Sunday, September 26, 2010

Rookie Defense + Lacking Captain Debut = Caps Win 2-1


I honestly don't know where to take this blog format wise.  I know thus far it's been a stream of consciousness letter to all of you readers (all...six or so of you, though I can't forget my Asian porn spamming friends that leave random comments here and there), but I don't know if it's worth giving the general run down if so many other lovely, thoroughly detail driven local bloggers are doing it better and quicker than SPC.

I need an angle, dammit, and I haven't given it much thought lately due to all of the events going on outside of the hockey realm of my brain (I know, I'm surprised there is one too). I'll be thinking of that angle more and more because I want to give you something you're not already seeing.

That being said, here's a general run down:

Defense = #RyanEllisProblems - He wasn't that good despite having what seemed like every other shift of ice time.  Spitfires...he's yours for a while longer.  That being said, Johnson looked quite strong, a #2 that was actually fighting to do something *coughhammercough*, Sulzer quite the opposite.  Parent didn't do anything bad or noticeable really.

Capt. Weber...awful debut - left everyone scratching their heads with every move.  I wanted him to aim for Backstrom, take him out and hear a collective sigh throughout the arena of everyone with a fantasy league. That didn't happen. Mr. Wilson (Colin, not Kelsey) also didn't do much in the realm of expectations. Well...damn.

If Arnott = half a Halischuk and some change for Lombardi, I wish we had another Arnott to get rid of! #24 with the only notch on the board for the Preds and a nice break away.  Lombardi with his Nightcrawler-esque abilities of being on one side of the ice and magically leaping through time and space to the net...I can't wait to see him in full force.

If Lombardi is our fastest player, how's about Lindback as our 2nd fastest?  He knows his skill set and wasn't afraid to show it off to the rest of us, and the Cap who thought he had a breakaway chance, but instead had a face full of ice.  Also,  the one that went by Lindback wasn't over his top glove side, so...that was a bit of a shock despite an overall strong performance. A friend of mine had talked to Rinne recently and said he didn't seem to think Lindback was ready to be backup.  If tonight's performance says anything about Lindback, it's "*BeepBeep* Hey Pekka! On your ass!".  The back-up decision just got even tighter! I can't wait to see what develops.

Belak...drop the gloves more, have A/V play that montage of yours right afterwards each time, you'll become the fan favorite you think you already are! That being said, you're funny and I can't wait to see you at Zanies again.

The Caps newbies look pretty good.  #50 (Cody Eakin) was a pest on the forecheck and showed off some sharp handling skills.  Neuvirth looked quite strong despite our only goal against him.  Non-newbie Mike Green tried a one-timer, rebounded off Rinne, and they set up the same exact move only he made it...due to the same exact defensive for your patience.  Enough Caps love - that's what Ovi does to the Press for the rest of the season.

That's that.  I can't wait for Monday.  I'm eager to see what Atlanta brings to the table - if it's more rookie-oriented of if they're trying to get the final roster set.  I feel they'll actually give the Southeastern division something to talk about, make the playoffs and pull a last season's Phoenix...but that's just me.

See you at Zanies on Sunday or at The Bridge on Monday! 


Thursday, September 23, 2010

Welcome Back Fodder


It's been a hot minute, hasn't it?  I must apologize, but a lot has been going on, the good and the bad, that has kept me away from tippity typing away.  Relationship status changes, job schedule changes, money pit home improvement changes and what-to-use-my-free-time-on-as-a-hobby changes - even seat changes (303 B! Up from H this year!).  Change seems to be the theme of this past month and change is what will be taking place over these next pre-season games.  Changing up lines, changing pre-conceived notions about the younger players, and, hopefully beyond hope, changing the way Special Teams takes to the ice.

Tonight, we saw a team of primarily rookie players take on a team of primarily top line NHL professionals (sans their goalie).  It was a chance to see what many of our draft picks were finally made of on the big stage.  Some performed well.  Most performed like rookies playing against veterans.  And there were enough broken sticks in this game to make an NHL11 demo blush.  Players we all had high hopes for made some poor mistakes (see Blum, Laakso, Beck).  Others were a pleasant surprise (Parent - looking a few tads better than Franson out there).  And then there were the familiar names we all know and love, putting on a helluva a show for us whenever they took the ice ( god, Rinne; Tootoo, Dumont, Goc).

All of the above will change, of course.  I'm sure Dekanich, who played alright in net for the 2nd half of the game, will be replaced with Pickard and/or Lindback over the next few games, and THAT situation may change completely with the possibility of a Theodore or Toskala hanging out on the sidelines with their trapper gloved fingers crossed.

What won't change is the passion the fans have, putting us over 14k for the evening (see pic of Coyotes/Kings pre-season opener here).  What won't change is the fact that this year's team is looking to be the best team the city has ever had on the ice.  What won't change is...well...the Poile/Trotz tandem and their mad genius that only shows itself as the season goes on and as the homegrown drafted players grow into captains.  The respect the rest of the world has for this team...that WILL change, despite our city's local rag of a paper flat out refusing to change.  That shouldn't be a surprise though - the same thing happens with our local rock bands: the world takes notice, while we refuse to say anything nice cos we're too busy criticizing things that don't really matter...though that's a whole 'nother rant.

Anyway - what we saw tonight was a welcome change to what we've had over the last 3 months (no hockey, whatsoever) and it was an interesting experiment to say the least.  Let the younguns season up a bit, try out every goalie to see if they can hold their own and thensome, watch that Rinne save on the highlight reel over and over again and put him a round or two higher in your fantasy rankings and get ready for a helluva season.

In other news...I answered a lewd classified ad and found myself becoming a writer for Intent to Blow. Weeeeeird, right?! But awesome.

A Goalie A GoGo update will take place soon.  I've been gathering equipment and talking with a few folks that would also love to see me between the pipes.  I personally can't wait (but I have to...cos I still don't have a helmet yet). feels great to be back, doesn't it?