With curse of formerly Capitals-dominating Tim Thomas firmly lifted (twice! during the Boston goalie’s Grover-Cleveland-like non-consecutive failed outings in net last night), it’s time to look to the comparably minor Buffalo “curse”. A “curse” in that apparently the Caps haven’t defeated the Sabres yet this season. No worry. We could sit here and cite all kinds of historical precedence for why we shouldn’t feel bad about this minor drought against Buffalo and their annoying Verizon-Center-filling (defililng?) fans, what with the whole Super Bowl XXVI shellacking and that minor affair in the Eastern Conference Finals in 1998 (with Darren Pang practically choking on his “congratulations” to the Capitals on defeating the Sabres and his precious Dominik Hasek), but that’s pointless. And lest any rabid (and by rabid I mean literally infected with rabies) Buffalo fan try to irk us with memories of a 17-16 Bills victory late last year (complete with blown leads and double time-outs), completing a four-game Redskins’ skid, let’s remember the wise words of Bobtimist Prime spoken the very next day: “I’d rather lose four straight games than four straight Super Bowls.” Well put.
Anyway, it’s a good time for hex breaking, seeing as Alex Ovechkin has apparently broken that dreaded Tony-Romo-ish “girlfriend” hex with his recent offensive outburst. How is it that one superstar (Alex) can so successfully break away from the girlfriend curse while another “superstar” (Tony) can be so befuddled by it as to completely collapse (again) late season and into the playoffs? Simple. Tony Romo is a scientifically proven tool (Exhibit A, the most insufferable backwards hat/smile combination you've ever seen; Exhibit B, the fawning over the same; Exhibit C, Pepsi commercials with...never mind) and Alex Ovechkin is not. Hence, Alex is inevitably immune to such non-existent nonsense.
But enough about tomorrow’s win over the Sabres, how about last night’s win over the Bruins? Much has been written about the Ovechkin trick, the Backstrom feeds, the looming non-issue of Cristobal Huet’s minor, non-season-threatening tight back muscles, and the overall hilarious ineptitude of Boston. What has received no press is the hauntingly prescient comment by the aforementioned Bobtimist Prime to me around 4:45 PM yesterday afternoon. Concluding our discussion of what was clearly an upcoming victory for the Caps, Bob said, “Caps, 6-0”. A wonderful prediction, I casually thought. He repeated it again on my way out the door a half hour later. Two and a half hours past that, I watched in awe as the first period ended Caps 6 Bruins 0. Karmatic prophetic ESP ‘tism (wouldn’t be the first time)? Or something? I think we all know the answer to that.
Other wonderful nuggets from last night: Donald Brashear goading Zdeno Chara into a five-minute rest in the penalty box, freeing Ovechkin from the grasp of the great beast, possibly qualifying as the true turning point of the game. From that point onward, what was possibly a one-or-two goal game turned into nothing more than a two-hour debate on how quickly the Caps could reach double digits in goals. Dave Steckel diving to block a shot with a seven-goal lead. Alex reclaiming, again, the scoring lead, and further staking his claim to the Maurice Richard trophy. Can the Hart be far behind?