Wednesday, April 15, 2009

I take your fucking bullets!


Wow, not the way most of us expected this series to start. Who knew that Brandon Dubinsky could shuck and jive like that? Ryan Callahan dished out Bobby Boucher-like rage on everything and everyone wearing red but in the end I think Lundqvist deserves the game puck and a post game blow job for his all-star effort with 32 saves on the night meaning NO when he says it keeping the Capitals scoreless on 5 of 7 power plays.

Yeah, Kick ass OVIE! Maybe?

Here's something interesting that has been happening while watching this game online (pw: glass) Your humble blogger was born in Houston and raised in South Texas so aside from the Houston Aeros and the RGV Killer Bees, I dont have a real rooting interest with any hockey team. Thus, my feelings for this game have gone something like this:

Well Oven is a pretty bomb ass player and Semin sounds like semen and if your name makes me giggle, you're ok in my book. But damn, I got such a soft spot Avery. That rabble rousing fuck.... GOD DAMN, FLEISCHMANN HAS SOME MUCH SPACE... OH SHIT! GOOOOOOOOOL! What a goal! Theodore has been solid tonight.

(Avery trips Mike Green in what could be interpreted by some as a penalty, its obvious I'm giving him the benefit of a doubt... and I guess I always will.)

I should be pissed at him, Caps just got robbed. But I cant help but smile whenever Avery does something douchey...

What's interesting about this?

When I really dont know who to cheer for I often find that my feelings decide my rooting interest. Suddenly, and subconsciously at first, I will find myself rooting for one team over another. I don’t control it, and it’s not bound by any logic it just… happens. When one team scores I fist pump, when the other team scores I throw things at the wall think seriously about sacrificing an animal to the hockey gods. (I dont.) And as I'm typing this Semin just scored a PP goal off of an Ovechkin bounce early in the third and I'm happy.

When you dont have a rooting interest in a game its kind of hard to buy into the contest because I guess we dont really care when anyone else but the home team wins. And as a true Hockey Orphan, I've sat through quite a few games where I do nothing but put my fanship on auto pilot and let a club win me over.

Maybe the mind just lies to sports fans to justify their perpetual viewership? Because, after all, you don’t watch to see your team win or lose, you watch simply just to see your team.

Five Questions with Rob Yunich from Storming the Crease

(We asked five simple questions to our friends from across the blog isle about tonight's Rangers/Capitals matchup and, Rob Yunich from Storming the Crease, was nice enough to answer instead of calling to cops. )

1. What will your team need to do to beat the Rangers?

The Caps, as mentioned in my Hockey Orphan post, need to stay focused. When they’re on their game, they’re one of the best teams in the league. Against the Rangers, the Caps need to convert power play opportunities, storm the crease and get Henrik Lundqvist off his game. And some beatings of Pest Avery wouldn’t hurt either.

2. What would need to happen for the Rangers to win?

The Rangers need to find some offense and magically start scoring four or five goals a game. The second coming of a Mark Messier guarantee might help too.

We put "Mark Messier Jesus" into google images and this is what came up.

3. Fan Favorite

Brooks Laich. Not only does he play in every situation, but he’s probably the hardest working player on the team not named Ovechkin and never takes a shift off. He’s the lovable third liner that might be the next captain if it’s not Ovie. And if you don’t believe me, just watch.

4. Your team's Goat-to-Be

Milan Jurcina, John Erskine and Jeff Schultz. Caps fans love to pick on the three defensemen who take up space more than serve a function. All have boasted shining moments throughout the season but the three also have been subject of much negative coverage too. Jurcina and Schultz are both pending RFAs, so they could be playing for a roster spot next season too.

5. Top storyline

It’s easy to say it’s the Caps power play vs. the Rangers penalty kill. But the real storyline is whether busloads of Rangers’ fans will be able to get tickets at Verizon Center. This has never been a problem in the past, but that certainly will garner attention amongst the sea of red-clad Caps fans.

Five Questions with Scotty Hockey's Scotty Hockey

(We asked five simple questions to our friends from across the blog isle about tonight's Rangers/Capitals matchup and Scotty Hockey, an actual-paid-to-write journalist and friend of CLS, was nice enough to pen responses. )

1. What will your team need to do to beat Washington?
Eh, nothing much. Just shut down Alexander Ovechkin, Nick Backstrom and Mike Green while avoiding the fearsome fists of Alexander Semin. Lose the battle of who is the worse defenseman, Tom Poti vs. Wade Redden. Remind Sergei Fedorov and Michael Nylander that that they should be enrolled in the AARP, not the NHLPA. Have Sean Avery find a slutty heiress for Jose Theodore to keep his mind off the game. Have Bruce Boudreau write WASHINGTON LOSES on a napkin.

2. What would need to happen for Washington to win?
Washington can't resuscitate John Druce so five letters: OV MVP. If the Rangers can keep Captain Caveman on the perimeter and off the scoresheet, then they have a better chance. Early in his NHL career, Ovechkin said in an interview with ESPN2 that the difference that he found between Moscow and DC was that the cops in DC couldn't be bribed. So no allowing Ovechkin an easy way out, the Rangers - likely Freddie Sjostrom and Chris Drury - need to play him tight and make him battle for every inch of ice.

John Druce [insert awful juice/loose related pun here]

3. Fan Favorite - One word:
Avery. The popular pest has proven his dedication to his craft and his dedication to the fans. He is universally loathed outside of New York for much of the same reasons he is loved. On the ice (and occasionally off) Avery never stops - not skating, not talking, not causing trouble. He would go through a wall to make a play or get an opponent off their game and we love him for it. It also helped that he came up to sit with fans and sign autographs when he was out with injury and that he has played foil to the top villain in Gotham - Martin Brodeur.

4. Your team's Goat-to-Be
Wade Redden. At $6.5 million for six years, Redden is the single worse signing in hockey history. A past-his-prime defenseman, Redden can't play defense. He fumbles the puck, makes bad passes and doesn't play the body. He hardly shoots and often puts teammates in bad positions. When pared with Dan Girardi to start this season, he set the youngster's progress back by years. Because of the sheer size of his contract, coaches feel obligated to give him ice time that he wastes away, especially on the power play. He is the biggest reason why the Rangers led the NHL in shorthanded goals against and is the bane of the fans' existence.

5. Top storyline
Ovechkin vs. Lundqvist. The top scorer in the NHL takes on the top goaltender.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Sizing up the Ranjas and the Caps

Well tomorrow is the day that most of us will fish out our unwashed, mustard-stained game jerseys, ignore our wives/girlfriends and seriously think about telling your boss both your parents were kidnapped by Samoli pirates to see if you can stay home the entire week. I’m pumped.

CLS will provide match-up coverage throughout the playoffs and I’m the lucky bastard that drew the Rangers/Capitals first round tussle.

On Tap:

No. 2 Washington Capitals (50-24-8) Versus No. 7 New York Rangers (43-30-9)

Playoff History:

Capitals: The new century hasn’t exactly been a friend the Capitals. Since the Red Wings made quick work of them in 1998, they didn’t get back into the Brackets until 2000 and have yet to make it past the first round despite having Calder/Pearson/Rocket/Hart/Ross bad ass Alex Oven.

Rangers: This appearance makes the fourth straight play off appearance for the Rangers but more importantly NY coach John Tortorella returns his wacky bag of Jedi mind tricks that were surely responsible for the Lightning somehow winning a Cup.

What to watch for:

Nicklas Backstrom’s Taco Platter Talent: Sure Ovechkin gets all the chicks but there’s nothing wrong with fucking the fallout. Despite occasionally acting like a dumb swede, Backstrom comes into the series with 66 assists (most by any player in the series and second only to the Geno/Crosby express league-wide) and an above average 16 +/-.

Lundqvist could have his moments, but only if the Caps eventually penatrate the Ranger defense (as expected): This match up creates every sports’ yak favorite cliché, good offense against a strong defense. The Caps have undeniably one of they most exciting offenses in the NHL with Alexander Semin, and the aforementioned Ovechkin and Backstrom along with Mike Green who somehow acquired an absurd 73 points for a defenseman without anyone noticing. And although the Ranger’s defense is tighter than an Amish vagina, I feel safe in saying that Marc Staal will eventually realize he’s slower in the foot than Ovechkin and the rest of the Rangers will wear down. So If the Rangers wish to poo poo on every taco platter that the Capitals will serve, it will ultimately fall to Lundqvist to anchor this team and steal a W or two in the series.

Sean Avery’s Bitch-Assness: Being a fellow unapologetic asshole, I’ve always been an Avery proponent. I was the only guy laughing at the bar when he did his Bob Kearns impression against the Devils last year. And I felt a little bad for him when he got suspended for the sloppy seconds comment when he was clearly, CLEARLY talking about Rachel Hunter and not everyone’s favorite Cleft Chin. And although I understand why, since he’s been back from suspension he’s been acting like a catholic queer. But I say no. I like Avery as an agitating fuck-up better than a mediocre winger. And what better way for him to finish pissing of the rest of the hockey world than manifesting his jealousy for Ovechkin’s Negro-Inspired “Street Wear” clothing line with a some elbows to the throat and maybe, just maybe if the Rangers lose the series, he lashes out by telling the press he impregnated John Tortorella’s daughter? (I don't ask for much) In other words, Avery, stop being a faggot.

Brittany Tortorella, a reason to enroll at the University of Tampa!

Prediction faithful to the CLS Motto: This’ll make us look retarded in the future:
This series looks to be a no brainier for the Capitals. As Alex Oven emerges as the Anti-Crosby this feels like the year they make a serious run at the cup. Caps in sies.