Wednesday, October 26, 2011

An Upward Movement

7-0-0 that is the Caps current record on the season. A team that struggled in the preseason and looked a bit off the first couple games snapped out of it quickly.

The Caps went up against Florida with a 4-0-0 record and the Panthers coming off a game the night before where they beat Tampa Bay 7-4 and killed it on the power play. Vokun, was getting the start against his former team, while former Cap Jose Theodore sat this one out giving a rookie goalie his first start and Jacob Markstrom was solid but he gave up two goals and Vokun..well he gave up none. Caps got the shutout 3-0 and Marcus Johansson continued his impressive play since the Game 1 benching.

Next game the Caps took on the Philadelphia Flyers who came in at 4-0-1. The Flyers got on the board first thanks to a turnover by Sasha Fierce that lead to a breakaway and a 1-0 Flyers lead. Perreault tied it up for the Caps and Alex Ovechkin put the team in the lead with both goals coming in the final two minutes of the 1st frame. After a relatively quiet 2nd period the Caps came out firing in the 3rd period scoring 3 goals in less than 2:30 minutes with Hamrlik, Ovechkin and Joelle finding the back of the net and the Caps sucking the life out of the fans in the Wells Fargo Center. The Flyers added one late goal in the 3rd but it wasn't enough. The Caps moved on and had their first and most convincing victory of the season after that dominating 3rd period.

The Caps returned home to face the Detroit Red Wings (5-0-0) in what was expected to be another huge test against one of the NHL's perennial powerhouses. The Wings had played the night before so the Caps were not only facing a tired team but also a back up goalie. For the first ten minutes the Caps played right into the Wings game plan but then the Wings started to get sloppy and started taking penalties. The Caps scored on the Power Play when Mr. Game Over, Mike Green, blasted one past Ty Conklin to give the good guys a 1-0 lead. Sixty-one seconds later MoJo scored on a wrap around and the Verizon Center got loud, even on my TV I could tell, and the wheels started to fall off for the team from the Motor City. 5 minutes into the 2nd Mike Green added his second PPG of the game and the game was essentially over. The Caps did commit some stupid penalties and gave the Wings two 5-on-3 opportunities, one of which they cashed in on and which looked like it could breathe some life back into the veteran team but MP85 sucked the last remaining bits of air out of their tired lungs scoring a goal with only 8 seconds left in the 2nd. In the 3rd, Joelle, Matty P and Backstrom added tallies and the Caps spanked the Wings 7-1. While I try to not get too caught up in this result because as I mentioned it was a back-to-back and a back-up goalie, the win was convincing and a confidence booster.

The Caps are now the final undefeated team in the NHL and headed West to face Edmonton and Vancouver before returning to the phone booth to play the Ducks on November 1st.

Not sure how much of the Edmonton game I'll catch and I hope to stay up for the Vancouver one and will try to update this a bit more regularly. I also intend to do a 3 stars thing for the players I feel played best that night for the Caps, which I will call Stick Taps.

Sunday, October 16, 2011

The Week Or So That Was

Yeah I've fallen behind a bit. I love my Caps, I love writing, I just seem to sometimes hate writing about my Caps at least when it feels more like a chore and a passion but forgive me I'm still early with writing about the team.

That said let's go to a recap of the first four games of the season. Opening night against the Hurricanes was a game you came to expect out of last year's Caps. Caps start slow, fall behind, take lead allow Canes to tie it up, Caps take lead then allow them to tie it in the final moments which leads to overtime...yay free hockey. Biggest concerns heading into OT were that Staal scored twice and both were on the Power Play. Semin was the best player on the ice, except for that stupid penalty he took at the end of regulation and Chimera showed off his speed on his goal with 21 seconds left in the 2nd frame.

In OT the Canes couldn't capitalize on their PP and gave the Caps one and while on the PP Mr. Game Over, Mike Green, rocketed one basted Boucher to send the fans home happy. Neuvirth got the surprise nod to play, which didn't sit well with Vokun, and he wasn't great but got the win. The belief is Neuvy got the nod because of it being the home opener and what he did for the team last year.

Game 2 vs the Lightning was not for the faint of heart. Vokun got the start and Mojo, who sat the first game because Coach wanted to send a message, took the lesson out on Roloson with a beautiful goal to tie the game at 1. The Caps trailed 1-0, 2-1, 3-2, and 5-4. Lucky for the Caps their fourth and fifth goals were scored by Jason Chimera who passed 100 career goals. The game went through OT with the Caps not only shorthanded for a portion of it but then the majority because of Too Many Men on the'd think that is one thing this team would work on as it seems to happen more than I've ever seen since Boudreau took over. In the shootout the Caps escaped with the victory as Vokun came up BIG. While at least 3 of the goals scored, maybe 4, came from at or behind the red line and deflected in off of a player (Green) in front or Vokun himself it was the Caps going 0-7 on the PP that really highlighted the teams struggles. Both needed to be worked on with Pitt up on Thursday.

Thursday it was Caps and Pissburgh and the Caps got flat outplayed for the second straight game but even more so. Malkin wasn't expected to play for the Pens but he did and the Caps D had to stick to him like glue. For the 3rd straight game the Caps gave up the first goal, to James Neal, and again it was a soft one by Vokun and it was the first shot by Pissburgh...oh how it felt like it would be a long night. If this kept up the Caps may have to turn to Braden Holtby because Neuvy was out with an undisclosed lower body injury (possibly foot).  In the second the Caps tie it up in the third the Caps take the lead after a blast by Green is deflected by Ovie. At first the ref waived it off, emphatically, but after the next stoppage the replay showed the puck did indeed go in the net and pop out. Late in the third Jay Beagle is hit by Kris Letang and hits him back, high and knocking his helmet off. Next thing you know here come Aaron Asham to confront Beagle. Asham says Beagle came to him and started it but come on a guy with 0 fights isn't going to challenge a guy with 60-70 career fights. Well the gloves drop and Beags starts getting some solid hits on Asham while Asham tried to get his right arm loose and all I could think was please don't let it get that far. Unfortunately for Beagle, Asham got that arm free and got two hard shots to the face of Beagle. The first stunned him, the second sent him face first to the ice. "He's dead!" is what I'm thinking but luckily when they pull Beags face off the ice he's awake, but blood started pouring out of him and onto the ice. As he skates off, looking dazed and I still fully believe he was concussed, he takes out his mouth guard, more blood, and possibly a tooth. Pens tie it up on a PP, again James Neal. So to OT we go. After penalties were virtually non-existent for the Pens they picked some up quick in OT, Green had Johnson beat but hit the post. A few second later Wideman blasts one past Johnson and the Caps are 3-0-0 with all 3 games going to OT.

After the game the Caps took exception to Asham's taunts at the end of the fight, he made a sleep, gesture. Asham quickly apologized and even reached out to apologize to Jay Beagle. Brooks Laich also commented on the leagues concussion policy saying they are babied by the league. Sorry Brooksie but its not just about knowing the risk and possibly nutting up. This is for long term health and look no further than Crosby. Better to be safe than sorry and don't let your testosterone and "masculinity" or ego get in the way of it.

Game 4 I attended with my cousin Pam. We sat in Section 105, Row Q...18 Rows behind the glass and just behind GOAT...who my cousin and I really creeped on and I feel really bad about. Anywho the Caps started the game off strong, though I can't figure out why on their first offensive zone faceoff they didn't have the top line out there but whatever. Backstrom got the scoring started on the PP and less than 4 minutes later Mojo came around the net for a wrap around and the Caps took a 2-0 lead. With less than 30 seconds left in the 1st the Caps failed to clear the puck, Vokun was down and out and somehow, after some near misses, the Senators were able to make it a 2-1 game. The Caps outplayed the Sens in the period, as they should have, but in the 2nd and 3rd it was all Ottawa. The Caps couldn't clear the zone and the Sens kept applying pressure and Volun was more than up to the task even with a late flurry by the Sens in the final two minutes. Throughout the game the refs missed quite a few penalties including a few boarding, tripping and interference calls while at least one was looking directly at the play or all 3 were looking somewhere else. It was quite pathetic honestly. The Caps also lost Wideman and Chimera to knee injuries but both quickly came back. Wideman actually turned the puck over while limping around and Chimera lucked out after crashing into the boards. In the end the Caps won and OT was finally not necessary.

One thing I couldn't figure out with the game though was why DJ King played, especially in the 3rd. I get that Ottawa was coming off a 7-1 loss to Colorado and may be frustrated but they're a quick team and Perreault would have been there with speed instead of the guy that just lumbers up and down. That said only put King on the ice if he's going to fight.

Most of the entertainment during the game came from the stands. One moron wore a Flyers Briere jersey and was sitting down behind the glass...oh and he showed up late. GOAT kept giving him shit which all of those around him loved. We later learned that some other moron was wearing a Malkin jersey in the 400 level seats and 3 different sections were giving him shit. Good job Caps fans.

Saturday, October 8, 2011

Let the 2011-12 Washington Capitals Season Begin

I will do my best to post the day after most games with my thoughts of the game and what went on with the team in the time since my previous post though that by no means is certain.

After months of waiting the season is finally upon us. I was at the game on Sunday and the team player relatively well with only a few small blips which I felt was a huge positive, especially scoring 4 goals vs the Blackhawks as the team had been struggling all pre-season with scoring. The team's strongest member was no doubt their goaltender...but not Vokun...NEUVIRTH! After such a great pre-season it was announced this morning that he would start the the surprise of many, myself included, if only because speculation was Volkun was the #1 from the time he signed. Goalie controversies are nothing new to the team or fans under Boudreau, then again who's to say that there is a controversy right now? Maybe Vokun starts the next 5. I guess we'll find out in the days and weeks to come but hopefully no matter who is in net the starter plays great and the back-up is fine with their role.

Now let me touch on my expectations for the members of the team for this year.

Nicklas Backstrom - Unfortunately I fear that last year may not have been a fluke down season but then again that's kinda how I am with things. I'm hoping he goes back to the Backstrom of 2009-10 but I think we'll only see a return to that if Ovie bounces back. Projection: 30 goals, 55 assists

Jay Beagle - Well the coach loves this hardworking kid but lets be honest, he's replaceable if he doesn't produce. Sure he's a 3rd/4th line guy but the team can't rely on it's top 2 lines to get them through games. Beagle will do the little things though and could be what Brooks Laich was a few years back. I don't see him getting 20 goals but 15 is possible. Projection: 13 goals, 22 assists

Troy Brouwer - I'm becoming a total mark for this guy. He can score some and he can hit. He's a grinder down low and can play on any of the 4 lines. Against Chicago he turned the puck over in the offensive zone but stuck with it and stole it right back before the Blackhawks could even move it down the ice. Its the little things like that which will prove beneficial AND he didn't take a penalty doing this man Sasha. Projection: 24 goals, 32 assists

Jason Chimera - He's fast, he's bald, and if he was a little more rugged looking he'd be Jason Statham. Another grinder, I don't know that Chimmer does anything particularly well but he does enough to play as high as the first line. Projection: 14 goals, 20 assists

Jeff Halpern - The hometown boys comes home again. The Potomac, MD native is coming toward the end of his career and he came home to finish it where it all began. Halpie will center the 4th line, the hard nosed blue-collar guys who aren't flashy but they can set the tone and get crowds and teams right back into the game. Injuries made it look like he was done a few years ago but Jeff bounced back nicely in Montreal last season. He'll see limited ice time playing on the 4th line but could get more on other lines as the season goes on. Projection: 12 goals, 36 assists

Matt Hendricks - The guy that came out of nowhere last season to make the team as a non-roster invitee out of training camp and won over the fans with his hitting, flair to score, and his willingness to drop the gloves when needed. With Matt Bradley gone and DJ King most likely being DNP-CD bound for most of the season Hendricks will probably be the main fighter on the team. I think he has the ability to score 20-25 goals but its far from likely Projection: 16 goals, 24 assists, 15 fights

Marcus Johansson - He was surprise #2 last season. MoJo had never played a second of hockey in America when he made the team out of training camp last season. After a slow start some fans were questioning Boudreau's decision to keep him on the roster but as the season went on and Johansson got more comfortable he showed why he was playing with the big boys. This pre-season hasn't been as kind and its questioned whether he is 2nd line Center material, heck he's even been on the 1st line with Ovie, but he's not producing as expected and he's not great in the dot either. Projection: 17 goals, 33 assists

DJ King - On the team because they need to have 23 active bodies without hurting the progression of guys like Perreault, Eakin, Bourque and some others that should be on a roster and actually playing. He's also good for about 2-3 shifts for games where the Caps need an enforcer against another team with a goon or goons. That said he'll be lucky to play more minutes than his jersey number (17) than games. Projection: He may get time vs Pittsburgh, Anaheim and that could be it since the Rangers dumped that numbnuts Avery.

Mike Knuble - The "old man" is still out there grinding at 40 years old. He started slow last year before picking up steam. Whether playing opposite Ovechkin or dropping down to the second line there is one place you will always find Knubes and that is right in front of the net, shielding the goalie, looking to deflect a shot or screen him from seeing the puck. I really hope, as I have the last few years, that the rest of the team watches and learns from him. Knuble is everything Brooks Laich should be when his career ends. Projection: 24 goals, 36 assists

Brooks Laich - Once known as the guy that was acquired for franchise cornerstone Peter Bondra, Brooksie has done a hell of a job the past few years that not only won over Caps fans but also netted him a nice contract in the off-season. Whether he's playing the wing, or center, or even filling in for an injured defenseman Laich is a gritty hockey player who plays for the love of the game and the fans. Don't think so? What other player would stop and fix a flat tire of someone on the side of the road after their team was just eliminated from the playoffs or admit to throwing a paycheck into his glovebox and forgetting about it and not even care if he cashed it? I loved Bonsai and hated seeing him go and even held that against Laich when I first saw him I love him and want him to retire a Cap. Projection: 22 goals, 32 assists

Alex Ovechkin - Let's get it out of the way. Ovie is DONE! He'll NEVER be as good as Crosby, even with Crosby's concussion sidelining his career. Last season wasn't a down year it was a sign of things to come. Same moves into the zone that teams easily stopped, never changing, and...oh who am I kidding. Sure I feel Ovie might not produce like he used to and would be fine with that as long as the Caps win the Cup and he stays healthy. Ovie will have his hot streaks and his struggles but he should be just long as he stops partying all hours of the night and maybe he has to drop the "C" from the jersey too. Projection: 54 goals, 68 assists

Mathieu Perreault - The man looks like one of the "Three Musketeers" and he should be fencing instead of playing hockey. He's small, he's thin, and when he gets checked he goes flying about 10 yards down the ice but he is pretty good with the stick, in spurts. When he gets a hot streak "The Keystone Light Guy" scores in bunches but when he doesn't its usually back to the minors, only to be called up and then he goes crazy that first game back. Now that he's out of options sending him down causes him to go through waivers and I think he'd quickly be claimed (see Chris Bourque 2009 - Penguins). Matty lead the team in the pre-season and hopefully he takes that play into the regular season. I think MP85 will see his fair share of DNPs and may be alternating with Beagle (and at times Hendricks, Ward and Brouwer because that's just what Gabby does). Projection: 11 goals, 18 assists

Alexander Semin - While I might "get an erection for Ovechkin while screamin' for Semin" I get headaches from screaming at Semin. The kid has all the talent in the world but doesn't apply himself fully. He's been blasted by former teammates this off-season (Matt Bradley, David Steckel, Shaonne Morisson) and he says it doesn't matter..fine don't let it matter, let it burn inside you and push you. Semin is usually good for around 30 goals when he should have 50, and a dozen missed games when he should have a handful. Hey I'm fine if you don't want to rush back from injury and possibly make it worse but put forth effort at all times while out there. Too many times Sasha gives up on plays or pulls up and when he makes a mistake he then tries to fix it by committing a stupid penalty. You'd think 2 minutes in the box would teach him a lesson but no. He could be dealt at the deadline but I'm sure he'll be here through the playoffs. We'll see who shows up throughout the season but I hope he channels his inner Beyonce and goes all Sasha Fierce. Projection: 42 goals (with 2 hat tricks vs Tampa), 44 assists

Joel Ward - "Joelle" can either become a fan favorite in DC or he'll be a playoff anomaly that the fans will want gone quickly. Another guy brought in to be like Knuble and do his thing down low, Joel Ward banked in on a fine post-season in Nashville to play on the 3rd line in Washington. I will admit if he can play and pass like he did on the goal that Laich scored vs the Blackhawks in that final pre-season game I say "Welcome Mr. Ward." Most fans though will be happy if he just shows up again in the playoffs when the rest of the team tends to show up in physical form but have checked out mentally   Projection: 18 goals, 26 assists

Karl Alzner - As the left-handed act of the Carlzner duo Alzner is the defensive savant of the Caps new top defensive pairing. What Karl lacks offensively he makes up for with his defense and provides a nice balance to the pair. Projection: 6 goals, 18 assists

John Carlson - "The All-American Hero" and the right-handed half of the Carlzner duo has huge expectations heading into this year. Offensively gifted and strong defensively, fans are waiting for Carlson to unleash the fury and provide support that has been lacking the past two years on the blue-line. Projection: 12 goals, 32 assists

John Erskine - The man we affectionately call "Lumberjack" John Erskine's tenure in DC will always be remembered for two fights he had last year. Early in the year he had the "Fight of the Year" against Atlanta and on New Year's he had a great battle at the Winter Classic. Not overly gifted and more of a lumbering force John Erskine had his best year as a Capital last season. He'll start this season on the shelf recovering from shoulder surgery and will most likely be the 7th D-man on the team that will fill in for injuries/rest or based on match-up. Projection: 2 goals, 14 assists

Mike Green - Its been two years since Green had a career year and with a new contract looming I'd expect a bit of a return to form for Mike. Whether it's been stick issues or injuries to his head or lower body, Mike hasn't been the same since just before the 2009 playoffs. Offensively that's been a terrible thing for the team but last year he played better defensively than I've ever seen him. If there is a way to combine both Greenie may be in store for his best season ever. The question remains will he be back next season, especially with his injury history, declining offensive production and Orlov looming in the minors. Projection: 22 goals, 32 assists

Roman Hamrlik - The Hammer brings over a decade of NHL experience and the ability to block shots to the team. Having been on the Canadiens team that upset the Caps in the playoffs two years ago he could teach the team what they did to shut down Ovie and the Caps and teach the guys how to block shots, and not get hurt, and may be a perfect piece to this championship-caliber puzzle. Projection: 4 goals, 18 assists

Tom Poti - Great guy, busted groin, career over. Would be nice if he'd retire and come off the books and take a position on the coaching staff but that's not likely to happen. Projection: 0 games

Jeff Schultz - "Sarge" is the guy we all love to hate. I'll always remember him for his fall in the playoffs a few years back that put him out for the remainder of the post-season with a bruised ego :) and for his full rink goal against Atlanta..yeah his lowest and highest point. I'm not really a fan of Schultz but he's been a solid mate of Mike Green the past few years and got himself a nice contract two years ago because he benefited from playing on the ice at the same time as Ovie, Backstrom and Green which is why he lead the league in +/-. He's expendable to me but he does provide stability and maybe he'll bounce back this year after mono kinda through him off last year...but I doubt it. Projection: 1 goals, 14 assists

Dennis Wideman - Didn't get to see much of "the fat man" last year because of injury but he gives the team 6 solid defensemen when he's healthy. Of course he left the ice early a few days ago and hasn't practiced since which should concern should the fact that we're down to Sean Collins as the back-up with Poti and Erskine out. Wideman, if healthy, should provide some help on all 3 facets of the ice (even strength, the PK and the PP). Projection: 4 goals, 24 assists

Tomas Vokun - I've never really been sold on him, probably because he's been on some dreadful Panthers teams but the stats don't lie and his contract makes him a bargain. Vokun didn't have a bad pre-season but it wasn't eye-opening either and as it turns out he's not starting tonight as expected. I'd still expect Vokun to start around 50-60 games and as long as the offense holds up their end of the bargain he should garner the win in the majority of them. Its the playoffs where he'll have to really step it up. Projection: 55 games started, 35-40 wins, 2.45GAA

Michal Neuvirth - Neuvy was amazing last season, though some stats were shown to be a bit deceiving...whatever dude played and the Caps won...til the playoffs. If Vokun plays well and doesn't get hurt Neuvy is looking at around 25 starts, more if he's the hot one down the stretch. Also the fan base loves Neuvy so once they start chanting his name he could be the man...of course the same was said and done with Varlamov and Theodor...history repeated itself last year with Neuvirth and Varlamov and look where Varly is now. Projection: 27 games started, 20 wins, 2.24GAA

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Caps STH Event at Six Flags...3 Years Running

Last night the Capitals held their annual event at Six Flags for Season Ticket Holders. This is the one event that I look forward to all year. I don't own season tickets myself but my work does so I have used their tickets the past three years. Its always awesome to see the players walking around the park and going on the rides and hanging with the fans though at the same time it can open a can of worms for some (more on that in a bit).

Two years ago when I went I had a blast. In the span of an hour or so I got autographs from about half the team and the coaches. That fed my passion for wanting to do this event every year as well as holding out hope that I could get there early enough to be one of the first 450 to get Ovechkin's autograph. In 2009, on the way back from having dinner at the park, we ran into a bunch of the players as the handlers were taking them to their spots for the autograph signings. There was Jose Theodore walking into the men's room in a fedora which lead to some laughs; Boudreau as he posed with my cousin that resembles him very much and is mistaken for Gabby quite often; Michael Nylander who was sporting the hat of a rival sports team and who I spent a good 5 minutes talking shit to because my favorite, Chris Bourque, was cut and claimed by Pittsburgh earlier in the day all because Nylander's contract couldn't be traded and he wouldn't accept a buyout; Fleischmann and Jurcina shooting baskets which I may not have turned around to see had my cousin not said to me "that guy's wearing a Jurcina jersey so I'm not the only guy who wants one" to which I had to tell him "hey stupid that is Jurcina." We headed off to get autographs and ended up with all the coaches, Sloan, Laing, Laich, Erskine (Lumberjack), Pothier, Steckel (man crush), Schultz (family whipping boy) and of all the stars we lucked into getting Alex Semin.

Last year was not nearly as pleasant. The initial night it rained so they rescheduled it for a later date. Well on that day Ovechkin and Varlamov couldn't participate because they were shooting a commercial at the ESPN headquarters in Bristol, CT.  This left more fans to go after the rest of the players and longer lines. It didn't help that the players got off some of the rides late which got them to their tables after the 7pm start time and they didn't want to keep the players past 8pm so they started cutting some lines off at 7:30pm. I went in with plans to get two autographs, Nicklas Backstrom and Mike Green, as I had purchased 8x10 pictures of each of them just for this event. So after dinner we went and got into Nicklas Backstrom's line and after about 45 minutes we were able to get his autograph. Across from his set up was John Carlson, but they weren't allowing anyone in that line so we headed towards the lines for Mike Green and Mike Knuble. Knubes line was shorter so I got his and we were done. Disappointed that it was less of a haul than the previous year but still happy to have gotten Nick.

This year I planned ahead. I took off from work and hoped to get there early but when it was announced that Ovie's uncle had passed away and he'd be flying back to Russia getting there early was less of a necessity. As the day went on it seemed like the wheels were going to fall off as one family member dropped out and another wasn't sure they felt well enough to go. After a bit of convincing my mother (in her Ovie), my cousin Pam (in her Knuble) and I (in my Bourque) were on our way to Six Flags.  We got there and had our plan. Pam wanted to get her Knuble jersey signed so we headed straight to his line, all the way on the other side of the park and waited about 45 minutes. On the way over we passed Neuvirth and as we stood in Knuble's line many of the players went walking by to get on the ride including Jason Chimera,  Troy Brouwer, Jeff Schultz, Jeff Halpern, John Carlson, Matt Hendricks (who high 5's some fans) and Mike Green. We also pretty much stereotyped every black guy that went by as possibly being Joel Ward (or Joelle as my cousin Alex legitimately calls him...the boy ain't too bright). In fact I really thought one guy was until realized he was much too young and he looked more like Carlton Banks from "The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air" which made me break out in the Carlton Dance and almost had to go ask him if he'd do it since I had the people in line cracking up.

Lucky for us we were probably around 10th in line for Knuble, who was about 5 minutes late, and after we got his autograph we were off to our next goal...John Carlson aka The All-American Hero. As we were headed there DJ King and his handler were walking to DJ's table, so I made some comments about how he sucks and I don't  how he's on the roster when Bourque could be (and not be playing)...and of course I said it all loud enough so he could hopefully not hear me and I made sure to add "man you're a big dude please don't hit me." Anyways we get to Carlson's line since Alex wanted his jersey signed but couldn't make it so his sister, being the great person she is, got in line to get it signed for him. As it was he was one of 3 people I wanted to get autographs from as well. My mom on the other hand insisted on getting Jay Beagle because she's a huge fan of his...because we own a beagle...that's it, not other reason. So her and I hurry over to Beagle and Hamrlik who are the first table at the other end of where they're doing autographs...and of course my dumbass gets in the line for the coaches before quickly realizing my mistake and heading over to the Beagle line which had about 30 people in it...two years ago our shortest lines had about 10 (it was Schultz's line haha). After we got Beagle and the Hamerlik (sounds like a bad porn title/name) we ran back over to the Carlson line where we met up with Pam who had a handful of people ahead of her, got his and then had to decide if we wanted more or to call it a night even though there was about 15 mins left for autos. We headed towards King's line but opted not to get it, which I later regretted because I wanted Brouwer who was with him and decided to head into the arena to try for Mike Green. Lucky for me I had bought the picture last year I needed signed and have a Green jersey...unlucky for me both were at home so I had him sign on the poster the team was giving out that everyone else had signed for me. At that our night was done and it was a HUGE success and now I'm ready for next year's event.