Grab Bag Episode 3: The Quickening

So, this is a thing I found on the internet.

So, this is a thing I found on the internet.

Playoff Seeding

With every game that Washington wins, that magical 6-3 matchup is starting to look less and less appealing. I was all for playing the Southeast Division “Champs” when that meant playing the Winnipeg Jets. But Adam Oates’ system finally seems to have clicked with these players, and the Caps are looking unbeatable. Washington is 9-0-1 in their last 10; everyone is healthy; and it doesn’t need saying since everyone is saying it, but Ovechkin is looking like one of the best players in the world again.

At least Ottawa gets to play the Caps twice in their last seven games of the season. This should give everyone a good idea of how they line up against one another. I can imagine the scrappy Sens giving a finesse team like the Caps fits around their own net, which would be a welcome change given the Senators’ playoff history. But I never thought I would say this: as the Caps keep pumping and the Habs start falling apart, that 7-2 matchup against the suddenly terrible Carey Price and the Habs’ porous defense is starting to look good. Although, at the rate they’re playing, they won’t hold down the number two seed for too long. It’ll be Boston.

Erik Karlsson’s Unearthly Return

The night following Erik Karlsson’s gruesome injury, I wrote a tearful entry about how devastating it was to this team—not just to their playoff chances, and not just to the prospect of watching fun hockey, but to the notion that a unique player may not ever be the same. That was a worst-case scenario, to be sure, but the number of people in Ottawa reading about Achilles lacerations that week must have been astounding, and we all read the same things—four-six months recovery, then hardcore rehab; the whole season was lost, and the offseason, and maybe even the start of next season.

Now, just two months later, Karlsson is skating with full gear on, and Bryan Murray is saying in interviews that he could be back in time for the playoffs – which are about a half-dozen games away. That’s just unreal.

I don’t have a unique perspective on this one, except to say how awesome it is, and how special Karlsson’s work ethic (and healing power) has to be for this to be true. There are always a number of worthy candidates for the Masterton trophy (awarded to the player who best exemplifies the qualities of perseverance) – Josh Harding comes to mind – but you have to think Karlsson will be on the shortlist this year if he comes back.

2014 Outdoor Game

Ottawa gets an outdoor game against Vancouver, and I find myself wondering how all of these relatively warm weather locales are going to host outdoor winter games. I lived in Vancouver for a while; I remember the winters being very wet and maybe reaching -5C. Apparently this is a small fish problem because there’s also going to be an outdoor game in Los Angeles? Am I missing something here? Has outdoor water-freezing technology taken leaps and bounds in the last couple of years?

My second question is immediately and most importantly: does Ottawa dig out the barber pole jerseys for this game? Between those and the classically ugly Canucks jerseys of yesteryear, we could have a Make Your Eyeballs Bleed Matchup

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10 thoughts on “Grab Bag Episode 3: The Quickening

  1. “Last year we played like clowns, this year we’re going to dress like them.” – The Legendary Roger Neilson during his time in Vancouver.

    Honestly, you gotta play tough teams not matter what in the playoffs so I’m bringing a “come what maY” (Copyright) attitude about the post season. Ottawa played the #1 team in the East last year and took them to one goal. Making the playoffs would be beyond playing with house money considering the year Ottawa’s had. I think Ottawa can hold their own against most teams.

    Confession Corner: It WOULD be awesome to not play Boston though.

    • I only seem to hear two opinions on this: 1) the technology is there, and has been for a while, or 2) the technology has never really been there because the ice quality is utter shit.

      I don’t doubt that they have the technology to make “ice.” But ICE ice…I don’t know about that. Especially when we’re talking about something that’s going to be treated as a marquee event for the league.

      • Well, one thing they’ll have going for them is that some of these are likely going to be NBCSN – not NBC – games. They’ll have contingencies in place, and if the LA game winds up having to be played at Staples Center instead of Dodger Stadium, it won’t be as big a deal as it would be if they had to move the Winter Classic proper indoors.

        I think the Jan. 1 game is going to continue to be played in big, cold-weather markets and as long as they can avoid having to fuss around due to bad ice with that date, they’ll be fine.

        • , I really don’t see how St. Louis can be anhyting other than a lock. Unless there are things going on we have not been told about, MLS has really given St. Louis the shaft. MLS all but guaranteed St. Louis a spot BEFORE the last two expansion teams of Philadelphia and Seattle. Now with Pujols in the picture their bid just cannot be matched.All this talk about the economy is starting to spook me. I hadn’t really thought about the economy in terms of MLS before, but now that I think about it, if any sport is going to be hit hard it seems likely it would be soccer. Their shaky finances could really fall apart quickly. I think MLS needs to stop with all of this expansion and concentrate on consolidating the league. With MLS’ small fan base and their weak commitment to soccer I wonder if a lot of fans will disappear when the economy is really bad. Here’s hoping that doesn’t happen.I’d really like to see Portland get the second spot, but I have a feeling Vancouver might beat them out, especially with MLS envisioning Toronto type success in another location. The team I REALLY don’t want to see get in is Miami. No offense to Miami fans but the previous chance was more than just a problem with a bad owner. Did the owner tell the fans to not come to the games? Their attendance made K.C. look well supported. Where are the big crowds when international games are played in Miami? I see Miami as just another K.C. at best. Well, that’s my two cents.

      • Have to agree with Varada here. Until I stop noticing the goddamn INDOOR ice sucking at Carolina Hurricanes games I’m not all that comfortable with matches that ultimately determine if the team I root for makes or misses the playoffs being played outside in the warmest, rainiest city in Canada. Remember how sloppy that Caps / Pens game was b/c of the weather and drizzle?….and that was in fucking January.
        Last thing: Varada, can you meet me in the alley behind 1 for 1 Pizza on Bank Street and show me some of those spells that get people to comment on posts?

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