Sunday, July 22, 2007

Game Diary: Caps-Flames

Caps @ Calgary 10/30/06
Capitals 4-3-4, Flames 3-6-1
In goal: Olie Kolzig (WSH), Miikka Kiprusoff (CGY)
Tonight’s Drinking game: Six Degrees of Calgary
Watch along at home

This will be my first foray into the boredom-induced attempt at injecting a little hockey into the long and painful summer. I hope to provide you, the lucky reader, with a snapshot of what it's like to watch a game with me, the crazy blogger. What follows is a combination of my usual thoughts and the things I would say out loud during your average game, so like I said before, be afraid...be very afraid. Proceed at your own risk.

This game marks the last game of the Caps’ west coast road trip, which they finished with a record of 2-1-1. After playing Calgary they don’t leave the Eastern time zone again for the rest of the season. Not that it helps them at all.

Some things to watch for: 1) The Z’s. No, not sleep...Zednik and Zubrus, who actually put together decent games and 2) The Calgary Connection. Every player on the Caps has some connection to Calgary, Alberta, or the Western Hockey League, if you listen to the announcers. Hence tonight’s drinking game – drink whenever they name-drop!


FIRST PERIOD
19:51 An early flurry by Ovechkin/Zubrus/Clark finishes with Green shooting the puck...directly at Ovie. He’s down, he’s up, play continues and we have our first forehead-slapping moment.

19:33 Apparently Greenie is a former Saskatoon Blade and Calgary native...I sense a trend coming on.

18:49 Laich starts the rush up ice but forgets the puck. Oops. I think we may have pinned down our little lack of scoring problem.

18:05 Hey, it's Jeff Friesen! Why’d we let him go again? I ponder this as he leads the offensive rush into the zone and promptly turns the puck over at the line. Oh, that's right. I remember now.

17:59 Phaneuf lines up Beech, who wisely flies through the air out of the way. Maybe the last smart move made by Beechie last season.

17:49 Shane Morrisonn? No. Shaone. “Sean”. Check your pronunciation guides, boys.

17:30 They say Heward spent a number of years in Calgary with the Canadian National Team. Fascinating stuff, isn't it? I don't miss Joe B. and Locker at all. (And drink.)

17:18 Gordon, former Red Deer Rebel. Drink.

15:59 There is some discussion of Brian Pothier’s name, and I quote: “It’s an English [sic], Pothier, you can trace his roots back to England.” “Vermont, I believe, correct?” “Yes.” Huh? Right, that charming English village of...Vermont.

15:43 Pettinger, former member of the Calgary Hitmen. Drink.

15:03 Zubrus shoots the puck in the slot and actually hit the net! Kipper makes the save, though – damn goalies, always getting in the way.

14:55 Zubie draws two flames and makes them run into each other instead of him. Heeee...okay, I'm going to miss him a little.

13:53 Oh, I forgot, this is when Clymer was still on defense. Ouch. No. Just...no. Ben, you know I love you but defense? Not so much. Stick to the wing like a good boy.

13:12 Laich turns over the puck for the second time. And then the third.

12:07 Semin with a sick move to set up Beech (former Hitmen – drink)...and naturally Beech shanks it.

11:41 Shocking – Zubie takes a hooking penalty. We are informed that this is penalty minute 21 and 22 for Zubie, which surprisingly leads the team. Surprising, sure, but only if you don’t watch him play on a regular basis.

8:38 Semin rifles the puck towards the net but shoots it way wide. Aaaand Kipper just soiled himself a little.

7:56 At the faceoff, a Flame does a weird pencil roll move out of the circle and two Caps seem unable to get out of each other’s way. Hilarity ensues.

6:11 Laich takes a hooking penalty – he’s having a rough first period, poor little Brooksie. Meanwhile on the bench Hanlon (former WHL goalie, drinkity-drink) goes from 0 to pissed in 2.3 seconds but I have no idea why. I'm just waiting for him to break out the chicken dance.

4:42 Hey, there’s that Shane Morrisonn guy again. Yeah, that’s going to bug me.

4:03 The penalty expires and then a bad change by the Caps leads to another Calgary flurry during which Muir tackles Olie. What play did they diagram for that move? "Hey, Bryan - when the Flames start to create chances just tackle your own goaltender...it'll really freak 'em out."

3:20 Ovie moves around Amonte as though he were standing still. Which, let’s face it, he probably was.

1:34 Somehow Heward ends up leading the offensive zone attack. All I can think is, for the love of god, Jamie, pass it to someone else and get back! He hears me and wisely looks to do just that...oops, wrong team. Well, red jersey, white jersey, they all look the same.

0:00 Pretty even period, neither team looks spectacular. Could it be the lack of intensity created by the weird scheduling? Naaaah.

SECOND PERIOD
18:49 Dion takes down Zed, who sits down on his rump rather gracefully to draw the penalty. Questionable call, but I’ll take it.

16:49 0 for 1. Who says our power play needs work?

16:38 Clymer on D. Ouch again. I had blocked it out but it all just came screaming back.

13:59 Pettinger takes his favorite (and my least favorite) shot from the circle and Kipper as always makes the save. Matt, crash the freakin’ net – those shots never go in for you!

13:11 Huselius makes it 1-0 with a goal from the high slot. Laich skates right by him, Clymer is motionless in front of the net...*sigh* rough night for two of my faves. This goal prompts the “duh” moment of the night from the Calgary commentator: “The Washington Capitals defensively aren’t as good as they are offensively."

I’ll let that insightful comment sink in for a moment...and we’re back to live action.

12:23 Just as the play by play guys are complimenting the second period play of the Friesen-Nilsson-Amonte line, Friesen shows off his defensive prowess by slashing Clarkie’s stick. Power play Caps.

12:10 Kipper does a backbend over the top of the goal to snag a Pothier dump-in out of the air. Okay, I guess he’s a fairly good goalie.

11:59 But not good enough – Zubie collects the rebound from a point shot, curls and drags it around the fallen Kipper, and just like that it’s 1-1. Ovie almost pushes Zubrus through the boards with his celebratory hug.

11:39 First shift after the goal and Hanlon puts out the 4th line for some reason, Brashear-Gordon-Zednik. Ooookay. Result? Zed takes a holding penalty. Way to carry the momentum for exactly 3.2 seconds, guys. Just absolutely beaming with pride over here.

10:24 Calgary gets a shot on goal on the power play. Only took them three tries.

7:15 Huselius flips over Zubie’s back at center ice. The play by play guy thinks its Ovie – “that’s what is neat about this young guy, he is as physical as he is talented with the puck.” True. But that was Zubrus – not sure that statement would work the same way.

• Ha! At the stoppage the other play by play guy almost rubs in his partner's mistake – “pretty hard to tell, 9 looks like an 8.” Uh-huh. Black on white can be awfully hard to read, I agree.

6:28 Wait, wait! A good Laich-Clymer sequence! Laich wins a battle behind the net, gets puck to Clymer at the point, Clymer misses the net...but still, yay!

5:38 Semin and Ovie wreaking havoc. (Beech is out there too, but I think he was hanging out along the boards picking daisies.)

4:07 Zednik scores on a wraparound, his first of the season to make it 2-1 Caps. Wooo!

3:40 Tanguay takes a penalty for holding and on the power play Zednik makes a gorgeous between the legs backhand pass (I know, stop fainting) out to Zubrus, who shoots it while diving across the slot....clank. *Sigh* Zubie.

2:32 Warrener takes a cross-checking minor, 5-on-3 for 1:10. Where’s the timeout? Where’s the timeout? There we go. Thanks, Hanlon. (By the way, Dean Evason is a former coach of the Calgary Hitmen. Drinky-poo.) Pothier FIRES...and misses the net. He gets it back again, FIRES...clank. *Sigh* Potsy.

1:59 Pettinger does some excellent penalty killing work for the Flames by taking a charging penalty.

1:38 Kipper makes a fantastic glove save on a phantom puck. Too bad the real one grazed his glove and bounced into the corner. Hey, he fooled me for a second – how very A-Rod of him.

0:32 Shane’s back again. Can’t get rid of that guy.

• Wow. Andrew Ference. Hello.

...ahem. Where was I?

0:00 The Caps have a lead after two. What’s not to like?

THIRD PERIOD
19:46 Hey, Clarkie’s a former Flame? Who knew? (Driiiiink.)

18:40 Whoa, scary moment in front of the net – Olie didn’t know where the puck was and Muir was lurking. Hang on, I need to breathe into a paper bag...okay, we're good. Carry on.

• After some requisite bellyaching about the unbalanced schedule and lack of travel by the commentators, we resume play. (Uh...who just won the Cup? Yeah, that’s what I thought.)

12:55 The Flames start to buzz and naturally Semin goes off for hooking. Lazy ass.

12:36 Question - if Sutherby and Iginla line up for the faceoff...and you say that Sutsy loses the draw...is it necessary to also say that Iginla won it? Isn’t that just common sense? No? Okay.

10:29 Another faceoff with Zubie flopping around oddly on the ice at the faceoff dot. The man’s a born center, and don't let anyone tell you different.

9:38 That Shane guy blocks a shot. Zubie gets the rebound and breaks Zednik out of the zone, who scores his second of the night (and pushes Kipper into the net for good measure). 3-1 Caps.

• We are treated to some footage of Olie scoring a goal in 1989 with Tri-City. Apparently when he first came up to the NHL he got sent down a lot because he couldn’t control his temper, whacked guys with his stick, etc. Olie? Temper? Our Olie? Nah...

8:26 Zednik tries for the hat trick. You know, I think this may have been that elusive good game he had with the Caps. It’s like discovering the Holy Grail or something.

7:51 Bad defensive play (wha???) leads to an Iginla breakaway and obviously an Iginla goal. 3-2 and the Saddledome is rockin’.

7:16 Heward makes a great defensive play by hiding the puck in his jersey. Hope he taught that move to the youngsters before the Caps shipped him out to LA.

6:09 Hamrlik called for holding. Zednik draws the penalty. Fans shower the refs with chants of “Bullsh*t”. I heart hockey.

5:12 Three times now the play by play team has referred to “the young Russian” when both Alexes have been on the ice. I’m thoroughly confused.

1:15 Ovie gets open and blazes a shot over Kipper. You know, it’s funny – in Canada you get the feeling that the crowd is always torn between wanting to see Ovie do something spectacular and not wanting him to score on their team. These people really love hockey, folks.

1:05 Empty net

0:18 Clark with a tremendous individual effort to break out of the zone and takes out a defenseman, allowing Zubrus to collect the puck and score on the empty net. Dion angrily whacks at the puck and almost takes out the ref with his stick. Easy, boy.

FINAL SCORE: Caps 4, Flames 2

There you have it...how'd I do?

3 comments:

HG said...

Gah.

CapsChick said...

*ducks*

Sorry. You know I love the Flames, but I had to do it!! Your play by play guys are too perfect (for mocking), I couldn't resist :D

Pookie said...

CC, this was a superb diary -- just fantastic! I felt like I just started my day with a hockey game. Is there any better way to start a day?