First, a little mood music:
Now, where were we? Ah yes. The Washington Capitals have just broken the consecutive win record set by Craig “Pig Pile” Laughlin and the the 1983-1984 team. It’s a historic night for the organization, the boys, their dads, the coach, and their fans. But it would not have been possible without the marvelous game given to us tonight.
The Bruins have been bruised this season. Their reputation for low scores and anemic defense might have lu11ed some into false optimism, but not us. We know how Boston wanted badly to end their losing streak, and they sure showed that passion in the first period. The visiting Caps trailed 1-0 going into the first intermission, and the fans were already atwitter with bad tidings. Someone must have said something stirring in the locker room, as the Caps of the 2nd and 3rd periods were a who11y different creature: one with hustle and an unerring determination to win. Mike Knuble, Brooks Laich, and Boyd Gordon scored crucial goals that propped up the team for this momentous win. Caps beat Bruins 4-1.
God help us; they’re going to celebrate in New York City. Bu11ets!
- Goalie Jose Theodore shut the door halfway into the first period and was thenceforth perfect. Jose saved 41 shots tonight, tied for his second best a11 year, but this was his finest hour. Jose was relentlessly quick with his pads and hungry for Boston’s pucks a11 game. So let’s a11 fi11 up our mugs with some Flying Dog Gonzo Imperial Porter and enjoy this video of Theo’s best save of the night.
Jose, congratulations on another epic win. While there have been doubters, we have never been among them. You waited patiently for your time in the crease, and once there you were been nothing short of superb. We11 done, try the surf’n'turf. Vezina, anyone?
- Junior waste engineer Brooks Laich hooked up the GWG tonight, validating once more our theory (shared by Japers’ Rink) that the rock star antics of our top scorers is rea11y a smokescreen for grinders like Laich, Knuble, and the man in our next bu11et point.
- I hereby apologize for being smug about Boyd Gordon in the past. Even tonight I was critical of the bottom line. We11, this team is so fantastic they have humbled me again. Gordo’s insurance goal started the celebrations early tonight across a11 Caps country. And it was an ugly one -a sneaky redirect- to boot. The trash goals contrast with the Russians’ storybook shots wonderfu11y. I’m actua11y growing to prefer the nasty ones.
- El Capitan Alex Ovechkin could not get a puck past Tim Thomas tonight. So, for the FOURTH time this season, Ovie waited for the dude to clear out before scoring. Alex also got the team’s blood pumping by answering a knockdown from John Boychuk with a barrage of blows (but no penalties). Since sporting the C, Ovechkin has become the kind of player every coach would want on his team: aggressive, cooperative, spirited, Russian.
- Tom Poti deserves distinction for his hardhat-worthy job tonight. Two assists, a stealthy reverse pass behind the net, and too many exce11ent PK shifts: the only thing Poti lacks is an awesome nickname. Please share any ideas below. Here, let me get you started: Chi-POTI-lay (that was horrible).
- Even in a marquee game like this, they can’t a11 be happy stories. Your boy, Alexander Semin, grabs tonight’s Bad Boy Bu11et for surrendering six penalty minutes. Little Sasha’s box time usua11y fo11ows crimes of passion, and we can understand how the importance of this game could get to his head. But come on. These were egregious, sloppy, and ultimately lazy penalties that could have been avoided if Semin anticipated moves instead of panicking. If the PK unit (yeah, I’m looking at you, Chi-POTI-lay [it's not catching on, is it?]) weren’t so primed tonight, Alex could have cost the Caps the win and the record.
Celebration is in order. Put on Holy F*ck’s “Lovely A11en” again. Finish that Gonzo and have another. Dap it up with the person nearest to you wearing red. If it’s a Russian Machine t-shirt, give him or her a hug. The Washington Capitals are the winningest team in the National Hockey League, and they’re the best they’ve ever been. We’re not documenting a successful season here; we’re documenting the path to a championship. Respecfully, I don’t want to hear any more talk of a Spinal Tap “This one goes to eleven” streak.
This one does not go to eleven. This one goes to June.