another look at Ovi's goal pic.twitter.com/uoPrmullZ9
— Stephanie (@myregularface) October 11, 2015
I didn’t even realize they’d played a regular season game yet, and Ovi is already out here torching guys.
Here with a retro live blog of Game 3, written from a cross-country flight, is Mr. Irrelevant Capitals correspondent Brad Parker (@stopthehats).
6:47 — $8 for DirecTV on the flight including NBCSN. Card swiped.
7:00 — Is that a set without a Milbury? Things are looking up already.
7:24 — BTW, on the plane you can’t page through the guide on DirecTV, it’s one channel at a time so I’ll be hitting the back button just flipping between the game and the Impractical Jokers mini-marathon on Tru TV which somehow exists between NCAA tournaments.
7:26 — Joe’s punishment on Impractical Jokers is to walk his dog on Wall St. in silly costumes. Let’s drop the damn puck.
7:30 — John Forsland behind the mic. I guess I will be able to nap on this flight.
7:34 — Just to be clear, you can get satellite TV on a plane, but I have to put my phone on airplane mode? How will the twittersphere survive a Caps playoff game without my snark? What if there’s a hat trick? Will people throw hats willy nilly without a reminder of Sidney’s refined rules of Stanley Cup etiquette?
7:39 — I’m at 38k feet and hearing @wesjohnsonvoice, Caleb Green and Bob MacDonald. What an age in which we live!
7:42 — Dammit! The volume on this thing doesn’t have numbers. How am I supposed to set it to 19?
7:43 — I feel like we didn’t complain about the disparity in PPs enough between games and we’re already paying for it. Could have gotten a call in the first minute.
7:44 — Does Pierre really think his name is Brooks Orpeck?
7:46 — They’ve gone to Pierre about 4 times in the first 3 minutes. Each time he has talked about the Rangers exclusively. I’ve been wondering if the NBCSN coverage really is biased or if it’s just our perception. So tonight I’ll track which team Pierre talks about first each time they go to him.
7:50 — This looks a whole lot like Game 1 vs. the Islanders.
7:51 — 4 more Pierre breaks, 4 more about the Rangers.
7:56 — Chimmer being Chimmer.
7:57 — After 12 times taking about the Rags, Pierre says Washington hasn’t gotten enough credit all year. Ironic.
7:58 — PP for the Caps.
8:00 — Ovi from the Ovi spot and Pierre says Henrik studies film and knew the one-timer was coming: “His brain is like a supercomputer.” No one else in North America could have seen that coming.
8:01 — PP opportunity missed. Let’s see how long it takes for the Rags to get a PP to even it up.
8:04 — Pierre with Trots. He talks about the Rangers first.
8:06 — Seriously considering hitting the call button and asking flint attendant for a Caps goal. Think she’d be displeased?
8:07 — Another Caps PP.
8:08 — Where the hell is Backstrom?
8:09 — Great chances but nothing yet.
8:10 — Another one killed. Rags PP coming before this period ends.
8:16 — End of 1, no score. Pierre count (times talking about said team first in his hit): Rags 18, Caps 4.
8:20 — Q had 30 seconds to get a feminine product from a stranger in the park. No dice so it’s punishment time. They dress him in a Peter Pan costume and tell him he’s going to have to join a live musical in progress but when he hits the stage it’s really pro wrestling.
8:34 — Second period underway, Pierre talks about the Rags but in a negative way.
8:35 — Rags PP coming on Alzner’s DOG.
8:37 — Serious turbulence, on the plane not the ice.
8:37 — Killed.
8:39 — Has St. Louis ever gone 3-straight games without destroying the Caps? Someone call Elias.
8:40 — First time I’m noticing he crowd being loud.
8:41 — Caps hold the puck in the Rags zone for 2 full minutes, Pierre compliments Rags.
8:43 — BEAGS!!!! I tweeted during Game 1 that no one has ever been more due than Beagle is now. That goal was earned in Games 6 and 7 vs. the Isles. 1-0 Caps 7:31 of the second.
8:49 — Scrum starts in front of the net and DirecTV goes out. We can land a rover on Mars but we can’t get a continuous DirecTV feed on a commercial flight for … it’s back.
8:50 — Feeling a little nauseous. Not sure if it’s the turbulence or having to pay attention to Pierre to keep an accurate count.
8:52 — Captain cuts the game audio to tell me it’s going to be bumpy for another 15-20 minutes. Maybe it’s not Pierre (it’s Pierre).
8:55 — Caps are buzzing, 3 good chances for the Wilson line. Pierre is silent.
8:58 — St. Louis on a breakaway, here it comes. And he shoots it harmlessly right into Holby’s chest. This is not the Cap killer I know.
9:00 — Glencross all alone in the slot, denied. Why the hell did he use up all his goals in his first week with the Caps?
9:07 — Pierre: “We’re gong to have to come up with a nickname for Holtby.” So true. Whoever comes up with a good one will be a beast. A Holtbeast as it were.
9:09 — End of 2, Caps 1, Rags 0. Pierre count: Rags 29, Caps 12 (3 about the goal and one entirely consisted of him saying “a man possessed” about Ovi.)
9:15 — If this game goes to OT will I have to do pushups in the aisle? Must get a message to @puckbuddys to confirm.
9:22 — Impractical Jokers marathon update: It’s the one where Sal is a tour guide on a boat and they make him kayak back to shore. Quality TV.
9:26 — Another pilot announcement about turbulence.
9:28 — Nash just destroyed Orpik. Pierre says it’s darn close to boarding then praises him. Not the Ovi treatment.
9:29 — One minute later they call the same hit on Wilson and it’s ok because of his reputation.
9:33 — KILLED.
9:34 — Did you know that the final score of the baseball games played at CitiField on Saturday and Sunday were both Washington 1, New York 0?
9:36 — Pierre just went on national TV and said that a 3-time Hart Trophy winner who is in the top 3 in PPG in the playoffs among active players has been a breakout player in these playoffs. This is everything that is wrong with the hockey media.
9:39 — This plane is bouncing like the puck at MSG the day after a Clapton concert.
9:43 — I wonder when they’ll give the Rags another PP.
9:52 — Rags just had roughly 57 chances, still 1-0 with 7:30 to go.
9:54 — Ovi to Alzner … off the post. Holy crap it’s loud!
9:56 — Any clear is a good clear. GET IT OUT.
9:57 — 3:13 left and they’re going to break with just crowd noise. Obviously, we are louder.
9:58 — Impractical Jokers update: Murr has his mouth full of novocain and he has to teach a class about cuisines of the world and sample the foods. Brilliant.
10:00 — Can we ask St. Louis not to play the final 2:16?
10:02 — Empty net.
10:03 — St. Louis can hang off the crossbar without his skates touching the ice, adorable.
10:04 — 47 seconds to go.
10:06 — Not 1.3 please.
10:06 — CAPS WIN! Never in doubt.
10:06 — End of 3, Caps 1, Rags 0. Pierre count: Rags 37, Caps 18. Goals scored on shots taken from in front of the net: 0.
I guess I’ll have to take a cross-country flight every game the rest of the Stanley Cup playoffs.
10:08 — The past three professional sporting events between teams from the nation’s capital and the big apple:
Washington 1, New York 0
Washington 1, New York 0
Washington 1, New York 0
10:10 — Hey @NBCSN, can you just play a feed of John Forsland talking so I can sleep the rest of the flight? Wait, Parks and Rec is on, never mind. Best $8 I’ve ever spent!
The Wizards have won an NBA championship, believe it or not, and the Capitals have made it to the Stanley Cup Finals. But the Wiz and the Caps had never made it out of the first round of their respective playoffs in the same year until this very week.
That means the hometown NBA and NHL franchises have combined for eight playoff wins already in 2015. Eight! So much fun. And they must lose at least four more times each before the wins stop coming.
Odds are, even if the Wiz lose to the Hawks (or Nets) and the Caps lose to the Rangers, they’ll probably eek out at least four more wins. That would put them at 12 this spring, two shy of the all-time combined mark, set in ’78 when the Bullets went all the way (and the Caps finished last).
1978 — 14 (all Bullets)
1998 — 12 (all Caps)
1988 — nine (seven Caps, two Wiz)
1979 — nine (all Bullets)
2015 — eight (four Wiz, four Caps)
1975 — eight (all Bullets)
2012 — seven (all Caps)
2009 — seven (all Caps)
(Image taken with love from the homies at RMNB.)
Nearly $200 is still a pretty high average cost, but Capitals-Islanders playoff tickets are down in price versus recent Caps first-round playoff matchups. I imagine this is because the Islanders don’t have the fanbase of the Rangers or Bruins, but it should be a good series nonetheless.
Either way, get in tonight for Game 1 starting at $35 by clicking on the image above.
Caps correspondent Brad Parker (@StoptheHats) returns to preview the Caps-Isles series. He’s joined by his longtime hockey teammate and friend LJ, who is a diehard Islanders fan (apparently those still exist). Brad asked the questions, LJ gave the answers. We thank them both.
Main reason has to be the offense. The Islanders were 4th in the league in goals for.
An improved defense as well. Garth, who gets killed as a GM, made two incredible acquisitions before the season started in early October on the same day. Nick Leddy was acquired for a very good defensive prospect (Ville Pokka) and a pick, and Johnny Boychuk for a couple of second-round picks. The fact that Stan Bowman traded Leddy rather than Oduya is insane — Leddy would be the best defenseman on the Blackhawks not named Duncan right now. It goes to my theory that NHL coaches are by and large morons. Quenneville didn’t trust Leddy as much as he trusted others, and during their Stanley Cup and playoff runs, he was relegated to a sixth- or seventh-defenseman role.
Boychuk, meanwhile, given a first pair role after playing behind Chara and others, was also deemed expendable for salary cap purposes by Boston, and he shined with career highs in most categories. Ask Claude Julien whether he would rather have had Boychuk or Zach Trotman coming down the stretch. Boychuk is what Caps fans wish Brooks Orpik could be. As a plus, his brothers might be the funniest in the NHL family on Twitter (outside of Luongo).
Ovi got to 50 on the season the other night and 472 on his career, tying Peter Bondra for No. 1 in Caps history. A few cool stats/bits of trivia to celebrate the occasion, starting with:
Mike Bossy, Wayne Gretzky, Marcel Dionne, Guy Lafleur, and Mario Lemieux are the only other players to hit 50 goals six times. And they all played in eras with significantly more goal-scoring.
Putting 50 goals into further perspective for the modern era:
Ovechkin has six 50-goal seasons in 10 years. The rest of the NHL has 13. http://t.co/TvwmvqJUXy
— Mr. Irrelevant (@MrIrrelevantDC) April 1, 2015
And from a few years ago, Via Daily Sports:
Stick it, Crosby.
I was 11 or 12 when this poster became a thing, but I didn’t see it ’til yesterday (via @japersrink):
Based off of the goal totals/puck pyramids, this must’ve been during the offseason of ’89. Dino Ciccarelli, Geoff Courtnall and Mike Ridley would go on to score 106 goals the next season, one that ended with a run to the conference finals.
Twenty-five years later, Ghostbusters III still hasn’t been made, though it is in production for summer 2016.
Previously: The Early ’90s Redskins ‘Posse’ Poster
The Worldwide Leader unveiled a rather cool feature yesterday, The Great Analytics Rankings, sorting all 122 NFL, NBA, MLB and NHL teams by “the strength of each franchise’s analytics staff, its buy-in from execs and coaches, its investment in biometric data and how much its approach is predicated on analytics.” I don’t know what biometric data is, but this is interesting nonetheless, at least as it pertains to our favorite teams.
We’ll start with the good. The Nats and O’s are both labeled as “believers,” meaning they rank somewhere in the top half among MLB teams. For the O’s, it’s thanks to “GM Dan Duquette, manager Buck Showalter and pitching coordinator Rick Peterson, all of whom are respected for their analytical thinking,” though “they need a more coherent, holistic approach and a stronger investment to compete with division rivals Tampa Bay, Boston and New York.”
I’m not sure if this is actually an *annual* ranking of the five major D.C. pro sports teams, but it is a nice time of year to do such a thing.
As Tom Boswell so kindly points out, the past two Redskins seasons were the franchise’s worst since 1961. Incredible.
But! Short of Dan Snyder selling the team, the best possible thing that could happen just happened: They finally hired a real GM. And a highly regarded one to boot!
Of course, he has a drinking problem, and this is the Redskins. Our enthusiasm is curbed by hopelessness. Continue reading
Here with a look at the ticket market for Caps-Blackhawks on New Year’s Day is Mr. Irrelevant Tickets partner TiqIQ.
The average price for tickets to the Winter Classic at Nationals Park on New Year’s Day is $487, which makes it the third-most expensive Winter Classic since TiqIQ started tracking the market five years ago. The only Winter Classic with more expensive tickets came at Citizens Bank Park in 2012 when the Rangers visited the Flyers. That year, there were plenty of Rangers’ fans who made the trip down 95, which was a big part in driving ticket prices above the $500 mark. This year, only the most die-hard of Blackhawk fans will be making the 700-mile trip to D.C. to see the Blackhawks play in their second Winter Classic.