Monday, April 27, 2009

right side of the line

Advance, advance, advance! That's what I want. I want to be on the right side of the scoring, the calls, the shots, the saves. Just everything. I want game 7 to be our best game of the year thus far. Maybe that's asking too much, but I certainly expect a fuller effort than I've been treated to in the last 2 games. There will be handshakes tomorrow and I want our heads held high, preferably smiling.

I thought I wanted Pittsburgh to succeed just to make fun of Crosby's "beard" (and I'm gonna make fun of it right now) but man was I wrong. I never need to see this patchy pencil thin lip fur again. I was trying to place what it reminded me of, then it hit me - Bobby Peru! Crosby's chicklet teeth may be more dentally sound, but he skeeves me nearly as much. At least BP has a terrific sense of humor. Well, if this atrocity gets TV time next week, Mara's full out lumberjack should too in accordance with equal hair time. It's only right.

head shakes not handshakes

Has that Mexican bastard Gomez infected the team with swine flu? What the fuck happened to this team over the last two games? I always knew Brashear was evil, but now it's seeping out of his body in the form of a Hollywood Hulk Hogan beard. Blackbeard took out my beloved Blair Betts with a high elbow to the head yesterday. There goes the PK, which of course is exactly what happened. Morrisson tried to give Dubinsky rabies. Henrik was shelled for 5 goals, 2 PPGs. Ugh. Although the calls were beyond egregious we brought a lot of this misery on ourselves, first by benching Avery for game 5 than proceeding to play the game like zombies. Next Torts gets himself benched, then they sit Orr in the one game where his might and protection could have really made a difference and at least would have given the throng something to cheer about.

One high point was the comedian sitting behind me. He worked a soviet theme throughout the game and it was damn hysterical, "How many rubles did it take to pay off these refs?", "To the gulag Ovechkin", "Check his passport!" I'm sure I missed some other ethnic gems. At least he had some passion unlike my rowmates who wouldn't even stand for the 2nd and 3rd Ranger goals. I'm there to root for my team, so sue me if I want to sing the goal song when all hope is lost. Actually I really liked Staal's goal with 5 seconds left. I think it bodes well for Tuesday's decider at Verizon Center. Henrik seldom if ever has 3 ordinary games in a row, so I'm cautiously hopeful for game 7 - even without Betts and Dubinsky foaming a little at the mouth and skating blindly in one direction.

Sunday, April 26, 2009

carving out a win

I've watched some pretty bad game 5s over the last few seasons, but oh man what a stinker Friday night. At least the outcome was decided early, no anxiety needed. Which left a mix of disappointment, disbelief and anger. Not terribly fun. At least we had the best beard on the ice. Mara Peep is sporting a pretty nifty one too.

Henrik spotted the Caps another 4 goals, but game 5 was far different from game 3. I never like to see Henrik give up softies, but in this case I think our play in front just drained him of all energy right from the first faceoff. Boudreau thinks that means Henrik will play incredible goal this afternoon. I do too and I just hope it's enough. This series has definitely played out like a mini version of our season. In this scenario Game 5 was all of Jan/Feb. Here's hoping game 6 is one of the better post trade deadline games where Avery, Antropov, Cally and everybody were clicking and getting it done. Today my boys have to step up and do it for themselves without their coach to guide them. The odds are looking bleaker, but I still believe.

Friday, April 24, 2009

was hoping for handshakes

But at this point I'd take a goal. These Peepitals came on strong tonight. Thought I'd change the tide by updating the lineup. Torts benched Avery, so I had to too. Now Mara is in deep, Freddie has an open net and Cally's up in the corner. Let's make it happen.

Handshakes for Sunday. Oh please, please, please.

aiming for one more win

I've reclaimed the peeps diorama (sorry Mike!) as a Ranger bunnie victory ground. Those pesky poultry fans just love to stick around and rub their smug faces in your face. Well let them, this game is not about the chickens. Let's hope my Verizon Center voodoo works. I feel we can definitely nail down one win in the next 3 games, but I would very much like to see handshakes tonight. The Caps are gonna come out strong, but I'm looking for the Rangers to be even stronger, more decisive, more offensive than they've been in the first four. Let's make it happen. I believe in you Henrik, I believe in you Rangers.

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Raise your sticks to the King!

I knew those towels would do the trick. While I'm not totally behind the Garden faithful swinging white towels, that image, that feeling of twirling it means the playoffs to me. I'm sure I'm not alone because there was a palpable positive energy at MSG last night - on the ice, in the stands - it was beautiful.

Everyone knows I think the world of Henrik Lundqvist, but I can't remember being more proud of him than in this series, and most especially last night. He was just plain brilliant. I know that this is what he's capable of, that's why some of the losses are so hard to stomach. He's simply the best and my favorite. I think chances are good that he can steal another one of the next three, hopefully Friday night. Of course Henrik had help. Another 13 blocked shots and the team in front did a much better job of keeping the Caps on the outside than last game. If we can just stay fohcoosed, this series is ours.

Here's to Henrik and the Rangers - thank you boys!

ps. Who doesn't want to see Paul Mara's beard a month from now? I think the refs' calls should tilt in our favor, champion the cause.

pss. Had a brush with our Russian superstars Zherdev and Antropov last night. Ovechkin reminds me of a sexy Rasputin, but man...Antropov is like a Russian Apollo. Dude is handsome.

Monday, April 20, 2009

goalie in search of a team

I'm gonna blame these rally sticks! Where was my playoff towel? That's the giveaway that wins games. At least we get them on Wednesday, so I'm feeling better about that game. It would be hard to feel worse about this one. We were just terrible. Henrik looked human, but he certainly didn't have any help from the rest of the team when it came to scoring, avoiding penalties, clearing the puck. You name it, we sucked. The guy next to me was teasing me because I still wanted to score with less than 5 min in the 3rd, but I paid damn good money for my ticket and wanted to at least get a good goal song out of it. Sucks to be me. The only enjoyment came from the foreign people sitting in our section. When a "Poti Sucks!" chant rang out after his late goal they didn't understand and were chanting "Hockey Sucks!" Or perhaps "Pocky sucks!" but I know it doesn't it. It's delicious.

The worse part of the game is I had the fleeting feeling, "This is the team I know!" The Rangers that can't score. make a good pass, or keep the puck in is a very familiar team. Hopefully that poised, competent team that somehow won the first 2 will be back for game 4. I believe.

Sunday, April 19, 2009

heart attack but no heartbreak

Thank the heavens that I'll be in attendance for the next 2 games, because it was so hard to watch game 2 from home yesterday. Let's just characerize my gametime demeanor as "fidgety". Not that I didn't believe that Henrik and the boys could nail down a 1-0 game, it's just that the outcome could have turned with any and every Caps' rush across the blueline. They are a scary team which leaves me even more proud of the effort the Rangers exhibited in game 2. Excellent job boys. Now let's continue that focus and poise into MSG.

As for the others series I'm torn between wanting the Penguins golfing as soon as possible and anticipation of both Crosby and Malkin's truly atrocious playoff beards should they advance. There's something about Sidney's pencil thin mustache that makes me smile every time. A little part of me would miss it.

ps. Thanks for the goal Cally, I knew you would come through. I'm ready to cheer you on tomorrow night! I believe in you Rangers!

Saturday, April 18, 2009

Sean Peepery is in the house!

That's right even the Peep edition of #16 is so hated that Poultry fans stayed to root against him. He's still gonna get the job done today (even without a stick!) irritating players and fans alike. Let's hope so anyway.

Fingers crossed that Drury will be in the lineup this afternoon. Definitely out for the Caps is defenseman Schultz who has been sidelined by an undisclosed injury. After his gaffe in the 3rd period of game 1, my guess is that he sustained that injury in his own locker room by his own players. Too bad for us good guys, but I hope the boys turn in a solid, commanding performance that doesn't rely on blunders by the Caps.

Let's go Rangers!

Friday, April 17, 2009

been caught stealing aka 15 to go!

So yeah, maybe the Rangers weren't the best team on the ice Wednesday night, but they were the ones that went to the locker room up 1-0 in this series and that's what counts. Actually this game went pretty much according to the script I laid out. Both teams played well, we just played a little better where and when it made the most difference. To me the Blueshirts' advantage was both Henrik in goal and our previous playoff seasoning. The team didn't panic when the Caps tied it up. Our best effort came in the 2nd half of the 3rd - that last Philly game already paying dividends with our confidence. Dubi's goal was sick. And I gotta give Gomez credit - he promised to turn it on and he certainly did burying a goal and setting up the 2 PPGs. Thank you Scottie!

Now I know tomorrow's game is gonna be different. Avery will not have the same room to work his slightly dirty magic that he was miraculously afforded in this one. Henrik is gonna have to be as sharp if not sharper. Cally's still gonna hit everything, but hopefully the net too. I have high hopes and high blood pressure. Are the playoffs fun, or just hard? Please let it be fun.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

putting the Peepitals to bed

Just a few last angles of the Peepitals before they get too crunchy and all their colorful sugar falls off. Notice the yellow laces on Ovie's skates. Fedorov had a pair too, but unfortunately his line was relegated to the bench. Maybe Jagr Peep can wear them in our KHL diorama. And also Brashear's view from the penalty box. Mike and I weren't sure if adding him was in poor taste, but it felt wrong without him. If we'd known this project wasn't WaPo bound we'd have added a little more blood - on the ice, on the boards, in the stands - basically everywhere.

Game 1 tomorrow, I'm all hopeful and anxious. My goal is to steal one of these road games, preferably both. I know it's unrealistic to expect a repeat of the 2007 Atlanta series, but a girl can hope. What are the chances that Zherdev and Antropov are furiously teaching Avery some choice words in Russian? Maybe all 3 will be chirping their way into a series win. That would be beautiful.

Up with Peeps, down with Caps!

Thanks to everyone who has stopped by and supported the Peepitals. Most especially a huge thank you to Greg Wyshynski at Puck Daddy for giving the project the national shine we were aching for. He's by far my favorite voice in hockey, and now I love him even more. Thanks also to Tarik at Capitals Insider for reciprocating a shoutout. Lastly I want to make sure to give respect to Mike Dudolevitch, fervent Caps fan and master diorama constructor, who was a co-creator and instrumental in making the Peepitals come to life.

Now, the Peepitals wouldn't have been possible without a heavy dose of love for the Capitals and Ovechkin in particular. In fact the Washington Capitals are my second favorite team in the league. My playoff plan was to support the Caps full stop if they went further than my beloved Blueshirts, but all my plans have gone to hell. We meet in the first round, and unfortunately my second team is just that, coming in second and golfing early if I have my way (Sorry Mike!)

Not that it's gonna be easy. The Rangers are gonna have to give A game and beyond and may just squeek through. They have a lot of areas that need improvement: power play, scoring, protecting a lead and winning on the road. Luckily, the Rangers managed all these things with aplomb in the very last game of the regular season taking it to Philly in Philly on Sunday. I thought the game didn't mean much originally, but it pocketed Henrik his record 38 win and instilled a lot of confidence in the team. I would have been happy enough with Dubinsky ruining the Flyers shot at finishing the season without giving up a shorthanded goal. His two on one shortie was a beauty, but when the Flyers retook the lead I thought the game was over. After all they had home ice to play for, but my boys Avery and Betts came through with 3rd period tallies. Then there were hugs all around. Now onto DC, and I just hope everyone plays well, and that the Rangers prove to be a little bit better than the Caps.

Friday, April 10, 2009

The Stanley Cup contender of Peeps dioramas!

Or so I thought, until my friend Mike and I were shut out of the Washington Post 2009 Peeps diorama contest with our frankly awesome entry "The Washington Peepitals Roast the Pittsburgh Poultry".

I thought we were guaranteed at least the top 40 by depicting local D.C. heroes crushing their hated PA rivals. Ovechkin was so dominant in the NHL this season, why wouldn't his sugar coated bunny equivalent be as masterful? Could it be the execution? Well, while it might not meet Industrial Light and Magic's standards for a scale model, I think the arena is pretty darn accurate. We even included a shoutout to Tariq El-Bashir's Washington Post blog with an ad for "Peepitals Insider" on the boards!

I think the Post's style section must not have appreciated our hockey theme. How else could they fail to enjoy Mike Green and Semin celebrating Ovechkin Peep's goal in deep while Crosby, Fleury and Gonchar look on in total defeat? Or that the score is already 12-4 despite being the 2nd period?

Or our Boudreau peep? Originally we envisioned him as a hard boiled egg because the coach -while delightful- bears more than a passing resemblance to a certain Mr. Humpty Dumpty, but the Post contest stipulates all characters must be peep depicted. As good citizens and rule adherers we complied- but to no avail.
Curses Washington Post!!!

We're in!

I could watch these two hugging forever, so if they want to put on that show for 2 more months I say, "Go for it!" I'll be watching.

Congratulations boys.

Wednesday, April 8, 2009


NOTE: This post is over a day late because like an idiot I saved it as a draft!

That's my season subscriber record. Pretty darn good, right? I think Mr. Dolan should spot me a full season come September.

A very enjoyable game last night. My Rangers looked very capable if not quite dominant. 2 by Drury. I wish he always played like this. I had this vision of him during the game morphing from #23 Drury into Mr. Clutch, like his wrestling persona. His catch phrase could be,"It's time for Little League season."

Big cheer went up for Philly beating Florida. A little weird. I like Florida, but not enough to spot them a playoff berth. Now we have to serve a beating to that same Philly. One win and we're in. Love it.

ps. I love Cally. Congrats on his Steven McDonald award.

Sunday, April 5, 2009

Evdollie Malkin

This week started out wonderful. Crazy great 3-0 shutout of the Devils (Suck it Marty!) on Monday. All was set for a dominant Ranger sprint to the regular season finish line. Then it all went to hell. Not only did I have to suffer through two infuriating games where my Blueshirts played just well enough to lose, but I was concurrently blighted with dental related Malkin-morphia wherein my cheek puffed out to dangerously unattractive Geno proportions (see left). I should not have pain in my head and heart at the same time it just isn't fair.

Now I'm nearly recovered and 90% back to my usually adorable self (see left with the stupendously handsome -and stitched- Freddie Sjostrom).
I will give shout outs to Callahan who has been playing lights out recently. So proud to have him. And to Sean Avery too, who always gives the fans something to cheer about even in a 1-0 loss. I love that he messed with Thomas during a TV time out, it's just his luck that the refs would see fit to penalize him based on a jumbotron replay. They should be applauding him for his brilliant timing, not sending him to the sin bin well after the fact. The move didn't pan out on Saturday, but may have laid the foundation for a memorable first round of the playoffs. We need some serious points in the next 3 games just to make it, but I feel confident Geno-disease has gone for good from both my face and the ice.

ps. No word on the Peeps contest. I'm torn between being worried and peeved.