Well it was a good weekend here in Bristow. We held our annual Christmas party/open house last night; the Caps won last night; I gave my tickets to a co-worker whose last day at ICx Technologies was Friday. Scott Fortune - one of our administrative assistants, is leaving to follow his dream of acting on Broadway. Scott has gotten the understudy role for the part of Sebastian the Crab (understudy to Tituss Burgess) in The Little Mermaid on Broadway. He'd never been to a pro hockey game and wanted to go. He's a great guy, embarking on a neat journey in life and boy did he get a good first introduction to the NHL last night. Break A Leg Scott.
I watched the replay of the game on Comcast Sports Net this afternoon - that was a lot of fun. Congratulations Matt Pettinger, the drought is over. Nicklas Backstrom got his second 3 point game. The great 8 - Alex Ovechkin scored another goal; Ovie please, please make sure Kovalchuk doesn't win the scoring championship or even score the most goals this season. I could go on it surely was a great game. I still haven't seen Friday's game against the Devils; I couldn't find it on the dials, am I missing something? Either way, I thought Coach Bruce Boudreau's message after the game was right on. "We played a good game, we lost, that's neither good enough or acceptable, we are professionals and we expect to win every time we play". Also, I'm not down on Brian Pothier, like some people are, but if he screwed up as much as others have reported, sitting out a game is the right thing to do. Now that Mike Green scored two goals last night, I'm sure their will be folks screaming his praises. I like Green, a lot and have been up on him all season, but his +/- numbers are still problematic. His +/- stat is even an issue in light of his production; realize he has 7 goals and is - 4, so the other teams have scored 11 when he's been on the ice. He also took a not so smart penalty last night, and does that far too often. All that said, I expect if he keeps progressing and growing, he'll be a top 4 D-man for any team in the league at season's end. Also, he's on the path to being able to log Poti-like minutes as a top 2 D-man, shortly thereafter (another season or two). Go Mike Go; the Caps need a more stable blue line. As the season progresses and things get sorted out with Pothier, I expect we'll see a sextet of great defense led by Tom Poti; which consists of Poti, Pothier, Green, Morrisonn, and two of the following three: Steve Eminger, Jeff Schultz, and Milan Jurcina. If Jurcina has a couple more games like last night he will surely be one of the two. I love John Erskine's attitude and old time hockey style but just can't see him keeping up with a Caps game that I envision will get faster and faster paced over the rest of this season. That said I always root for the underdog, so don't be surprised if I get myself a number 4 jersey to watch games in soon.
Is the season still salvageable? Yes but it's a long hard road and 0.500 hockey won't be good enough. When do the Caps need to start down the road to the playoff? Monday evening - making sure the Devils don't have the opportunity to start another winning streak after losing 1-0 in overtime to the Rangers today, would be about the right time to make sure they are able to play 0.700 or better hockey in December.
As I've mentioned before I'll be in San Diego tomorrow evening, but my seats will be well occupied by our Director of Corporate Affairs Jessica and one of her friends. Jessica is from the Southern Tier of NY - Binghamton - has been a fan of the Binghamton Senators for a long time and has been a Caps fan since coming to the DC area. If that's not making sure the seats get good use, I don't know what is. I hope she and her friends get some free wings from Austin's Grill too. LETS GO CAPS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!