Pittsburgh Penguins star Sidney Crosby is going to win the Hart trophy at the end of the season. Not only was Sid the only guy to score 100 points this year, he is also a good defensive player too. That’s why on Friday night against the New York Rangers, I was surprised to see Crosby completely give up on a play in the defensive zone.
Photo: Ron Chenoy
Former Capital Semyon Varlamov had an incredible year for the Colorado Avalanche, taking the Avs from last to first in the standings. He is likely to win the Vezina Trophy in June as the league’s best goaltender.
Unfortunately for Varly, this season — like many in the past — ends with a bitter taste in his mouth. Semyon Varlamov played in another game seven, and Semyon Varlamov in game sevens is not very good.
Against the Wild on Wednesday, Varly played his first game seven in four years — since he put up an .875 save percentage against the Montreal Canadiens. Varly was shaky again against Minnesota, making 30 saves on 35 shots for a .857 save percentage. He gave up the series-winning goal to Nino Niederreiter five minutes into overtime.
Varlamov is 1-for-4 in game sevens in his career with a lifetime .857 save percentage.
There’s only one thing left to do.
Photo: Jacquelyn Martin
Today was a weird day. I’ve run into George McPhee many times, both as a tiny Caps fan and as an adult blogger. I really like him. And I loved Adam Oates as a player.
But, obviously, the Washington Capitals needed a change – the trade requests and the revolving door of coaches suggested serious dysfunction in the organization. Today, majority owner Ted Leonsis and team president Dick Patrick hit the reset button, firing GMGM and Oates.
While some readers are openly celebrating the firings (which I totally get), this is also a painful moment for the people involved– most notably Leonsis and Patrick, whose decisions led the team down this path.
Both men spoke to the media on Saturday and you could tell it was not a press conference they enjoyed.
There wasn’t a lot of news in their words, but their faces spoke volumes.
On Tuesday night, the Dallas Stars’ DJ trolled the Anaheim Ducks by playing the Duck Tales theme late in the third period, when the Stars were up 2-0. On Wednesday, two Stars fans took it to another — and stranger– level by coming to the game dressed as furries.
To the joy of literally everyone, the sat along directly behind Bruce Boudreau. Oh, and they had props. Because hockey needed more props.
Weather warming, birds singing, Marc-Andre Fleury spazzing out. These are the rites of Spring. When Nick Foligno chipped an innocent shot from the blue line on Wednesday night, the Pittsburgh goalie’s programming kicked in: Must. Allow. Weak-ass goal.
That softie won the game for Lumbus in overtime, tying the series 2-2, and sending Penguins fans into conniption fits. All for good reason: a shot from the blue line has like a 1-in-50 chance of going in– maybe less. It should have been a routine save for Fleury. His gaffe on the tying goal in the third period shouldn’t have happened either.
So Fleury is the Escape Goat, again, but I fear that reputation might obscure how truly bad the entire Penguins team was in this game. Really, it’s the whole team’s fault.
WARNING: This post may upset readers who get emotional about human fingers. Not all of the fingers. Just the one in the middle.
Last night, the Philadelphia Flyers hosted a home playoff game for the first time since 2012, when they lost to the eventual Eastern Conference champions, the New Jersey Devils, in five games. The Flyers lost again on Tuesday, this time getting smacked 4-1 by the New York Rangers. They are down 2-1 in the series.
This first round match-up isn’t over yet, but some Flyers fans are already melting down. After a goal by Martin St. Louis put the Rangers up 2-0, a Flyers fan flipped him off. It made for good TV.
Peter and I don’t watch the NBA, but on Wednesday we supported the Washington Wizards in their victory over Chicago. Hashtag dcRising. Watching basketball has been… an adjustment. I used to play at Frederick High, but the NBA rules don’t resemble the sport I was taught. Peter is just clueless.
The Wizards are winning and it's the second … uhh… half? Quarter? Period? Has anyone caught the snitch yet?
— Peter Hassett (@peterhassett) April 23, 2014
And then this other thing happens, and we’re even more lost.
Bad photoshop by me
After scoring one of the prettiest goals of the year, Pavel Datsyuk nabbed all the headlines after the Wings-Bruins game on Friday night. In the neutral zone, the 35-year-old Russian reached behind his body, pulled a puck through his legs, skated into Boston’s offensive zone, and scored. That was the game one game-winner.
Appreciate this ish.
Photo: Doug Pensinger
In Patrick Roy’s first game as head coach of the Colorado Avalanche, he set the tone of the Avs’ season when he got into a glass-shoving incident with Bruce Boudreau on the bench. The Avs, who went from worst to first this season, have taken on Roy’s fiery personality.
Even young Russian daffodil Semyon Varlamov has allowed parts of Roy’s take no shit attitude to seep into his game. Consider Friday night against the Minnesota Wild.
In Game One, as the Wild’s Mikko Koivu attempted to pressure an Avs breakout, he got a bit too close to Varlamov’s crease and he learned that you DON’T SASS THE VARLAMONSTER.
Photo: Brad Mills
Classy. The Washington Nationals are not as near and dear to my heart as the Baltimore Orioles, but they did something super awesome on Thursday, when they had Washington Capitals forward Joel Ward throw out the first pitch before their game against the St. Louis Cardinals.
Ward getting the opportunity to throw out the first pitch after a career year is cool enough on its own, but doubly so because it came on Jackie Robinson Day at Nats Park. Ward wears #42 in honor of the Dodger legend.
After getting some advice from Nats pitcher Ross Detwiler, Ward stepped to the mound confidently and delivered a perfect strike. Though the heave was a bit of a moonshot.