Friday, December 30, 2011

Caps v Sabres (Dec 30th)

Tonight was a game against Buffalo, a team that has been struggling this season except when they play the Caps.  Buffalo has jumped all over the Caps early each time but tonight was a different story.  The Caps scored early and went on to a 3-1 win over the Sabres.  Good game, good win.  Here is your 3 CSN stars from the night.

3rd Star (1 pt):

The third star is going to Joe B tonight.  He had a typical performance that you come to except from him.  There were a few stand out moments that pushed him into a scoring spot.  First, his game intro was all about blood.  It was filled with blood and medical puns.  In a night where Joe B clearly had violence on the brain the Caps did not disappoint.  There were a ton of scrums during the game and a few fights erupted early on, so clearly Joe B was onto something.  Joe B goes on to let us know that Green could be back next week, which was good news.  He gets in a nice burn about some fans stupid looking mohawk and also invades Locker's telestrating room.  This may be a CSN first, so needless to say when I saw Joe B jumping up and down behind Locker during the telestration I was pretty excited.  Finally, in the postgame Joe B threatens to "punchout" Alan May over a comment May made about his glasses.  Points for bravery Joe, but that is a fight your not going to win.  

2nd Star (2 pts):

Rob Carlin.  Kind of a surprise here considering Carlin started off the night poorly.  He tried to make fun of Alan May for the millionth time and was shut down.  When will he learn.  After that slight blunder during the pregame the best thing about Carlin was his candy cane tie.  However, he really got his act together during the postgame.  He is really excited about the Cap's victory and it doesn't seem fake or forced.  He points out the importance of the fast start and sets up May to talk about the importance of the early goal nicely.  Carlin also makes sure Voko gets his due as he points out that without his stellar performance in net the Caps would not of been able to pull out the win.  Carlin ran through the game highlights tagteam style with May and they had a nice pacing and back and forth with each other.  Even when they brought Joe B and Locker into the discussion Carlin was able to hold his own and didn't make himself look like an idiot.  Every time I see him I like Carlin more and it really seems like he is learning more and more about the sport of hockey. 

1st Star (3 pts):

Alan May.  A return to form tonight for the great Alan May.  Started out with a discussion about concussions in the NHL this season.  His suggestion to cut back on them was to allow heavy hitting in little kid hockey to prepare them for the pros.  Classic May answer.  Rob Carlin tries to make a joke about May still suffering from a few concussions and May tells him to spot talking.  Carlin quickly shuts up.  May breaks down what hasn't been working with the offense and wants the Caps to keep the puck off the boards and use their speed.  Doesn't seem to like this new dump and chase style and I gotta agree with him.  Alan then gives a shout out to Semin and his recent hot streak.  All of the broadcasters would make reference to Semin's recent upswing in production but May was doing it before it was cool.  Total hipster.  In the post game May has a lot of good things to say about the Caps performance.  He runs through the highlights with Carlin without missing a beat.  My favorite part of his work tonight was when he proposed a race between Chimer and Johansson to see who was the fastest Cap.  This is an awesome idea and something I want to see happen.  Nice work tonight Alan.  

Other Participants (0 pts):
Jill Sorenson: Did a brief rink side spot about the team looking for revenge.

Al Koken: Bites of the Nites and interviews.  Nothing spectacular.

Locker: Lost some points for coming up with "Tic-Tac-double big Toe" when describing the Backstrom goal.

Chris Miller:  Was pretty okay tonight.  Lost all chance of scoring a point by being paired off with Jenkins though.

Chuck Gormely: I know, I know.  But he talked about Kuznetsov tonight and  that made me think for a second.  Do I think he knows anything about Kuznetsov? No.  Does he have the personality of cardboard? Yes.  I believe he is now under the "Sarah Palin" effect.  He has set the bar so low that when he does throw up all over himself I consider it a win.  He did have some help from Jenkins though...

Last Star (-1pt):

Michael Jenkins.  Jenkins what are you doing?  It was a home game which means I have already have written Chuck Gormely into this spot.  But you had to go and fuck that up didn't you.  Just to keep things interesting.  Maybe just to keep me on my toes.  Jenkins handled the first intermission tonight and he didn't do much.  He had no highlights to present, mentioned Kuznetsov (something Chuck had already covered), and then talked a bit about Tebow.  Wow, nice job Jenkins but I guess I should be happy you weren't creepy.  Jenkins is back from the immediate post game and he doesn't do any highlights once again.  All he does is "check in" with team USA at the junior world championships.  However, at this point it has already been well established that team USA was eliminated so Jenkins just comes off as a jackass.  I am also quite certain he doesn't know a thing about hockey.  Later when he was in studio with Miller, Miller refers to them as "team extreme".  This must of made Jenkins think he was part of some cool buddy cop style team cause he suddenly felt motivated to run through some highlights.  He crashed and burned cause he likes to try and sound excited and knowledgeable but came off as fake and stupid.  On a night where he was mostly just dead weight, his late performance really cemented Jenkins into the last spot.  Chuck should take you out to dinner this week as a thank you.      

Points to Date for Participants:
Locker: 10
May: 9
Joe B: 7
Carlin: 5
Smokin: 3
Jill: 3
Miller: 0
Jenkins: -2
Gormely: -3

Check out the complete standings in the top right!

It feels good to be back in the swing of things.  Unfortunately, I didn't realize that the Caps played a back to back and I am suppose to go out for New Years tomorrow.  I am trying to get someone to cover the game for me, but if I can't I apologize for missing another night.  Maybe I'll throw a post up about my New Years adventures instead. 

Thanks for reading,
@dru90 (Twitter)

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Caps v Rangers (Dec 28th)

Hello Internets,
Tonight was a good game.  Or so I hear.  NBC had the broadcasting rights for tonight which meant the CSN crew took the night off.  With the way the team has been playing and my hatred for the NBC crew I decided to also take a night off.  I went to see a college basketball game at the University of Maryland.  Maryland was playing Albany (which may or may not be a highschool?) and they won.  It was the first game for a really tall Russian/Ukraine guy who played for Maryland and he did pretty good.  Maryland also had a guy from Iceland on their team.  With all the Foreign players from cold places it was just like watching hockey.

Anyway, I got home, watched the highlights, and read some recaps.  Sounds like it was a pretty solid performance all around and its nice to see Semin finding the back of the net.  Caps play again on Friday against Buffalo and the CSN crew will be back in action.  Which means I'll be back in action.  Sorry for the semi-long drought but things are going to ramp up again now.

I'd love to hear any comments from you guys about the game, or about the NBC broadcasters.  Hell, do your own broadcaster recap and let me know what I missed and how it stacks up to a typical CSN broadcast.

Cya Friday,
Twitter @Dru90

Monday, December 26, 2011

Caps v Sabres (Dec 26th)

Hello everyone.  Tonight because of family/holiday obligations I was not able to be home to blog about tonight's game.  Also because of the Wizard's game the coverage got bumped to CSN+ so there wouldn't of been a lot to talk about anyways.  The next game is going to be a National NBC broadcasted game so the Sportsnet crew won't be in action to blog about either.  That means the next game that will be blogged will come on Friday the 30th.  Sorry for the large gap but things are pretty crazy at the moment.    I'll try and come up with something clever to post between now and Friday.  It may be Caps related, sports related, or completely random.  I hope everyone is having a great holiday season and I am looking forward to getting back to the Action on the Ice this Friday.

Observations of the game (at a glance):
1st period:
Wow we suck.  We really suck.  I can't believe I wore this new Capitals jersey I got.  I look like an idiot and everyone in my family is laughing at me.  Maybe we'll come back to send this into overtime like last game.  Whelp the channel got changed over to the Wizards.  Guess I'm watching that now.

1st half/quarter(?):
Hey the Wizards are winning.  I thought they sucked.  I'm digging these new uniforms and they got cheerleaders.  I guess baseball is the only sport without cheerleaders?  Whoa it's that Kim Kardashian dude (so says my sister and cousin).  Sure wish I knew anything about Kim Kardashian to make fun of him about.  I'm not sure how the Wizards are winning cause since this game was turned on all I have seen is the Nets scoring.  Apparently these games ARE in quarters and not halves like college basketball.  Also apparently I have been watching the SECOND quarter not the 1st.  It seems like people do fouls a lot but it also seems like nobody can make foul shots so I guess it balances out.  Pizza has arrived.  Looks like I'm doing that.  Uncle says you only have to watch the last 2mins of an NBA game anyway so maybe I'll try and do that.

Man I miss slamball.  That was an awesome sport and also I think I could've maybe gone pro in it.

End of Both Games:
O hey the Caps kinda made it interesting by scoring twice.  Bet it wasn't actually interesting to watch.
O hey the Wizards lost the game.  Bet that's going to happen a lot.

Friday, December 23, 2011

Caps v Devils (Dec 23rd)

Happy Holidays everyone.  Tonight the Caps traveled up to New Jersey to face the Devils in their last game before the mini-holiday break.  It was ugly through the first two periods, but those who managed to stick it through got to witness a pretty exciting Caps comeback and shootout.  Unfortunately, they didn't pull off the shootout victory but they showed some real heart in 3rd period and overtime.  Here are you stars from the CSN crew:

Third Star (1 pt):
Jill Sorenson was back tonight and it seems she has taken our comments about showing some emotion and energy to heart.  She ran through the highlights from around the league without stumbling, as usual, but she actually sounded interested and engaged in what she was doing.  He voice changed pitches several times and it really felt like she was interacting with the audience rather than dictating to them. She didn’t even wear all black tonight, though there was no red or green in her outfit.  Why you no like Christmas Jill?  Actually there was a lack of red and green with all of the crew tonight so I guess maybe it was a company mandate or something.  Why you no like Christmas CSN?  It was a solid night for Jill and a step in the right direction for her to become a serious contender. 

Second Star (2 pts):
On a night where Joe B had a great performance you know that Craig Laughlin can’t be far behind.  Not to be outdone by Joe B’s intro, Locker got into the rhyming action with his “wishlist” for the game, “I want 8 and 28 to be great”.  During the first period Locker was all about the biscuit.  He hasn’t been using that term as much in the past few weeks but tonight he made up for it.  Maybe he had KFC for dinner?  He had a nice first intermission interview with Alzner about plus-minus versus points.  Alzner said he cares about the plus-minus but Locker set him straight by saying its all about the points.  In the second intermission, Locker did some telestrating.  He only had 4 “hold-it-here’s” so that wasn’t to terrible.  He was the tag-team partner with Joe B, and managed to keep the game watchable throughout the first two periods.  It was a good overall performance for Locker tonight and he has gotten himself a little bit of separation in the standings.

First Star (3 pts):
Joe Beninati.  Whoever writes Joe B’s game intro monologues is a genius.  Since we don’t know who writes them, credit has got to go to Joe B himself.  Tonight’s was a variation on The Night Before Christmas and was quite impressive.  Joe was also rocking a light purple tie, and he pulled it off quite nicely.  As the game got underway Joe B was forced to watch the poor excuse for a team that was the Caps through the first two periods.  You could tell how sad he was as he talked about how low scoring the team is.  Clearly, he misses fire wagon hockey from the days of old.  As the game limped forward Joe B had some great back and forth with Locker that kept the game watchable.  It’s a good thing they did.  In the third period Joe B noted that the Caps looked like a different team.  He made a pseudo-pun/prediction by saying the “Laich is a likely candidate” to get the scoring started.  Lo and behold, in the following minute Laich buried the puck in the net to get the Cap’s comeback started.  As the game went into overtime, you could tell Joe B was into it because he broke out his favorite term, “flamethrower”.  A final interesting note from Joe B’s performance tonight, he loved saying “Err-bomb”.  Very similar to the way he liked saying “Hammmerlick” last season.  Guess we should look for Alexander Urbom to join the Caps next season. 

Other Participants:
Alan May:  Was a hair shy of getting the third star tonight.  Good work from him as always.

Al Koken: Seems way more comforatble with May than Carlin does.

Last Star (0 pts instead of -1, Christmas gift):

Chris Miller. On a night dominated by Joe B and Locker but without any standout bad performances, Chris Miller gets the last star by process of elimination. Came out to do the first period highlights and did a passable job, though he seemed a half-step behind the action on the screen with his calls. We’re willing to mostly chalk that up to rust and give him a pass. However, we will NOT give him a pass for saying we should root for Pittsburgh to beat Winnipeg at the beginning of the postgame show. I don’t care how many points we or another team may have; rooting for Pittsburgh in December is never okay.

Point totals for Participants:
Locker: 10
May: 6
 Joe B: 6 
Smokin: 3
Jill Sorenson: 3
Miller: 0

Happy Holidays.  Next game is Monday. Twitter @Dru90.

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Caps v Predators (Dec 20th)

In a game that I thought the Caps would struggle to score 1 goal, they put up 4.  Big win for the team at home.  Fair warning, I was driving home from College today and got stuck in traffic, so I missed the pregame!  Here is your stars for the night:

Third Star (1 pt):

Alan May.  May was back after his long absence from the broadcast during the road trip.  Paired up with his normal partner Rob Carlin, he handled the post game show.  In a night where everyone was talking about how great of a game the Caps played, May made sure to keep us grounded by pointing out how the team disappeared during the 2nd period.  In talking about Knuble's 1,000th game, Alan said he looks like a male supermodel.  Rob Carlin took that opportunity to take a shot at May, who was not amused.  Later in the show, Carlin made another bad joke when Smokin' Al's mic wasn't working and May gave him a death stare.  Big points for May's three keys to the game.  He said Ovie needed to score more and the powerplay had to produce.  Check and Check.  Does Alan May know hockey, or does he know hockey?

Second Star (2 pts):

Locker gets the nod in the 2nd spot tonight.  Good job color commentating, no stand out calls but no major blunders.  He was also back on the telestrator for the first time in awhile and he didn't miss a beat.  His "Hold it Here" count for the night is 9.  Keeping that in single digits is quite a feet for Locker so he definitely gets points for that.  Early in the game Locker told the fan's not to worry, "the goals will come".  Surprise, surprise a few minutes later Ovie buried the first goal of the night.  Four more would follow, with all the big stars getting in on the action so its safe to say Locker called it.  Locker was also wearing a big "22" button on his suit jacket, which was a nice show of support for Knuble.

First Star (3 pts):

Julie Donaldson.  Julie was back in championship form tonight.  She handled the first intermission and the intimidate post game show tonight in a really nice black dress jacket and dark blue shirt that said "I'm ready for business".  She ran through the highlights with emotion and precision.  She not only got the calls right, but it really seemed like she loves what she is doing.  People like Jill Sorenson could take a page out of her book on how to not seem like a robot.  (I'd say Gormely, but he is beyond fixing and may, in fact, be a robot).  Julie never stopped smiling all night and her sign off was "Go Caps".  Its always nice to see some team spirit.  With all the other Sportsnet anchors it seems like a job, but with Julie its feels like a passion.  She even had the ability to make me forget that Jenkins was her co-host, so I very much appreciated that.  Inspiring stuff tonight.

Other Participants:
Joe B:  "Hey. Hey guys. Guys. Guys, Guys, Guys.  Did you know it's Knuble's 1,000ths game?"

Carlin:  Stop trying to make jokes. May is not amused, will never be amused, and you are not friends.

Smokin': Does he spray tan?

Jenkins: Wearing a vest and pink tie without a jacket.  Had a "no that's not a roofie I put in your drink" look on his face the whole night.

Jill Sorenson:  Wore all black and stood in front of an all black background. Meet Jill the floating head.

Last Star (-1 pt):

Chuck Gormely.  Ehhhhh Chuck we missed you.  On a big night for Mike Knuble, Gormely decided it would be appropriate to make his segment about Knuble.  Good thinking Chuck, how could you screw that up.  Well bringing up Knuble's dead Dad was a good way to do just that.  Out of all the fantastic, hockey-related, achievements of Knuble's career Chuck decided to talk about his Dad who died when Knuble was 15.  He didn't even make an effort to tie it back into hockey.  Nope just dropped the "dead-dad" bomb and walked away.  He didn't even show a shred of what could be called an emotion.  Heartless.  Cold.  However, I did learn something new from Chuck's performance tonight.  I was so confused that he decided to talk about Knuble's father, instead of anything else about his playing career, that I asked myself, "how does Chuck Gormely do his research."  Well in the third sentence under "Playing Career" on Knuble's Wikipedia page it mentions his father's death.  Mystery solved.  Apparently all it takes to be an inside blogger is Wikipedia.  You may now refer to me as, Dru "Capitals Insider".

Twitter is @Dru90. Next game on Friday in New Jersey.  See you then!

Points of Participants to date:
Locker: 8
Alan May: 6
Julie: 4
Joe B: 3
Smokin: 3
Carlin: 3
Jill Sorenson: 2
Jenkins: -1
Gormley: -3 

Saturday, December 17, 2011

Caps v Avalance (Dec 18th)

The last game of the Caps road trip was suppose to be a showdown with last-year Cap Varlamov.  Unfortunately that didn't happen.  Also unfortunately the Caps didn't win.  However, it was a strong game all around for the Sportsnet crew, which was working with a limited roster yet again.  Highlight was a surprise breakout performance by tonight's number one star.

Third Star (1 pt):

Tonight the third star goes to Locker and Joe B.  They both had solid games and neither really deserved to get the last star.  Plus they look o-so-good side by side.  Locker began the broadcast with a cool stat, only 149 out of 7,000+ games since 2005 have ended 1-0.  He went on to have a solid night of color commentating and handled the intermission interviews once again. Matt Hendricks was a questionable selection for the 2nd intermission interview given that the poor guy had just gotten the crap beaten out of him; he still seemed a little out of it. Then again, maybe he just still hadn’t recovered from the shock of that softie Neuvy gave up in the first. Or perhaps it’s because the poor dude has infant twins at home. Regardless, hope Hendy gets a good night’s sleep tonight; he earned it. Apparently Smokin Al isn’t important enough to fly out on road trips.  He made a bad joke about Varley’s back being injured from all the red lights in San Jose that nobody, including Joe B, laughed at.  The highlight of his night was his ample use of the phrase “Knuckle-puck” during the 2nd intermission highlights.  Guess he watched Mighty Ducks on the flight into Denver.  Joe B had a solid night calling the game and was all about stating the obvious.  He let us know on multiple occasions that Varley wasn’t playing goal, told us to have a happy holiday (alot), and made sure we remembered that other power play sucks.  He was also really into trains for some reason.  During the 1st intermission he said that the Caps had to get their “Choo-Choo” going, and he introduced the Coors Light Freeze Cam by saying “Chug-Chug-Chug” (maybe that one was about alcoholism and not trains).

Second Star (2 pts):

Jill Sorenson. Came out for the 2nd Intermission rocking the red, which is always a great way to score some brownie points right off the bat. Pretty businesslike while she ran through the highlights, but got through them without incident. She finally remembered to crack a smile as she signed off, presumably just to assure us she isn’t a robot. She led off the (very brief) post-game show. The best description she could come up with for McLeod’s goal was “It was floating!” after mumbling a bit of gibberish, but we’ll pardon her loss for words, because if we’re honest, we couldn’t have done any better.        

First Star (3 pts):
Rob Carlin.  Carlin was flying solo tonight and he looked pretty nervous during the first intermission break away from his normal partner Alan May.  However, once the highlights started going Carlin started to shine.  He handled some of the most difficult names in hockey without stumbling once.  Carlin did better as an intermission host than he has ever done hosting along side of Alan May, which makes us think May might just intimidate him (who can blame him).  With his performance tonight Carlin made a strong case to see more time as a intermission guy but if that happens who will replace him alongside of May?  Hopefully Jenkins cause we’d love to see May eat him alive. Also of note, he pulled off wearing a light brown suit which is not an easy task.  

So there you have it.  Solid performances all around for a bare bones Sportsnet crew.  If you came here looking for rage, fear not!  Next game is at the Verizon Center and I have a feeling everybody's favorite Capitals Insider will be making an appearance.  (See you Tuesday Chuck!)

Points to Date for Participants:
Locker: 6
Joe B: 3
Carlin: 3
Sorenson: 2 
Follow me on Twitter @dru90 to see when the posts go up!

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Caps v Jets (Dec 15th)

Tonight the Caps traveled halfway across the continent to face their south-east division rivals the Winnipeg Jets.  It was a hard fought game all around and Neuvy and Ovie came up big tonight to get the Caps a W.  It was a skeleton crew holding it down for the Comcast Sportsnet crew tonight, with only four people getting in on the action.  Decided to set up the list a bit differently, going form 3rd-1st star (Sources say that people like dramatic tension and build up.)  Tonight's coverage was a joint effort from both bloggers here at Action on the Ice, enjoy!  

3rd Star (1pt): 
Chick Hernandez made his first appearance during the second intermission.  He was sporting a pair of fresh looking new glasses that really took his “intelligent gentleman” persona to a new level.  However, his new hardware seemed to be throwing him off a bit as he seemed a half step slow throughout his highlight presentation.  Chick reappeared in the immediate post game along side the Jenkins and had ditched his glasses in favor of his classic look.  Chick did a nice job wrapping up the game in a sentence and then set up for the Sportsnet show with an endearing “buckle-up” turn of phrase.  However, he was about to be dragged down into the void that in Jenkins.  More on that later.  Overall, we liked Chick’s attempt with the glasses and think if he can work out the kinks with them it will really help take him to the next level.  Its worth noting that both Julie Donaldson and Chick Hernandez have seemed a little off in each of their last appearances.  Each normally stellar broadcaster was paired with the Jenkins.

Second Star (2pts): 
Joe started off the broadcast in his typically strong fashion with his game introduction that consistently borders on poetry.  As the game got underway, he caused us to pause for a moment when he described the Jet’s crowd as sounding like 150,000 people.  We thought back to those long hoary nights spent studying high school science and decided that there was no way it could be true.  Also during the first period Joe B scored some big points by talking about curling, which is basically one of the top three winter Olympic sports (Hockey, Curling, Gun-Skiing).  It is also a sport we think we could learn to play so that makes it even more  likable.  The second period was full of Joe B trademark moments.  He let us know that Cody Eakin is from Winnipeg, something he couldn’t tell us enough the first time we played the Jets.  He also let us know that Tom Poti is still on the team and still injured (lost in the woods/eaten by a bear?).  Finally, he descried Byfuglyen’s shot as “a flamethrower”.  This term STILL makes zero sense to us. Flamethrowers don’t fire projectiles...but they are cool (actually very hot) so whatever.  Joe B rounded off his second period performance by throwing out some Cap’s history about Konowalchuk who is one of our favorites forever, so that got him serious pointage.  In the third period Joe B stuck his neck out by jinxing the Caps...the first shot for the Jets happened within 15 seconds of him saying they had zero in the third.  But the team went on the win so we’ll let it slide.  Overall, Joe B had a typically strong performance, a snazzy suit and tie combo, and capped it off with two of our favorite things, Curling and Konowalchuk.  (Does Konowalchuck play curling now?  Please let it be so.)        

First Star (3pts):
It was a tough call between Locker and Joe B for the top spot on tonight’s broadcast, as both turned in their usual stellar performance calling the game. Despite several bad puns made at Blake Wheeler’s expense (calling him “18 Wheeler” in the pre-game show and describing him as “wheeling-wheeler” on a scoring chance), Locker’s strong performance during both interviews put him over the top and earned him the 1st star of the night, despite Joe B’s curling and Konowalchuk brownie points.  As mentioned at the top, it was a bare-bones crew tonight and Locker definetly handled a large portion of the workload.  His color commentary was sharp and his interview work also really showed off his range as he talked to Erskine (lumberjack) and Matty P (ultra-French).   He seemed to be trying extra-hard, perhaps because he didn’t get to telestrate tonight, which he apparently missed very much as he made a joke about it in his Network Hockey spot.  Maybe he was just really happy to be reunited with Joe B after having to call last game from down on the ice.  The only knock against him tonight occurred during the second period when he appeared to forget Jim Johnson’s name. Thankfully, good ol’ Joe B was there to remind him and spare him a possible faux pas.  Also, with Alan May missing-in-action tonight, Locker filled the all important position of resident hockey-guy expert and showed off his players-perspective knowledge by answering Joe B’s question about what to do on 2-1 breakaways.  Also dug his tie selection.

Last Star (-1pt):

After making some progress last game, awkward Jenkins was back with a vengeance. Though he did manage to make it through the first intermission alone relatively cleanly (aside from the creepy grin he sported the entire time he talked), the Jenkins train derailed and crashed in a spectacular fireball as soon as he came on with Chick for the post-game show. Initially, he simply stared intensely into Chick’s eyes, and I couldn’t help but wonder what tender thoughts he was feeling for his fellow anchor. Then, in a manner that can only be described as similar to a high school freshmen floundering to make conversation with that girl he likes, Jenkins dragged Chick’s “Buckle Up” comment out to the point where the moment was solidly ruined. Then, the cherry on top of the awkward sundae that was Jenkins’ night: He said he liked to call him and Chick “Eskimo Pie.” Is that racist? Just dumb? We’re not sure, and neither was Chick, as the show stopped dead in its tracks for a moment while everyone tried to wrap their brain around Jenkins’ comment. Dragged down an otherwise respectable night for Chick. Also, if you ever want to be able to look at Jenkins again, do not, under any circumstances, look up Eskimo Pie on UrbanDictionary.

Current Points Totals for Tonights Participants:
Locker: 5
Joe B: 2
Chick: 2
Jenkins: -1

Check out the complete standings in the top right of the blog!
As always, feel free to follow me on twitter @dru90 to learn when new posts go up.

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Caps v Flyers (Dec 13)

The return of Jagr to Washington did not go like Caps fans had hoped. Rough game for the team but there were a few bright spots on the Comcast Sportsnet crew.  I don't have a firm time table of when I am going to get these things up after each game but, if you have a twitter you can follow me @Dru90 and I'll try and tweet once a post goes up.

First Star (3pts):

Alan May. He started off strong in the pregame. His partner Carlin and on-ice-reporter Jill Sorenson were talking about how good the Flyers are and that rubbed May the wrong way! Alan vented his rage on Carlin who he called out for wearing an orange and blue "Islanders Tie" and, when Carlin tried to come back with a snappy comeback about May's suit, Alan just stared him down and asked if that was the best he could do. Carlin quickly backpedaled and cut to commercial, presumably to grovel for forgiveness or get a good cry in. Most likely both. Postgame, May brought down the hammer as he called the Caps out for playing soft and letting the Flyers do whatever they wanted in front of the Caps net. Then, in a show of good will and generosity, Alan asks Locker a hockey question about defensive formations. Of course Alan knew the answer, but he likes to make his fellow broadcasters feel useful.  He is just that kind of guy.  May finished up the post game by talking about how Mike Green doesn't suck.

Second Star (2pts):

Craig Laughlin. Locker was down between the benches tonight and sounded a bit dishearten early on that he wasn't standing shoulder to shoulder with Joe B.  Or maybe it was the fact that the puck tried to kill him three times.  Who knows.  Either way, he began to loosen up and seemed to cope with his separation anxiety by trying to fight some old guy who was with the Flyers twice during the game.  That made for some good TV because honestly, who doesn't love a good old guy fight?  I was a bit disappointed that it took Locker till eleven minutes into the second period to call the puck a "biscuit" but, he made up for it with two pretty good on ice interviews with Knuble and Alzner. The thing that really pushed his performance over the top tonight though was his ability to call plays correctly. On the Flyers second goal, Locker repeatedly insisted that he saw it go off Matty-P.  On the Flyers controversial fifth goal, that went to the secret Toronto review bunker, Locker insisted that it went in. He turned out to be right on both occasions so he scores some major points there. Finally, he gets bonus points for awesome adverb usage during his description of the Flyers fourth goal: "The caps were good positionally defensively.”  Well said Locker, well said.

Third Star (1pt):

Julie Donaldson. Julie did the first intermission break and the immediate post game. She didn't quite seem to be herself tonight and I can't put my finger on why. Maybe its because she was wearing all gray which made her seem sad. Maybe it was because she was worried because the producers had stuck her in the studio with the Jenkins.  Can't blame her for that one.  She did a good job running through NHL highlights and showed off some real hockey knowledge by calling the Pens arena by its nickname, the "Igloo".  She also showed a clip from the Rangers game of a goalie getting completely destroyed in a collision and didn't even fuck it up with a stupid comment along the lines of "wow that must of hurt" or "that's gonna leave a mark".  During her her postgame highlights she didn't mention the painful Caps loss because she knew the wound was still fresh.  She knew we were in need of compassion and comfort after the beat down via the Philly so her sign off was accompanied with a really nice smile that made me feel a little bit better about the loss.  That was nice of her.  Even when she isn't 100%, Julie comes ready to play.

Other Participants (0 pts):
Micheal Jenkins: Wasn't THAT creepy. Maybe they told him to stop trying to act "cool".

Joe B.: Called a 90pt season for Backstrom.

Rob Carlin: AKA Alan May's Bitch.

Jill Sorenson: Like her haircut. Didn't like her apparent love for Jagr.

Al Koken: For a strange reason I keep picturing him as Wayne Newton.

Last Star (-1pt):

Chuck Gormely. Chuck, Chuck, Chuck. Why do we always run into each other here at the bottom of the list. I have a feeling it's because you are terrible at your job. Actually I'm positive it's because you are terrible at your job.  Chuck made an appearance during the first period and I got to say I was pretty pumped.  I could just tell from his empty void of a stare that he was really excited about bringing us some insider news. Then he screws up right off the bat by mispronouncing Dale Hunter's name as "Daal Hunter."  Come on Chuck.  You know Dale Hunter.  He is the guy who is our coach. He is our new coach whose name has been all over the media. Surely you have heard his name pronounced once or twice before.  Anyways, Chuck goes on to give us his hard hitting journalism of the night, which is something about Hunter being enemies to friends to enemies with a Flyers assistant coach. There is no context given to the statement and he delivers it in such a deadpan manner that I don’t care enough to investigate further. So good job Chuck.  I hope the server that supports your blog is ready cause I'm sure you just inspired a million people to rush on over....  Finally, Gormely almost lets out a laugh near the end of his time on camera despite not making a joke. If he had laughed it would not of been a joyful jolly laugh. Chuck's laugh is more of a soulless awkward laugh of a man that knows his life is meaningless and his career is a sham. I'm sorry for that last one Chuck. I'll cut you a break next game.

NOTE: Next game is on the road and Gormely doesn’t seem to ever appear during road games.

Points to Date of Participants:
Alan May: 5
Al Koken: 3
Craig Laughlin: 2
Julie Donaldson: 1
Chuck Gormely: -2

See complete standings in the top right side of the blog!

Monday, December 12, 2011

By Popular Demand...

We bring you the two superstars of the CSN Team, the men who hold our hands through all the laughter and tears generated throughout the course of a hockey game (and often contribute some of their own).

Joe Beninati

The little dude (seriously, he's like 5 feet tall) with the big voice whose dulcet tones guide us through the narrative that is a hockey game, Joe B is one of the best play-by-play guys in the league. He delivers relatively unbiased commentary in a voice that's easy on the ears and not in any way reminiscent of a dying animal (unlike this guy). Also the go-to guy if you're wondering whether or not anyone on the ice is related.

Craig "Locker" Laughlin

Oh, Locker... I'm not entirely sure how to describe him. He's a little bit eccentric, but in an endearing kind of way, like that crazy uncle everybody has but never talks about because as much as they love him, they're embarrassed to be seen with him in public. Guaranteed to use at least one made-up word per telecast, and appears to have deep-seated issues stemming from the fact that Joe B never invites him to hang out outside of work. Still though, he's nothing if not enthusiastic, and his banter with Joe B. remains entertaining even when the hockey game is not.

Friday, December 9, 2011

Caps v Leafs (Dec 9)

Revenge game for the Caps who got a beat down at the hands of the Leafs on a HNIC not so long ago.  Since this is the first game post I thought I'd explain how things will work.  After the game I will pick the three stars of the broadcast team.  First star gets 3pts, second star gets 2pts, third star gets 1pt.  Everyone else will then get a mention but will receive no points.  The person who did the worst on the night will receive last place honors and a -1pt.  I'll keep track of point totals and at the end of the season we will see who is the champion of the Comcast Sportsnet crew!

First Star (3pts):
Giving it to Smokin Al Koken.  He interviewed Backstrom to start the game and, despite the fact that Backstrom seems to hate him, had the balls to interview him again during the second intermission.  Had a couple appearances where he was all about talking defensive players ice times.  He made his usual appearance interviewing assistant coach Jim Johnson during the "Bite of the Nite" but then went crazy on us and later in the game interviewed other assistant coach Dean Evason in another "Bite of the Nite".  Two bites in one night?  I'm pretty certain that has never happened ever.  He also interviews Dennis Widemen during the first intermission break and D-wides went on to score a hatty (or did he?), so that's something.  For some reason Smokin kept referring to the power-play as "specialty teams", which sounded weird.
Second Star (2pts):

Alan May.  Came in after the game ended to enlighten us in regard to the Cap's power-play success.  His telestrator was not working but did that fluster May?  No.  In fact, Fuck No.  He just kept on explaining the plays and acting like the telestrator WAS working.  Guess what?  His will power made the telestrator start working.  After that he shared a funny joke with the announcer team that had everyone cracking up.  LOLs were had by all and May finished the post game in typical fashion.

Third Star (1pt): 

The last scoring spot for tonight's game goes to Chick.  Did a good job breaking down some highlights during the second intermission break.  For some reason his voice sounded really cool and downright distinguished tonight which helped him earn the last spot in his limited work.  I have a theory why he sounded so good but more on that in a bit.

Other Participants (0pts):

-Rob Carlin.  Hosted post game with Alan.  Didn't add a whole lot but didn't get in Alan's way.  He did stop everyone's fun by moving the broadcast along in the middle of everyone laughing at Alan's joke.

-Carol Maloney.  No idea who she is.  Can't remember seeing her at all this season.  She stumbled out of the gate during the first intermission break but handled herself well after that slip up.  She did the immediate post game and completely messed up her sign off.  She was really falling all over her words as she came into the home stretch.  One thing I learned about Carol, her voice is really really annoying.  Maybe that is why she never gets on TV.  Maybe that's why Chick sounded so good tonight?  Just a theory.

Last Place (-1pt):

No surprises here.  If its a home game you can pretty much count on an appearance from everyone's favorite Capitals insider Chuck Gormely.  Was on camera for less than a minute.  Couldn't string two sentences together without fucking up and misspeaking.  What was his big time breaking insider information that he delivered in a monotone voice devoid of any passion or soul you ask?  That John Carlson and Karl Alzner play defense together.  Also they are pretty good.  ...No Shit. 

Points totals so far:
Al Koken: 3
Alan May: 2
Chick Hernandez: 1
Chuck Gormely: -1
Everyone else: 0

Thursday, December 8, 2011

The Crew.

Chick Hernandez.  All around cool dude, all around dumb name. 

Julie Donaldson.  The best there ever was.  The best there ever will be.  Also the inspiration for the blog title.

Michael Jenkins.  Everything about him scares me.  Creepy as fuck.

 Jill Sorenson.  Shes not bad.  No Julie but not bad.  Seems to know a lot about things.

Chris Miller.  Generally a pretty OK guy.  However, when teamed up with the Jenkins some weird shit seems to go down.

Chuck Gormley. "Washington Insider" blogger.  Occasionally graces us with some insider info he reads off a cue card/teleprompter.  Big tool.

Al Koken.  "Smokin' Al" brings us some hard hitting intermission interviews.  Not what he is smokin' and not sure I want to know.  

Alan May.  Former player who tells it like it is and doesn't let anyone off the hook.  He isn't afraid to fight for his opinions.  No really, he will fight you. (

Carol Maloney.  Don't really see her a lot.  Her voice is pretty annoying so that's probably the reason.

Rob Carlin.  Doesn't really seem to know a whole lot but also doesn't say a whole lot.  He is just there to guide everything along and it's hard to fuck that up.

There are other people who may appear on occasion but these are the main guys/gals to look for/the ones I can remember.

Wednesday, December 7, 2011



I'm glad to see you have found your way to Action on the Ice.  As you can probably tell from the background image this is a Washington Capitals blog.  However, it is not a typical sports blog.  This blog is going to be all about the Comcast Sportsnet crew who keep us company through the intermission breaks and after the game.  They keep us level headed when we are winning and and stop us from crying when we are losing.  They are an integral part of the Washington Capitals family and this blog is about giving them the credit they deserve.  Well, most of them anyone.

Next post will introduce you to the crew!