10 Things I Hate About the Washington Capitals
Hey, any Caps fans remember the above picture of Bob Mason? No, of course not. It happened before Ovie. Yet here we are, in the playoffs, and the lot of you are all Rocking the Red and getting ready to dispose of our beloved Habs. I hate that. Know what else I hate?
9. Wait, that's not correct. At one point we all sat up and took notice of the Caps because they traded for Jaromir Jagr and trotted out some hideous new uniforms in crap blue and gold. Fantastic. Nothing like being the hockey team in the capital of the good old Red White and Blue U S of A and trashing those colours for this.
8. Of course, the Caps wore those terrible jerseys to their only Stanley Cup final in 1998, which happened to be one of the worst finals I've ever seen. Hockey's dead puck era might have reached its nadir with the abject display that final represented. Just terrible hockey and it wasn't Detroit's fault.
7. Dennis Maruk. Dennis Maruk's mustache. As a kid I received a book about NHL superstars. It featured Gretzky and Lafleur and Bossy and Trottier and Dionne and Dennis Fucking Maruk. Ruined the book. Seriously. A full slate of Hall-of-Famers and Dennis Maruk? Even finding a decent shot of Dennis Maruk on the web wasn't easy. Know why? Because it's Dennis Fucking Maruk, that's why!
6. If I hear one more announcer mention the hardscrabble, 17 teams in 13 leagues rocky road to the NHL that fat, bald whiny Bruce Boudreau took to get the Caps job, I'm going to murder someone. Boudreau's a good coach who travelled a lot. WE FUCKING GET IT. Cory Clouston in Ottawa is also an interesting story. So is Dan Bylsma in Pittsburgh. Peter Laviolette's journey over the past few years is pretty interesting too. Boudreau isn't NHL coaching's fucking answer to "Rudy", for fucks sakes.
5. Hey, has Dan Snyder traded for Terrell Owens yet? Did Donovan McNabb buy a house in Arlington? No? Okay, like the rest of the bandwagoning "Rock the Red" Caps fans, I'll continue to pay attention until the Redskins start training camp. Where the hell were all these Caps fans when Rod Langway or even Scott Stevens patrolled the blueline? Where were they 2 years ago when I was in Washington for a conference and Ovie was gunning for his 50th goal of the season and I went to the box office the day of the game and the ticket office basically offered me whatever price point I wanted? ( Christ, they even a student rush ticket. I was 34 years old.)
4. Dale Hunter. Dale "Head" Hunter. Author of one of the cheapest shots in NHL playoff history (you know the one). Guy with the second most penalty minutes in NHL history. Guy who fought with his own brother in an NHL game. Guy who now regularly gets suspended and fined for allowing his London Knights players to leave the bench for fights and abuses opposing coaches, players, and referees with abandon. Yeah, the Caps retired his number.
3. Hey, speaking of cheapshotting pricks, it's Alexander Ovechkin! You know, rookie of the year Ovie was a real treat to watch. He scored, he hit, he looked like he loved to be at the rink. Sure, he was a little reckless sometimes, but what a competitor! But the Ovie of the last couple of years has become a sullen, showboating, cheapshotting ass. He throws out knee on knee hits, he shoves cameramen, he treats reporters like shit, and he's become a miserable fuck. Two years ago if you'd asked me who I wanted on my team, I would have debated Crosby/Ovechkin for days. But today? Crosby deals patiently with the media, doesn't say stupid shit, doesn't throw dangerous hits and wins. Is Ovie bitter that Crosby keeps winning stuff he wants? Good. His whole "black hat" act (if it is an act) is wearing thin. If it isn't an act, he's just a dick.
2. There is a 10-DVD set of the 10 greatest Capitals games ever. Hold on, you say. Aren't the Caps only 35 years old? And didn't they suck for their first oh, 15 years? Oh, don't worry, you Red Rocking fans. The Caps thought of that. The first game in the set takes place in 1988. The second is in 1996. The third is the victory that sends them to their first and only Stanley Cup final in 1998. The other seven discs are from 2005 on. That's right, of the 10 greatest games in Washington Capitals history, seven of them just happened to involve Alex Ovechkin. In fact, one of them is Ovie's debut! There's also Bruce Boudreau's debut (really?) the night the Caps defeated their age-old Southeast Division rivals the Panthers to clinch a playoff spot, and the night they beat an imploding Rangers team to advance to the second round in 2009. Thankfully they didn't include one of the most interesting and famous games in NHL history (the Easter Epic that resulted in our feature photo above) because Caps fans would be confused by the funny star-covered white jerseys that Washington allegedly wore at home BO (Before Ovie).
1. Of course, the DVD collection makes perfect sense to TSN, CBC, Versus and ESPN, because according to them, this Capitals team is the 1955-60 Habs reincarnate, an unstoppable juggernaut of scoring awesomeness and Monsters! (TM McSplooge) that is destined for Cup glory this year and for the foreseeable future. Relax. This Caps team is about the eliminate an over matched, unlucky 8th seed with goaltending issues and the slowest defence this side of France's Maginot line ... however, change a bounce here or a boneheaded play there and they might be down 3-1 in this series. Beating this Habs team doesn't mean a damn thing.
Got comments, final words, funeral elegies? Put them in the comments.