Prior to Game One of The Crosbys vs. The Ovechkins, I posted a photo I took of Alex Ovechkin in February during our visit to the Sunshine State (otherwise known as the Week We Retired).
Keeping in mind the worldwide influence of this blog, it would seem apparent to me that the appearance of the said photograph directly contributed to the Caps’ victory over their arch-rivals. No doubt it was my photography that spurred the Gr8 Eight to play up to his potential, begin to justify the hype concerning this series and to chip in a goal to boot. In addition, I am sure that Simeon Varlamov’s otherworldly performance was his way of attempting to grab the attention of these pages and to earn the posting of an image of his own.
Because the Caps are my adopted team once again this post-season, and because I believe very strongly that the Penguins will play better in Game Two, I am going to use some ninja psychology on the 21-year old Capital netminder: I am going to decline once again to post his photograph hereabouts. Instead, I shall post a picture of Calgary speedster and Norris trophy candidate Mike Green. I am posting this photo of Green because:
- It might help him remember what to do if he happens to be involved in a play during which the Capitals advance the puck into the Penguins’ net – unless he’s been drywalling his ceiling at home, it’s been a while since Green has had occasion to raise his arms over his head; and
- If the appearance of this photo doesn’t spur Green on to change his approach to the game, a public posting of this image might get it considered for use on the side of the milk carton that will inevitably begin circulating inside the Beltway as those Rockin’ the Red begin to earnestly wonder about Green’s wherabouts.
Seriously, Mike, one shot on goal in twenty-six minutes of ice time and a partially blown coverage that led to your boy Simeon’s masterpiece save just aren’t getting it done right now; not for a marquee player that the Capitals are depending on. Anyway, Ovie, Green and their mates better cowboy up and get ready for a different kind of rodeo tonight.
Update 12:10 p.m. : On Frozen Blog is reporting that Capitals defenceman John Erskine left the morning skate early and that the Caps have recalled prospect defensemen Karl Alzner and Tyler Sloan from their AHL affiliate, Hershey (a club that is itself involved in a playoff series, believe it or not against the Penguins’ AHL farm team). Erskine was half of the duo I saw Boudreau matching up with Sidney Crosby in Game One (Fedorov was Sid the Kid’s shadow by times as well). Injuries on the blueline to critical personnel combined with an undoubted sense of urgency among the Penguins to bring a better game mean that the Caps’ task tonight will be significantly more difficult. I’m pulling for them, but I foresee a Penguins victory tonight following an improved showing from both Crosby and Malkin.
Elsewhere on the Ice Tonight
A certain Major Junior A team from a certain City located in the extremities of Southwestern Ontario takes to the ice tonight against the Brampton Batallion for Game 3 of the Ontario Hockey League Championship Final. I have had some difficulty getting the live streaming audio from CKLW AM 800 to work properly for me throughout the OHL playoffs; I am hoping that won’t be the case tonight. Obviously, I have a choice to make – Crosbys vs. Ovechkins or Spits/Batallion. I think I’ll probably watch the NHL game on the tube and try to record the Spits broadcast using Freecorder; then I’ll listen to the .mp3 of the Spits game broadcast on my iPod when I go to bed. How far indeed – and yet not so far at all – we have come from those days falling asleep listening to Dave Quinn’s call of the game over my crystal radio set. The technology has changed radically; 35 years later, I’m still looking forward to the excitement of the Spits on the radio.