Ladies and gentlemen, back by popular demand, it’s time for another round of “caption this.”
The game is fairly simple, as you hopefully know by now. I supply the photo and you bring the witty reader-submitted captions. You might not win any cool prizes, but you’ll be formally recognized for being better than your peers and will get some love here on the blog.
Here’s my humble offering for this photo to help get folks started:
Sadly, the “Ginger Snaps” Acapella group never really caught on in Dallas. Apparently, they just didn’t have enough soul.
Think you can do better? Leave a comment below with your best caption.
[Editor's note: The winner is Luke with a caption of, "'Do the carpets match the drapes?' asked no one ever." Thanks to everyone who joined in the fun.]
The Washington Capitals once again find themselves in familiar territory — as Southeast Division champs for the fifth time in six seasons — after a thrilling 5-3 victory over the Winnipeg Jets at the Verizon Center Tuesday night.
While consistently finishing atop one of the worst divisions in all of sports isn’t necessarily breaking news, it’s how they got there this time around though that makes it so special.
Let’s not sugarcoat this — the Washington Capitals were a train wreck for a good chunk of the 2013 season. Their horrid 2-8-1 start made more than a few people openly wonder if first-time coach Adam Oates was the right man for the job, but not everyone remembers the Caps struggles lasted far longer than that.
Case in point: when the Capitals lost to the Pittsburgh Penguins 2-1 on March 19, they dropped to 12-16-1 and had just a 5.97% chance of making the playoffs.
As Washington took to the ice two days later against Winnipeg, they were in 14th place in the Eastern Conference — seven points out of a playoff spot and nine points behind the Southeast Division leader.
One month later, they’ve improved to 26-18-2 and have officially locked up the 3rd seed.
When you set the bar low, it’s much easier to step over it.
That’s all I can think as the Washington Capitals head into their final five games of the 2013 season.
Now, for those D.C. sports fans who aren’t familiar with my body of work, I’m someone who considers myself a pessimist by nature. I’m the type of person who tends to expect the worst at all possible times, which enables me to be pleasantly surprised if/when things end up better than I anticipated.
That’s why I’m absolutely convinced this season will only end in utter heartbreak and disappointment for the Washington Nationals, who have been picked by anyone and everyone to win the World Series this season.
Until last season, the Nats had never even posted a winning record since coming to town and now, all of the sudden, they’re expected to be the best team in baseball simply because the roster looks pretty robust on paper.
Never mind the fact that this franchise has never had to face any sort of expectations before. Or that the vast majority of the players in that locker room haven’t had to take the field 162 times in a year with a huge bull’s-eye on their back. Or that one unfortunate injury to a cornerstone player like Stephen Strasburg or Bryce Harper could be enough to completely ruin an otherwise promising campaign.
The Nationals must now win because they’re the trendy pick by the so-called experts.
Now, if this season ends in anything other than a victory parade in our nation’s capital, then Davey Johnson’s final season with the Nats will be remembered as a letdown. And that blows.
With just five games left in the 2013 season, the Washington Capitals are hitting their stride at the perfect time. Don’t believe me? Just ask the Toronto Maple Leafs, who were blown out in a hurry during a thorough 5-1 beatdown at the Verizon Center Tuesday night.
With that in mind, here are 10 random thoughts after the Capitals picked up their eighth-consecutive victory:
At the start of the game, this affair had a ‘ho hum’ kind of vibe. Washington and Toronto haven’t ever really had an intense rivalry or a nasty feud, so the first half of the opening period felt like it took a while to get things going. Even after defenseman/baby daddy Jack Hillen lit the lamp for his third goal of the season, the atmosphere in the arena was still subdued. And then someone took a cheapshot on Nicklas Backstrom …
Everything changed once and for all when Toronto center Jay McClement nailed Backstrom from behind — a hit that made everyone in attendance gasp as the top-line center went flying face-first into the boards. The referees, naturally, missed the dirty play. Alex Ovechkin, however, did not. The Great 8 immediately came to the defense of his teammate and tried to take McClement’s head off. While Toronto might have temporarily benefited from the sequence, because they went on the powerplay, that cheapshot clearly woke up the Capitals. For the rest of the game, every player representing the hometeam was clearly invested in the game and playing with a purpose.
The Washington Capitals defeated the Carolina Hurricanes 3-1 Thursday night, but that shouldn’t surprise anyone who has been paying attention to hockey over the last couple of weeks.
While it can often be difficult to pinpoint the exact moment when a season turns for the better or worse, one seemingly innocent transaction has obviously changed everything for these two franchises.
Since March 25, when it was announced that forward Alexander Semin had signed a 5-year, $25 million extension with Carolina, the Hurricanes have gone 1-9 while being outscored 43 to 18.
Conversely, the Capitals have gone 7-1-1 since March 25 (including their current six-game winning streak), and they’re now the hottest team in hockey.
Coincidence? I think not.
Before Semin’s long-term deal was announced, Carolina was still in the hunt for the Southeast Division title with a 15-13-2 record, while the Capitals were mired in mediocrity at 15-16-1.
But since the day the Hurricanes front office had a change of heart and decided Semin was a player worth building around, they’ve suffered a catastrophic collapse while the Caps — obviously thrilled to be done with Good Sasha/Bad Sasha once and for all — are playing their best hockey of the season.
Still not convinced?
Look no further than the final moments of Thursday night’s win at the Verizon Center, when forward Troy Brouwer (who you might remember had a thing or two to say about Semin back when the enigmatic forward and the Capitals cut ties) gained control of the puck with 10 seconds left in a tightly-contested game.
The only defender in sight was Semin, who was a step or two behind. Brouwer hauled in the puck at center ice and skated towards Carolina’s open net while Semin began hacked and cross checking Brouwer repeatedly.
But because Semin was content to try and take a stick penalty rather than actually try and make a play on the puck, Brouwer continued en route to the open net and easily scored his second goal of the evening.
Of course, anyone who paid attention during Semin’s seven seasons in Washington knew how that would play out. Meanwhile, Hurricanes fans, I’m sure, were crossing their fingers and hoping one of their most talented players would come through when the game was on the line. And that’s when Semin is most effective — when you let your guard down and believe he can be a difference maker.
Truth is, he can be. Just not in the way you’re hoping for, Carolina fans.
Seriously, have I told you how much I’m enjoying the second half of the 2013 NHL season?
Because of the Washington Capitals’ pitiful 2-8-1 start and the fact that they play in the Southeast Division, easily the worst division in all of professional sports, everyone rushed to write them off.
Well, a funny thing has happened since then — the Capitals actually learned how to play in first-time coach Adam Oates’ system and they once again resemble a competent hockey franchise on and off the ice.
And yet, even though the Caps have gone 19-9-1 since then, people have still convinced themselves this team isn’t worth taking seriously. They see Washington’s 12-3-0 record against the Southeast Division and 9-14-2 record against the rest of the conference, and chalk it up to a mediocre team simply padding its stats against a bunch of terrible teams.
And that’s fine.
Regardless of whether anyone outside of the D.C. metro area has noticed or not, the Caps are playing their best hockey of the season when it matters most — riding a five-game winning streak down the stretch. Not only that, but they’ve gone 9-1-1 in their last 11 games and 7-0-1 in their last eight road games.
Don’t look now, but the Washington Capitals are officially the NHL’s hottest team.
A team that was all but dead and buried earlier this season has officially gotten it’s act together and is now playing some inspired hockey thanks, largely, to two key individuals — coach Adam Oates and captain Alex Ovechkin.
Since their pitiful 2-8-1 start, the Capitals have gone 18-9-1. Best of all, Washington seems to be peaking at the perfect time — riding a four-game winning streak while going 8-1-1 in their last 10 games — just in time for the postseason.
None of this looked remotely possible during the team’s horrid early-season slump, so what’s changed? First and foremost, the players seem to have embraced Oates’ preferred style of play, which is more defensively responsible than Bruce Boudreau’s gameplan and better suited for this roster than Dale Hunter’s vanilla approach.
Before the season started, I thought this would be a down year for the Capitals because they were breaking in a first-time coach without the benefit of a standard NHL offseason thanks to the lockout. I figured the team would take most (if not all) of the season to learn the ins and outs of Oates’ system and then (hopefully) Washington would be in much better shape next season.
Fortunately for everyone involved though, these players have picked things up much quicker than anyone could have reasonably hoped for and Oates’ system isn’t actually Oates’ system anymore.