Tag Archives: Alzner

It ain’t over ’til it’s over…it’s over

12 May

For someone with usually so much to say. I’m speechless. Did that really just happen? Did the Caps really just lose in the second round? I just…don’t know what to say. I “should” be used to this bull crap. But I’m not. Who could be? It’s your team that you watched the entire year (except the games you missed because you were throwing your shoes at walls, but still) and now…they’re out.

The game. What is there to say? we lost 2-1 because the guys just couldn’t get the puck on net and the goalie who shall not be made was apparently mad eof steel. Caps, you played hard. I know you guys really worked your tushies off and I’m not angry. Just sad. Thanks for all your hard work this Playoff series. It was a tough loss, but I’ll always rock the red.

To all the people who read this (all less than 10 of you!) thanks for reading and all the support, you’re really helping me realize my dream of (hopefully) becoming a sports journalist one day. Thanks a lot and I hope you come back next season.

Au revoir.

What the Caps are missing…

14 Dec

To quote the Tin Man from the Wizard of Oz (those summers spent watching the Wizard of Oz while eating mint chocolate chip ice cream were the best) “When a mans an empty kettle, he should be on his metal…if only I had a heart”. Now the Caps players are clearly not made of metal, nor do they go to an Emerald city to see a Wizard. But they are lacking in one dire area; heart.

The game against Philly was a prime example of that, the Caps could have won. Maybe not easily, but they have the talent and ability to win games against teams who top two players are out.

You could make the excuse that Bryzgolav was on, and there is no doubt he was. But I find it hard to believe a team that wanted to win would wind up 5-1 because of a goalie.

While not playing like they give a care in the world is the reason they played like crap, their defense and shots on net didn’t help either. You can’t score goals without taking shots on net, guys. If you don’t believe me, the Flyers score is a prime example.

They got shots on net, granted, against an off goalie. I can guarantee you that a few of those pucks are going to make it in. That’s just how it works, ask your poorly defended goalies. When playing any team, best players out or not, having 5 shots on goal in any period is inexcusable.

Which leads me to yet another glaring weak spot from last nights game; DEFENSE. It’s that awesome thing of where you help the poor fellow in ten jillion pounds of ear try to keep a little rubber disk out of a 6X6 ft. net. You should try it some time, good stuff. Another helpful hint; When the defense actually shows up and plays, the other team doesn’t score. Mind blown, right?

Speaking of defense, forwards, it isn’t your primary job but you can help when you see you zone being taken over by the opponents. Ovechkin, I’m talking to you. You can be the most offensively talented player in the world, but that don’t mean potatoes if you don’t play all aspects of the game at least decent.

It doesn’t take a genius to figure out what’s wrong with the Caps, but it’s going to take a lot to figure out how to fix it. There isn’t a “one size fits all” band-aid equivalent, the Caps are just going to have to through a lot of trial and error to figure this mess out. Does it involve major trades and acquisitions at the trade deadline? Who knows, but expect something big to shake this team up.

On the third day of Christmas, a true Caps fan said to me…

12 Dec

Flyers suck! Is what you were thinking, right?

Tonight marks the second time these two clubs meet, out of the four times total this season. The last time the Caps and Flyers met, things were going great. The Caps were undefeated and were on an 7 game winning streak with no clouds in view.

Fast forward to now; the Caps 17th in the league, with Philly 3rd. While those stats are pretty bad, the Caps are on the turn around having won their last two games and ready to make it a full-fledged winning streak by adding one against a bitter rival.

This game isn’t going to be a piece of cake for either team. Both want to win, to beat a rival and to improve their standings. The Caps are also still transitioning into the new system Coach Dale Hunter has set out for them, although things did seem to finally click the other night when the Caps played Toronto, beating the Leafs 4-2.

The Flyers are also battling injuries with Chris Pronger out due to an eye injury, which follows his reoccurring knee injuries. The Flyers are on a winning streak as well, which makes this game even bigger. No predictions from me tonight, but expect an intense game, as usual when playing a rival.

That’s all for tonight folks! I have a Caps game to watch and some Government to  do.

Oh those Broadway Blue Shirts…

25 Nov

The Caps lost to the Rangers with an embarrassing score of 6-3. To be quite honest, there really wasn’t a good facet of the game. No one really played all that spectacularly. That is, on the Caps.

The Rangers really kicked some Washington tuchus in the second period. Not that it’s surprising, the Caps have this knack of letting other teams roam free during the second period. Tonight was a prime example, as the Rangers scored an impressive four goals. While Washington only managed to tally two, via Brouwer and Carlson.

The Caps defensive coverage was forgettable, as usual. They had no presence whatsoever and during a few goals, a couple of select players were just standing there letting the puck go in. The Caps know what needs to change here, but they clearly haven’t put into place how they’re going to do it. Let’ s hope it’s soon, because what’s happening now is clearly not working for anyone (but the opposing team) involved.

Their offense wasn’t abominable, but when playing against the likes of Richards, Callahan, Gaborik and Lundvquist, mediocre isn’t going to cut it. Not to mention the (depressingly) usual penalties by the usual suspects, when one of your teams best Penalty Killers is out, is it really a good idea to take stupid penalties?  The Caps were simply not capitalizing on their (rare) opportunities, due to the fact the Rangers were simply out playing them. It’s never a good sign when the road team is out playing and capitalizing on chances more than the home team. 

As far as Neuvirth, it isn’t entirely his fault the Caps lost. Considering a goalie is only as good as his defense, he did have a good excuse for a majority of the goals. But a few of the goals that went in should have been stopped by him, crappy defense or no crappy defense. Which, in his case, was crappy defense. Goalies can’t win games by themselves, fellows.

All in all, the Caps definitely have areas they need to work on. As exhibited by their 6-3 loss, but it’s not something you can just blanket on one or two people. A team is a team; you win as one and, unfortunately, lose as one. Don’t use Ovechkin or Boudreau as the easy scapegoat. Look at the entire teams performance. They’re all accountable.

Lucky game 601

23 Nov

Tonight was another successful game for the Caps, with a 4-3 OT win against the Winnipeg Jets. While the win was great, as usual. Some other aspects of the game could be considered just as sweet.

After receiving a press pass the other night; Semin came out ready to show Boudreau nachos were not to his liking. Semin tallied first just over 5 minutes into the period via a beautiful pass from Ovie. How’s that for effort, Bruce?

While Chimera didn’t score on his 600th game, he made sure his 601st game counted! After Winnipeg scored to tie the game at 13:21, Speedy Feet came in just 12 seconds later as the Caps regained the lead.

Near the bottom of the second, Niklas Backstrom scored with 3:08 left, to have Washington regain the lead yet again after Winnipeg’s Wellwood scored at the bottom of the first. Not a bad 24th birthday present, eh Nicky?

The Jets tallied again, making it a tie game at 3-3, which eventually lead to OT. Caps fans best friend, I assure you. To quote Joe B “Pavelec will be seeing some more of Washington’s number 25 tonight, I’m sure” He couldn’t have been more true as Chimera scored lucky number two of the game with 1:52 left in OT.

Not only did Chimera get the GWG, he now leads the Caps with 8 goals. It may not have been Chimera’s 600th game, but number 601 will sure be one to remember.

Much ado about Semin

21 Nov

After the Caps embarrassing game against the Leafs ,you can’t slice or dice that game any other way. Boudreau has decided something needs to change (I’m glad someone’s listening to me!)and his idea of change is to bench Semin. And by bench I mean make sit in the press box and eat nachos.

I don't think he likes nachos...

Was this a good decision by Boudreau? I like to think so, Boudreau’s message clearly wasn’t getting across before, so if making him eat nachos for one night works, and he plays up to the caliber of talent he has, it was totally worth it. You can’t disagree with me, Sasha fans.

My two cents?

Semin is a really, really talented player and I truly respect him for that. But his (sometimes) seeming lack of effort is very frustrating to watch. Especially when it looks like everyone else is playing hard.

Another important note I’d like to point out, Semin did score a goal in our game against Winnipeg. That was great, but if you look at his play outside of that game, you’ll realize something has to change.
Whether he gets a wake up call or it’s the rest of the team. Anyway you slice or dice it, somebody or something has to get the Caps refocused, energized, and ready to compete at their highest caliber.

Canada 3, Caps 0

18 Nov

Canada pulled another win on the Caps yet again. But I must note, and to quote the great Holden Caufield, Semin played like a “sexy bastard” during the first period. And he wasn’t the only one, if hockey games were only 20 minutes long we would have so had that one in the bag! (or at least a pity point).

It doesn’t work that way, though. Sadly. you know, I could just go on and on about the Caps defense and how they were left in Nashville,scratch that, first round against the Rangers in the Playoffs last year. But I’m not, it was so blatantly obvious the players might have well just not been on the ice.

what I’m going to address is effort and accountability. Those are two things the Caps are severely lacking in, which they really shouldn’t be.

It’s one thing to be playing good, smart,a nd hard hockey and lose. No one’s going to be extremely pleased about it, except the opposing team, but no one’s going to pitch a temper tantrum and throw their shoes at the wall.

It’s a completely different matter if you’re playing like a bunch of girl scouts, standing there looking like an idiot watching a guy go one-on-one with your goalie and score.

I’ll give you one guess to figure out what way the Caps played last night, and if you watched the game, I don’t really think you need to guess. The Caps played pitifully last night, I’m honestly shocked every player on the Jets roster didn’t score a goal! We had absolutely no presence in that game. Effort? unheard of.

If the Caps just played like the team they’re capable of playing like, our losses would be less frequent (I know we’d still lose games) and a little bit more close. Unlike a 4-1 loss that wasn’t even a game after the Jets scored their third goal. It was a game we could have easily won! but maybe that’s the problem, we get cocky with a lead and blow it. But I would think after dancing around this barn, game after game and Playoff crap out after Playoff crap out, they’d figure it out! Clearly not.

That leads to my next point, accountability. No one can make the Caps play, no matter how many times Boudreau goes on a F-bomb laden rant until his face goes blue, no matter how many bag skates he makes them do, and no matter how many wackadoo line combinations he makes.

It’s not going to do a damn thing unless the players themselves commit to playing every game like it’s their last and just playing with heart and grit. Honestly, Ovechkin has never been the kind of player to be a Captain and never will be. He’s a fantastic player, but he isn’t Captain material. I don’t care that he’s the “face of the Caps franchise”. The Caps need a real leader who’s going to actually motivate them, because that’s what’s going to motivate them.

Until we have a real leader who makes his players accountable for their actions and makes them go out and play like a respectable hockey team, they aren’t going to play any harder or any better.

Hey Caps, there’s a game going on…

17 Nov

I am absolutely disgusted by the Caps right now (now being the end of the second where the Jets scored 3 goals). I have never seen such a lack of effort, heart, or play by any team I have ever watched. Much less the so touted “best team in the NHL”. My PE floor hockey team play better than these guys and 3 of the players don’t even play!

How is it that we have some of  the, arguably, best players in the NHL but we fail to win game after game to easy opponent after easy opponent. And for chrissake, our defense isn’t even at the game! Did we lose them at the airport? If our defense is so lacking in depth that one player makes or breaks the team, then we need to reevaluate the players we have.

Last year we had our infamous eight game losing skid; something changed, the Caps finally got the message, playing Ottawa of all teams. This isn’t an eight game losing streak, yet. But with the way the Caps are playing, I wouldn’t be surprised if we finished at the bottom of the league.

Something has got to change. At this point, I don’t care if it’s players, coaches, or whatever. Some thing has got to get across to these 22 players that they have to play hard, every damn minute they are on the ice. I don’t care if we’re winning by 50 goals with 10 seconds left.

Someone has got to get the point across to them, you don’t win by standing around in your zone watching pucks fly into the net. are they going to get that message, for the 50th time? I damn sure hope so.

Incase you weren’t aware…

15 Nov
There are THREE count them THREE periods in a hockey game Caps! AND GUESS WHAT!? If you don’t play all three you get screwed and lose. ANOTHER THING rounding doesn’t work in the NHL, if you play 55 mins. you can still lose 3-1 to the Predators!
Also, just because you get the lead late in the game doesn’t mean you’re just automatically going to win taking the last few minutes off. The defense has to show up, and you know, PLAY! And the offense can’t skate in circles either, you have to be present and playing hard until that final buzzer goes off if you expect to win.
I am utterly disgusted with the Caps effort of late. It’s not Boudreau’s fault either, he tries everything under the gosh darn sun to get these guys to play! They’re the ones on the ice making the plays, not Boudreau. He can yell, gnash teeth, pull hair, and eat Hageen Daaz all he wants; but until the players show up it’s about as useful as doing the hula.
Ovie, Knuble, and the like can talk all they want tonight; calling their team various names. But until the attitude on the ice changes, it doesn’t matter anymore than what I ate for breakfast.
If we keep playing like this, with the amount of talent we have, we aren’t even a prayer to do well in the Playoffs. Hell! even make the Playoffs. Yes, it really does matter now, because this is when we really see what teams are made of. And I can tell you this much; the Caps are about as impressive as the Florida Panthers were last year.
The only redeemable thing tonight? Vokoun standing on his head and Troy Brouwer’s goal, at least two people showed up tonight.
The message is simple; show up to games and play hard for 60 minutes. Are the Caps receiving it?

It all started with the Saber tooth tigers…

15 Nov

Helmet? Check. Intense look? Check. Movember mustache? Double check!

That’s right folks! Onthe  first “real” road trip the Caps face the Predators. Sounds scary, right? Their 8th place in the Western conference? not so much. That’s not to say they aren’t a good team, they are 3rd in their division (that ain’t saying much) and have Defensive fire power Shea Weber.

That’s not to mention the suddenly Pekka Rinne who’s save percentage is an impressive .929%  and has 8 of their 16 wins under his belt. And last but not least, the Preds offense. Well, lack thereof… It seems the Caps have found the Preds kryptonite seeing as their offense (minus 3 players) has shown up about as much as the Caps defense. Yeah, not so hot.

Does this mean this game will be a piece of cake? not at all. With a hot goalie and equally hot defense, we’re going to have to stay on our offensive and defensive toes. you aren’t off the hook either Vokoun! If the Caps stick to their guns and just play good hockey, we should be fine. But without Green *gulp* things could get a little hairy from time to time. I’d also love for Brucie to get the memo his crazy line changes AREN’T working and just causing Caps fans minor heart attacks. Can we win this game? Yes. Will we? depends on who shows up and, most importantly, time.

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