Friday, April 11, 2008

Big Rob, back from his month-long slumber

So what’s happened since I last updated? Not much? All kidding aside, it’s a good thing I didn’t update for the past month. Being well aware of the futility of Washington sports lately, I knew well enough not to praise the Caps before they made the playoffs. Too many teams have gone on winning, only to fall an inch short of their goal. I didn’t want to be an über-bandwagon jumper and dub them the best team in hockey. My posts would have looked something like this:

“Good win by the Caps last night. If it was on Versus, I couldn’t watch it because I’m too cheap to pay the extra $2/month. But don’t get your hopes up, we still need to win every game and hope for some charity from Carolina.”

Fortunately, that last sentence came true to the word. Other than the TB game, the road victories weren’t by the biggest margins, but the home games were complete dominance on all ends. Based on the last month’s performance, these are the reasons I feel confident in the Caps this postseason:

- Cristobal Huet Lewis and the News. This guy has dominated since he came here. Check out his stats, and you’ll see he has far outperformed his career stats while in Washington. On any other team, i.e. one that didn’t include the winner of the Ross, Richard, and possible Hart trophy, he would be a strong candidate for Team MVP. Unfortunately for him, but fortunately for the rest of us, there’s …

- Alexander Ovechkin. It’s easy to say that the league leader in goals and points, and front-runner for MVP, gives his team an edge in the playoffs, but Ovechkin is different. He looks like he’s having fun while playing the game. Radical concept. Think of Alex Rodriguez or Tom Brady from last year. Did they look like they had fun? (I won’t even mention the NBA; nobody looks like they have fun during NBA games.) They looked almost angry, vengeful in the case of Brady. Ovechkin flashes his broad, gap-toothed grin after every goal, even those he doesn’t score. That infectious enthusiasm has a great effect on the team, and almost as importantly on…

- The fans. I can only remember watching two games on TV when the fans were so loud you could not hear the officials: Paul O’Neill’s last game at Yankee Stadium, when the fans chanted his name so loud, you could barely hear the ump’s intentionally loud strike calls and the crack of the bat; and the Caps’ playoff clinching game against Florida. Add that enthusiasm to the hype generated by the new “Rock the Red” campaign, and woe betides the team who takes the Verizon Center lightly.

I won’t get three rounds and 16 victories ahead of myself and give the Cup to the Caps; I’m just saying this team looks good at the right time. If sports fans have learned anything this year, it’s this: if a team gets hot at the right time of year, they can win a championship. Look at the Giants. When the Skins beat them down in the Meadowlands on the third-to-last weekend of the season, who would have thought they would eventually win four games in the playoffs and shock the NFL in an inspired Super Bowl against the first undefeated team in 36 years? They just got hot at the right time, same as the Colorado Rockies. That’s all it takes to win: a hot hand at the right time.

3 comments:

Anonymous said...

If you were Tom Brady, and you NOT, you would be pretty pissed off too if you worked your butt off every day from a 6th round draft pick to proving to be one of the greatest ever with 3 rings to being accused of cheating your way to those 3 rings due to your stupid arrogant coaches dumb arse decision to video tape from the sidelines. Yeah, I think Brady earned that anger last year and it ALMOST paid off!

Phyl said...

Ofcourse Capital showing for nice "drama" game against Phyl and win this game 5:4. But at this moment they loose second game.

Anonymous said...

...didn't the Rockies get their heads handed to them in the WS? Is that what you want for the Caps?