While watching the Jets lose a tight one to the Leafs Thursday night, I found myself flipping to the Penguins/Caps matchup during breaks (also the feed I had was on the Leaf’s channel, so I can only take so much propaganda). Even though Ovechkin isn’t what he once was, I’m still drawn to his head-to-head matchups with Crosby as there is a slim chance of a ‘classic’. Thursday night’s game was far from a classic as Crosby had a goal and two assists and the Pens downed the Caps 5-2.
When the score hit 4-1 for the Penguins I thought to myself, "it wasn’t that long ago people were openly declaring Ovechkin the better player." It wasn’t just fans like myself, but many in the media. Today, it appears the Jets fans at the MTS Centre were correct to chirp Ovechkin with a chorus of, "Crosby’s better," as I don’t think there is anyone who would debate that today.
So what happened to Ovie and the Caps?
It was only a few of seasons ago that the Jets Southeast Division rivals from Washington were the toast of hockey. They were the next San Jose Sharks – the team which had never won but had everyone ‘in the know’ picking them as Stanley Cup favourites. Ovechkin, Semin, Green, Backstrom, etc, etc. They were to be hockey’s next big thing and ESPN documentary cameras followed them from coast to coast. As of writing this, Ovechkin and company sit dead last in the NHL standings. Many of the key faces are still there, so their sudden fall from grace is a bit of a mystery.
As a hockey fan first, I take no joy in watching Washington’s downfall. They were an electrifying team to watch and I wish more NHL teams played that style. Hockey is, after all, entertainment. You would imagine that if their downward trend continues much longer, changes will be made. I’m not an ‘insider’ by any stretch of the imagination, it is just a fairly obvious guess.
Enter Mike Gillis
When news broke on February 3rd that Vancouver GM Mike Gillis took in a Capitals pre-game skate, rumors started to run through the internet and over the airwaves that something may be afoot with Washington and Vancouver for netminder Roberto Luongo. Again, I’m not an insider and my intent is not to pull an Eklund and start rumour mongering. However, Vancouver has made no secret of of Luongo’s availability and with the Caps poor start and less than stellar goaltending thus far, to an objective observer Washington’s interest would appear to make sense. I have no idea if anything is in the works, or if the Capitals would even have the pieces to entice Vancouver, but it wouldn’t surprise me if the Capitals pulled the trigger on something if they continue to struggle.
However, the fall of the Washington Capitals isn’t exactly a bad thing for Jets fans is it? From the strongest team in the Jets division to doormats. You have to like that.
- The broadcasters for the Phoenix Coyotes home station aren’t actually terrible. It was pretty funny Thursday night as they mentioned they had heard that there was a drinking game where people had to drink everytime they said, ‘desert dogs.’ They kept mentioning it over and over in case anyone at home was playing. I have a feeling there may be one or two hung over fans in the desert Friday morning (can’t be more than one or two, because lets face it- have you seen the stands at a Coyotes’ game?).
What do you think the odds are that Tim Thomas comes out of his subterranean survival bunker in Utah and plays for the Isles? I know it was a salary cap motivated move, but do you think there is a chance?