Nicklas Backstrom’s first goal of the year is the game-winner! (Photo Credit: Bruce Bennett)
The Caps’ final game of their three-game residency at Chinatown maintained their perfect record there, but also continued the sloppiness haunting this early season. Despite a few soaring, individual efforts, the team as a whole could not click. For the second game in a row, it was the efforts of Alex Ovechkin and Michal Neuvirth that made all the difference.
Alex Ovechkin‘s second period goal and third period deflection via Nicklas Backstrom were all that was needed to put the team over the Islanders’ lonely score by the fresh-faced Nino Niederreiter. Little Mikey recorded 23 good-looking saves to endear himself a remaining skeptical minority of Caps fans.
This mid-October, mid-week match with the New York Islanders was a bit of a snoozer , as the Caps keep on looking ugly and winning anyhow. Lessons still need to learned apparently. Oh well. Caps beat Isles 2-1!
Taco night bullets for my homeys
- 2:47 into the game, D.J. King engaged Trevor Gillies in single combat. Why? Not sure, but it’s possible that Gillies mustache said something about King’s mother. Please drop us a line or a tweet if you can figure out what this fight achieved, as we’re still baffled.
- Mike Green played like a man on a mission tonight. He owned the puck, skated like a cranked-out wallaby, and fired bullets from the circles. Greener led the team in shots on goal (4), but tragically could not convert. Sadder still, Mike left the game injured after a bad, shoulder-led check. Someone gas up the bus from Hershey.
- Also playing like a crazy person was Brooks Laich. He’s tenacious in the slot, and he’s aggressive on the penalty kill. If he weren’t 6’2″, he’d be a candidate for a new nickname: Shorty.
- Bruce Boudreau’s experiment with the lines lasted all of one period. Tomas Fleischmann returned to the second line, and Nicky Backstrom regained his rightful position within hugging distance of Ovechkin after goals.
- The Islanders looked better at almost every turn, putting a ton of heat on the Caps defense and forcing two d-men in particular, Carlson and Erskine, to resort to icing a few times. Given their performance in their own zone, I’m not really sure how the Caps pulled out this win.
- It wasn’t the checking lines. The third and fourth put up the lion’s share of the shots this evening, but scored all of none. Keep it up, guys. It’ll happen.
- Just like last year, Nicky Backstrom opens up the season’s scoring with a total fluke. Last year it was a dump-in from center ice, this year a game-winning boot deflection fed by Alex Ovechkin. Ignominious? Maybe, but it’s a start.
- Good to see former-Cap-now-Islander Milan Jurcina on the ice tonight. His long bombs kept Neuvi busy, and he tossed Flash like a rag doll once, but at least he’s working!
- Hey, power play scored! Penalty kill is still perfect! Happy days are here again. Somewhere, Neil Greenberg is working on a post about regressing to the mean, but we don’t understand his scary numbers.
For a while we expected inert chemistry to lose this one for the Caps, but that would be forgetting Ovi’s inexhaustible ability to defy expectation. Still, it seems like the only team that can beat the Caps- besides les Habitants- is the Caps themselves. There’s a moral here somewhere.
Final note: does Nicky Backstrom sound like a guitarist in Dethklok to anyone else?