Saturday, December 31, 2011

Caps/Jackets, 12/31/11

It's been a tough year for the Washington Capitals. Things haven't been quite as pretty as we'd gotten used to as fans. We weren't quite the '70s Caps--but we weren't the '09 Caps either, and it's been a longer and harder transition than most of us were probably ready for. But you know what? We ended it with a bang, not a whimper. The Caps reminded the world that they're here.

Things are looking up in a big way. What more can you ask? I know some people would disagree with me, but at the moment I am less concerned about the team's progress than I am about their direction, and for the last few games, it's all been beautiful.

Happy New Year.

What a game.

The first period is unbelievably boring. There's a guy in a Pens jersey right behind the bench. He's probably lost--he is lost in his sports fandom, if nothing else.

You don't even go here.

Roman Hamrlik is unexpectedly beneficial for ten seconds with the team's only real chance so far! We'll take it.

We are reminded by the broadcast team that Chimera used to be a Blue Jacket. This is momentarily disorienting as he is so very good at being a Capital. I believe that he was a Capital in his soul, even when he was a Blue Jacket.

Somebody's glove is in the middle of the ice. They probably need that. Unless they're Steve Mason, he's not using it anyway.

The Jackets are playing the boring, unhappy hockey of a team that has already lost 22 games this season.

Grant Clitsome does a few things, and I am impressed by Joe B's ability to call them with a straight face. This guy is a solid hockey player, but it's still hard to believe there is a person actually named Grant Clitsome and that it's not a porn star pseudonym or something.

In Jeff Schultz's first game back after four scratched, he promptly tries very hard to provide the other team with a goal. Thank God for Vokoun. The period ends 0-0.

Ovechkin and Dorsett get into a shoving match early in the second period. Oh fuck, look how scary that Derek Dorsett is, Ovechkin had better watch out.


Not a hell of a lot going on otherwise. Caps are playing geriatric hockey. They are down in chances.

To the Blue Jackets. Yep. 

Yawn. Snore. I blame this on Columbus.

Unfortunately we already know there's no rule against being boring. Tampa Bay, we're looking at you. 

The Meat & Potatoes line briefly starts some shit, and it's the most interesting thing that has happened since I can remember. Being on Twitter making fun of the Blue Jackets is much more interesting than actually playing the Blue Jackets. Ted Starkey with the comparison of the night: 

Given the fact that I can barely keep my eyes open, perhaps it's not a surprise that the Caps are lulled into a bad turnover. Rick Nash takes it in for Moore, because Rick Nash is the entirety of the Columbus Blue Jackets. There are no other players. 

0-1. Whatever. 

Knuble is on the third line tonight and that's not quite as good as him being on the first line again, but he is taking advantage of it, as Mike Knuble often does. He's the guy who will use every single inch of slack that you give him, and he's getting better quality chances than almost anyone on the ice anyway, because fuck you. #FreeKnuble

Pahlsson scores to make it 0-2. This is the first time in my life I have ever thought about Samuel Pahlsson. I had to look up his first name. 

The refs do not exist. There have been no penalties called since the Ovechkin-Dorsett incident. None. There's a woman with a pet Pomeranian in the stands. What the fuck is this game?

But Alex Ovechkin never sleeps. He is like a shark. He is not okay with losing games to the Blue Jackets when nobody even knows what the hell a Blue Jacket is.

Salvation comes in the form of your captain, as it does so often these days. 2-1.

The solar flare of Ovechkin's goal pulses through every Capital in the arena. They stretch. They shake their heads. Time to play some hockey.

First order of business: kick every Blue Jacket's ass, as they have just realized that they are losing to these clowns. Sort-of line brawl. Everyone tries to tackle everyone else, Brouwer-Ehrhoff style, and Orlov ends up bleeding all over the place. He should be comforted knowing he helped blaze the glorious path to victory.


SASHA. 2-2.


There are no pictures of any of these goals, because the press had not yet realized that the action had finally started. Here's a picture of a supernova instead.

Fuck you, 20 minutes of Capitals is better than 60 minutes of Blue Jackets. The Caps were furiously catching up on their napping between periods and now they are guns blazing. In less than 3:30, we go from losing to winning. Surprise!

Locker: "If you turned away from the TV for a moment...Caps have scored three goals."

Finally, there's a penalty. Not even the refs are immune to the Ovechkin Surge.

Ovechkin scores again, on a slapshot that Locker estimates is about 100 MPH. Back to back two-goal games! Deathly silence from the haters crowd. Where have they all gone? Wouldn't they like to tell us more about how terrible he is?



Kind of odd but exciting win! The first two periods were a joke--but in some kind of bizarre metaphor for the entire season, things worked out all right in the end.

Ovechkin was amazing. Everyone loved him. Basically anyone who is criticizing Ovechkin at this moment in time is a complete idiot. It's the best, the best feeling. We've tried to be practical. We've tried to be pragmatic about Ovechkin's changing game, but it's hard to give up a generational talent like that. The things we saw him do, goddamn--and if there's even the slightest chance that we can see him do those things again, we're going to love every minute of it.

Absence. Heart. Fonder. I don't care who our opponents were, this game was a gem. Three in a row. Come on in, 2012. We're ready.

Let's go Caps.


  1. Love your recaps. Very entertaining.

  2. thank you so much! Caps are making it a lot of fun to do lately :D and i love YOUR handle, cracked me up. that Sasha. so topical.

  3. To be fair, the Caps were playing back-to-back games, and they had left for Columbus right after getting revenge on--I mean, defeating--the Sabres.

  4. it's true! they had a perfectly good excuse to be asleep on their skates. luckily they were awake for the third period! no mere exhaustion can beat our washington capitals!