All puppy pics by Amanda Bowen
You’re back already for some more Awesome Index? Good, because I’ve got heaping helping of hella awesome stuff all plated up for you.
Not a lot of Caps hockey since the last time I left you a dope beat to step to, but that doesn’t mean the world of the Capitals was quiet. Indeed, there was all kinds of stuff happening this week, and some if it was– and I hope you’re sitting down for this– awesome.
We experience the world subjectively– in three dimensions, affording each of us our own perspective. Sharing those perspectives and learning and appreciating the differences in them is one of life’s finest privileges, and I use that word deliberately.
“Whenever you feel like criticizing any one,” Nick Carraway’s father told his son, “just remember that all the people in this world haven’t had the advantages that you’ve had.”
Eighty nine years ago, F. Scott Fitzgerald opened a book with that aphorism about privilege and the empathy that ought to come with it. Yet, here we are in 2014, still begging the traditional sports audience, for whom fanhood is an unchallenged birthright, to share the space with others and to have an ounce of grace about it.
If you look at War On Ice’s team page and filter by Fenwick (aka shot-attempt percentage) during 5v5, the Caps rank 10th with 52.92 percent. That means about 53 percent of the unblocked shot attempts belong to the Caps. It also means the Caps have played well so far and will likely make the playoffs. But 10th is kinda meh, so…
Fenwick-stats.com lists puck-possession scores adjusted to be a bit more useful this early in the season. According to that metric, the Caps rank sixth with 54.48 percent. That looks like a good gosh-darn hockey club.
Imagine another universe in which the Caps didn’t fire their coach in the summer. A few months pass and they’re still playing a disheveled mess of a system with incoherent pairings and they’re still meddling with players in all the worst ways. Instead of 3-0-2 with great underlying numbers and a lot of young talent, the team is underwater in shot differential, wasting their youth with awful deployments, and blowing leads like [joke redacted]. In this other universe, all my RMNB stories would be alternately dreary or caterwauling– with maybe a few jokes thrown in for levity.
But we don’t live in that universe. So RMNB covered puppies this week.
Let puppies be the symbol for whatever this new iteration of the Washington Capitals means. Not quite firm on its feet just yet, perhaps a little pokey, but fun to watch, warm, happy, and full of promise that it might one day become a big, beautiful dog. That’ll hunt.
Out of all thirty teams, Vancouver, Calgary, and Edmonton ranked 25th, 27th, and 28th in the standings last season. I’m certain that Edmonton got a lot better over the summer, and Vancouver was never really that bad to begin with, but none of them are exactly terrifying right now.
These are three eminently winnable games this week. The Caps shouldn’t assume anything, but they should aspire to take home all six standings points before coming back to DC. It’s doable.
Brooks Laich seems to be on a 10-day calendar for his shoulder injury. Tom Wilson will play for the Hershey Bears this weekend. Jay Beagle is no longer rocking his no-contact jersey at practice. Dmitry Orlov is waiting in the wings. Good things are coming our way.
Even big John Erskine won’t stay down for long.
The body is a remarkable thing. We get bad, but we get better. I had a cold; now I feel great. My dog used to be a gross, hopeless, sicko pound puppy, but now she’s a happy little snoring bullpup (still kinda gross though). And Nick Backstrom had that awful concussion a few years ago, but now he’s back to being the most criminally underrated player in the league.
Everybody is different and every body is different, but they’re all pretty cool.
I’m not sure if anything is ever truly broken.
Russian Machine Never Breaks is not associated with the Washington Capitals; Monumental Sports, the NHL, or its properties. Not even a little bit.
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