Tuesday, January 25, 2011

GTOG Behind Enemy Lines: Report from the Rangers/Caps Game

By Finesse

GTOG was unfortunate enough to secure a ticket to last night's Rangers at Capitals game at the Verizon Center in DC.  For those who are wondering, the answer is yes, the Verizon Center scoreboard is still the single loudest instrument ever designed by humans.  At one point the guy sitting next to me turned to me and asked, "Did you hear that asteroid that just crashed next to the arena?"  "No," I responded at the top of my lungs.  "But I did just have my eardrum shattered by the monster truck announcer reminding fans to be aware of pucks leaving the ice surface."

Just as confused as you are that he is still relevant to Caps' fans.
The Caps scored a second period goal to take a 1-0 lead, but the Rangers got the tying goal with about 7 minutes left and then undressed the Capitals' third-string goalie, Braden Holtby, who of course would be named "Braden" and play for the Capitals, in a shootout.  A few quick reflections on a game featuring two Eastern Conference playoff teams.

- The Rangers are a very solid, well-coached hockey team.  (Ed. note: That taste in your mouth is bile).  They were missing Dubinsky and Callahan, as they have been for a while, but still trotted out a few solid lines and held the Caps to just 13 shots through 2 periods.  They lack the top-end talent of the other teams in the East and are relatively inexperienced in certain areas (blueline).  But while probably not a threat to win the Eastern Conference, they are definitely a threat to win at least one playoff round.

- The Rangers are an even bigger threat to win a playoff round if they draw the Capitals.  [Pens fans...should you be rooting for Caps to get the #3 and Rangers to get the #6?  Yes, yes, and yes.]

- Alex Ovechkin executed a Greg Louganis-worthy dive last night, much to the dismay of the Verizon Center faithful, who coped with the pain of seeing their star player dive 1,000 times worse than their #1 enemy supposedly does by weeping, sobbing, weeping, and then immediately forgetting about it and resuming texting the scoreboard.

Click to play.
- Do I care that Ovechkin dove?  No, not at all.  Let this make clear to fans of all teams, particularly those of the Rangers and Caps, every single player embellishes calls, every team has players who embellish calls, and to think otherwise is to envelop yourself in a blind cloak of hypocrisy. 

- One exception: Mario Lemieux once took a high stick and, in an attempt to draw the call, threw his glove so high that it went out the open roof of the Civic Arena.  That's not diving, that's moxie.

- Go Pens.

1 comment:

  1. Spectacular dive by Ovechkin. I just crossed the threshold from disgust at that sort of display to being impressed.