Florida Panthers Pregame: Deal The Card

Doug Johnson is a Puck Buddy. Read Puck Buddys. Follow @PuckBuddys. Obey.

The Pregame: True story. Florida’s Everglades have become so overrun with non-native Burmese Pythons, imported by one simpleton New Jersey retiree couple on Hoverounds, that they’ve eaten just about everything good and natural to the region, leaving the entire ecosystem on the edge of collapse. Really.

And yet, we are so overcome with issues of real import (Caps fail) that we cannot even fill in the punchline here. The easy, made-to-order, South Florida punchline. The joke that Dave Barry has penned a hundred times (and Gene Weingarten a thousand.)

THAT is precisely how dire our current situation is. To make it clear: if two well-educated, middle-aged gay men can’t make wry comments about South Florida, you know it’s fer realz.

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Alex Ovechkin and Dennis Wideman’s Tempestuous Practice

Photo credit: Nick Wass

At about 11:30 Thursday morning, during a mandatory practice at Kettler, Alex Ovechkin and Dennis Wideman got into a bit of a scuffle. According to WaPo’s Katie Carrera, Wideman slashed Ovechkin during a drill, and the Caps captain wasn’t too happy about it, responding with a slash of his own. There was a brief, heated shoving match between the two players.

Cue internet panic. It’s been a tough week for the Capitals, having three days without games probably wasn’t ideal for them following three straight losses, and all that downtime has turned into an ugly self-feeding cycle of discontent, rumors, and worrying soundbites. It’s clear that winning games would be the badly needed antidote, but they haven’t had a chance to do that, and frustrations have seemingly started to boil over.

Reactions to Ovechkin and Wideman’s tiff were all pretty much along the lines of oh no, not this too, but luckily, the players involved were on hand to explain it.

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Capitals During Wartime: Our Misery is Their Trending Topic

[Ed. note: This is fifth installment of Capitals During Wartime, a series about Washington’s struggles before the 2012 trade deadline. Read previous entries about coaching, negativity, road performance, and centers.]

Everyone has the moment when you realize that the Caps are in serious trouble. You know when mine was, because that’s when I started this Capitals During Wartime series. For Ian, it was Monday night, when he finally admitted to me how worried he was. For the rest of the Internet and the broader hockey community, that moment is right now.

This article documents The Week from Hell, a litany of depressing and infuriating stories about your Washington Capitals. Because we need a single, coherent record of what exactly it was like when things couldn’t possibly get any worse.

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