Friday, December 30, 2011

The Peerless Prognosticator is ON THE AIR!!! -- Game 36: Sabres at Capitals, December 30th

The Peerless Prognosticator is ON THE AIR!!!

“No he ain’t. We decided to give cousin Peerless the night off’n so he can go git ready for New Years.”

“Don’t lie to the folks, cousin… we actually have him tied up in the closet.”


“We thought drastic times called for drastic measures, and seeing how he has been so unreliable with his picks this season, we thought he could use the night off, so to speak.”


“He doesn’t seem to like the idea, cuz.”

“And nor should he, but he seems to be suffering the same malady that has befallen Alex Ovechkin this season, and he is not nearly up to his prognosticatorial standard.”

“Ya mean he sucks?”

“That would be putting it a bit uncharitably…let’s just say we’ve heard that kind of noise emanating from his narratives too often over the past couple of months.”

“So, we gonna do those tables and ‘Take 5’s’ and all that sparkly stuff he does?”

“We shall not bother ourselves with copying the style of others. We shall come up with our very own.”

“Ya mean ‘pompous and stoopid?’”

“Absolute--- NO! Of course not!”

“OK, so about these Buffalo Sabres…”

“Well, Cheerless, the Sabres have 95 goals scored so far this season. Nine of them – almost ten percent – have come in two games against the Caps.”

“You mean…”

“Yes, the Sabres are averaging 4.5 goals a game against the Caps and 2.5 against the rest of the league.”

“Bet that goes for the defense, too.”

“Well, Buffalo has allowed only three goals to the Caps in two games and 102 to the other 28 teams in 34 games…so, that’s 1.5 goals allowed per game against Washington and…”

“3.0 against the rest of the league.”

“Very good…what else did you notice?”

“Uh, the Caps and the Sabres have numbers that look a lot alike.”

“Go on…”

“5-on-5…the Caps are 0.96, the Sabres are 0.96. Power play…the Caps are 16.8 percent, the Sabres are 19.1. Penalty kill…Caps are 82.0 percent, Buffalo is 84.1 percent.”

“But they’re different in one important way, Cheerless.”

“Hmm…what’s that, cuz?”

“Buffalo is only 2-5-1 in their last eight games. And their scoring is drying up. In those eight games they have only 19 goals – 2.38 a game. Nine of the goals came in the two wins.”

“Well, one of those wins was against the Caps, Fearless.”

“Right you are, my dim-witted cousin.”

“Who you callin’ ‘dumb?’”

“’Dim’…’dim’…not ‘dumb.’”

“OK…that’s different. Hey, shouldn’t we check and see if Peerless is alright?”

“He’s fine. I left a box of Depends in there with him…”

“Good, I ain’t cleanin’ up no mess in there.”

“Speaking of mess, that has been the Sabres’ penalty kill over this 2-5-1 run. They are 23-for-30…only 76.7 percent.”

“They’re 7-for-8 in two games against the Caps…”

“That they are, and even though Buffalo is having their troubles on penalty kills, they are tearing it up on the power play – 8-for-27 over their last six games; 29.6 percent.”

“Two for five against the Caps in that game last Monday, cuz.”

“You seem to be trying to make a point, Cheerless.”

“Hey, ya like it? I’ve been whittlin’ this stick for days trying to get a nice sharp point on the end of it.”


“Who do we have to pay attention to, cuz? I’m thinkin’ that Pomegranate guy is one we oughtta be watchin’.”

“’Pominville,’ you twit. Jason Pominville. And yes, he bears watching. He has a goal in each game this season against the Caps, including the game-winner in the first meeting back in November. He has eight goals in 25 career games against Washington.”

“And how ‘bout that Vanek guy?”

“Well, at least you got his name right. Thomas Vanek has points in his last six games and eight of his last ten.”

“And he has one in the only game he played against the Caps this season, too.”

“Not to mention nine goals in 25 career games against the Caps.”

“Then why’d ya mention it?”

“Come again?”

“If’n it’s ‘not to mention,’ then why’d ya mention it?”

“It’s a figure of speech, Cheerless.”

“Like a figure eight?”

“Sure…why not. We can’t forget Ryan Miller, either.”

“Didn’t he play for the Caps?”

“That was Kelly.”

“You sure it wasn’t Kip?”

“Him too.”

“Of course, it could have been Kevin…”

“Yeah, him too.”

“But not Ryan…”

“No, not Ryan.”

“Too bad. He’s pretty good.”

“I’d say so. Never won fewer than 30 games in a season, Vezina Trophy winner, first team all-star, Olympic silver medalist.”

“Uh, yeah…but what about this year?”

“Not so much this year, so far at least. He’s 39th among 46 qualifying goalies in goals against average (3.05) and tied for 34th in save percentage (.902). Those nine wins in 20 decisions (9-9-2) certainly puts that run of 30-win seasons in jeopardy.”

“But he’s done pretty good against the Caps, right?”

“12-8-0, 2.49, .916, and three shutouts. That would qualify as ‘pretty good.’”

“How ‘bout the Caps?”

“Well, the Alexes had a pretty good game last time out. Ovechkin might finally be turning things around. He has points in his last four games and has not gone consecutive games without a point since he had a four-game streak without one that ended on November 19th. Since then he is 5-8-13 in 17 games. The four-game points streak he is on ties his longest of the season.”

“He’s got a funny set of numbers against Buffalo, though.”

“Do tell…”

“15 goals in 25 career games against the Sabres, but he is a minus-8 in those 25 games, too.”

“It is a puzzle.”

“Semin seems to be scoring some…”

“Points in four of his last five games, 4-2-6 overall in those games. It’s not that he’s necessarily shooting more – 10 shots in those five games – but he is finally getting some of them to go in. His two goals against the Rangers were especially pretty.”

“Very Seminesque.”

“Very poetic, Cheerless.”

“Whaddya mean, ‘pathetic?’”

“Po-etic…po-etic…po po po.”

“OK OK OK! So, is this the part where we oughtta be prognosticatin’?”

“I suppose.”

“I got Buffa…”


“Peerless, how’d you get out?”

You guys are as good at locking folks up as you are at prognosticating.

“Uh, we wuz only tryin’ t’help…seein’ how you were in a slump’n all.”

“OK, cousin. You’re the professional prognosticator here. How do you see this coming out?”

The Caps started the year with a 3-1 win. It would be a good way to end it.

Capitals 3 - Sabres 1

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