Monday, March 17, 2008

Look Out Flyers; Here Comes the Capitals!

Although my blog has more of a pro-enforcers feel to it rather than an affiliation with a team, believe it or not, I am a [Washington Capitals] fan. Last week, I had the pleasure of making it to two Capitals games, the first against the Pens on Sunday, and the second against the Flames on Wednesday.

Good story with the Penguins game. For the past year plus, I have been serving as an unofficial tour guide to an ESPN writer (that shall remain nameless) as he does some research for a story he will be writing before the end of the season. The writer (that shall remain nameless) wanted to attend the Penguins game with my brother and I (and have ESPN pony up for the tickets!), but found out that the game was sold out. He emailed me to let me know. One word… bummer! Who in their right mind, wouldn't want to see Sid the Kid and Gino take on Washington Capitals' Young Guns?

Well the tiny cylinders started spinning in my head and I went out on a limb and Cc’d a one Ted Leonsis on my reply and asked him if maybe he could help out with a set of tickets (being that the Caps would be getting some pub in the story). Hours later, a one sentence response comes back from the Caps’ owner… “It will be taken care of.” A Caps ticket rep steps in shortly thereafter and Sunday we are sitting seven rows behind the net… a perfect view to see Backstrom tap home the game winner for the Pens! So it goes.

And while I thought our playoff hopes were dashed at that very moment, it appears that the Philly Flyers are trying their very hardest to not make the playoffs. Derian Hatcher is out… although I wouldn't mind him in the way he has been playing this year. R.J. "Step Right Up and Concuss Me" Umberger decided to join him yesterday as well. Danny “Ball Spearer” Briere and Chris "Little League Champ" Drury aren’t living up to expectations. And the Caps just reeled off two consecutive wins to pull within two points of the black and orange. Nine games to go each for Philly, the Buffaslugs, and Washington. Game on!

Washington has to keep up the intensity for these next nine games. If there has been any one area that the club has been weak in, it’s playing a full 60 minutes. Late game losses to the Bruins (a Brashear triple minor didn’t help) and Pens (the Caps did play the day before!) have called into question their ability to close a game strongly. Alexander Semin continues to sleep in my dog house. The Russian Gun Slinger has been coughing the puck up way to much for anyone’s liking. One highlight reel goal is followed by what seems like ten turnovers and general lack of interest to make effective passes to teammates. Someone please let him know that the entire league is well aware of his desire to go to the curl-and-drag five times a game.

Alexander Ovechkin sits at 99 points with 57 goals. And while he is easily projected to join the 60 goal club, you can see the phenom pressing a little as he has been forcing shots and cherry picking a bit too much for my taste. By the way Alex, please hold off until the third period against the Panthers to score that goal… if you could do that, I win a nice AO jersey. That would mean a full six games for Alex to score three goals. On second thought, go ahead and press some more OV.

And before I step out, a warm salute to the Washington Capitals message boards. Please keep in mind that you represent the virtual Washington Capitals. Your behavior recently has been extremely questionable.

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