The Opossum-Palooza

It's okay. We don't know what the name means either.


Notes From a Night of Hockey - 11/27

Detroit 2 - Dallas 1
Some nights, teams have trouble scoring on the power play. It's never a good thing, but it is bound to happen. Dallas, on the other hand, decided to take it one step further, allowing Detroit to score two shorthanded goals in the third period to lose the game. Said Dallas coach Dave Tippett "We just felt it was rather unfair for our team to have more players on the ice than the Red Wings, so to make up for it we decided to go easy on them during those stretches." (Note: Quote from Dave Tippett may be fabricated.)

Los Angeles 3 - New Jersey 2 (SO)
Going into the game, the Devils were averageing the fewest penalty minutes of any team in the league. Conversely, the Kings were getting more power play opportunities than anybody. Needless to say, the Devils scored two power play goals, both with Kings forward Brian Willsie in the box. Los Angeles, meanwhile, managed a power play goal as well to tie the score in the second period before Mathieu Garon shut out the Devils in the shootout.

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Notes From a Night of Hockey - 11/26

Buffalo 3 - NY Rangers 2 (OT)
In the battle for New York supremacy, the Sabres had the edge by virtue of a Chris Drury goal in the extra frame. "Battle for New York Supremacy", by the way, is a completely contrived way for me to try to make this game seem more interesting than it actually was. Half the time, I forget that Buffalo and the Big Apple are in the same country, let alone the same state. I once took a trip to Toronto, and at a rest stop on the Canadian side of the border, there was still a newspaper clipping hanging on the wall with a picture of Brett Hull's skate in the crease in 1999.

Anaheim 5 - Calgary 3
Remember Ilya Bryzgalov? The Anaheim Ducks certainly don't. After leading the then Mighty-in-name-only Ducks to the Conference championship, he's been pretty much a non-entity, playing second fiddle to J.S. Giguere's heartwarming comeback. Now, he's inactive with the ever-present "lower body injury" and with Anaheim in the second of back-to-back games, they turned to rookie Michael Wall. Needless to say, Bryzgalov wasn't missed.

Tampa Bay 3 - Ottawa 1
If the New York Rangers have taught us anything, it is that when you have no real viable option at goaltender, always go with the guy whose name has a "u" in disguise (Johan Holmqvist had 22 saves to lead the Lightning over the Senators). It is a little reported fact that one of Ken Hitchcock's first moves as the new coach of the Blue Jackets was to try and trade for Edmonton's Daniel Tjarnqvist, who, despite being, technically, a defenseman, has the added bonus of the silent "j".

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It was bound to happen...

If you have any sort of interest in the Washington Capitals, you are no doubt already aware of the fact that there are a good twenty or so blogs out there already devoted to the team, most of them top-notch establishments. It is for that very reason that I have refrained from setting one up in my own little corner of the Internet. With so many voices already talking, there probably isn't much I can add to the conversation. But the truth is, I have a lot to say, regardless of whether or not someone else has already said it.

Given that fact, and the fact that I am constantly endeavoring to keep this here Opossum-Palooza free of my overt biases and predispositions, I've finally given in and launched myself a little Capitals-centric blog. No, I'm not necessarily proud of myself for it. Frankly, I feel kind of dirty. But I am excited, especially since the nice folks at Google are letting me use the new Blogger Beta to put it together, meaning a much snappier look than we've got going on here at the O-P.

So head on over to The Kevin Hatcher Fan Club (Important Disclaimer: Not an actual fan club). In my first two days as an honest to goodness Caps blogger, I've already recapped some games, made my all-star picks and even revisited the issue of wider ice surfaces in the NHL, something I looked at here back in May. I hope you enjoy it.

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Notes From a Night of Hockey - 11/25

Nashville 6 - Detroit 2
The Predators took full advantage of the chance to wear their heinously ugly yellow sweaters, using them to distract and disorient the Red Wings en route to a convincing win. The Ugliest Uniforms In Sports now have a four point lead in the Central division.

Philadelphia 4 - Montreal 2
Don't look now, but the Flyers have put together back to back wins for only the second time all year. It is now only a matter of time before they catch up to the Islanders for the division lead. Or, you know, lose a whole lot of games again.

Atlanta 1 - Florida 0

Ten points to whoever can figure out which celebrity it is that Kari Lehtonen vaguely reminds me of, because it has been driving me nuts for months.

Other NHL Action
Columbus 5 - Minnesota 3
NY Islanders 4 - Washington 1
Boston 3 - Toronto 1
NY Rangers 2 - Pittsburgh 1 (OT)
Phoenix 2 - St. Louis 1
Colorado 4 - Vancouver 1
Los Angeles 3 - Calgary 1
San Jose 2 - New Jersey 0

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Notes From a Night of Hockey - 11/24/06

That's right. I'm back, and so are my mildly amusing, possibly nauseating NHL recaps. Have fun with them.

Toronto 7 - Washington 1
There was much euphoria in Caps Land after the melee that was the final minute and a half of Wednesday night's game. Lost in all the excitement, however, was the fact that punches, while often fun to watch, are neither an effective nor a legal method of propelling the puck into the opposing team's net. Sticks, as Toronto so ably demonstrated, are still the go-to implements. Fear not though. As ably predicted by yours truly, the Maple Leafs will have trouble scoring goals all year.

NY Islanders 3 - Pittsburgh 1
Islanders owner Charles Wang is insane. This has nothing to do, as near as I can tell, with the outcome of tonights game, its just good to know. Because apparently crazy is good on Long Island, where the local hockey team is riding high, winning five of their last seven and even nearly selling out the decrepit Nassau Coliseum. Rick DiPietro, for one night at least, made him look slightly less crazy, however, justifying his absurd contract by nearly shutting out the Crosby-less Penguins.

Minnesota 4 - Phoenix 0
Congratulations to Wild goaltender Niklas Backstrom, who, in addition to having virtually the same name as Capitals 2006 first round pick Nicklas Backstrom, recorded his first career NHL shutout, an exciting accomplishment. In all fairness though, the Coyotes really suck.

Philadelphia 3 - Columbus 2
The Ken Hitchcock era has officially begun in Columbus, so if you have any friends who happen to be Blue Jackets fans, you should probably keep them away from things like rope and sharp objects for a little while. As the Flyers fan sitting next to me at Verizon Center so keenly understated, "We're not too good this year." They are, however, good enough to beat their former coach.

Other NHL Action
Carolina 5 - Boston 1
Anaheim 4 - New Jersey 2
Ottawa 6 - Florida 4
St. Louis 3 - Detroit 2 (SO)
Montreal 2 - Buffalo 1 (OT)
Tampa Bay 3 - Atlanta 2 (OT)
Dallas 5 - Los Angeles 3
Edmonton 5 - Chicago 1

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Donald Brashear Will Break Your Face

Ted Leonsis, majority owner of the Washington Capitals, recently defended his team against allegations that it lacked any identity and was soft. That was yesterday. Apparently, Caps coach Glen Hanlon reads Ted's blog.

If you still think the Capitals are a soft team, I suggest you have a talk with Vitaly Vishnevski. I was going to make Vishnevski's name a link to a picture of his blood stained visage after his run in with Donald Brashear, but, sadly, I was unable to find one. Thusly, the joke is sort of lost. Rest assured, if you missed tonight's 4-2 Atlanta win, that Vishnevsky (for lack of a better term) got the shit beat out of him by The Donald, as did several other Thrashers. (By other Caps, I mean. Brashear is only one man.) The moral of the story? Do not fuck with the Washington Capitals.

As an aside: Hello, everybody. Nice to see you again. I have tomorrow off in honor of our Pilgrim brethren, and I intend to use that day to explain myself and my absence from this here blog. Assuming I don't end up passed out on somebody's couch. Or floor.

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