Tag Archives : Hockey

Caps’ Season Ends

I should be mad. Angry. Furious even.

The Capitals season ended tonight in large part due to what I think was a horrific non call in the second period. The on-air commentators were stunned that the officials allowed the goal after the Flyers Patrick Toresen took Caps’ goaltender Huet out of the play by body checking Shaone Morrison into him. Sami Kapanen had the whole net to shoot at and didn’t miss. The NHL quickly trotted out an excuse justification for the call, but what else are they going to say. “Yep, the officials blew the call. It only decided game 7, no big deal”?

As I said, I should be pretty upset. Especially after what sounded like a poorly called game four (no comment from me – I didn’t see the game).

However, I can’t help but think back to the last Friday in November when the Caps had the worst record in the league @ 6-14-1 and had just promoted their minor league affiliate’s coach to the big leagues. If you had told me then – almost exactly five months ago – that the Caps would go 37-17-7 over the remaining 3/4ths of the season, win the division in their last game and take battle back from a 3-1 series deficit to force a game seven, I would have wondered what you were smoking.

This season has been a gift for Caps fans and I’ve relished the few games I’ve gotten to see, even the one that sent us home.

Furthermore, even though they lost, these playoffs are a promise of future success. I tell my kids all the time that the only way to get good at something is to work hard while you’re bad at it. Playoff hockey is no different. Most of the Caps had little or no playoff experience going into this series and it really showed thru the first three games. But they kept at it and played much better over the last four games of the series. They went 2-2 in those games, but the two losses went to overtime. A little more luck (or better officiating) and the Caps are headed to Pittsburgh instead of the golf course. 

Speaking of Pittsburgh, look back at the Penguin’s performance in the playoffs last year. Like the Caps, Pittsburgh is loaded with young talent that were thin on playoff experience. Also like the Caps, they went home after the first round. However, unlike the Caps, they only managed one win against an Ottawa team they had beaten three times down the stretch in the regular season. Furthermore, when facing elimination, the Penguins laid a goose egg. However, as much as I hate to complement the Penguins, things are very different this year. Here’s hoping the early playoff exit has a similar effect on the Caps.

Bumping around my music collection for a song that captured my mood, I came across Getting Better from Tesla’s debut album.

All that rain, outside my window
But I’ll live on I know
Its gettin’ better every day
Soon the sun will shine, through my window
When it’s gonna come
You know I really, couldn’t say
But I know, it’s gettin’ better every day

Swapping “season” for “day” kills the rhythm and rhyme, but it captures how I feel.

Thank you Washington Capitals for a great season. I look forward to many more to come.

Thank you Bruce Boudreau for jumping in the deep end unafraid and turning this season around.

Thanks you Washington fans for turning out in such force. Who would have thought the Verizon Center would be considered “most electric arena“?

Finally, thank you to Ted Leonsis for enduring the criticism, for turning Washington DC into a hockey town and for ensuring I’ll be able to wear my #8 Ovechkin jersey until my kids are in high school.

Flyers Knot Series @ One

Ever hear the phrase “if you don’t have anything nice to say, then don’t say anything at all”? That’s about how I feel about the Caps effort in this afternoon’s loss to the Flyers.

There are two possible explanations for today’s game:

  1. After going 11-1 to finish the season and coming from behind in the third period of game one, the Caps were just emotionally drained and couldn’t get up for today’s game.
  2. The Flyers have figured out how to shut the Caps down completely.

Personally, I think it’s explanation #1. If it’s #2, it’s gonna be a short series.

I had written a bunch of observations, but go read Japers instead. He hit all the points I was going to and more.

Update – I almost forgot, good to see Patrick Thoresen (the Flyer who took a Mike Green Slapshot to the groin Friday) wasn’t as seriously hurt as initially thought.

Caps Win Game One With a Three Goal Third

OK, I’ll admit it. When the Caps were down 4-2 after two I started having, you know, unsure thoughts. Thoughts like:

“We should be proud to have even made the playoffs”.

“It’s a young team, they’re just getting started, this year doesn’t matter much”.

Oh me of little faith. :)

The Caps took game one of their best-of-seven series with the Flyers in fairly dramatic fashion, scoring three goals in the third period, including a nifty steal by Ovechkin for the game winner. Game winning goal, assist and eight hits on a supposedly more physical team == quite a first playoff game for Alex the Great.

I’m sure folks that more regularly blog the Caps than I do will recap the game better than I will. Peerless Prognosticator already has and I’m sure Japers will by tomorrow. But here are a few of my thoughts.

  • The stats say we did well in the faceoff circle, winning 58% (36 of 62). However, their first goal was scored when the Flyers got a clean faceoff win in our end, so I was acutely attuned to every faceoff loss from that point forward. My gut impression was that we hadn’t done as well as we did.
  • Remember, I don’t get to see the Caps very often. So it was kinda surreal to see a Caps team able to cycle the puck down low so well. The Flyers seems fairly helpless to stop us.
  • On the other hand, we didn’t seem to do so well getting the puck out of our own zone. On Philly’s second goal, we managed to get it out of the zone, but turned it over in the neutral zone which lead to a 3-on-2.
  • With the exception of the second half of the second (where the Flyers scored three times in under four minutes), I thought the Caps out played the Flyers most of the way. The third period was especially good for the Caps. Not only did they score three, the held the Flyers to a mere three shots, and NONE after Ovechkin scored what turned out to be the game winner. My mom always says a two goal lead is the most dangerous lead in hockey. that sure was true tonight.
  • Both Ovechkin and Brashear showed great patience on their goals. There’s a great picture of Ovechkin waiting for Biron to commit over @ Off Wing Opinion.
  • The refs pretty much let them skate. There was what I thought was a missed tripping call at one point and my brother pointed out Richards was standing in Huet’s way in the crease on Briere’s second goal, but frankly it was such a pretty pass I doubt Huet could have gotten it. Caps do need to do a better job clearing their crease.
  • There’s a bit of a controversy surrounding the Caps’ fourth goal. The Caps were on the power play and Green unleashed a shot that hit Flyer’s winger Thoresen in the groin. The refs didn’t whistle the play dead and the Caps scored while Thoresen writhed on the ice in pain. Apparently, the rules are that you don’t blow the whistle unless the player’s life is in danger, so it looks like a good non-call. But I’m guessing Philly fan doesn’t agree.

Game two, Sunday 2pm Eastern/11am Pacific. You’ll know where I’ll be.

Morning Coffee 160

I took most of last week between jobs and have spent much of this week getting machines setup, access to builds, etc. Furthermore, RSS Bandit ate my feedlist and I am still soldiering on sans mobile phone so I was pretty much unconnected for about a week and a half.

IPy Stuff

  • Laurence Moroney demonstrates how to configure a web site project in VS08 to use Dynamic Silverlight’s development web server Chiron. I looked at turned it into an exported template, but I think the Start Options are stored in the suo file and I’m not sure how to include that in the template. Maybe it could be set w/ a macro or at worst a GAX recipe?
  • If you’re a regular reader, you might as well get used to the name “Michael Foord”. He’s a developer @ Resolver Systems, makers of the IPy based Resolver One app/spreadsheet hybrid I’ve written about before. He’s also the author of the upcoming IronPython in Action book and the maintainer of Planet IronPython and the IronPython Cookbook. I’m going to try very hard to only link to Michael at most once per day. Frankly, that’ll be tough.
  • Today’s Michael Foord Link: Michael turned his PyCon talk on IPy + SL2 into a series of articles entitled IronPython & Silverlight 2 Tutorial with Demos and Downloads.
  • Ken Levy (who now sits just down the hall from me) clued me into the 1.0 release of IronPython Studio, which is a free IDE based on the VS08 Shell for IronPython (based on code from the VS SDK). Big new feature in this release is support for the integrated VS08 Shell, which means it’ll snap into your existing VS08 installation (well, not express) rather than forcing you to install the 300 MB isolated shell.

Other Stuff

  • Caps had a BIG win last night when they needed it most. Now they’re tied with Carolina for the SE division lead, but they lose the tiebreaker so unfortunately, they can’t make the playoffs without help. ‘Canes have to head back home last night to play Tampa Bay, they have to win tonight and Friday to clinch. Loss in either gives the Caps control of their own destiny. Caps are only one game back of Ottawa, Boston and Philly, none of whom have played well down the stretch. It does mean I have to root for the frakking Penguins to beat Philly, twice.
  • Now that I’m in a job where I’ll be traveling occasionally, I really appreciated Scott Hanselman’s travel tips, though I’m not sure “Don’t look like a schlub” is in the cards for me.
  • Unless you’ve been living under a rock, you’re probably aware that Scott Guthrie blogged that the ASP.NET MVC Source Code is available on CodePlex. The project name is “aspnet” not “aspnetmvc” which makes me wonder if they might release the source to more ASP.NET stuff over time.
  • Speaking of Scott Guthrie, today he blogged about unit testing in SilverLight. Jeff Wilcox appears to have the definitive post on the subject, including links to the SilverLight testing framework (it’s included in the SL Controls source code release). He also provides a prebuilt “SilverLight Test” project template for easy download. Personally, I really like the in-browser test runner. I wonder how hard it would be to hook that up to DySL so you could write your tests in IPy? (given that IPy doesn’t have attributes, I’m guessing there’d be at least a bit of work involved in making this happen)
  • Speaking of SilverLight, apparently the next version of Windows Mobile (i.e. 6.1) will support it. Since I’m in the market for a new phone anyway, I’m thinking of getting one of these. Also, it’s nice to see a marketing site for WM 6.1 using Silverlight instead of Flash like WM 6.0 marketing site does.(via LiveSide)
  • Ted Neward turns the news that MSFT is releasing XAML under the OSP into a long and fascinating history lesson that is well worth the read. I’m going to skip commenting on it, beyond advising you dear reader to read this if you haven’t already, except to wonder: how many sides does a “Redmondagon” have?