AP Photo/Ted Richardson
[Doug Johnson of the PuckBuddys is back! And he has this preview. Yet another preview. Which, for the record, he doesn’t need to do, he just chooses to do. He could stop at any time. Really. Just this one more. Go be co-dependent with him here.]
Morning Skate: Well fiddle-dee-dee. No sooner do we air out the Rangers’ stank from Verizon than the hillbillies from Hooterville return, bringing with them an undiscovered country of smell. Yes y’all, the Carolina Hurricanes are blowing back in, bringing with them their corn-pone, possum caps, crystal meth and Alex Semin, in something like that order.
Of course “stank” is something we all got a heapin’ helpin’ of this weekend. Must we really bring it up again – the juvenile penalties, the evaporating puck-management skills, John Tortorella’s stupid fat face? Apparently, yes.
Just what is happening in hockeyville? What is at the root of this existential struggle? I was contemplating this conundrum when a colleague at work asked me about the loud whooshing in the vent above my desk. “Is it blowing or sucking?” he asked.
Perhaps it’s just that the Capitals suck. Inconsistent play between and even within games, a superstar Captain who fans more than he shoots, and lines that seem more improvised than a John Cassavetes movie (ha!). Could it be that the 2013 incarnation of the Caps really aren’t that good across the board, and we should just focus on the 2014 rebuild?
Or maybe it’s blow. Yes, let’s stick with that one for a moment. As in blowing leads, blowing shots, and blowing opportunities, leading to the Caps faithful blowing chunks. I’m sure there’s an emoticon the kidz have come up with for that, but I can’t care.
Do you see the difference? Suck is what you are; blow is what you do. This dazzling insight, arrived at after at least, oh, a minute of thought, jibes with Peter’s ambitious analysis, though with much less of the word stuff and more of the… well I just don’t know how to finish that sentence. Ergo: the Capitals blow. And this is good news, because blow is fixable. Suck is forever.
The Puck Drop: Which, what a coincidence, brings us to Carolina. From its earliest days as South Carolina’s ugly little sister, North Carolina has remained one of the best reminders of why we might have been better to just walk away from that whole Civil War thing and leave good enough alone.
You would be hard pressed to find a place as simultaneously dull and ugly as North Carolina. Trust me on this: after spending just one week in Charlotte for the Democratic National Convention last year, it is one of the few spots on Earth that a tropical storm would improve.
Sadly, the same cannot be said of the Hurricanes, née the Hartford Whalers, now residing in that pop-up book of a city, Raleigh. At 7-3 in the last ten games, they now seem to be pulling it together after a slow start, much like another team had been looking of late.
Of course, one of those losses was from us, here at home, when seemingly nobody came ready to play except Cam Ward, who — it must be noted– is performing better than any of our three current goalies and is infuriatingly cute. I would offer up performance comparisons here, but seeing as at least a few Hurricanes fans will have this read to them and mathematics is still legally considered “a demonye vice” in Carolina.
The Canes are simply playing better, and better as a team, than the Capitals right now. As are most teams in the Eastern Conference. And in other news, the Earth is still revolving around the sun. Moving on…
The Hot And The Not:
The Late Line: So here it is. Boston had it all over the Caps on paper, and what a thing of beauty that was. The Islanders should have been something approaching doable, until we were the ones that got did on. If I worked the book in Vegas, I wouldn’t be working the book anymore in Vegas. But be bold! Chaos is a ladder! And other Game of Thrones quotes I’m supposed to know!
Caps 3, Canes 2.
Sue me if I’m wrong. Or take it up with my bookie.
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