First, I want to point out that I love ESPN.com. Guys there do a great job, and mistakes are inevitable. It’s a tough gig, running a site of that size, so this post is in no way a reflection of what I think of the site.
It’s not often that injury news takes us completely aback, but that’s absolutely the case over in Pullman tonight. One slightly mentioned aspect of last weekend’s game pitting Washington State against Southern Methodist was WSU’s tailback, James Montgomery, suffering an apparent knee injury. Not that those aren’t serious, but, y’know… they happen.
But one thing that doesn’t usually happen is a potentially fatal injury that nobody recognizes immediately. That’s what apparently befell Montgomery during the game; after the game, he reported increasing discomfort with the knee, and went in for surgery on Sunday morning. It probably saved his life.
The Washington Capitals, despite not even making the Stanley Cup finals last season, are probably one of the two or three “hottest” teams in the NHL. And hey, with a player like Alex Ovechkin leading the charge, why not? The Caps don’t have the tradition of the Original Six by any stretch, but they’ve assimilated themselves into the current NHL about as well as any expansion team from the last 35 years.
(Let’s just get this over with, pal.)
Case in point: even MTV’s getting in on the Caps’ high Q rating. To that end, the cast of The Real World, which is a much better name for a show than Hysterical Self-Centered Alcoholics On Camera, now includes an intern with the team. And oh yes, there’s plenty of bleeding through between the two. Did we say bleeding? We mean synergy!
Recall that a couple days ago, we brought you the story of Alex Ovechkin and his voracious sexual desires. Ovechkin, a Russian, voiced his preference for women from his home country thusly: “There are pretty girls there (in the U.S.) … but Russians are Russians.” Political, yes, but cryptic.
(Oh, she’ll do. We guess.)
Fortunately, fellow Capital Semyon Varlamov shares Ovechkin’s tastes - and without the predilection toward being polite about his home fans. Russian women are pretty, but these Americans, maybe they’d be pretty if they weren’t such fat-sucking slob-ass pigs!
Alex Ovechkin is not a pretty man. He knows this, having the luxury of waking up every morning and seeing his busted set of teeth in the mirror every day. He even told a Russian television station that he didn’t have a face for ads recently, according to PUCK DADDY.
(Fortunately, a $124 million contract is real effing handsome.)
As the video of the interview reveals, though, Ovechkin evidently has no problem finding a willing partner for sexual congress. As a matter of fact, he rather prefers it as a pre-game ritual. And, um, post-game. God, his teammates must feel awkward.
It was billed as the hockey playoff series everyone wanted to see, and for six games it was. With three overtimes in that spell — and two other games that easily could have been pushed into extra frames, too — the Capitals-Penguins second rounder felt like an instant classic heading into Game 7. All it needed was a respectable finale.
It didn’t get one.
Instead, Pittsburgh’s experienced markmen carved up Washington’s rookie goalie, Simeon Varlamov, jumping out to a 5-0 lead before finishing with a 6-2 victory in D.C., which spent much of the third period reminiscing about a strong season and wondering what might havce been.
That made for a deflating end to Alex Ovechkin’s second playoff campaign, with Washington’s transcendent star thoroughly outshone by Pittsburgh star Sidney Crosby, whose two goals and an assist paced Pittsburgh’s stunning Game 7 rout.
In fact, while conventional wisdom holds there’s nothing like a Game 7 in hockey, this graph from the WASHINGTON POST’s writeup of the game tells you all you need to know about what got the Caps into trouble:
Varlamov wasn’t totally to blame; he didn’t get much help from his teammates, who were outplayed in almost every sense of the word. They took bad penalties. They were beaten to loose pucks. They made mental miscues when the team could least afford one.
The game began with Ovechkin being stopped by Marc-André Fleury on a breakaway after 3 minutes 1 second with a brilliant glove save. It was all downhill from there for the Capitals.
There you go, and there go the Caps in a game which could have cemented Washington’s status as a burgeoning hockey town. Instead, it’ll just be a quiet one until training camp starts this summer.
Only Dirk Nowitzki really showed up for Dallas, which is nice considering the fact that his pregnant fiancee most definitely couldn’t be there. And while the final scoreline shows a 14-point victory for Denver, it felt bigger than that, since the Nuggets opened up an equal 14-point lead by halftime and never really looked back.
Not to be overshadowed by the exploits of his own team on the court, Dallas owner Mark Cubanhad his apology to the mother of Kenyon Martin labeled as insincere by none other than K-Mart himself. And he had company, with Carmelo also questioning whether Cuban could possibly be sincere with an apology posted in the middle of the night on his personal blog. In fact, while we’re at it, I’d like to apologize to my second grade art teacher. I really didn’t mean to spill all the macaroni for those zebra designs on the floor, and I really shouldn’t have laughed so loud when they flew all over the floor and you had to throw them out. If I knew how little money you made, I never would have laughed.
Case in point: Last fall, former Gators quarterback Shane Matthews, a proud, former greasy-haired Florida alum, offered up one of the stronger rebukes of Meyer’s game strategy after UF’s lone loss, to Ole Miss.
At the time, Matthews called the Rebels’ man-to-man defense on Florida’s wide receivers an outright affront to the team’s passing game, questioning why Meyer wouldn’t take advantage of what seemed like mismatches.
That led to a stern speech at a Gator Club (read: really rich alumni) rally where Meyer said former players who criticized any part of the program could buy a ticket to a game, not hob nob in the team’s athletic offices.
Needless to say, that’s made plenty of headlines because it was uttered by Urban Meyer, since anything he says at this point ends up on a front page in any state with an SEC school.
For his part, Matthews is just amazed that the entire episode has become such a media flashpoint.
“I’m as Gator as there is and very supportive of the program,” he said on ESPN Wednesday. “You can be critical of a coaching decision here and there, but that’s just being a Monday morning quarterback, everyone does that.”
He’s that, and a well-known radio host, so it is kind of his job to critique coaches’ decisions. It’s not like he’s some Florida high school football coach. Maybe Meyer can consider that the next time he launches a diatribe, or maybe not. After all, Urban Meyer does what Urban Meyer thinks he should, when he thinks he should.
• Just when you thought things might finally be looking promising for the Eagles, one of Andy Reid’s sons goes and gets himself sent back to the slammer. Nice work Garrett Reid. Donovan McNabb doesn’t send his condolences.
In one of the most controversial plays of the NHL playoffs last night, Washington Capitals superstar Alex Ovechkin made a knee-to-knee collision with Pittsburgh defenseman Sergei Gonchar. Gonchar went flying and had to be helped off the ice, while Ovechkin earned a two-minute minor penalty.
(Gonchar, seen here not enjoying having experienced the equivalent of getting hit in the knee with a baseball bat while skating.)
The controversy comes because Gonchar’s definitely out for today’s game against Pittsburgh (remember, they’re playing two games in a row on account of Yanni)… and, according to TSN, probably long enough to miss the rest of the playoffs. Ovechkin avoided suspension, but should he have? Judge for yourself with the video after the jump: Read more…
The NHL, as fans are probably aware, is just getting into the swing of what’ll probably be its best series of the playoffs: the Washington Capitals vs. the Pittsburgh Penguins. The two teams each favor one of the top two players in the league, Washington with Alex Ovechkin and Pittsburgh with Sidney Crosby, and they haven’t failed to impress thus far.
(The show’s proximity to Game 6 means Yanni’s show will take place in the melted rink. Yanni doesn’t mind.)
Curiously, though, Games 3 and 4 will be on Saturday (in Pittsburgh) and Sunday (in Washington) - a back-to-back/travel situation that’s unheard of in just about any major sport’s postseason. And worse yet, for the sake of all this hockey, they’re missing Yanni: Read more…
The Capitals’ Alexander Semin, despite having a funny name, has a wicked slapshot. He’s tied for the league lead in points, but that’s not why we’re featuring him. We’re featuring him because he’s got some choice words for the NHL’s Golden Boy. (And also because it gives us a chance to post some of the best Sidney Crosby photoshops floating around out there.