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A Few More Random Observations, 1/20/10 January 20, 2010

Posted by CapitalSpirit in Uncategorized.

Last night against the Wings was one of those games you almost can’t believe you saw firsthand. The Caps did not look like themselves for the first twenty minutes. The second period wasn’t much better until very, very late. At one point, with the arena about as quiet as it got all night, I had to yell, “Hey! You on the ice in the red sweaters! We’ll pay the ransom already, just please give us back the Washington Capitals!” A late marker evened things up at one apiece–and won one lucky fan Lasik surgery–but it still didn’t seem like the guys who walked down the tunnel at the end of two were the same Washington Capitals we’ve been watching all year. Who were those impostors, and what did they do with the Capitals?

Man, I don’t think I’ve seen a ransom raised that fast since The Taking of Pelham One Two Three.

All kidding aside, that third period was more like the Cardiac Caps we’ve been used to seeing this year–too-cute play makes the Capitals pay, but hey, they were just working on their come-from-behind stats, right? Give the fans a thrilling finish, and the home fans go home happy? Was that the plan all along?

Hope they quit that by April, or two things are going to be highly likely. One, that come-from-behind script probably won’t work enough of the time to get them all the way to June. And two, I’m probably going to need nitro pills before it’s over.

With all due apologies to Meat Loaf, two out of three ain’t bad, but three out of three is a six-point homestand, and we’ll take that any week of the season.

I’ve heard of a goalie standing on his head, but Jose Theodore was standing on his head and juggling live chainsaws upside-down last night. The man still knows a thing or two about stopping a puck, I guess. Think he wants to put the kibbosh on any potential trade rumors?

I wish Game Entertainment would take a listen to “In Defiance” by VNV Nation. A game like last night makes me wish they had that in rotation: an up-tempo number with a whole lot of “No Surrender!” in it. An exercise: try imagining the “Unleash the Fury!” crowd volume on the words “No Surrender!” It won’t happen, but man, can you imagine the sound of it if it did?

The Chimera trade is looking pretty good so far. Clark’s numbers since the trade: one goal, one assist, eight PIMs, minus-4. Chimera’s numbers since arriving in DC: two goals, four assists, 28 PIMs, and plus-2…in two fewer games than Clark. (For the record, Milan Jurcina is plus-2 with six PIMs and no points since donning a Jackets sweater.) Small sample size, to be sure, but it doesn’t exactly look like the Caps got the worst end of it so far. Any player who gets a Gordie Howe hat trick before his GP with his new team is in double digits is okay in my book. Now, if only his official photograph had him in a Capitals sweater.

Hoping to make it out Saturday for the morning skate. Saturday could be a long one if I do that–Kettler first thing in the morning, Caps Fan Club in the afternoon, followed right away by Caps versus Yotes. That could potentially mean showing up at the morning skate in full game dress, because I might end up having to head straight downtown from Arlington. Not sure about that yet, however.

On a personal note, one of my readers ran into me in Silver Spring after the game last night, and we had a fairly long chat. Even though I’d been more or less zonked from the game, and even though it was on the chilly side of comfortable, we must have stood there for a good fifteen minutes while I explained all the particulars–including showing off the bracelet for the first time in a long time. Somewhere in the conversation, I let it slip that it gets awfully lonely being me on the concourse some nights, but hold that thought. I got home after Detroit with a bounce in my step which I hadn’t had in a while. On a related note, after the Flyers game Sunday, I swung by RFD for a one-man postgame party–come on, we beat the Flyers!–and had been working on dinner and (come on, we beat the Flyers!) a brownie, when I noticed a couple of Caps fans giving me the hairy eyeball. I waved them over and invited them to sit down–just as well, as they said they would have invited themselves had I not–and we talked while they waited for their table. It was a good long talk, and one of the things they asked was, yup, if I got a lot of comments at the Phone Booth. Surprisingly, I don’t–at the Philly game, in fact, the concourse sounded a bit like Wachovia Center South with some of the yap I was getting from Flyers hooligans. Acknowledgment from Caps fans? Well… I’ve mentioned some of this to a couple of Caps staffers recently, acknowledging every time that there’s nothing more the team itself can do to encourage me. Most, if not all, of the people who are getting paid to be there have been very supportive. But there are some nights when a few kind words from my fellow fans would mean a lot.

I have to confess, I’ve been struggling a bit lately. Self-doubt is something I’ve been dealing with for a long time, and it never really goes away. Well, it’s got me bad as of late. The Capitals have done absolutely everything humanly possible to encourage me, and it’s accepted and very much appreciated. I would like to put it out to my fellow Caps fans at Verizon Center, though–if you see me, a few kind words, a high five, even if it’s just a smile when you see me, whatever you can offer, it would be very much appreciated right now. I’ll get better–I always do, even if it takes a while. But right now, like the songwriter once said, I get by with a little help from my friends. Thank you all in advance for all your prayers and support.

And now, on to Pittsburgh tomorrow night. I don’t know about you, but this one’s been highlighted on my email calendar since July. If the Caps can’t come out with all guns blazing tomorrow night, they might have to rethink that whole Stanley Cup thing. Dueling hat tricks like we saw in Game 2 last spring? Hey, stay tuned! Caps-Penguins tilts have been instant classics as of late (with a few notable exceptions, obviously). Late start forces me to watch from Section Living Room, Row Couch, Seat 1, but hey, it’s Caps-Pens, and sure to be a thriller. Lots of luck to the Caps tomorrow night.




1. whitsport - January 21, 2010

Interesting blog, I’ve been to quite a few Caps games over the past two years and I’ve noticed an familiar trend… Play a decent 1st period (usually a goal or 2), usually not much to show in the 2nd period, death blows finishing off opponents in the 3rd period. I’ve gotten free wings at Glory Days 4 times this year already (happens when 5 goals or more are scored at home) Good stuff!


CapitalSpirit - January 22, 2010

Would be even better if there were a Glory Days somewhere near the DC Metro. As is, for all the wings they’ve scored, I’ve yet to have any because I don’t know where there’s a Glory Days near the Metro.

Yotes come a-callin’ on Saturday, so we’ll see how we do against a scrappy team from the West.–CS

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