[Ed. note: for coverage of Rene Bourque, uhhh… check out RMNB on Wednesday morning.]
The Pregame: Fun game! Everyone from a malfunctioning family, raise your hand. Or, if you’re in a public place, just give a little squee inside. Yeah, we thought so. Show me the person who says their family is perfectly normal and I’ll show you a glue-sniffing, trick-turning, psychopathic cat hoarder. You know: like [fill in hated politician here] Oh, biting wit!
And speaking of glue-sniffing (bet you thought it’d be sociopathy), we come to Wednesday’s game against the Montreal Canadiens. Les Habitants. You know: the Baldwin family of contemporary hockey. Or should that be the Donner Party? Either way, they eat their own to the amusement of all.
Oh you bet, we’ve all had a hearty laugh – a long, hard laugh – at the goonish antics of our Quebecois neighbors of late. Like watching the Spuckler family argument spill out onto the un-mowed back lawn, hurling rotting plastic chairs at one another as they jockey for “superiority” amid the weeds and used Timmy Hos coffee cups. Too much back bacon, eh?
The Puck Drop: So. This is what life drips down to. Tapping away at keys, like a pelican diving for shrimp, aiming at something but not knowing what it is. Of course, harhar, we’re so much more advanced than that mere animal; we shape existence and knowledge, don’t we, yes? And by doing so, we begin to understand our universe in its smallest parts, right? click click click goes the clock; tap tap tap drips the faucet; next next next go the hockey games.
“Los Angeles is just New York lying down.” – Quentin Crisp
The Puck Drop: As hockey analysts go, it’s a fair bet the late Naked Civil Servant numbers among the more improbable. Yet we can’t find a better clear-eyed summation of the 2012 Los Angeles Kings than Mr. Crisp’s tart bon mot. Where the New York Rangers are a team that is on its toes, the L.A. Kings are lazing in a recumbant slough with nary the will to move. (“Someone get me a bucket!”)
Their last game before Monday’s dance with the Caps should illustrate the point. A sorry 31 shots on goal, with eight power plays (one 5-on-3) and not a single puck finds the twine? Against the Blue Jackets? At least in Versailles the ruined monarchy mustered the spirit to play a rousing set or two of tennis, and look what happened to them. Awkward!
The Puck Drop: Hey everybody! It’s a pajama party! Whooot! ZOMG, we’re gonna stay up late, an we’re gonna make popcorn, an an we’re gonna have hot chocolate! An an an we’re gonna get in our PJs and an an an we’re gonna watch the Caps! Squeeee!!!
News Update! Dit-dit-dit-dah-dit-dit-deee-dit! Realignment on hold! Flash – Icers cry Foul on Fall festivities! Yups, the players union has turned nose down at the realignment plan handed down from on high. We’ll have more in the coming days. Stay tuned to this station…and now, we return you to your regular programming.
“Hello, Calgary Epicure Cigar and Pipe, may I help you?”
“Yeah, do you have Prince Alberta in a can? Bwahahahaha!!!”
The Puck Drop: So OK, we’re not proud of how we began our New Year. I mean, sure, it coulda been worse. We could’ve been busted by Johnny Law for something terrible and unimaginable like lighting off illegal fireworks. But, lol, who would do a dumb thing like that? Not us, that’s for sure!
Even though we did have cause to celebrate. Saturday night, when most sensible people were guzzling cheap booze and taking birth control, we were warming ourselves in the comforting glow of the Sony widescreen, watching as Ovi and Nicky and Wides and the rest shook off their end-of-year slumbers and handily downed the Blue Jackets in their own barn; ensuring that for at least the 18,000 gathered at Nationwide Arena it would be a crummy NYE. (Never, by the way, was there a more aptly named stadium for Columbus than Nation Wide.)
Ohai Caps fans! Coinciding with Coach Hunter’s latest round of mind-boggling line changes, we’re changing up things today on the pregamer, too. No, Doug hasn’t been sent down to Hershey with the other famous Caps redhead, Cody “Swoon” Eakin, but he’s taking a short break from cranking out his inimitable prose, obscure cultural references (he’s still working on Cy Twombly), and his proselytizing on behalf of the radical gay agenda.
Actually, he’s wrapping up the last of his community service obligations that resulted from his conviction in that 2011 World Juniors point-shaving scandal. And truth be told, he was also the one who bought all that liquor for those Russian kids. But luckily for all involved, including international aviation authorities, the team behaved responsibly on that flight home after their big win. In fact, we just heard from a few of our old pals on last year’s Russian team – and even they were appalled by Alec Baldwin’s airline antics last week.
In 1972 Doug Johnson was sent to prison by a military court for a crime he didn’t commit. He promptly escaped from a maximum security stockade to the Los Angeles underground. Today, still wanted by the government, he survives as soldier of fortune. If you have a problem, if no one else can help, and if you can find him, maybe you can hire the Puck Buddys.
The Puck Drop: Caps fans and booze-hounds, rejoice! We proudly announce this season’s newest, bestest, most assured to get you F’d up cocktail! The Rockin’ Red Flame Out! Directions: grab some high-priced this, pretend to add some top-shelf that, splash with vaguely European liquor, shred ice, and shake! Mix! Toss about round n’ round! Throw in a blender and oscillate! Back and forth, back and forth, up and down, over and over and over again! That’s the spirit!
Drink and regret. Clean out your blender from top to bottom (well, don’t go nuts) and repeat. Mmm…now that’s satisfaction.
The Puck Drop: So, class, pencils down. What have we learned this weekend, hmm? Anyone? Anyone?
Well one of the things we’ve learned is that Coach Dale Hunter really isn’t like Coach Bruce Boudreau. As a player or as a coach. Yes, do we remember that? Do we also remember how Dennis Wideman got gipped out of a hat trick by some fusty clock-watchers in Toronto? Recall that? And… and another lesson; do we all remember how confusing it is to watch the Capitals play game to game? That roller-coaster – yeah, remember that? Awake one night, asleep the next? Hmmm?
It’s AH (Anno Hunteramus) 1, and so far we’re breaking even with genuinely mixed performances. A few months back, before “The Troubles“, we spanked the Flyers 5-2 in their own barn, with Hamrlik (remember when he was hot?) knocking in the GWG and Vokoun in the net. And here we are today. It’s cold, but Hamrlik is sorta hot again – or at least not cold cabbage – and Raccoon is once again starting to show a little of his elite-ness.
So, class, this Tuesday, which Capitals team do you think will show up? Hmm? Bueller?
The PreGame: On Wednesday night, we saw flashes of brilliance. Perhaps our squad has turned the corner. We finally figured out the PP. And yet, for the past four weeks, we’ve seen things we haven’t wanted to see. Ugly things. Things we’ve flinched from; things we’ve shielded our juvenile eyes away from. Things a pure heart shouldn’t see: the last gasping moments of the Boudreau era. We think it’s time to banish what was… for what is now.
[Call the Spirits! North, South… East and West…Harken to me now! Hear us!]
Bruce – Juggles – is passed. And now, like a veil lifted from our eyes, we see again our gallant Capitals squad. God Save the King! We will love you always Coach, but you are now past us. Be well, and fear the Caps.
Craig Anderson watches one go by. (Photo credit: Andre Ringuette)
The Pre-Game: We hear through the Twitters that perhaps we went just a weee bit overboard with our preview of Saturday’s Ottawa game, and shameless self-promotion of teh PuckBuddy’s Big Gay Night Out. Whoops! Curiously: among the critics was Donald Trump, who should know a thing or two about the line between gleeful self-promotion and villainous sociopathy, so we take that to heart. So that, plus Peter’s epic stat-tastic data set analysis matrix (or whatever) have convinced us today we’re going to play it down the line.Yup, right… directly, down that… unbending line. Directly… forward, in a non-curvilinear fashion. And that’s as close as we’re ever going to come to saying it, so get over it.
Russian Machine Never Breaks is not associated with the Washington Capitals; Monumental Sports, the NHL, or its properties. Not even a little bit.
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