At around 2:00pm, after Alex Ovechkin was tossed and Chicago was starting the third period with a 3-0 lead, I got a call from RMNB lead writer Peter Hassett who’s currently spending his last day in California for a weekend wedding. He said and I quote:
“I thought the Tampa Bay Game was the disaster game of the season. I guess it’s this one now.”
I reminded him that there was still 1 full period of play left- which is a lot of time for the Capitals even without Ovechkin – and that Chicago blew a similar 3-0 lead to the Flyers the day before. Undeterred, Peter replied “Dude, It’s Over.”
So of course, the Capitals were victorious and won in Overtime over a stunned Chicago Blackhawks team, 4-3. SORRY PETER. We’re just going to warn you now, we’re not in the mood for happy bullets.
- Everyone wants to talk about Alex Ovechkin and his ejection. We will too. But we first want to point you to a potential reason for the Caps terribly slow start: With daylight savings the night before and the team flying to Chicago – which is an hour behind on Central Time – the Capitals actually lost two hours. Thus, for them, it felt like the start of the game was at 10:30am. If you’ve ever played a Varsity Sport in High School, we’ll just tell you – it takes awhile for the body to wake up that early. Which is a perfect segway into…
- Alex Semin. WTF dude? You must be misunderstood, because if I went by your body language today, no part of you wanted to be playing hockey. First, you take a horrendous obstruction penalty in the first period. Then in the second, you try to lean in on an imaginary defenseman on a breakaway and go hurling towards the net out of control. The result? Semin AGAIN goes careening head first into the goaltender on a breakaway. No goal, offensive zone penalty number two. Fedor’s comment on AIM: “stupidest penalty in hockey ever for Semin.” It’s hard to disagree. Our favourite Siberian must love soccer, because he keeps trying to bring the “header” into hockey. Finally, when you lose your best player, someone else must step up. And that my friends wasn’t Alex Semin…
- It was Nicklas Backstrom. The unassisted overtime winner was delicious, yes, but Nicklas Backstrom’s first goal of the night – the Capitals second – came at the tail end of a 5 on 3 powerplay and right after one of his most ill-advised turnovers of the year (saucer to Brooks Laich on 2 on 3). Without a goal there, momentum swings back to the Blackhawks and the game’s over. When asked post game about the team’s victory without it’s best player, Lars responded: “It’s a strong sign, especially now at the end of the season. We know he [Ovechkin] is a key to our team and he scores a lot of goals. We have shown that we can play, that our other key players can play, too.”
- Who else can really play when a big game’s on the line? How about David Steckel? We’ll just come right out and say it, Stecks is the type of player you need to win a Stanley Cup. Period. On Fehr’s game tying goal, Steckel hustled to beat out an icing call and deftly threw the puck out to his open teammate. Not only that, all game long he played good defense, finished his checks, and won a bunch of faceoffs. And if it wasn’t for…
- Joe Corvo blowing a terrible assignment off a faceboff on the Blackhawks second goal, Steckel would have ended the game with a +1. We’ll be honest, Corvo’s freelancing is starting to piss us off a little. Yeah, he’s a good defenseman, and he can really move the puck well. But with his brain farts accumulating by the week and the ladies’ already questioning the effectiveness of his goatee, Corvo is close to losing Caps fans complete support already. COME ON CORVO. GET IT TOGETHER.
- It’s hard not to enjoy a game when NBC’s Mike Emrick is calling it. He said two flat out hilarious things. First he said “LAICH GETTING UNSIGHTLY WITH PATRICK KANE.” I’m not even sure what that means. And then Emrick described a ho hum blocker save as Jose Theodore “WAFFLE-BOARDING [THE PUCK] AWAY.” Oh Mikey, you so folksy.
- And oh yeah, how can I forget that Alex Ovechkin guy? We said it on Twitter. And we’ll say it here again. We all know that the Ovechkin hit was not worth a 5 min boarding major with replay. But live – it looked really dirty, Brian Campbell had his back turned and was in a vulnerable position, & Campbell ended up getting badly injured on the play. Sometimes there are hits that are too risky to make. And the Russian Machine needs to stop putting himself in this position. Blame his passion, blame whatever you want. But it’s got to stop. He’s already starting to gain a reputation as a dirty hitter. Since we get to watch him every game, we as Capital Fans know there’s no malice involved here. But in a day of age where video clips of these types of hits are so easily accessible – and you’re the most talked about player in the game – this is going to be another bad black eye.
- NHL head disciplinarian Colin Campbell has already clarified the Ovechkin automatic suspension talk: “The knee [suspension from Dec. 1] does not apply as he was suspended for that. If you get two boarding game-misconduct penalties, you get an automatic suspension if 41 games have not lapsed. In [Ovechkin’s] case, 41 games have lapsed since his last boarding [game misconduct], so he is not suspended automatically.” We here at RMNB predict an Ovechkin suspension anyways.
- Ovechkin on the hit: “I didn’t hit him hard. I pushed him, but he fell bad. It probably looks bad.” Um yeah.
- If President Obama saw the game today and wants to be associated with a winner, there’s no doubt who that should be anymore. The Capitals were pretty awful for 40 minutes + and still managed to beat his hometown team. So now, let’s make that transition as easy as possible for him, by you joining our rapidly growing Facebook Petition.
- Finally, the Washington Capitals now have 101 points through 69 games and have gone over 100 points for the 6th time in franchise history!!!! Oh? You don’t give a crap? Bigger goals you say? My bad.
Anyways, today, was just a flat out weird game. Brooks Laich’s goal in the third period made me feel like this victory was inevitable however. And that’s a bad sign. This team spoils us hardcore, and I hope we don’t rely on these crazy comebacks later in the year. Because in the playoffs. It’s Not. Gonna. Happen.
Stay tuned to RMNB this week. We’ll have some fantastic, exclusive Barack The Red content, and hell, we might even get Peter back … sometime. But while we have you now, we just wanted to say that we have been humbled by the incredible amount of attention we’ve received the last few days because of our Obama site. Our success here wouldn’t of been possible without trailblazers like Japers’ Rink and On Frozen Blog leading the way. It’s more of a testament to their awesomeness than anything we ever did. So we say thank you to you and to them and we state emphatically that we realize our place. Which is still the worst blog ever.