Mike Green’s New Ride

Caps fans are used to seeing Mike Green pull up to autograph sessions in his black Bentley Continental…

Or pose for Out Magazine standing next to his white Lamborghini Gallardo with dead bodies in the background….

But after leaving the game Saturday night in San Jose, apparently re-aggravating his groin injury, Mike Green has traded his stockpile of handsome sports cars for something much more practical and hired himself a personal driver. I think he really matched his personality well on this one.

- L.A.

A Letter From Evgeny Kuznetsov

the_CAPS_lock stumbled upon a letter from Russian forward and future Washington Capital, Evgeny Kuznetsov, and after a day of loose translation we present it to you:

Dear Canada,

Now that the World Junior Hockey Championships are over, I wanted to take a moment and just give you two words from the heart: I’m sorry.

I’m sorry my performance in the tournament, specifically the game against your country, caused Eric Francis to have a virtual aneurysm that resulted in a horrific case of written diarrhea full of irrelevant notes regarding WJHC history and an attack on my Russian brethren and teammate, Alexander Ovechkin.

I’m sorry Mr. Francis’ article sparked quite possibly the most devastating rebuttal in online history.

I’m sorry I am now wearing a silver medal around my neck, while your players are stuck wearing enlarged US pennies. On a positive note, they feign happiness very well.

I’m sorry I didn’t hear a Canadian player’s name announced as the MVP. I have a bad feeling I may have had something to do with that.

I’m sorry I led the tournament in points scored. That was very selfish of me. I should learn how to turn down my awesome and let the host country have a sliver of glory every now and then.

I’m sorry my breakaway hat-trick goal forced your goalie, Scott Wedgewood, to face-palm the ice. I was embarrassed for him.

I’m sorry that when I enter the NHL next season I will undoubtedly cause Mike Milbury to sound even more idiotic as I join the list of Russian players targeted in his enlightening “commentary.”

For all these things I am deeply apologetic and wish you and your country the best in the future. Maybe you can win next year when I am gone.

Regards,

Evgeny Kuznetsov

P.S. I’m sorry I’m not sorry.

Phuck Philly

This is probably going to piss off a lot of people and bring out the trolls, but I don’t give a shit…. Philadelphia has officially taking the lead for having the worst SPORTS fans in the country. I know, I know, someone is going to say something like “it’s only a few bad apples”, or “you can’t judge our fan base by a couple of morons”… well guess what? I’m fucking doing it. Lets watch this awesome video of two idiots beating up on a couple of guys attempting to get a cheese steak.

To no surprise, I’ve seen about 20 articles and posts about how this is bullshit, we don’t know the story, or those dudes deserved an ass beating. All horse shit.. whether you’re defending these guys, or trying to clear your terrible philly name… I don’t care. You all suck, your city sucks, and I’d rather go to Arby’s and get a cheese steak than venture up to Philly to eat whatever hepatitis filled meat you pack into your diarrhea rolls.

In the past 10 years of my life, I have met fans from all over the country. I have now visited 8 different NHL venues (and dozens of other professional sports venues) outside of Washington and in most cases, participated in a pre or post game hammy fest with the home fans… Granted, hockey fans are probably the least likely to piss on anybody but still, I have not once thrown down with a fellow NHL fan.

Trust me when I say…I get all kinds of fired up when I see a Pens jersey within 200 miles of Verizon Center (which only gives about 40 miles of breathing room) but again, never have I gotten into a physical fight with a Pittsburgh fan…and to be quite honest, I enjoyed my stay in Pittsburgh during the Winter Classic and was quite surprised by the amount of NON-douchebaggy fans. You don’t know how amazing it was to hear on multiple occassions : “no we’re not assholes, that’s Philly”.

I’m going to have to agree.. I’ve seen the worst of them… Dallas Cowboy fans, NY Ranger fans, Oakland (people in general), and everything in between. Nothing has been worse than my experiences in dealing with Philadelphia’s smug ass fans and even worse establishments.

One of my New Year’s resolutions for 2012 was to stop being such a dick to people just because they prefer another sports franchise.. I’m starting off on the wrong foot.. So.. This year I’ve decided I’m going to take a trip up to Philadelphia, hopefully with a couple of other TCL’ers, and I’m going to attempt to debunk this article. I swear to you this: I won’t pick a fight, I won’t talk shit, and I’ll pretend to be enjoying all of the “great” things the city has to offer. This will be my 4th trip to Philadelphia, and hopefully a better one all before it.

Pack your sweaters and penicillin auto injectors.

- Rex

Lowered Expectations?

 

While we all wait to see even a twitch out of GMGM (which he’s not indicating anything) and for a jam packed Sunday.. I’m gonna quickly touch on something.

Read this article from our friends over at Capitals News Network.

Now I get it.. everyone wants to be a “true sports fan” and say things like, “I’m in it for the game, win or lose”, and “the players don’t’ owe us anything”.. but that’s horse shit. Individually, no they don’t. But collectively both the organization and to the fans, absolutely. I believe strongly in always being a fan of your team no matter how the season goes, but I’m not gonna cover up my disappointment with acting as if I’m some sort of sports snob and say it doesn’t bother me.

There is a big difference between entitlement and expectations and loyal fans have their expectations and they have their entitlements. I saw a comment that read something like “we as fans aren’t entitled to anything and if you’re not happy and if they aren’t winning, stop going to games”. What the dick is that?? I bet that guy is a Steelers, Yankees, Lakers, Duke fan…. from his couch.  If your fans are consistently selling out games and creating great buzz around the city, then yes, you owe them a cup. If you as an organization and team set the standard as winning no matter what… then YES, you owe your fans a cup. I know that may sound like a dickhead comment, but think about this…. Even though hockey players are known as being the least flashy in the professional world (see, “how many NHL players are on Twitter vs NBA players), they still depend on fans just as much as any other sport. The fans are just as important as the players, coaches and management. What’s the first thing you always hear any one of those in the organization say when they are given some type of award or honor… “This is for the best fans in the world” which is sweet of them right? Now I’m sure that every player in the NHL would still play even if it was for peanuts, but that wouldn’t work would it? Money makes everything function the way it should. When you buy that $200.00 sweater or pound those $10.00 beers, just think of the distant fan in Oregon that is thanking you for keeping the whole system running and keeping his game on Versus or the NHL network.

I’m ranting a tad, but the bottom line is this.. Yes, Caps fans, you are entitled to a Cup. Just as the New Jersey Devils fans, Boston Bruins fans, and even yes, The Shitsburgh Penguins fans are entitled to a cup. The day that you stop believing in winning, is the day you stop caring about the game all together.

Sorry for the jumbled post… Rizzle.

California Snubbed

2/17/2010

Capitals fall to a team that they haven’t been able to show up and beat at their house since 1993. Sigh. Now, this was a good, physical San Jose team that has been having a great February compared to their disaster of a January, but I honestly thought Washington was going to be able to smash through in the 3rd after looking like the better team in the 1st and 2nd.

And thanks to some stellar commentary, I give you this…

1993.. ah yes.

Breakin it down, yo.

Niemi came up big for the Sharks in many situations, including some early big saves on Ovechkin in the first which should have been goals. I’m gonna give him the win for the Sharks.

Ovie looks good in the 1st given the back to back games, and sets a physical tone right off the bat. It catches up with him at the end of the period when a big hit turns into “interference”. Good on the kill and super props to Neuvy for coming up with a monster save with about a second left in the power play.

And then… ANOTHER short handed goal. It’s terrible when I sit and start to dread power plays. It induces stress and rarely produces goals.

…. Until Ovie nets his 23rd of the season through a bit of traffic. I almost forgot what it was like to score on a pp. whoo.

Going confidently into the second. Neuvirth looks solid, the game looks like its ours to win for sure. After a ton of missed opportunities and plenty of good saves for both teams, the 2nd ends without a goal.

Still feeling good going into the third…

The Sharks get a good looking goal when Clowe stands on the crease and bats one in.. now is it me, or was the nearest Caps sweater 10 feet away at the time of the goal? I was too pissed to go back on the dvr so I’m just going to agree with myself.

And here’s where I’ll just sum it up quickly.

-Neuvirth puts a monster save on Couture.

-Erskine’s pentalty was bullshitkaki.

-Sharks get a pp goal to make it 3-1.

-I give up with 3 minutes left, Backs gets a good screen and puts one in with 1:55 putting a tingling back into my pants again… it was a text message from one of the guys over Eutaw Street.

San Jose plays LOCK DOWN defense with a minute left and we can’t even get our goalie off the ice.

Boom Bang Bam… game.

See ya on Sunday.

California Love

I’m back and I want to apologize (to whom you may ask? No one in particular) for my absence from TCL. Due to national security policy, I was “banned” from using any type of technology for 3 months. Long story, but it’s all good now. Really? No.

I’m gonna keep my post all related to tonight’s game as we know that we could write 300 pages on the past month or so. (eh hmm, Nastey Nate)

Some would say that this was a “fun” game to watch… and I would disagree. These are the scenarios that I would call “fun”:

*A Caps win by 4 plus goals. (extra fun if it’s against NYR, Pitt, TB etc.)

*Any Penguins loss… especially with these results

*Any game that involves full ice brawls

*A close, physical game that doesn’t end with the scoreboard looking like a football game.

Nothing is fun about your team allowing 6 goals. Nothing.

Anyway… I’m just gonna point out the highs and lows of the game… not that they weren’t obvious

Highs – A win against the West.

-Ovie goes five hole, while falling down on a beaut of a breakaway… thus increasing my girlfriends odds of having another hot dream about him (I’ve created a HOvechkin).

-I was totally pissed at Laich and Carlson for the first PP goal BUT…. Laich redeems himself by keeping his cool and tossing the puck in the net from point blank. Lesser gents would have bobbled the puck and been stuffed like a homeless shelter on Thanksgiving.

-Johansson corrals a somewhat off pass brilliantly and chucks it to the front of the crease. Semin gets the goal and if you watch the replay, it bounces off his gut and he smacks it into the net.

-Backstrom gets the Ducks 5th goal..  Good news for Socal residents : Participating Hooters gives out 5 free wings tonight… Thanks Nicki!

-Johnny draws blood. Tight.

-Knuble gets a bad ass breakaway goal .. shorthanded. Now stats won’t show shorthanded because he scored a second into being full strength, but the break was before hand.

-Semin looked fired up in the 3rd… gets his second goal of the night.

-And then his third… welcome back, Sir. My hat’s off to you… eh?? eh?? booyah.

 The lows.

-The Ducks score with 30 seconds left in the first. Unacfuckingceptable.

-Ovie got “Ovied” on the Ducks shorthanded goal in the second. Same goal, Neuvirth stands completely still and doesn’t attempt to stop the puck or anticipate the shot at all. Not sure what that was all about but I’m sure Varly was feeling a bit better about himself.

-Our defense looks awesome… totally.

COUPLE NOTES

 I don’t know why, but I think the way Matt Hendricks wears his bucket is awesome. Seriously.. this dude wears his helmet like he’s shitfaced. Also, I love watching Carlson push people around after the whistle] –  I’ve been to the Duck pond or whatever they are calling that joint now and if you think it was just the broadcast made it look tame, thats because it is.. I think the Californians are just too cool to lose thier shit and act a fool cause that place is like a library. – PS- Lemieux is a douche

T-Rizzle

The Opening Salvo

I am here to pop my capslock cherry, and also to announce that rumors of the Caps demise have been greatly exaggerated. The fact of the matter is that Alex Ovechkin and the Caps spoiled us the last two seasons by playing a style of hockey that not only made them Presidents Trophy winners, but also made them the most exciting team to watch in the NHL. Unfortunately this style was blamed for their premature exit from last seasons playoffs, and the Caps listened to their critics. In the beginning it seemed to be a mistake, but as a wise man once said, “There is nothing wrong with change, if it is in the right direction.”

The funniest thing about all this is that the critics weren’t just the national and mainly Canadian hockey media. Caps fans were highly critical when the team lost a game 7 at home for the third season in a row. This caused Caps fans to push the same company line we heard about the Caps every time they were talked about, ” They need to become a better defensive team” and ” You can’t expect to win 5-4 games in the playoffs”. Defenseman Mike Green seemed to be the poster child for the teams struggles in the postseason, and evidence that maybe a shift in strategy was necessary.

Well the fans got what they wished for, and the team decided to change its identity seemingly on the fly. From the wide open style through which they swarmed opponents with their seemingly overwhelming talent, to a more conventional style of play. The games were no longer as exciting, and to make matters worst the results weren’t coming in the same matter fans grew accustomed to. The Great 8 was no longer putting together a personal highlight reel every night and offense that seemed to be the best in the NHL now seemed merely average.The Caps had gone from being lauded for being an offensive juggernaut that considered defense an afterthought to a team that struggled to score 3 goals a night and played a style of hockey usually suited for the mid-90s New Jersey Devils. This all happened seemingly in a matter of two months.

Obviously it doesn’t help when you have a December like the one the Caps had. Their 5-6-3 December also included a stretch where they went winless for eight straight games. However the misconception was that the style of play was to blame. Fact of the matter is that the team was not putting forth the kind of effort necessary to play that brand of hockey. If any lesson should have been learned by this team in the three straight losses to the Canadiens its that you have to earn it. Now it seems that over the three weeks the team has seen the error in their former ways. The effort level is up and while the team may not be playing the exciting brand everyone loved them for, the results are starting to improve.

While the transition has not gone as smoothly as a lot of people would have liked, there is clearly light at the end of the tunnel. With the trade deadline on the horizon GMGM is likely to add another piece to the puzzle, and the push for the Cup will be soon after that. A team that at times seemed disinterested and hopeless in December now looks like a team that knows that their chance for redemption is on the horizon. The chance to silence the naysayers who question their mental toughness, and a chance to make DC home to a champion for the first time in what seems like ages.

Fake Juice