Guy Boucher plots to kill 007 (Photo credit: Scott Cunningham/Getty Image)

Craig Brownstein of PuckBuddys writes for Russian Machine. You shall follow them on Twitter.

Banging out preview for Monday night’s game against the Bolts required us to go through some repressed playoff memories. Bear with us for some much needed catharsis; we’re still fragile.

Late last April, we embarked on a grand tour of European capitals just as Game 5 with the filthy Rangers was wrapping up. We were glued to the Blackberry as our readied for take off. Just before wheels up, word came through that the Caps bested the Rags, 3-1. We began our adventure by causing quite the raucous in the first class cabin with fanboy squeals, high-fives, and RED streaks of Russian curses– guaranteeing a date with aviation authorities upon landing across the Atlantic.

We did a blazingly fast tour of Amsterdam and then four days in Paris. We entrusted the care of PuckBuddys with two close friendsBig Dave and Michele, who managed the zoo and posted on the first game of the Tampa series. That loss didn’t much dampen our enthusiasm since we were riding high in Paris, taking in the sights: The Arc, Le Tour Eiffel, Pere Lachaise, and a metric ton of cassoulet. April in Paris, indeed (Hi Ella!).

We got back to DC and back to business– playoff business. The next three games went no better for our Caps. We were so traumatized by the Bolts’ dominating play that even the Bin Laden take-down didn’t cheer us up. The Caps best hope to beat Tampa Bay would’ve required Seal Team 6 on the two top lines. The season ended and like many Caps fans, we were numb.

(Photo credit: no one takes credit for this photo)

But eventually we shook it off. Like the off-season, Saturday’s game with the Canes found us at Nellie’s full of hope.  We may have gotten carried away with the hope-y thing when one of our revelers hoisted a bucket of beer over his head as if it were Lord Stanley’s chalice. “We want the Cup!” he roared.  We left the bar with a bounce in our step and the taste of blood in our mouths: First, we want Tampa.

Steven Stamkos

The Bolts arrive at the Booth after a dominating win over the Canes in their season opener, but they followed that up by getting thrashed by the champion Boston Bruins 4-1. When we look at the Lightning roster we can’t help but feel repulsed by two familiar faces: noted miscreant Steve Downie and repeat offender Victor “The Headhunter” Hedman. Perhaps the only Bolt we like is 21 year-old blond beauty, forward Steven Stamkos. Why do we like Stamkos, you ask? We like him because he likes to pose shirtless a lot. [Note: Pretty soon you’ll stop asking]. We’ll hold our fire on Tampa’s Tom Pyatt, because when we talk Pyatt brothers, we’re all about Taylor Pyatt of the Coyotes. We’ll gush plenty about that doll baby ahead of the Phoenix game on November 21 (if we still have a job here by then).

Twin peaks villain

But it’s a duo of Bolts players we’ve have the most fun with: the diminutive Assistant Captain, Martin St. Louis, and his towering Quebecois teammate, Captain Vincent Lecavalier. We do our best over-the-top, French-Canadian accents (which sound neither French nor Canadian), and shout, “San-lou-EEE” and Le-Cavalee-YAY.”  And we follow that up with a round of throaty and all-too-stereotypical braying, “HAW, HAW, HAW!!!”

It’s all in good fun; we really like the Canadians. Their names sound like Twin Peaks villains. We also have fun with the Bolts bench boss, the very handsome and very scary, Guy “Scarface” Boucher. When we introduced the Bolts coach to our hocke- noob PuckBuddys audience, we issued this reminder on pronunciation: “Bou-CHE rhymes with Dou-CHE.”

Dwayne Roloson

We can’t preview the Bolts without a look at their number-one goalie. And when we say look, we mean a look at the historical record, the Pleistocene record. We aren’t sure exactly how old Dwayne “Actuarial-tables-say-I-won’t-survive-the-season” Roloson actually is. His true age will be determined when the carbon-dating analysis results get back from the lab, hopefully in time for our second match-up on January 13.

Until then, it’s work-work-work and a busy week ahead. We’ve got a Pens preview to draft, a trip with Slapshot to the manicurist for his annual talon sharpening, and a quick run to the jeweler for some emergency repair work. Don’t ask about that chore — suffice it to say that someone got their chain yanked Saturday night and we’ll leave it at that.

  • Shinaain

    I have to say that since RMNB and PuckBuddys joined unholy forces, this site has gotten lot more interesting. Very well done.

  • Peter

    Thanks! We’re trying to get more voices, more material, and more silly jokes out there.

  • Felix Leiter

    It’s alternate captian, not assistant.

  • “Guy Boucher plots to kill 007″…with that face he’s making….LOL!

  • batmaneatsbabie

    I don’t care what anyone says, Boucher is the best looking man on that team, if only because of how badass scary he & his scary (named lil bouchey) look.

  • Shinaain

    You’re welcome! It occurs to me that I should qualify my statement: I wasn’t saying the site isn’t interesting already. I really appreciate that y’all are trying pull in different points of view, and that all I’ve read thus far have been just as irreverent as they are passionate and knowledgeable about the game. That’s the kind of fan I am, too, so I can certainly relate. So thank YOU!

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