Sorry for the delays, everyone. Busy night.
The Capitals are now 40% through their longest home stint of the season, and it’s not gone too bad so far. In tonight’s game with the New York Rangers, Washington showed defensive rigor that’s been missing all year, but something was missing. Even though Eric Fehr and Eric Belanger’s goals lifted the Caps over the Rags, the “Is Party Now!” dynamics of Washington’s offense simply did not show up. At least Jose Theodore was perfect.
WARNING: These game notes are late because we’ve been drinking. Liquor.
- Jose Theodore is too cool for nicknames. Jose Theodore is too cool to shave regularly. Jose Theodore is way too cool to ride the bench. At 33 years old, Jose is as spry as any other goalkeeper in the NHL. His glove hand is scary fast. Tonight’s shutout (and it feels great to say that) illustrates Theo’s dedication in a way that his statistics do not. How many great performances have Washington goalies delivered only to be spoiled by flaky defenders?
- Dear Mister Alex Ovechkin,
Remember when you scored that Hat Trick against Pittsburgh and we commissioned that local artist to create a life-size statue of you to go in front of Glory Days Grill? Since then, nada. Listen, bro, we’ve dumped a lot of money into this, and we’re starting to doubt the investment. So while it’s your prerogative to slump whenever when you need to slump, we trust you’ll end this nonsense lickety-split.
Peter and the dudes at RMNB.
- There are few moments in sports as delightful as seeing the other team’s fans swearing in misery. When the Rangers staggered two minor penalties only 15 seconds apart, CSN’s cameras cut to 4 gentlemen losing their friggin’ minds right behind John Tortorella. Only the most kind of lip readers would transcribe their outbursts as being “aw, shucks.”
- Let’s welcome Eric Belanger to the Caps. Cleaning up a deflected pass from Semin to Laich and then sneaking the puck beneath Alex Auld’s nether regions is a good way to make a mark with this team. Eric’s bona fides at the dot were one of his selling points, but he failed to win 3 out of 4 faceoffs in the defensive zone tonight. So that’s a bit worrisome.
- Matt Bradley is fighting for ice time, and I don’t know if he’s winning that fight. Brads had a handful of hits and a nice takeaway, which is just fine for a grinder like him. But with the sudden depth of the Washington Capitals, he might have to be spectacular to stay in the lineup. Smart money says we’ll see Matt Bradley’s gloves hit the ice before long. Also, his blood.
The Caps have three more home games before heading to Chicago to face the Blackhawks. Even without summoning the sleeping giant of the top line, there’s a good chance that Washington could extend this home win streak even further.