Time to get Capitalized!

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Time to get Capitalized!

Postby welch » Tue Jan 22, 2008 10:38 pm

An opinion from "Dino Dan", my hockey-nut son:

With the Skins coaching moves, and off-season transactions in full swing, it is time to come back to the Washington Caps.

I have been half paying attention to the Caps this entire season. I have
listened to them off the Internet broadcast, they have been relegated from both WTEM and Triple X ESPN radio in DC to a small talk station that barely gets a signal inside the beltway. Steve Kolbe is still yelling like a madman, and for most of this season did not know half of the roster. It is almost like learning to like your favorite team again. I know who Alex Ovechkin and Alexander Semin, but besides them, most of the names were no-names. The Mark Tinordi's and Ken Klee's, even Sergei Gonchars, have been replaced by guys like Mike Green and Thomas Fleishmen.

The first few games, I was lost listening to them because I was so behind on the players on the roster.

Anyhow, the Caps got off to a slower then slow start. They had brought back Michael Nylander and picked up free agents Viktor Kozlov and Tom Potti, and after a slow start, fired Glen Hanlon. At the time that Bruce Boudreau came in, the team was in dead last place in the league, let alone the conference or the division. Since he has come back, this young team has played inspired hockey and find themselves 3 points out of the top spot in the SE division and 3 points out of 8th place in the Eastern Conference.

Last night, I watched them play the Pittsburgh Pens in one of the most
exciting hockey games I have ever seen. The teams traded goals and punches like two heavyweights.

I have heard of Alex Ovechkin, but I am sold on this guy after last night. We have seen the likes of Jagr, got to watch Petr Bondra and Adam Oates light it up, but Ovechkin is far and away the best Capital to ever put on the jersey. He hits, scores, plays hard, and does not resemble the primadona type Russian players who have preceeded him.

Oddly, it seems like since the lockout, the entire league has changed over to younger players. I am not familiar with many of the guys on the Pens,
but that did not make the game any less fierce.

The Pens scored first, then the Caps took 2-1, before the Pens tired it before the end of the first. In the second the Caps scored first on a great shot by Ovechkin, but the Pens took a 4-3, before Ovechkin tied it. Into the 3rd and the Pens again grabbed the lead, but with 5 minutes left, Kozlov put in a rebound to tie it. Then in OT, the Pens had a two man advantage for 1:30, but failed to score. Then into the shoot-out, Kozlov scored, and Semin scored to win it.

All in all, it was a fantastic game, and it is sad to see the state of affairs
inside the NHL, the league is failing and falling behind things like NASCAR
and golf as the 4th sport.

The game itself is better then I have ever seen it. Long gone is the clutching and grabbing of the 90's and early 2000s, it is fast flowing and lots with lots of scoring chances.

We have talked about the stupid decisions of George McPhee, but this group of Capitals are really good. A young team, led by a heavy duty sniper in Ovechkin. They have a big D, and a 3rd and 4th line of really tough grinders.

I have to say, I am hooked again on the Caps. I think that in a few years they will be playing for the Cup again, but this time it is not going to be a team that will be overwhelmed and running out of gas with old vets, but a hard charging tough team full of character. I even like the new uniforms!

Anyhow, you should start paying attention to the Caps. They are for real!

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Postby Bob 0119 » Wed Jan 23, 2008 1:06 am

The Pens game wasn't even one of their best!

They've played better, but it was still fun to watch. Kept me on the edge of my seat there towards the end!

and Jackson
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Postby JansenFan » Wed Jan 23, 2008 9:21 am

Hanlon was great for this team. He was a defensive-minded coach, which was perfect while this group of young guys got their NHL feet wet. This year, they brought in the personnel to be a top-notch offensive unit, and Hanlon's style just didn't fit any more. Boudreau takes more chances, and he's found lines and defensive pairings that accentuate this. Mike Green and Shaone Morrisonn have quietly become one of the best and most balanced defensive pairings in the league.

All-in-all, the Caps are in a great place and, as Welch says, will only get better as the teams best players all enter their prime together.
RIP 21

"Nah, I trust the laws of nature to stay constant. I don't pray that the sun will rise tomorrow, and I don't need to pray that someone will beat the Cowboys in the playoffs." - Irn-Bru

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