A Tale of Two Teams
May 13, 2009 | Filed in: AHL, AWESOMESAUCE, Callups, Cap Attack, NHL, WBS Penguins, calder cup, da b'ars, p-bruins, playoffs, stanley cup

Or, more appropriately, a Tale of Two Defensive Lines.

Let me spin you a yarn of one Tom Poti, and his pal John Erskine. During the regular season, Tom Poti could do no wrong, while John Erskine could do no right. Come playoffs, it’s like they’ve Jeckel and Hyded on everyone. Poti is the one bouncing in own-goals while Erskine steamrolls whoever he gets near. Their buddy Mike Green, also a star during the normal season, has fallen prey to the evil monster Distractability, leaving Brian Pothier to step up beyond what anyone expected after his return from concussion, and ShaMo and Juice are still… being ShaMo and Juice.

But still this has been the Caps defensive line for the season. Granted, Collins and Sloan were in, Alzner’s seen time, and Jeff Schultz was usually doing something other than warming the bench, but the Caps defensemen are and have been the Caps defensemen.

So why, all of a sudden, are they being so freakin’ shortsighted?

Sure, they have a hot kid goalie behind them, but so does Anaheim. But instead of assisting the hot kid goalie, the Caps seem to have taken the laissez faire (not Fehr) approach and said “Oh, the hot kid goalie’ll get it.” Newsflash, boys. His job is to stop pucks, not to clear them. Sure, he can rebound ‘em away, but someone’s gotta be there to pick them up, or we’re just playing a two-team game of Kill The Goalie.

However, Caps, if you’d like to turn around and look at your farm team… the Hershey Bears have been doing an excellent job at defense, for the most part. The ENTIRE DEFENSIVE LINE just got to be the third star of the game for Game 7 against the baby Pens, even with the constantly shifting numbers of Alzner and Sloan and Carlson and Sami and PMac.

Speaking of PMac, a slight digression:Patrick McNeill has this uncanny ability to step his game up just when everyone’s given up on him. The boy didn’t make the Clear Day roster for playoffs this year, and somehow now he’s not only playing, but landing some huge hits and scoring a goal in the Penguins series. I can’t help but think PMac just needs the wakeup call every once in a while; he started shaky when he first got here last year, got the wakeup in S.C, came back and played like a madman then, and now after sitting for most of the last half of the season, he’s back playing like he belongs in the playoffs.

But seriously. If the Bears defense can be down arguably two of their strongest regular season players in Alzner and Lepisto and still stonewall the Baby Pens in two SHUTOUTS and be deemed worthy of 6 third star players, I don’t understand what the Caps’ major malfunction is.

So boys, for possibly the first time I’ve said it all year, BE LIKE THE BEARS. I know this has been an eerily-matchy-matchy series, so for the love of all that’s holy, KEEP IT THAT WAY. I’m not even going to push for the Caps-rhymes-with-muttout, just for a win.

And Bears, how awesome were you, with that GAME SEVEN SHUTOUT WIN. DOOOOO IIIIIT.

I’m hoping for a Bears on Bears matchup with the Providence Bruins coming down the pike next. Vladimir Sobotka, meet Andrew Gordon.

Let the games begin!

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