Craig Anderson watches one go by. (Photo credit: Andre Ringuette)
The Pre-Game: We hear through the Twitters that perhaps we went just a weee bit overboard with our preview of Saturday’s Ottawa game, and shameless self-promotion of teh PuckBuddy’s Big Gay Night Out. Whoops! Curiously: among the critics was Donald Trump, who should know a thing or two about the line between gleeful self-promotion and villainous sociopathy, so we take that to heart. So that, plus Peter’s epic stat-tastic data set analysis matrix (or whatever) have convinced us today we’re going to play it down the line.Yup, right… directly, down that… unbending line. Directly… forward, in a non-curvilinear fashion. And that’s as close as we’re ever going to come to saying it, so get over it.
The Naughty and Nice List, Part 1
Oh noes, it being the season of interminably pointless culture battles over decorated trees and shopping mall greetings, we’re compiling a list of who’s being good, and who isn’t, on the Caps bench. We know: all this is old and nobody cares.
But someone cares. And his name is Santa. Our Elfalicious list begins with:
Naughty: Toss up here. Michal Neuvirth, who we genuinely like, turned in a crap performance Monday. Yo it happens brah, we get it, but (at least if the numbers are to be believed) it’s happening a tad too much with you, and you canNOT blame the Sunrise mess only on lack of D. But then there’s two other guys we really like, who seemed to go out of their way to be idiots: John Erskine and Karl Alzner. Erskine’s punch-down of Bracken Kearns (which we swear is not something you studied in high school biology) seemed pointless – he’s a shrimp, nobody needed the up, and you got tossed out of the game for a butt-load of time. Not smart. Speaking of not smart…ugh, Alzner, we really really like you. But that last-minute boarding escapes us. Did you think ‘Gorsh, nobody’s a-lookin’!‘, or were you thinking at all? Lump of coal goes to: Neuvy.
Nice: Nicky’s clearly aiming for the Junior Red Ryder BB Gun, as he is just the utility fix-it down there. He’ll get his wish soon enough. Today, our candy cane goes to Coach Hunter, who had the balls to stick by Neuvy after a crap 1st period, and keep him from getting even more rattled. Teams like s**t like that.
The Puck Drop
Oy Gevalt, what, weren’t we just here? Like so much has changed, you need something said? Like a prophet I should be?
Look, we pretty much stand by everything we wrote last time. Go look it up for hot Sens pics and searingly brilliant analysis. Except we want to add a few thoughts:
- Taste of Honey: last time out we were singling out the players who counted – Alfredsson (son of Batman’s butler), Zach Smith (rly? Zach?! Nice parents) and Sergei Gonchar top among them. And these were the guys that figured…in Monday’s battle against Tampa Bay. Us? We got Erik Karlsson (or Karl Eriksson) who at 2G, 21A and -2 is helpful but not someone who should have been a top-line threat. Oh, and Milan Michalek, 16G, 6A and -2 is someone who actually did figure (and we warned about.) The point is that some of these kids were really sweet against us, while the “stars” (to the delusion that there are, actually, stars in Ottawa) weren’t so much. Perhaps we should watch for what we’re not expecting.
- Home Dull Home: Yes, we get to shamble on up to the Venice of the 50th parallel – Ottawa! Trust us, there’s not enough Molson in Canada to make Ottawa appealing. Still, we’re there, and they’re home. Which we generally don’t pay attention to, except while they’re 7-4-1 at home (compared to our whompin’ an’ a stompin’,) while we are 4-8-0 on the road. Only Anaheim (*coughJigglescough*) and the hilarious Blue Jackets stink worse. So there you go! Let’s beat the Ducks! Hahah, oh wait, don’t.
- The “Bobby Brady” Effect: Yes, there’s actually a thing social psychologists measure called the “Bobby Brady Effect.” Take our word for it. Don’t get all stupid and start looking it up. Anyway, the third of a series can often be a little…well, Bobby Brady. Look, we’re sure that Mike Lookinland (we’re so confident we’re not even looking it up) is a perfectly nice fellow and not some meth-binging, butt-tatted loser living in a Reno trailer park. But “Bobby Brady”? Our point is that we’ve beaten up on the Sens twice, but both current stats and house odds say our number has to come up. Caps: do NOT count on showing up to play the third Brady (i.e., pushover) child Wednesday. Play like you’re playing Greg!
The OT and Shoot Out: The entire NHL proposed re-alignment has us all in a muddle. It’s like moving into a new neighborhood where all the kids at school are a-holes. We can’t process.
But we can process what appears to be happening with Coach Hunter and the Caps. They’re building trust and confidence in each other. We’re no Pollyanna Princess Pony when it comes to reality: we get where we’re at exactly like everyone else does. But we’re just sayin…sorta like that tattoo you have and are embarrassed of, or that shite boyfriend (or two) you once had, or that can’t-lose Nigerian check transfer scheme, you probably feel worse about your mistakes than the rest of the world.
We’re thinking: we’re probably feeling a little worse about our season so far than the rest of the world. It’s not as bad as it seems. In fact, we think it might just be getting better. But perhaps not exactly just yet.