As we prepared for tonight’s Caps/Thrashers game, we were alerted to three crucial things: 1.) The Caps had plane troubles again and had to depart for Atlanta very early this morning (per Capitals Insider) 2.) Japers Rink told us via Twitter that the Caps have never won in Atlanta on a Saturday night (0-3-1) and 3.) Capitals 9th string Goalie Brett Leonhardt made this awesome observation on Twitter: “There is legit spots on the ice in ATL where you can see the cement… guess the teams’ not the only ones mailing it in.”
Wow, huge #verbfail there, Brett.
But with these convenient excuses on hand, we here at the Russian Machine felt like it was a perfect night for our hometown team to have another mindless, letdown game and be done in by the dreaded “Reverse Lock.” Or – at the least – witness Sasha take 6 offensive-zone penalties and see just how hard Bruce could angrily stare at him without his eyes bugging out of his head.
But alas, we were treated to a blowout victory, as the Capitals took the Thrashers to the freakin’ woodshed and won by a Touchdown. … Sorry, it’s Saturday… I’m a little drunk… I’ve gotta do it:
(Ed note: fast foward to 1:47 mark)
On to the bullet points:
- The great Malcolm S. Forbes once said: “Victory is greatest when you’ve known defeat.” However, since The Capitals haven’t lost to the Trashers this season, I guess that doesn’t apply. Nonetheless, Bruce Boudreau, on his 55th Birthday, was treated to the best gift a hockey coach could ask for: A complete 60 minute effort where every Capital played a good game.
- Don’t believe me? Jeff Schultz won the Palm Restaurant Player of the Game by having a pedestrian +5, and being credited with 2 Secondary Assists and 3 Shots. And No, for those who didn’t see the game, I don’t remember him having a particularly great night.
- Mike Knuble created havoc in front of the Thrashers goal all night, and managed to net two goals via his skate boot (WITH NO DISTINCT KICKING MOTION). The first? A beautiful redirect off a Tom Poti shot from the point. The second? A two-on-two with Alex Ovechkin. The Russian Machine masterly fired a puck to the pads of Johan Hedberg. Hedberg couldn’t control the rebound and watched Mike Knuble redirect the puck into the yawning net. Knuble finished the night with a +2.
- Crazy opinion of the night: Former
asshatPenguin Johan Hedberg didn’t play particularly bad, but when you lose 8-1 the bad stats have to go somewhere. Hedberg let in 4 goals on 9 Washington shots and was pulled midway through the second period. Ondrej Pavelec fared better (I guess?) and was only beaten four more times on 28 shots after the switch. Someone prepare some Alka Seltzer for John Anderson.
- Who got some of the good stats? Our fellow countryman Alex Semin did, of course! Semin felt like being one of the Top Ten players in the world tonight and managed to score twice. Oh boy! But that doesn’t tell the whole story. His first goal was scored shorthanded during the Thrashers first powerplay. After a Mike Green steal in the defensive zone, Brooks Laich and Sasha entered the Thrashers zone with a 2 on 1. Laich fed a streaking Semin who then was stopped with a flashy pad (or groin) save by Johan Hedberg (we’re not sure). Did he slump his shoulders and give up? Not this Sasha! Semin circled back into the play, grabbed the rebound around the left dot, skated in a semi-circle around the entire Atlanta Team and fired a wicked wrister past Johan Hedburg into the top right corner of the net. Holy crap, what a goal! Just another day in the office for Semin. Then in an attempt to redeem himself on his first missed 2 on 1, Semin nailed a one-timer past a helpless Hedberg after an absolutely gorgeous feed by Tomas Fleichmann.
- That reminds me: That move to center for Tomas Fleichmann has paid off. He now has points in two straight games. And the most important part? He looks like the Old Flash again. Good decision, Birthday Boy.
- As for look alikes, long lost brother of Michael Nylander, Jason Chimera, scored his first goal for the Caps. Woohoo!! We’re still waiting for Chris Clark and Milan Jurcina to respond with their first points for the Blue Jackets.
- For those keeping track at home, the Capitals are 3-0 since Alex Ovechkin was named Kapitan. AWESOME.
- And now to the Bizzare: Atlanta outshot the Caps, 39 to 37. Yes, let me say it again because I don’t believe it either, Atlanta outshot the Capitals 39 to 37 and still lost 8-1. On a night where Michal Neuvirth didn’t have to be particularly good, Neuvy managed to be absolutely outstanding. He had 37 saves, and looked like Rico Suave all night. The .974 Save Percentage and the 1 GA should help his case against people like The Peerless who think he isn’t an NHL caliber goalie yet. At this point, I’m done with Three-or-more. How about you?
- The Trashers Ice Girls don’t like wearing clothes when cleaning the ice. It kept me in my seat during intermission.
- TV Personality Craig Laughlin made it to Atlanta, but his luggage did not. Uh oh. For most of the game, it looked like Locker had on a Kid’s sized 5 dollar jacket from Value City that looked more than a bit odd over his dress shirt. This unfortunate loss of luggage led to perhaps the best commentary of the night on the post-game show between Locker and Joe B.:
Joe B: “It looks like you’re wearing Smokers.”
Locker: “I’m changing the style of Hockey Announcers.” ::awkward laughter between the two::
Joe B: “I let you borrow my tie and… That’s all I’m going to say. Craig, we’re definitely going shopping tomorrow.”
- And finally, the only players not to record a shot for the Caps tonight? Mike Green and Michal Neuvirth. What?! Come on, Snubbed One. You need to make me look good here!
Well, the Capitals now have a few days off in Florida (oh no, the Russians loose in the Sunshine State? Gah!) before turning their attention to the mighty Tampa Bay Lightning on Tuesday Night. Let’s hope they can maintain the focus, and keep
embarassing people dominating. I expect comments below!