Bombarded by all the commercials and promotions on Comcast SportsNet, I had already downloaded the app but had never been inclined to use it. It seemed like Twitter, just stupider. Maligned by the media and by us, SportsYapper is like the Columbus Blue Jackets of social media. And after a few hours on the service, I can report that I learned nothing. It is exactly what we thought: Twitter, just stupider.
Early Morning Skate: So, the last time we were here, we were there. Filthy Philadelphia, needing a solid road win, and feeling optimistic to start. In fact, we were all, like, yay here we gowhattheflipwasthat?! and c’mon Holtbeast get it together and then yay Groooouuubsie and boooo Max Talbot grrr grrrr and ow that traffic-cone orange makes my soul weep and that was pretty much the best summary of that ugly mess of a game I can imagine.
Mmmm…tastes like Cheez Whiz
What exactly was it that happened that terrible, cold February night at the F-U Center? Where, exactly, were manimal Troy Brouwer and Captain 8 (despite being probably the best in Red on the ice that night) and John “Towelie” Carlson and the Millionaire and his wife and the nameless rest? Certainly not there to play hard, or at least battle back through a tough start. And why was it, exactly, the Lord Supreme in His wisdom didst create that dung-heap of a burg to begin with?
Now this is our idea of a hot Fly team. Really.
You see, I’d like to chalk up that bumbling bungle of a game simply to our visiting the giant spirit suck that is Philly and its moronic fans. Like to, but cannot. Yeah, there were a couple fluky puck bounces and what-not, but those things give as much as they take. No, what we saw was a failure to launch by the Capitals after a dis-spiriting start. It was not, in any possible permutation of the concept, ‘good.’
The Puck Drop: But it’s Spring, and Easter (for some) or Maru (for others) or Passover or Nowruz or we’re just going to stop this now. Traditionally, it’s a time for rebirth and renewal and rejuvenation and reloading and all that. For the Capitals’ flock, it’s once more the race to the playoffs.
For several years now, the Capitals have demonstrated fine mettle in April, much like the pale gossamer jonquils besotting the landscape, if those jonquils were angry, snarling, forechecking, glass-smashing monsters made of steel and laser beams.
In short, there’s two ways this ends. One: we leave Filthydelphia redolent of Whiz, covered in soot and chagrin; or two, you can eat me Peter Laviolette. No wait, that’s a given. Oh yes; or two, we bounce outta Barftown and kick it into grinder gear for the coming match-ups against the Canes and ugly Islanders (revenge want now) and be the team that showed up to rub Winnipeg’s nose in its own dark, dark shame. I know which one I’m hoping for.
On March 30, 2013, In Game Recap, By Peter Hassett
Photo credit: Bill Wippert
The Washington Capitals came out ice-cold against the Buffalo Sabres in a game they should’ve been highly motivated to win. With the playoffs still possible, the Caps let the Sabres run away with a two-goal lead before mounting their comeback. The Caps ran the cycle — with goals by Ovechkin on the power play, a shorthanded goal by Brouwer, and 6-on-5 goal by Mike Green.
Overtime couldn’t decide the game, so to the shootout we went. Ovechkin won it. Because he’s a big damn hero, sir.
With five minutes to go in regulation and the game tied 2-2, Brooks Laich‘s cross-ice dump-in was swatted down by John Tavares. Tavares sent the puck into the Caps’ zone, which is where all the crazy happened. Laich sent a weak pass behind the net to Mike Green. The puck bounced off both boards and the back of the net, finally coming to rest dangerously near the crease. With Matt Moulson pressuring, Green tried to put the puck through his legs. Instead, the puck hit his skates and stopped. Moulson picked it up and fed Tavares for an easy game-winner.
Since leaving Lake Superior State (Sault Ste. Marie, Michigan) after the 2008-09 season, gritty defenseman Steve Oleksy has been the epitome of a journeyman, playing for seven different minor league teams in five years. He’s played for the Port Huron Icehawks of the IHL; the Las Vegas Wranglers, the Toledo Walleye, and the Idaho Steelheads of the ECHL; and the Bridgeport Sound Tigers and the Hershey Bears of the AHL.
Monday night, with the Capitals needing a right-handed shooting defenseman in Mike Green’s absence (i.e. #brittlegroin), Oleksy got the call that young players dream about.
Hockey is brutal. Mike Green has missed 83 games due to injury over the past two seasons. He’s missed time because of groin, ankle, and concussion issues. Caps fans have called him soft over the years, but Sunday against the Penguins, Green showed how tough he really is.
After taking a big check from Kris Letang and crashing shoulder-first into the boards, Green picked himself up off the ice. He skated towards the bench to get looked over by the trainer, but then Green saw his teammates gain possession of the puck in the corner and instead stopped at the slot. Wojtek Wolski hit him with a beautiful cross-ice pass and Green scored on his former teammate Tomas Vokoun.
Last week, Ted Leonsis spread his wings by launching Monumental Network, a site to aggregate all the Caps, Wizards, Mystics, and Verizon Center coverage his company produces. They’ve got original reporting and a network of blogs to cover the living heck out of each team.
That doesn’t mean Ovechkin hasn’t had his chances — especially in Oates’ 1-3-1 powerplay. After their game against New Jersey on Friday, Mike Green lamented to CSN sideline reporter Al Koken,”I missed [Ovi] on a pass that was about four or five inches out of his wheelhouse.” On Sunday, Green found Ovi with a beautiful cross-ice pass to give the Russian machine his first goal on the season. It would end up being the game-winner.