Tag Archives: washington capitals

Mikey Monday: Don’t Go

4 Jun

Now that it’s June, we might as well start talking about the elephant in the room: will the Caps re-sign Mike Green this summer?

Or, more accurately, does anyone want to see my meltdown if they don’t?

Before I put my head in an oven like Kate Winslet in The Holiday, please read this hilarious RMNB piece: “Year End Review: Mike Green.

Fidget will become a restricted free agent on July 1.  If this is new to you, read the rules here.  Basically the Caps have to make a “qualifying offer” equal to his $5 million/year salary to retain his rights.  Mike can wait to see what other teams might bid, then the Caps have the option to match it.  If Mike doesn’t stay, the Caps would get draft picks as compensation from wherever he goes.

Mike doesn’t want to leave me DC.  He told CSNWashington: “Absolutely, I love it here,” he said. “This is a great organization, a great city and I believe that we’re going to win a Cup here and I want to be a part of it.”

He’d better say that.

The story will come down to what the Caps are willing to pay.  Mike had a couple of killer seasons, including back-to-back Norris Trophy nominations and the standing record for longest goal-scoring streak by a d-man (8 games).  The last two years he’s struggled with injuries, a more defensive system, increasingly skinny jeans and falling down.

People love to blame Mike for everything, and I get it (sometimes).  It’s frustrating when key guys don’t produce.  If that were a song, the Caps could play it during pre-game skate.  He is not alone in the doghouse, but it is expensive to feed him at this rate.

Alas, here are the top 25 paid defensemen for last season [link].  Mike is #25.  Recent contracts to guys like Duncan Keith ($8 mil/yr) and Brent Seabrook ($7 mil/yr) have seen prices skyrocket for elite defensemen.  Shea Weber went to arbitration last summer and got $7.5 million, just to be an RFA again this year.  They’ll be printing money with his face on it.

The last two years, these guys are out of Mike’s league.  He hasn’t been an impact player.  Accident or incident?  Who knows.  But two/three years ago, Mike was right up there.  He’s still only 26 – Doughty (22) is the only d-man on the list who’s younger.  Do the Caps gamble on keeping their Young Guns together for the promise of another run?  That requires more question marks, like ‘Has Ovi turned a corner?’ and ‘Will Semin be Sasha Fierce every day?’ (Semin’s an unrestricted free agent, and that’s gonna get ugly.)

Maybe we just need more guyliner.

There’s also the fact that the Caps have &#%@ all else on the blue line.  Put Karlzner aside (iCarly is an RFA too – get paid, son!).  Who are we left with?  The stonewall defense pairing of Jeff Shultz and Dmitry Orlov?  Hamrlik and Wideman?  Wideman’s a UFA, don’t plan on seeing him in October.  Unless the Caps have their eye on another defenseman to fill Mike’s skates, this squad couldn’t stop the WUYS Kickball Team.

Back when Mike was… scoring more points? That hurts.

Blergh. I obviously believe in Mike.  Am I an eternal optimist or a sucker for a lost cause?  When he’s good, he’s so, so good.  Confidence and the consistency of regular play are the keys for Mike.  Right now, I want to grab him and shake him and make him write a list of ten things he likes about himself.  A full season can turn him around and he is worth $5 million, damn it!

If the Caps won’t take the chance on Mike, someone else will.  Let’s hope that day never comes – I won’t be the only one hitting a low point.

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Not Quite Mikey Monday

29 May

Ever think you could watch a good-looking guy just do nothing all day?

TA DA!

Since we missed Memorial Day Mikey Monday yesterday, the lovely Katie Howell sent us this workout video.  I have to do these planks endlessly for Tough Mudder training, so I should clearly be going to Mike’s gym.  He doesn’t look at all like he wants to die, or surrender into downward dog for a break.  He’s just chilling, or even bored.  On second thought, maybe I shouldn’t go to his gym.  No one wants to step over my dead body on the floor.

It’s going to be a long summer.  Get back on the Instagram, Mike!

Mikey Monday: Love & Memories

14 May

Lying dead on the floor in front of my TV was not an ideal Saturday night, but at least I wasn’t the only one.  I won’t get down on the Caps for their game seven performance because it’s not what I want to remember all summer.

This year, I watched more hockey than ever.  I wore out the Center Ice Package and my DVR (and my husband’s patience).  I went to more games this season than in my entire life combined – 29, that we could remember, and every one of them a Caps game.  I gave up trying to fight it.

Just when you’re feeling down, you can count on Mike to take a photo of himself standing in the bathroom for you to find on the internet.

So thanks, Caps, for a season that was better for me than it was on the scoresheet: more fun, more memorable, possibly more frustrating than any game recap could recall.  Some of my all-time hockey fan highlights were written this year.  There were also moments of tough love when doors were slammed, channels changed – I once got so mad at Mike that I threw a fit and bought a Backstrom shirt out of spite.

Yeah, I’m crazy.  I just never thought it would be for them.

Now “there’s always next year,” and the year after that.  But what I’ll really miss is what can never quite be repeated – the ecstatic, hilarious, infuriating magic that is a single season, with a single team, and almost always ends too soon.

S-A-T-U-R-D-A-Y Night!

10 May

Last night’s Caps/Rangers Game 6 was officially the most fun I’ve ever had at a hockey game.  Maybe it was the Jeff Schultz Fan Club in front of us at warm-ups – hey, there really is someone for everyone.  Maybe it was the “Let’s Let Karl’s Dogs Out” sign or the Flo Rida dance party.  It could have been this hug from iCarly:

We sat with the near the best people ever.  To our left, a mom with an adorable 1-year old baby girl in her lap.  She passed said baby to dad so she could have her hands free when yelling, “Call something, you blind $&#*@*^ ref!!” at the top of her lungs.  The guys behind us were doing NHL Mystery Science Theatre 3000 – I wish I’d recorded them.  Gems like:

Person in crowd: “Let’s go Rangers!”

Guy behind us: “I can’t hear you over the winning!”

Instead of a tired, boring “Lundqvist, you suck!”, we got, “Who puts a V after a Q?!”  and a million more.  It helped reduce the tension of holding my breath for sixty minutes.

There were also a couple of goals.  (In Russian, I love the way he says, “Green.”)

Nicky lost his helmet and we all swooned like Disney princesses.  All 4 feet, 11 inches of Keith Aucoin was getting in Brian Boyle’s… well, somewhere around his rib cage, I guess, but it looked feisty.  Joel Ward got a HUGE cheer when announced in the starting lineup.  Chimera was a beast – he wanted to fight so badly, but we prefer when he scores.  Best facial expression of the night:

Holtby was outstanding.  You should see all the 70 shirts in this place now.  He woulda (shoulda, coulda) had the shutout if not for Ryan Gosling Carl Hagelin’s uncalled goalie interference, but who cares?  The moment of “Oh God, not again!” panic when Gaborik scored with 50 seconds left passed, and the game was over.

Now we’ve all got Saturday Date Night with the Rangers and Caps at 7:30 PM.  Put on your dancing shoes!

Life is Pain

8 May

Most girls will tell you there are few situations in life that cannot be explained by a scene from The Princess Bride.

After the Caps’ loss to the Rangers last night, I feel Mostly Dead.  Tortured.  Gutted.  But if you lean close enough, you might hear me whisper:

In case you missed it (what on Earth were you doing instead?!), the Caps were up 2-1 with 22 seconds to play.  Joel Ward took a high-sticking double-minor for hitting Cary Elwes Ryan Gosling Carl Hagelin in the face.  Then this happened:

Inconceivable.  WE HAD THIS GAME!  Holtby was killing it and the Caps were digging for every inch.  It was right there… and here we go into the Fire Swamp, also known as another damned overtime game.

At least it didn’t take long.  Ginger Staal scored while Ward was serving his second penalty.  And just like that – Pit of Despair.

I feel so bad for Joel Ward.  It was an awful penalty but only one of a billion the Caps have taken this season.  And he handled it like this, managing to break my heart even more:

Shake it off, JWard.  Good adventure movies teach us that all hope is not lost.  I’m not going to kill myself because none of our four fastest ships scored.  Outshot 38-18?  BAH.  I’m not left-handed either!  We are going to fight to the pain in game six.  As baby Fred Savage tells his grandfather, Columbo: “I wasn’t nervous. Maybe I was a little bit ‘concerned’ but that’s not the same thing. “

Let’s focus on game six.  Get a wheelbarrow and a holocaust cloak because we are opening that gate.  And when someone gives you a book, remember to ask:

Mikey Monday: FTW

7 May

The only reasons to be awake at 7 AM on a Saturday are you’re 1) still up from the night before or 2) buying playoff hockey tickets.  I woke Gator up with a text and we debated (read: I peer pressured her).  Something was telling me to go.  The Force was communicating.  So we went.

THANK GOD.

HUG EVERYONE!

Mike warmed up with his helmet on, which he never does.  I guess a 12:30 start didn’t give him enough time to do his hair (reason #3 for being up at 7 AM?).  It’s not as if he wakes up looking like this:

Worth every penny. (Thanks @jlrpuck, who dropped her camera after this one.)

First Ovi scored, and the Rangers scored.  Nicky scored, the Rangers scored.  Then with just under six left in the third, Mike did this:

Be still my beating heart.

I tackled Gator like a squid and we almost fell off the upper deck.  If any single voice in the Verizon Center was louder than mine, I challenge that person to a duel.  Mike Green goals are my favorite thing in the history of things.

If I had missed living that moment, I’d be devastated-while-ecstatic and I’m not sure how many feelings I can feel at the same time and survive.

It’s not just the goal.  It’s EVERYTHING.  Okay, maybe I’m overstating it, but Mike needs confidence.  He needs to trust the judgement that made him a 70-point scorer and two-time Norris trophy candidate.  Green stepping up on offensive plays can give this team a boost it doesn’t always find on the front line.  Nicky getting on the board feels awfully good too.

Piglet Power!

Here’s Mike’s post-game interview [link] and post-practice from Sunday [link].  I love his beard – this must be his real hair color (you know he dyes that hedgehog perfection).

From NewYorkTimes.com: Afterward, in the Capitals’ locker room, Green, 26, was reminded how he, Ovechkin, Backstrom and Alexander Semin were once called the Young Guns.

“We’re not that young anymore,” he said, smiling. “But it’s good to know we can still put it in the net.”

Yeah, that’s what I she said.

On the cover of today’s Washington Post Express – I love Mondays!

Game 5 tonight at 7:30 PM.  Listen for the screaming.

3 AM (It Must be OT)

3 May

It wasn’t quite 3 AM, but close…

When John Carlson scores a goal, I get irrationally happy.  When that goal is assisted by Karl Alzner, I yell, “Apples to Apples!” and jump around the room.  Can we get this guy a clear mouth guard?

Sadly iCarly’s goal was not enough as the Caps lost an epic triple-overtime game to the Rangers.  I have a new downstairs neighbor (bad timing!) and will probably get an angry call from my landlord today (don’t care!) about the noise.  And the language.  But I don’t plan to settle down anytime soon.

You all thought this was in, right?  I threw my arms up… and Mr. Pants ended up wearing some wine.  Oops.

By the end of the second overtime, I was emotionally exhausted.  I can’t imagine how the players on either team felt, dragging around like anchors on a ship.  They never cease to amaze me – no one who went down for a shot block decided to take a nap or curled up against Nicky B and closed their eyes.  I know most of you were thinking about it.

This Caps team looks confident, strong and, as they have since the playoffs started, they look like a TEAM.  Even Mike Green loved us back last night with five shots on goal.  Bring on Saturday!  Give us more of Braden Holtby’s adorable parents in the stands!

I have to say the Rangers also played a heck of a game, of course.  Ryan McDonagh had over 53 minutes.  WOW.  Ginger Staal had 49-plus.  Bless their hearts if they can even get out of bed today.