The feeling is inescapable that Ovie is simply having a great time. It looks like it's all so easy; how can it be anything but fun?
I was there at the game last night - you could tell he REALLY wanted to play badly. I mean, he played 5 seconds short of 21 minutes in the preseason! Even on the PK a couple times.For a preseason game, I don't think it could get any better than it did last night. I had a fan in the making with me, and for Ovechkin to score two goals was the perfect way to start.Obviously, it being the preseason, players were skating differently - Ovechkin turned the rockets on for a couple breakaways obviously, but was definitely just going back and forth between the blue line much of the time.Line changes for both teams were terribly ugly, guys were coming in and out, and you could easily count sometimes 6-8 people on the ice for each team.Amazing game for the $5 I paid for both my seats, LL :)All it missed was Ovechkin checking himself into the boards after his goal.
@ Tim: I was there too and agree - good time. A few thoughts: The first period was pretty ugly, and Neuvirth's rebound control was atrocious.Semin and Ovie on the PK was interesting to see, but way too cutesy at times (and Semin on a late kill was an absolute magician with the puck).Oh, and I love me some C-Bo.
That peenalty shot was a thing of beauty abd a hell of a lot of fun to watch. I had a great angle to watch it from - section 429 -- and he didn't disappoint.
JP/Tim,From what you've seen of Bourque, do you think he will crack the lineup immediately, if at all, or later in the season?
jp, I kind of thought it was a repeat of the night before, with goaltending not quite as good. I think Neuvirth was nervous, because he settled down some in the second and did a lot better. Agreed on C-Bo, and how about Josh Godfrey? I like him more the more I see of him. Brashear needs to take McNeill aside and teach the boy to fight, because he's obviously got the enforcer's instinct, and now he just needs the skill to back it up.
I think Daniel Manzano has a restless night, muttering in his sleep..."no..no!..NO!!!...NOT OVECHKIN!!!"As for the rest of it, Ovechkin was good; Neuvirth gritted it out, despite seemingly having replaced his leg pads with rubber mats; Bourque played his best game as a Cap (ok, that's not saying much, given how many he's played, but he was the most complete player on the ice last night); Green sleepwalked through much of the game; I wanted to run down to the bench and slap Semin -- "HEY! There are four other skaters!!...let them play with the puck, too!"
@ Peerless: Agreed on all counts (though is that unexpected from Semin?). I also thought Green had a couple of cute drag moves along the boards, but they were the kind of play that can get him in trouble. And Manzano may have gotten shelled, but he'll forever have the memory of stuffing Alex Ovechkin on a breakaway, which is nice, I suppose.@ NS: Bourque is a victim of the numbers game right now. I don't see him cracking the opening night roster... unless, of course, the Caps move a forward or two before then (but I have no idea which forward(s) that might be). The fact that he can play some center helps him, but not enough.@ TSFR: I actually thought it looked like McNeill had gotten some lessons from Donny - he was trying the "shake 'em like a rag doll" move with Conboy (who, btw, is a punk).
Is it just me or does Ovechkin seem bigger and faster than last year? I will tell you one thing, he's definitely devloped a mean streak because he was going after Conboy like he stole his lunch money. I can't believe I'm saying this, but at $9 million per year Ovechkin is a steal.
@ b.orr4: Not sure on bigger and faster - he was out there against mostly AHL/ECHL/OHL "talent." But yeah, he wasn't taking any crap and is worth every penny of his salary.
I wonder when this Semin bashing will stop.
Resolved: That the Caps should sign this Ovechkin kid long-term.Once the score hit 4-2, I expected CAR to suspend its participation in the game so it could return to Carolina and address the lack of skill in its system.
Btw, I'm thinking of starting a new regular feature - "Worst Jersey/Fan of the Game" - after seeing a guy last night wearing a replica Buffaslug Sabres jersey with no name or number tucked into his jeans and a camo Dallas Cowboys hat.Worst... Fan... Of the Game!
I saw the guy you're talking about JP, and I thought pretty much the same myself, except there was more cursing and laughter.I was really impressed by Bourque. Now, I haven't seen Flash, yet, but I would take this year's Bourque over last year's Flash any day of the week. And just because I'm interested, where is everyone sitting?Sec. 400, Row H.
KB and I are denizens of Sec. 111, Row O.
I'm sorry but the worst jersey has to go to Carolina's second goalie. The poor kid was so stuffed into his jersey it looked like he was wearing an extra small. No wonder he couldn't stop anything, he could barely move.
How is the ice looking? Any signs of improvement over last season's slushfest?
Ruski: Yeah, Semin may not have scored last night, but those were some amazing puck handling skills he put on.JP: I saw that Sabres fan too.. what a joke.
anonymous: Ice looked pretty dry to me. They were out every few minutes cleaning it up as always.
The ice was a mess. The puck rolled all night. The building was warm. Ted's heard about these issues from fans for years. Apparently he's still disinterested in quality of play, which is too bad given that a fast ice surface would give a fast, skilled team (the Caps) an edge.
It was a pretty ragged game - flashes of brilliance from Ovie, Semin, Green and all three of them had moments of missing easy plays. Poti had some great passes behind the net (we could see them well in Sec. 119) to keep the puck away from Carolina. It was good to see Nylander and Clark skating so well and Clark ready to mix it up a little. Bourque was impressive, and McNeill shows promise. If Conboy makes the Whaler (um, Hurricane) roster, I think his visits to the Phone Booth will be unpleasant for him.
I'm all for a terrible fan of the game feature. Try and snap a photo while you're at it haha.Section 404 Row M. Best "value" in the arena. for Season Tickets.
Best jersey: the guy with one that said "Sudden Death" on the front and "Van Damme" with #1 on the back.And I'm the guy in 110 row k switching off between a Sweden Backstrom jersey and a Craig Laughlin jersey.
My favorite jersey from last night was a poorly constructed Ovie jersey that had a homemade C on the front.
@ Ryan: I definitely saw the Van Damme "Sudden Death" jersey. Awesome.
@jp: Maybe that was what made me think he was a heavyweight -- he sure threw down like one, although his size doesn't suggest it in the stat book. But, if he got lessons from Donny, he needs more if he's going to take on Conboy. And yes, Conboy is an obnoxious punk. 100% agreed. Section 429, Row F. I like them more than I thought I would; I don't have any heads in front of me and the corner provides a good view of both benches and both goals (oddly). Heads up to folks who didn't go; you can't just text your message to the given number anymore; you have to preface it with "say". I think it's a new system this year.
"I can't believe I'm saying this, but at $9 million per year Ovechkin is a steal."Believe it! I agree with this totally. (Thank you, Uncle Ted!)Worst and Most Annoying Fan? I have her. She sits at the top of [[well, on second thought, I better not name the section]], is about four and a half feet tall, stands the whole game (for obvious reasons), knows everything there is to know about both the Caps and hockey and delighted to correct any misconceptions in all the otherwise private conversations going around her anywhere within earshot, and she belts out the Hockey Song joyfully and at the top of her lungs.She ought to have the Most Annoying Fan Award named after her.
I thought Neuwirth's glove hand was a little shaky as well, seemed to punch the punch away when it was obvious he was trying to catch it. He'll get better...
Entertaining game to watch with the adventures in PK, a penalty shot, etc. It was just fun to see live hockey again. No big revelation but Godfrey needs to work on hitting the net. Like others, I thought Bourque looked good. Glad it's someone else's job to figure out the opening night roster. I keep thinking trade, not Nylander and maybe not immediately, but we have lots of assets and unlike my stock portfolio, they're increasing in value.I don't know about worst fan of the game but we had one of those "what doesn't belong" moments from childhood. From Section 121 we could see a couple of women who appeared to be, what's the polite term for it, exotic dancers?
Lisa, those are the women who are trying to snag themselves a hockey player. Go to Wizards games, and you'll see a whole lotta them there as well. (Yeah, I know, that's stereotyping, but if they were to actually watch the game once in a while, I would have reason to change my opinion of them.)And I'm in 403 N.
@LisaHos For O-vi?"We know Alex gives so much to the community, and we want to do the same in our own way"
@brian:Hos For O-vi?"We know Alex gives so much to the community, and we want to do the same in our own way"The community doesn't need the clap.
Looking forward to seeing Jose Theodore, myself. While I love Olie, and wish him well down in Tampa, he was pretty bad last year. Hopefully Theodore can be better than average, at least. That would give the Caps a chance at being an elite team.After that, the biggest question I've got is whether Lepisto or Alzner can supplant Erskine. I'd love to see Erskine take his penalties and his lead feet elsewhere...
"KB and I are denizens of Sec. 111, Row O."@jp, how about that. We're linemates.
@ b.orr4: Nice - are you the bearded gent to my left?
I'm all for a terrible fan of the game feature. Try and snap a photo while you're at it haha.I'm not. Some people are truly just camera whores who will do anything to be plastered all over the big screenfor all to see. If such a feature were introduced, these shameless souls would subject the rest of us to an ever-spiraling display of bad dress and boorish behavior in search of their 15 seconds of fame.
@ this space,You referring to someone like Pens fan, Mike Costa?
Oh - and the penalty shot was TOTALLY awesome!!!
Just for fun:Alexander Ovechkin Regular Season GoalsOver 52.5 Goals -135Under 52.5 Goals +105Alexander Ovechkin Regular Season AssistsOver 50.5 Assists -115Under 50.5 Assists -115Alexander Ovechkin Regular Season PointsOver 102.5 Points -135Under 102.5 Points +105I'm not seeing how OviE is limited to 52 goals as long as he stays healthy enough to play 70 games.
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