think?  Having the awesomely amazing Jamie Langenbrunner doesn’t hurt, either.

Why Philly Will Win: They have a great regular season record against the Devils and that could very well translate to a postseadon victory.  Brian Boucher could steal the series, as he stole Game 1.  This series is an upset waiting to happen.

Buffalo vs. Boston

Why Buffalo Will Win: Besides the Ryan Miller factor, don’t you think they’re about due for a Cup?  I’ll maintain my position that it was a goal, but maybe there is a curse on Dallas.  You know, they won’t win another Cup until Dallas does.  I’m personally pulling for a Sabres Cup  for that reason.  It’s selfish, I know.  But I honestly like Buffalo and their chances.

Why Boston Will Win: Knowing Buffalo, something always goes wrong.  Always.

Pittsburgh vs. Ottawa

Why Pittsburgh Will Win: They’re the Pens.  They win everything.  Having Bettman and the rest of the NHL front office to back them up doesn’t hurt either.  The Pens can count on another postseason full of free calls, free everything.  It’s how they roll.

Why Ottawa Will Win: The Pens have played to the Cup final for two straight years.  That’s a lot of hockey and they could get tired quickly.  Wear and tear has already shown on Evgeni Malkin and others.  The Sens could take advantage of a flat Pens team and steal some games.  Like Game 1, for instance.  Plus, you’ve got the Brian Elliott factor.  Elliott’s a youngster and he could shine a la Cam Ward.

That’s my East analysis.  I’ll find some time to do a West one.

Make it happen.

Mogretzkull is a No-Go.

People are shooting down the rumors of a group containing Modano, Gretzky and Hull buying the Stars left and right.  It’s not happening.  I’m not gonna lie, but I’m pretty disappointed.  Having that group (the one I’ve dubbed Mogretzkull) would have been oodles of fun.  Oh well.

Here’s what the man himself, Mike Modano had to say about the rumors:

I’ve talked with a lot of groups who are potential buyers and they all seem interested in having me  involved.  But I haven’t talked to Gretzky about it. I don’t know where that came from. That one’s bullshit.

Mo, your language is so colorful!  That rumor was just too good to be true, eh?

Speaking of great quotes, I have a good one from the Caps’ Matt Bradley, a guy who I swear is Washington’s equivalent of Stephane Robidas, but a forward.  Here’s what Brads had to say about the Caps clinching the President’s Trophy with San Jose’s loss last night:

Do we each get it for a day in the summer?

Oooh snarky!  Bradley is a studmuffin.

Anyway, try to enjoy your Monday, even though the dreadfulness of the Stars being mathematically eliminated from the playoffs is hanging over your heads…