Thanks, Jack Reickel, for the amazing picture!
It seems the Caps of old are back. The last few weeks, really ever since the Olympic break, the team has lacked its luster. But in this fourth and final game against the Pittsburgh Penguins, the Washington Capitals brought a ton of heart and their signature roll-call scoring with them.
Thanks to goals from Alex Semin, Mike Knuble, Tomas Fleischmann, Matt Bradley, and then two more from some other guy, the Caps emerged victorious. Maybe it’s the Penguins are flagging late in the season, or maybe the Caps really are the better team. Watching the despondent faces of Pens fans trickling out of Mellon Arena, it doesn’t matter much to me; I’m just happy.
Let’s never go back to Pittsburgh. ‘Tis a silly place.
- Alex Ovechkin scored two hilarious goals. One was a quick wrister four seconds into the Caps’ first and only power play of the night. The second was an empty netter with one second left in the game. That ties OV up with Sidney Crosby in the Rocket Richard race. This is hilarious for many reasons, but that these cheap goals will infuriate Sidney’s acolytes is the one that makes me smile widest.
- Mike Wise in tomorrow’s Post: “The problem for rockin’-the-red Washington at the moment is, Sidney Crosby is at least two leaps ahead at the moment.” Already out of date. Sigh. Mike, respectfully, please leave hockey to the real amateurs. (Us.)
- The Penguins received one penalty one the night, the Caps four. If you think that this is because the Capitals are less disciplined than their foes, you have not been paying attention.
- Perhaps the parade of penalties was a deliberation on the Caps behalf; it gave the team many chances to practice their leaky penalty kill unit. 3-for-4 doesn’t change the team stat, but the PK made its way up to shut-down mode by the end of the third.
- Sidney Crosby‘s “goal” was totally deflected in by Bill Guerin and his spray-on tan. Fess up, NHL tallymen. You know I’m right.
- Nicky Backstrom wields ninja-like puck skills, but his intentions are transparent: do something ninja-like and then pass it to Ovie. The best break in the world loses its surprise if the goalie knows you’re going to pass it to GR8. Those 31 goals could be many, many more.
- Marc-Andre Fleury‘s temper tantrum on his way to the locker room tickles me in a place that is not oft-tickled. It’s a physical manifestation of the Capitals setting up residence INSIDE HIS MIND! See you in two weeks, MAF.
- Hey, let’s look at that empty net goal again. Hahahaha.
- How did Shaone Morrisonn manage to get a -2 rating in a game where his team wins 6-3? Do you have to try to get scored on? Was this a dare?
- Not-Center Tomas Fleischmann showed some fury tonight, but man, he is not doing the job on the faceoff. 3/13 = 23% = BrendanMorrisonComeBackToUs!
- Semyon Varlamov had 26 saves, many of which he had no business saving. Is he back? Don’t jinx it! (But yeah, he is.)
- Okay, last time. I promise. Let’s check out that empty netter.
Two games to go. Stay frosty, boys. It’s a long road.