We have now descended into madness in the NHL, just as Norma Desmond did down that staircase in the 1950 film, “Sunset Boulevard,” just before uttering that famous line in the movie’s closing scene (She looks a bit like Gary Bettman here, especially around the eyes)...
There is nothing left but to go with the feeling. So, in that frame of mind, we wonder, if the Capitals were movie stars, who would they be?
Nicklas Backstrom – Burt Lancaster. If there was a common denominator in Lancaster’s work, it was quiet strength and versatility. It might describe a center who can shoot or pass, defend or take draws, exhibit a quiet leadership that makes him an alternate captain.
Troy Brouwer – Gene Hackman. Prolific hits, versatile talent, rugged style.
Jason Chimera – Jason Statham. Apart from the physical resemblance, he (like Chimera) started playing lesser roles in action settings. More recently he’s been in films with Sylvester Stallone and Robert De Niro. Sort of like getting top-six forward time.
Joey Crabb – Buster Crabbe. OK, we don’t know enough about Joey Crabb to know, but it sounds about right. Hey, he did play Flash Gordon, though…and Buck Rogers!
Matt Hendricks – James Cagney. Cagney made his fame playing tough guys, and Hendricks certainly qualifies as one. But Cagney had another noteworthy and unexpected skill as a performer – he was a hoofer and a comedian in vaudeville before making it big in films. Sort of like having mad skills in the shootout when you’re usually thought of as a grinder.
Marcus Johansson – Robert Downey, Jr. Downey spent his early years playing quirky types in a string of odd comedies that seemed to stunt his progress. He grew out of that to play bigger, meatier roles. Sort of what folks might hope happens to young Mr. Johansson.
Brooks Laich – Jimmy Stewart. Tom Hanks would work here, too. The charming and earnest sort who could play an “everyman” persona and do it in a variety of roles. Not unlike a hockey player who can play (and has played) on any of the top nine forward positions.
Alex Ovechkin – Clark Gable. The leading “leading man” of his era, projecting strength, virility, and a certain roguishness, of playing just a little outside the rules from time to time.
Karl Alzner – Paul Newman. Consistent, dependable, efficient. And watching him wiping a tear, suggesting Milan Lucic was a crybaby, you could imagine him as Butch Cassidy saying, "They're beginning to get on my nerves. Who are those guys?"
John Carlson – Steve McQueen. Only a player who is the “King of Cool,” like McQueen, gets a spot among the 15 “style setters” in Washington.
Mike Green – Peter Sellers. Could you imagine Peter Sellers as Inspector Jacques Clouseau on a Vespa? We could.
Jeff Schultz – Gary Cooper. Cooper was famous for his quiet, understated demeanor on film. On the other hand, he was capable of doing a comedic turn from time to time. Sounds like a defenseman who plays a quiet, understated game but is capable of, well…
Braden Holtby – Jack Nicholson. A combination of manic quirkiness with ominous intensity. Almost describes those “Holtbyisms” and the style he brings to the goal crease.
We left a few out so you could think of who their "stars" are. I mean, what else do we have to do these days, read about the latest non-talk talks?