The biggest controversy of the Bruins season is sure to crop up again as Tim Thomas competes for the cup in the same city he snubbed the celebrations for last year’s championship in January. We all know Tim Thomas has enough issues with what goes on in Washington, but the landmark case of Thomas V. The State has passed. He can now move on and focus on beating them on the ice. Unfortunately, that seems to have gotten a lot harder for Thomas to do since, oh, sometime in January. Huh.
The biggest focus for the Caps should be to get their impotent offense going. This season they scored the fewest goals in a season since 2003 and with pieces like Semin, Ovechkin and Backstrom, there’s no excuse. These guys are going to have to figure out how to beat last year’s playoff MVP, only the second American-born playoff MVP. (The first was Brian Leetch, who I hear went to shake then-President Clinton’s hand for his achievement but pulled his own hand back at the last second and ran it through his hair.)
Now seriously, the Thomas White House hoopla was a major story in the Bruins season and there’s been plenty of idle wondering about the coincidence between Thomas’s Facebook ranting and his numbers beginning to drop off in the last half of the season. Thomas started the season (before the All-Star game) wth a 2.12 goals against average, four shutouts and a 9.33 save percentage; since the break he’s had a 2.64 goals against average, 1 shutout and a 9.03. That’s a problem whether you blame his self-imposed distractions or not. Just in case, though, Caps fans might want to help things along – here’s my proposal: the Capitals organization arranges it so that their special guest U.S. President Barack Obama gets a seat to playoff home games right behind the Bruins net. What’s more inspiring for Caps players than getting to look at the president sitting behind Thomas giving them that look? ‘Yes you can Alex, yes you can’. Obama probably doesn’t have much else going on these days, right? All right, all right, it’s just an idea. Caps fans can have fun with it, too! Here are some suggested jeers:
Your save percentage is the 1%!
Hey! Hey! Ho! Ho! Thomas let in another goal! (And big government impedes our liberties)
Or maybe just the good old Pledge of Allegiance after every goal would get the point across too.
The Verizon Center has already proven itself to be a pretty tough barn to play in for visiting team, with the Caps having the conference’s third best home record. That’s not bad for a team that just snuck into the playoffs, and the Caps will probably need every advantage they can get for this series. Washington’s situation in net is less than ideal with two injured regulars, and I wish it weren’t the case, but if the Caps don’t get their offense going in a serious way, some silliness could help boost the team… or at least add levity to what could be a tough series for Caps fans.
Matt Stephen is a writer, not a fighter. He is both a beer and fantasy league veteran and has written about hockey online and in print for The Hockey News. He now covers the spectrum from the White House to Mike Green. He carries a picture of Ovechkin in his wallet.