Tuesday, November 21, 2006

Giving Thanks and Crap

For those of us in the States, this Thursday will be a day of rejoicing and thanksgiving. It’s a time to think about what’s really important to us and celebrate the rights and freedoms that we too often take for granted...and of course a time to argue with family, burn food, and basically stuff ourselves silly.

So in this season of giving thanks, I’ve been reflecting on what I’m truly thankful for:

- My family and friends – we may bitch at or about each other from time to time, but it’s hard to imagine my life without the people that matter most to me. I’m lucky to have so much family close by, friends just down the metro line, and many more just a phone call or e-mail away. Come on, you thought it was going to be something hockey-related? I’m not that single-minded and shallow...

Now that that’s out of the way, on to the more important things:

- Clark-Ovechkin-Zubrus – The line that I will hereby be dubbing the “COZ they can” line has not disappointed so far this season. To date the three have combined for 57 of the club’s 159 points and 30 of their 59 goals. That’s not to mention the fact that they’re just so fun to watch when they have the puck.

- Verizon Center Opening Video – I know that most people either a) don’t love or hate this year’s intro video or b) couldn’t care less about it. I personally love it – it gets me pumped up for the game to start, and let’s face it...the boys look good in suits. I wonder how many takes they had to do before they could get through it without cracking up; Pettinger still looks like he’s going to laugh in the final version.

- Brian Pothier – I actually think that all of the offseason acquisitions have panned out pretty well; Brashear is starting to get more ice time because if his improved play and Zednik, despite injury, has put up some good numbers. Even John Erskine has been a surprisingly good pickup. But I have to say, the Pothier signing is my favorite. He’s shown his worth night after night as he consistently logs 25-30 minutes and has contributed in assists, as well. I’m still waiting for him to get that first goal as a Cap, but if he keeps shooting it’ll happen eventually. In the meantime, he has become one of our most solid defensemen and seems to mesh well with defensive partner Shaone Morrisonn.

- The “New” NHL – I know it’s not new anymore, but I didn’t have a blog last year. I really do love most of the new rules and the impact they’ve had on the NHL overall. There’s still room for improvement and from the penalty totals so far this season I’d say the players are still adjusting a little bit. That being said, offense has picked up, clutching and grabbing is down, and the game is just much faster and more entertaining. (I do still hate that puck over the glass penalty, but this is a list of what I’m thankful for – not a bitch list. I can do that anytime, and will.)

- Goaltending – Olie and Johnny have become one of the scarier goaltending duos in the league this year and have started to get more recognition because of it. Both of them have put in sparkling performance after sparkling performance, big save after big save in the face of the highest shot totals in the league. Every night it seems they keep the Caps in a game – you may not be able to win games on goaltending alone, but the team will continue to improve and do so with more confidence as a result of the fine play by these two.

This would have been better closer to Thanksgiving, I know. However tomorrow I, like the Capitals, will be in gameday mode for the Thanksgiving Eve matchup with the Thrashers.

Depending on the outcome I may have something to add to my list of things to be thankful...or something to remove...

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