Tuesday, January 1, 2008

Caps 6, Sens 3: These Acquaintances Can't Get Auld Fast Enough

The only thing I could find that could cheer me up after the last two games. Happy 2008 everyone!

Throughout history, all great heroes had their foils. People who, outside of their disproportionate effect on the actions of those heroes, were otherwise insignificant in their own right. Sherlock Holmes? Professor Moriarty. Mozart? Salieri. Superman? Lex Luthor. Eric Lindros? The blue line. And to that list we can now add: Ottawa Senators? The Washington Capitals. January 15th is the last time we play the Caps this season. I think I can safely speak for the majority of Sens fans when I say "Please God, just make them go away".

The Only High...kinda...ish:
  • Hey, that kid's pretty good. Maybe we should watch him a little more closely: Following Saturday night's debacle, the fine gentlemen at Japers' Rink asked me to contribute a blurb for their site outlining why I thought Ottawa would win the rematch. No way Alexander the Great scores another four, I crowed. Take him, and his 40% contribution to the Caps offence out of the game, and voila, no problem, right? Um, not so much. While No. 8 managed two measly assists tonight, it's too bad our boys didn't think to stop the rest of the team while they were at it.
The Lowest of the Lows:
  • Will someone not rid me of this turbulent goaltender?: Watching TSN's That's Hockey following the game (something I normally try to avoid due to numerous Darren Dredger induced nosebleeds), an interesting point was made. No, really! It was pointed out that Swiss Pastry's performance tonight (3 goals on 8 shots in 2:19 to blow a 2-0 lead) was the very reason Ray Emery has yet to be traded despite his latest, er, problematic behaviour. While I would hazard that perhaps the real reason is that, as difficult as this may be to believe, there isn't a GM stupid enough to trade for either Emery and his $3 million bag of headaches or Gerbs' temperamental confidence, we can go with this too. Either way, we're stuck with these two for the foreseeable future. Quick! Somebody get Mike Milbury back into the league!
  • Snow angels are fun! You guys go ahead without me: This is a bit of a cheat, as it has more to do with Saturday's game, but it needs to be said. Lord knows, it happened often enough tonight as well. Huddle up boys. No, you too Wade. You especially. Ahem...now listen very closely. If you're the only D back and you're facing a 2-on-1, please, and I can't stress this enough, MAKE UP YOUR FUCKING MIND! Either take the trailer, leaving the shooter to the tender mercies of our incompetent goaltending, or charge the shooter allowing said incompetent goaltender to at least have the chance of preparing for the pass through the slot. Do NOT, and Reds, I'm looking at you, do NOT just glide down the middle of the ice on your ass hoping against hope that one of your flailing limbs will deflect the puck into a harmless corner. This is especially advisable when one of those two players is one of the most dangerous goal scorers in the known universe. It's the first thing you learn in freakin' Atom house league for Christ's sake! It's so bad, Beloved turned to me earlier tonight and said "They're killing you, aren't they?" And she never watches hockey.
  • Me: "Can I have some money?" Bank: "Do you have any money?" Me: "No." Bank: "Then you can't have any money": It's one of the cruelest paradoxes we've all had to face. How do you get a job and gain any experience when The Man won't hire you because you don't have enough experience? Well, from the looks of things, John Paddock hasn't a fucking clue either. Now, up to this point, I've been loathe to criticize Coach P beyond his wardrobe choices. But I have to say Coach, riding the Captain-Golden Groin-Heater line into the ground doesn't strike me as the best way to develop your youngsters. Everyone told you that we lost the Finals because we were a one line team. So how do you respond? By stapling your third and fourth lines to the bench because they screwed up somehow, leaving those aforementioned lines so nervous they can't make a D to D pass without squeezing their sticks hard enough to shatter and your big guns on the 1st and 2nd lines to burn themselves out trying to save you from yourself. Seriously John, you're trying our patience. When someone hands you the keys to a Ferrari, you don't bitch about the trunk space. You just get in the fucking thing and go.
Creamy Middle: We have much to fret over fellow Legionnaires. If you take out the 14-2 start, we've now gone 11-7-4 which is as close to .500 hockey as we've been since the Dark Ages of exactly a year ago. Worse news, our goaltending situation is as bad as it's been since a certain Czech head case screwed us out of a playoff run, our guys seem to have forgotten how to play defence, and I'm not entirely convinced the coach has any clue about how to fix it. Other than that, things are GREAT! Oh dear Lord, I suddenly need a drink.

Up Next: Friday night in Buffalo, Pay Per Screwed only. I have it on good authority that they'll play this one inside so, if I were you Coach, I'd take "Let snowbanks be our seventh defenceman" out of the game plan.

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