The NHL has only two undefeated teams left, and tonight they meet.
(Photo credit: Andre Ringuette)
True story. Guy walks into a bar. He immediately pulls down his pants, starts cursing a blue streak, and vomits on the floor before stumbling out the door. Bartender says: “Hey, I didn’t know there was a Flyers game today!”
The Low Down: There’s no question Philadelphia is cursed with the worst sports fans in the history of everdom, and that includes the Flyers. Their arena smells, their colors look like butt, and those are the nice things we have to say.
Photo credit: Scott Audette
The Florida Panthers spent their Monday night trouncing the Tampa Bay Lightning 7-4. The Cats used five powerplay goals to fend off a third period rally from their rivals in America’s groin. By now the Panthers are probably already on their way up to Washington.
Here we go. This is the game you’ve been looking forward to. Not the rematch with Tampa, the date with Pittsburgh, or Thursday’s face-off with Jagr. You have been amped for this game: Matt Bradley, Jose Theodore, Tomas Fleischmann– all your exes are coming over for a dinner party and it’s going to be AWKWARD.
Anyone who’s had the misfortune to spend time in Ottawa has had the quintessential Canadian city experience: clean, cultured, and quietly disappointing. All the maple doughnuts and Labatt’s in the world can’t hide the fact that Ottawa is as appealing as lap dance from Marcus Bachmann. Puzzlingly, everyone seems mostly OK with this… albeit in a polite, deferential way. Ottawantarians seem to take civic pride in their shared, outstanding blahness. Just look the Senators.
A time machine.
We had too much to dream last night. Blame the cough syrup. Either that or this stuff really did happen. We’ve got dazed and confused recollections of hotwiring a hockey time machine, tripping back to the past and then ahead to the future. We saw Gordie Howe play (when men were men), Steve Yzerman (when he was hot), and the Great One (when mullets were cool). We took in a few Penguins games of yore (when a young Sidney Crosby taught us all how to laugh) and even dialed it back further to when Bruce Boudreau was slim …mer. Go Fort Wayne Komets!
Before dropping the contraption back off back at RMNBHQ (with a full tank), we bounced ahead to Friday morning to see how tomorrow’s game against the Pens turned out. So this is in effect a pre-review, we promise only a few spoilers. If Thursday’s game doesn’t go as we witnessed it, that’s because Chris has been screwing with the space-time continuum-thingie again. Ugh, kids.
Guy Boucher plots to kill 007 (Photo credit: Scott Cunningham/Getty Image)
Banging out preview for Monday night’s game against the Bolts required us to go through some repressed playoff memories. Bear with us for some much needed catharsis; we’re still fragile.
Late last April, we embarked on a grand tour of European capitals just as Game 5 with the filthy Rangers was wrapping up. We were glued to the Blackberry as our readied for take off. Just before wheels up, word came through that the Caps bested the Rags, 3-1. We began our adventure by causing quite the raucous in the first class cabin with fanboy squeals, high-fives, and RED streaks of Russian curses– guaranteeing a date with aviation authorities upon landing across the Atlantic.
[Editor’s note: We are proud to welcome writers Craig Brownstein and Doug Johnson to the Russian Machine! You might already know Craig and Doug from their gay-focused hockey blog, Puck Buddys. You are hereby required to follow them on Twitter: @PuckBuddys. Puck Buddys is increasing its scope from Caps-centric coverage to the whole NHL, so you’ll see C+D here a lot, especially for game previews. Please give them a very warm welcome and let us know if they break anything expensive.]
And now, a new season kicks off with an ominous sign of the Hockpocalypse – teh gays are now writing about the Caps for RMNB: a risky collaboration between the established Russian royalty (or oligarchy), and the gauche, nouveau riche upstarts. The cheeky bastards of the hockey world will occasionally share insightful
If you’re like me, you’ve tried everything. Not shaving. Wearing the same clothes. Wearing different clothes. Eating weird foods. Anything that you did before the Caps stopped winning — now you’re doing the opposite. Yet, they’re still losing, and unfortunately not much is going to change unless Ovechkin’s line does one thing: convert on every fourth scoring chance.
When the Great 8 is on the ice and the Caps convert on every fourth scoring chance, they are 6-0. When it falls under 25%, they have been 10-16. Take a look:
|Scoring chance convert%||W||L||W%||Individual Pts per game|
|less than 25%||10||16||0.385||0.88|
|25% or more||6||0||1.000||1.67|
Convert% is simply goals scored on chances when Ovechkin is on the ice.
I know this seems like a “duh” moment, since most Caps fans will tell you that “as Ovi goes so does the team,” but this isn’t just about Ovechkin. This is about Backstrom, Semin, Knuble, and anyone else who is on the ice with him. They need to get their heads out of their asses and get it done, at least on one out of every four of their chances.
By 10 years ago
Thursday night, for one night only, see the fight of the ages. One man faces his deadliest dangerous foe yet: himself!
Niklas Backstrom will start in net for the Wild tomorrow night against Nicklas Backstrom and the Capitals [Michael Russo]. Guess that means former-Capital/perpetual handsome dude Jose Theodore rides the pine.
Russian Machine Never Breaks is not associated with the Washington Capitals; Monumental Sports, the NHL, or its properties. Not even a little bit.
All original content on russianmachineneverbreaks.com is licensed under Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported (CC BY-NC-SA 3.0)– unless otherwise stated or superseded by another license. You are free to share, copy, and remix this content so long as it is attributed, done for noncommercial purposes, and done so under a license similar to this one.