I only know about the result because I accidentally stumbled upon a story image of it late last night on line; when you’re a hockey blogger and Canada loses at anything in hockey, you fairly can’t avoid its reporting. Anyway, I haven’t read a single file related to the Worlds this spring. It interests me none.
This is a Worlds-free site this spring. I don’t care a lick about them. I don’t even know why they’re being contested in this Olympics year. If your team wins a gold medal at the Olympics, isn’t it judged to be the best in the world, having beaten the world’s best athletes? So what in the world is the IIHF doing having another international competition just weeks after we got through one of the best ever in Vancouver? (Making money, I know.)
Yes, I’m seriously cranky still from the sudden Capitals defeat. I’ve battered golf balls the past three weeks, and it hasn’t helped my psyche much. (I am grooving a great swing, however.) I am interested greatly in the Chicago-San Jose series. Two terrifically talented clubs there, and the Hawks are defying forecasts and getting great netminding. But once those games are over I go back to being pissed off pretty fast. Meanwhile, back East, we’re profaning Lord Stanley’s Cup allowing one of Philly or Montreal to compete for it in another week or so. That’s adding to my crankiness.
We in HockeyWashington may look back on this spring years hence and only then realize how enormous an opportunity was wasted by our guys in red. I’m not buying into the Philly love story this spring. Look at who they’ve had to play to get where they are. They weren’t that good with Jeff Carter in the lineup; they’re not better without him. And they’re on like their 40th goalie on the season. Sickening. I’m nauseous thinking about it.
It was life-altering fun three springs back going to Moscow on Mr. Leonsis’ dime and covering the IIHF Worlds and the Caps participating in it then. When your NHL team is young and inexperienced and rebuilding, such competition is good experience. But when you’re a 120-point NHL club and a bevy of your players are competing in the Worlds, virtually from the onset of the tourney, it’s not a good thing at all. No good is coming from core Capitals’ players skating in their second international tournament of 2010.
What am I supposed to do if our Russians win another game over there and have shiny medals placed around their necks, pump my fist in the air while a Flyers’ fan looks over at me and laughs?
I really don’t care how well Ovi, Semin, and Semyon played against Canada yesterday or in any of the other IIHF games. I couldn’t care less. No manner of feat over there by any of them alters one iota the sting we’re still feeling in Washington at a hockey season ended way too prematurely. A part of me wishes Ovi had followed Sid’s lead when it came to these Worlds games and said, in effect, You know what, I’ve done my part for my country this year already, I’ve put my body through upwards of 100 elite-level games this season, I’m heading off home to heal up and work even harder this offseason to do everything I can to assure there’s no repeat of late April 2010.
I’d respect that.
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Speaking of Mr. Leonsis, I’ll find out how cranky he is these days at noon today, when he appears at the National Press Club as its lunchtime newsmaker keynote. Those keynotes field a lot of questions from the diners in the room, and I plan on submitting one or two. I’d be delighted to read any and all questions you’d ask of him if you leave them here as comments, and add the best ones among my submissions. We’ll also be tweeting the standout observations he offers at the lunch.
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Here’s an effective way to combat the grumps — a John Walton call of yet another Bears’ playoff triumph in overtime, from last night’s game 5 in Manchester:
Hershey has matched an American League record this postseason with six wins in extra time. The Bears head home to try and wrap up the American League Eastern conference finals Saturday night in game 6, and earn their fourth Calder Cup finals appearance in the last five years. I’ll make that trip north, to try and further work out the grumps.