The Morning Skate: Gentle readers, before we [CENSORED] all over our Bruins friends, let us pause a moment, as you scramble in blind panic preparing for snow that will never, ever come again, to consider the hazards of making predictions. Especially about the Caps.
For example, if I predict no snow Wednesday, it’s gonna get all crazy 20″ up in here. Conversely, I stone cold guarantee that if I dash to the store today to buy a terror shovel, we will be mopping our brows and sipping Mint Juleps on our verandas by Friday. The point is: predictions can go so wrong. Britain’s Lord Kelvin (he of Downton Abbey, we guess?) said heavier-than-air machines could never fly. Harry Warner said no-one would pay for talkies. The Skipper predicted a three-hour tour. Boom.
Now before you get all Nate Silver-y on my behind with a lecture about the differences between prediction and guessing, let me remind all you smarty-pants that even that guy can be as wrong as a clam-juice birthday cake (who did he pick for the Superbowl? Hmmm?). Which brings us to Tuesday’s meeting of the Capitals and Bruins.
Heading into the vortex of despair we call Winnipeg last weekend, following as it did our emasculation by the Flyers, which itself followed our manhandling of Sasha and the Canes, and a bunch of other smart reasons articulated here, we did not have big expectations. Truly, given our flukey history with the Jets, we almost napped through the game. That would have been a shame, as it became a great display of what this team can do when they pull it together.
The real question here, the one I’ve been dithering around, wasting precious precious minutes of your life that you will never get back, is which Capitals team will show Tuesday? The bumblers that allow three points in the 1st period and just sorta of sleep-skate thereafter, or the gladiators that snap together like a Spartan phalanx and crush the will of their opponents? Flinging fate to the winds, I predict the latter, because that’s our roll.
OK, back to [NOPE, STILL CENSORED] on Boston.
The Puck Drop: Research suggests that the B’s are, in fact, chemically, the single worst concentration of terrible humankindism going back to, oh what, the cast of The Love Boat we reckon’. The bean team has been tearing it up against just about everyone in the Southeast recently, turning away teams that have done so to us, while holding their own in the Northeast. Even Sunday’s just-loss to the Habs demonstrated a squad willing, and mostly able, to take it to their foes on the ice.
And so for this, our first meeting this shortened season with the big bad Back Bay baboons, let’s conjure the spirits of our last meet-ups – specifically such sweet, juicy memories as:
- Mama June-clone Tim Thomas stumbling around apparently on horse tranqs and totally getting faked out of his cup by Matt “The Paralyzer” Hendricks, Braden Holtby, also known in our house as Braveman Holtbeast, staring down twerp Rich Peverley, and our favorite, Joel Ward‘s hero clutch shot and OT playoff game winner from game 7 last April. There now, isn’t that like better?
Who’s Hot And What’s Not:
- Lines of Death: Say what you may about the Bruins…for example, “I’d rather stick forks in my eyes than cheer them,” that’s a good one. Still, barf, they have several lines that act like a coherent…well, line. Lucic and Krejci up top, followed by a killer of Marchand, Seguin and Bergeron (“Patrice”? Rly?) And they’re working, while we can’t even get our first line settled. #sadface
- Who’s On First: In 19 out of 19 games this season, when the Bruins draw first blood, they win. In our 20 games, we can say that only 50% of the time; exactly 1/2 as good. Similarly, they trail at the end of the 1st, they win 50% of the time; for us, it’s 25%. This is NOT a team you want to chase down in the 3rd, as we have made a habit of doing. First shot, and especially a lead at the end of the first should suggest what the next 40 minutes will look like. So there.
- Man The Barricades: Overall, with last week’s Hurricane’s alpha-male performance, our Philly floppy fish imitation, and a don’t-give-up tightening in Satan’s playground Winnipeg, we had a good week. Capping a crapital month. Animal-man Troy Brouwer may have wondered which Sasha would show up last year, but we’re questioning which team shows up game to game. As I read wizard and competitor (so don’t click on the clicky) Peerless Prognosticator, perhaps our weakest two areas – continually this season – are defense and turnovers. Oh, and stoopid freaking penalties. Both of which speak to one basic idea: D-FND your Holtby, and keep your puck. Dépêchez-vous sur les barricades! Allez!
- Road Warriors: This is taking on a decided Hollywood-tinged theme. Still, we haven’t exactly been the model road team this year, eh? Ho ho, I’ll say! It’s like we’re flying non-stop to Kinshasa, playing on empty stomachs and typhoid water, and swimming back home – exhausting. We don’t really have a lot of time to figure this out. Easy for me to say: fat old man sitting in his jammies tapping out ill-informed hockey analysis. So we’ve got a home stand now until making the runs to Long Island… but it gets much worse after that. Two solid victories at home are what’s on the menu, boys.
- Red Rally Balloon: I’m totally ready for this plucky little latex friend to reappear. Although I’d do it with a Macklemore remix. Yuh-huh.
- O Captain! O Hai My Captain! OK, given one more poor performance, of which we’ve admittedly seen too much of this year (ahem), the media wombats will be all over Alex Ovechkin, bleating about this or that or the other. (Didja see wha I did there?) For three years your PuckBuddys have been hearing wha-wha-wha from who cares about our Captain’s inability to share and play nice. Pish. How many different Caps have gotten a piece of a winning puck in the last two weeks? And how many of them (other than, you know, that one game) have been Ovi? Yes, less curl-and-drag. They’re already doing that on RuPaul’s hot mess of a TV show, so please stop.
- Speaking of… I know he’s been prepping in a bunker in Idaho or doing shortwave radio shows from East Egg, Long Island or somewhere, but when was the last time I had a Chick-fil-A, and thought tender, juicy crispy thoughts about Mr. Thomas? Oh that’s right, in Hell.
Post Game: Spring is in the air, and we’re feeling a bit frisky. But so well-behaved! C’mon, an entire Bruins post and not one shirtless pic of Tyler. Or Dougie Hamilton? (You seen that guy?) So we’re casting our bread upon the water in this Easter season and putting together a PuckBuddys party in several weeks, likely hosted at Nellie’s, duh. We haven’t even run this past our RMNB overlords yet, but we tote want a huge turnout, so we’ll see what we see. [Ed. note: we're there. - Peter]
Prediction: I’m writing it down and sealing it in a dated envelope that I leave with my neighbor (serious.) I’ll let you know the results Wednesday. #predictionwin.