Saturday, October 17, 2009

Checking in with the Capitals: Fifth Graders Think They Know Everything

Caps beat the Nashville Predators tonight in a shootout win. Ovechkin was the Washington offense this evening, scoring both regulation goals plus the only shootout goal. Varlamov, standing in for the the injured Theodore, saved all three shootout shots by the Preds. That guy is tough as nails.

For those who don't already know, I'm an elementary school music teacher by day. I teach in a small town in Vermont - what I thought would have been serious hockey country before we moved here. It has been my experience, however, that baseball reigns supreme in this part of the world. Little League? Huge. Red Sox? Revered as gods. But there certainly is a hockey element. Plenty of my students play, though NHL allegiances are all over the map. There's a trio of hockey players in one of my fifth grade classes. One is a Montreal fan. Another likes Pittsburgh. The third ran off a laundry list of the teams he likes. I noted a glaring absence:

"I didn't hear the Caps in that list. I think we may have problems here."

"We don't like Ovechkin," they all agreed.

"What's not to like?"

"He's a show off!"

"Oh, and Crosby isn't?"

"He's not as bad."

The legendary Washington Post columnist Thomas Boswell once wrote that he's never known more about sports than he did in the seventh grade. Maybe they know better than I do. Is Ovechkin the player whom fans of other teams love to hate?

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