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Monday, April 03, 2006 

Capital Observations

You may have noticed my absence the last few days. This was do to a trip to see the Suns Raptors game on Friday night, followed by a quick shot up to Ottawa to see Ovechkin and the boys. The Suns game was pretty high scoring, but it was out of reach from about 3 minutes before the tip off on, so it wasn't really noteworthy. The highlight of the game was a huge missed dunk by Papadou (Pape Sow, for those of you who weren't taking notes earlier). At the point he hadn't quite gotten his double double into the books yet, so it looked like what was going to keep him from it. It was a beautiful moment. The only other point to mention is that at times the Raps had 3 midgets on the floor, with Barett occasionally covering diaw or bell. And they gave up 140 points? Imagine that.

Anyway, back to the Sens Caps game now. There were more than a few observations that came up in the course of that game

Brent Johnson

The game finished as a 1-0 victory for the Capitals, and the big reason for this was the play of Brent Johnson, who looked spectacular. Over his career he has actually looked like a solid starter every time I've seen him play. Last season, after being acquired by Phoenix he only played in 8 games because he was 1-6-1 in the course of those games. He did, however, have a .914 save percentage in the process, something typical in his career. This season he has pretty much put up identical numbers as Kolzig serving as his backup. From what I saw in the game, he is a solid goaltender, best described as Garth Snow with talent.

Bryan Muir

Unlike Johnson, this kid is one reason why the Capitals should not ever be able to dream about shutting out any teams. If I thought that anyone could go around Chris Pronger coming out of the corner, then they could go around Bryan Muir twice. Twice, and not just from the corner, but from behind the net, from the side, from the blueline, in center ice, anywhere you can imagine him trying to be. I haven't even mentioned his passing game yet. 60% of the time, he's useless every time. There is no reason to have him in the league, and I would even consider signing Belak before Muir.

To be fair to Bryan, however, there isn't much reason to have any of the other 6 D-men in the league. Jamie Heward is the best defenseman on the team. Honestly. That's a mess. They match up well with the Penguins, and maybe a handful of AHL teams.

Rico Fata

Speaking of AHL teams, we turn now to the Capitals offense. There is Ovechkin, who goes without saying. His "linemates" (this is in quotations, as the Russian Prince does, in fact, double shift without them) are Zubrus, who is decent, and Clark, who seems to be somewhat slightly more than just a Rucchin. The only other forward that you'll ever notice as you watch a Capitals game is the one and only Rico Fata. This kid is something. I remember when I was a kid, he was pegged very early on as the next big thing, in much the same way that Crosby was. Where Crosby has 82 points in 73 games in his rookie season, however, in his 7th season Rico find himself with 1 point in 38 games. The most remarkable thing about Rico, though, is that he does so much to accomplish so little. Rico is all over the place during his shifts, and easily one of the fastest players in the NHL. He gets to pucks he shouldn't, pressures plays you wouldn't expect him to, makes some decent moves, and then........... and then.... no and then's? Yeah, I have no idea. He is fast, has moves, is very noticeable, but has no goals and only 29 shots in 38 games. It's almost inexplicable, other than to just say that's Rico. TSN's list of his "flaws" may say it best: Lacks hockey sense, which prevents him from making it big in the NHL. Needs to learn how to play at different speeds. Doesn't have enough confidence in his offensive ability.

The Sutherby's

As for the rest of the Capitals offense, they are nearly completely unoticable, nor are the distinguishable. Put nameless jerseys on them and there would be no way to tell them apart. This observation inevitably led to the conclusion that they are all, in fact, Brian Sutherby. I defy you to prove otherwise. It also led to a naming convention for the Seven Sutherby's:

King Sutherby - Brian Sutherby, since he's probably the originator.

The Greatest Sutherby - Matt Pettinger, as he's the only one who has a slight chance of playing on some other teams 3rd line some day

Chief Sutherby - Brian Willsie. The Cheif is leading the Sutherby's in scoring so far.

Sutherby the Invisible - Matt Bradley, because even as far as Sutherby's go, this one is really off the radar

Sutherby the Weak - Brooks Laich, who is the Sutherby with the least points, the least penalty minutes and the worst shot.

Sutherby the Ubiquitous - Jeff Halpren. I guess it's satire since he's been in or around Washington for his whole life. Either that, or he's the closest a Sutherby gets to being Rico Fata, or we just couldn't come to the conclusion that he should be Uncle Sutherby.

Cousin Sutherby - Ben Clymer. He's from Minnesota, he's got a hick-sounding name, and it was getting late. It all came together nicely.

Beaver Tails

I will never forgive Ottawa for replacing the Beaver Tail booths in the arena with Tim Horton's. Never.


Two trips to Ottawa now and zero performance of any kind from Spezza, Heatley and Alfredson. I also attended a playoff game in Ottawa most of the seasons where their top players also had zero performance in the playoffs. The only reasonable explanation is that my very presence gets in their heads. It has to be how it is. As such, I will accept playoff ticket donations from any Devils, Habs or Lightning fans, whomever their first round opponent might be, to go work my magic again come playoff time. Shoot me an email, and I'll let you know where to send the tickets.

Michelle Wie

On an unrelated note, Michelle Wie was on the sports channels a lot this weekend as she was showing signs of making a run at her first Grand Slam, or whatever they call the big events in golf. I really don't know since I don't follow golf. But I do follow Wie. And that's all that I'll be able to say about her until her 18th birthday. Until then, enjoy her day with Cindy Crawford.

Maybe it's just me, but I didn't find Wie all that hot in that ribbon cutting ceremony. She looks much better on the golf course. But then again, what do I know, I'm just a yellow guy! Speaking of which, you talk to C-rad lately? He's got some news.

you're right she's not hot. she's under 18 so she cant be. shame on you for trying to think that she was, the video was there for grandma crawford!

as for C Rad, yea, i'm all over his big news. congrats on finally getting out connie! 4 down, 3 to go :)

whats a beaver tail?

We should get a petition going to send to the Ottawa Arena management to complain about the disappearance of the beaver tails...that's half the reason to travel that far to see a hockey game.

i didnt know you could eat a beaver. whats it taste like?

your readers are almost as dumb as you, cap lover.

as a caps fan who just came across this on espns messageboard, im kind of surprised that there is a comment calling you a caps lover. this post didnt seem pro-washington at all. am i nuts?

Cool guestbook, interesting information... Keep it UP
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