23 April, 2014

Category Archives: Pittsburgh Penguins

A Crisis of Mismanagement

If you are shocked and dismayed by where we are with hockey in Washington these days, you weren’t reading here last July. The Unexpected Rebuild, I called it. The Washington Capitals today on the ice are receiving their just due: they aren’t merely what their record says they are, they are what the composition of […]

John Carlson Explains the Weirdest Goal Ever; And Where to Start With the Caps?

Just dump the puck in. That’s what Capitals defenseman John Carlson was thinking when he sent it into the Pens’ zone in the second period and headed for the bench. It had been a long shift, and he was just trying to get a change. Then he noticed the guy who was supposed to be […]

A House Undefended

Separate and distinct from the scoreboard verdict, there was a disquieting vibe to Super Sunday’s matinee tilt between the Penguins and Capitals. I sat down low in Verizon Center for it, and I didn’t like the vibe at all. This game is a special tradition on our hockey calendar. While there are a handful of […]

Fehr Says Players Follow Fans’ Lead When It Comes to Rivalry Games

The Capitals-Penguins game today brings with it a twist on the question of who or what really feeds longtime rivalries in sports.

Yes, history plays a part. But in the annals of the Caps-Pens rivalry, there is the classic before Sidney Crosby and Alex Ovechkin distinction. For many, knowledge of the rivalry is limited to the era of these two superstars. What preceded is far from mainstream knowledge in current NHL culture.

Newly acquired Capitals forward Joey Crabb, for example, was very up to date on the current rivalry, was aware of the Winter Classic matchup between the two, and has watched several games. But he had no idea, when growing up, of a Caps-Pens blood feud.

“That was a rivalry, eh?” he said. “I guess I’m not as big of a hockey fan as I thought.”

Ironically, a piece of that rivalry history is now standing behind the Capitals’ bench coaching Crabb and his teammates.

“I was part of it when I was here,” head coach Adam Oates reminded reporters after practice Saturday when fielding a Caps-Pens question.

It’s a feud Crosby himself talked about stretching back before his professional career in a 2007 conversation with OFB.

Hatred and Violence Are at the Heart of Our Sport, and Sunday All the World Saw It

In their bloodlust, Arabs and Jews have nothing on the Flyers and Penguins. (Isn’t it grand!) Really, in a relative sense, what transpired on the ice in Philadelphia yesterday made the Middle East seem one big, happy, if diverse, family. Yesterday’s matinee jihad in the City of Brotherly Love was all consuming — it enveloped […]

Up North, Reconvened in a Perfect Circle of Puck Cheer

Part springtime sinus relief, part faith statement celebration: I am weekending in New England, where vestiges of winter are still to be found, supporting the Bears, the Caps, and the region’s craft beer culture, in the irreplaceable company of my puckhead pals Mike and Marleen. We were last united rather recently, over an elongated Presidents’ […]

Helping Haters Hate Even More

Our pledge: If indeed the Penguins-Flyers series produces exquisite agony, night after night, a special set of schadenfreude for Washingtonians, we will screen-capture the finest representations of it. Why not start with last night’s epic chokejob by the Pens. This morning’s Pittsburgh newspapers read like love letters to Capitals’ fans.  

Remembering an Entry Draft Hose Job

The NHL’s Edmonton Oilers won Tuesday night’s entry draft lottery, meaning they will select no. 1 overall this June for the third consecutive year. In a very real sense, the Oil has earned this lottery (mis)fortune with dismal showings the past three seasons, and yet, don’t shed many tears for this former dynasty: Durably quality […]

Paying a Price for Telling the Truth

New York Rangers head coach John Tortorella is a lot of things — hot-headed, fiery, bombastic, caustic, exceptionally intense — but also a Stanley Cup winner. He has become somewhat iconic in recent seasons for his post-game rants in the aftermath of adverse developments for his hockey teams, and another arrived Thursday night, when his Rangers potentially lost grit center Derek Stepan to an injury the byproduct of a knee-on-knee collision with Pittsburgh’s Brooks Orpik.

Those Birds Don’t Fly: Caps 1 / Penguins 0