There is still time for the Washington Capitals to save the season, but how much? When you get caught in the headlights, sometimes you have to ride it out.
Question (not sure who asked): How far do you think this team is from winning the Stanley Cup?
Dale Hunter: Yeah you know some long it’s it’s the right way to play and you know and, ah, you know to to win and and ah that’s what you have to play it and you know it’s ah next year we’ll you know you can you can always start off and ah that’s your goal to win.
I had always wanted to be at one of those marathon (this is the word everyone agreed to use, right?) multiple overtime NHL playoff games. I always figured that if it was at one and the Washington Capitals were playing, the Caps would, you know, lose because Capitals. This left me prepared, so it was easier to accept the outcome. Karl Alzner may have a had harder time, though.
The toughest time I had last night was watching the girl sitting in front of us. She was bouncy. Very bouncy. Not like a bouncy personality (well, I don’t know, maybe she does…I just don’t know her), but physically bouncy. Bouncy in her seat. Bouncy while standing. It was as if she could not contain herself.
When my youngest daughter was four years old, she would run in a circle through the kitchen, living room, dining room, and foyer screaming at the top of her lungs, “I CAN’T STOP! I CAN’T STOP!” and she couldn’t. Bouncy Girl last night reminded me of her. She blocked our view, was distracting, and not someone I would willing chose to sit behind (and be afraid to sit in front of lest she spill her beer). We asked Bouncy Girl a couple times to not lean so much and everything. We could tell she tried, but just couldn’t manage. It was different than the Masshole Boston Bruins fans two weeks ago. We wanted to see the game, but we were also being entertained by the show she was putting on. It was quite bizarre. Then, as the overtimes melted into more overtimes, she lost some steam and turned into the Not Quite As Bouncy Girl. It was alright.
For the broader Semifinals series, I’m a little surprised at how optimistic I am after that loss. Over the past year or two, almost every time the Capitals have taken a lead in a game there has been a tension in the air that, somehow, the Capitals would find a way to cough up that lead. For the few years before that, when the Capitals were playing dynamic, exciting hockey, being down a couple goals was never a worry. The Young Guns carried the air of “We got this,” and would pull out super exciting finished on a regular basis. Never any worry.
It’s probably just me, but that feels like the feeling in the air again. The current Dale Hunter brand hockey sure isn’t exciting like the Bruce Boudreau era, but what we want are wins, right? At least in the playoffs. So the Capitals are down 2-1 in the series. Braden Holtby and Matt Hendricks and everyone else last night sure were playing with the “Don’t worry, I got this” attitude.
Or maybe I’m just fooling myself.
To read more stuff about the game, you know where to go: Russian Machine, Japer’s Rink, District Sports Page, Ed Frankovic, and On Frozen Blog. Unfortunately, it looks like the box score was too big for Capitals Outsider to handle, so none of that.
The Washington Capitals never had a lead in Game Six of the Eastern Conference Quarterfinals of the 2012 Stanley Cup Playoffs, but they tied it up three of the four times they trailed. The fourth time, they had no opportunity as Tyler Seguin scored the Bruins fourth goal in overtime to win it for the Bruins, 4-3. And just like that, there’s a seventh game in Boston to come on Wednesday.
Every so often, you have to be reminded of what you hate and why. Last night, it was time for me to remember why I hate Boston. It really had nothing to do with the Bruins. In fact, there are two cool things about the whole state of Assachusetts. One is that I met my wife there and the other are the Bruins (but the latter may just be relative). See, for a short period after high school, I lived in Boston. Allston to be exact. At the time, it was a weird mix of over-privileged college students and immigrants. I’m not sure what it’s like today since I haven’t been back in over 20 years, although I have been back to the state (which also reminded me of a number of reasons why I hated it so much). Anyway…
What got me back into so much hate were the three Boston, Assachusetts loving asshats that sat in front of us. I’m all for good natured chirping yelling and chirping between fans. It’s fun and it adds something for everyone. These three, though, were nothing of the sort. Two boys and a girl. I won’t call them men and a woman, because that ain’t how they behaved. Before they were seated, the girl was flipping everyone off and every other word out of her mouth was what that gesture says with a finger. They were intent on going out of their way to ruin everyone’s time around them and took offense at being called on it. While it never seemed like things would escalate beyond name calling between them and the people around me, a talking to from Verizon Center staff telling them to behave or get tossed finally settled them down in the third period.
In four years of holding Capitals season tickets, I don’t remember anything else quite like this. There wasn’t anything that terrible about it. Their presence and behavior just made everything else not fun. Besides the lecture, the only other things that shut them up at all were Capitals goals and when the girl overheard me telling one of my friends that my fear as the parent of girls was that they might turn out like her. She looked at me then, looked sad, and turned away and was quiet and nearly motionless for about 10 minutes.
So, I couldn’t really see a lot of the game through their heads, arms, phones, hats, and such. Little glimpses here and there. What I could see looked like it might have been a game. So, I’ve read about it on Japer’s Rink, Russian Machine, Ed Frankovic. Luckily, there’s also the handy dandy box score from Capitals Outsider, too. My photos are below and on flickr.
Before the Washington Capitals hosted the Buffalo Sabres at Verizon Center last night, former Capitals Peter Bondra answered questions from Capitals season ticket holders in a “chalk talk” session. It was pretty lightweight, but enjoyable, which was good, because for Caps fans, everything went downhill after that in a 5-1 beat down from Buffalo.
Braden Holtby gave up 3 goals on 18 shots. In a follow up to his excellent defensive play while on a power play Sunday night, Alex Ovechkin coughed up the puck leading to a Sabres shorthanded goal. Bah. Everyone was talking about how this game was going to be like a game seven in the playoffs. Sadly, they seemed to follow the model of the Eastern Conference Semis game seven in 2009 against the Penguins.
The added salt in the wound heartbreaker of the night was seeing a flag flying (literally) Sabres fan occupying the seat of Capitals super fan, Elliot Segal from DC101’s “Elliot in the Morning” radio show.
I made my own mistakes, too. I kept accidentally changing (and not noticing for a while) a camera setting that led some serious overexposure. Like the Capitals, I’ll hang my mistakes out in public for everyone to see. Except maybe some of these might be kind of cool.
My photos (overexposed and all) are below and on flickr.
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.
Look at my photos below or on flickr.
The Washington Capitals went up 2-0 against the Carolina Hurricanes, gave up 2, then another in the third. They kept fighting hard and Brooks Laich got that third goal back. A few minutes later it was overtime. Just over three and a half minutes in, after a couple quality chances for the Capitals, after 49 total shots for the Capitals…the Hurricanes scored. And just like that, the air went out of the Red Rally Balloon. Remember that thing? Yeah, no one else does, either.
When Justin Faulk score that goal in overtime, Verizon Center just went just dead quiet. Not a stunned silence, just dead. Gone.
There’s not much else to say. It all speaks for itself. Still, there’s some good commentary at Russian Machine, Japer’s Rink, Ed Frankovic and District Sports Page. Sick Unbelievable has a little bit about the future not looking all that bad if you need some cheering up. Once again, I think I got a few decent photos that you can see below or on flickr. I’d trade them for a win. Bah.
The Washington Capitals lost to a pretty unimpressive Philadelphia Flyers by a score of 1-0 last night. The Capitals didn’t look bad. There just wasn’t anything that good going on for them. By my count, in the past 206 minutes of game time over four games, the Capitals have scored a total of 3 goals, all coming in a single five minute, six second span. The Capitals. The Washington flipping Capitals. And then I remember, “Oh yeah, the Washington Capitals.”
If you really want to read about the game (and you might…some guy is reported to have been benched), check out On Frozen Blog, Japer’s Rink, Ed Frankovic, Russian Machine, and District Sports Page. Check out a few of my photos below or on flickr.
The day was doomed before it started. A few crummy emails were waiting for me at work first thing in the morning. I couldn’t shovel the negativity to the side faster than it came my office door all day. It rained before it was supposed to. Then came the game. Blech. The Washington Capitals lost to the New Jersey Devils by a score of 5-0 last night.
I suppose it could have been worse, but it could have been so much better. If you want to read about it, and I’m not sure why you would, these are some good places: Russian Machine, Japer’s Rink, and District Sports Page.
If you want to see pictures, I think I actually got some good ones. You can see them below or on flickr.