Let me keep this short and sweet:
1) Christobal Huet is not the answer for the Caps. He got pwned on that dribbler of a first Pflyers goal, and he got pwned on the series-winner in the exact same way that Cory Stillman pwned him in 2006.
2) I liked how Ovechkin and Kolzig stayed out to applaud the fans after the handshakes–I didn’t, however, like how the fans just kept their hands in their pockets. C’mon kids, your team went from dead last at Thanksgiving to the third seed in the East, they battled back from being down 3-1….and you can’t even give ‘em a little love?
3) Better luck next year. Except, of course, against the Hurricanes.
On to Round 2. Give ‘em Hell, Harry.
So–a SlugThug has decided to engage me in the commentbox of this post, claiming that the Hurricanes are “one of the 5 worst champions of the last 20 years” (let me guess, the 1999 Dallas Stars are in that group too, right?) and that “the numbers prove it”. He’s blithely ignored requests from one of my compadres to explain the Sabres’ craptacular record against the Southeast Division in 05-06 by invoking the “everything I say three times is true” rule, and he’s apparently decided to come back and attempt to reassert whatever dominance he thinks he’s already asserted after a two-week hiatus (gee, couldn’t have ANYTHING to do with the Sabres advancing to the ECF now, would it?)
I get what he’s trying to do–he’s trying to browbeat me into “admitting” that the ‘Canes “stole” a Cup that “rightfully” belonged to the Sabres last season. He’s trying to maneuver me into “admitting” that the Hurricanes “didn’t deserve to win” a Cup that “belonged” to the Sabres (even though their team’s name is not now and never has been on it). And that’s not going to happen. That’s never going to happen–and you know why?
Because the team that deserves it is the team that wins it. Always. Breaks or no breaks, great luck or not-so-great luck.
I believe I have mentioned something like this before–not my fault if you choose to disregard it, kids (and hey, whaddaya know, I also said something in the past about acting the fool in another team’s house–hey wow, the more things change…)
You can claim that Buffalo has
more thuggish better fans (which makes me laugh, considering that their attendance was worse than the Hurricanes’ at the start of this decade–and the Rigas debacle is not an acceptable excuse, Sabres fans. If the Leafs could sell out their building year after year in the 70s and 80s despite incompetent/criminal ownership and a bottom-feeding team, you should have done the same), you can claim that Buffalo is a festering cesspit a better town, you can claim whatever you want–but the cream always rises to the top, whether one likes it or not. If the Sabres win–and that is still a huge IF, because they haven’t even started the Conference Finals yet much less the Cup Finals–then, obviously, they deserve it despite the genetic sludge that comprises the overwhelming bulk of their fanbase and good for them.
But you can’t have it both ways, bittermen. You can’t claim that the Hurricanes were 2nd in the East only because they play in the Southeast Division without admitting that the Sabres are 1st overall because they played well in the Northeast Division (with an identical divisional record to the 05-06 Hurricanes, I might add: 18-11-3).
You also can’t bash the N&O for trying to cater to n00b fans last season without bashing Buffalo’s mayor for talking this season about how the Sabres have attracted a bunch of n00bs (NYT link, login required) that didn’t follow hockey before.
But I guess none of that counts, since the Hurricanes are south of the Mason-Dixon Line–right?
Go to Hel, Buffalo–and take the Red Wings with you.
To put this video into its proper context (which the maker of that video apparently wasn’t willing to do): The fans had been booing Ovechkin (and hollering a few death threats at him as well, no doubt) from the moment the puck dropped. Briere flagrantly speared Ovechkin in the nards–and naturally, there was no call–and Ovechkin of course stood up for himself…which got the crowd even angrier, because how dare somebody stand up for himself when he gets speared by one of The Glorious Buffalo Sabres?! So Ovechkin went and scored, and performed the gesture you see in that video there.
Good on Ovechkin. Too bad the Capitals weren’t winning at the time, because that would have made it even better–and considering the fact that more than a few fans on various Sabres message boards were calling for the death (or at least the career-ending injury) of Aleksandr Balshoii, I really consider their calling that gesture “classless” to be quite ironic. Kinda like Da Chief asking Wings fans not to boo Sergei Fedorov when the Smoking Jackets come to play at the Nexus of Evil.
And to reheat a previous post;
Scott Nichol received a hip injury in the Predators’ game vs. the Sabres–you know, the one where he got nine games for sucker-punching Jaroslav Spacek after Spacek (who apparently hasn’t changed a bit from when he was cheap-shotting guys as a Florida Panther) rode him hard into the side of the net. So Spacek gets off scot-free for a flagrant attempt to injure, and Nichol gets painted as Todd Bertuzzi v2.0 by SabresNation. Must be nice, huh?
So I get home from work last night, and what do I find in my inbox but a link to this lovely video that’s been played like 2349827432 times all over cyberspace:
I had to go back and watch it a couple times to see where Ovechkin got the fighting major, seeing as how he was kinda blindsided by Fargo’s Finest and all. As for the hit itself? Ill-timed, but not delivered with ill intent.
Ignoring the blatant homerism of the Crapitals’ broadcast team (especially that freakish Breughelsian quasit Craig Laughlin) in that clip wasn’t hard to do–all I had to do was turn the sound off–but I am forced to conclude that the hit wasn’t so much dirty (which implies malice) as it was a serious case of poor timing (door being opened) coupled with poor judgement (Ovechkin attempting to rub out Briere away from the play) and a not-inconsiderable dash of embellishment from the Sabres’ emo-kid co-captain.
What really makes this whole thing laughably sad (aside from SabresNation screaming for Ovechkin to have his head taken off the next 9328472947 times the Caps and Sabres meet) is the dollar amount of the fines handed out. $100? I could pay that. The League needs to get on the stick with updating their fines so that they’re actually punishing the fined players rather than simply asking them to cover a dinner at Les Halles.
Of course, this all gets back to the sad inability of the NHL to be able to dish out any kind of real justice–Colin Campbell is, once again, a clownshoe (and his son is a douche)–and that’s a subject for another post.
Just my opinion, of course.