So yesterday I returned home from my Canadian adventure, ready to start my usual summertime activities (sleeping, reading, walking the dog, lying around, doing nothing). It was actually a really nice time. Canada, you’re quite beautiful. Totally weird and wacko, but beautiful nonetheless. I consider Washington, D.C. to be one of my favorite cities on the planet (and did so before I gave a crap about their hockey team, thank you very much) so it was cool seeing Ottawa since it’s another capital city. Even though it creeped me out that all the natives walking by me probably liked the Senators. Montreal was gorgeous, all the Halak graffiti around the Bell Centre cracked me up, and I did a lot of uphill walking. Quebec City reminded me of when I was in Europe which means A+ for Quebec City!! Hearing all the French outside of a classroom setting was cool and the Chateau was breathtaking.
I legit died laughing when I saw the “Slapshot”-related shirts and I ended up buying a Nordiques shirt. Hopefully one day it will be relevant again.
There are quite a few pictures involving me and food from last week. Fear not, I ate well.
While I was away, NHL Free Agency began. Kovalchuk hasn’t signed anywhere yet (I bet he does it today just to screw with America), Volchenkov doesn’t play for the Caps, Alex Semin still does, and the Sabres signed Jordan Leopold. Um, woo? Whatever. I knew the chances of Hank and Toni sticking around were slim but now the Sabres still really do need to add a little something to the blue line. Tyler Myers aside, it’s looking a little frightening.
The Caps, on the other hand, have done pretty much nothing. If they’ve got something up their sleeve, well, that’s exciting. But if they honestly think this lineup is going to cut it, I’m concerned. HELLO. It is NOT WORKING. You need to add a few more pieces before you go out and win that Cup.
That’s all I’m going to say for now. Time to go celebrate the birth of our wonderful country. To all you Americans out there, enjoy your day!!
So originally I was quite excited about the schedule because the Caps were coming here at convenient times so I would be able to enjoy both the Sabres and the Capitals at the same time without having to worry about school or projects or tests the next day.
Today, however, I finally got around to looking at the schedules in some detail, because plans need to be made. Since the Sabres are here, whenever I get offered tickets I can just check my schedule, decide hockey > homework, and go. To see Washington, however, takes a bit more planning since travel is involved.
After the success that was the DC Adventure back in April, it was decided that we must find a way to get back for another game this year. (And there were also a few promises made about making the trek again if the Caps were to make the Cup Finals, but I don’t want to talk about it to jinx anything.) However, this is made somewhat problematic by the non-compressed schedule this upcoming season. Last season it was game after game because the league needed to fit them around the Olympic break. This season, there are breaks of several days without games. I usually like it this way. In the past, when I’ve just about had it with the Sabres, I enjoy the break and don’t even think about them and then come back refreshed and ready to try tolerating them again. Breaks in play usually work out well for me.
For the Caps, however, the roomier schedule means less games during weeks and weekends when I have a break, and this means problems. February break? They only play one game at home at the tail end. (Although this game’s timing – a day after my birthday – might work in my favor.) Christmas break? Well, they play Pittsburgh our first day of it and then after that they’re off for several days. April? Our only vacay is later in the month, meaning that it’ll already be playoffs. The only other time we have a few days off is the opening weekend in October, when my school has generously scheduled a superintendent’s conference day the Friday before Columbus Day. So, if I am to see the Caps in their home environment this year, it’s looking like it will either be New Jersey that weekend or the Rangers in February. We shall have to see how this plays out.
Despite the frustration the schedule provides, I must admit, planning road trips for games is FUN.
And it was announced that Nicklas Backstrom had signed a ten year extension, and there was much rejoicing throughout the land.
This is so, so great. As much as I trust the Caps to do a good job with the important decisions regarding star players (unlike SOME teams *coughsabrescough*), there was still that part of me that was freaking out that they wouldn’t get him signed before July 1. The Capitals would end up committing way too much money to him (clarification: I’d pay him cap maximum if I could, but the salary cap for Washington would be beyond horrific if they ended up straddled with a salary like that), and now he’s all squared away and he and Alex can carry on being besties and having sleepovers and being ridiculously good together on the ice for at least ten more years.
The Caps also signed one of their picks from last year, Marcus Johansson, to an entry-level deal. I’m going to tell you all a little something about my mind here, Dear Readers. I really don’t follow junior hockey and prospects and the European kids, so by the time the draft rolls around I really don’t know what to think of the picks when it comes to how good they are and how much time they might need to mature, etc. I always end up evaluating them on how hot they are and how much acne they have. For the reasons listed above, I’m sure you can see why the Caps got an A+ for drafting him.
I actually recommend the whole press conference, because it’s filled with warm fuzzies and “we love each other!”s and “we’ll be better next year!” and Ted acting like a sketch. It’s a very fitting tribute to such an awesome day of signings for Washington.
Gee, I wish the Sabres did stuff like this instead of just throwing money at Drew Stafford and Tim Connolly.
Punch line. Right now. Everyone get in.
Mike Green, you first.
I am so EFFING SICK of game 7s from you and I am so EFFING SICK of your shenanigans and if you lose tonight will punch all of you one by one.
Yes, that’s right Nicky. You will all be punched. I already saw one of my favorite teams knocked out in the first round and I better not see you get knocked out too.
THE SABRES WON! THEY’RE STILL IN IT!!! I LOVE TYLER ENNIS!!!!!
Those freaking Caps make me so mad sometimes.
WOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO THE CAPS FINALLY WOKE UP!!!! WOOO!!! I STILL DON’T LIKE MIKE GREEN!!!!! WOO!! MATT BRADLEY IS SUCH AN AWESOME SECRET WEAPON TO HAVE IN THE PLAYOFFS!!! WOO!!
The Alex/Nicki near-makeout after Alex’s goal will go down as my favorite playoffs moment possibly ever, regardless of what happens in the rest of the playoffs. I think that’s the best celebration I’ve ever seen.
Those freakin’ Sabres make me so freakin’ angry. Vanek would’ve made a huge difference, but from what I saw in the third period they looked like a disinterested pile of crap and from what I saw on Twitter it sounds like it wasn’t much different during the first two periods. Ryan Miller deserves so much better.
Dear Sabres Not Named Ryan Miller,
Has it even occurred to you douchebags that he’s nominated for the Vezina Trophy? Has it even occurred to you that you could argue that the nomination is in spite of you?
I Don’t Like You Very Much Right Now,
Joy: WOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO OH MY HOCKEY GODS NICKLAS I DIDN’T THINK YOU COULD GET BETTER BUT YOU DID!!
Mike Green is even worse than last year. Yeah, I WENT THERE.
I’m so glad they (mostly) woke up. I was worried.
Sorrow: Deat great and powerful hockey gods, I will do whatever (WHATEVER) you want, just please, please, please, by some miracle, allow Thomas to be okay. We need him. The Sabres need him. The city of Buffalo needs him.
Ever since we found out the Sabres would be playing the Bruins I whined and moaned to everyone that it would be the most boring series ever and we could all just watch highlights to see the few goals we missed. The game might have ended with the predicted score of 2-1 (calling it now – this will be the final of every game this series) but it was decidedly NOT boring. It was FUN! Like, good, old fashioned, haven’t seen this here in years playoffs fun. What a feisty bunch those Sabres are, even if Lydman did sort of turtle a little.
Vanek picked the RIGHT time to wake up. We missed you, kiddo.
I could get used to a few more games like this. Not too many (ifyaknowwaddamean!) but a few. I’m still not totally convinced about these guys, but they’re starting to win me over.
I didn’t even want the Caps to sweep anyway, so, you know, whatever Montreal. *tosses hair*
Yesterday I inaccurately predicted what will happen in the first round out west. I hope I’m a little bit closer with my predictions in the east, since at least I see these teams on a more regular basis.
I certainly don’t think this will be some quick and easy series like some people do, but still. Even if the Caps don’t win the Cup this year they sure as heck better not get eliminated by Montreal. *scary eyes*
It sounds like they sucked against Philly this year, but let’s be realistic: WHO is currently the goalie for Philadelphia? I’m not even sure I know.
If I absolutely had to pick which team I hated more between Ottawa and Pittsburgh I think I’d have to say the Penguins, which means that by default they’ll win.
Okay, so here’s the deal: I’m picking Buffalo because I really want them to win (obviously). That being said, I’m really worried about them. Miller obviously can carry them, but can he carry them for a whole series? And I know regular season stats don’t count for anything and blah, blah, blah, but I really don’t like how things went against the Bruins. The Sabres are lucky Savard is out. I’m a little scared. I still don’t think I trust them 100%.