Oh look! It’s the Washington Capitals getting ready to play soccer. Hey, maybe they’ll actually be better at that…
Whew! More than 24 hours after one of the biggest upsets in hockey history and its still hard to believe it happened. How does one of the most powerful offensive juggernauts in the league get shut down by a goalie who asked to be traded mid-season because he wasn’t getting any ice time?
But Washington is gone, taking huge bites out of a lot of poolie rosters (including mine)!
Well, we all look like super-macho, sports wizards now, don’t we boys?
Aren’t you glad you got into this pool so you could get your pants pulled down in public this way?
Since last we talked, Buffalo, Ottawa, LA, Phoenix, Colorado and Nashville have also left the building. And despite all the contests that were supposed to be foregone conclusions, not one turned out that way and every one of the departed put up a damn good fight.
I guess Washington did too. You can’t really say a team choked when a hot Goalie like Jaroslav Halak just solidly bars the door. Even Capitals owner Ted Leonsis seemed to have understood that a Cup just wasn’t fated this year. A guy who normally sends more Tweets than Kevin Smith, he hasn’t been heard from since Game 6 last Tuesday.
So now we move on to Round Two, down to eight teams.
In the East, Montreal faces Pittsburgh while Philadelphia takes on Boston. Out West, Detroit laces up against San Jose while Vancouver hopes to exact revenge on Chicago for knocking them out early last season.
Too early to start thinking about an All-Canadian final? Maybe. But the two local teams remaining seem to be rounding into shape at exactly the right time.
And after all the unexpected drama of Round One, does anybody really want to predict that any of these Division semi-finals are a lock?
What I will confidently prognosticate is that the current standings in the Infamous Writers Pool are in for a severe shakeup over the coming week.
Mike Foster takes over the lead at the end of Week 2. But only by a single point while a lot of guys within striking distance have lost as much as half of their team.
Meanwhile, there are players in the bottom half of the standings with far better chances at making a quick rise through the ranks. It’s never over around here until it’s over. And you never know when Fate is suddenly going to smile in your direction…
Or make you look like Alex Ovechkin’s dentist…
The Standings at the End of Week Two