It was sometime during the lull of a Capitals home win, with the lull coming solely from the almost mundane feeling of an assured guaranteed victory, when I started thinking, "How come there is almost never any lapses of concentration, any complete screw-ups that lead to inevitable Ls anymore? Why doesn't this Caps team screw up anymore?" I mean, when teams are injury depleted, they end up thinking about lottery picks, which overpaid dude on their roster they should deal, how they can rebound when after a promising start every offensive weapon spent time on the shelf. Not these first-place Capitals. And especially not at the insanely popular and populous Verizon Center, where nobody other than the Caps ever wins a game, and instead only attends try to luck themselves out of another Ovie highlight. It is strangely settling. So, it was during this over-extended thought that I found a person who embodies that stable-throughout-the-organization infallibility and I found it in Karl Alzner.
When he was drafted --- during a DCO-attended draft party, where the of-course-they-were-awesome uniform change was introduced, and Bobtimist Prime awkwardly attempted to elicit funny from serious professionals --- Alzner was lauded for his all-around game. His top-to-bottom housing of defensive essentials and leadership qualities, his captainship of championship Canadian National juniors, winning defense awards in junior; basically he had everything.
And while it took a few weeks for his arrival in DC, and this unfortunate rash of injuries, it is clear that he embodies this bizarre, mistake-free nature of the 2008-2009 Caps. I mean, he has yet to take a penalty in an NHL game. He does the right things. So often in fact, that we think he does things the right way in every aspect of life.
Did you know Karl Alzner also:
- always uses his turn signal, especially when he is like, travelling south on 16th street and he is in the right lane and someone is parked and he has to get over
- rarely crowds to doors of the Metro, when he gets on, even if it is in like the boondocks of Wheaton station, he heads middle, freeing up that space for people to enter and exit the train. Only in the instance where he is getting out of the doors in a crowded train to let people on does he crowd the doors. All of this is done without holding the doors up like a jerk. Plus he
- knows EXACTLY where that intersection in Dupont is, without looking smarmy about it, or questioning your decision mentally or verbally about your location choice. He doesn't even joke with tourists about the location of J street, which would befuddle them.
- PROMPTLY moves his CORT truck, which unfortunately may have douple-parked you into a spot on P Street. He wouldn't even make you have to call his supervisor twice or lean on the horn in your finest imitation of Verizon Center's Horn Guy.
- If there were ever an occasion where he choked out of two game-winning baskets, including one terrible attempt at eliciting favortism that was for the first time in history correctly called by an official, Alzner would never ever deny the obvious-to-everyone-on-the-planet fact that he travelled and that for the first time in history, he was called for it. Nor would he even come close to crying to the officials if ever he was called for a mistake.
No, Karl Alzner does the right things when duty is called upon him. I was talking with the DC Optimist about this, and he thought similarly. Like how he likely gives out money to the less fortunate, homeless folk out there on Fun street before the games. Even that funny dude with the raps about how he needs a beer. I mean, like he's not suckered by the bums, but he'll hook up one of the more-clever ones like that dude. Like, if he were loaned something, he'd return it, and his home wouldn't be adorned with "Ned Flanders' Property." But, he'd also loan that stuff out without question, as was the case with Ned Flanders' TV tray.
Despite being a fantastic stay-at-home defenseman mainly adept at getting the puck out, he still plays physically. But that physicality would never translate to picking fights with defenseless people. While he does not get penalty minutes, ever at all, if he were, in some bizarro-world where leading rookies in ice-time, and becoming a key penalty killer translated to 19 penalty minutes and a game misconduct, it wouldn't be during a 6-1 loss to the Florida Panthers.
If Karl Alzner was behind you in line at McDonalds and realized that you were fifty cents short of getting a 20-piece McNuggets meal, he would have gone a head and placed two quarters on the counter.
That lost wallet, that he would better serve to throw away? He's dropping it off in your mailbox just in time to pay off those gambling loans, like if he were to find Rick Tocchett's wallet.
He'd help a stranded person; he wouldn't abandon them during crucial-final-three-games-of-the-season moments. If he were sacked and ended up giving up the game-winning fumble to allow perrenial fakers like the friggin' Eagles into the playoffs, he'd never faintly grasp his helmet with two dramatic, pained hands, bantering to an audience of idiots who might determine this pathetic display of worthlessness as a result of playing hard and hurt.
No, Alzner does things with the correct amount of rightness. So if you may still have some question as to what happened to that mistake-prone Caps team of old, just be ensured that the Capitals, as the did when they let this fledgling online outlet of 'tism walk amongst their employees, have done so many things right lately. And Alzner embodies that.