Saturday, August 30, 2008

August 30 - What's On Tap for the Hockey Starved?

Well it's another Saturday here in sunny Bristow and what's on tap for the hockey starved? Just as I was fully prepared to "use" watching a third round match between Venus Williams and Alona Bondarenko at the US Open to put off on yard work, replacing some mulch and putting weed&feed on the lawn, I stumbled onto "Alexander Ovechkin's Top 10 Goals of 2005 - 2006" on the NHL Network. Thank you! Of course it's not commercial free, but it sure beats yard work and it's Caps hockey at it's best. Even if having been there, you know some of those greatest goals came during loosing efforts. My only regret is it's only 1/2 hour show then it's back to US Open Tennis.

I have to say the top 3 (which are really the top 5 since number 3 was Ovechkin's first career hat trick) are all just awesome highlight reel goals. When you realize that as a rookie Ovie scored 52 goals and 54 assists for 106 points, at a time when it's been historically harder to score than say the fast & furious '80's, it's really even more amazing. Of course, number 1 is "THE GOAL" against Phoenix. The comments from his fellow players during this 1/2 hour show really make you understand what a great opportunity Washington DC area hockey fans have since we get to watch him every home game.

Well back to the US Open and in just over 53 minutes it seems like Venus Williams is making short work of Bondarenko, she won the first set 6-2 and she's up 5-1 in the second with Venus serving for the match. As Patrick McEnroe just said "Under an hour and match point" right before Venus wins the final game, set and match 6-2/6-1. During a commercial break from Ovie's goals I caught a 127 MPH Venus Williams first serve ace Amazing, Venus had 19 aces for the match.

Around the Caps "blogsphere" today, it's clear all Caps fans are getting a little restless. "On Frozen Blog" spoke to Chris Clark yesterday and he's 100% and looking forward to the season. Peerless has several "interesting" how they are made videos linked in - hockey pucks, hockey sticks, goalie masks, and hockey skates. At "A View From The Cheap Seats", CapsChick continues enumerating the 64 reasons she loves hockey. Japer and Alexander Ovetjkin are carrying reports that "The Great Eight" has a new love in his life, surprise, she is a tall, attractive, blonde, Russian beauty - Victoria Lopyreva, Miss Russia 2004. To be fair, checking out her website and it sure looks like she is a very smart, attractive, woman who is accomplished in her own right, in addition to being, pardon the expression a "stone, cold, fox." Hey CC, I bet a lot of guys would add #65, "Hockey Player's Girlfriends and Wives." Over at The Red Skate, the article centers on "“Hockey mom” turned VP candidate" with allusion to the fact that a vote for McCain-Palin might be a vote for Hockey fans, especially if Minnesota Governor Tim Pawlenty also somehow ends up in a McCain administration. So much for the hockey news, even Tarik and Corey don't have much, Corey continues his reviews of the 30 NHL teams and their prospects this coming season if you're into that sort of stuff like I am.

Can't Wait For Next Season; LETS GO CAPS!!!!!

Friday, August 29, 2008

The Tickets - Who Do You Want To Vote For

I'm a moderate and I think the next 61 days are going to be very interesting. A site I really like to look at when thinking about national and stat elections is "On The Issues.Org" What I like about this site is that it gives a really great summary of elected officials voting records and positions on many key issues. Per their analysis they then categorize an elected officials political perspective based on those positions. Here's what they have to say about the Presidential and Vice Presidential candidates:

John McCain is a Populist-Leaning Conservative;
Sarah Palin is a Moderate Populist Conservative;

Barack Obama is a Hard-Core Liberal;
Joe Biden is a Populist-Leaning Liberal.

Let the games begin - the pundits are out in force on the tube tonight and I'm sure the Republican Convention will be as Jingoistic as the Democratic Convention this past week was.

Thursday, August 28, 2008

It's Still August - Hockey News? - Not So Much...

There is not even a little hockey news today - the big story is that you will need tickets, all be it free tickets, to get in and watch the Caps - Flyers Prospect Game at Kettler Center this year. The details are on Tarik's "Capital Insider" Blog as well as the Cap's Official Website.

Even the stories on TSN's site aren't too interesting and definately aren't any sort of major news. Finally if you are like me you have even gotten tired of watching reruns of the 2007 and the 2008 playoffs on the NHL Network. August, no Hockey, no Football of note, no Basketball of note, Olympics now over, no Baseball that matters if you are an O's or Nats fan so to some degree I just decided to return to my roots and cheer the Philadelphia Phillies on since they are 1/2 Game Back of the dreaded NY Mets, and there is the US Open for tennis this week. But in reality what am I thinking about besides work now that my vacation is over?

I can't wait for the Caps 2008 - 2009 season to start.

Do you think Bruce Bodreau would mind if I stopped by to see him at KCI on my way past the place going home from work next week to get a hockey fix. Would he chat with us all (I'll be your proxy) what would you ask "Gabby". I'd ask him how great it felt to finally make it to the NHL and show everyone what a great coach he is? I'd next ask what he bases his system on, and thank him for making the game so much fun to watch here in DC by letting the "young guns" play fast and furious hockey instead of the dreaded "Trap". What would you ask him if you could do so?

Can't Wait Till Next Season --- LETS GO CAPS!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Not Much News for the Hockey Starved But - CLARKIE'S BACK!!!!

Per Tarik El Bashir over at Capitals Insider, yesterday, Chris Clark returned to the area and "he joined teammates Brent Johnson and Boyd Gordon for his first informal practice of the summer in Arlington. Clark appeared at ease when skating top speed, turning sharply and shooting (more on this later), though he did back off during the start-and-stop skating drills at the end of the session. No cause for concern, he said, he was just being cautious." Like Brent Johnson, I too think that the return of Clark is good news for the the Caps and for all Caps fans. Now that's about it for hockey news and the thoughts on it. These are the boring days of summer when it comes to hockey news and right now I can't wait till camp starts next month. And I really

Can't Wait Till Next Season --- LETS GO CAPS!!!!

Sunday, August 10, 2008

Sixty Degrees and Clear In August - You Have to Love This Weather

Well when I arose this morning and let the dogs out here in Bristow, VA it was "just a tad over" sixty degrees Fahrenheit. Sixty degrees, clear and low humidity on August 10th in Northern Virginia?!?!? I am not complaining, the weather this summer has been quite nice. In fact this is probably the nicest summer I've seen since we moved to the area in 1996.

There's a lot to like about the weather this summer. Here's my list:
1) The occasional days where we've not been above 85 degrees has mad it fair less humid and "muggy" than usual. I hate "muggy" days.
2) We've had enough rain and the temperatures haven't been so sweltering so here we are in August and with only minimal watering, our lawn is "NOT BROWN" as opposed to other years where by August 1st, immense amounts of watering has been required to keep it from being "MOSTLY DEAD". In fact many areas of our lawn are basically still green.
4) You can actually sit outside and enjoy the evenings a lot of the days so far this summer.
5) AND THE BEST ONE - The best part of this fall-like weather is it reminds you that the opening face off of the 2008-2009 NHL Season is just 55 days away when the Rangers play the Lightning and the Penguins face off against the Senators over in Europe on October 4th.

Can't Wait Till Next Season - LETS GO CAPS!!!!!!!!!!!

Saturday, August 9, 2008

Busy Week - No Real Hockey News = No Blog Updates

It's been another very busy week for me - both on the personal front and at work. Lots going on at ICx Technologies these days - growing is hard work!

On a personal front, my wife & I took the day off on Wednesday and went up to NYC where we got to see our son while the USMMA Class of 2012 went to the Mets - Padres game at Shea Stadium. We hit the road at 6:00AM and headed to the city where I had a meeting for work with our ICx Transportation folks (yes, I did say I was on vacation, but what's a 2 hour diversion from fun with work anyway?). We then headed out to Kings Point to drop off our son's Lacrosse Equipment - we left it off at the Asst. Coach's office and still had not seen him for three weeks till we got to the game. We (my wife & I) had the best seats I've ever had to a baseball game - field box seats - on the corner of the Visiting Team's dugout 6 rows from the field! Of course we only sat in them till the middle of the first inning when we went to seek out the location where the midshipman were sitting up on the mezzanine level. This brought back lots of fun memories as these were the same sort of seats the Mets used to let us Middies sit in for free "back in the day" when I was at Kings Point. It was great seeing our son and his classmates, they all look great and have now completed indoctrination. They started academic classes on July 29th and their next big event will be acceptance into the regiment of midshipman the Saturday after Labor Day. That will also be the next time we see our son. In any case it was a good but long day that came to an end when we got home at ~3:00AM Thursday.

On the hockey news front, there hasn't been much news regarding the Caps these days in fact other than the whole Brett Farve thing, not much seems to be getting a lot of sports coverage in general. Hopefully the U.S. Open and the Olympics will change that this weekend. Of course all that doesn't matter because I still can't wait for the the 2008-2009 NHL season to start.


Why I Love Matt Bradley

Check out this link - Brads is as fun to listen to as he is to watch.

Friday, August 1, 2008

Another busy week down and how about those Caps?

So We had a busy week at ICx Technologies; we had a lot of activity going on five major pursuits - four that I'm working on and another that has a real good team chasing it. All in all, for what used to be a really quiet time in past years this summer is just full of activity and surprises. Of course as I say that beats the daylights out of the alternative, and the days are flying by.

Up in Kings Point, NY on Long Island at the USMMA, the Class of 2012 completed "Indoc" and classes started on Wednesday for the entire Regiment of Midshipman. Our son has the same professor I had for Calculus I, I suspect he'll do better than I did. When we hear from him, it's clear that Indoctrination and the transition to the fast paced academic calender Kings Point maintains has NOT gotten any easier in 30 years. I now get to see the Academy from 3 perspectives - my own two - Alumni and Parent and our son's student - it's weird on many levels. To make matters more confusing, on Tuesday Evening, I went to the Nationals - Phillies Game with 14 of my USMMA Class of 1982 Classmates. We had a great time, the furthest travellers came from Virginia Beach, Williamsburg and Chester , PA. We believe the 15 of us were the largest gathering of classmates since graduating, other than at Homecoming every five years at the Academy. If you haven't been out to Nationals Park, when you go you're in for a treat - the sight lines are "all good"; the stadium is just so well setup it's hard to describe. Now the Nats just need to get a good product on the field and it'll all come together for them like it did last season for the - you probably saw this one coming - Washington Capitals. Also it's great to see the redevelopment that the Ballpark and the relocation of the Department of Transportation Headquarters are having on that section of DC. As they used to say on the features pages of The Prelate at Cardinal Dougherty RC High School in Philadelphia "back in the day" - a good time was had by all. Chris's classmates in the USMMA Class of 2012 have great futures to look forward to judging by the conversations and catching up the 15 of us did while the Nats and Phillies played to a 2-0 victory by the boys from the City of Brotherly Love.

Well I can't go more than a week without thinking about how much I'm looking forward to the next season by the Caps. The real issue between now and the start of the next NHL Season for the Great Number 8 and his teammates is that the Capitals are very tight on Salary Cap space. In fact with their desired group of top seven defenseman they are likely $2M over the salary cap. of course currently Brian Pothier is projected to be on LTIR but even without his salary, if Karl Alzner were to start the season in a Capitals "sweater" and Jeff Schultz is the number 4/5 defenseman the Caps will be ~984K K over the salary cap; if the Caps leave Alzner in Hershey and have Sami Lepeisto and John Erskine in the line-up the Capitals will still be pretty much right up on top of the Salary Cap and Alzner will get some time to grow into the Caps systems in Hershey. Personally I'm rooting for Patrick McNeill as much as anybody and let's not forget Quintin Laing - I'm rooting for both Laing & McNeill when Training Camp opens at Kettler on September 20th, 2008.

Can't wait till next season ---- LETS GO CAPS!!!!!!