Friday, April 17, 2009

OK, Now That We've Had Time To Reflect...

When it comes to the reaction after the Capitals Game 1 loss to the New York Rangers, I am reminded of this passage from the movie "Ghostbusters"

Dr. Peter Venkman: This city is headed for a disaster of biblical proportions.
Mayor: What do you mean, "biblical"?
Dr Ray Stantz: What he means is Old Testament, Mr. Mayor, real wrath of God type stuff.
Dr. Peter Venkman: Exactly.
Dr Ray Stantz: Fire and brimstone coming down from the skies! Rivers and seas boiling!
Dr. Egon Spengler: Forty years of darkness! Earthquakes, volcanoes...
Winston Zeddemore: The dead rising from the grave!
Dr. Peter Venkman: Human sacrifice, dogs and cats living together... mass hysteria!

I mean, I thought I was a bit over-the-top in my reaction but the Caps blog-o-sphere was abuzz with "Theo On Thin Ice" stories. After one game you have Stan Fischler (for those who haven't heard of him, think Clint Eastwood in "Gran Torino" but as a hockey writer) calling the Caps a paper tiger, Alex Ovechkin not worth his press clippings and hinting at a Ranger sweep. Of course, as predicted, much of the blame for the Game 1 loss is falling on Jose Theodore. As explained here, Theo is in the ultimate no-win situation. And as proved, after one game, the critics are flogging Theodore relentlessly. Imagine if he loses 3 more? Personally, I didn't think he was as awful as people said he was. He wasn't good but he wasn't Hardy Astrom either. Theo's play backed Bruce Boudreau into a corner and judging by Gabby's comments, he gave some thought to putting Simeon Varlamov in for Game 2. While it appears that Theo will get the start in Game 2, I get the sense Boudreau feels like he's got an impossible problem with 4 possible outcomes, two of which are bad.
1) You start Theo again, he plays much better and you win. Best case scenario.
2) You start Theo in Game 2, he bombs again and you go to Madison Square Garden down 2-0 in games. Technically, you're not dead, but the Doc is filling out the paperwork to have the feeding tube pulled.
3) You gamble and start Varlamov, he plays well and the team wins.
4) You start Varlamov, a 20-year-old rookie with exactly 5 games of NHL experience, he plays poorly and the Caps lose. Not only are you risking turning the kid into a basket case (ala Carey Price) but if he doesn't do well, who's next? Michal Neuvirth? Brett Leonhardt? Pete Peeters?

No, giving Theo the nod one more time is probably better than throwing Varlamov into the fire this early. Theo has a history of bouncing back, so you give him the chance and if he fails you give the kid a shot. The good news is, there might be no Jeff Schultz (bruised ego) for the next game!

So let's relax a little Caps fans. The Rangers still have to win four games. So far, they've won one. Wasn't it us Caps fans just last year who had visions of a sweep dancing through our heads after a rousing Game 1 win? It's one game, not a series.Make, no mistake though, the vultures are watching in a now must-win Game 2.

No comments:

Post a Comment