There aren't must-win games in November. It doesn't matter who you are and who you're playing--there aren't.
But there are games you shouldn't lose, and there are ways in which you shouldn't lose.
I think we've all calmed down a bit from yesterday, but if you are anything like me, your heart is still basically the opening scene in "Lost" where everything is on fire. This is an excellent time to remember once again that forgiveness is a part of love, and that bad things don't last forever. At the moment we are maybe not the most assured fans in the NHL, but the nice thing about rock bottom is that seriously, it does end sometime. We don't just lose and lose forever, we're not the Blue Jackets.
I've already done my ranting and raving, read HERE for my contribution to the "burn it down, start anew" panicboat if you want to, but that is not what this post is about. This post is about photoshopping game photos to reflect what I feel is a more appropriate portrayal of the Capitals' sadness and destruction, and also reminding you player-by-player what it is that you liked about these guys, in the first place.
First things first: terrible photoshop.
It's a healing salve on my broken hockey soul.
The Men In Your Life:
Alex Ovechkin--Are you kidding? It's Alex Ovechkin. Don't be fooled by the people jumping on this opportunity to talk shit--while the cat's away, the mice will play, huh? But sooner or later, he's going to come out of the so-called slump and start tearing souls from the bodies of lesser men, and they will feel pretty silly, and you will get to say "I told you so".
Alex Semin--I know, you're frustrated. He's sleeping on the couch. But remember how beautiful he can be. Remember that amazing stick-handling, remember the pure offensive talent. Remember the Rangers series, how much you loved him. This guy is a special player.
Mike Green--Possibly no words needed here. He's been amazing this year. He needs to come back.
Nicklas Backstrom--One of the best playmakers in the league, hands down. You will have years and years with him, this is a long-term relationship.
Troy Brouwer--This guy hits like a motherfucker, and he's got hands as well. He's a good addition, and we like his eyes.
Jason Chimera--Your scoring leader to start the year, second place in goal scoring currently, Jason Chimera. Fastest man in the world, and the guy who's found his scoring touch this year when nobody would have expected him to. Depth, thy name is Chimera.
Brooks Laich--Brooks Laich is an amazing human being. So far this year he's played about 98798642 positions on 8979687 different lines and acquitted himself admirably in all of them. He's got all the grit and character in the world, and he can score, too. Most Valuable Player.
Marcus Johansson--The second line center that most of us didn't know that we had before this year. He's been brilliant. Remember that pass in the Canes game? I wanted to marry it.
Cody Eakin--Often been the only one with a spark in the last few games--so young, so fast, so ginger. Dressed up as Ron Weasley for Halloween. Enough said.
Jeff Halpern--Been great for us on faceoffs, put in great work on that fourth line. Remember when that fourth line was kicking all the ass.
Matt Hendricks--Never stops trying. Once during one of these games that we were losing badly, we were down like three or four or something stupid in the last few minutes of play, at the point where we're really not going to rescue it, and he goes down to block a slapshot in front of the net. Unbelievable.
Mike Knuble--Didn't complain when he was demoted to the fourth line. Kept crashing the net. Kept telling it like it is.
Matthieu Perrault--We haven't seen him in a few games, and we've been losing those games. Coincidence? ...Probably. But seriously, another energy guy who will get a chance to get back into it and we'll be happy to have him.
Joel Ward--Favorite new addition award? Maybe. Classy as hell while still managing to be a badass motherfucker.
Dennis Wideman--The points streak. Maybe he's a lesser Mike Green, but that same kind of skillset has been unbelievably useful with Mike Green in and out this year.
Karl Alzner--In a 7-1 loss last night, somehow managed to be a +1. You don't get more solid. This man is a rock.
John Carlson--Along with Alzner, has been our best D pairing for a good year or so now. We love them.
John Erskine--Fought for us the other night when we were losing to try to get us going. There every time someone tries to mess with one of our players. He is a Viking warrior.
Roman Hamrlik--I know. But watch how many shots he blocks--and remember how good of a fit he can be with Mike Green when the man is actually healthy, takes care of his own end so that Mike Green can run free and be excellent.
Jeff Schultz--I know. But think about his reach, think about his height, and how positionally sound he is. When he makes a mistake, he looks pretty bad, but when he doesn't make any mistakes, he's invisible. We could have worse D--I mean that, we actually could.
Tomas Vokoun--Has shown off for us a few times this season, we've seen what he can do. And it's awesome.
Michael Neuvirth--Your catfaced goalie and mine. We know he's good. Let's never make him cry again, huh boys? That was a painful interview to watch last night.
You love them. You haven't stopped. They are stomping on your heart right now, but that's okay, what doesn't kill us, etc. There is no team in the league whose highs have been higher and lows have been lower this season than the Washington Capitals. And yet you're still here. Good on you.
Rage is good too.
I'm fucking serious this time, I'm not fucking around, so team, I hope you are listening up. Caps. Will never lose again.