Washington fans will learn to cheer for newest Cap Jaroslav Halak in coming weeks, because that’s what fans do.
But this will be a harder transition than, say, learning to cheer for Dustin Penner.
Because Halak, of course, is lodged in Washington’s consciousness as the guy who ruined the 2010 playoffs and initiated the team’s decline from free-wheeling offensive juggernaut to middle-of-the-pack normalcy. Whether a handful of stand-on-his-head games from Halak were really responsible for that transition is impossible to say, but it’s easy to imagine a different history if that guy had the flu for all of April 2010. And thus, cheering for Halak feels like cheering for the flu, or cheering for traffic, or cheering for parking enforcement.
Anyhow, this led me to think about Washington’s roster of Jaroslav Halak All-Stars: Players who were never superstars, but who will never be forgotten in Washington for ruining something special, players whose very names sound like curse words. Players, in other words, that would be hard for Washington fans to cheer for. I was limiting myself to two per team, and only considering the most recent history. Would welcome more suggestions.
Wizards: Damon Jones, for ending the 2006 playoff series with Cleveland. Gerald Wallace, for ruining Gilbert Arenas.
Nats: Daniel Descalso for homering in the eighth inning, and later hitting the game-tying single in 2012’s disastrous Game 5. Pete Kozma, for bringing in the winning runs, and for being Pete Kozma.
Redskins: Shaun Suisham, for missing a momentum-killing gimme field goal in the 2008 playoff loss in Seattle. Carlos Rogers, for dropping a sure pick-six in the 2006 playoff loss in Seattle. (I struggled with this one, but when it comes to recent playoff heartbreak, those two guys probably come to mind before any Seattle players.)
Maryland: Korie Lucious, for ending Greivis Vasquez’s career with a 2010 buzzer-beater. Nate James, for his tip-in game-winner in the 2001 ACC tournament, among other indiscretions.
Georgetown: Ohio’s Armon Bassett, for scoring 32 points in a first-round upset of the highly seeded Hoyas. Brett Comer, or really anyone from the 2013 Dunk City roster.
Anyhow, I need some more names.
Inspired by this:
This is kinda like the Nationals trading for Pete Kozma.— Chris Needham (@needham_chris) March 5, 2014
SVRLUGA ON THE TRADE
Barry Svrluga takes a pretty skeptical look at Washington’s decision to possibly upgrade in goal while doing nothing on the blue line:
“It’s a young group [of defensemen], but they’re good,” McPhee said. A good group that, before Wednesday night’s game at Philadelphia, sat fifth in the Metropolitan Division, tied for ninth in the Eastern Conference, outside the playoffs either way….
The goalie situation in Washington, over the short- and long-term, has not worked out, not to the level in which one player — pick one — can carry a flawed team through April and May and into June. On Wednesday, McPhee changed it again because — as the 10th goalie in seven years arrives — different results are expected.
From the Philly Daily News:
ESPN MISSES ON THE WIZ COLORS AGAIN
It’s been nearly three years. The bad blue and bronze will never go away.
TROLLING THE SAINT JOSEPH’S BIRD
Well done, father of our country.
DON’T USE A MONOCLE
From the New York Times:
Martin Raymond, a British trend forecaster, credits the rise [in monocle use] to what he calls “the new gents,” a hipster subspecies who have been adding monocles to their bespoke tweed and distressed-boot outfits. On a recent trip to Cape Town, Mr. Raymond said, he saw such a group carrying monocles along with tiny brass telescopes kept in satchels.
HAPPY IN D.C.
Via Prince of Petworth, people in Washington dancing to Pharrell.
WHAT TO WATCH TODAY
The Caps are in Boston at 7 on Comcast SportsNet. George Mason is at La Salle at 8 on NBC Sports Network. All radio and TV listings are here.