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Caps Pack Their Bags

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That was ugly.

How many of you came back from the bathroom to find the Caps down 2-0 in the first period?

How many of you didn’t make it back to your seats in time for the second period only to find the Caps down 4-0?

I don’t know about the rest of you, but I couldn’t finish cussing about the first goal before the Penguins had scored a second goal.

By the end of the second period it was 5-1 Penguins. What do you say to a team down that many goals with only one period to go before their season is over? I don’t think there’s much you can say.

The crowd was ready, the Penguins were ready, but it really looked like the Capitals weren’t ready.

And maybe that’s a good summation of the Caps’ season. They played great, but they just weren’t ready.

I mean, let’s face it; we got our money’s worth out of the Caps this year. They played a lot of great hockey during the regular season. They broke all kinds of records, we got glimpses of the future with all of the call-ups from Hershey, we have found our franchise goal-tender, but in the end the Caps just weren’t ready to go all the way.

It’s a real shame that the Caps last game of the season had to end with such a lop-sided loss. Their season was better than that, this series was better than that, but all that will be remembered from this round of the playoffs will be the 6-2 loss.

On another note, I want to say how proud I am to be a Caps fan. You guys who went to Verizon did us all proud. The Caps lost 6-2, and unlike the last home game there was no garbage thrown on the ice, but instead a standing ovation for the team that kept us all happy for the past eight months.

The players may not have earned it on the merit of this game, but they certainly have on the merits of this season.

Now here’s what’s better about hockey than most sports…it starts all over again in just four months!

With what we’ve seen from Hershey, we can expect the Caps to be exciting again next year, and maybe next year…they’ll be ready.

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Rockin’ the Red, Wearin’ the Worry

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Just when you thought they were out…they pulled you back in.

The Washington Capitals have pulled off the improbable and forced a game seven against the Pittsbugh Penguins.

I understand that not all fans are alike, and maybe I’m the only one feeling this, but here is what I’m feeling the day after an exciting Caps win, on the road, in overtime.

Take that, ya lousy zebras!

I have no problem with the refs “lettin’ the boys play” and keeping their whistles in their pockets. This generally means the refs are going to ignore the minor little happen-stance infractions and only call the most deliberate of fouls. That only seemed to be the case for one team last night.

Sure the Caps had the occasional non-call go their way, but it certainly seemed like the refs would suddenly decide to crack down on the penalties when it was most advantageous to the Penguins.

The Caps won in spite of the refs last night who;

a)      Gave the Pens a two-man advantage early in the game on some ticky-tack penalties.

b)      Gave the Pens a power-play for most of the remaining two minutes of the game.

c)       Gave the Pens an extra 1.5 seconds on a face off draw in the Caps zone at the end of regulation.

I truly believe that the reason the Caps won last night (apart from Brooks Laich and David Steckel teaming up for the deflection goal) was that the Pens were waiting for their gratuitous power-play courtesy of the refs.

Nothing is over until we decide it is….

Excited, nervous, worried, thrilled, and all of this just to explain away the nausea I was feeling during OT. I may have been sitting pensively on the edge of my seat, watching the puck dart around the screen of my television like a half-interested cat following a laser-pointer with only it’s eyes, but my stomach was practicing for the Olympic gymnastics team.

One goal; that’s the difference between living to fight another day and a conciliatory speech about how great the season was.

Who didn’t feel like Lloyd Christmas from Dumb and Dumber after that overtime goal?

“So you’re telling me there’s a chance!”

So we got ’em, now what do we do with ’em?

Watching all those Penguins fans, screaming their hearts out, and cheering like they’d won the lottery, I swear some of them looked like they were crying tears of joy as overtime started. You could barely hear the whistles! Those fans were ready to celebrate their team winning the series on their home ice. I am sure many bottles of champagne were ordered and some were even opened.

After the Steckel goal; you could hear a pin drop. No boos, no nothing, just dead stoic silence. Suddenly the arena had turned into a crowded conference room of hushed tones and minor mumblings. You could hear the Caps celebrating on the ice, it was great!


Now it’s their back against the wall too. They are coming to DC. One more game and afterwards someone is going to have to console their fans about how the team played real hard, and had a great run, but everything must come to an end. Someone has to win, and inevitably, someone has to lose.

I would much rather see Bile-in-the-mouth (or however you say Pittsburgh’s coach’s name) have to explain that to his fans than Boudreau having to say it to us.

I don’t want to see what happened in Mellon happen at Verizon. I also don’t want to see classless fans throw garbage out on the ice if we lose. Let’s focus on winning, and if we must lose, lose with class and dignity, not like a bunch of cry-babies who have to express their displeasure like primates flinging feces.

Never say never

I won’t lie to you; the Caps history with the Penguins in game seven of any playoff series is not good. I won’t horrify you with the stats, but will point out that this has been a remarkable year for the Caps. They have shattered records, some as old as 25 years. The Caps have to put that playoff history behind them. They have to come out and play like there was no yesterday, otherwise there will be no tomorrow.

They need to play hard, aggressive, mistake-free hockey for 60+ minutes. Don’t worry about this being the final game. Don’t worry about what you are going to do next win or lose, worry about the Penguins. As my wife likes to say “just win baby!”

Win and everything else will take care of itself.


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