In their first game with the Capitals, Scott Walker, Joe Corvo, and Eric Belanger got a close-up look at what we’ve been seeing all season: The Caps play the most exciting breed of hockey in the league. In tonight’s narrow win over Tampa Bay, the home team battled through a series of staggered goals, a lengthy penalty snit fit, Mike Green’s gigantic floating head and quiet play from the team’s stars to beat the division rivals.
- Waste engineer Mike Knuble once again gives the Hat Trick his bedroom eyes but cannot seal the deal. Let’s not act as if his umpteenth two-goal night was a disappointment, but you all know you reached for your baseball caps after number two.
- The Washington Capitals have a rabid offense, and that might be intimidating to a new guy. By the third period, Scott Walker seemed to get the hang of it though. His two backhand goals had just enough English on them to reach the back of the net, and that was the difference between a win and a loss. Welcome on board, dude!
- The Lightning exploited their first two power plays, and it only took them 30 seconds combined. By that point, Tampa Bay was linger barely under 50% efficiency on the PP for the season. So when Mike Green, Brooks Laich, and Tom Poti coordinated stupid penalties (Okay, Green gets a bye) in the second period, I thought the Caps were in deep trouble. And that was before Nick Backstrom broke his stick. It could have spelled disaster, but Backy was willing to tenderize his rear end to stop the pucks. Thanks to that Swedish hiney, the Caps stumped a motivated Bolt PP unit.
- Why did CSN do this? You know that’s going to give me nightmares. I suppose it could have been worse…
- Alexander Ovechkin again had a quiet game. He looked great, but he didn’t put anything up on the scoreboard. Is it too early for us to be concerned? Is Wilbon going to write about this?
- Wild stat of the night? Boyd Gordon was 12/14 on faceoffs.
- I’m so excited. We had an RMNB We! Want! Wings! shirt sighting tonight. Thanks a bunch, @losaah! To commemorate we’ve marked down the Wings shirt to $12.95 until midnight. Get ’em while they’re hot!
- There are nights when Alexander Semin is the greatest hockey player on the ice. We’ll let you when those nights start happening again. Mech!
There’s so much more to talk about. Joe Corvo seemed like a good fit on special teams. John Carlson had some sloppy giveaways in the first period and is at risk of being downgraded from Captain America to USAgent if it keeps up. Brooks Laich and Lightning goalie Mike Smith clearly hate each other. Varly looked pretty sharp, but has more gaps in his game than we’d prefer. And the Caps give their fans wings from Glory Days for the 12th time this year. Not bad.
The Caps have won their last 12 games at home, and home is where they’re playing their next four games. March is looking good for the Washington Capitals.