The Caps and Scoreboard Watching
There are four NHL games tonight. Three of them have massive implications for the Caps' playoff future. Entering the night, the Caps do not control their own destiny, as the saying goes, although at least they at least control their own remote controls. Still, there was no Capital consensus on how best to deal with a night in which the team's postseason fate will continue to unfold at three out-of-town rinks accessible only via the flickering screen.
"Oh yeah, I'll be flicking back and forth between all three of them: The Carolina game, the Philly game and the Boston game," Brooks Laich said. "I've got the NHL Center Ice package, so I'll be tuned in for sure. Just relax and cheer for the other team, whoever that might be."
"We have to get by on network TV," said Quintin Laing, who joked that the Center Ice package was for "the big, high-dollar guys." "I'll probably look it up online," Laing continued, "but I wait until after. I can't take the swings, I hate it. You get your hopes up. It's 2-0, and then all of the sudden it's 3-2."
"C'mon, you can't handle the swings?" Eric Fehr asked incredulously. Fehr said he hits refresh on NHL.com up to 10 times during a game to check in on the competition, but noted that he wouldn't try to watch any of the games live. Why not?
"I'm gonna be watching the Blue Jays game," he said.
Moments later, David Steckel invited Fehr and Laing to his house for a BYOS dinner. (That's "Bring Your Own Steaks.") Fehr's preference to watch the Jays was noted.
"Yeah, that's not allowed in my house," Steckel said.
Others were less concerned with the out-of-town scoreboard; "nope," said Tom Poti, when asked if he'd be watching. "Probably just relax, watch some movie and sleep," Alex Ovechkin said of his evening plans, although he said he'd probably catch highlights (and he hadn't decided on a movie).
"I'll probably follow the score, I don't think I'll watch the games," echoed Matt Cooke. "I think it's good sometimes to get away from the game a little bit, refresh and recharge."
As you moved up the organizational ladder, though, there was less equivocation.
"Oh I think the TV will be on, yeah, and I won't be watching Grey's Anatomy," Coach Bruce Boudreau said. He was asked whether he gets intense while watching these games. "Only if somebody tries to talk to me," he said. "I don't listen. That's when my wife slaps me across the head and says, 'I'm trying to talk to you!...I get sort of anal, like I'm sure most coaches do."
And Caps owner Ted Leonsis? He has a 90-minute massage scheduled for tonight, although he's mastered the art of changing the channels on his TV despite the awkward angle created by the massage table. These out-of-town televised updates, he noted, have already begun to pay dividends.
"My massage therapist," Leonsis said, "has become a hockey fan."
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