Tonight the Caps looked to keep the moment rolling on the road in Toronto. They did not disappoint. With a strong 4-2 victory tonight the Caps are keeping themselves in the playoff hunt and giving us reasons not the throw in the towel as fans. If this team can play like they did tonight and add some much need pieces at the trade deadline (see Alan May's comments) then I like what they could do down the stretch. However those are two HUGE ifs and ones that this team has given us no indication they are capable on fulfilling. Lets hope I'm wrong! Read what we thought of the CSN crew below:
3rd Star (1 pt):
Tonight’s third star is Locker. Locker spent the pregame talking up the city of Toronto, sending zingers at May (though not as many as he received), and highlighting the outstanding play of Neuvy of late. As the game got underway, Locker explained the importance of teams trying to get certain matchups out on the ice in such an important game and how that would be effecting the line changes during the night. He went on to talk about MoJo and how he has had to fill in for NB19 and what his speed brings to the team. During the first intermission, Locker interviewed MoJo and asked if it was "your" best road period in a long time. Not sure if Locker meant "your" as in his personally, or "your" as in the team’s collectively. Johansson chooses to interpret it as the latter. Good, unselfish attitude. Locker also calls him “the king of wraparounds.” Locker also interviewed Aucoin in the second intermission and it was really nice to see a guy who has paid his dues down in the AHL to get some recognition. The thing that kept Locker from scoring higher tonight was a few contradictory statements he made. First: “The 4 on 4 play should benefit the Caps”, followed by, “The Leafs great team speed should really be an advantage on this 4 on 4”. Second: “The Caps cannot let the Leafs get on the PP tonight if they want to win.”, followed by, “The Leafs are 1-15 in PP over the last few games. Their PP has really fizzled of late.” What gives Locker?
2nd Star (2 pts):
Alan May. May was paired up with Dave Johnson tonight, so you know it was going to be a good show. May spent the pregame show making fun of Toronto fans for being “flat”, taking shots at Locker, and talking about how important it is that the Caps make a move to acquire a player at the trade deadline that can fill the 1C/2C gap on this team, long term. AMEN. We like to think May’s particularly high volume of zingers aimed at Locker tonight was because both men are currently 1-2 in the AOTI standings as we enter the home stretch of the season, and May appears quite intent on going in for the kill. Locker seemed really want to be friends with May postgame: After being asked whether he preferred aggressive or passive play, Locker said, “Aggressive. Remember? You and I are on the same page.” May’s response? “You must be drinking that Canadian beer.” Translation: Nice try, Locker, but I’m bringing this thing home. I also rather enjoyed May’s description of playing aggressive hockey: “Two ways to go into a fight: Either go in throwing punches, or wait for the other guy to hit you. I’d rather be the guy throwing punches.” Well said, Alan, well said. Hopefully the Caps take note.
1st Star (3 pts):
Dave Johnson. Been a while since we’ve seen Johnson working with May, but their chemistry is as strong as ever. Nothing against Rob Carlin, but he just doesn’t bring the same kind of fellow tough-guy demeanor to the table, and he always seems a little bit intimidated by Alan May (and really, who could blame him? May is a scary fucker when he wants to be). Johnson, on the other hand, shows no fear. Even on top of his rapport with May, Johnson seems to have made a noticeable effort to improve his hockey knowledge since we saw him last. While he’s never been shy about offering his own commentary and analysis alongside May’s, tonight he seemed more insightful and in the groove than in the past. Also made me laugh: “It’s warm in February in DC, Winnipeg is leading the Southeast Division, and Alan and Locker agree. The world is obviously coming to an end.” No argument here. Take note, CSN. Keep these guys together. They’re great.
Last Star (-1 pt):
Jill Sorenson. This was the first time in awhile that Jill was behind the CSN anchor desk and we were pretty excited to see her. She always comes off as one of the more knowledgeable members of the CSN anchor crew. Everything she wore tonight was a shade of red (mostly pink), which was a little much but still I like the team spirit. She showed us her trademark “knowledgeableness” (sure that’s a word) by sounding surprised that the Caps were winning on the road. She also had trouble saying “Southeast division-leading Winnipeg Jets” with a straight face and had to suppress a chuckle. Unfortunately for Jill, she ruined an otherwise decent outing by talking about a Neuvy going for the shut out...in the second period. With how much she clearly knows about hockey you’d think she would of know not to jinx him like that. In the postgame Jill started out by giving us an apology from the bottom of her heart for jinxing Neuvy, which was nice and shows that she realized what she did and probably won’t do it again.
Thats what we have for you tonight. As you know, the NHL trade deadline is this Monday. That day we have something special planned for you guys. My associate blogger Murshawursha is going to be Live-Blogging the entire day to keep you up to date with all the moves that go down along with his own commentary on the happenings of the day. I'll be assisting him, but he lives for the trade deadline and this is going to be mostly his thing. Look for a potential post setting up the Live-Blog coming sometime tomorrow, or if that doesn't happen just be prepared to jump right in to it on Monday morning. It should be pretty great and I hope you all check it out! The only other news is there is a new post up over at Fantasy Town, USA.
Thanks for reading!-Dru