Ovechkin hails his Canadiens fans after his second-period goal (AP Photo/The Canadian Press,Ryan Remiorz)
Finally, the Washingon Capitals finish a game in sixty minutes. But tonight’s soaring victory over the Montreal Canadiens nearly wasn’t such. Without Boyd Gordon’s brilliant short-handed goal early in the second period, the Caps might not have detonated the goalsplosion that followed.
Relying mostly on that 20 minute score buffet, the Caps easily bested the Nads 5-1. Caps take the series lead 2-1. Natch.
- Best player on the Caps tonight? Why, that would be Boyd Gordon. One shorty, five shots on goal, 92% on the faceoff dot. Sitting David Steckel seems like Bruce Boudreau’s masterstroke tonight, even moreso than…
- Semyon Varlamov,
who was the goalie of record despite my protestations, was truly wicked. Only 27 shots made their way to him, but the savior stopped all but one. I don’t think anyone is expecting goalie drama for Wednesday night.
- Does Alex Ovechkin receive a compulsory bullet? He scored on his only shot on goal and embraced his best buddy Nick Backstrom, but he was much more reserved than in his last two games– especially on hits.
- The goal parade of the second period was intoxicating, but let’s sober up for a moment. The first period was a disaster. The Caps could not maintain possession, seemed dominated even in their own zone, and did not have the legs to match the Habs. That twenty minutes could not end soon enough. The Capitals cannot afford to play like that, unless their competition is as inept as the ‘Nads. And yes, we’re sticking with that nickname.
- There is no situation so dire that would cause me to leave a playoff hockey game early. The Canadian fans are supposed to be the die-hardiest of the die-hards, but watching the sad horde politely file out with four minutes left on the clock was a pathetic sight. Add to that their easily deflated jeers in the first and their incessant no-call boos; I think we’ve got a new fan community to deplore.
- I’m astonished that the Canadiens managed to escape this game without a major penalty. Their desparation at the four-goal deficit isn’t surprising, and the Capitals should be congratulated for their patience. Mike Knuble gets a total pass from us for his two third-period penalties– those were unavoidable.
- Goal in the final minute from #10? This game got exactly the amount of Matt Bradley it needed.
14 to go!