December 10, 2008
Fans of the Washington Capitals and Pittsburgh Penguins have had a contentious relationship dating back to their days as Patrick Division rivals. It's continued through Ted Leonsis devising a way to block Pittsburgh fans from buying Caps playoff tickets, and Alexander Semin's candid assessment of Sidney Crosby's celebrity.
Today marks a new chapter in this relationship; a turned page on decades of malicious history.
Today is the day one of the most influential Pittsburgh Penguins blogs attempts to rally fans and stuff the NHL All-Star Game ballot box for Alexander Ovechkin -- so he can join Crosby and Evgeni Malkin as starters for the Eastern Conference, and completely beat out the Montreal Canadiens trio of vote-getters at forward.
Through finger-cramping text messaging and Internet voting, Penguins fans were able to overcome the Montreal Canadiens' significant voting advantage to elevate Crosby and Malkin into the Nos. 1 and 2 spots in the East. This morning, in an effort to "completely humiliate Habs fans," The Pensblog wondered aloud if the Pittsburgh faithful should throw their votes behind sixth-place Ovechkin, who trails Alexei Kovalev by over 300,000 votes.
"This one time only pact would bring Pens/Caps fans together to try and stun the world and get A.O. into the top three of the All Star voting," wrote The Pensblog.
A poll on the site showed support for the idea from readers. So at 3:50 p.m. EST, The Pensblog delivered marching orders to its readers ... via President Whitmore from the movie "Independence Day":
"We will be united in our common interest of jobbing Montreal Canadien fans and getting Alex Ovechkin into the starting lineup for the All-Star Game. Perhaps it's fate that bitter rivals have decided to join forces, not to fight tyranny, oppression, or persecution, but to cause humiliation to smug Canadien fans. We are fighting for our right to see the best three players in the world play on the same line, to enjoy it."
Will this fragile alliance hold? We got some words from the Pensblog knuckleheads about this bold proposal.
PD: Isn't some of this born out of a desire to see Ovechkin forced to start a game with Malkin and Crosby?
PENSBLOG: No question man, in fact it is pretty much number 1A. This is Gretzky, Mario-Messier [expletive], man. How often will they all be healthy and playing insane at the same time -- knock on wood? As hockey fans, you want to see this kind of stuff.
PD: In wrestling terms, you've compared this to the Unholy Alliance of the Undertaker and The Big Show. Does that, in turn, make the Montreal Canadiens the Rock 'N Sock Connection of The Rock and Mankind, two of the most beloved wrestlers in the history of the medium?
PENSBLOG: In wrestling terms this is more retro. Maybe even an imaginary unholy alliance. Like if Ultimate Warrior and Macho Man teamed against L.O.D., or even as far back as the Big Boss Man vs The Mountie. A Caps/Pens fans alliance is unprecedented.
Indeed it is. Capitals blog Japers Rink is in favor of this alliance, but some of the Penguins fans are already asking for something in return.
Now the real question: Will this sort of effort bring together Leafs and/or Senators fans to help put the Canadiens players back over the top?
Probably not, as long as some fans are offering bounties for Montreal losses ...