Photo: Eliot J. Schechter
Alright, lemme just start with this, because if I don’t I won’t be doing the Awesome Index right.
The Caps haven’t lost a game in #rego in fifteen days. That one on December 2nd was kind of a lame one too. The Caps’ record ain’t bad. That’s awesome.
I’ve got some more awesome stuff for you below, including my 2014 “best of” list.
Not ranked: The steady decline of the second (2a) line.
Shootouts are awesome.
Hear me out.
I think they’re travesties when it comes to evaluating the better team on a certain night. The shootout is a perversion of hockey, but dammit, this is America: perversion is our thing. I think the fans who paid to attend the game– all 10,012 of them in Sunrise (yeah right)– deserve to see a winner and a loser.
The 20-round monstrosity we watched on Tuesday night was the shootout taken to its extreme– an already deformed four-legged mutant now being forced to walk on two feet like he’s people and made to do the Dougie while we yell.
The shootout is weird in general, but that one was an abomination. I loved it. If we can get Evil Richard Dawson to host it next time, we might have a hit on our hands. That’d be awesome.
(Congrats to Brooks Laich, Alex Ovechkin, and Tomas Fleishmann for being on the front lines of the shootout’s descent into meaningless action-movie miasma.)
Writing is hard, guys. Sometimes you think you’re being insightful and clever and maybe even a tiny bit transcendental, but it turns out you’re just explaining– tediously– a rather low-orbit metaphor. I’ve been there.
I don’t envy the writers of Epix Presents the Road to the Winter Classic (we need an acronym please). It’s hard to pump out charming content on a regular basis without descending into cliche and laziness, like lists.
I don’t do “best of” because art isn’t a freaking competition, but here are some things I liked a lot.
Favorite album: Shriek by Wye Oak
Maryland rock band ditches the guitars to make a haunting, synth-based record. Jenn Wasner is awesome.
Favorite late-night performance: Gimme Something Good by Ryan Adams on Letterman
This is a great recording, but the live version is even better. Dave knew it.
Favorite song: Teen Heat by Kimbra
Kimbra’s first record was lush pop. For her second, she funked everything up. Pairing with Daniel Johns of Silverchair– and heavily influenced by one-time contributor/mad genius Van Dyke Parks, Kimbra made a sneaky little song. Inversions of rhythm, chord, and production underline the two-faced shifts of the lyric. When the virginal verse slips into the Prince-esque hits of the verse, you’ll know you’ve been tricked.
Favorite solo: Halloweeen by Mastadon
Favorite comedy record: Live from Chicago by Hannibal Burress
NSFW, natch. Burress got a lot of notice for calling out Cosby a month ago, but there’s a lot more to his craft than just shock. I wanna party with him. In New Orleans. With a parade.
Favorite book: World of Trouble by Ben H. Winters
I finished this weeks ago, and I can’t stop thinking about it. The book asks and answers a hypothetical question: If you’re on a plane that’s about to crash, what’s the best thing to do? I love this book.
Favorite comic book: Saga by Brian K. Vaughan and Fiona Staples
Because everyone needs a Lying Cat.
I’m sure I’ll regret some these eventually, but it’s how I feel right now. Good stuff.
I don’t love everything about Barry Trotz the coach, but I’ve got a ton of respect for Barry Trotz the man.
He comes off like a teddy bear (teddy bears also don’t have necks) during press time, but as revealed last night on EP:TRttWC (new acronym, please), he can be a freaking Kodiak when he must. I loved the exchange with ref Paul Devorski:
“Hey, Devo! [Bloop] me!”
One of the most illuminating segments of the episode was Barry talking up a storm with players during practice. Here’s how he approaches quiet superstar Nick Backstrom:
“Backy, what can I do for you? You’re smarter than me.”
If I heard Adam Oates say that (I doubt he ever would), I’d be caustic, but Trotz has earned the right to say stuff like that. With Andre Burakovsky, caught in a cycle of healthy scratches, Trotz was candid and straightforward when telling the rookie he would not be playing that night.
I don’t agree with that decision, and I think it’s in conflict with his own stated policy (“I’m not a big believer in playing young guys on the fourth line,” Trotz told WNST last week), but Trotz owned the call and made it directly to the player. I admire that.
…Though not half as much as I admire Trotz’s views on parenting, which I won’t profane by discussing here. I’ll just say that I think Trotz is a pretty awesome guy and be done with it.
Lemme know your favorite things of 2014 in the comments, if you don’t mind.
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