The Arizona Coyotes scored five unanswered goals on Sunday night, putting the Capitals behind by three. It was a bummer. After Coyotes goal number six, and the Caps still several minutes away from losing their fourth straight game, CSN cameras rolled tape of an adorable girl yawning during warm-ups to raise our spirits.
“Young lady, those are my thoughts exactly,” said Joe Beninati sadly into the microphone.
That young lady is Amelia, and she was the star of warm-ups on Sunday. Her brother too.
After scoring goal number 399 in his 633rd career game on Tuesday, Washington Capitals captain Alex Ovechkin is now on the verge of some history. According to the Elias Sports Bureau, the 28-year-old Russian machine could become the sixth fastest NHL player ever to reach four hundred goals if he scores today or tomorrow. The list goes like this: Wayne Gretzky (436 games played), Mike Bossy (506 games played), Mario Lemieux (508 games played), Brett Hull (520 games played), and Jari Kurri (608 games played). Those players all played during eras with much higher scoring than today.
Reader Sam B. asked us to do something to honor Ovi should that magical goal happen tonight at PNC Arena. Yeah: we’re on it.
Mike and Owen show off their creation during warmups.
Horn Guy, Owen, and Matty P.
Ed. Note: Well, this stinks. Remember last year when Mathieu Perreault did all those celebrations? A couple fans came up with some super cool cutouts to partake in Perry Celly festivities. I wrote about it during the playoffs when the Caps were up 3-1 3-2 in the first round, but before we could post, Washington collapsed. A long summer ensued. We intended to finally publish this as the 2013-2014 season got started, but, guess what, Perreault got traded. Oops. Here it is anyway.
Mathieu Perreault is wild.
So are Caps fans.
In honor of Perreault’s crazy post-game celebrations, Kat and her boyfriend Owen could often be spotted during last year’s playoffs watching warmups from the front row, holding up a giant Matty P cardboard head, and waving around two gloves attached to popsicle sticks. Even for players accustomed to seeing things like the Brouwer Rangers (and their fanny packs) this provoked a second look for some Caps.
“Chimera was skating by, looked up, and he just broke out laughing,” Owen told me outside Verizon Center in May.
“It’s made Oleksy do a double take,” Kat continued. “Matty P smirked and he actually tried to throw a puck at us. He didn’t quite get it over.”
Over the next five days, the Capitals will finish the lockout-shortened 2012-13 season with three home games. The Caps’ match-ups with Winnipeg, Ottawa, and Boston will not only determine if Washington wins the Southeast Division and makes the playoffs, they’ll also sort out the trophy races that Alex Ovechkin is involved in. Ovechkin, after not winning any hardware since 2010, is in contention for four awards: the Ted Lindsey trophy for players’ MVP, the Art Ross trophy (for most points), the Maurice Richard trophy (for most goals), and the Hart trophy (for most valuable player).
While The Great Eight and his peers control his destiny with three of these four awards, the esteemed members of the Professional Hockey Writers’ Association will decide the Hart Trophy. This is the same media that in the last three years has literally flogged Ovechkin with a spiked 2 x 4 painted with a red maple leaf and dripping with Tim Horton’s coffee. Because when every great player gets older and his team becomes less aggressive, it’s the media’s moral obligation to antagonize him to casual fans and excoriate him at every turn.