Remember when Harry Potter got so angry at Dudley that he made the glass disappear and unleashed a snake into a room full of kids? I wanted to disapparate the glass in the Verizon Center last night and let the fans go berserk. I have never been so worked up at a game.
As the old adage goes, “If you can’t say anything nice, don’t talk to opposing teams’ fans during the playoffs.” Since I can’t say anything about the Bruins that couldn’t later be used against me in a court of law, I will instead focus on what I did and didn’t like about the Caps game 3 effort last night.
1) Karl Alzner
I love you. This was stupid in a hundred ways but I love you. [video]
He’s the third man into this scrum for sure – just the 857th penalty not called last night, on either team, including about five in the ten seconds prior. The Caps were already shorthanded and this could have really put them in a tough… oh wait, they lost anyway. So I don’t care!
“I don’t even know what to say on my side to show I’m not a crybaby,” Lucic said with a laugh. “That’s a lot coming from a guy who I think has two roughing penalties in three years.” - Washingtonpost.com
That is exactly why this was awesome. Get in there, Karl! What are you going to do, make Looch play tougher? Not possible. Make him fight you? Like he needs a reason, and even now you’re not at the top of his list. Overall this was harmless to everything but the fact that we’ll remember it. Put it with the “shhhh” and the salute as a little something that can go a long way for your team.
2) Up-Tempo Hockey
The first period was blistering. Caps fans live in fear of the surprise appearance by that team from this season who didn’t care, the one with cement skates and a hangover. But last night we got the zip, and we got it early. Too bad for Ovi he used 90% of his energy in the first period, checking everything that moved, then ran out of gas. Get him a Power Bar, Dale, and get him back out there! Great hustle from the forwards last night – especially Brouwer and Brooks.
DISLIKE. There is a Jeff Schultz-sized hole in our blueline. Is this guy really our best option? Every time he comes near the puck, Gator yells, “Schultz!” like Seinfeld yells, “Newman!” Orlov is a spastic 7th grader, but at least he’s quick. Also, Mike Green – he managed four more shots last night, but still seems to go from great play to complete lapse every possession. The Bruins can play tighter and the Caps better figure this out before they do.
4) Cross-Ice Passes Down Low
The Caps seem to have finally conquered their demon of consistently getting into the offensive zone. It’s not always clean, but it’s better. Now they are hung up on cross-ice passes below the hash marks. It nearly worked in the first, but the Bruins closed that hole. The Caps continued to try ad nauseum – their game needs to be more adaptable/unpredictable.
5) Crash the Net
You know the game where you guess how many jellybeans are in the huge jar and if you win, you get the jellybeans? No one can guess how many times Russian Machine Never Breaks has implored this team to crash the net all season – it’s well over a billion. The Caps should replace #4 with this idea, because I like jellybeans.
And) Nicklas Backstrom
We know you’re frustrated, Piglet. We know Thomas clocked you with a blocker after a whistle in game 1 and didn’t get called. That’s why it felt so damned good when you beat him for the double-OT winner next time. Please continue to respond as such… if you get the chance.
This is just dumb. The game is over. Everyone has been running everyone for free but Backstrom decides to make himself the price of a cross-check that gains nothing. Hunter expects the NHL to rescind the match penalty and automatic one-game suspension that was assessed to Nicky because it “was not that bad.” [link] Maybe not – I can’t tell from the video if he gets Peverly’s face or his arms. But there’s no question that it’s stupid and he’ll be lucky not to sit the next one out.