Saturday, November 29, 2008

Caps @ Blue Jackets 11-29-2008 Post-Mortem

Maybe they didn't have enough All-Stars??? Onto the Battle Damage Assessment...

  • Can't blame Brent Johnson for this one tonight. He helped keep the Caps in it early on in the game when they were getting horrifically outshot. The game wasn't even 10 minutes old and the Caps were getting outshot 10-1.
  • The Blue Jackets entered with the worst Power Play in the NHL and while the Penalty Killers gave up 9 shots, they did not allow a Power Play goal tonight.


  • Karl "Malden" Alzner does a Stewart Malgunas impersonation and joins the walking wounded. Considering that Bryan Helmer had to be signed to an NHL contract in order to be brought up, does anybody know what guys like Jason DOIG!, Joel Kwiatkowski, and Jean-Luc Picard Grand-Pierre are doing? We may need them again...
  • The Jekyll and Hyde Power Play has morphed back into Hyde again. 0 for 3 with seven shots but no serious pressure and they gave up a shorthanded goal to boot.
  • The top line of Nicklas Backstrom, Viktor Kozlov, and A.O. along with the top defensive pair of Alzner and Milan Jurcina were all -2 tonight. And on that second goal, what Joe Beninatti and Craig Laughlin didn't want to tell you was that Alzner was the defenseman caught pinching leaving Backstrom to cover his spot.


  • Sent in on a short breakaway early in the first period, Michael Nylander elected to pass the puck to Tomas Fleischmann for some unknown reason. Then given another prime scoring chance later in the first period, Nylander elected to do some stupid spin-o-rama. Needless to say, neither prime scoring chance resulted in a shot on goal and wins the John "Coach's Pet" Erskine Bowles Bonehead Play of the Game Award for tonight. We don't say this very often; but shoot the freakin' puck.

When you take into consideration the number of injuries, the current pace of the schedule, and the lack of success so far this year on the road, games like tonight's are not much of a surprise. Add in that Ken Hitchcock teams usually play tight defense and the loss tonight is even less of a surprise. The Caps have another rough two weeks where they will play 7 more games (and two more three games in four nights) before the schedule begins to lighten up. But if this team does not get and stay healthy soon, it won't matter how many games their playing in how many nights. They just simply won't have the horses to compete.


Friday, November 28, 2008

Caps vs. Canadiens 11-28-2008 Post-Mortem

Not bad considering the Caps were facing a team with 5 NHL All-Stars on it... Onto the Battle Damage Assessment...

  • Jose "Alvin, Simon," Theodore with a much better performance tonight than Wednesday and got a well-deserved shutout of his former team.
  • Not only did the Penalty Killers kill off all three penalties tonight, they did it without allowing a single shot on goal. It doesn't get much better than that kids.
  • It's a shame that the members of the fourth line, Boyd Gordon, Mr. Donald Brashear, and Chris Bourque Bourque Bourque couldn't produce a goal tonight with the consistent forechecking pressure they applied. Though we did find it weird that Montreal decided to crash the net when this line was on the ice.


  • If Sami "Sosa" Lepisto is in a death struggle with Karl "Malden" Alzner to stay with the big club, he's not only losing it, he's losing it badly as he was once again beaten all over the ice like a scrambled egg at breakfast.
  • You could see that the blueline was very inexperienced as the Caps had trouble getting the puck cleared for most of the night. Which only makes Theodore's shutout more impressive.
  • A night after shepherding a player making his NHL debut, Milan Jurcina was doing some inexplicable rain dancing on the ice time at times tonight.


  • It turned into the game winning goal the Caps but that doesn't stop Francis Bouillon's giveaway to Tomas Fleischmann in front of his own net getting tonight's John "Coach's Pet" Erskine Bowles Bonehead Play of the Game Award.
  • You mean to tell us that the Caps got a 1:42 5-on-3, put five forwards, four of them centers, on the ice for the during of the advantage, and could only muster one shot? We're used to see the Power Play blow 5-on-3's but this was a special kind of ugly tonight.
  • Wes Johnson announcing that $1 Hot Dog Night on December 4th will feature the Islanders versus the Islanders. Huh?

Brent Johnson may get the start in Columbus tomorrow night simply because it will be the third game in four days on a back-to-back night but make no mistake, Jose "Alvin, Simon" Theodore showed why he is the number one goaltender in Washington, D.C. The only goalie controversy is reserved for those who still haven't gotten over Christobal Huet bailing out on the Caps over the summer. The Caps, with seven regulars out and four minor league defensemen skating tonight, needed above average goaltending to win tonight and got more than that. While you cannot argue with the results of the past two games, one has to wonder just how much longer can the Hershey crew continue to provide the steady production of the players they've replaced for the time being. But the fact that the Caps can win when this shorthanded shows that maybe this team has more depth than originally thought. Time will tell.

It has been... A TWO POINT NIGHT!!!


Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Caps vs. Thrashers 11-25-2008 Post-Mortem

Yes, we saw this one (it's not like we had an Alumni Smoker to go to or anything...) Onto the Battle Damage Assessment...

  • We finally got John "Coach's Pet" Erskine Bowles out of the lineup.
  • Well, with three goals and an assist A.O. now has 29 points on the season and 339 for his career. Three more points and he will tie Steve Konowalchuk for 17th on the Caps All-Time Scoring list. A.O. now has 175 goals in his career which places him six goals behind Michael Pivonka and Dale Hunter who are tied for 8th on the Caps All-Time Goal Scoring list.
  • We'll give the Power Play credit for getting some bounces tonight and going 2 for 4. What impressed us the most though was that the Caps were able to set up their Power Play and weren't scrambling in the offensive zone which can be a problem.
  • We only noticed Karl Alzner once tonight when he was getting roughed up behind his own net in the second period. That's a good thing because if you notice a defenseman, it's either because he scored a goal or got beaten badly on a play and gave up a goal. Alzner was even on the night and the one time we noticed him (as he was getting roughed up), he didn't turn the puck over so we feel safe saying he had a good start to his NHL career tonight.


  • With the way Atlanta was playing, especially goaltender Ondrej Pavelec, this game should not have been this close, even with all the Hershey call-ups playing tonight.
  • And speaking of call-ups, Sami "Sosa" Lepisto was getting driven past tonight more than a signpost on I-95. We thought for a second it was Erskine-Bowles out there wearing 47.
  • We know there are injuries but Tyler Sloan has no business skating on the top defensive pairing in the NHL.


  • The Penalty Killers were 1 for 3. Decent if it is the Power Play, pathetic if it is the penalty kill.
  • Jose "Alvin, Simon," Theodore's save percentage takes another savage beating as he gives up 3 goals on just 18 shots. Some might want to blame the defense in front of him but Theodore was not controlling his rebounds all night and it was the reason why Atlanta was able to stay in a game they should have been blown out of.

This is a brutal portion of the Caps schedule with 15 games in 25 days with three, three games in four nights runs. The Caps didn't look as sluggish tonight as they did for two and half periods in Minnesota on Monday night but you could see players coasting out there tonight as the Caps got up by three goals. Should some of the walking wounded return this weekend, the Caps could get some more life but you typically expect that out of players who are just called up from the minors. Either way, the fact that the Caps got two points out the game tonight is good. We wonder if the nattering nabobs of negativism will complain about all the Hershey players because tonight was a far cry from what we saw last year when we played Atlanta the night before Thanksgiving.

It has been... A TWO POINT NIGHT!!!


Saturday, November 15, 2008

Caps @ Devils 11-15-2008 Post-Mortem

Just another grind-it-out-Caps-Devils-Snoozefest... Onto the Battle Damage Assessment...

  • With just 10 points (2 goals, 8 assists) in his last three games, we'd say that Nicklas Backstrom looks to be out of his sophomore slump.
  • A.O. up to his old tricks, 2 goals with one being a buzzer beater to not only force overtime, but to salvage a point. He's now ten goals behind Michael Pivonka and Dale Hunter for 8th All-Time on the Caps Goal Scoring list, and 14 points behind Steve Konowalchuk for 17th All-Time Caps Scoring list.
  • Jose "Alvin, Simon," Theodore with another strong performancein goal despite giving up a goal on the first shot of the game and allowing five overall.


  • Though we have to believe that when Theodore insisted on coming here, he was not interested in facing 66 shots over two nights.
  • While he isn't on this team for his defensive prowess, Mike "BEAM ME UP" Green was getting driven past tonight more than a sign post on I-95.


  • The game was decided by a gimmick.
  • Goals allowed very early in the first and second period. We can emphasize enough that the defensive effort has to improve.

We've been hearing a lot over the past few days about how bad the D.C. fan is. We have to wonder tonight if New Jersey fans are going to be lined up for the same grilling we've been taking for some time. While Caps Fan Club and Road Crew were in attendance tonight, it sounded like a game Caps game in Raleigh with plenty of noise being made by Caps fans when the Caps made great plays tonight. The Devils ran into the same problem last spring during their playoff series with the Rangers it seemed to us that it was hardly mentioned. But getting back to the game, pulling out only one win against a Devils team reeling without Martin Brodeur is a bit of a let down, especially since the Devils have been exposed without Brodeur to lean on.


Friday, November 14, 2008

Caps vs. Devils 11-14-2008 Post-Mortem

Onto the Battle Damage Assessment...

  • Can't get much better than 1 for 1 on the Power Play with 2 shots on goal, though more Power Play chances would have been nice...
  • Typically, the Caps make backup goaltenders look like All-Stars, and while they seemed to try, they didn't accomplish that task tonight.
  • Jose "Alvin, Simon," Theodore played his best game as a Cap tonight. He had 32 saves and allowed only one goal. He didn't exactly stand on his head but for the first time season, did not give up a soft goal and made most of the big saves he needed to make.


  • Tomas Fleischmann continues to show why he's all flash and no finish and a waste of $725K. Yes he was named the first star of the game which is a mystery because those of us who were coming to games at this point last season (which would include the Washington media and TV and Radio crew) saw the exact same thing out of Fleischmann who would create chance after chance and fail to finish them. Was the fact that he finally converted a chance created for him the reason why he was the #1 star?
  • While Tarik El-Bashir is reporting a mild shoulder sprain for Alexander Semin, the fact that Semin got hurt tonight is not good. While A.O. has officially broken out of his slump, the Caps are going to need Semin to be successful.
  • BTW, that A.O. "Russian Machine" Cartoon thing was lame.


  • We admit that we are not 100% certain but we are reasonably sure that John "Coach's Pet" Erskine Bowles was the defenseman who took his sweet time making a line change in the third period that led to Patrik Elias being wide open for a breakaway goal earning his $2.5 million, two year extension and tonight's John "Coach's Pet" Erskine Bowles Bonehead Play of the Game Award. Is it any wonder that Tyler Sloan gets more ice time than him?
  • 13 shots on goal for the Devils in both the first and second periods tonight. Again, while Theodore didn't have to stand on his head, the volume of shots is too many, especially against a team like New Jersey.
  • So Mr. "I don’t think it is a good idea to mix politics and sports" why did Senator-Elect (his proper title, BTW) Mark Warner become the first politician visiting the owners box at a Caps game to be introduced to the crowd? We know he's a friend but that doesn't cut it.

While the Devils are clearly not the same without Martin Brodeur, you got a chance to see tonight what happens when a team actually tries to defend as opposed to what we saw Wednesday night when they just stand around and let you "dance and prance" all over the place. We were worried that Wednesday night's game would lead to bad habits but fortunately they didn't, at least for tonight. However the Caps still need to drive the net harder and get to some of the rebounds that they missed tonight. Hitting wide open nets, like the one Tom Poti missed, would be nice too.

It has been... A TWO POINT NIGHT!!!


Monday, November 10, 2008

Caps vs. Ning 11-10-2008 Post-Mortem

Kolzig is welcome to tend the visiting goal at the Verizon Center anytime he wants... Onto the Battle Damage Assessment...

  • Scoring on the first shot of the game is impressive enough, but scoring on your first two shots is definitely a good sign.
  • If it holds up, A.O. has ended the longest goal scoring drought of his career with a "dirty goal" that was the only kind he was going to score considering he's still very gun shy right now as he easily could have had more than the six shots on goal he was credited with tonight.
  • We'll give Brent Johnson credit for another game well-played but with two sets of three games in four nights with only one of those the next six games at home, Jose "Alvin, Simon," Theodore going to get his share of icetime.


  • We can understand to an extent sitting on a three goal lead for two periods but giving up 30 shots over the last two periods is a recipe for disaster.
  • Not only was the Power Play ineffective tonight (except at killing the penalty for the Ning) but the Penalty Killers had a tough night too allowing 2 goals on 5 chances. Worst of all was the 12 shots the Ning got on those five Power Plays compared to the 4 the Caps took on their three.
  • Milan Jurcina is starting to look like a player trying to play his way out of the lineup.


  • John "Coach's Pet" Erskine Bowles had one of his "tough" games tonight with too many gaffes to document. However, we can't blame him for all of them as all too often Bruce Boudreau left him out there against the Lecavalier line which he is ill-equipped to handle. For getting outcoached by Mullet Melrose Boudreau wins the John "Coach's Pet" Erskine Bowles Bonehead Move of the Game Award for tonight. At least it didn't cost us any goals, tonight.
  • Good old Steve Eminger, a -3 tonight but what was really ugly was the running around he did on his old team and the fact that the Caps didn't want to stand up to him. Was it because they felt sorry for him?

Now that we've gotten the Olie Kolzig tribute out of our system, we again remind you that we didn't want to see this. Kolzig playing on another team just trying to hang on when his better days are clearly behind him. We freely admit that we thought Kolzig would play the game of his life tonight and it was pretty clear that he didn't. If he did and this was the best he could do at this point in his career, then he shouldn't wait until the end of the season, he should retire now. That being said, it was good to see the team move on from Kolzig as it is pretty clear that the Ning aren't going anywhere and the Caps have plans for a long April.

It has been... A TWO POINT NIGHT!!!


Sunday, November 09, 2008

Sunday Smorgasbord 11-9

  • Well folks, we would be remiss if we didn't talk about the results on Tuesday night. Yes, we have to admit that we were disappointed with the outcome, and we don't mean the Caps losing at Ottawa in overtime. We threw in our two cents, made our position well known, and at the end of the day, when all the votes were counted, we realized that not everybody agreed with us and they decided to go in a different direction. What can we say other than we tip our hats to the winners and congratulate them on a hard fought and well-earned victory. We will live to fight another day and you have not heard the last from us on this issue.
  • Do you buy that Ben Roethlisberger injured his shoulder late in the first half Monday night, or are you like us and believe that he just wanted to watch the Redskins Cheerleaders in the second half? We'd suggest using the Caps Ice Squad in the same fashion when the Penguin Scum come to town, but something tells us that Canadian Diving Team Captain, Secondary Assist Cindy Crosby wouldn't be distracted in the least... At least not like Ben is...
  • And as a final thought on this past Monday Night; let us say that we don't want to hear anymore from anyone (including you Wilbon) about how great, passionate, and die-hard the Steelers fanbase is. Why? Did you know that for their playoff game last January against Jacksonville that there were a considerable number of no-shows at the stadium? It's true, there were a considerable amount of empty seats at Heinz Field for an NFL Playoff game. There were even reports that fans couldn't give their tickets away to the first home playoff game for the Steelers in three years. When the Redskins fanbase pulls off that kind of stunt, then you folks can talk about how lame the Redskins fans are in relation to Steelers fans. But for the time being, why don't you talk about how the bad economy and pathetic representation are driving people out there. If half the people who are from Pittsburgh stayed there, it would be the largest city in America.
  • We're willing to admit that we couldn't tell you who the starting third line right winger was for the Syracuse Crunch in 1995. We have to look up the crazy stats that we post here from time-to-time but couldn't recite them to you by heart. And while we're fans of hockey, we don't pride ourselves on providing passionate defenses of the sport when we see it being slighted in some fashion by somebody. However, when we came across this mindless drivel, we immediately thought "February 22nd, 1980." Ok, we had to look that date up too, but if you are any kind of hockey fan, you already know about the Miracle on Ice and would know that event had Americans dancing in the streets and was between the end of World War II and last Tuesday night. We're sure the usual suspects who ride to the defense of hockey every time somebody like Khornball or Steve Czban speaks ill of the sport will also roundly condemn these people too for thier diss of hockey.
  • We all know that Olie Kolzig is coming back to the Verizon Center tomorrow night to play the game of his life when he plays the Caps for the first time, but what is the deal with the Ning recreating the Caps? Kolzig, Matt Pettinger, Jamie Heward, and now Steve Eminger. Jeff Halpern is out injured but will they try to get Jaromir Jagr, Brian Sutherby, Ken Klee, Brian Muir, Jean-Luc Picard Grand-Pierre, and Robert Lang too? They are aware that those particular Caps never really got the job done in DC? And before you ask, no they cannot have A.O. or Alexander Semin though we can only hope they would be willing to take John "Coach's Pet" Erskine Bowles off our hands.
  • Is there anyway the Terps can stop playing road games at night?
  • The Nats introduced new uniforms this week and we do have to say that we like the changes that were made. We do wish however that the home jerseys got rid of that ridiculous font. However, we have to wonder if putting Washington in the "classic script" on the road jerseys is the first step of changing the name from Nationals to Senators? Remember, "Nationals" was chosen over "Senators" because then Mayor Tony Williams didn't want reminders about the Constitutional Prohibition of D.C. having Senators when he was dealing with MLB. Now Ted Lerner and Company have shown that they don't care much about the D.C. Government and are willing to fight them tooth and nail over every little thing so we wouldn't be surprised if they chose to offend the sensibilities of the same politicians who have barely supported them. Getting back to the uniforms, we always thought that the "DC" logo on both the cap and jersey of the third set was overkill and are thankful the "Patriotic" uniform will be worn as little as possible.
  • Finally this week, the Caps, as mentioned, face Olie Kolzig and the ex-Caps on Monday night and then head down to Raleigh to face Carolina on Wednesday night. The Caps then wrap up the week with a Friday-Saturday Home-and-Home with the Devils starting in D.C. The Redskins come out of the bye week to face the Cowgirls at FedEx Field on Sunday night. The Terps football team hosts North Carolina on Saturday at 3:30 pm on ABC Regional coverage and the Basketball Team starts their season on Friday night against Bucknell at the Cable Box.
  • As always folks, please send all comment, criticisms, corrections, suggestions, questions, and offers for our remaining Redskins Home Game tickets to "capsnut" over at gmail dot com. The bidding starts at $250 per seat, per game.


Saturday, November 08, 2008

Caps vs. Rangers 11-8-2008 Post-Mortem

Ok, maybe there is a goalie controversy... Onto the Battle Damage Assessment...

  • There was a Power Play goal scored by the Caps tonight and it wasn't Mike "BEAM ME UP" Green scoring it either!
  • Special note for all the Jeff "Sergeant" Schultz haters out there, his defensive play late in the game set up Alexander Semin's long range empty net goal which is why he earned an assist. He may not run people over but is a lot more responsible in his own zone than some other stay-at-home-defensemen on this team.
  • While he didn't factor in the scoresheet, Eric Fehr played a solid game tonight after sitting out the last five games and tried to take advantage of being in the lineup.


  • They say a two goal lead is the most dangerous lead in hockey and at times tonight, it looked as if the Caps were going to try to sit on that lead for two periods. If we can be nit-pickers here; we must take full advantage of periods where we dominate like we did in the first period tonight. Don't get us wrong, a 2-0 lead isn't nothing, but this overpassing needs to end when prime scoring opportunities are present.
  • While the Rangers were taking away the boards for our clearing attempts, it still doesn't excuse the consistent turnovers at our own blueline.
  • When was the last time you saw A.O. alone between the hash marks with the puck on his stick and he passed the puck? He's afraid to shoot right now, that's why he isn't scoring goals.


  • While some might forgive him for icing the game with his empty net goal, Alexander Semin's stupid tripping call with 2:15 left almost cost us a regulation win tonight. Semin actually stopped skating to go back and put his stick in Scott Gomez's skates on that play. It was unnecessary, stupid, and an easy call for the referees to make and is the John "Coach's Pet" Erskine Bowles Bonehead Play of the Game.
  • Though why was it up to Semin to clean out the front of the net when Brent Johnson was getting whacked?
  • We admit that we're getting old and our eyesight isn't what it used to be, but we could have sworn that we saw Markus Nasuld's name among the scratches for the Rangers tonight. Are we going senile or was some sort of SNAFU?

To belabor the point about A.O. not shooting the puck, he is a player who has averaged over 5 shots per game over his career but is currently averaging just 4.5 so far this season. He still leads the team in shots on goal, but only by two over Mike Green. A.O. has an amazing shot and while it is good that he is looking for passes more (it makes him harder to defend), he clearly doesn't trust his shot right now which is why he's passing up prime opportunities like his chance between the hash marks in the first period. The only way he is going to get out of this slump is to shoot the puck and it looked as if Bruce Boudreau told him to do exactly that in the second intermission. If the Caps can get A.O. rolling, everything else could take care of itself.

It has been... A TWO POINT NIGHT!!!


Thursday, November 06, 2008

Caps vs. Canes 11-6-2008 Post-Mortem

Now THAT'S how you finish... Onto the Battle Damage Assessment...

  • Go figure, 15 shots, no goals in the first period. 9 shots and two goals in the third period. Better late than never.
  • 35-20 as a team in the faceoff circle tonight with all four centers over 60%.


  • So much for the goaltender controversy, Brent Johnson continues the troubling pattern of allowing a goal on the first shot.
  • Nice passing by a Power Play Unit that somehow found a way to get 6 shots on goal. We could consider this progress but the glaring lack of a Power Play quarterback is becoming just too obvious.


  • Unable to corral a breakaway pass, Michael Nylander compounds his error by failing to get the puck deep in the Carolina zone in the second period. The resulting turnover at the blueline caught the Caps in a bad line change and led directly to Tuomo Ruttu's second period goal. That our friends is the John"Coach's Pet" Erskine Bowles Bonehead Play of the Game.
  • Shaone Morrrissonnn and Sergei (#3) Fedorov both left early tonight with injuries. At least Bruce Boudreau resisted the temptation to put Federov on the blueline in Morrrissonnn's absence. But the lack of depth is going to have an effect on this team.
  • And speaking of Federov, what is more surprising at this point in the season; that he has more goals and points than A.O. or that he's tied for second on the team in Penalty Minutes?

Well folks, we were the first in North America last year to make the suggestion of a campaign to get A.O. voted MVP, so why not be the first in North America to kickstart the discussion of Alexander Semin being voted MVP this year? He got our vote for his accurate comments about Canadian Diving Team Captain, Secondary Assist Cindy Crosby alone (memo to Michel Therrien, your own media last year was crediting Evegni Malkin-Lindros with being the best player in the league and, by extension, on the team) and since Semin is also backing it up on the ice, there's no reason to believe that he cannot accomplish the feat that A.O. pulled off last year. Something Cindy has never done.

It has been... A TWO POINT NIGHT!!!


Wednesday, November 05, 2008

About Monday Night...

First of all, let us say that our brother-in-law is from Pittsburgh; is the tenth of eleven children, currently lives in Laurel, MD, has at least one brother and sister living in Burke, VA with their families, and is a member the Bhawlmuher Branch of the Pittsburgh Steelers Fan Club. (Think last night was bad? Check out what Pittsburgh-Bhawlmuher games look like in Bhawlmuher.)

Our little sister is unfortunately living with an idiot from Pittsburgh and has been converted into a Steelers fan (luckily our older sister has held out and is more than willing to dress our niece in Skins, Caps, Nats, and Terps gear.)

We'd venture it is pretty safe to say that a majority of Pittsburgh fans at the Redskins-Steelers game on Monday night were already living in this area. We can assure you that was the case of the Pittsburgh fan sitting right next to us in the seats that we own. No, we didn't bring our brother-in-law or our other sister's idiot boyfriend with us; we donated our extra ticket back to the Redskins for a tax write-off:

So yep, through a program that the Redskins set up to help "children in need, people battling life-threatening illnesses, active military members and families coping with a traumatic situation" a fan for the other team got in for free. He certainly wasn't a child in need though being a refugee from Pittsburgh could probably qualify "as coping with a traumatic situation." The same thing happened with our extra ticket for the Saints game too back in September (though was it clearly a child sitting next to us.)

And if you want a real laugh, we got two e-mails in the week leading up to the game from the Redskins telling us that "Due to visiting team and media returns, a limited number of tickets for the game are available." (When we went to the Redskins website to check it out, it was nothing but club and dream seats, the cheapest of which was $275 per ticket and you were also forced to buy a $35 parking pass.)

But as we mentioned earlier, Steeler-Ratbird games in Bhawlmuher are even worse than what you saw Monday night. It is common knowledge that even Baltimorons are smart enough to fleece the Pittsburgh fans for enough $$$$$ to pay for their entire season ticket package in exchange for giving up their tickets to one game. Us Redskins fans can do the same thing with our Dallas tickets (or the Jints/Iggles combination) and this season we had the rare choice of fleecing Dallas fans, Pittsburgh fans, or both. (We'll find out on November 16th how many chose "both" this season.) Though with the Redskins giving Art Monk and Darrell Green their Hall of Fame Rings before the game against the Cowgirls, those Redskins fans that did that will likely be sorry. We upset a close friend (who is a Redskins fan BTW) by refusing to sell him those tickets because we wanted to see Monk and Green get their HOF Rings.

Finally however let us say this, the Redskins were ten times better at dealing with the drunken hooliganism that often mars games like Monday night than the Caps have ever been. Security was in the stands early and often and did not waste any time ejecting people starting trouble before it got out of hand no matter what team's colors they were wearing. For that alone, I applaud the Redskins and cast a wary eye at Ted Leonsis who not only let's these bozos in, but does nothing about them once they are there. Sure, not enough of them were ejected on Monday (out of general principle) but at least those that were filled the Redskins coffers, subsidized Redskins fans, and didn't get to see the game. We find something very satisfying in that.


Tuesday, November 04, 2008

"Change" Is Not Synonym of "Improvement"

Sure there is a Pop Star (who just so happened to have butchered one of the greatest songs of all-time) who tells us "A Change Will Do You Good." And let's be honest, the change of Jim Zorn and Bruce Boudreau from Joe Gibbs and Glen Hanlon respectively has gone better than anybody could have reasonably expected.

Sometimes, change however yields a "so-so" result. Such as when Manny Acta took over the Washington Nationals from Frank Robinson. Sure, Acta took the team further in 2007 than Frank would have, but would Frank have allowed the multiple losing streaks that marred the 2008 season to occur? We seriously doubt it.

However, oftentimes change can also be a very, very bad thing. Who wants to argue that firing Ron Wilson in favor of Bruce Cassidy (and the Sundance Kid) was a good change for the Caps? What about the trade for Jaromir Jagr? That was certainly a change that brought a lot of hope to Washington D.C. but didn't turn out nearly as well as anybody thought it would. Certain folks might try to spin that one as a vital action that led to A.O. ending up in D.C., but that's a far stretch to make. Or how about Marty Schottenheimer being replaced by Steve Spurrier? Or better yet, Dan Snyder taking over the Redskins from the Cooke family?

The point of this is that change for the sake of change is a very, very bad idea. Thomas Sowell recently pointed out that many different politicians and leaders have promised change during their rise to power. And while such individuals like Vladimir Lenin, Joseph Stalin, Mao Zedong, Fidel Castro, and even Adolf Hitler did provide change from the regimes they replaced once in power; we don't think it was the type of change they or the rest of the world was looking for despite many fanatical folks believing in it (some even to this day). Because very often when bad times hit, people tend to think, "it can't get much worse" when in reality, as this quick little history lesson just showed us, it can; especially when some are insisting on repeating history.

So folks, all we have to say today is that when you head out to make your choices, believe that change for the sake of change doesn't always bring about what you are hoping for.


Saturday, November 01, 2008

Yeah, We've Been Slacking...

Look folks, as we've said before, we have a 45 hour work week to begin with, so if you were expecting Post-Mortems after West Coast games, think again. Secondly, the past two home games have ended in gimmicks and quite frankly, sapped any desire we had to do a Post-Mortem.

This doesn't in any way shape or form however mean we haven't been paying attention...

  • When the Caps took only 3 shots on goal during their 9 minute Power Play in Calgary and didn't score a single goal, the game was over and the Caps were going to lose.
  • The never ending string of 5-on-3's didn't help matters either....
  • We fell asleep during the Phoenix game but what we did see wasn't all that encouraging.
  • We missed out on Dallas because after getting soaked watching Maryland-N.C. State, we were hoping for Ohio State to take care of State Penn.
  • After watching the Nashville game, we wouldn't be at all surprised by another extended losing streak in the month of November. The Caps face the Buffaslugs this Saturday, have the Canes and Rangers at home followed by Olie Kolzig's return. The Caps then visit Carolina before playing a home and home with New Jersey and then head out west again. The only game before Atlanta that looks easily winnable right now is Ottawa next Tuesday. L.A. should be a win but is comes one night after the Caps play in Anaheim. Are we saying the Caps are going to lose all these games? No, but they won't be easy either and some serious work needs to be done in order to win those games.
  • While Jose "Alvin, Simon," Theodore is still adjusting to the team in front of him, he's also taking a little too long to get "warmed up" in games. The blueline also has some really off nights which doesn't help Theodore either.
  • We could have sworn we read just last year about how the coach wanted somebody to get in front of the net like Tomas Holmstrom on the Power Play.
  • While it is only one month and nine games into the season, how funny would it be if Alexander Semin beats Evegni Malkin-Lindros out for the same awards A.O. took home last year?
  • And speaking of A.O., we've all heard in some fashion about the revolving door that is his love life right now. He is currently making $9 million a season right now so why isn't a Russian mail order bride a possibility??? (Why did we start thinking about this? Click here to see why)

And finally, add us to the chorus of folks who said "Whiskey Tango Foxtrot" to the undeserved two year extension to John "Coach's Pet" Erskine Bowles. We've given serious thoughts to restarting the George McPhee Watch again because of this monstrosity. We don't think Erskine Bowles is worth $1.25 lettalone $1,250,000.00 a season especially when you have highly touted prospects in Hershey you're dying to get into the NHL but can't because of cap restraints.

First of all, let us state that this 2 year $2.5 million contract only makes some sense if and ONLY IF Brian Pothier never returns from his concussion. But even then, it wastes a roster spot on a player that two years ago was available the day before training camp started. He hasn't gotten any better as he still makes the same stupid plays and doesn't have the footspeed to recover from his misadventures. Secondly, if you were expecting/wanting to see Karl Alzner this season, forgetaboutit; you're not going to pay a guy $1.25 million to patrol the press box which was Erskine Bowles excels in outside of getting burned in the neutral zone. Furthermore, a little known clause in the CBA dictates that extensions signed during the season can only allocate $$$$$ that is currently available under the cap combined with the $$$$$ that will become available on July 1st when expiring contracts expire. What this means is that of the roughly $13 million in contracts we have expiring after this season, $2.5 million of it has already been "tagged" (using the CBA term) for Erskine Bowles and cannot be used to provided extensions for Sergei (#3) Fedorov, Eric Fehr, Boyd Gordon, Shaone Morrrissonnn, Milan Jurcina, Jeff "Sargent" Schultz, and Brent Johnson. Not exactly a collection of key players but 2010's FA's could very well need the extra $.713 million that Erskine Bowles is getting and wouldn't it be nice to lock Federov up for next season before July? Also, considering that we need a true Power Play quarterback on the blueline, this contract makes that much harder to find and afford. Finally, Tyler Sloan showed he could take up space about as well as Erskine Bowles does, is a year younger and makes less than Erskine Bowles did even before the extension.

Simply put, this is a contract that is going to come back to haunt us.

Labels: ,