The Caps desperately wanted to break their two-game slide that has followed their epic winning streak. They played a disciplined, almost subdued games tonight, but that restraint did not bring them a win. Tied from the end of the 2nd period, tonight’s game in St. Louis went all the way to the shootout, where David Perron deflected a puck off of Jose’s back for the winning shot. Blues beat Caps 4-3.
At least we got a point.
Here come your last bullets for a few weeks:
- Mike Knuble scores another two goals from what @ngreenberg calls his “office.” Spending as much time as he does in the goalie’s grill, Kanoobs has the unique opportunity to mess with the netminder all game long. Even if he weren’t scoring as often as he does, Mike would be a valuable asset just for being so annoying.
- Alexander Semin takes a lot of heat for being an inconsistent force on offense and somewhat disinterested on his own end of the ice. I know this because we at RMNB have said that. Well, tonight Sasha was a complete player. He had the typical stick clinic moves, a classic Semin wrister-goal, and one or two energetic PK shifts. While he might not reach the heights of histrionics that Alex Ovechkin shows off everynight, when Semin plays with heart you can see it just the same.
- We really do not want RMNB to become the place to go for zebra sniping, but gotta do this. Operating under some kind of edict from Toronto, the officials really amped up the penalty calls tonight. The first period doled out 49 penalty minutes alone, but we’ll get to the specifics of that in a moment. The referees need to be reminded that they’re not paid by the penalty; and –if they begin calling everything– they are opening themselves up to a degree of scrutiny they may not like.
- This isn’t relevant to anything, but here’s a choice Craig Laughlin quote: “Flash will have a sit for a deuce.” This will crack me up until March.
- While the Caps defense looked much better than they have recently, they did facilitate waaaaaay too many breakaways. Luckily, Jose Theodore was perfect on every chance. The blueliners clearly have miles to go, but let’s be happy for a moment that they’re improving.
- Like Viggo Mortensen before him, Cam Jannsen has a history of violence. His dirty, elbows-up hit on Matt “Paperface” Bradley‘s head continues that pattern. Quintin Laing, seemingly upset that he himself was not injured, engaged Jannsen immediately thereafeter. It was a brave move, but routine for a team as tightly knit as the Caps. So we were a bit miffed when the officials gave Quintin two minors and a 10-minute misconduct in addition to the standard five for fighting. Once more, the instigator rule baffles the heck out of us. If a thug breaks a bottle over your friend’s head, and then you tackle him, you are not an instigator. And if it is true for bar fights, it must be true for hockey. We eagerly await a ruling from Toronto about Jannsen’s lengthy suspension and fine, as well as an update on Bradley’s health.
- While we admit to being completely warped Caps fans, we have to give props to Bluesman T.J. Oshie. That kid is quick and has some great puck skills. Seeing as the Caps don’t meet the Blues often, I was not familiar with T.J. as I should have been. His record (14 goals in his last 18 games) raises the question: why is Oshie getting a vacation when he should be up in Canada next week? U-S-A! U-S-A!
So, it seems more likely than not that the Caps roster will not be the same come March 4th. For a team that has created so much chemistry in the last few months, they still have a ways to go before they are what Lord Stanley requires. Nonetheless, the Russian Machine has nothing but affection for each of our Washington Capitals, and we will miss dearly any who move on. If that includes both Morrison(n)s, so be it.
We look forward to the Olympic break. The team needs a moment to brush up on fundamentals, tune up the 2nd and 3rd lines, and maybe shift around the roster. The superstars (sans 52) will be giving us the performances of their lives in Vancouver. And we at the Machine have a few surprises in store for you. While the NHL may be shutting down for a few weeks, we certainly will not.