GIF via max-peck
Sarah and Green at Kettler in 2009 (Photo credit: Sarah Abrecht)
In 2008, Hagerstown native Sarah Abrecht fell in love with hockey. After graduating high school, Abrecht landed a gig at Kohl’s and her coworkers quickly learned of her new obsession.
“My two bosses were huge fans too,” Abrecht told me. “The husband of one of my bosses actually gave a pair of free tickets to my sister and me for a Washington Capitals game April 4th of that year. The seats were 11 rows back from the box. It was such an awesome experience!”
In the first period, Abrecht got to see Capitals defenseman Mike Green — in the throes of his breakout season — score a beautiful goal on the New York Islanders. Green’s slick skating and skill were fun to watch, but Green also proved to be a pretty cool dude off the ice too. When Abrecht met the Vespa-enthusiast at a Columbia, Maryland autograph signing for Muscle Milk (that I may or may not have gone to) he became her favorite player.
Photo credit: USA NTDP
Hudson Fasching, a prospect projected to be selected in the second round of the NHL draft, has a remarkable family. His two younger siblings, Cooper and Mallory, have a rare genetic condition called mitochondrial disorder; their brains and muscles don’t receive the energy they need to operate properly.
“I just am very grateful for what I have,” Fasching told NHL.com in April. “I feel like I’m very lucky. It was a statistical thing, a one-in-four chance that they would contract the disease or the genes ended up the way they have. I’m just really lucky that I have all the gifts I’ve been given as a person, and I work that much harder every day to work for them because they can’t do that.”
Laaaaadies. (Screenshot via reader Paddy P.)
Last week, Alex Ovechkin and companion walking boot made the trek to Paris to cheer for his fiancee Maria Kirilenko (and BAY) at the French Open. Maria had a successful tournament, advancing to the quarterfinals of the Open for the first time beforing losing to Viktoria Azarenka of Belarus, a part-time lion tamer and also the third ranked women’s player in the world.
Not winning the shiny Roland Garros trophy isn’t the end of the world. As of next week, Maria will break into the WTA’s top-10 rankings for the first time in her career. The highest she’s ever been ranked previously was 12th. Do we credit Ovechkin’s cheering? We credit Ovechkin’s cheering.
Now let’s summarize what you missed.
Late last week, The Washington Examiner’s Brian McNally reported that veteran Capitals defenseman Jeff Schultz wants out of DC. “My agent and I thought there has got to be somewhere else where a team needs a player like myself and I can be utilized a lot more than I was here,” Schultz told Katie Carrera on Thursday afternoon. “It was like I was a young first year player again with them. They didn’t have that trust in me that they could put me out there in tough situations or even in the third period.”
Schultz, whose role with the team was reduced after Bruce Boudreau was fired, has one year remaining on his four-year, $11 million contract, which carries a $2.75 million salary cap hit next season. Over the weekend, George McPhee revealed to CSN Washington that he’d try to accommodate him. “As we’ve told every player, if you ever want to be traded or you’re not happy then let us know and we’ll trade you. So we started working on it and we’ll see what develops.”
During his time in Washington, Sarge was a polarizing figure among fans, not unlike departed bro Alex Semin. His style of hockey could never be described as tough (maybe gangly is the best word for it). Hockey purists took offense at that. At six-foot, six-inches and 230 pounds, Schultz could have been a physical player on the order of a Diet Chara, but instead Schultz’s long reach was his trademark.
That’s not to say Schultz hasn’t had success with his defensive philosophy. He led the league in (garbage stat) plus-minus in 2009–10 and set a postseason record in 2011 when he went 119 minutes without a goal against.
If he leaves the team this offseason, either by trade or buyout, Jeff Schultz definitely deserves a proper RMNB send-off.
The Pittsburgh Penguins entered the 2013 playoffs as the best team in the East. Hands down. They led the league in goals despite losing ever-vainglorious Sidney Crosby to plastic surgery mid-season. It seemed like a trip to the Stanley Cup Finals would be a cakewalk, even moreso once The Kid returned.
Marc-Andre Fleury’s first round cognitive flatulence from last year made an (un?)expected return. He was benched after four fecal games against the Islanders. Opting instead for Tomas “I have a really surprising amount of tattoos” Vokoun, the Pens’ rickety ship got rightened long enough to beat the Islanders and the Senators.
But now, against the Bruins in the Eastern Conference Finals, hockey’s golden goose Sidney Crosby has been diagnosed with a virulent case of the Fleuries. Crosby had a bevy of boondoggles in game one, which I’ll document below, including a Sean Avery-esque shove of Tuukka Rask at the end of the second period that in a just world would have resulted in a They Live-style brawl. Then, in game two, on his first shift, Crosby served up a tasty turnover that led to Boston’s first goal. That set the tone for the game, which was the most deliciously pathetic thing we’ve had the privilege to watch in a long time. The Bruins lead the series 2-0, and the Pens — well, they’re in trouble, dude.
Listen. I’ve been taunted by Penguins fans all my life. This is overdue.
Mathieu Perreault‘s celebrations after Capitals’ overtime wins were the best part of the season. We gave them the name #PerryCelly and designed a t-shirt in its honor, but it seems Caps fans still can’t get enough of the enthusiastic gyrations Now, dougiegilmour has shared this GIF to Tumblr. Just stunning. Here, Perreault and Jay Beagle partner up to bake a cake. Real teamwork.
I think I still love the guitar windmill version more, but man, so great.
If you see other #PerryCelly remixes out there, post them in the comments below. They need a home.
23 years ago, Washington Capitals general manager David Poile drafted Slovakian winger Peter Bondra 156th overall in the 1990 NHL Draft. We remember what happened next: Bondra jumped into the Capitals line-up the next season, quickly becoming the franchise’s most prolific goal-scorer and holder of every major Caps record (until that Alex Ovechkin guy showed up). Bondra led the Caps to their only Stanley Cup Finals appearance in 1997-98.
Each of the four remaining playoff teams has won a championship in the last four years. We’re just recycling winners at this point. There’s no point in watching anymore. There’s no point in anything. Our Capitals have been eliminated, and I can’ t think of any good reason to get out of bed in the morning except for summer weather, two good regional baseball teams, bathing suits, watermelons, Joss Whedon’s commentary track for Avengers, and a new Janelle Monae album.
Other than that, life is a wasteland.
Nonetheless, Ian and I made a promise to publish our awful, hastily assembled predictions on who would win each round of the playoffs. As you remember, I got smacked down in the quarterfinal round, but I’m feeling a little better about the enterprise right now….
…cause last round I went 4 for 4, baby!