Five Washington Capitals players participated in the Olympics and all of them had a miserable time. No one tore an MCL like John Tavares of the Islanders or got back surgery like Henrik Zetterberg of the Wings, but you can’t really say the Caps escaped Sochi unscathed. It was basically a ten-day pain parade that we’d all like to forget as soon as possible.
But not yet.
We need to understand it better first. We should map in our minds the unfettered misery of the Sochi Olympics. For reasons. To this end I have devised a two-dimensional matrix of sadness and badassness. Presenting the RMNB Putin-Weir matrix. (I’m really proud of this, so shut up.)
On one axis we have Sad Putin, the basic unit of human suffering. Based on the works of Viktor Frankl and Martin Buber, Sad Putin measures bad things like losing, losing real bad, getting eviscerated by the media, getting busted injecting black tar allergy medicine, and missing the birth of your child.
On the other axis we have Badass Weir, the basic unit of yolo. To rank on the Weir axis, one must outperform expectations, scoar a sick goal, buck the trends, and generally be a cool dude like Johnny Weir.
By combining these metrics, I hope to understand precisely how sucky the Sochi Olympics were. I don’t know why we’d want to do that, but we’re doing it.
Marcus was a late addition to the Swedish roster. As a sometimes scratch, he played just five games out of six and barely over ten minutes per game on average. Johansson recorded just one assist in the tourney, but his team fought valiantly all the way to the gold medal game.
Plus, he rode a bicycle while wearing a suit, which is so quintessentially badass.
Then again, Marcus has to make a pit stop at home in Sweden to pick up a new visa before he returns to America. That’s so Putin.
Six out of ten Sad Putins for not getting a lot of play, losing the big game, and having to deal with immigration.
Four out of ten Badass Weirs for getting an assist, looking like a stud riding whatever the Russian version of a Huffy is, and actually getting a medal, unlike some people…
Poor baby. Nick Backstrom had a ton of chemistry with Daniel Sedin, recording four assists in five games. Missing the Henriks (Sedin and Zetterberg) probably limited Nicky’s and Sweden’s chances to kick some ace. What should’ve been Nick’s chance to step out of Ovi’s shadow ended up being a fiasco.
Because drugs. Specifically Zyrtec D, which you’d think was a dangerous, life-ruining, schedule-I drug like marijuana or a performance-enhancing magic cocktail like Mountain Dew the way the IOC flipped out about it. Backstrom missed the gold medal game— the final game of the tournament and the biggest game of his career. All because he had the sniffles.
Ten out of ten Sad Putins for the war on drugs.
Five out of ten Badass Weirs for biking Swede-style and allowing only one goal against in nearly 92 minutes of ice.
Marty was another late call-up to the Olympics– filling in when Vladimir Sobotka went down with a leg injury.
After going approximately infinity games without a goal, Erat scored an empty netter going into the break. Watch the floodgates, y’all. Erat struck again against the Latvians. The Czechs got bounced by a still-plucky, not-yet-broken American team in the quarterfinals.
So while it’s cool Marty went to the big show and continued to unslump himself, he didn’t medal and, oh yeah, he missed the birth of his child.
Only three out of ten Sad Putins because I bet they got pictures of the baby and that’s almost the same thing, right?
Six out of ten Badass Weirs for scoring on a goal that actually had a goalie in it.
Star of the 2010 World Junior Championship, Caps defenseman John Carlson was primed for moar international excellence. Except instead of sharing a shutdown pairing with Ryan McDonagh like he shoulda, Carlson spent time with relative plugs like Cam Fowler and Brooks Orpik. After Pavel Datsyuk owned Carlson and Orpik in the big US-Russia game, he was effectively benched. He got some more ice after that and even recorded his first ever Olympic goal in the team’s first game against Slovakia.
Then his teammates defaced his stall and the Americans suffered ignominious defeat at the hands of the Canadians and lost Bronze to a bunch of old Finnish guys.
Seven out of ten Sad Putins for that epic letdown following the loss to Canada, shaming a nation that I’m surprised to learn is still capable of shame.
Four out of ten Badass Weirs for scoring America’s first goal and surviving an assignment next to Brooks Orpik.
The face of the Sochi Olympics was eliminated in the quarterfinals by Teemu Selanne and the Finns. While he put 24 shots on goal, Ovechkin scored just once– on his first shot in his first game. That’s not all that uncommon among shooters like Ovi, but when I tried to explain that to all the nice folks with pitchforks and torches, they were oddly unreceptive.
The Russians reportedly spent 50 billion dollars on these games, but without a medal in men’s hockey it’s apparently all a waste. Following the loss to Finland, Russian coach Bilyaletdinov threw him under the bus. Cue JP’s organ grinder.
Nine out of ten Sad Putins because this was agonizing. At least he didn’t have the sniffles.
Nine out of ten Badass Weirs because Ovi’s weathered this and worse. He’ll be fine. He’s freaking Ovi.