All Aboard the StruggleBus

One might have assumed my lockout-induced honeymoon period would last longer than four days.

Jets Capitals Hockey



Greetings from the StruggleBus.  Last night’s Capitals home opener looked a lot like their season opener in Tampa Bay.  As in: I reminded myself that the upside to losing is ticket prices stay low.

The Caps are not, by any means, the only team aboard this bus.  They are not even surprising.  Very early in this abbreviated season, the Flyers are having a breakdown as well.


Philly has a league high -8 overall goal deficit.  Their goaltending problem is a problem, but not if they can’t score.

The Rangers also bought a ticket for this ride.  They’re 0-2, gave up 6 goals to the Penguins and pulled Lundqvist in the 2nd period.  Tonight they rematch against Boston, who beat them 3-1 in the first game of the year.

Pittsburgh Penguins v New York Rangers

People expect a lot from Philly and NY – rightfully so.  What about Carolina?


The Hurricanes have scored 2 goals, while giving up 9.  That is not the #11 we were hoping for down south.

Tampa Bay Lightning v Carolina Hurricanes

It’s too soon to panic, right?  Teams are just shaking off the rust, getting their legs underneath them.  We hope.  The Caps issues last night were reminiscent of last season – bad outlet passes, no one in front of the net, sloppy entering the offensive zone – but magnified.  They’re operating under a new coach and a new system, with new guys on the ice.

Well, not all new guys.

hendyMatt Henricks vs. The World went 3 rounds last night – 2 fights and 1 goal.

But some.  The Caps called up Tomas Kundratek on Monday to replace Jack Hillen, injured in the first game.


HELLO.  Also, how did you get on the ice when I’ve never heard of you?  Originally a Rangers prospect and most recently of the Hershey Bears, Tomas played 5 games for the Caps in 2011-2012… while I as on my actual honeymoon.  That explains it.  No one aces every class in the first week of school.

Out west, the Kings, Flames and Coyotes are all winless thus far.

hawks1Derping to Donuts

No one wants to raise the banner and get spanked, but it happened in LA.  The Kings had real goal-scoring issues all of last regular season, and have just three on this one.  The Coyotes have scored 7 and still lost both games.

Coyotes Opener

I wouldn’t make it long as a Caps fan if I got down about every few bad games.  What about you other fans?  Are these growing pains, or symptoms of a larger illness?  The Rangers and Flyers aren’t in danger of losing butts in seats over a shaky start.  The Kings can ride the Cup train for a bit.  Calgary will obviously be fine even if they’re bad.  The Coyotes obviously won’t even if they’re great.  The Caps weren’t full last night, and tickets for tomorrow start at $23 on StubHub.  Those are middle-of-the-season, ennui-and-frustration prices.

Not what we want to see squashed on the windshield of our shiny new season.

Tags: , , , , ,

Leave a Reply

    • Michelle Reply

      OmG I’m dying, that is ADORABLE!

  1. Beep Beep. All aboard the Struggle Bus.

    Still early in the season but seeing as it is a short one, I don’t think teams can afford to get behind. They won’t have the luxury of a late season push.

    Hey thur Tomas Kundratek. I see a Foxy Friday in your future.

  2. Kaitlin Reply

    Hello from Philadelphia! I am not pressing the panic button… yet. I’ve heard rumblings from fans who blame shoddy goaltending and speculate a shake-up trade or change in coaching is imminent if things don’t turn around soon. I think it’s too soon for such complaints and speculation. I think Bryzgalov has looked fairly steady. I also think it’s too soon to make a drastic change. Laviolette is a very well liked and proven coach. There hasn’t been any one player that has stood out as being the “problem” or playing particularly poorer than his teammates. The Flyers as a whole just look rusty. At whatever point your captain takes two stupid penalties in one game, there’s a team-wide problem.

  3. Cassy Reply

    Bearing in mind that training camp was barely there before they went back on the ice, not to mention a lot of the guys have been playing overseas with different teams for the experience, I think this is to be expected. I equally think it is really frustrating for fans.

    Let’s give it a few weeks – there have been some major roster changes and these guys haven’t had a chance to gel properly as teams. The notable exception to the rule is Boston, but they didn’t make many changes to their team, so they know each other pretty well.

    Also, I’m a die hard Bruins fan, as many of you know, so I’m not too displeased lol…

  4. I’ve been hate-watching the Flyers, just be cause I can (thanks, Center Ice!), and it seems like it’s not so much Bryz being bad as it is their blueline being reeeeeeeal shaky. And a lot of just DUMB penalties and fights. Like really, what was Simmonds trying to accomplish by pushing Brodeur last night? I get that you’re frustrated but, c’mon guys, time and place.

    But like I said, I’m hate-watching them, so obviously my opinions are not fair and balanced, haha.

    • Kaitlin Reply

      I’ve been watching them ’cause I’m a die-hard Flyers fan and I absolutely agree with you. Shaky on the blue line (missing Matt Carle more than they expected, still missing Pronger) and missing Jaromir Jagr and Danny Briere’s leadership. And the dumb penalties. Ugh. Don’t get me started on the dumb penalties. As a born and bred Flyers fan I love and appreciated hard, legal hits and calling a guy out and dropping the gloves WHEN APPROPRIATE but taking stupid penalties Grrrr. Absolutely 100% time and place and that was neither the time nor the place. Voracek, Simmonds, Coburn, Hartnell, and Giroux all took some really stupid, stupid penalties last night and had I not been watching in a public place with friends I would have been swearing loudly. I know, not lady like, but stupid penalties push my buttons.

      • Kathy Reply

        I didn’t think Carle was that much of a loss but I am rethinking my thoughts on that. And stupid penalties is an understatement. The Simmonds one was the worst. Doesn’t matter if he did’t hit Broduer that hard. You touch him, you’re going to the box. Period. I love my boys especially Giroux and Briere(we need back him in the lineup) but they need to right this ship. And now Schenn was suspended for a game. Great….though I think the Shanaban is appropriate for the hit. I am trying to be positive but the Rangers game really better wake them up or I am going to be cursing more than I usually do when I watch them play. 0-4 is NOT what I want.

        • Not having Pronger there hurts as well. When you have a guy of his caliber missing from the ice and the locker room, it’s bound to throw things of kilter.

          • The Shea Weber offer sheet now makes so much more sense.

  5. Got room for one more? We on the Flyers bus know it’s not Bryz’s fault although last one on the ice and first one off at pracy doesn’t send a good message. Their other major problem? No pre-season means no trying out line combos. When you lose a major player from almost every line on your team, finding the right chemistry is key. This is a problem the Flyers, Hurricanes, and Rangers are all suffering from. With no time to test the D-pairings and forward lines, we’re witnessing the experimenting on game day. It also would have behooved some of these teams to scrimmage ::cough cough:: Philly. I have hope for all of them yet.

    SIDE NOTE: Coach Oates, if you could please return Mr. Kundratek to the Bears the weekend of February 23-24 for the game vs. the Albany Devils in A.C. I would much appreciate it. In these harrowing times we try to hold on to as much eye candy as possible.

  6. Marci Reply

    Even though my Bolts are 2-1 I still hang my head in shame. We lost to the Islanders! 🙁 Seriously homies……who does that?

  7. Karyn Reply

    If by “Calgary will be fine” you actually mean “those geriatics don’t have a chance to make the playoffs. As usual.” then, yes, Calgary will be fine!

    • Pants Reply

      Ha! I meant that their fans won’t stop coming just because the team is bad. Goonies never say die.

  8. Late to the party but I have to point out that the Canucks are having a super weak start… MWAHAHAHAHAHAHA