Thursday, November 5, 2009

Varly and Karl

So last year, two crazy kids from MD decided to get Caps jerseys. They deliberated hard and settled on a #27 and a #40: Alzner and Varlamov. The decision was based on a trip that summer to the Capitals' Development Camp and the realization that "these guys are really, really good." The jerseys arrived sometime in January of last season; late Christmas presents for them both.

Then the jerseys made their way to Verizon Center. Over a string of 4 games, the jerseys proved to be a curse: if the player on the jersey didn't play, the team lost. Toronto, Colorado...the worst teams in the league were beating us at home, all thanks to our new jerseys (I'm being tongue-in-cheek here people...we obviously have nothing to do with the product on the ice and I know it).

Then came the 2009 Playoffs. After a terrible Game 1 against the Rangers, I showed up to the game in a Caps sweatshirt only to find that Varly would be starting Game 2. NOOOO! A 2-1 loss later, and Superstitious Me was convinced I was at fault. I wore my jersey for every game from then out. A game 5 shutout. An amazing Game 7 win. After the game, one fan 4 rows behind us piped up: "VARLY!!!" I turned around. "I saw you with that jersey at Game 1! You KNEW SOMETHING! YOU'RE AWESOME!" I'd never stopped a puck, but I got "Dude, nice jersey" and "WHERE DID YOU GET THAT"'s from dozens of fans.

Meanwhile, my poor wife's #27 sat quietly in the closet. Karl had been called up for the playoffs just to sit in the press box. Upon his return to Hershey, he got a concussion and missed several games. Fortunately enough, we got tickets to a Calder Cup Final's game and she got the chance to break out the Alzner jersey and have it on for a critical game Game 4 victory. As Hershey went on to win the Calder Cup, we both knew that our jerseys had both seen wins for our players and the Curse was over. A pre-season win reinforced that belief.

Since then, Varly has started a few early Caps games to mixed results, but Karl has been down in Hershey, unable to break the Caps logjam at defense. We're both eager for the two teammates to reunite in DC and prove our jersey decisions correct. For those of you looking for the next 'cool' jerseys, my I recommend the following names: Carlson and Perreault. Maybe a Wilson or Della Rovere.

Or maybe an Alzner or Varlamov...they're still cool.

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