Friday, January 05, 2007

Red White and Very Very Blue

My poor former neighbors...they're not so happy today.

You can't really blame them, though. The Caps really were able to jump on the Habs and exploit what may not have been Montreal's best game of the year, and that's frustrating. Of course, that's not to take anything away from what was a very impressive game by the home team - when you're playing well, you tend to make the other team look and play worse than usual. It's so rare to see a completely even game where both teams look good.

Anyways, it seems like the only way for Montreal beat writers to save a little face is to use two old standbys: pick on the meager attendance at Caps games and insinuate that Ovechkin would rather play in their city. It doesn't really bother me, only because I used to read Jack Todd up in Canada and he takes that borderline-snarky, pompous attitude with all 29 teams. It actually makes me laugh when it's not aimed at the Caps.

But really, how easy a target is the poor attendance? It's all Tarik's fault for publishing that article a few days we didn't already know that no one was going to games. It's no coincidence that the arena got much quieter last night once the Habs fans were silenced by their team's performance after cheering nonstop for the first 10-15 minutes. Now we've just given opposition writers a story that's going to get looped every time the Caps take on the hometown team. Yay.

Of course, it would be nice if people just started coming to games and just negated the whole premise...I am quite the dreamer.

- There was an interesting article on Semin yesterday (it's in French, sorry), talking about his season so far and making comparisons to both Malkin and Kovalchuk. It's a pretty interesting read - I'd recommend finding someone who reads French to translate rather than putting it in Babelfish (that site just absolutely mangles languages).

- Reports out of Montreal are saying that Olie admitted he didn't think Koivu touched him on that disallowed goal. Well, there's a shocker - a bad call. Referees are human, they make mistakes, and your job as a player is to take what advantages you can get and hope the bad calls don't come against your team. People are acting like Olie should have declined the penalty or something.

Whatever...if things were reversed, I'm sure I'd be upset too, but what can you do? Once a penalty is called, you can't take it back. It's not like wiping out a goal - penalties stick, for better or worse. When have you ever seen someone argue against a penalty and win? It's how your team responds to whatever calls are made that matters. Good for Souray and some of the other Habs for pointing out that one bad call is not an excuse for folding when you're still very much in the game.

I like when players refuse to make excuses - it gives me more respect for them. I saw it among the Caps, too, when they refused to let the injuries and illness be the lone cause for their recent struggles; they all acknowledged that they needed to work harder and stick to the system.

As for the validity of the claim, I still have to watch the replay to judge for myself. I saw nothing but the puck shooting into the net, so I'm going to remain neutral until I have some evidentiary support.

Enough rambling and babbling for now...


E said...

for the record, i concur with you- they didn't lose because of a bad call, they lost because they spent 30 minutes playing really bad hockey.

but i'm a sucker for a good excuse, so here's my new favorite: they're all sick. y'all apparently passed on that little flu epidemic, so now we're looking at the possibility (probability?) of a very, very rough weekend.

CapsChick said...

You have got to be kidding me! Why do my teams keep getting sick right before they play the Rangers and Devils?? It's a nasty bug, too - I read some descriptions of what it does to the boys, and it ain't pretty. Hope they kick this bug soon!

You know, it would be nice if both my teams would play well at the same time when they face each other. I keep catching one or both of them on off nights, and games are much more entertaining when they're not so lopsided.

FS said...

If the Canadiens want to whine about the interference call, they need to remember last time we played when the Caps scored the first goal only to have it waived off by a quick whistle. The bad bounces inherent in the game also extend to the referees.