Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Caps v. Isles (Jan 17th)

Tonight was the first game in quite a while that has actually had a fully-staffed and full-blown pre- and post-game show, and CSN apparently decided they had to make up for lost time. Alan May and Dave Johnson were aces together, and tonight certainly gets five stars for overall production value.

Third Star (+1 pts): Julie Donaldson

Did a solid job holding down the first intermission and the post-game Sportsnet Central solo. Was just okay doing the highlights, but she scores bonus points for wearing a red necklace on a night where everybody else seemed more interested in wearing purple. She also gets some sympathy points for having to run through two sets of Penguins highlights in two consecutive appearances. Ouch.

Second Star (+2 pts): Alan May
I’d make some sort of comment about Man and Johnson being a dynamic duo tonight, but I feel like Alan would probably not be amused and possibly knock my block off, so I’ll refrain. Regardless, May turned in the kind of performance we’ve come to expect from him: Strong, informed analysis and a willingness to tell it like it is when the Caps don’t do so well, which they certainly didn’t tonight. May pulled no punches in the post-game show; he felt the Caps got manhandled by a team they should have beaten, and went on to detail the list of reasons why it happened: Too much perimeter hockey with no real net pressure in the offensive zone; spending too much time in their own D zone tires them out, making it hard to generate offensive pressure; and that the Caps’ PK stood still and gave the Isles too much space. He elaborated on the latter point via telestration. Still, May knows the importance of sportsmanship, and in the spirit of being a gracious loser, he made sure to congratulate Islanders forward PA Parenteau on his first career multi-goal game. I’d congratulate him, but Alan May doesn’t need my approval. He knows he’s a badass.

First Star (+3 pts): Dave Johnson
Dave Johnson was on pre- and post-game duty with Alan May tonight. Like Rob Carlin earlier in the season, his job was basically to set up topics for Alan to elaborate on. However, unlike Carlin, Johnson wasn’t afraid to bust out some analysis and commentary of his own to round out May’s always insightful comments. Also unlike Carlin, whom May always seemed to view with a certain “we’re not friends, stop making bad jokes,” May seemed to hold a higher measure of respect for Johnson, listening to and responding to Johnson’s comments. Perhaps its because they both look like tough dudes, perhaps there’s a measure of ‘kindred spirit’ there. Or maybe May just respects Johnson’s confidence. Either way, anybody who earns Alan May’s respect certainly earns mine. First star for Johnson.

Last Star (-1 pts): Chuck Gormley
Got through his bit without stumbling, but he was still very obviously reading from a teleprompter. His subject? Last year, after Mike Green got injured, McPhee went out and got Dennis Wideman. But this year, he may stand pat. No really Chuck? Maybe that’s because Dennis Wideman is still here (and an All-Star to boot). Regardless, not a terrible performance by Chuck’s rather low standards, but it was still the worst on the night, so he has to get the last star. And unfortunately for Chuck, my editor has also forbidden me from giving out “Nice try, good effort,” awards, so Chuck loses a point tonight.

Anyway, see you tomorrow, in a game in which Rene Borque hopefully gets his ass kicked.

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