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hockey yelling





Updated: 2016-09-07T21:31:50.672-07:00

 



things that Caps fans were eating and drinking or order to dull the pain

2012-02-20T21:39:49.102-08:00

That sucked. Here's how you were dealing with it:You can't give the Canes credit for winning this game, but you can give the Caps credit for losing it. Every game you watch they are tripping over their own feet. They are very confused by basic concepts of hockey, such as skating and passing a puck from one player to another. I know this is painful to watch. But the Caps are better than they have shown, and hockey is a sport that favors unlikely events, so it's likely a few good things are still going to happen this year, even if they are just by total fucking accident.Keep watching.I love the Caps, and yeah, it's the unconditional kind. Arguably right now it may even be the unrequited kind. That doesn't matter. Being a hockey fan is less conditional upon merit than it is a one time choice. The Caps are the Caps and so I love them.Try not to let this get under your skin too much, because this is a bad one. Eat something that's terrible for you and get drunk and get on with your life. More hockey to come.Let's go Caps.[...]



come off the ledge

2012-02-05T12:12:13.050-08:00

It's going to be okay.

I mean that.

This is going to be more uphill than anything we have seen in a good few years, but it's not like the Washington Capitals haven't been here before, and you know what, we didn't die or anything. At the moment the Caps need some crazy improbable things to start happening in order for them to survive, but if you are looking for crazy occurrences, you have picked the right sport. That shit happens all the time in hockey.

Sometimes bad things happen to good people. There, you have learned the meaning of life from a hockey game. We all stopped breathing and probably cried a little about Brooks Laich's knee but if you think Brooks Laich would want his team to curl up in the fetal position and die just because he's out, he would not be very pleased with you. That is not the Brooks Laich way.

The Caps have been saving up all their hardship for this season, perhaps. That is okay. We're going to play some hockey here even if we have to put John Erskine's dog at center.

Have faith in GMGM. Stock up on alcohol. You'll get through this.

Here's a picture of a tiny cupcake on top of a bigger cupcake. This will help.


Deep breaths. Have some pride. You're still here, which makes you better than the jerks who are refusing to wear their Caps gear until they start winning again. 

When they do start winning again, you will have earned it. 

Faith. Let's go Caps. 





Caps/Habs, 2/4/2012

2012-02-04T15:23:15.580-08:00

Apologies for the radio silence, Capsland. I came down with the death flu and also as you may have seen, RMNB was silly and suicidal enough to invite me on board. Rest assured I will still be writing here, because they are professional hockey media types and such and I shouldn't say "fuck" on their blog and ruin their reputation.That game was a train wreck, but since it worked out for the Caps and we won the game, I have zero complaints. 3-0 again in Montreal, deja vu shutout. The Habs probably hate us so fucking much by now but I have no sympathy whatsoever. They will never be forgiven. They know what they did.The first period was so godawful on both sides that really the only way a goal was going to be scored was going to be a stupid, ridiculous freak kind of goal. Luckily, this happened in the Caps favor instead of against them.Dennis Wideman took a totally harmless shot and it fluttered over Budaj's shoulder and then seemed to change direction midair. It is in your interest to watch this replay. You will laugh yourself sick.Dennis Wideman never told us that he had the power to control the puck with his mind. I know he has to keep this under wraps so that the normal humans don't come for him, but I wouldn't be opposed to him using this secret ability again in the future. 1-0 Caps.The Habs like to think that they're a pretty team--don't argue with them, they don't have very much right now, but when the Caps play them they tend to get jealous, and Caps faces are always in danger. Tonight, it was Dmitri Orlov taking a puck from Max Pacioretty right to the face. His nose was definitely broken--you know a hockey nose when you see one. Despite this, he barely missed a shift, and was on the ice regularly for the rest of the game. There's something to be said here about Russian machines and their overall durability.We got a late power play, but if you have been watching the Capitals lately, you know that this is not necessarily a good thing. The Caps spent more of their power play time chasing down the puck in neutral zone than anything else. You could have been forgiven for thinking that they had never seen this small black vulcanized rubber thing before in their lives. Oh, boys.Fortunately, this was one of those games where no matter how bad the Caps were, the Habs managed to be worse. They came to play hockey today in order to show us how much worse things could be, in fact, and to tell the fanbase to quit bitching all the time. We were very grateful.Troy Brouwer was awake tonight. This should surprise no one, since he has gradually started to show us what a goddamn steal he really was. One pick for a guy that can score, pass, crash, and make the ladies swoon while he's at it? Don't mind if we do. He had a good chance in front of the net that was thwarted by Peter Budaj losing his grip on his stick and basically throwing it at him. It was a penalty shot.No matter how glorious Troy Brouwer has been lately, though, he is not really a penalty shot kind of guy. Maybe if he could have stood in front of Budaj and screened him while taking the shot at the same time, this might have worked. No goal. Penalty shots still thrilling, news at eleven.Another power play. It looks a bit better with Ovechkin back, and Keith Aucoin didn't fuck up at things, but mostly it was just a bunch of useless flailing and people making one, or two, or three extra passes. Goodness gracious.But oh, the Caps think they have a bad power play? OH HO HO. The Canadiens will show you what a bad power play looks like. They went after that shit like it was a competition.It was pretty bad. I think they won.There's a LOT of scrambling and potential danger at the end of the second period, though, that Pacioretty-Desharnis-Cole line is destroying lives trying to make something happen. Vokoun doesn't bat an eye. He knows the deal with Caps games now. He knows how this goes. He played goal for the Florida Panthers for four years, for God's sake, like he's never seen this shit before.It's a good time for an interm[...]



Caps/Bruins, 1/24/2012

2012-01-25T05:59:53.197-08:00

I have a confession to make.I thought we were going to lose this game.I know, I'm awful, I didn't believe nearly hard enough--but the Bruins are a pretty good hockey team right now (in January, when it definitely counts) and the Caps were hurting bad, they were stripped down. If this were a game of Jenga, this would have been the part where some asshole took a bunch of bottom foundation pieces out and wrecked the structural integrity so that the next person to touch it sent it all toppling down.Except it didn't. Everything stayed up, and the Caps came away looking awesome instead.I love hockey so fucking much.I probably didn't breathe until at least five minutes into the game. I was waiting for the domination. We were promised domination, we put it on our flyers and everything--after all, the Bruins were coming to town, and everyone is so goddamned terrified of them, they're supposed to be so scary.Not so much.Here's the thing--the Bruins have a lot of attitude right now, but not attitude like in a Steve McQueen way, in a way like they've just hit adolescence and they're going to sneak out of their bedrooms and go drink with their friends, fuck yeah, they're so cool. They've certainly mastered jackassery and theatrics and a lot of other things that aren't actual hockey skills, but when it comes to the rink all you need to do is what you do with any schoolyard bully, and just push back.I expected massacre. It didn't come. Instead I got to watch my team do much, much better than I expected them to do--there were shots on goal, there were even scoring chances. That small, speedy first line somehow avoided disaster. Knuble was being the best player on the ice and wanted nothing more than to fuck up some Bruins.They hung in there. In fact, they nearly made it to the first intermission tied at zero, but then just to make sure they didn't get too complacent, minor disaster struck. Karl Alzner swears he was trying to clear that one. His stick had other ideas.What a dumb goal. Rest assured that Karl Alzner is very ashamed.The second period is different, because in the second period, the Caps are aware that they're in this. No quarter is given. Brooks Laich is checking Zdeno Chara. Tomas Vokoun is being his usual frustrating self. He never lets us down, except for a few times that don't count.Probably nobody's watching Cody Eakin. Cody Eakin makes them feel pretty stupid for that. 1-1. You aren't even done celebrating this yet when another beautiful thing happens. This goal brought to you by Alex Semin's ridiculous hands--fantastic job by Perreault putting it away but I hope you had an eye on Semin making shit happen all night. Size issues regardless, that first line has enough pure offensive talent to make you sick. Dale Hunter is looking like a mad genius. 2-1. Tyler Seguin ruins the whole mood. It's a goal, I guess.I continually get the impression that Mr. Seguin thinks he's pretty hot shit. This is probably something to do with all the fifteen-year-old girls constantly proposing marriage, but hopefully all of this is not going to his head, because what a lonely, empty place that must be.Wooooo take your shirt off. Tie game.Most Ovechkin goal not to be scored by an actual Ovechkin: Boychuk gives the puck away to Perreault, who needs no other invitation tonight. He goes in on a breakaway and scores like he does this every day. Hats? On. We believe. Oh Brad Marchand. Did you somehow think that you weren't annoying enough without a goal against us? I promise you, you were annoying enough. This is just overkill.Whatever. 3-3 game at the second intermission. This is the most exciting game of your life.The Verizon Center sounds like a fucking Thunderdome for the next 20 minutes. All the people there in Boston jerseys are feeling pretty stupid. The team is looking fierce, winning battles, taking advantage of opportunities, yeah that's right, John Tortorella. Opportunism leads to goals.Perreault takes his second penalty of the night for high-sticking[...]



give that back please.

2012-01-23T18:49:25.206-08:00

Help. Someone has taken our Alex Ovechkin.

Three games is too long. One game is too long. Five seconds would have been too long. It's not that I think that the hit wasn't suspendable because it very much was--like it or not, Alex Ovechkin has more edge to his game than any other player on the roster. It's just that in their current incarnation, and ever since Ovechkin stepped onto the ice in Washington for the first time, the Caps to some extent have been Alex Ovechkin, they've been nearly synonymous. We don't like being without him, it doesn't feel right.

It's going to be very, very weird without him, especially because he's just joining the list of those the Caps have had to do without--Backstrom is still out of the lineup, so is Green, the core of this team has been systematically dismantled--hopefully not for good, but at least for now.

I need to dig deep to find reasons not to despair, but I think you know I can do it.

As Mr. Ovechkin himself would say, it is what it is. The team will get through it somehow, because they have to. It's not good or even functional to be missing three major offensive components of your team, but it's not like they have other options--they're going to play three games without them, because they have to. They'll play some very good teams, and they'll play teams that are hurting as badly as we are. You're going to see players step up because they're needed, and you're going to see small moments of brilliance that wouldn't have happened otherwise. It might not all be pretty, but at least it'll all be very, very new.

Three games. It's going to stretch out over an inconvenient amount of time, but it's only three games. Backstrom will come back. Ovechkin will come back. In the meantime it will be hard, but like my dad used to tell me every time I bitched about things being unfair--we can do hard things.

Go Caps.



Caps/Pens, 1/22/2012

2012-01-23T06:00:52.429-08:00

Anyone who is crying about that hockey game, don't bother reading the rest of the recap, because I loved it. There was a lot against the Caps going into this game, and judging from their play in the first period, some of the issues should have been insurmountable.They weren't. The Caps stepped up in a huge way and sustained themselves seemingly on sheer hate for the better part of forty minutes. They tied up the game, and then they took a lead. They forced overtime. They did all of this with one--one--natural center on the ice.This was a character game--namely, if you've been doubting that the Caps have it, they came out to prove you wrong.Shortish recap because if you weren't watching this game, you're certifiably insane. The first period was a disaster. Nothing was connecting. Nobody knew what was going on. Turns out that playing hockey with nearly an entire position missing isn't the best idea.Kris Letang scored in the first eight seconds of the first Pens power play. Boy it would be nice to have a puck-moving defensemen around. Sob.James Neal made it 2-0 because he's a motherfucker. You probably thought the game was over.It wasn't.I don't know what happened in the intermission between the first and second period. Maybe Dale Hunter glared them into submission. Maybe they shook off the weirdness of the 12:30 start and woke up. Maybe they had 110 volts of electricity channeled straight into their bodies. Whatever it was, they came out with a vengeance and wanted nothing more than to destroy every Penguin on the ice.It was a very good thing that you didn't turn off the TV, because you would have missed Mike Knuble with some actual stickwork--there was a deke, people. Knuble on the first line is a good idea. Tell your friends.Brooks Laich is the king of timing. It hasn't been great that he hasn't scored in awhile, but he's been doing lots of other things for the team in the meantime--and he sure as hell stepped up when it counted. 2-1.If you didn't lean forward, you're not a Caps fan.Ovechkin had an ugly hit on Michalek in the second period that may or may not be looked at by supplemental discipline--Michalek was falling already so that may get him out of it, but he did leave his feet on the hit. Uh...vintage Ovechkin?Michalek chose to retaliate with a head hit on Hendricks, thus surrendering any high ground that he could possibly have had.Alex Semin saves our lives by tying up the score at the end of the second period. You can't believe it.NBC still unaware there is more than one Russian on the ice, news at eleven.Alex Ovechkin made a compelling case for the contrary in the third period with a beautiful, beautiful goal--his third point of the night--and the Caps were briefly winning the game. There is no reason that that they should have been able to do that. This lead brought to you by anger and stupid blind hope. But it happened.Unfortunately the game did not end here, and I hate James Neal. The Caps lost. I am sorry to tell you this--it would have been an amazing miracle and your entire week would have been made, but you know what? It was a tiny bit amazing anyway.It's not that losing is okay. I am not one of those new age parents who's all "oh, everyone's a winner." Losing is never acceptable--but this was the best loss of the year, this was thrilling, tough hockey. Caps ground a point out of it, despite the fact that they shouldn't have even been able to get the puck up the ice.I loved my team today. I'm stupid proud of them. And I hope they're learning.Let's go Caps.[...]



Caps/Pens pregame

2012-01-21T21:06:06.887-08:00

Judging from recent history, tomorrow's game should be a 3-0 Caps shutout.The ups and downs of being a Caps fan this season are getting a bit exhausting, huh? The good news is, it's not all downs--maybe you're a little frustrated right now, but that means you still care--and if you can't care about a Pens/Caps game, you probably don't have a pulse anymore.Even if we lose 45-0, there will be no better way to spend your afternoon tomorrow than watching the game. But we won't. The Caps win games against Pittsburgh like it's their job--because it kind of is.EARLY STARTS ARE THE WORST THING IN YOUR LIFEWho the fuck plays hockey at 12:30 in the afternoon? Nobody, that's who. Whose idea are these early starts? Because they're fired. Caps won't even get to hold practice, and you just know they'll be all thrown off and confused, like usual with these mid-day games. To add insult to injury, the game is on NBC, so prepare yourself for a broadcast full of information that you already know, or is wrong!EDIT: @CapsHockey18 points out that this is probably a bit of a workaround for NFL playoffs football tomorrow. This sounds like A Reason, but the inability of the universe to revolve around hockey is constantly astonishing to me. Talk about misplaced priorities. DON'T LOOK NOW BUTPittsburgh is on a five-game winning streak. However, it's worth noting that the last team that they lost to was Washington, and who doesn't like some neat bookending? We especially like beating the Penguins in their own house, and since it's the last time we're going to play them all season--yes really, the schedule maker got overexcited and stuffed all the Pens/Caps into one half of the season--let's close this out with style.KRIS LETANG OR WHATEVERIs he still relevant? Maybe. At the very least, he is still leading the league in douchey haircuts, and now he has douchey facial hair to match. We're all so pleased. No but really, the Pens roster is starting to slowly, slowly limp back into the lineup--Letang's playing again, and so is Dustin Jeffrey. This is fine because we don't really get the same mortal-enemies vibe from a roster full of AHLers. Kris Letang's stupid face is fuel for the fire. Caps are trying your patience, I get that. This season might be easier if you make a lifestyle change to masochism and just start enjoying the pain. I am looking into this and will let you know. In the meantime, the Caps are going to win this game, because it's against the Penguins, and that's a biological imperative. Let's go Caps. [...]



Caps/Canes pregame

2012-01-20T06:45:31.099-08:00

Oh lord, this again.Divisional rivalries are interesting no matter what, but I can't help feeling that the Canes are the annoying, pesky little brothers of the Southeast--not really dangerous but always around, bothering people, tracking mud onto the carpet, bringing bugs into the house. They just don't go away. SHOTS SHOTS SHOTS SHOTS SHOTSWith the, uh--controversial never-shoot style of hockey that the Caps have been playing lately, every team is a potential threat, and as Coach Muller showed us last week, these are not your grandmother's Hurricanes. They're worth keeping an eye on--they haven't beat the Caps yet this season, but last game they outshot them 24 to 44, which was in fact a season high for the Canes. I know both our goalies are playing well again, and that's great, but it's still not very nice to do that to them. If the Caps really loved them, they'd make a little more offense happen tonight. JEFF SKINNER HAS DECIDED TO BE EVILThis is fact. I know he still looks the same--all rosy-cheeked and cherubic, snakes and snails and puppy dog tails, but please do not be fooled. This boy has crossed to the dark side. Remember his slashing and chirping from last game? Remember the unnecessary scrum he started after the game ended? Mr. Skinner is going through his teenage rebellion phase on national TV, and we are witnessing it. Caps should probably just kind of assume that he's going to be a problem, because chances are he's going to try some shit. CANES KILLAHAlex Semin scored the last time we played the Canes, which is basically the same thing as saying that the sun rose in the morning. Semin has 27 goals in 39 career games against Carolina, more than he's scored against any other team. Alex Semin will probably score. And you will like it. Our division lead has gotten just slightly, slightly less precarious--we're hanging on by our fingertips now instead of just our fingernails. Every game is important right now though. Every game is a character game, there's not really much time for trial and error anymore--and points. I warned you. From here on out, I'm obsessed with tiny numbers and the way they add up. So win another hockey game, team. We love it when you do that. Let's go Caps.[...]



Caps/Habs, 1/18/2012

2012-01-18T20:17:07.778-08:00

Welcome back, Michal Neuvirth, eater of pucks, destroyer of worlds.Remember at the beginning of the season when everyone was highly impressed with the talent of our goaltending tandem? Get ready for them to be impressed again. This last stretch of games have seen Vokoun standing pretty tall for the Caps, and tonight Neuvirth came out to remind us that he may not be the starter on this team, but he's nobody's backup.I have to admit, there was a tiny, tiny part of me that wanted the Caps to just ignore Rene Bourque completely, act like they had no idea who he was. Just to freak him out.And then jump him in the last minute and destroy his existence, of course. Justice must be served.This obviously isn't the way things turned out--in fact, Bourque was on the ice for exactly nine seconds before Hendricks challenged him to a fight, and made him pay for the elbow on Backstrom by hitting Bourque's fists multiple times with his face.Take that.The fourth line was very, very mysterious tonight. We are told that Perrault is in the lineup, and then at the last minute we're told that he is out and Jay Beagle is in.And then Perrault scores, and it's beautifully unexpected and hilarious. I try to explain this to a Habs fan friend, and she does not get the joke. After being more or less invisible for a good stretch now, this game was all about number 90--not all of it was good, but it was Mojo night in Montreal. All Marcus Johannsons get free drinks on the house.He makes it 2-0 within the first ten minutes. He is adorable, in a deadly sort of way.John Erskine takes an interference penalty early on in the game, but I sincerely hope you saved all your frustration or indulgent affection for John Erskine for later, because by God did he have a second act coming.Some people might say that the Habs had power plays. This depends on your definition of "power play". Nothing was actually accomplished. This is mostly due to the extreme awfulness of the Habs' PP, but we cannot discount the brave men of the penalty-killing units--Laich, Knuble, and Wideman all get gold stars of merit for goalie-like behavior.Ovechkin decides to show them what a real, functioning power play looks like.Habs are weirdly unappreciative of this. Don't they know that's Alex Ovechkin? He probably would have given them autographs if they'd asked nicely, but they pretty much blew it.3-0.Apparently no more shots on goal are necessary for the rest of the game. I love Dale Hunter with all of my heart and soul but I am starting to suspect that the plays he is drawing up on his white board are all "don't, under any circumstances, ever shoot the puck."Erik Cole side-swipes Hendricks with a knee-on-knee hit. His surprised face fucking sucks. If Hendricks is hurt from this, there are going to be words.There is some kind of triple penalty on Erskine. .....This is new. It's funny because we're already winning the game, and why not, the PK units need to stretch their legs again--if we'd been down or tied, I would have been enraged. It was a dumb call. Most of them were from there on out. By the end of the game the refs are on their knees blowing the Habs and you feel kind of awkward, like you're intruding or something.Habs can't even catch up with a handicap.WIN.So! Progress. We won on the road, which I thought would never happen again, and better things happened tonight overall, though not necessarily because the Caps did anything different. The goaltending is back, the scoring was there, but the shots on goal have been left for dead in a back alley after being stabbed multiple times.Unsolved mystery.But I do not complain on nights that we win, and especially not on shutout nights. Two points. 3-0. That score sure looks pretty.Yay team. You didn't lose, and I love you. Go Caps.[...]



Caps/Montreal pregame

2012-01-18T03:17:26.598-08:00

So, uh...nowhere to go but up, right?That's the theory anyway. If you watched the game yesterday, I know you're probably not feeling like turning on another Caps hockey game today, they didn't really make a convincing case for that.But that was against the fucking Islanders. I know there's no excuse for that kind of effort, but it helps to remember that some teams are so totally useless that the Caps are much more likely to become useless in return.Most importantly, it's not like the season is over just because one game really sucked--there's always more hockey to play, and even if the season did end today, the Caps would be in the playoffs. Yes, really--we're still in eighth place, and even when you have a game as bad as that one, they still don't take more than two points. Things are maybe not quite so lost as you felt like they were last night.Right back on the horse. That's probably a good thing.THE MEAN STREETSThe Caps' record on the road is not good this year--to put it very, very lightly--but considering how awfully they played yesterday at home, where they've been stellar, who the hell knows, maybe it's opposite week.Four of the Caps' next five games are away; six of their next ten games are away. At some point, if we want to be a playoffs team, we're going to have to start picking up some points on the road.Now seems good. Is now cool with everybody? Yeah, me too.PREMEDITATED CRIMINAL ACTIVITYEverybody knows the Rene Bourque thing is coming. Washington knows the Rene Bourque thing is coming. Rene Bourque knows the Rene Bourque thing is coming. I'm sorry, but you don't just get away with concussing our MVP and best player without the entire universe conspiring to drag your ass back to face the music for it. I know the Caps don't exactly have any bone-crushing, legendary enforcers on our team, but we do have Hendricks, and we do have Erskine, and we've got Brouwer's angry words from when Backstrom got hurt that he's going to need to back up. Sometimes people confuse the Caps not being fucking undisciplined hoodlums with the Caps not being able to defend themselves. This is a mistake. It's like the difference between being Wolverine and being John Wayne. We don't need to be flipping our lid every five seconds, because what the fuck kind of team does that, but when it's necessary, I feel pretty confident that the Caps can take care of business. ZUT ALORS!Montreal is a mess right now, and a well-publicized one. There isn't really any part of their game that's working, which should make them fairly easy to play, but the Caps will have to be careful not to fall into the same kind of trap as they did with the Islanders.I get too much mileage out of Katie on this blog, but I can't help including this quote from her a moment ago that illustrates exactly what could be the pitfalls of taking the Habs too lightly: "The Habs are a team that has the potential to be very good and instead have decided to die."Let's not be that kind of team. Let's beat that kind of team. Care about this game, Caps. Care about hockey, or forget the playoffs. Realize that you have to work for it. Don't get frustrated and stop playing when things go wrong. Realize that all the talent you had two seasons ago is still there. It didn't go anywhere. Good things will happen. I am personally guaranteeing this, you heard it here first. This week is not going to be a dud because I won't allow it. Caps will never lose again. [...]



Caps/Isles, 1/17/2012

2012-01-17T18:44:51.082-08:00


Wooo, so this is what the big time feels like.
Success will definitely go to my head.



Caps/Isles pregame

2012-01-17T04:35:46.053-08:00

So far the Caps are 3-for-3 on our Softball Homestand, going for about the last easy two points we'll see this season. The Islanders played yesterday, at home, and are traveling to see us today. The Islanders got beat by Nashville yesterday, 3-1. If you're going to win anything, you gotta win these ones.Up to this point, Vokoun the Caps have been delivering. It's time to make it a clean sweep.NEWS THAT MADE YOUR MONDAY EVEN WORSE THAN IT WASMike Green is having abdominal surgery, and will be out four to six weeks. Sob. I hate to say that we're getting used to life without him, but we're getting used to life without him. I would love nothing more than for him to come back, healthy and strong, in fact if I meet a genie this will be the first thing that I ask--but in the meantime, he's going to be out for awhile, so I hope that Wideman and Carlson and Orlov are ready to step up long-term. SUPER BIG DEAL JOHN TAVARESGuy is on a nine-game point streak. It's not going to get any longer. You can take that to the bank.Sometimes I feel bad for John Tavares because he has to play on the Islanders, but then the Islanders play us and I don't feel that bad anymore. It's worth keeping an eye on this punk. He's always getting scorey and dangerous with us--plus, his eyebrows freak me out. WHAT THE FUCK AWARDBlue-chip prospect Nino Niederreiter has been spending a lot of the time on the fourth line with very limited ice time, which sounds like a great idea to NOBODY WHAT THE HELL ARE YOU DOING, ISLANDERS. NYI's idea of development does not resemble our Earth idea of development at all. However, this can only work in the Caps' favor, as he's playing with pretty poor talent and that line has become a defensive liability for the team overall. They were on the ice for the first two goals against in the Nashville game, and are a combined -27 for the team on the season. Basically what I'm saying here is hey look, Caps, a wounded gazelle at the watering hole. Feel free to pounce.  The Caps got knocked out of their temporary division lead by the Bruins' inability to win a game the ONLY TIME IN THE SEASON that I wanted them to, which just figures. If we want want that good third-place feeling again, they're going to have to win this game. Not to mention, after this one they're headed out to--cringe--the road again, and given our record there, a little bit of a buffer would make me feel much more comfortable.Two points. Two points. I am a woman obsessed. Islanders suck. Let's go Caps. [...]



i'm pulling for Carlzner

2012-01-16T16:07:30.825-08:00

The problem with anything that is absolutely, flawlessly perfect is that if there's ever any regression, if there's so much as a single step back, it's noticeable. That doesn't mean that what used to be perfect is now completely useless and terrible--it mostly means that we're spoiled, but when you're aware that a defensive pairing is capable of being stalwart, productive, responsible, completely precocious for their age and then suddenly they're looking a little average, you can't help but wonder what's going on.

Carlson and Alzner have always been there for us--they've been there during the ugly playoffs series, the losing streaks, they were there during the dark nasty November somehow putting up positive +/- and Corsi ratings in blowout games and generally letting us know that there was nothing to worry about, they had this covered. Perhaps that's why it's so strange to see this pairing on the ice for bunches of scoring chances in recent games, to see them looking confused and out of place sometimes, to see them give up goals. That's not Carlzner, or at least not the Carlzner we're used to.

If this were a Superman comic, this would be the time to start looking around for Kryptonite somewhere in the frame.

There are plenty of possible reasons for this. There's Jim Johnson's new, demanding man-to-man defensive system, there's the world-class lines they're matched up with every night, there's even good old-fashioned regression--after their rockstar season last year, maybe there wasn't anywhere to go but down.

I don't believe that. I'm not looking for reasons to hate anybody on my team, and I'm certainly not going to do it after a short stretch of bad games. Carlson and Alzner need to step up, but I believe that they'll do it. I believe they're going to be a franchise pairing for years to come, and I love them. That doesn't mean that the way they're playing right now is excused, though--the boys need to refocus and get their act together. This is probably how to do it:

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I don't want either of them traded. I don't want the pairing split up. I just want them to play like I know they can, and I have complete confidence that they will.

Sooner would be better than later.



Caps/Canes, 1/15/2012

2012-01-16T08:24:15.072-08:00

For a random game in the middle of January, this one was ridiculously important. Win this game and we're on top of the Southeast Division again--win this game and we're in third place again.Well--it wasn't exactly easy, but IT HAPPENED. Do yourself a favor and go look at the standings right now on NHL.com. Go ahead. I'll wait.Beautiful, isn't it? But like I said, this was hardly a blowout--this was yet another white-knuckle not-breathing squeaker. The Caps are all about those lately. They're addicted to the adrenalin.I don't think I'm exaggerating when I say that nothing happened in the first period. Nothing at all--or at least, nothing good. Vokoun doesn't take any time to warm up tonight, because there isn't any time available. The Canes attack like a team that was NOT playing the Boston Bruins less than 24 hours ago, and obliterate the net behind Vokoun in very short order. He doesn't bat an eye and worries about freezing the puck instead. It is a good sign.Carlson goes to the box for delay of game. The Caps don't have a shot on goal to this point, but we're used to this. It's a rare night when the Caps have more than 20, 25 SOG anymore. This is still terrifying, but we're adjusting.The PK is beautiful, aggressive, beyond reproach. No problems there--the problems come with 5-on-5. Puck possession? What's puck possession?Ovechkin is doing some things but they don't result in pucks in the back of the net, though he does adeptly duck under a crossbar at one point to avoid concussing himself, which we appreciate. Other than that, forecheck seems like something that you daydream of wistfully, but never actually happens anymore. By the end of the period, the Caps are being outshot 13-4.At the beginning of the second period, Joel Ward has a great chance in the front of the net but the puck is rolling on him. No dice. Then Matt Hendricks tries to get into it with Joslin, and Joslin says no. I don't blame him. It's Matt fucking Hendricks.Laich crashes the net, and there's no doubt in your mind that it's a goal--but it's such a powerful and aggressive method of scoring that the refs feel the need to review it. You're not worried--but then those same refs somehow lose their fucking minds and decide that this is somehow not a valid goal.The fuck.Cody Eakin draws a penalty, and there's an Angry PP. Brooks Laich is growing more thunderous by the moment.No score. Knuble slashes Skinner, whose sticks are just as fragile as his teenage self-esteem. He goes to the box, and the Caps kill it, because thats a thing that we do these days.Ovechkin is doing his damndest to wake this game up, and there's even some Alex on Alex action, but at first it's all foreplay. It takes awhile to actually get a coherent play going in the zone, but then suddenly--Mojo to Semin, Semin to warp speed.Sasha with the money shot.Beagle goes to the box a few seconds later for elbowing, and for awhile on the PK, and this one is scarier than the other ones, the Canes are buzzing around like the annoying interdivisional fucks that we already know they are.Vokoun makes a great point-blank save on Ponikarovsky, but the puck skitters out right to Jokinen's stick in front of an open net. It's a layup. Locker later tells Joe B that even he probably could have scored on that one.1-1.We've all been waiting for Orlov's first NHL goal. It feels like we've been waiting forever. He rewards us for our patience, though, by showing us that he was waiting for right exactly the right perfect moment to score and be horribly endearing, and win the game for us. The sight of him screaming in his teammates' faces and then nearly losing his balance at the bench is beautiful.2-1.Monster shift from Carolina dir[...]



Caps/Canes pregame

2012-01-14T21:33:13.149-08:00

What a game on Friday, huh? Any game where we get to throw hats is automatically a good one, though the last minute suspense was a little unnecessary. The Caps are in the top 8 now, but Eastern teams are still all awkwardly bunched up together--it's going to be a dogfight just to stay there.There is no more fun team to strip two points from than the Carolina Hurricanes, though, so I vote we keep the ball rolling. Go go gadget win streak.THE DEVIL WE KNOW AWARDThe man responsible for a lot of the frustrating defense that we remember from the Montreal/Washington series is now the boss in Carolina, and this is the first time the Caps will have a chance to play them in the Kirk Muller era. Much like the new Hunter Caps, they're still in transition to some extent, but they're starting to show flashes of being really fucking annoying--such as last night, when they beat the Bruins 4-2.Let's hope the Caps are ready to remind them where their place is in this division--the very bottom of it. NO PITYIf this picture of a three-legged dog made you sad or sorry for him, then you are not in the right mindset for this game.Once again the universe is providing the Caps a team that's struggling badly--fighting the Islanders and the Lightning to stay out of the basement of the East, sitting at a glorious .424 win percentage--and once again, a team on their second night of back-to-back hockey. At this point, these guys need to rebrand from Hurricanes to Mild Tropical Winds, because they ain't blowing over shit. Please do not mistake this as an opportunity to sit back, relax, and lose the fucking game, Capitals. By all means, kick them when they're down. This is war. Or it's hockey, which is basically the same thing.MOST LIKELY TO HAVE HIS WARDROBE CHOSEN BY READERS OF SEVENTEEN MAGAZINEEveryone's favorite dreamboat, Jeff Skinner, may make his return against the Caps--he's been out with a concussion, so we're glad to see him healthy again, regardless of how much more difficult he might make things. It's also a good excuse to revisit the beautiful thing that happened the last time the Canes came to town.(via Dimagus)The gif that keeps on giving. GUARANTEED GOALI usually don't even try to goal-call, because I'm bad at it, but Matt Hendricks has had some monster shifts the last few games, a few goal posts--this guy wants to score a fucking goal. I'm going to say it happens. Bet you a case of beer. None of this listless hockey shit. None of this letting-them-get-back-into-the-game shit. We've filled our quotas of both of those kinds of games this season, no more are necessary from this point on. Florida has held the lead now for long enough that they're probably getting funny ideas about who runs this division, and a win tomorrow would finally--fucking finally--tie us up for first place in the Southeast. So how about two points, yeah? We would love that, and so would the team. Everyone wins. Let's go Caps. [...]



adventure weekend

2012-01-14T21:05:14.129-08:00

Apologies for the lack of coverage on the Bolts game, I was not at home. Rest assured, there were hats thrown for Brouwer (!!!!!), an appropriate amount of pride when Alzner took on Steve Downie, and verbal abuse in between for the fucking goddamn fucking Lightning.

Nobody needed to remind you how much you love the Caps this weekend. The Caps more than took care of that themselves.

I hope you all had fun, because I did.

Go Caps.



Caps/Bolts pregame

2012-01-13T07:40:36.319-08:00

Ugh, Tampa Bay.

I still hate those motherfuckers, on account of the time they got their stupid selves between us and the Stanley Cup. I will not forgive this ever. See: Penguins, Pittsburgh; Canadiens, Montreal. Mortal enemies do not get replaced. The list just gets longer.

This was one of those nights when I realized abruptly that I should be writing a pregame, and that once again it hadn't magically appeared on its own, and the first thing I always do in these situations is turn to my friend Katie and say "hey, write a pregame for me."

She usually says no.

Tonight she actually answered me, so I present a Habs fan's random impressions of this game, maybe followed by some real information but probably not.


KATIE ON THE GAME: "Tomorrow the Capitals will play a hockey team. Presumably this hockey team has players. We probably don't like some of them. Perhaps you should punch them in the face."

KATIE WHEN I TOLD HER IT WAS THE LIGHTNING: "Hey, they have real lightning in their arena now!" I tell her we are playing in our arena. "Oh well then they have nothing."

KATIE ON STAMKOS: "Cut your hair you goddamn hippy."

KATIE ON ROLOSON: "He is really old now. Like ancient. You can score so many goals on him. You can just fire them right through him. He has thin old-people skin."

KATIE ON HOW TO BEAT THE TRAP: "Skate fast."

ANY OTHER THREATS?: "Lecavalier's cheekbones. And Martin St. Louis being short. ...Hey, are they both French Canadian? And Guy Boucher is too! ...Montreal is in the wrong location. Why didn't we trade for them? Cammalleri for Boucher. This is a real trade proposal."



Yet another sports situation to remember when you get too down about the Caps: at least we are not the three-act trainwreck going on in Montreal right now!

The Caps are all right. They've had some trouble finding their footing lately but we have confidence in their ability to straighten shit out. The NHL is conveniently helping this endeavor by serving up a couple softballs--a couple of tired teams in a row, all struggling themselves, all on the second night of back-to-back games. Whoever was writing the schedule with a crystal ball a year ago is clearly on our side.

I feel pretty confident that we've got this one. The hate should be there, and no matter how much the Caps have been sliding, the Lightning have been sliding oh so much worse, and longer. Two more points is going to mean a lot, once again, and every night until April. It's going to be a slugfest.

Fuck yes.

Let's go Caps.






Caps/Pens, 1/11/2012

2012-01-12T21:59:38.401-08:00

That was a terrible, horrible, ugly game. That was so, so bad at so many points. With only brief, brilliant exceptions, the Caps had all the coordination and hockey-playing skill of plankton tonight.But we won.If you want to know the reason, it's very simple. I could write this recap in two sentences, but if you know anything about me and my unnecessary wordiness by now, you know that I won't. But if you only read two words of the whole recap, read these two: Tomas Vokoun.Every other Capital on the team owes that man a steak dinner.It's the first time the Pens have been shut out all season. It's the first time they've been shut out in 48 games. Everyone knows that the Pens are a fucked-up, fucked-over team held together with shoelaces and chewing gun right now, but it's always great to beat them, no matter what the circumstances, it'll never not be just a little bit more satisfying most regular season games, even when it's the equivalent of kicking the crutches out from under a guy with two broken legs.More importantly, it was a hockey game and the Caps won it, and we love it when they do that.Significant moments in bullet form today, because a normal recap of this would just be me repeating "No. Bad. Wrong. Help." over and over, and maybe you'd think we didn't win the game after all. We did. Remind all your Pens friends, but gently. They're having a hard month.VARIOUS THINGS: This game was on NBC, so you probably lost a few brain cells. Even though it's not Versus anymore, good to see that watching these broadcasts is still the fan equivalent of being concussed multiple times. Speaking of, His Holiness Sidney Crosby was in the press box tonight, which I'm sure you didn't miss because there were ten million camera shots of him. If I cared deeply about Sidney Crosby's minutely changing facial expressions, this would have been so great to me. Penguins had not gotten the memo that their season is a huge joke and provided some serious, if sloppy, offense for a lot of the game. We all appreciated the fight and feistiness--I don't respect the Penguins, per se, but I do have to admit that they've made things work with limited resources. Well, at least they have until now, cause the wheels are kinda coming off. You could almost see the moment when Vokoun realized that he was on his own here, and just decided to shut the door. Apparently he's capable of beating an average-to-poor team all by himself. No other players need skate. Hamrlik hit Dupuis awkwardly and sent him into the boards knee-first, and Malkin also disappeared into the dressing room for part of the night. Whoops. If the entire team is on IR do they automatically forfeit the season, I wonder?The single goal scored was from Chimera, because isn't it always Chimera this season? Still strange and wonderful to have them talk about him snapping his "goal-scoring draught", because Jason Chimera is a Scorer now. Add that Ovechkin hit on Adams to the list of things to watch when you're in a bad mood. Crrrrrunch. Kundratek mostly didn't fuck up at things! He seemed a beat behind every play, constantly, but he wasn't unbearable. Still probably not our best option at the moment. I wonder what this means for our our gaggle (flock? herd?) of defensemen. Two points. Tied in eighth place in the conference now, with three more home games coming down the pipe. It was the least cute game you have ever seen perhaps, ever, but it's a win, and it's momentum. How glad are we to see Tomas Vokoun finally, finally play like the guy we'll need him to be in Apr[...]



adopt a prospect: Tomas Kundratek

2012-01-11T06:33:00.213-08:00

Welcome to the Washington Capitals, Mysterious Roster Moves edition. A few key pieces are essentially dead right now, and those who are not are playing like they are, so the holes will be filled by Adorable Children from Hershey, which is what they are there for. 

I know that all of you are smart and cool people and keep up to date on your prospects and such, but if you are at all behind in this I do not blame you, as there are like a million of them. So in case you are wondering who the fuck that guy is on your ice, here is a quick rundown.

(via)

Position: defense
Age: 22 (just barely--had his birthday the day after Christmas)
Nationality: Czech
Hair: swoopy

Why he's getting a shot: Kundratek has 6 goals and 8 points since he was traded to Hershey earlier this season, more than taking advantage of his new team and new opportunities. So what if we give him just a little...more...leash...
In a nutshell: "Kundratek's game is a simple one: he just gets in the opposition's way." (via)
Unexpected: He's best known as a solid, positional defenseman but he's certainly been successful jumping up into the play lately.
Sorry ladies: He's got a girlfriend.
Czech machine never breaks?:  Kundratek joins Vokoun, Neuvirth, and Hamrlik as the fourth Czech on the team now. This is excellent as everyone love interviews in Czech accents.


Why we are all side-eyeing this move: Because including injured Mike Green, that gives the team NINE defensemen on roster right now. Nine. That's ridiculously too many, and it also brings the roster to 24, which is one over the 23 we are allowed to carry--so expect a move to be made, whether it's someone being sent down, placed on LTIR, or possibly--traded. Keep your eyes peeled.



and the Lord said unto Job: a Pens/Caps pregame

2012-01-10T16:04:01.424-08:00

1. There was a man in the land of Pittsburgh whose name was Dan Bylsma, and he was good and righteous, and wore many fedoras, and appeared to have a perfect family life, at least when there were cameras around. His team was very deep, even among the greatest in all of the East, and he coached well and prospered, and feared the hockey gods continually in his heart.

2. But lo the hockey gods came unto Gary Bettman, and Gary Bettman said unto them, "Hast thou considered my beautiful Penguins, that there are none like them in all the earth, and that Sidney Crosby is a perfect and upright man, and hast thou seen the poster of him that I have on my wall? His eyes are dreamy."

3. And the Gods said unto Bettman, "Yea verily they are dreamy, but hast thou not made a hedge around him, and around the Penguins on every side? Hast thou not given them a Stanley Cup, and many TV commercials with dramatic backlighting? We will put forth our hands now, and touch all that they have, and curse it, and we will test our servant Dan Bylsma to find the limits of his sanity. And besides," saith the hockey gods, "we are Caps fans anyway." 

4. And on the day when the Penguins and Capitals did skate outdoors, the Gods did strike Sidney Crosby down, and there was much sadness throughout the land, particularly in the 12-to-20-year-old female fan demographic.

5. And while Bylsma was yet mourning the loss of Crosby, the hockey gods stretched out their hand again and took Evgeni Malkin from him, and said unto him, "try to make the playoffs now, motherfucker." And Dan Bylsma did take it as a challenge.

6. And behold, the Penguins did continue to win hockey games, though reckless and mighty hockey players did gather from the four corners of the earth to destroy many Penguins, and lo, their center depth was laid waste. They did attempt once again to claim the Cup of Lord Stanley but that was just not happening, and they were given an A for effort and sent on their way.

7. And it came to pass that the hockey gods did pour it on. Malkin and even Crosby did briefly return to the roster, but that was mostly just teasing, and Penguins did continue to drop in a manner like unto flies.

8. And in the week that the Penguins lost Jordan Staal, the hockey gods declared that they would play the Washington Capitals, and Dan Bylsma said to them "do we have to?" And lo, they had to.

9. And behold the Washington Capitals did destroy the Penguins from off the face of the land, and did salt the earth behind them so that nothing grew thereafter, and the league did see that there was no pity in the hearts of the Capitals, only victory, and they were afraid.



it's a little sunnier than i thought but otherwise this is exactly how i imagined hell

2012-01-09T22:16:03.876-08:00

Look, even I have to admit that the Caps aren't playing too well right now. In fact, they seem to be playing with the strategy that maybe if they just stand around, pucks will fall from the sky right onto their sticks in front of open nets. In a turn of events surprising to many, it's pretty hard to win hockey games like that.Please put down the straight razors. Everything will be okay. This team is human, and sometimes they show that in more extended stretches than we would like. But they're beautiful humans, so we love them, and let's face it, we're still not going anywhere.I know optimism is tough to maintain after 12 midnight and if you stayed up for that whole thing then God have mercy on your soul. Here are some things to cheer you up! Two gifs of Zooey Deschanel laughing.  allowFullScreen='true' webkitallowfullscreen='true' mozallowfullscreen='true' width='320' height='266' src='https://www.youtube.com/embed/rhEL0ioJwKQ?feature=player_embedded' FRAMEBORDER='0' />Ian McKellan reading instructions on how to change a tire in his most theatrical voice.A reminder that kumquats exist.A graphic about whether or not California might fall into the ocean.Cinnamon roll muffins, recipe here.I don't know if this season is going to get very much easier, so celebrate the wins, get past the losses as quickly as you can, and try find the silver lining in everything, otherwise you're going to end up one of those fans that's miserable and mad about everything and leaves the stadium in the second period when the team is down by one.Caps need to settle the fuck down and bend all their thoughts to winning. Only then will they surpass their mentors and rule the world.This is still the middle part. Hope.Caps will never lose again.[...]



it's getting old

2012-01-09T11:24:26.541-08:00

"I didn't even know if I hit him in the head." -- Rene Bourque, directly after (possibly) concussing Nicklas Backstrom.

Most of us have seen the replay by now, but if you haven't, here's a good clip of it. It's crystal clear in slow-mo--Bourque's elbow is out at practically a ninety degree angle, there's an actual change in direction when Backstrom tries to avoid it, and if that isn't what an intentional headshot looks like, then I'm the Queen of England.

Even more disturbing, though, were Bourque's comments about the incident--how little responsibility he seemed willing to take for what happened, and how common a tactic that's become for players who find themselves facing a possible call from Mr. Shanahan.

It reminds me of Dan Carcillo's "that wasn't my intent." It reminds me of Zdeno Chara's "I didn't know where I was on the ice." Even more recently, there's even Brad Marchand's "I was just trying to defend myself," though that's a horse of a different color. Victim-blaming is a separate but connected issue, but what I'm having the most problem with is the players who try to pretend that had no idea what the hell they were doing at the time that they seriously injured someone, and therefore can't possibly be to blame.

Whether they're lying or not, these players then have to take ownership of what they've presented as truth--if according to their version of events, they really are so blindly unaware of the players are around them that they randomly, unintentionally deal out brain damage then--why should they be allowed to keep playing? The game happens very fast, I understand that--but the difference between these men and the ones who don't make it is supposed to be their ability to handle that, to make decisions, to have the vision and skating skills necessary to play. To me, the kind of skill we see on display every night doesn't match up with the blank-eyed mea culpas we get after the fact, when they've done something they know they shouldn't.

Everybody makes mistakes--but if you make a mistake that serious, there's no reason to think that the consequences should be any less serious. Excuses don't come across as a sincere desire to change--if you fucked up, apologize and then fix your behavior. The players who are skating carelessly are just as much of the problem right now as the players who are malicious.

I know I'm drawing a lot of hard lines here, some of them in very gray area, but I'm sick of the lameass apologies. I realize that lying to the press is a long and time-honored tradition, and on an even more basic level, nobody likes to get in trouble, but there's a point where it becomes about the overall culture change the league is trying to make, and the players who are still digging in their heels.

I also realize that these guys have different priorities than making me feel all snuggly good about the moral state of the NHL, but it makes it pretty hard to forgive them if they refuse to admit they've done anything wrong.



Caps/Kings pregame

2012-01-08T17:45:09.487-08:00

Chin up, Caps fanbase. It was just one loss. We haven't had any real losing streaks under the new Dale Hunter regime, and I doubt the Capitals plan to start now. There are obstacles to winning this next game, of course, such as both Backstrom and Green most likely not playing--but there were always going to be obstacles. No time to dwell on any of that, because the hockey season is moving along. No defeat without the next game right around the corner. The hunger returns, and that's never about just one player. Wandering dangerously close to 24/7 narration here so I'm going to get right to the preview, but the gist is: things to do. Kings to obliterate. We're moving on. APPROPRIATELY NAMED PERSON AWARDJonathan Quick is a revelation. Somehow, on a team that's having a season that rivals the Caps for sheer potential for disaster, this guy has managed to hold down a .934 SV%, a 1.93 GAA, and is leading the league with six shutouts. Eek.Here's hoping that the Caps brought their magic sticks on the road (maybe they just didn't use them Saturday night)--or alternately, that the Kings play their backup against us, because we like it when that happens. SUPERSTAR AWARDThe Kings are so glad they caved on Drew Doughty's contract, because they wouldn't have wanted to miss out on his minus-two, 3-goal season. Good thing they've got that locked down for seven years. That was a close one. SUTTER VS HUNTERI think we all know who would win in a cage match, but unfortunately the league does not allow hockey games to be determined by coach-vs-coach cage matches at this time. Sutter is an even newer coach than Hunter is. Not really an accomplishment--with the turnover rate this season, there's probably more job stability burger flipping at McDonalds. Sutter's Kings are 5-1-3 so far, which isn't bad, but they also lost their last game 1-0 to the Columbus Blue Jackets, who've been functioning as less of a hockey team this season than a punchline.In the words of ESPN's Kings blog, "That was the kind of performance that got the last coach fired."I am thinking the Caps need to win this one for the sole reason of making us happy. I know they take these things into consideration.Lots of hockey this week, and that makes it a good week no matter what happens. The Kings are a good warm-up for the Pens, and we still need the points, so I hope they make this one count.Oh, and in case you didn't notice, the "reactions" down at the bottom of posts are gone now, because I realized that I actually don't need that much validation in my life. You now only have one option, and that's "go Caps."[...]



Caps/Sharks, 1/7/2012

2012-01-07T23:29:02.473-08:00

This game was so late. Why are you awake. I burned the fuck out of my finger today and my brain is strudel so prepare for even more nonsense than usual. Fucking San Jose.Ovechkin with the first shot of the night. San Jose broadcast notes that he does not massage the puck at all before he shoots it. Of course he doesn't, what kind of establishment do you think we're running here.There is some necessary discussion of how great Backstrom is. Understandably, many people wish that they had him on their hockey team. Is 3/4 of the Young Guns enough to win a hockey game? It has been before, but Backstrom being out is a pretty big deal to a team that is just barely finding their feet. Brad Winchester crashes into Tomas Vokoun and it seems to be a case of him not knowing how to hell to skate on ice, but I am watching you, Brad Winchester. You only get one for free. Ovechkin makes some more forays towards victory. The rest of the team apparently doesn't notice. Murray goes insane and bulldozes Halpern for no reason. Chimera is quick to answer that the only way that a Jason Chimera can: Clowe skates an extra ten years just to staple Hamrlik to the wall. Somehow it's not a penalty. Please be more careful with our senior citizens. What kind of monster are you? Former Hawk Brouwer gets tangled up with Vlasic for a few moments after a faceoff. If you have not noticed, Brouwer has a problem with the entire Western Conference. I love him for this, since the Caps have sometimes had some trouble having the proper amount of hate towards teams that we don't see often. Stay mad for as long as possible, 20. Impart your anger to the rest of the team. Doug Murray quickly, so quickly becomes my least favorite Shark. A parent-teacher conference is needed. Mr. and Mrs. Murray need to know that their child is a hooligan. Here's a picture of him trying to feel Joel Ward up. Mike Green is all alone with tons of space in front of the net. Save from Niemi. That was not how I saw that going in my head. More chances, but no goals. There is a lot of almost going on. The Sharks take this as a cue to have some scoring chances of their own. No way, San Jose. We all know how endearingly awful the Caps' first period can be--this one actually wasn't so bad, and more importantly, the Sharks weren't able to score. Important to this once again: Vokoun. He starts the second period the same way he ended the first--with a brilliant save. He's just waiting around for the team to start winning the game. Anytime now. He holds it down for more than five minutes while the Caps try to collect their hockey game. The first goal is weird as hell--it goes into the net along with Handzus, off the boards, off people's legs, Wideman gets sticked in the face but the refs are wearing Sharks jerseys tonight. It's a completely useless goal, but they count those ones, too. 1-0. Brad Winchester is not fucking listening to me, I fucking warned him about the goaltender interference and he goes and does the exact same thing again. This time he goes off for it. St. Wideman of the power play is here to let the Sharks know that shit does not fly. He avenges Vokoun's honor with a beautiful goal. Tie game. Vokoun does some avenging of his own. If the Sharks think they are going to score another flukey one, they are fucking mistaken. He's bailing the Caps[...]