Ugh, Tampa Bay.
I still hate those motherfuckers, on account of the time they got their stupid selves between us and the Stanley Cup. I will not forgive this ever. See: Penguins, Pittsburgh; Canadiens, Montreal. Mortal enemies do not get replaced. The list just gets longer.
This was one of those nights when I realized abruptly that I should be writing a pregame, and that once again it hadn't magically appeared on its own, and the first thing I always do in these situations is turn to my friend Katie and say "hey, write a pregame for me."
She usually says no.
Tonight she actually answered me, so I present a Habs fan's random impressions of this game, maybe followed by some real information but probably not.
KATIE ON THE GAME: "Tomorrow the Capitals will play a hockey team. Presumably this hockey team has players. We probably don't like some of them. Perhaps you should punch them in the face."
KATIE WHEN I TOLD HER IT WAS THE LIGHTNING: "Hey, they have real lightning in their arena now!" I tell her we are playing in our arena. "Oh well then they have nothing."
KATIE ON STAMKOS: "Cut your hair you goddamn hippy."
KATIE ON ROLOSON: "He is really old now. Like ancient. You can score so many goals on him. You can just fire them right through him. He has thin old-people skin."
KATIE ON HOW TO BEAT THE TRAP: "Skate fast."
ANY OTHER THREATS?: "Lecavalier's cheekbones. And Martin St. Louis being short. ...Hey, are they both French Canadian? And Guy Boucher is too! ...Montreal is in the wrong location. Why didn't we trade for them? Cammalleri for Boucher. This is a real trade proposal."
Yet another sports situation to remember when you get too down about the Caps: at least we are not the three-act trainwreck going on in Montreal right now!
The Caps are all right. They've had some trouble finding their footing lately but we have confidence in their ability to straighten shit out. The NHL is conveniently helping this endeavor by serving up a couple softballs--a couple of tired teams in a row, all struggling themselves, all on the second night of back-to-back games. Whoever was writing the schedule with a crystal ball a year ago is clearly on our side.
I feel pretty confident that we've got this one. The hate should be there, and no matter how much the Caps have been sliding, the Lightning have been sliding oh so much worse, and longer. Two more points is going to mean a lot, once again, and every night until April. It's going to be a slugfest.
Let's go Caps.