Tuesday, November 30, 2010

The Home Stand That Was: One Goat's Opinion
Home Games 13–14 - November 26–28, 2010

Just one of Varlamov's denials over the weekend.

I had to shake off the remnants of the previous day's food coma and get down on F Street as the Caps continued their quest to fully rebound from a rather hideous game on 11/22 against the Devils. The first steps of rebounding took place on Wednesday in Carolina. Were the next ones coming on the ice in DC?

On The Ice
Friday night's drubbing of the Lightning made Caps history, being the first game in which the Capitals have scored five or more goals and also blanked their opponent. Unless hats being thrown on the ice bother you to the degree that you feel the need to complain about it, it's pretty hard to find a negative from Friday night. The best shared observation of the night is that when the Caps took their feet off the gas on offense, they put the hammer down on defense. Nice to see!

Sunday looked a bit like we might be getting a repeat performance, even with the newly-shuffled lines (which seemed to baffle all observers) and newly-swirled trade rumors going around (which baffled no one). Then Cam Ward really buckled down and stymied the Caps after spotting them a 2-0 lead. Would have been nice to see Mr. Steckel win that draw at the end of regulation, but hey, they picked up the extra point in the gimmick.

In The Stands
Friday evening's game was very well attended, considering the odd start time and the holiday hangover. Apparently, as a way to make up for the absence of The Horn Guy, it became "Pant Ants Giveaway Night" at the F Street Arena. That is to say that there was a pretty hefty amount of foot traffic in the aisles, regardless of the action on the ice. But while folks were in their seats, they were good and vocal.

Speaking of not having a Horn Guy, I tried my best to fill in for my buddy, but those are some big shoes to fill. I would like to thank the Caps for having things very well in hand for the third period, letting me take it easy. Heh!

Sunday's game featured a few more prolonged bits of silence than I really like. Of course, watching an officiating performance like that will tend to have that effect, I guess.

Both games featured a couple of post-Thanksgiving pageant participants with quite the festive get-ups. At least one of the headdresses made it onto the broadcast Friday night after the hat-trick.

After the game, I ran into a couple, originally from the Czech Republic, up from their home in North Carolina just to see the Caps. I hope they made it to either Lyon Hall or the Front Page and got to meet a player or two. (Actually, I wish I could have made it to the Front Page last night, but it just wasn't in the cards.

And finally, kudos to the gang in "The Corner Bar" (sections 107 and 108) and the successful conclusion to their "Trade Flash" campaign.

Above Our Heads And Beyond
One abbreviation sums up the best thing about this homestand's in-game entertainment advancements: PIP. The picture-in-picture to keep live action on the big screen while replays are being shown is a fantastic development. I assume this opens the door for more and more replays. Well done, gang!

Speaking of opening the door, there were some good gaps for crowd noise during stoppages in play on Friday night. I like that we took advantage of them to make said noise. And in case you were wondering, yes, I was a bit bummed that there was no "Bustin' Loose" for the sixth goal. Heh!

This Week's Bonus Public Plea
Just one thing I ask of those attending games in the future. If you are getting up to go to the concession stand, please wait for a whistle. Barring that, at least have the discussion about what you and your friends want before standing up to go. If you don't, and someone behind you asks you to sit down (and I do mean "asks," not "tells" or "demands") after standing up for ten seconds right in front of them while the game is going on, just give a quick "my bad" and sit down. The alternative course of action doesn't seem to end well.

And So…
Things seem to be back on track, with the customary few kinks left to iron out (well, except for Friday night). With a new piece in the mix, things could get interesting in the next couple of weeks. Fingers are crossed. See everybody on Saturday!

Photo credit: Stewart Small / Facebook

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