Pests, and Other Stuff
Just came back from a late dinner here in Philly, and some of our dinner discussion was devoted to Sean Avery’s antics of last evening. So it was funny to get back and find a not from my friend Joe Pelletier, who just composed his own personal list of the 10 best pests ever. And like everything Joe does, it’s a good, strong, thorough list. As I wrote to him moments ago, though, it’s missing one of my all-time faves, Bugsy Watson.
Bugsy was one of the original pests. Shadowed Bobby Hull in the Cup playoffs more than 40 years ago and completely took him off his game. Even though he played at 5-foot-9, 170 pounds and was a defenseman, Bugsy was as tough and relentless and annoying as they come. When he retired, he was the NHL’s all-time leader in penalty minutes. To me, he’s probably 1A. But the rest of Joe’s list is right on.
After he got finished being a pest, Bugsy used his powers for good. Bugsy’s in Alexandria is one of the best hockey bars anywhere, and the best place to get Chicago-style pizza east of Chicago.
As for our Capitals, they went old school today and took the train up to Philly for Tuesday’s Game 3 and Thursday’s Game 4. I like the train, it gives me more of a chance to work than I get on the plane. And Philly’s a great city (really), a place where I usually don’t get to spend any time. Usually, it’s just up 95 and back after the game. Nice to get a chance to hang out and maybe catch a ballgame or walk around a bit.
I wrote up tomorrow’s game for washingtoncaps.com, but as is so often the case, I’ve got some leftover quotes. So I’ll share them with you here. This is what I’ve got:
Caps goaltender Cristobal Huet was asked to assess his play thus far in the series:
“I don’t think I’ve played as well as I’ve wanted to play. But in the second part of the game [on Sunday] it was maybe good for me to get some shots and get into the series. I feel real into it now, and I look forward to playing [on Tuesday].”
Huet on playing the same team game after game in the playoffs:
“You play them so much that it creates a rivalry. You get on the edge and you want to play your best. We lost one, and obviously we feel like we need to step up and come back at them.”
Caps coach Bruce Boudreau on Game 2:
“Philadelphia played very, very good. A lot of times, it’s one team that is playing bad, it’s the other team is playing overly good. I thought Philly was a determined group [Sunday] and they played very hard. They deserved everything they got and they made us look bad.”
On Alex Ovechkin:
“He didn’t touch the puck too much [Sunday]. Alex had a mediocre game for him. He’ll get back to it. When he plays like Alex and the way he plays, he’s pretty hard to stop. Every team for 82 games that he played was putting guys on him. It’s no different here. He’s done it in the past, and he’s got to do it again.”
On the Caps:
“We have to play with a sense of urgency. They played with it [Sunday]; we didn’t. We were a very complacent team. Like I said, they made us look complacent because they were very good.”
On playing at home vs. playing on the road:
“I don’t think there’s a lot of adjusting. We’ve just got to play. I think we won 20 games on the road and 23 at home. We’re fairly consistent in both spots. I believe we’ll be ready. We’ll come to play.”
Caps center Brooks Laich on Sunday’s performance:
“We’ve got a lot of things we didn’t do well. I think our passing wasn’t very good. It seemed like always we were a foot too far ahead or a foot behind the guy with our passing. And also we’ve got to pay more of a price. We learned what happens to us when we don’t pay the price; when we don’t do things well, when we aren’t structured, when we don’t forecheck as three-man and five-man units instead of just one guy going. It’s a learning lesson and we’ll be better Tuesday.”