The Pre Game: “And here’s my theory of punctuation. At the end of every sentence there should be a tiny clock that shows you how long it took you to write that sentence.” – Laurie Anderson.
Watching Capitals games is becoming an existential exercise, based on the obscene, neutered device we call the clock. As in: Caps score first by the clock: we lose. Caps trail in the second by the clock: we win. Watch the game, watch the clock; we score first, we lose last.
Call me crazy. Call me late for dinner, but consarnit, the Caps are just not behaving by the clock. Headline from Saturday: Caps Lose, Broadside of Barn Safe! What went wrong? Coach Juggles’ shoot-out changes? The Caps total lacking D? #BadSasha? #EvilSasha? #HailSatanSasha?
Here’s the thing: Caps, every time you take a lead and blow it, you smoke a tiny bit of our time. Think about that: every game you go forward at the first, only to surrender… you surrender a few minutes of our lives. The clock is ticking. What will you do with it?
The Puck Drop
Blurf, so here we have to smile and pretend we’re all happy to be in Nashville, America’s mildewed trashcan. Really? You ever look around you while you’re there? Is it Nashville, or Knoxville (home to Wigsphere)? Stickville, Twigville or Branchville? Really Mr. Gore, don’t even try it on me; I’ve toured around Tennessee and found it to be exactly as it seems: stones, swine, and mines. And the occasional Democrat.
So before we start on Smashville, here comes this dump from the NYPost, alleging that the Capitals aren’t as forthcoming on merch as the players union would have. Seriously: this is something GMGM needs to address (or remedy on QVC).
What Makes Them Hot
#1: First line: Colin Wilson (3G-6A-9P), Craig Smith (7G-7A-14P), and Patric Hornqvist (7G-4A-11P). Remember those names. Between them, these three have been steering the Preds to all the victories they can eke out. They’re almost too good for us to note…except for the dreamy Craig Smith.
#2: Not line: Line 2 with Sergei Kostitstyn (3G-5A-8P), Mike Fisher (2G-2A-Underwood), and Someone has all but vanished (someone whistlin’ too much country music?) leaving the third line with little more than Tootoo. NoNoo, Jordin Tootoo (0G-3A-3P). As in: fill in your own lame joke.
#3: Last line. Pekka Rinne (2.28 GAA), long mocked in the NHL, is proving his worth and then some. At .929%, we would bet with this Finn anytime.
What Makes Them Not
#1: Us: Caps, here you are. You know you’re a better team than the Preds. You know you can outskate just about anyone, including Smith. You know you want vengeance after the Devils. You are pumped. You are ready. Seriously: stop looking at the clock and just win. Close the damn deal.
#2: Them: The Preds are averaging 25.8 shots per game, the mark of a middling team, but they’re at 33.1 shots against, more than all teams but the Dallas Stars and Florida Panthers. Neither of which we choose to acknowledge.
#3 :It Coach Boudreau, you don’t seem to be channeling into your spirit wingding that grants you victory lately. You’re moving, juggling, shifting…what are you doing? Seriously: grip yourself, recognize who you have, and stop getting in your way and theirs. Short bench, long bench, bag skates, optional skates, accountability, or Antiestablishmentarianism – whatevs, you have world-class hockey players. Make it work.
We’re not expecting great things in this game. Cut our legs and serve ‘em up soup! Serious, we have three road games ahead, and we anticipate spotty play with Greenie out, the Hammer hurting, and Boudreau coming back from Hershey empty-handed.
A loss against the Predators wouldn’t surprise us; the first road game is rarely a win, but more a learn. The slow pace of the October schedule has given way to a very busy November. It seems like we have games almost every other day through Thanksgiving. What time is it? It’s sack grab o’clock.
Existential Time Out
As Kierkegaard said, this world can only be understood if lived backward. And to demonstrate that, look for Peter’s game recap in a mere moments after the final horn. It’s probably already written.