After the Caps’ 3-2 win over the Philadelphia Flyers, long-time RMNB reader Abbi F. shared with us a fun story from the game. Sunday was her 16th birthday so she decided to make a sign in the hopes she might get a puck. And to the surprise of no one, Tom Wilson came through in the clutch (even though he was forced to try multiple times).
What resulted was internet gold. The reporter gasped when she saw who she had approached. Ovechkin, laughing, agreed to do the interview. The resulting video went viral, with national publications like Deadspin, Sports Illustrated, USA Today, Washington Post, Yahoo, and TSN all picking up the story.
The reporter who conducted the interview was WUSA9’s Prince George’s County Deputy Bureau Chief, Ellison Barber, a rising star in the industry. I spoke to her about her experience.
Caps fans recognized a familiar face in the crowd on Super Bowl Sunday as regular anthem singer Bob McDonald (top row, 2nd singer from the left) sang “America the Beautiful” in the Armed Forces Chorus, a DC-based group of 50 singers from all branches of the US Military. They were joined by actress Marlee Matlin, who signed along with the group in ASL.
As Peter pointed out in the recap, Caps defenseman Matt Niskanen hadn’t scored since the first week of the season, a span of 115 days and 47 games. Sunday against the Flyers, Niskanen scored the game-winning goal.
On February 7, 2016, In Game Recap, By Peter Hassett
It’s Super Bowl Sunday! Before you eat a bunch of super unhealthy food and then lose all productivity at the office on Monday, let’s rap about the Caps win over the Philadelphia Flyers.
The Caps looked sluggish in the first, giving the Flyers an early lead when MDZ knifed a redirected slapshot. The Caps rallied in the second, scoring twice on consecutive shots, the first knifed by Alex Ovechkin and the second knifed by Dmitry Orlov.
Carrying a lead into the third period, the Caps promptly surrendered it as Nick Schultz knifed a goal after a Caps icing. No matter: Matt Niskanen wrested back the lead by driving between the Philadelphia and knifing a gorgeous goal single-handed.
For the second year in a row, Ovechkin has scored his 30th goal on Super Bowl Sunday. Last time it was an Ovi shot from the Ovi spot, assisted by Mike Green, and scored on the Blues. This time it was an atypical tip-in to tie the game.
Evgeny Kuznetsov is a national treasure; here’s another example. Late in the first period of the Caps-Flyers game, goaltender Steve Mason made a save on a blistering wrist shot from Kuznetsov. Mason was unable to corral the puck with his chest. The rebound bounced out of the crease, and Mason dived to cover it.
Meanwhile, Flyers defenseman Evgeny Medvedev, unaware Mason was so far out of the crease, tripped over his goalie while skating backwards. The ref broke into laughter. So did Kuznetsov.
The snapshot is back. We took a two-week hiatus because the Caps played one game over a 74-year period due to the snow and the John Scott Game break. But alas, we are back.
February is the dog days of the hockey season. The excitement of the start of the season has long since worn off, the holidays and Winter Classic have passed, and now we’re waiting for the stretch run and the playoffs. If ever there is a time in a hockey season that a team’s going to be on autopilot as a response to the monotony, this is the time.
If monotony has begun to strike the Caps, you wouldn’t know it from the results, as they are 7-2-1 in their last 10. They’ve found a way to keep rolling the rock. And, more often than not, when the rock returns to the bottom of the hill, two points are in tow.
Let’s do the numbers. They are current as of the completion of Saturday’s win over the Devils.
Usually it’s some guy on the other team who scores his first NHL goal during Caps games. On Saturday afternoon it was Paul Carey, Hershey Bears call-up and veteran of 24 NHL games. Carey’s goal tied the game with six minutes remaining and wasn’t exactly what you’d call a “pure skill” goal from the guy in the Washington #28 jersey.
Andre Burakovsky looked like a promising young forward after last year’s playoffs, recording 3 points (2 goals and 1 assist) in 11 games. Fast forward a few months, and it’s safe to say Capitals fans expected more than they got from the Swede in 2015-2016.
In the first 32 games of the regular season, Burakovsky recorded only 8 points, which included a 25-game goal-less drought between October 28 and December 28.
But everything turned around for the less-than-confident 20-year-old when he scored against the Buffalo Sabres on December 30. That same game, center Jay Beagle left the ice with a long-term injury, which required Marcus Johansson to fill in on the third line, thereby opening up a spot on the second line for Andre. In a blink, Burakovsky jumped from fourth-line right wing to second-line left wing, and he hasn’t looked back since.