Posts tagged: 24/7

Squared Off For the Big Game

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I don’t know about anyone else, but before last night’s game against the Winnipeg Jets, I still hadn’t recovered from the last Jets game against the Washington Capitals at Verizon Center. There was just no reasonable way to describe how that game went from being 2 minutes away from a 2-0 win to a 3-2 loss in overtime other than bad luck. Really bad luck.

Last night, it wasn’t bad luck so much as thinking that 26 minutes of domination is enough to win a 60 minute game. I miss Bruce Boudreau as much as any Capitals fan. I miss a lot of the style of play int he Boudreau era, but this really good effort, but only for a little while, is one I wouldn’t mind never seeing from this team again.

There were two moments while the Capitals were still leading that I got that sinking “they’re gonna lose” feeling. The first was seeing the Brooks Laich fist pump from last season’s 24/7 on the scoreboard after his fight with Jim Slater. I thought it was fun seeing it up there. I just all the sudden had that feeling. The second was a little after the beginning of the third period. I saw a Jets fan with a sign making her way down to her seat near the glass. The text on the sign read: “I Travelled 1247.4 miles from Winnipeg to watch the Jets Defeat the Caps Again! Go Jets Go!” and I found myself thinking, “Oh cool! I’m going to title it ‘Whoops,’ or something hopefully a little more witty.” Immediately followed by, “Oh no, they’re really gonna lose.” Sigh.

That’s what I was thinking about the game. To read some stuff that makes sense, try the regular places like Ed Frankovic, On Frozen Blog, Japer’s Rink, Russian Machine and District Sports Page.

Look at my photos below or on flickr.

“Yikes and Wow”

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“Yikes and wow.” That was the text my wife sent me when told that Bruce Boudreau had been fired as the Washington Capitals head coach and was being replaced with Dale Hunter.

Something has seemed very wrong with the team for a while and even a fan without a clue like me knew that something had to change.

For whatever faults he may have as a coach, Boudreau is one of the people that got me to pony up for my first season tickets near the end of that amazing run at the end of the 2007-08 season. It was that all offense, all of the time, having fun scoring goals brand of hockey. . Early on in Washington, he said something like, “It’s okay if you give up 4 or 5 goals as long as you score 6 or 7,” didn’t he?

The day I bought those tickets for the 2008-09 season was the day that Alex Ovechkin scored his 65th goal of the season, and I happened to have a ticket for that game against the Tampa Bay Lightning. The games back then were so fun to watch because it looked like the team was having fun playing the game. It was infectious. It doesn’t look like it’s been there for a while.

Does anyone remember the last time Ovechkin jumped into the glass after a goal?

Where is this team? The one that celebrated every goal scored like it was the most wonderful thing that ever happened? I miss that team.

It’s not as fun going to games and watching guys with the talent and skill the Capitals players have playing a trap, an umbrella power play that keeps a motionless puck on the perimeter when they’re not losing zone, won’t shoot and can’t score. It’s not as fun, but it’s tolerable if it brings wins. When the losses keep mounting, though, and the losses are coming in bunches with scores of 4-1, 6-3, 7-1 and so on… Losses that are enough to bring a child to tears (even if they took place last year).

But there were those far out fantastic games under Boudreau, too. I’ll miss them. I will miss him. The image I have of him, from his foul mouth in HBO’s “24/7,” to his fascination with ice cream (also from “24/7″), to his unkempt appearance, sense of humor and everything is one that I can easily identify with. I am really going to miss him. I wish him well and all the success possible…except when his future teams are play the Capitals.

So, Dale Hunter, eh? There’s a guy that knows how to unleash some fury. Let’s hope that’s infectious, too.

Some of my photos with Boudreau from this season and last:

This photo is from less than a year ago. Four of the nine guys are no longer here.

These three are from last Friday when the Capitals were getting beaten up by the New York Rangers. They tell some kind of story.


A few more photos of Bruce Boudreau behind the Capitals bench:

A Game in a Photo, Caps Fall to Leafs

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If 65 minutes of NHL hockey could be summed up in a single photography, this would be it. Washington Capitals forward Matt Hendricks (#26) falls after being tangled up with Toronto Maple Leafs forward Clark MacArthur.

The Washington Capitals game against the Toronto Maple Leafs was eerily similar to the last time these two teams met at Verizon Center. Once again, the Capitals got out to a big lead in the first two periods and then took their skates off the Leafs’ collective neck in the third period. The most meaningful difference was that they Capitals couldn’t get the extra point back, losing in the shootout.

There were bright spots, though.  Mathieu Perrault scored two goals in the first game of his second recall from Hershey this year.  The first two periods were very good hockey for the Capitals and they seemed to have learned their lesson from Saturday’s loss to the Thrashers.  They crashed the net and got second chances on shots from the outside. See Perrault’s first goal: Perrault, Alexander Semin and Brooks Laich were on Maple Leafs goalie Jonas Gustavsson’s doorstop, between him and the Leaf defenders and Perrault scored on a tip in from a shot by Tom Poti at the point.  Yeah, that’s how that works.  Mike Knuble scored on his own rebound later in the first period.  It was beautiful.

Then came the third period and I had that Damone from “Fast Times at Ridgemont High” feeling: “I woke up in a great mood; I don’t know what the hell happened…”  Anyone else hoping to get some kind of different insight than the expected post game interviews when HBO’s 24/7 premieres next week?

I seem to have written a bunch of words up there.  Whoops.  Check out the regular blogs like Japer’s Rink and Russian Machine Never Breaks for words that go together better.  In fact, I think On Frozen Blog’s lede says it best: “Still a Work in Progress: Skating With Killer Instinct.” Look at my photos here and on flickr.

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