Saturday, April 12, 2008

2008 Playoffs: Round 1, Day 3
Ovechkin's first


The ridiculous thing is Ovechkin turned a nothing play, with two Flyers breaking out of the defensive zone with the puck, into a game-winning goal.

That's what great players do.

(And how about that crowd...)
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12 Comments:

At 2:30 PM, April 12, 2008, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Mr. Mirtle,

If you want a playoff crowd, come to Mellon Arena (again) and witness something like Malone's winning goal.

The people in Washington will be quicker off the bandwagon than when they got on if the Flyers pull out the series.

 
At 3:57 PM, April 12, 2008, Blogger breed16 said...

Anonymous has it wrong. This town has been craving meaningful hockey games for a long time. Sure there are bandwagoners, as any winning team has (ahem, Penguins fans, check those attendance numbers while your team sucked). The Jagr era turned a lot of people off, and for good reason.

But these Caps are something special, and will be for years, and whether or not we advance this year, for the first time since Hunter and Langway patrolled the Caps Center it's a team this town has been waiting to rally around.

 
At 4:49 PM, April 12, 2008, Anonymous dmg said...

Exactly. The three years prior to the lockout the Penguins attendance figures were: 14,895, 14,749 and 11,877, years the Capitals averaged 16,493, 15,787 and 14,720. Any team suffers at the gate when they don't put a quality product on the ice; coming into this year the Capitals had outdrawn the Bruins for six of the previous ten seasons.

Truth be told, there are a decent number of bandwagoners in D.C. because there are so many other entertainment options and so many transplants, but the effect isn't as severe as some people are making it out to be.

Regardless of that fact I don't think there's any objective person who could argue there is a louder or crazier building than the Verizon Center right now.

As Breed16 mentioned, the Capitals actually have a fair amount of support (not near many other NHL teams of course), it's just that people were waiting for a team worth coming out and seeing.

 
At 5:11 PM, April 12, 2008, Blogger saskhab said...

Well, I'd say the Bell Centre is pretty consistently crazy and loud, but in the US, yeah, it's hard to beat the Verizon for a hockey crowd. San Jose and Minny have crazy crowds, too, and Philly and MSG are always boisterous. And Pittsburgh and Buffalo have done a great job.

Hopefully Chicago is next.

 
At 5:41 PM, April 12, 2008, Blogger J.R. said...

Again, that's excessive celebration and should be a two minute penalty. Absolutely ridiculous.

As for crowds, there is no debate. The correct answer is Edmonton. End of discussion. Close the thread.

 
At 6:27 PM, April 12, 2008, Blogger dfsdao said...

Where was the excessive celebration? All I saw was five guys in a huddle, which pretty much happens on every goal.

Please don't turn this into the NFL.

 
At 6:58 PM, April 12, 2008, Anonymous Anonymous said...

The celebration was not excessive. Ovie is not the first and probably not the last player to celebrate a goal by jumping into the boards. Your reaction is a little bit excessive though. 2 minutes for you.

 
At 7:36 PM, April 12, 2008, Anonymous dmg said...

I was thinking terms of U.S. teams and so I agree the Bell Center is probably just an crazy.

I have to agree with others that Ovechkin's celebration doesn't warrant a penalty. Jumping into the glass and then huddling up? If that's going to be a penalty really pretty much any celebration should be a penalty.

Besides, there's nothing specifically regarding celebration in the NHL's rulebook for unsportsmanlike conduct but there are several provisions about verbal conduct and arguing calls, i.e.:

"A minor penalty for unsportsmanlike conduct shall be assessed to any player who challenges or disputes the rulings of any Official during a game."

"A minor penalty for unsportsmanlike conduct shall be imposed on any player who uses obscene, profane or abusive language to any person."

"A misconduct penalty shall be imposed on any player who persists in any course of conduct (including threatening or abusive language or gestures or similar actions) designed to incite an opponent into incurring a penalty."

Given that those aren't even remotely enforced to the letter of the law I don't think we'll be seeing a reach like sending someone off for a celebration any time soon.

 
At 8:36 PM, April 12, 2008, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Finland did much better in their war against Sovjet Union than Lasse Kukkonen against Ovechkin. Much better.

 
At 12:01 AM, April 13, 2008, Anonymous Anonymous said...

First of all, I love your posts, Mirtle, but I agree with the first poster about Mellon Arena. Sure, Ovie got them rowdy, but the Pens crowd nearly took off the dome. breed16: Most faithful fans are aware of bandwagoners, half the people I know who try to talk about hockey are, and most people who go on these types of blogs are not fair weathered. Trust me, people, Verizon Center sounded loud, but Malone's goal caused every Pens fan, both at home, bars, and at the game, to scream until they lost their voices.

 
At 12:04 AM, April 13, 2008, Blogger James Mirtle said...

I've got no problem with the crowds in Pittsburgh...

The thing is, D.C. has taken so many knocks as a hockey market that it's great to see it rise from the ashes like this. I've seen Mellon Arena packed in the playoffs with rowdy fans several times in my life; that hasn't been the case in Washington in a long, long time.

Even during their run in 1998, the rink was full of Red Wings fans for the finals. Last night was a full-blown red out.

Anyway, good to see.

 
At 3:37 PM, April 14, 2008, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Crosby, crosby, whine, crosby, crosby, whine, Crobsy, Crosby, we don't like Jagr either, Crobsy, Crosby, whine. - Go Pens

 

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