If nothing else, the Washington Capitals have been a strong team at home this season. They also have some pretty clever – and politically attuned – fans, which you can see in the way they’re tweaking Tim Thomas tonight with Barack Obama masks:
“We’ve taken a story that already existed and kind of rekindled it, fired it back to life,” said Kevin Klein of the Sick, Unbelievable blog. “I think in Tim Thomas’ head, it was already there. He knew that coming to Washington after he had made his own political statement, it was going to be a big deal.”
If Thomas wasn’t thinking about it, he certainly saw during pregame warm-ups as several fans brought home-made signs and some printed from the Russian Machine Never Breaks and Brooks Laich Year blogs.
“What did Wayne Gretzky say? You miss 100 percent of the shots you don’t take. This was too much of an opportunity to pass up,” said Mike Holden, 37, of Rockville. “We had Timmy coming to town, and he wants this issue to go away, and we figured we’d put it right in his face.”
It’s an amusing bit of grief-giving, although angering Thomas might inspire some spite-powered goaltending. We shall see.
CALGARY, Alberta (AP) Former NHL defenseman Zarley Zalapski has died at age 49, according to the Calgary Flames. No cause of death was given.
Zalapski, a native of Edmonton, played 637 NHL games for Calgary, Pittsburgh, Hartford, Montreal and Philadelphia from 1987 to 2000.
He was with the Flames from 1993 to 1998.
“We are proud that Zarley wore the Flames jersey, made Calgary his home following his playing career, represented our alumni executive and we will always remember him as a member of the Flames family,” Flames president and chief executive officer Ken King said Tuesday in a statement.
“This is a terrible loss of a man with great character who truly loved the game of hockey. We express our sincere condolences to the Zalapski family.”
Zalapski was a member of the Canadian team that finished fourth in the 1988 Winter Olympics in Calgary.
He had 99 goals, 285 assists and 684 penalty minutes in the NHL. Zalapski was named to the all-rookie team in 1989 and participated in the NHL All-Star Game in 1993.
Zalapski played stints in Austria and Switzerland after his NHL career and appeared in 11 games for the United Hockey League’s Kalamazoo Wings in 2004-05.
He was the fourth overall pick by the Penguins in the 1986 entry draft.
Taylor Hall puts on a show as Devils end Kings’ winning streak
The New Jersey Devils put an end to the Los Angeles Kings’ eight-game winning streak on Tuesday night with a rather convincing 5-1 win.
The Devils dominated in pretty much every aspect of the game, limiting the Kings to just 17 shots on goal and scoring five goals against a team that had not allowed more than two goals (and never more than three) during its winning streak.
The star of the game for the Devils was most certainly forward Taylor Hall.
Hall continued what could be a career year with a pair of goals, including this highlight reel play in the second period that saw him force a turnover, split through the Kings’ defense (including Drew Doughty!), then beat Jonathan Quick with a backhander.
With that performance on Tuesday Hall is now up to 11 goals and 31 total points on the season.
His first year with the Devils wasn’t quite what he or the team wanted, but he has bounced back in a big way this season. His performance, along with the development of young players Nico Hischier, Will Butcher, and Jesper Bratt have the Devils back on track to make the playoffs for the first time since the 2011-12 season.