Tampa Bay Lightning Pregame: Five Minutes To Midnight

Doug Johnson writes for Puck Buddys. And because we have the microfilm in a safety deposit box somewhere, he writes for us as well. Follow @PuckBuddys or we start executing hostages.

The Pregame: Hey now; any you guys see that show on the teevees, “Doomsday Peppers” or something? You know, the one where seemingly pleasant enough, if overwhelmingly white people happily share their crackpot theories of why the world will end any minute now and how they’ll survive by stocking their compounds with bullets and pig dung? Good times.

Meanwhile we in America’s Hockey’s Capital are not so much having da good times of late. I’m thinking closer to the pig dung. Or better – remember those snobby nuclear scientists with their finger-waggling about nuclear Armageddon, bringing us down during the happy heydays of Ronald Reagan and “Family Ties” with their elitist Doomsday Clock? (Kiddies: go look it up while we drink our Metamucil.)

Yeah. Sitting here, looking at Thursday’s game and the remainder of the season, it feels like five minutes to midnight…with the clock ticking. And here’s us, without a stockpile.

Want more feel good snuggles?  Keep reading.

The Puck Drop

The team looks (and increasingly sounds) sullen as they simply have not been able to get their act together in their own zone. That, and we keep re-learning how apparently absolutely essential Nicky 19 was to smart offense, PP success, speed off the dot and, it seems, keeping our Captain in good humor and peak performance. And how much we miss Papa Arnott.

“Oh sure, that sounds like fun!” was how we responded to writing pregamers for our Ruskie overlords. “Heck, laud the Caps and laugh at our opponents – sign us up!” Well, it’s all fun and larfs while the rented magician and margaritas keep flowing, but when things dry up, well you begin to realize how tough times can get.

Who’s Hot, And Why We’re Not

Context is for the weak.

#1: Home again, home again. Jiggity jig, said the fat cow to the little fat pig. Right before they both got slaughtered. (Don’t bother correcting us, this is what we learned on the farm.)

Our five home-game run here was supposed to raise our spirits and our standings, and it’s done neither. In fact, it has arguably sunk them both. Worse than three losses at home in a row (don’t dare call it a streak) is two shutouts – at home – in a row. And against lesser teams! Except that, well, they clearly beat us those nights.

Still, numbers – 21-10-3, just about as good as any other good team – argue there’s still some Phone Booth Magic left. We’ve downed the Bolts before, we can do it again.


#2: John Carter, White Courtesy Phone. OK straighter than straight men’s men, we see through you. This whole “John Carter” yakka-yakka movie? Totes just a chance for you to go oggle stupidly beautiful men while assuring yourselves you’re really just there for the action. Admit it and get over yourselves.

Speaking of, let’s just admit that Stamkos, St. Louis (of the pee-wee pedigree,) Lecavalier and Bergeron are total he-men on the ice this season. They really are. Yet this does not make us any less of a collection of he-men on the ice. What we’ve seen from Troy-Boy, Ovie, Sasha, Knubs and others recently provides proof. Where we want to see a little more muscle flexing is from Alzner, Carlson, Schultz, HAMRLIK, and a few others.

Guys, we know you got it. Just do it.

#3: Just Win, Boys. Just win. And Sasha, keep up your huggy ways.

The Zamboni

Eagle-eyed PuckBuddy Craig noticed that Thompson Creek Windows and Hadeed Carpets have both apparently pulled their ads from airing locally during the Rush Dimbaugh Program. We can’t imagine why!

While Thompson appears to have made the smart long-term investment in Smokin’ Al, Hadeed is showing a knack for picking today’s “It” boy just as he turns a little stale (we still love you Carly!) Still, both firms are showing remarkable acumen for, well, basically not wanting to pay for the Oxycodone shakes of a foul-mouthed vulgarian by pulling their financial backing from Limbaugh’s show.

Which basically ensures that we will now exclusively use Hadeed for our carpet cleaning, and will call Thompson Creek to replace our windows that don’t need replacing. We encourage Caps Nation to follow suit.

The Fallout: 7pm home game on Comcast. Watch it. Your humble PuckBuddys have to go to some lame neighborhood meeting on development and blahblahblah we’re asleep already. The Caps began this 5-game home stand with a win. We are confident they will end it with one. Stamkos be damned: here come the Caps! Take that to the bank or call my bookie.

By the way: Tampa still smells like butt.

Meme of the Night:



  • Puckbuddys

    Don’t tell me we’ve run with that Stamkos shot before…

  • Peter

    is that a joke??? YES, WE HAVE. 

  • Duponceau

    The Washington Capitals have become this season’s Must See TV Reality Show, as they continually find new ways to sink to further lows. It’s just like watching a train wreck or an automobile accident. It’s impossible not to turn away. How did we get off script? This isn’t the way it was suppose to go. What happened to all that promise with all those first-round picks? The triumphal cups in Hershey?  Yes, no one ever said winning the Stanley Cup would be easy, but c’mon: to not even get a genuine sniff? If you’ve been going to games steadily since the magical run in 98, you know what I mean. What could possibly be more humiliating than last springs early exit from the playoffs? How about not EVEN making the playoffs the following year!  Oh, it’s just too much to bare… 

    – Standing on the ledge of the TR Bridge.

  • Puckbuddys

    I’m running out of shirtless pictures, apparently.