Greetings from Arctic Frederick, Maryland. From deep within our carbon-neutral geodesic dome, the RMNB staff watched tonight’s date with Atlanta Thrashers with a subdued passion. Sure, the Thrashers are fighting for a playoff spot, but they also just lost superstar Ilya Kovalchuk in a radical trade to the Devils. So while this game didn’t have the same drama as others lately, it did present a degree of mystery.
Mystery solved. The Caps turned in an even performance for two periods before heating up in the third. Your standard goal scorers Ovie and Backy were joined by Jason Chimera, Mike Green, and even the bipolar Alexander Semin on the scoreboard tonight. Netminder little Mikey Neuvirth turned in an A+ effort to keep the Thrashers to two. Even John Erskine had a great night, making hay out of Chris Thorburn’s brainpan. And if you’re paying attention, you’ll notice that the Caps scored five goals again, ensuring free wings from Glory Days for the 10th time. Now all the ticketholders have to do is survive the epic snowstorm hovering over the tri-state area.
Instead of teasing the bullet points, here’s a secret: blogatrician Ian Oland has a crush on CSN’s Lisa Hillary.
- Alexander Oveckin broke a stick during a first-period power play. He hustled to the bench to retrieve another while Nick Backstrom bought time. As soon as Ovie returned, Backy set him up with a one-timer rocket. That beautiful goal puts Ovechkin in the goal-scoring lead, which wouldn’t have been a problem in the first place if he hadn’t missed those NINE games in the fall. Dude’s gonna need a new trophy room.
- Mike Green‘s return to the ice wasn’t looking historic until eighteen minutes into the third period. Not long after Ondrej Pavelec cleared the ice, Green took a page out of his captain’s book and sailed the puck all the way in. Somewhere a Glory Days promotion manager is updating his resume. The Russian Machine is happy to report a forthcoming wings-related t-shirt. (SEE HERE)
- Michal Neuvirth relieved an overworked Jose Theodore tonight and made a great show of it. He allowed a pretty soft goal in the inaugural minutes, but came back furiously. He stopped 44 shots total tonight (matching Jose Theodore’s single-game record from the Red Wings game a few weeks ago). We’ll be sad to see him go when Varly returns, but Michal will take our gratitude back with to Hershey. And we have a strong feeling we’ll see him again.
- Alex Semin received a wizardly pass from Brooks Laich to score the third goal of the night, but this bullet point is not about that. This is the Bad Boy Bullet, and Semin earned it for his bonehead power play shift halfway through the third period. A bad pass from Sasha gave Rich Peverly a great breakaway chance. Michal Neuvirth was ready for the challenge, easily trapping the puck beneath him. But Neuvirth wasn’t prepared for two-hundred pounds of Siberian trucking at him full-speed. Semin plowed the puck past Neuvi and gave the Thrashers a goal they did not earn. It’s hard to be too mad at Alex, though. These flukes happen sometimes, and we can excuse the goof by attributing it to Semin’s enduring enthusiasm.
- Oh yeah, John Erskine did this. Nuff said.
- Nicklas Backstrom missed the third period due to an uncertain ailment. I’ve heard both flu and migraines, although the latter is more plausible given Backy’s inclination toward them. It would also be preferable, as We want Sweden’s star center in tip-top shape for the big game on Superb Owl Sunday.
- Do the boos at Verizon Center and Comcast’s expose on the Capstronaut mark the waning of his popularity? If so, we’re happy to restore @TheHornGuy to Preferred Fan status. That guy deserves as much credit as whoever cut the “Unleash the Fury” video package.
And that makes 13 goals. Kismet, I think, that the 13th win in a row comes right as 13 inches of snow cover the area. But then there’s another twenty behind it. Do you think the Pens game will actually happen on Sunday? I’ve got my doubts. We should hope that any uncertainty about the game’s happening does not affect the team’s ability to prepare mentally. The Penguins are looking better right now than they have at any point this season. But then again, you can only wonder what they’re saying about us.
Stay safe, comrades! We leave you with a fitting song from The Pixies: