Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Wednesday Roundup/Caps 3, 'Canes 2 (SO)

[AP Recap - Game Summary - Super Stats]

The Hurricanes went through 65 minutes of hockey and a shootout without putting a single puck past Cristobal Huet with their sticks and yet somehow came away with a point that likely seals the deal on a Southeast Division title.

On the plus side, of course, the Caps banked another two points. But with both Philly and Boston winning and Carolina's lead at four points with five games to play, the reality is that the Caps gained next-to-nothing of value last night - they treaded water in the Conference and got one point closer in a Division that the 'Canes can wrap up with any combination of six points gained by them or not gained by the Caps with five games remaining for each team (in other words, if the Caps go 4-1 and Carolina goes 2-3, the 'Canes clinch).

As for that eighth spot, the Flyers have a magic number of seven with respect to the Caps with the same number of games left. Boston has a magic number of nine, but the B's have a game in hand on the Caps.

In summary (and if my math is correct), if the Caps finish 5-0, Carolina finish 3-2, Philly finishes 3-1-1 and Boston finishes 4-1-1, the Caps are out; if the Caps finish 4-1, Carolina finishes 2-3, Philly finishes 2-2-1 and Boston finishes 3-2-1, the Caps are out, and so on. Here's what each team has left:
  • Washington: @ TB, @ FLA, CAR, TB, FLA
  • Carolina: ATL, @ TB, @ WSH, TB, FLA
  • Philadelphia: @ NJ, @ NYI, @ PIT, NJ, PIT
  • Boston: TOR, OTT, @ BUF, @ NJ, @ OTT, BUF
Is there still hope? Sure. But the Caps can't do it on their own - they need some help even if they run the table.

Back to last night, some quick thoughts on the game:
  • Huet has had a season's worth of fluky goals against in his month in D.C. And not to kick a man when he's down, but if I had a dime for every time I said to myself "Olie doesn't make that save," I'd have a buck or so.
  • The team has been playing tight for a while now, with no one wanting to make a mistake. This is especially apparent in the conservative play of the defense, which hasn't scored a goal in March, but Boudreau's Flying Circus has been more or less reduced to an unreal first line, a very good power play, and any occasionally strong forecheck. They now have one non-empty net goal from someone other than a first-liner in their last five games (Matt Bradley's tally against Nashville).
  • My guess is that Nicklas Backstrom won't win the Calder, in large part because people haven't watched the Caps enough to move past an "anyone could score on a line with Ovechkin" mentality, but the fact of the matter is he's as complete and mature a player as there is in this year's rookie class. His play on the Ovechkin goal - taking a bad drop pass from Viktor Kozlov and eventually putting it on a wide open AO's stick - was superb.
  • Sergei Fedorov took 30 faceoffs (the most he's taken in a game since January 14, 2006 when he was a Blue Jacket and took 36 draws in a game against Florida), winning 16. On the night, the Caps won 59% of the faceoffs (it's nice to have Rod Brind'Amour and Matt Cullen out, eh?).
  • Scott Walker ought to learn how to play the game under control.
  • Sure, David A. Jensen played for D.C., but I think Joe B. was referring to Al Jensen when he noted that 'Canes forward Joe Jensen is no relation to the former Cap with the same last name.
  • The Caps were out-hit 41 to 21. That's a bit of home-cookin', but there's no question Carolina carried the physical play.
  • I hate Erik Cole, and by that I mean I respect him and wish he was on my team. I don't hate Eric Staal quite the same way.
  • Thanks, Comcast - I didn't want to see the first shot of the shootout anyway.
  • Cam Ward was fantastic.
  • What are we going to do with Alex Semin? The guy's on a 40+ goal pace over his last 41 games (half a season) and has all the skill in the world, but has the hockey sense of a rabbit.
  • Oh yeah, Alex Ovechkin scored Number 61, with no asterisk.
So two big points and it's off to Florida for the last two roadies of the season. Time's running out on the Caps, though, no matter how well they continue to play. They need help and they need it fast.

Elsewhere 'Round the Rinks:

Happy Birthday to my little brother Pooh.... The Leafs and Sabres bloggers have called it a season. If the Panthers had bloggers, they would too. That leaves only one team on the outside looking in in the East, and we all know who that is.... Joe Finley + Bucky + haiku = awesome.

Daily Awards
  • Hart: Joe Thornton (3G, including two in the third period to send the game to OT, A)
  • Ross: Joe Thornton (4 points)
  • Norris: Anton Volchenkov (Game-winning goal, 2A, +3, 2 SOG, 2 Hits, 2 BkS)
  • Vezina: Marc-Andre Fleury (31-save shutout win)
  • Richard: Joe Thornton (3G)
  • Calder: Nicklas Backstrom (2A, +1, 4 SOG, 67% faceoffs won)
  • Aiken: Vesa Toskala (L, 5 goals allowed on 29 shots against)


Oly_for_Olie said...

Two WCHA-related comments:

1) I think the ref that called Carolina's second goal a goal was referee for all of Minnesota's WCHA tourney games. I'm hard pressed to understand how a guy who's about 6 inches away from a goalie can not be ready to interfere with that goalie. I know Morrison pushed Cole, but Cole was already in the crease ... how much closer do you have to get before it's considered a date?

2) North Dakota faces Princeton this week. Joe F, meet Tigger ...

Jed said...

If the guys on XM home ice are a decent sample of the non DC hockey people, I think Backstrom's chances might be a little better than you think. Espo only really suggested three players for the Calder: Backstrom, Kane, and Toews. I know the Chicago twins have gotten a tad bit more talk, but I still like Backstroms chances!

Daniel said...

Both Canes goals were lucky, but both count just the same. I hate that the Caps make some goalies look like Hall of Famers almost every time they play -- like Cam Ward. With the skill on this team and the chances they generate, 2 goals is simply mystifying.

Speaking of mystifying, Semin... what can you do? He's an unreal talent but it's like his "do everything" / "pass" switch is on one side or the other -- nothing in between. And that's not even counting the ridiculous penalties he gets -- and the big hits he takes from getting himself into bad situations.

As for the Calder -- if Toews plays in a few of the games he missed, he might split some of the votes with Kane. As it stands, I think it's going to be Kane getting a majority of votes, with Backstrom getting ~70% of what's left over. Though I'm hopeful he'll go a Savard-like 20-65-85 next year.


Dave UK Caps Fan said...


Read a few blogs/message boards this morning and seems there is some premature towel-throwing-in going on from a few Caps fans because Philly and Boston picked up maximum points last night. Lets focus on the Caps picking up a somewhat unexpected 2 points themselves last night. That was our hardest game left on paper and we came away with a deuce. So what Carolina picked up a losers bonus, the Division was done before last night, we aren’t chasing Carolina anymore. Plus, Leafs, Sabres and Panthers are gone now too. Right now its down to 2 out of 3.

I see the following:

Bruins: 2-1-3 (wins at home to the Leafs and Sabres, regulation loss to NJ away, OT/SO losses to the Sens home and away and Sabres away) Total points: 93

Caps: 4-0-1: Wins home and away against Florida and Tampa with an OT/SO loss at home to the Canes) Total points: 93

Flyers: 1-2-2: (only win is the Isles away, with regulation losses to NJ and Pens away with OT/SO losses at home to NJ and Pens) Total point: 92

All highly possible still.


NS said...

I think if a rabbit laced up skates, it would give up less pucks, dude.

then again, a rabbit can't take a cross ice pass, stop it, kick it to his stick and score all before a great goalie can recover and stop the puck. still amazed how he handled that pass for Fedorov.

Huet: fucking stellar
Ward: fucking stellar, i hate you
Cole: as you said, he is one of the biggest Cap killers. hate.
Poti: had a horrible game. he couldn't get the puck out of his own zone most of the night
Fleischmann: does not deserve a NHL jersey, AT ALL. I'd rather have Bourque out there at this point

somebody else needs to fuckin score.

JP said...

@ dave: So you're saying that the Division is unrealistic and that even if they play great, they still need help... which is exactly what I said, no? And what are you doing reading other blogs? :)

@NS: Forgot to mention in the post but definitely thought at the time that Poti (I believe), instead of playing it up the boards to safety or at least to the point on the PK, played it backwards, which led directly to the Cole goal. In fact, a few times the PK got a bit cutesy with back passes deep in their own zone (I'm looking at you, 91).

And Flush made a between the legs pass on the half-boards in his own zone that will, I'm willing to bet, earn him a spot in the press box tomorrow night.

maruk said...

Semin = Rain Man. He can do things that few, if any, other humans can do, but at the same time, dude has serious mental issues.

Rage said...

Backstrom is wonderful to watch. I'm not sure if I'm watching the "wrong" things, but he does things that go unnoticed by highlight packages that so often lead to great chances. I recall thinking "Wow, what a great setup" five or six times last night. He's terrific.

And I've never been as bitter with Flash as last night. This is getting to a Hanlon/Olie style affection between Bouds/Flash. That unobstructed shot he had on Ward (a wrister right to the gut) was pathetic. Take a seat.

Also, did Cooke get back on the line with Fed/Semin towards the end? Anyone have thoughts on that?

Hazardous said...

Cam Ward gets too much credit.

A mental patient can do what he does.

That is all.

The Peerless said...

"[Semin's] on a 40+ goal pace over his last 41 games (half a season) and has all the skill in the world, but has the hockey sense of a rabbit."

That's a finalist for line of the year.

As for Semin, it seems to me that the worst thing that happened to him was the Caps obtaining Fedorov. Semin was struggling with judgment issues before Fedorov arrived, but he looks for all the world like a kid scared to sit on Santa's lap. Pass? Shoot? Pick my nose? What do I do? I thought he was going to shoot the puck into the parking lot with an open net in front of him.

Dave UK Caps Fan said...


Maybe I was too hard on you in particular :) I just think there are more twists in this tale to unfold.

I didn't think we would get anything from last night so it was two bonus points as far as I'm concerned.

Oh and sorry about the other blogs. I won't happen again :)

NS said...

JP: "Flush" - fitting. i like.

Paul Nichols said...

Semin is one of them all or nothing type players. He gets his pocket picked so many times - but he also makes moves with that puck that most can't even dream of making.

He's had a number of goals, like the one he got last night, that I think NO other Capital makes. That's what it comes down to for me. Sure, he makes mistakes and sometimes becomes invisible, but his goals aren't always like the chip shot against the Lightning - (i.e. anybody coulda done that).
His goals are often ones that nobody else makes, simply because of his stick work. Who else makes that goal he made last night? Not many.

I don't know what his turnover rate is in comparison to others, but I wouldn't give up on him.

Tyler said...

Maruk: Do you have any evidence that Alex Semin has "serious mental issues?" Because if you do I hope you share them. I think that would be invaluable to the Caps in planning how to go forward with him or whether they should contemplate a trade.

Hazardous: Can you provide some relevant data that might prove that "a mental patient" could do what Cam Ward does? I guess first could you define "mental patient," as I don't think this is a medically-recognized term. Then maybe cite some statistics or even a peer-reviewed study or two? If you're right I think that a number of NHL teams could free up some cap space between the pipes next year.

b.orr4 said...

A few points:
-Huet has to play the rest of the games. He's clearly the better goalie and it's time to stop worrying about Olie's "feelings".
-Anybody with any hockey sense has to see that Backstrom is one of the most complete rookies to come into this league in a long time. And as for Ovechkin making him better, I think there's a lot of the reverse going on too.
-Yeah, Semin's frustrating but make him a free agent and see how many teams are lining up for his services. Hockey sense can come with maturity, being a sick goal scorer is something only a few are born with.
-And don't blame the refs for Cole's goal. They initially ruled it a no-goal. Toronto overturned it (and rightfully so).
-Finally, the Caps will be in the playoffs. Guaranteed. Boston's going to lose 2-3 more games. Justice will be served.

Anonymous said...

Excellent read, J.P.

If Caps trade Semin, I'd be happy. He will have his ups and downs his entire career, but it would be more downs than ups. The guy has real mental issues.

How Flash was their 'Ovechkin' in Hersey really makes me wonder.

Brunella said...

"What are we going to do with Alex Semin? The guy's on a 40+ goal pace over his last 41 games (half a season) and has all the skill in the world, but has the hockey sense of a rabbit."

I agree with this observation 200%. JP, you have summed up the situation exquisitely. Exquisitely painfully I may add, but deftly indeed.

First, the question statement: What are we going to do with this guy? He is the mystery, the puzzle that arrived with missing pieces, the cool toy that you can't figure out how to get running. Hey, wasn't there an instruction book here somewhere?

And then the 40-goal pace and all the skill in the world. We all watch him do the rumba around defenders and then cast a Petrificus Totalus spell on a goaltender. He also can do that remarkable dematerialize/matererialize -in-a-different-place trick that Ya-ya Jagr used to be able to do in his prime. A skill level that brings tears to the eyes.

And then voila! The part about the hockey sense of a rabbit. Sooooo true. Jez, it’s damn depressing. I’m finally not sure that there is any hope there. I can’t imagine what else they can try. I mean, the Fedorov move was potentially genius. But can Semin be taught? Can he learn? Isn’t there some stat out there about the difference in size between a rabbit’s brain vis-à-vis his body mass (read ‘skill level’) is the highest among the mammals. Perhaps this also explains why rabbits can’t learn English.

Soooo depressing.

~Mark said...

JP, so you're saying rabbits have excellent hockey sense?
Can I just say, again, how much I love this blog. Not only do you rock JP, but almost every comment on this site is thoughtful and educated.

The Caps are in round 0 of the playoffs against the Boston Bruins! It is really a 2 team race for the 8th spot, and I like our chances. If you simply have each team win the games against non-playoff teams, the Caps are in. Now we all know how that can play out in reality, but as a "guide" it makes sense. I also think the Caps won't get in until their final game of the season. Save some finger nails!

Tyler said...

That was the best comment ever. Biological data on rabbits applied to Alex Semin's game. Love it.

CapPun said...

Just root for the Penguins to win out and that the Caps win out.

Since the Penguins play the Flyers twice, those losses against the Flyers will be huge.

Same goes for the Devils.

Pray and hope that they win out.

Pray and hope.

So long as the Caps do their own part as well.

hotdog88gt said...

The Caps have been lucky to get ANY points this road trip. They played one period in NSH, zero in CHI, one point one in ATL, and I don't know how to classify last night's game. They've been playing too tight - playing too safe.

You can forget Backstrom for the Calder. When's the last time a Blackhawk got any award? (may have been last year - I don't know). You know they're due.

Said it before and I'll say it again: never have been sold on Semin. He has tremendous potential, somewhere. Does he need more strength training? On the positive side he hasn't tried to throw the puck into the net this year.

Are there any Bears ready for the NHL? The ones in WSH aren't. Fehr continues to not impress (his previous NHL numbers never did). Flash hasn't done anything either. The one Bear who has, Laing, has been scratched. The fastest Cap on skates this year, Joe Motzko, was traded away. Borque hasn't been up long enough to show me anything.

Mathematically, anything can happen. If only a handful of those losses under GH had been wins...

NS said...

and now to drop the overall IQ of this blog a few points. can't help it. bored:

Tyler said...

Hot Dog: Do you have any statistical basis for your comment that the Blackhawks are "due" for someone to win an NHL season-end award? Is there any historical data that indicates that 'being due' is a factor in the awarding of post-season hardware?

Joe Motzko was the fastest Cap on skates? Seriously? Are you familiar with Alex Ovechkin, Mike Green, or Brooks Laich?

And, of course, there are lots of ex-Bears making significant contributions in WSH, including Green, Laich, Gordon, Steckel, Laing and Schultz.

Other than that: Great comment.

hotdog88gt said...


Thanks for not tearing the whole comment up...

I didn't say ex-Bears. I would not classify Green, Shultz, Gordon or Laich as part of my comments. I'm only speaking of Bears who've played most of their NHL games this year or even those that have been brought up this year for a short time. Steckel (PK) an Laing (shot blocks) are about it to me. I hope some more Bears are ready to truly contribute to the Caps "goals for" next year.

Motzko wasn't as fast as (sorry about this one) Rico Fata was, but he is faster than AO - no doubt about it. I used to think Alex was fast until I saw his performance in the All-Star games. Alex has tremendous acceleration but isn't the fastest skater.

As far as the Blackhawks comment, there's the start of a love affair between the NHL and Chicago, a large market city, that started with the death of WWW and the arrival of Kane and Toews. The NHL brass will play up: (1) Sid, (2) Sid, (3)Sid, (4) AO, (5) Chicago Blackhawks. I just think some of the voters will lean toward on of the two CHI boys for the Calder.

b.orr4 said...

You don't know how to classify last night's win? How about the Caps outshot, outchanced and outplayed the Canes all night and aside from two fluky goals would have walked away with a regulation win.

Dave UK Caps Fan said...


If we are going on the rational that games against non-plyaoff teams = wins and games vs playoff teams = losses then the Bruins and Caps are in and Philly is off to the golf course.

The Flyers play 4 of their last 5 games against playoff teams in the Devils and our new best friends, the Penguins. The Bruins play an even split of games between playoff and non-playoff in their remaining games whereas we play 4 non-playoff teams and only 1 playoff team (the one we took two points off last night).

By that rational we are going to pick up 8 more points, the Bs will get 6 and Philly only 2.

Of course if only things were that simple! However, this point does illustrate that 8th spot is ours to lose.

Tyler said...

Dave: I'm a little confused by your comment. Boston currently sits in eighth with 86 points and a game-in-hand, and we're ninth with 84 points. Given that Boston has the eighth spot, I think it's pretty clearly theirs. (To lose or to not lose.)

Rage said...

If the Pens win out and the Caps win out, the Caps likely play the Pens in the first round.

I'm not sure my heart can handle that.

Ogre said...

I understand the anti-seminisms, but seriously, how old is the guy?

We got lucky with Alex Ovechkin. He was a number one stud, ready for the NHL immediately.

Not every rookie will be.

Name 5 solid rookies this year. I can name Backstrom, Enstrom, Toews, Kane, and Elder, if he's a rookie.

My point is that not every player adapts to the game immediately. Peter Bondra didn't score 50 goals and have a +30 every year. It's not fair to expect the same yet from Semin.

Dave UK Caps Fan said...


Fair enough. I am basing my comment on two factors:

a) opposition in remaining games
b) bias

PPP said...

Ok boys, now that the Leafs are out of it I want to see a Washington playoff run.

Best of luck the rest of the way and hopefully the Leafs do you guys a favour and win tomorrow night and beat the Sabres.

grapejoos said...

Agreed Ogre. Semin is frutstrating as hell to watch, but we need to give him time. This team already lacks secondary scoring and he is the second-best goal scorer on the roster. Unless we could trade him for an equivalent talent that maybe also needs a wake-up call, then I would be furious if we moved him.

The best thing we can do for Semin is bring back Fedorov, assuming he doesn't retire. Fedorov can communicate with him and try to instill some hockey sense. I agree that they seem to not necessarily know what the other is going to do at times, but that kind of chemistry takes time (and imagine how difficult it must be for someone with as little hockey sense as Semin to anticipate what Fedorov will do). Semin will only get better as his career goes on, and we need him going forward to reach his potential.

Re: Backstrom, I'm sure that the voters will be thrilled to have a reason to care about the Blackhawks again, but perhaps Kane and Towes will split votes. If the Caps make the playoffs on the strength of Backstrom's recent play, he'll win the Calder. Backstrom is already our 2nd best forward, Ovechkin or not. I am really, really excited by how well he's played as just a rookie. He and Ovie are going to terrorize the league for a long time.

TJ said...

JP- You know you make it sound really bleak for the Capitals. If you work out a couple more possible senarios its not that bad for the caps.

Your a friggen downer.

Why look ahead and worry about all the possibilities. Lets just take it one game at a time like the Caps are.

All you really need to focus on is how many games Phily or Boston looses. If they can loose 2 more more and dont get any OTL's then the Caps can make it if they win out.

NS said...

it is bleak, because too much of our playoff hopes is out of our (theCaps)hands.

ready for a crushing ending for the season. hopefully i am pleasantly surprised.

at least my Habs made it in...

JP said...

I go to a couple of meetings and the Commentariat goes wild. I love it.

And NS - your rabbit is now the official Rink mascot.

Scott said...

You know, I'll take a Calder Candidate, Hart candidate, Art Ross winner, Maurice Richard winner, and Jack Adams candidate any day over the last 3 seasons. Lets not forget also we have a D-man that is 3rd in the league in goals by defensemen.

Yeah i know the playoffs would be great, but lets not bitch and whine if we dont make it. We had a damn good season especially considering the beginning. We're only a few bad calls/missed shots/dumb plays out of the playoffs. I'll take that anyday over a lottery pick.

PureAgression said...

@the Cole/Staal comment: So, JP. I take it that you hate Cole because you're supposed to and you hate Staal because you hate him?

I'm about to do a piece about that sort of stuff, hopefully soon.

b80vin said...

Any comment I'd make now would be superfluous. Except one: since we're obsessing over the future, I don't want to play Pittsburgh in the first round IF we make the playoffs. I want to play Tampa Bay or Atlanta. There is nothing easier in the playoffs than beating a one-line team.

Oly_for_Olie said...

Not to change the subject too much, but it gives me a chance to rant about ESPN again ...

Did you know that Adam Oates played for the Capitals in 84-85? And did you know that the ESP in ESPN stands for Extra-Sensory Perception, because they are saying AO has 3 games left in the regular season.

It's right there at ESPN in the sidebar called Capital Effort.

NS said...

yessss. glad i got something accomplished today.

Dave UK Caps Fan said...


Wise words. I agree things are looking up and if we keep Huet, maybe Feds, bring up Alzner and get Clarkie back for a full season next year this team will be at least 10 points better next year and we won't be worrying about all this, if they win here, if they lose here stuff.

At least the team has shown pride to wear the shirt and has given us pride to be Cpas fans again.

Anonymous said...


Not to correct your usually flawless blog, but IF the Capitals gain their points via wins down the stretch, they will win the head-to-head tiebreaker of wins with Boston (since they're currently tied, logic dictates they'd need one more to pull even in points), and same with Philadelphia (even though they trail in wins by one, two more than Philly will be required to pass them).

If the Caps get two more OTLs than either Boston or Philadelphia in their final games, then the tiebreakers will revert the other way, but right now, if they go 5-0, if Philadelphia goes 3-2 and Boston goes 4-2, they would all end up even with 94 points, but Washington would have 43 wins, and Boston and Philadelphia would have 42.

Carolina right now has the tiebreaker even if the Caps catch them in points, so they're in effect 5 points behind the 'Canes, so they can only go 2-2-1 (or, if you're presuming they go 5-0-0, 2-1-1 in the other four games.)

Anonymous said...

bigonetimer said,

first time I've seen this blog, and happy I did because the WP blog is all panties and no lace...

1) Might as well jump in with both feet: anyone who thinks getting rid of Semin is a good idea is a damn fool. WAY too much upside. His biggest fault is not playing enough D in the transition game; backchecking leaves something to be desired, as his horrific +/- indicates. But those hands are gold...

2) Nearly unmentioned today is V Koz. Best pickup by the caps this year (including Huet, but not by much...) and not just because he's money in the SO. He just can't be moved off the puck in the offensive zone

3)not that any deeper case needs to be made for #8 for MVP, but for me, the sequence where he a) gives up his stick to a D man; b) gloves the puck out of our zone from his belly; c) retrieves new stick and promptly destroys Bret Hedican, all within 15 seconds, is why the guy is the most deserving this year. The guy is Messier reincarnated with LaFleur's touch. Barring injury, he's gonna win 4-5 MVP's.

4) we need a Philly fold to make the 'offs. Simple as that. Boston's righted the ship, and their schedule is easier. I give us a 20% chance at this point, sorry to say, but it's better'n nuttin.

JP said...

Um, "if they go 5-0, if Philadelphia goes 3-2 and Boston goes 4-2, they would all end up even with 94 points, but Washington would have 43 wins, and Boston and Philadelphia would have 42" is another way of saying what I wrote - that if "the Caps finish 5-0,... Philly finishes 3-1-1 and Boston finishes 4-1-1, the Caps are out."

Anonymous said...

bigonetimer said...

does anyone else get pissed at this time of year with the sh$#@y ice at the end of periods in our fair country's southern rinks (ours included) at this time of the year? Can't WAIT to see the crappy bounces in TB and FLA this week...

oh to play on Edmonton's perfect glass for 82 games!

Brunella said...

"If the Pens win out and the Caps win out, the Caps likely play the Pens in the first round. ... I'm not sure my heart can handle that."

Rage, my darling, do NOT even GO there. At least not yet. Let that one rest. (This scenario occurred to me about two weeks ago and I can't get the damn putrid thought out of my head. Kinda like what happened to me when I laid eyes on Mr.


No, no, no, I don't advocate trading Big Al Semin. We need to keep him around here, just to see what happens. And I agree that, if we can talk him into it, we ought to try to keep Feds around, like a chaperone. Or a robed and solemn guru. Yes, you're right about "chemistry" taking a bit of time to develop, but (didn't I ask this before?) I believe Al and Ovie train with Feds in the off-season. Perhaps I dreampt it.

Backie is aces, no doubt about that, and I believe that everyone else will come around to the idea sooner than later. Can Ovie carry both Backie and Boudreau on his back to post-season trophy land? Hmmmmmm.

And finally, JP, thank you for this. HA! Very, very good.

Anonymous said...

Well, don't forget the Rags would have to acquire at least five points as well...