Listen, I know things have been tough lately--but if there's one thing that the Caps front office is good at, it's timing, they know when to change things up. They are basically the boyfriend who buys you a nice necklace or something every time you have a really big fight. So welcome, Dale Hunter, our brand new sparkly jewel.
Break for a Celine Dion song.
But when you touch me like this~~
No but seriously--don't you feel better today? I know I do--even though we lost. I've got the fever.
Dale Hunter fever.
Straight up, if you're looking for rational skepticism--well, there's some in a few posts down, but that was pretty much rational skepticism's last stand. No one can do to me what Dale Hunter can do to me. He is basically Justin Bieber, and I am basically a junior high girl.
If Dale Hunter had been able to directly, immediately channel his spirit into the Caps, we would have won this game 400-0. And all the Blues would have been dead by the end of it.
Unfortunately we do have to deal with stupid, annoying reality and its whole teams don't transform entirely in 24 hours and its new systems take time to implement and such. That's fine. If we are being honest, I will wait for Dale Hunter for a long time--he gets extra leeway, even, because that's what being a Legend gets you. That and a neat banner and free drinks in the DC area, probably.
Look at this motherfucker.
Even so--credit where it's due, the Blues couldn't be hotter if they were Megan Fox, and they played a hell of a game. We don't run into them on our first night out? Maybe we don't lose that game. Everything looked better. The team had some life, trying hard, even if things were kind of a mess, everyone reminding themselves that it was not, in fact, Bruce Boudreau behind that bench with them and that they should try very hard to not do things the way that they had been doing them for the past four years.
Understandably things were a little rough. Awkward fumblings of a new couple trying to feel each other up. Overall--I'm not mad at the effort level, and I am excited for things to come.
The first goal ever in the Hunter Era could not have been better, at all, there is no way for it to be. Backstrom and Ovechkin break out of the zone, and Ovechkin has this look in his eye like he's planning something beautiful.
Ovechkin is Ovechkin and draws basically every Blue on the ice, passes to Backstrom. 1-0.
But we can't get out of the period leading--TJ Oshie apparently has no idea that History is happening and thinks that it is okay for him to score. It is, in fact, not.
Fucker. You are not even close to my favorite #74.
We don't stay tied through the second, but of note: several moments of badassery throughout this period.
First, Troy Brouwer high sticks Jason Arnott in the face, Jason Arnott bleeds everywhere.
I feel kind of bad about this, as Arnott was a class act/mighty elk in his time with us, but once you are off the roster, all bets are off, buddy.
It's a four minute major. Even worse, we were kind of already on the PK, so we get a terrifyingly long 5-on-3 situation here.
They don't score. Our PK has been good lately, but it is even better tonight, it is amazing. Caps are apparently so surprised by this that they give up a goal directly afterwards. Boooooooo. 2-1.
Another moment of badassery: Marcus Johansson blocks a shot, point-blank, because there is no fear in Marcus Johansson, ever. He disappears down the tunnel and worries us terribly, but he's back out for the third apparently no worse for the wear.
In the third period, Matt Hendricks fights Scott Nichol. It was a quick fight, but a great one.
The third period is a hope and excitement period--things seem to be really clicking finally, we're finally getting to the net. I can feel the tying goal coming. I can feel it.
Okay, perhaps my goal-feeling sensor is a bit off.
Still. Not sad about this game. Not even slightly. There are things to improve, clearly--basically all the things--but nothing and no one can make me feel sad about those things today, because I feel the fury coming. It's not quite here yet but it's coming, and we still have plenty of time. We're going to have things turned around by the playoffs and everyone is going to be like "wow, what happened to the Capitals?" and you will just smile to yourself.
ALL THE STARS OF THE GAME: Alex Semin
Wow, jeez. Most Improved. No penalties whatsoever, nothing even close to a penalty, several scoring chances and--is that Semin fighting for pucks along the boards? Is that Semin going hard in one-on-one battles?
Sasha is afraid of the man with the mustache.
Things are on track. It's not pretty yet, but it will be. We'll get hot like Megan Fox, too, our time will come. Hang in there, Caps fans. It's the beginning of a new part of Caps history, and you get to tell your kids about it later (when they ask about the time that we won the Stanley Cup, of course.)
This is it. For real.
Let's go Caps.