Thursday, August 11, 2011

The Capitals Get Serious: Boudreau Wipes Sauce Off Face; Reviews Line Combinations; Insists Alex Ovechkin Does Realize He is Team Captain

By Artistry

As sure as the brutal heat of July gives way to the insufferable heat of August in our nation's capital, another hockey off-season of hand-wringing is now shifting to official pronouncements about how great the Capitals are going to be this year.  Happens every time.  You know training camp is around the corner when Ted Leonsis starts touting the potential of a Roman Hamrlik-Mike Green pairing, linking to ESPN articles about the team, and bragging about being friends with Stephen Hawking.  Nobody raises an imaginary Stanley Cup like this guy.

Boyd Gordon of Executives
But a casual glance at this week's Washington Post sports page tells a different story.  That's where the ever-quotable coach Bruce Boudreau has been blathering on in an unfiltered stream of consciousness providing real insight into the total panic new confidence pervading the organization.  Let's break down Boudreau's thoughts with a little help from the GTOG Translator.

Boudreau, on implementing a new system:  "I'm hoping that we can be a hybrid,” Boudreau said. “There's some parts we changed [last season] that I really loved. But when you're playing like that, you have to score a lot of goals [on] dump-ins and you have to score a lot of goals off the forecheck because the quick-break isn't there. I'd like to get back to being more of a quick-break team.  I'd like to be a quick-break team but not [have forwards] taking off, waiting at the blue line."

GTOG translation:  "I'm hoping I can figure out what the f*** I'm supposed to do here.  I say 'Play offense, boys' and we lose.  Then I say 'Play defense, boys' and we lose.  It strikes me that I now have only two remaining options.  I could tell the boys not to do anything.  You know, you're doing too much, do less.  But I'm not sure we have the personnel to do that, and I'm not the general manager.  So I'm in a position where I need to look these guys in the eye and say look, 'play offense and defense, boys.'  Christ, I hope to hell this works."

Boudreau:  "Our depth is tremendous.  I go over the lines, as you know, every day."

GTOG translation:  "We have not one, not two, not three, but four lines. We have three defense pairings. Two goalies. You doubt that? You want to challenge that?  You are talking to the authority, ok?  I assess these figures and then I reassess them on a daily basis.  What I do with the remaining 23 hours and 45 minutes of each day is none of your business, though I will say this:  a man has to eat."

Student of the Game
Boudreau, on Alex Ovechkin:  "The whole leadership role is taking on a different [meaning] to him now. We're not all 22-year-old guys anymore. He's the captain. I think he's a great captain on the ice because no one works as hard as him, and no one wants to win more than him. He's going to take it a step further. That's maturity. It's not anything more than that.”

GTOG translation:  "I told Alex he is the captain. He was all like, 'What? I'm the captain?' And I go, 'Yeah, you have been for a while. Sorry if that somehow wasn't clear.' And as I say this, I'm pointing at the 'C,' on his chest, but I think that went just completely over his head."

Boudreau, on Ovechkin changing his whole approach like a desperate Tiger Woods changed his equipment, grip, and swing:  “I fully expect Alex Ovechkin to come back into [training] camp mean as a bear. I'm sure — and it's well documented — that individually for him, he took more criticism at the end of last year for his totals in goals and points, and not being up for the Hart, and not being up for other awards. He's so proud, he's probably like, 'I'm going to show you.' That's his M.O. It's not bravado. It's a quiet, 'I am one of the best, I want to be one of the best and I'm going to show 'em I'm one of the best.’”

GTOG translation: "Alex had every opportunity to grab the league by the throat last season, and he blew it. Crosby went down. Malkin went down. The East was his for the taking, and he barely cracked 30 goals. He played well in the Tampa loss, but you think Crosby would ever allow his team to be swept by Dwayne Roloson? Come on. I hope he has some pride. And I hope he stops tweeting. That's his M.O. Seriously, he just tweets inane stuff all the time, like, 'I go to my boyz house! Where Sasha???? Hahhahahahah!!!' What's a kid like Jay Beagle supposed to do when his captain is the social networking equivalent of an 11-year-old girl? How does he learn how to act? Does he go read 'Ted's Take?' You see the problem."

Boudreau, on gearing up for the season:  “I'll be phoning everybody to make sure that they know the importance of getting off to a fast start. This is a very serious year for us. Even though every year has been serious, we want to take it that step further, and that's going to take a real commitment from everybody. We're not those [young] guys anymore. Guys have been in the NHL five, six, seven years now. We're taking a little bit more of a serious tone."

GTOG translation: "We can't have anyone freak out out there, ok? We've got to keep our composure!!! We've come too far!!! We've got too much to lose!!! [Slamming chair against wall] We've gotta just keep our composure!!!"

1 comment:

  1. Not sure I agree with a lot of this, but man, have you got Leonsis pegged.