Seeking Some Soul in the South

As the Caps’ team bus slinked its way through the late-night Atlanta traffic en route to the airport after Friday’s 5-3 win over the Thrashers, the unmistakable wail of James Brown’s “I Got You (I Feel Good)” loudly blared forth from the big vehicle’s sound system. While the song was playing, the bus passed the exit for interstate 20 east to Augusta, where the ECHL rink in that Georgia town bears Brown’s name.

If you get on 20 headed west, you’re on your way towards Memphis. Seconds after J.B.’s signature song ended came the strains of another southern soul favorite, Booker T. and the M.G.’s “Green Onions.” Booker T. and his boys were the house band at Stax Records in Memphis for years.

I couldn’t help but think that BT and the MGs’ “Time is Tight” would have been more appropriate. Because time most certainly is tight for the Capitals.

Less than two weeks remain in the season, and the Caps have only six games remaining. Three of those games are on the road – the next three – and Washington finishes up with three at home. We’re in Raleigh now, where the Capitals will take on Southeast Division leading Carolina on Tuesday.

It’s funny how some Caps I talked to after Wednesday’s 5-0 loss in Chicago talked about the importance of forgetting about that game as soon as possible. So it was with no small sense of irony that I noted the postgame musings of that noted hockey philosopher Alex Ovechkin after he and his mates saved the season by storming from behind to win in Atlanta with arguably the team’s most perfect period of the season.

“We have to forget this,” he said. “It was big game, big win. But next day will be next day. We just have to play the same. We play well tonight and we have to continue that way.”

This much is true. But rather than forget it, I’d like to see the Caps reproduce that period 18 more times between now and the end of the season. I’d like their chances of getting in if they could pull that off.

Even if they did, they’d still need help.

“Teams at this time of the year are still in control of their own destiny,” observes Brooks Laich. “There are still guys fighting for spots and teams are going to play desperate and play hard and try and get all the points they can. It’s tough to watch when you sit out and you see other teams gain ahead of you because it’s out of your hands. But as long as we take care of our business I think we’ll be all right.”

If you’re headed from Atlanta to Memphis, be sure to stop in Muscle Shoals, Ala. That’s where the Staples Singers recorded “I’ll Take You There” with the renowned Muscle Shoals Rhythm Section.

If the Caps show enough soul on this last road trip through the south, it might be enough to take them “there” for the first time in five years.

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4 Comments on “Seeking Some Soul in the South”

  1. Mike L Says:

    That is a pretty part of the country this time of year, esp. after a big win like the Caps got in ATL.

    Interesting trivia bit, the Augusta hockey teams is named the Lynx, as in the Augusta Lynx. Wonder where they came up with the name… 😉

    Great posting about the music history in the area too… some amazing music was made down there, and still is being made!

  2. audegond stephane Says:

    Va y cristo !! Let’s go caps!! 6 wins and the dreams come true.

  3. Joshua Says:

    Historically Eastern teams making the playoffs in the eight spot have needed a maximum of 92 points to make it in, in that sense the caps don’t even have to win all six of their last 6 games. They need 5. Either way they can’t take that loss against Carolina tonight. Now is the test, are they playoff ready? If they can win in regulation tonight and the two subsequent games are W’s they can afford to go 2-1 in their last three.
    However, I being the diehard Caps fan that I have been for the last 18 years I do want them to get all 6 in the W column and lock up maybe even the 7th spot if they can’t catch carolina for the division lead, We need carolina to lose three in regulation and we need to win the next three if we want to take their spot. We can take care of two of their losses ourselves if we beat them twice, and Tampa Bay ought to be a team that we can beat easily if we are playing as hard against them as we are the top teams. I hope we can solve Florida and keep them off of our tails by continuing to win and beating them twice as well. I think it would be awesome though if we could redeem the division and have three of our teams in the playoffs by taking the division lead and Carolina can occupy 6th or seventh and Florida taking the 8th and final spot.

    All that to say C-A-P-S! CAPS! CAPS! CAPS!

  4. […] own personal favorite Atlanta memory came on March 21, 2008. Two nights after a 5-0 road loss in Chicago dealt their dimming playoff […]

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