Number one, on the topic of my impending doom at the hands of Capitals AND Penguins fans when I visit their home arenas and am willing to admit that I’m really kind of attached to both of them:
I was thinking the other day about WHY I like both of them, and there are a lot of initial surface similarities.
They’re both really young teams, player-age wise. I’m not opposed to being a fan of the older guys (Olie is the bomb diggity, yo, did I really just say that, and who could disrespect Gary Roberts?) However, there’s something that’s just fun about watching people in my age group out there, and that’s when you get into the psychology of the sports fan and needing to connect with the athlete. Both the Caps and the Pens have that young base to them.
They both have a couple of players who are really just insanely skilled. And not just Sid and Ovie. There’s Malkin and Backstrom too, and possibly Semin and Staal (if he’ll wake the HECK UP.)
They have a goofball. Okay, so the Caps have more than one goofball if you look at Greenie and Ovie and basically any of the team interacting with any of the rest of the team. The Pens are forever monopolizing on the horrible comedic timing of Mad Max and Army, and this year Fleury’s appeared on the scene as the practical joke force to be reckoned with.
But I think the reason I can get away with liking them both is this:
Go back to high school. The Penguins are that group of kids who are in the choir and NHS and running for class office. The Caps are the kids who skateboard down the hallways when they think they won’t get caught and like to say things to rile teachers up and probably are at least peripherally involved in the theatre.
But what does this mean for me? Well obviously, now as then, I’m one of those straddlers, a freakin’ NHS/Theatre kid who likes riling people up but still being in charge of stuff once in a while.
I’ve figured out where Beagle and Gordon differ in playing styles. I’ve been trying to figure it out for a while, and I can’t say I’m a professional or anything, but here’s what I see. Some of this may be attributable to the fact that Gordon’s a winger while Beagle’s a center, but I’m not one to know better right now.
Very kick-his-own-assy. Incredibly RIDICULOUSLY fast. Will always be moving towards the puck at any given moment. DOES NOT HOLD STILL. Goes in and really scraps for it when needed. AMAZING skill at winning the wall-scrum pucks and/or just holding the other guy off. Faceoffs, yes please. Also seems incredibly selfless on the ice, as he’ll hand off pucks he might well have scored from to others if they look to be in a better place.
Moving, but usually moving around the periphery. Doesn’t usually seem to get involved in the “smash him against the wall” puck battles, but always seems to be the one that it squirts out to. In-freaking-CREDiBLE grasp of positioning and absolutely revoltingly good awareness. Eventually, he’s going to be the one who can do the Gretzky-esque blind passes to teammates half the ice away and KNOW without fail where they are. He’s ALWAYS in the right place, as evidenced by the two hat trick games.
So really, take from that what you will, but this is what I’ve been noticing lately.
I should also really be writing papers for school. See what I do for you people?