Now that the Chicago Blackhawks have loaned the Stanley Cup to Los Angeles for the year, it’s time for us to once again peruse the various also-rans in the NHL before the Hawks get down to the formality of reclaiming the Cup in June 2015. We continue our series with the Washington Capitals.
Ah, Washington. Hell on the Potomac and the city where victories are bought in back rooms. Unless you’re the Washington Capitals. Billionaire owner who insists on micromanaging? Check. Captain with multiple individual awards? Check. Running the table in a perennially weak division? Check. Dignity? No. Tradition of winning? Nyet. Multiple appearances in the Winter Classic? Of course. Because money.
The Capitals are like the last company that owner Ted Leonsis threw money at: America Online. They signed Ovechkin, won the President’s Trophy, and generally attracted the attention of all the cool kids until it became painfully obvious that everyone was paying exorbitant prices for a substandard product. To be fair, that business model has worked for years in DC. See Congress and the Landover Football Team for further examples.
Then again, I could be wrong. After all, Leonsis finally fired GM George McPhee and head coach Adam Oates and replaced them with Brian MacLellan and Barry Trotz respectively. Maybe that’s all they needed and they’ll be serious contenders this year. Yeah, and maybe Fro Dog isn’t the worst.
Right. On with the shit show.
Well, there’s Captain TrampStamp. He’s pretty good at that whole waiting-at-the-left-circle-on-every-power-play thing. What’s his scoring secret beyond that? The guy takes shots like a 13 year old boy masturbates – every goddam chance he gets. Quantity has a quality all its own. Also boosts his linemates’ point totals as an added bonus. Nicklas Backstrom exists only to get the puck to Ovechkin and star in commercials where he has a stick through his forearm. See the point totals mentioned above. Those will come in handy when he gets traded. Brooks Laich is a “hard worker” which is a fancy term for “C student”. Jason Chimera lives up to his surname as he’s been frankensteined together with parts from the remains of Congressional interns found in Rock Creek Park. Tom Wilson believes himself to be a lion much like Brandon Bollig, and fights about as effectively. Troy Brouwer….you know what? I’m not gonna pick on him. I think he’s suffered enough.
Mike Green was once very good. Now he’s very broken. Fortunately for the Caps, they had John Carlson in the pipeline. Unfortunately for the Caps, Carlson can’t play all 60 minutes. So they went shopping and offered a 5 year/$27.5M deal to Brooks Orpik. This is the equivalent of spending $1000 for a hooker on Rush Street and coming home with Former Smoker Terrie. Then, proving that they could indeed out-dumb themselves (and possibly Jay Feaster), they tossed a 7 year/$40.25M deal to Matt Niskanen. Rumor has it that everyone wearing a Penguins sweater has now planned to retire in Northern Virginia as a result.
Braden Holtby is decent. Not elite, but decent despite the defense in front of him. He also proved he can get mugged by Ray Emery and skate off under his own power. So he’s got that going for him when Orpik goes senile and crashes his own net.
MetropoLOLitan Division, LEASTstern Conference – they should have no problem making the playoffs. Except they’ll have to be better than the Penguins, Rangers, Flyers, and Blue Jackets this time around. A wild card slot would be a fucking miracle.
Not all that mundane, really. As much as I bag on the Caps and Ted Leonsis in particular, I have to give credit where it’s due. For the most part, the organization is about the fan’s experience. Check the following link and vid for how Ted Leonsis responded to a fan request.
Washington Capitals Welcome James Johnson s/t to Heather Johnson
s/t to Capitals Outsider
Thanks for taking care of my buddy James, Ted.
NOW QUIT RAISING PRICES AND SKIMPING ON THE SERVING SIZE OF BEERS YOU CHEAP BASTARD!
ARE THEY BETTER THAN THE CHICAGO BLACKHAWKS?:
There’s going to be a disappointed hometown crowd at Nationals Park on New Year’s Day.