Saturday, March 31, 2012

Caps v Habs (Mar 31st)

Tonight was the return of Nick Backstrom.  As everyone on the CSN crew let us know.  14 times.  The Caps came out flying and took an early 2-0 lead before completely disappearing until the shoot out where Hendy and Semin got us the win.  Neuvy kept us alive all night long and made some incredible saves.  Buffalo lost which gives us a 2 pt lead with 3 games to go.  Lets finish this season strong!  See below for the CSN crew:

Third Star (1 pt):

Carol Maloney. Came out with a lot of energy for the second intermission, perhaps in an effort to make up for the Caps’ lack of motivation in the second. Wasn’t rocking the red, but at least she was in blue, and if we’re being honest, just about any color of any kind would have scored her some serious points after Brent Harris’ umpteen different shades of gray in the first. Seriously Brent, your commentary is solid, but get a more interesting suit, or at least a snazzy tie. The gray is so drab and depressing. But right, this post is supposed to be about Carol Maloney.

Carol gave us a nice long look-in and fairly comprehensive coverage of the Sabres/Leafs game tonight, and made sure to make note of the playoff implications of that game on the Caps. Always a nice thing to remind us of this time of year.

Second Star (2 pts):

Smokin’ Al Koken.  Koken was a busy man tonight.  He had a pregame interview with Knuble, handled the intermission interviews, had two bites of the nite segments with the assistant coaches, and did a post game interview with Neuvy.  I really enjoyed his interviews with Beagle; which featured a replay of his goal, Hendy; in which you could feel the intensity coming off of number 26, and Neuvy; his post game comments were adorable and showed how much he cares about the team.  Koken disappeared from the scoring sheet for awhile during the middle of the season but ever since that game in which he and Rob Carlin switched places he has really seemed to step his game up. 

First Star (3 pts):

Alan May.  What can we say that hasn’t been said about this man.  His pre game coverage was solid as normal and he gave Hendy a shoutout for his great shootout skills.  In the Post game Alan May was the first man to heap tons of credit onto Neuvy and followed this up by talking about Semin and Matty P.  Finally, he gave Hendy some more credit for his tough play and shootout skills.  Basically everything positive that I thought about the Caps tonight May touched on and did so in the order that they deserved to talked about.  Neuvy, Matty Semin, and Hendy.  He did a great job not letting us forget about all the things the Caps did wrong tonight and need to improve upon if they want to finish off this push to the playoffs.  May proved tonight why he is on top of the standings and why he aims to keep it that way. 

Last Star (-1 pt):

Locker. Oh, Locker... Him and Joe B were at it again pregame and in the first, making sure to inform us how terrible MTL has been on the road, how crappy their season has been off the ice, and how bad their record was when trailing after the first period. And wouldn’t you know it, the Habs managed to claw themselves back into it and take the game to a shootout. The announcer jinx strikes again. Got some slight bonus points for coining Hendy’s awesome new nickname (“Paralyzer”) and resulting obvious theme song, but, well, if I’m being honest, Locker played himself into last place early on tonight when he predicted the Great Satan (also known as the Pittsburgh Penguins) to win the Stanley Cup this year. For shame, Locker, for shame. Not sure what’s going on with him of late; despite his strong performances throughout most of the season, he’s dropped the ball a couple of times lately and as a result looks to be playing himself out of competition for the top spot and handing it to Alan May.

That's all we have for tonight.  May made a strong statement that he intends to finish the season on top.  Two games to go until we reach the end of the AOTI race.  Stay tuned and thanks for reading!  

Friday, March 30, 2012

Season Awards Preview!

As you may or may not have noticed the NHL season is rapidly coming to a close.  Right now there are 4 games left for the Caps, only three of which will be on CSN.  With that in mind I thought now would be a good time to let you know what to expect from the end of the season here at AOTI and what you can expect during the playoffs and off season.

That's right.  Once all the CSN games for the regular season have been finished, (April 5th) we are going to run the numbers and then a few days later have a big awards ceremony post.  I'll give you a quick run down of the awards that we will be handing out:

1st Place:  The overall points leader in the standings.
2nd Place: Second most points in the standings.
3rd Place:  Third most points in the standings.

Most Improved: Broadcaster who has gotten better over the course of the season.
Fan Favorite: As decided by you, base on the poll to the right.
Editors Choice: Our favorite CSN broadcaster from this season.  Could by a split if we don't agree.

Biggest Under-performer: Broadcaster who failed to take advantage of their opportunities to shine.
Last Place: Person with the lowest amount of points in the standings.

If the Caps make it (fingers crossed) then expect to see capitals related posts going up randomly throughout.

If the Caps don't make it then expect to see hockey related posts going up randomly throughout.  We might adopt a new team to root for (go Preds?).

Hockey doesn't just stop after the playoffs and neither will we.  You can expect posts talking about the Capitals, the NHL, hockey in general, and if there are any ground breaking CSN news to report we will let you know.  We won't be on a posting schedule during this time and stuff will go up whenever we get ideas and decide to write.

If you are a fan of Nationals baseball or baseball in general I am contributing over at   which is a blog by Caps Basketball.  The blog takes humorous look at the Nats and my posts are going to be dealing with watching the Nats from an Orioles fan perspective.

So that is everything we have planed coming up in the immediate future and beyond.  Be sure to vote on that poll if you haven't so we have as much input as possible for Fan favorite and as always thank you so much for reading!


Thursday, March 29, 2012

Caps v Bruins (Mar 29th)

So what is it with this team?  One night they get blown out by the team they are fighting with for a playoff spot.  The next they play the defending champs tough and win in dramatic fashion in an OT shootout.  If this season has taught me anything, it's to not ask questions.  I have no idea who is going to show up every time the Caps take the ice.  I have a feeling they don't know themselves.  Four games left until we find out if the "good" Caps showed up enough to get us to the playoffs or if the "bad" Caps paid us a visit one to many times...

I was able to follow the scores and highlights tonight but had to leave my TV after the 1st intermission.

Therefore points are going to be short and sweet and pretty seat-of-pants thrown together.

3rd Star (1 pt):

Joe B.  Joe B rarely lets us down.  He did let us down in the first period.  He also loves goals and drama.  The Caps sure gave us that at the end of the game so I'm confident Joe B had several great moments then.

2nd Star (2 pts):

Locker.  Locker had a pretty crazy suit-tie combo on tonight.  I enjoyed his back and forth with Joe B during the first period.  He was also handling intermission interviews tonight and I always find his interviews more enjoyable than Smokin Al's.

1st Star (3 pts):

Jill Sorenson.  Jill doesn't get enough credit.  She knows her stuff.  She gets air time every night, though its normally very brief for pre or post game interviews, and she probably deserves to be on camera a lot.  I am always saying she seems a little to "business" like whenever she handles the intermission breaks so I have a hard time connecting with her.  Still, she is a hell of a hard worker so she gets some much deserved recognition tonight.  Also I left after her intermission break so I apologize to whoever her partner was if they gave the broadcast of their life tonight.

Last Star:

Tonight this goes to me.  That's right, the editor in chief himself.  I left my television to go out for pizza with friends.  I have let you all down.  Actually...last time I watched the Caps they got killed.  Tonight they got a win.  On second thought, I probably did you all a favor by skipping out early tonight!

That's all I got for tonight.  Sorry for the lateness of the post.  We only have 4 games left, with the last being on NBC.  That means only 3 CSN games left!  The race is heating up and I'm pretty excited to see how things are going to turn out.  Check back tomorrow during the day because I'll be putting up a post how the end of the season "awards" are going to be handled and what to expect during the off season.

PS.  I am also writing over at now.  If your a baseball fan/ nationals fan check it out sometime!

Thanks for reading!

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Caps v Sabres (Mar 27th)

So I am back from my vacation and decided to watch the game tonight in the midst of return to school work.  Boy did I pick a good game to come back and watch.  By that I mean I picked the worst game possible.  We really could of used a win tonight against the Buffalo, the team we are tied for 8th place with.  At the very least we needed to show that we were a playoff caliber team.  Instead we got absolutely blown out in our own building.  While the Caps aren't eliminated by any stretch, this playoff race is going to go down to the wire and we refuse to make things easy on ourselves.  Good news, Backstrom might be back soon.  A few notes on how the CSN crew did tonight below!

3rd Star (1 pt):

Joe B.  Joe had a strong game as always and was really showing his team spirit by wearing a bright navy blue suit and red tie combo.  To bad that didn't inspire our team to victory.  Also had a funny comment about being "obligated" to give out a player of the game.

2nd Star (2 pts):

Julie Donaldson.  I haven't seen Julie in awhile (like I said, was on vacation) so I was happy she was on in her normal Tuesday spot.  She had a awesome purple dress outfit on (or maybe a shirt) and like always made me feel a little bit better about the Caps horrendous performance on the ice.  She also provided some Nicky news after the game which was better then talking about the game.

1st Star (3 pts):

The Jenkins.  He has been on an absolute tear of late.  Not making any mistakes.  Not being creepy.  Having genuinely funny moments without coming off as corny or forced.  Rocking the team colors with an awesome tie.  With such a crazy turn around its almost like he reads this blog.  Hmm....

Last Star (-1 pt):

Locker.  Locker had two major blunders that went against him tonight.  First, he said the Caps were in playoff mode and we all know what that means...we are going to choke.  Lo and behold we did just that tonight.  Besides that least we forget that way back in September Locker counted Buffalo out of the playoffs.  Looks like you might have been wrong about that one Locker...  

So that's all I have for you tonight.  It's good to be back, just wish it could of been on a more winning note.  With the end of the season fast approaching be sure to look for our end of the season awards ceremony posts where we will be highlighting a variety of the CSN crew and their work over the course of the season.  Then be sure to check in during the playoffs and off season for random hockey related posts.  Thanks for reading!

Saturday, March 24, 2012

Caps v. Jets (Mar 23)

So you know how we pulled out some silver linings from last night's loss to Philly? Well, no such good feelings tonight, as the Caps blew a 3-0 lead and missed an opportunity to stomp on the Jets' collective jugular. At least CSN was on form. It's a rare night when Dave Johnson and Alan May are together and neither of them wins a star, but, well, I missed the pregame show, so there it is. Also honorable mention to Locker for taking the time to sign some autographs during the game. While doing color commentary. Because he's just that fucking awesome.

Third Star (1 pt):

Brent Harris. No idea who this guy is. Never seen him before. A quick glance at his CSN Washington profile page has him as “Comcast SportsNet's voice for the Baltimore region's sports scene.” So what the hell was the dude doing covering a hockey game? I have no idea, but despite the fact that he had on the most drab and colorless of suits, his calls of the Rangers/Sabres and Florida/Edmonton highlights were pretty good all around. Didn’t stumble over any names or anything, and he made sure to note the standings implications. Can’t really ask for much more than that. Except maybe a red tie or something.

Second Star (2 pts):

Kelli Johnson. Did basically the same thing as Harris, but takes second by virtue of the fact that A) she did it before he did, and B), she was rocking a bright red t-shirt AND lipstick. That’s some team spirit. Too bad the Caps choked anyway, but not for lack of trying on Kelli’s part.

First Star (3 pts):

Al Koken. Either Smokin’ Al read our review of Carlin’s performance last night and came out with the intention of putting his job in a stranglehold, or he was just straight terrified of Alan May and wanted to get back out of the studio ASAP. Regardless, Koken was on his game tonight, interviewing not one, but BOTH assistant coaches, and also had an (admittedly brief) chat with AotI fan-favorite Matheiu Perreault during the second intermission. That’s the way to give the people what they want, Al.

Last Star (-1 pts):

Chuck Gormley. Because no matter how many times he tries to drop his name in one pitch, Alan May is not his friend. Also, I just don’t like him.

Bleh. That is all for tonight.

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Caps v. Flyers (Mar 22)

I'm not entirely sure what to write about tonight. On the one hand, a close-fought game against a team looking waaay down at the Caps in the standings to finish off a road trip in which the Caps took five points in five games is worth celebrating, to a certain extent. On the other, well, at this point in the season, wins are at a premium, and to watch a game as close as this one slip away hurts. On the plus side, Holtby was solid-to-studly in net for the second game in a row, so file that one into the "hope for the future" column, even if he does need to work on low glove side, as both Flyers shootout goals beat him in the same spot. Anyway, onto the crew!

Third Star (1 pt):

Alan May. May listed his “Keys to the Game” in the pregame show: Force Bryz off his game, check the Flyers D to their backhands, and control and slow the Flyers’ top line of Giroux, Jagr, and Hartnell. Well, despite the fact that the Flyers’ only goal was Giroux from Jagr and Lilja, well... the Flyers’ only goal was Giroux from Jagr and Lilja. Any time a team only gives up one goal, they put themselves in a good position to win, so I’ll give May credit for getting this one right. However, the Caps pretty clearly failed to force Bryz off his game. Maybe if they would have, they’d have been able to score more than one goal themselves. Which only serves to illustrate what we already know: When the Caps listen to Alan May, they win hockey games.

Second Star (2 pts):

Craig Laughlin. Locker was spirited tonight, heaping praise on Ovie’s play of late from the very beginning. He also was pretty liberal with the accolades to Holtby (though pretty much everyone was), and in response to Carlin’s comparison of Holtby to Hextall, countered with one of his own: Jim “Ace” Carey. But most importantly, Locker gave us not one, but TWO BONUS telestrations in the middle of the second and third periods. That was awfully generous of him, though admittedly his “Hold it Here” count ran a little high tonight as a result. He also condemned the Canes as “out of it,” and said if the Caps beat WPG tomorrow, WPG will also be “out of it.” We'll see, Locker... We'll see.

First Star (3 pts):

Rob Carlin. Carlin and Smokin’ Al switched places tonight, with Koken working pre- and post-game duties with Alan May and Carlin taking Koken’s usual position Inside the Glass. Free of Alan’s rather intimidating presence (and despite May’ s wish that a Philly fan “pummels Rob Carlin into submission”), Carlin actually did a remarkably solid job providing factoids and interviews at various points throughout the game. He spoke to Keith Aucoin, Brooks Laich and Karl Alzner tonight (pre-game, first, and second intermissions, respectively) and got along well with all three. Told Aucoin that he was “an easy guy to root for,” and bonded with him as a fellow sleep-deprived parent of recently-arrived twins. During the first period, he hit us with an anecdote about comparisons between Holtby and Hextall, specifically their stickhandling, and how Holtby was honored to even be mentioned in the same breath as a legend like Hextall. Continuing in that vein, he asked Alzner during the second intermission what it was like playing in front of Braden. Alzner responded that it was “like having a sixth skater out there,” and his puckhanding abilities were such a boost for the defense in front of him. Good questions, good rapport, good job all around for Carlin. Seemed to make the most of his chance to get out of the studio. He must really be terrified of going back in with Alan.

As far as last star goes, fuck it. If the editor can go on vacation, I can skip out on a last star. The only other participants tonight were Al Koken, Julie Donaldson, and Michael Jenkins, all of whom did perfectly adequate jobs in their respective roles tonight. As far as intermission reports go, Donaldson is probably the strongest when it comes to calling hockey highlights, and a pretty drastically-improved Jenkins is working his way up to second best. Though neither of them wore red tonight, at least Julie had a blue dress on. Jenkins' outfit was just boring despite the vest. All dark and drab colors. Wear some red, it makes you score higher.

Anyway, I'll see you all tomorrow (or today, by the time most of you read this), where the Caps play a Jets team whose playoff hopes might very well rest on the outcome of tomorrow night's game, at least according to Locker. Hopefully the Caps are up to the task.

Monday, March 19, 2012

Caps v. Wings (Mar 19)

And we're back (mostly)! Tonight was... Well, it was awesome. Caps jumped on the Wings early and often, scoring three goals in the first period (the most they've scored in a first since November of 2010 against some team called the Thrashers). Ovechkin Scored twice. It was, in short, the kind of game we all thought the Caps would be playing this whole season, and it came against a team that is perennially among the league's best. In short, where the hell has this been all season.

It's a good thing the Caps gave a memorable performance, because the CSN crew tonight was largely forgettable. Not bad, just not good either.

Third Star (1 pt):

Jill Sorenson. Honestly, third star was kind of a toss-up tonight. Aside from the above two finishers, everybody else had relatively forgettable performances. I’ll give this to Jill because A) she doesn’t cover hockey all that often and still did an adaquate job of the highlights (even if she stumbled on the socre of the Bolts/Sabers game), and B), she showed us more fight highlights in the second intermission, and I always love me some fight highlights.

Second Star (2 pts):

Alan May. Said during pregame that the Caps needed to take the puck low into the offensive zone and behind the net to draw the D down low and open up space in front of the net. Well, Ovechkin’s first goal came as a result of Johansson carrying the puck deep and passing to Ovechkin for a one-timer in the slot. the second Caps goal was Chimera carrying the puck deep and throwing it to Knuble for a one-timer in the slot. Ovie’s PPG came as a result of three Caps putting pressure on the front of the net. And Aucoin’s goal came from Semin moving the puck out of the corner and to Aucoin in the slot. What can we say, the Caps win when they follow Alan’s advice.

First Star (3 pts):

Julie Donaldson. Julie had first intermission duties did a solid job with the Bolts/Sabres highlights before moving on to the fun stuff: A fisticuff-filled first frame from the Devils and Rangers. Made sure to show a nice close-up of Carter’s bloodied face and the bloodstain on the ice. Good ol’ Julie, always making sure to show us the good stuff. We appreciate that.

Last Star (-1 pts):

Craig Laughlin. Just like nothing really stood out at third star, nothing really stood out as the worst performance either (such is the dilemma when Chuck isn’t around...). Gonna give it to Locker. Not because he was bad, perse, but because during his second intermission interview with Ovechkin, I honestly couldn’t understand a word either of them were saying.

So that's that. Caps take a strong win out of Detroit; hopefully they can carry tonight's performance into Philadelphia, because they'll need it to beat a strong Flyers team. See you then.

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Caps v. Isles (Mar 13)

((Apologies for the lack of posts over the past couple days. Dru and I are both college students, and with Spring Break coming up next week, our professors have naturally all scheduled exams for this week, so we've been busy with studying and schoolwork and stuff. Also there might have been a little bit of Mass Effect 3 in there. Yeah. Anyway, with tonight being a CSN+ game and me still having a presentation tomorrow and 100+ pages of reading for Thursday, I'm just gonna post my general thoughts on the game rather than our usual shenanigans.))

Well, it officially happened. The Caps have apparently been so bad lately that CSN decided to bump them to CSN+ tonight... In favor of World Poker Tour. That's right, ladies and gentlemen, CSN went all pre-lockout ESPN on our asses. And for the first period or two, it looked like they made the right call: Caps finished the first period in a 2-0 hole and I was beginning to worry tonight was going to end of being another one of THOSE games (because for some reason the Caps always have trouble with the Islanders, of all teams), and with the second period winding down and it looking like the Caps were going to go into the second intermission down 4-1, I steeled myself for the worst.

But then, in the last minute, a flash of life: The Captain managed to tip one in, cutting the deficit to two. As Locker constantly likes to remind us, scoring in the last minute of a period is a huge morale boost, and (also as Locker is fond of reminding us), the two-goal lead is the worst lead in hockey. So I can into the third with the teeniest glimmer of hope.

And it paid off early: Less than two minutes in, Dmitry Orlov (who's looking like more and more of a stud with every game he plays) scored what Locker adaquately described as a goal-scorer's goal, walking the puck into the slot, deking to his forehand, and beating Nabokov to cut the Isles' lead to one. At this point, Locker made his rather predictable declaration that the next goal won. And guess what? Alex Ovechkin buried another one at around the ten minute mark on a hard-working play that saw him get three whacks at his own rebound before the puck finally found its way through Nabokov to tie the game. Neuvy made a couple of solid-to-spectacular saves to keep the game tied, and we found ourselves in overtime. More goodness from Neuvy to take this one to the shootout.

The first shooter for both teams missed, but Tavares drew first blood with the Isles' second shot. Luckily for the Caps, The Great Eight buried a beautiful deke to keep the Caps alive. Neuvy made the save on Moulson, and Dale Hunter tapped Dmitry Orlov to be the hero. As awesome as it would have been for Orlov to win it, it wasn't meant to be. However, Neuvy had his back and made the next save on Streit. Enter Matt Hendricks, who scored to bring home the W for the Caps.

So in the end, the joke was on CSN. What started as just another letdown game by the Caps morphed into an elating come-from-behind shootout victory, with a star-quality performance from Alex Ovechkin to boot. Oh, and you know who else had himself a solid game? Keith Aucion, who quietly finished the night with three assists. So grats to him.

Anyway, that's all for tonight. I now return to the wonderful world of Icelandic Sagas.

Friday, March 9, 2012

Caps v Lightning (Mar 8)

So yesterday I got a last minute invitation to go see the Caps game live.  Needless to say I jumped at the offer, leaving my blogger responsibilities behind.  After reading some of the stuff CapsBasketball had written about the Verizon Center seeming dead with this team in the middle of a close playoff race I gotta say he was right on the money.  For the first 2 and half periods the crowd was basically a non factor.  I can't really say I blame them.  The Caps looked unmotivated, uninspired, and un-good at hockey through that stretch.  Thanks to Voko, who really kept the team in the game with some ridiculous saves, the Caps were able to stay within striking distance when they decided to get there stuff together late in the third.  Mojo tied it up and unleashed the fury.  Game went into overtime.  Orlov made a nice pass and Ovie sent Tampa Bay packing.  The place went wild and all was right with the hockey world.  Except it wasn't ALL that right.  It was great to get those two points.  We needed those two points.  Thanks to Buffalo and Florida and Winnipeg all losing last night those two points were huge.  In all the excitement though its probably easy to overlook the fact that we really didn't play like we needed to win until late in the third.  We probably shouldn't of won that game and even though we got the two points we let Tampa hang close in the standings by letting the game go into OT.  I'm not going to rag on them that much because it was a damn fun game to watch, at least the 3rd period and overtime were.  Thanks for a great show last night, but you guys don't have to make every game this exciting down the stretch.  Some easy victories would be nice as well.

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Caps v Canes (Mar 6th)

So I initially thought tonight's game started at 8 for whatever reason and therefore missed the first period and intermission.  That said, I watched the rest but didn't take very details notes on the CSN crew cause I was really into the game.  You know since every game for us is basically a must win now.  Yeah, unfortunately we didn't get that memo because we lost.  Yes we had a late surge to send the game into overtime.  Yes getting a point out of tonight is nice and helpful.  However, a win and two points would of been much nicer.  This team needs to get it together, fast.

As far as the CSN scoring tonight like I said I didn't take my normal detail notes.  I'm still going to give people points cause that's how it goes around here but tonight is going to be short, sweet, and from the gut.  Here goes nothing:

3rd Star (1 pt):

Joe B and Locker.  Sure this sounds like a cop-out.  Whatever.  Both dudes had really awesome ties.  Joe B had a cool purple color scheme going and Locker had a colorful striped tie that looked holographic.  Also they both performed their jobs decently.

2nd Star (2 pts):

Smokin Al.  This dude interviewed a lot of people tonight.  His interview with The Browser (TB20) was pretty funny.  He also interview some military representatives on military night so that was pretty cool.  Nice on you Smokin.

1st Star (3 pts):

Kelli Johnson.  She handled the second intermission.  She wore red (easy points with us).  She had a cool necklace (also easy points).  I haven't seen her in awhile (we missed you!).  She didn't mess up.  That's what we expect from our top stars.  Okay, its probably not ALL we expect from our top stars.  Alan May probably could of taken this spot.  Hell, The Jenkins (who I think handled the first intermission) most likely could of been slotted in here cause he has been on fire (in a good way) lately.  But I didn't see Jenkins tonight (my bad dude) and Alan May always scores all the points.  People might say that is stupid logic.  They might say this is no way to run a blog.  To those people I apologize.  Tonight, for whatever reason, I decided I liked Kelli the best and tonight that was enough to earn her the 3 point spot!

Last Star (- 1 pt):
The sun rises in the east. The capitals break the hearts of their fans.  Chuck Gormley fails at his job.  These are all things that I hold to be true.  Sure I missed the first period.  Sure I didn't see Chuck actually mess up or suck tonight.  At this point I don't really feel the need to justify giving him the -1.  You and I both know what to expect when Gormley comes on screen and he has never disappointed.  Sorry I missed your air time tonight Chuck, but not really.  Minus one for you sir.

So there you have it!  Sorry for the rushed and thrown together nature of tonight's post.  These losses are really starting to take their toll.  Hopefully the team does better next time out, hopefully I do better next time out, hopefully you keep reading.  Please keep reading.  In other sports-teams-I-like news I watched the Orioles play the Pirates in spring training and they lost 10-3.  So I got that to be excited for after hockey ends.  Wahoo!

Thanks for reading,

Sunday, March 4, 2012

Caps v Flyers (Mar 4) aka Realignment

Since tonight's Caps-Flyers game will be on NBC or NBC sports network or Versus or whatever there won't be a CSN scoring AOTI tonight.  Normally, we'd take the night off here but, after sort of taking last game off, I decided to do a bonus post about something hockey related.  What is that topic you may ask? Realignment!  Now some people might be sick to death of the realignment talks and others may have no idea what I am talking about.  In the interest of not offending either group I will simply say that right now Winnipeg, Canada is in the Southeast division and that is one of the many issues that make realignment a very important issue for the league at this moment. Just check out this map showing the distance between Winnipeg and their division rivals Tampa Bay.

Now instead of getting into all the complicated issues surrounding realignment I thought instead it would be fun to post something I had my girlfriend, a casual hockey fan, write up.  I got the idea over on  Basically, I gave her a map of USA/Canada and a list of the 30 teams in the NHL.  After awhile she began to get a little frustrated (feeling the pain of the league) and I suggested moving a few teams to new cities.  She didn't like the idea of taking away hockey teams from people so I gave her a short list of cities that could possibly support an NHL team in the future and she ended up expanding the league by two teams (I know how unlikely that scenario is but for the purposes of this I allowed it)  This is what her new version of the NHL would look like.  Hope you enjoy!

- 4 conferences
- 8 teams in each
- 83 game season
  - 5 games against each conference rivals
  - 2 games against every other team

- 16 teams
- Top 4 from each conference
- First 2 rounds are against your conference

 *teams marked are new additions to the league

Conference 1: Oh Canada!

Calgary Flames
Edmonton Oilers
Montreal Canadiens
Ottawa Senators
Toronto Maple Leafs
Vancouver Canucks
Winnipeg Jets
Quebec City Nordiques*

Conference 2: Easter Coasters Best Teams Ever! 

Washington Capitals
Pittsburgh Penguins
Philadelphia Flyers
New York Rangers
New York Islanders
New Jersey Devils
Buffalo Sabres
Boston Bruins

Conference 3: Midfilders

Chicago Blackhawks
Columbus Blue Jackets
St Louis Blues
Detroit Red Wings
Minnesota Wild
Colorado Avalanche
Dallas Stars
Kansas City Shuffle*

Conference 4: Nice Weather Teams That Shouldn't Have Hockey Because They Don't Have Ice

Carolina Hurricanes
Florida Panthers
Nashville Predators
Tampa Bay Lightning
Los Angeles Kings
Phoenix Coyotes
San Jose Sharks
Anaheim Ducks

So there you have it.  NHL realignment solved. Hope you enjoyed this short post and hopefully the Caps give us a good show tonight and pull off a win against the Flyers.  That would be cool.

Friday, March 2, 2012

Caps v Devils (Mar 2nd)

SO its been one of those seasons.  The Caps just don't want to seize the moment and establish themselves as a playoff team.  Instead they come out and play a game like this.  Frankly, I couldn't keep watching after the Dev's scored shorthanded on us.  So sorry if I failed you guys tonight because Chris Miller was probably going to do something really dumb in the second intermission to earn himself a last star...but I just couldn't make it that long.  I'll try to be better next time and lets hope to god the Caps ARE better next time because we are rapidly running out of time and second chances. -Dru

Thanks for reading and I'm sorry if you watched the game.