On October 31, 2010, In Game Recap, By Peter Hassett
Green scores. Ovi tackles.
DUHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH (All photos by Jeff McIntosh)
Halloween. This is the time of year when the eerie and unlikely are commonplace. This is the season of mists, of despair, of loss.
Nah, forget that. The Caps struggled mightily in the first period with the Calgary Flames. Going down by two goals early on, the Caps looked vanquished. A pathetic power play only hurt our wavering confidence. Maybe we should turn the game off and hit up that costume party after all? Nyet. Nicky Backstrom turned the Caps second power play into a goal reminiscent of ’09-’10’s best, and then the second period happened.
Let’s not mince words. The second period of this game was a bulldozer. The Caps scored six goals, two pairs of those goals coming within 13 seconds of each other. I’d tell you who scored the goals, but it’d take too long. Trust me: it’s everyone you’d expect. And also Dave Steckel. The Flames never came back after those early volleys. Caps beat Flames 7-2.
People don’t understand the true meaning of Halloween. It’s not about collecting candy or doing keg stands at Peter’s house; it’s about scaring the living bejesus out of children. Knowing this, RMNB reader Mandy expertly extched Ovi’s cretinous countrenance into a pumpkin, and we couldn’t be prouder. There’s nothing scarier than an angry, 235 lbs. Russian with fiery eyes and the will to break you.
On October 28, 2010, In Game Recap, By Peter Hassett
Surprisingly not Maine. (Photo via @dimickj)
Chuck Kobasew starts the scoring for the Wild (Photo Credit: Jim Mone)
For those of us wondering if the Caps can string together two good games in a row… no.
All the way up in exotic Minnesota, the Caps faced the almost-unknown Wild but left their A-game in Raleigh. The travelling Caps’ ennui was strong, but the Wild’s fans’ was stronger. This sleepy twaddle of a game was a waste of even Joe Beninati and Craig Laughlin’s time, as the commentators spent a decent chunk of the night observing the finer points of referee trousers.
The Caps’ forwards were stingy on shots, mustering only four in the first period. They didn’t do too much better in the latter forty minutes either, totaling a meager 22. The Wild didn’t need a lot of shots to score (goals from Chuck Kobasew and Mikko Koiku), offering only 17. That, apparently, is enough. Despite a late goal from Alex Ovechkin and a case of too-little-way-too-late, Minnesota won the night. Wild beat Caps 2-1.
10/30 Update: The video’s no longer available. At least we have a screenshot.
We give ESPN a hard time for its chronically bad hockey coverage, so we’ve gotta give them a pat on the butt when they do it right. That’s how you curb bad behavior, right? Michal Neuvirth’s stone-cold robbery of Eric Staal from last night’s Caps/ Canes game is SportsCenter’s top play of the day. And no names were flubbed. Laudable.
On October 27, 2010, In Game Recap, By Peter Hassett
Michal Neuvirth robs Eric Staal. (Photo credit: Gregg Forwerck)
The Washington Capitals began their transcontinental road trip in style. Undisputed #1 goalie, Michal Neuvirth, delivered a flawless hour in net to shut the Carolina Hurricanes out at their first home game of the year. While a bothersome number of Caps (Varlamov, Poti, Johansson, Gordon) missed the game, the remaining players sported great performances. Matt Hendricks converted a nasty supine pass from David Steckel to score the only goal the Caps needed. Nicklas Backstrom recovered a rebound from Mike Knuble to score the second goal, and deposited the third in an empty net.
But it’s Mikey Neuvirth’s first NHL shut-out that captures our imagination tonight. Neuvi stopped 29 shots, half of dozen or more in spectacular fashion. Despite noble efforts, Eric Staal and Joe Corvo simply could not best the Czech prodigy. Caps beat Canes 3-0.
Thursday night, for one night only, see the fight of the ages. One man faces his deadliest dangerous foe yet: himself!
Niklas Backstrom will start in net for the Wild tomorrow night against Nicklas Backstrom and the Capitals [Michael Russo]. Guess that means former-Capital/perpetual handsome dude Jose Theodore rides the pine.
On October 27, 2010, In Analysis, By Russian Machine Never Breaks
The Capitals’ awful, awful, very bad, no good week came to an unexpectedly pleasant finish on Saturday night. Alex Semin’s hat trick and Tomas Fleischmann’s OTGWGFTW capped off a miserable stint for the team. Twodeflating losses to the Bruins provide an excellent case study in the Caps’ problems: aside from a soaring PK squad and a competent netminder, the Caps are struggling.
That’s why we assembled the Russian Machine Brain Trust, formed to fight the foes no single hero could withstand. We put on our tweedy jackets, pack our pipes full of snuff, put some Mingus on the hifi, and did some armchair GMing. What follows is our panicked odyssey through the Capitals roster, our premature prognostications, our malevolent molestations, and one cheap crack about John Erskine’s facial hair.