Photo credit: Jim McIsaac/Getty Images
[Ed note: PuckBuddy, and hockey’s own Hemingway, Jason Rogers, is back to praise where it’s earned and taunt where it’s needed. Tweeter him now.]
Morning Skate: Don’t look now, but the Caps have won five of their last six, and eight of eleven over the last month. The good guys from DC sit within spitting distance of – dare I say it? – the playoffs. The Capitals, like a port-a-potty with a wayward push, have begun rolling downhill.
This Saturday afternoon, like a matinee at the movies, the Caps’ opponent will be a poorly directed, over-budget flop starring nobody. Yes, the Gortons Fishermen roll back into their harbor fresh from Long Island (Excuse me: Stron-Gisland) to welcome the Caps, and if Uncle Ted has any sense he’ll scotch-guard the locker room.
The Puck Drop: So really, why should you get up for a Caps-Islanders game? Besides getting to know your soon-to-be division rival, you ought to check out the conference standings, duh. Scroll all the way to the bottom. Now scroll back up a little. BOOM! No longer at the bottom of the food chain, the Caps are now at least a secondary consumer! Kelp no more, we have progressed to krill. But in more terrestrial terms, the Caps are currently five points behind the Rangers for the eighth playoff spot, and six points behind Carolina in the division, with a game-in-hand on the latter. That’s iron-sight range, people. That’s swinging distance, like a short gap under a long vine. We’re two games south of the season halfway point, and the fact of the matter is that there’s time to make this thing a race. Every game, Oates’ system is fitting them snugger and snugger, like an opportune Isotoner. The Caps have more track in front of them than behind them, and they’re trending in the right direction. So there’s that.
My second reason to watch is really less of a point and more of a stud. And that stud’s name is Eric Fehr. Our fehrweather friend is becoming before our eyes the guy we drafted him to be with our first pick in 2003, over Ryan Getlzlaf, Ryan Kessler and Corey Perry. Now, he’s not up there yet…but he’s a-climbin’. I was at the SIM Card on Tuesday when Fehrris Bueller played the hero in overtime, and my text conversation with PuckBuddys’ wunderkind Craig went a little like this:
Craig: Eric Fehr!
Me: F***. Yes. Eric. Fehr.
Craig: Ho-Lee F***!
Our Morgan Fehrchild is a real big man with some dirt nasty hands, and I’m loving watching him play hockey right now. OK, fehr enough. That’s the State of the Red as it currently rocks. Now, let’s move on to everyone’s favorite segment:
Liable to Libel: A Baker’s Dozen Lies About Today’s Opponent
Now let’s take a look at Saturday’s game. Like a bomb defuse code dropped under the fridge, here’s what you’re gonna wanna look for:
And so, family, I leave you to wait for the drop of the puck at 1pm in New York. Go Caps.
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