So the other night I sat down to watch hockey. It was to be an interesting matchup, the best team in the league against arguably the best young team in the league. Little did I know a football game would break out.
How did a football game break out you ask? BECAUSE THE CAPITALS PUT EIGHT MEN IN THE BOX, THAT'S HOW!! (frustrations anyone?)
Of course I'm talking about the penalty box. This is just one reason why I said what I said after the last game. It is far too early to get complacent and yet that's what we have here. How else can such undisciplined play be explained? Of course you could say there is a such thing as a "good" penalty--one that prevents a scoring chance and about the only one in the eight committed in the game might have been Karl Alzner's holding the stick call against Jordan Eberle.
But most of the trips to the sin-bin were from simply lazy (and sometimes mind boggling) play. Slashing, diving, shooting (puck over glass). All sounds like some goofy triathlon. Most ridiculous of all was the closing hand-over-the-puck call again Marcus Johansson. Marcus--that is NOT the "hands-on" training you are supposed to be getting just so you know.
Just as bad, if not worse, was their total failure to take advantage of the three power plays given to them in the third period. A buddy of mine at work, Bryan, said it best--you're given that many chances like that you've got to bury at least one. I couldn't possibly say it any better.
But you know me, once I get started I gotta flip over and see the other side of things....so allow me to be Johnny Sunshine for a minute. I got five words for both teams--the kids are all right. If you're a follower of the NHL then you already know that the Oilers haven't done well for a few seasons. That results in high draft picks which, like certain herbs and other plants are properly cultivated, can develop into something very special. So it should have come as no surprise that Taylor Hall, Jordan Eberle and the guy they call the "Nooge" Ryan Nugent-Hopkins all scored points in the game. This team isn't quite there yet but it's taking the first baby steps towards greatness.
For the Caps, well there was the anointed shutdown pair of Karlznerson (haven't quite figured out a good "bennifer" single name for those two but I'm working on it). They played well on both ends of the ice. Alzner got the only goal and the Alberta version of the Young Guns could have easily gotten more. Did anybody ELSE hear that loud CLANGGGGGG in the first period?
Next up is Vancouver and the struggling Canucks. Seems like they're suffering from a post-Cup Final appearance hangover. Here's hoping the Caps can keep on bringing the pain.