Refs beat Caps 2-1, Dallas Stars Also Played

Mike-Ribeiro scores. Sasha Minor skates away in disgust.

Mike Ribeiro punishes the Caps for one of their many penalties. (Photo credit: Tony Gutierrez)

(Photo credit: Tony Gutierrez)

Hendricks spars with GWG-er Brandon Segal. (Photo credit: Tony Gutierrez)

The Washington Capitals have just played their second game in as many days. Facing the surging, workman-like Dallas Stars, the Caps debuted their newly acquired defender Scott Hannan. But the Stars saw the Caps coming.

Mike Ribeiro connected on the fourth of five Dallas powerplays. The Caps did not respond until the third period, when Mike Knuble one-timed the puck from the weak side off a great pass from Mike Green. Only twenty seconds later, Brandon Segal undid Knuble’s work and reset the Stars’ lead. In the final ten seconds, John Carlson scored the GTG goal only to be waved off for interference against a crease-crowding Alex Ovechkin. Well done, officials. You have bested our Caps again. Stars beat Caps 2-1.

Bullpuckey bullets.

  • Let’s get right to it. John Carlson’s un-goal should not have been waved off. Stephane Robidas Karlis Skrastins skated into (admittedly excellent) goalie Andrew Raycroft, but “reckless” Alex Ovechkin took the blame for it. After missing a couple penalty whistles earlier (including a teachable example of slashing against Karl Alzner), the officials made their final judgement hurt the worst. I don’t know if I expect to hear from Toronto, or if I demand it. Either way, I’ll be let down.

  • In the final ticks of the first period, Adam Burish bullrushed Marcus Johansson, who went down in a heap. Like a reflex, Alex Ovechkin piled on Burish as if to firmly say, “nyet”. Good captaining, sir.
  • Scott Hannan got a gentle introduction to the team. He had zero starts in the defensive zone despite having around 57% of his starts there in recent years. He did however clock 4:50 of PK time with zero scoring chances against. But then again, it was his interference penalty that lead to the Stars’ first goal.
  • Similarly excellent while shorthanded, John Carlson (3:51 SH TOI) and Hot Karl Alzner (2:29 SH TOI) allowed no scoring chances against while creating two for their team. Well done, [stupid nickname here].
  • American Airlines Center plays Gary Glitter’s “Rock and Roll, Part Two” after goals. What is it about tuneless glam rock by a despicable pederast that is so synonymous with hockey?
  • More on American Airlines Center: the awkward, claustrophobic camera angles were mandated I suppose by the NBA-friendly setup for the Mavericks. On the plus side, CSNDC got some great b-roll of empty seats to use in a pinch.
  • Thank god for Mike Knuble and that PPG. With Caps fans in such a fragile mental state of late, I’d worry that a shutout would send us running naked in the streets smearing our bare chests with Skippy peanut butter while screaming that inane “Rock the Red” song from the playoffs last year until the inevitable tazer blast from the po-po puts us down. What were we talking about again?
  • Finally, while the shot totals made this look like a fluke (38-21 in the Caps advantage), the scoring chances were much tighter.  Dallas lead the Caps 13-12 in scoring chances.

This game kind of sucked anyway. The Stars are like the Foot Clan of hockey teams: damn near anonymous and operating on herd mentality. Cluttering up in two’s and three’s around Alex Ovechkin might be a good way to stop the man from scoring, but it kind of puts a damper on the night’s entertainment. Past that, the Texan bastards got the jump on the Caps in a way we don’t often see– lots of frustrating trap defense and prostrating pratfalls.

Usually, we put Joe B’s suit of the night in the bottom corner, but tonight is different. Former Caps flower child Alan May joined Beninati and Craig Laughlin in the box tonight to provide extra analysis. It was excellent. To commemorate the event, here’s a snap of Alan, Joe, and two-or-three versions of Locker’s demonic face.

Joe B suit-of-the-night ++

Catch you on Saturday, back in friendly, D.C., where the Capitals will face their arch rivals, the NHL officiating crew.

Additional reporting by Neil Greenberg.

  • Steck it in

    Where can i view the stats for scoring chances for/against? I would love to look at those statistics.

  • Peter Hassett

    @Steck it in,

    Check out Neil’s scoring chances posts. He also has a speadsheet available.

  • CapsFan1975

    Agree on the officiating! While most of the penalties called on the Caps weren’t necessary bad calls, on at least two occasions, a penalty should have also been called on the Stars. And the ending, ughhh!

    Curses halaked again, except it was by Raycroft.

  • BobbyG

    You can’t win them all. All good things come to an end. So much for the standard cliches.

    I suppose that since other teams have been unable to beat the Caps lately, the officials have taken it upon themselves to establish their own version of parity and decide the outcome with bad calls. I don’t expect any apologies or redress of grievances from Toronto for tonight’s game.

    This was a sucky game overall, not just because of how it ended. For the first time in a while, Ovie was unable to spring loose a teammate for a goal while he was double and triple teamed. Have I ranted lately about how much I despise the trap defense and teams that play that style?

    This was the second of back-to-back games so there likely was a fatigue factor for the Caps. Still, they deserved a much better fate, if only to keep Caps fans in the fragile mental state described in the recap from resorting to even more bizarre behavior than usual.

    Tomorrow is another day, as Scarlett O’Hara said. OK, that’s one more cliche for the books. Saturday night I expect the Caps to bounce back and take out their frustration by thrashing Atlanta.

  • http://crzyjewishotaku.deviantart.com Rachel Cohen

    …Gonna try and make the best out of a ‘meh’ game (I guess…):

    Losing stinks. It always stinks. Especially when you feel cheated out of at least one point. But it happens, and as long as it doesn’t happen in huge waves, that’s okay. Losses and bad officiating like this are what make us, and the Caps, angry. Not the bad “14 game losing-streak” angry, but the “stay angry” tough, work-harder kind of angry the Caps should have. And that’s a good kind of angry. We’ll come home to DC Sat. night, wanting to get back in the win column, and we’ll show those Thrashers who’s boss!

    TL;DR We rest up, fix the bad, keep the good and everything’s gonna be ok, ok? :]

  • http://www.russianmachineneverbreaks.com Ian

    On a positive note, boy was Alan May good in the booth tonight. He was a great foil to Joe B. and Locker and I really enjoyed his playfulness during the telecast. For his sake, I hope CSN let’s him do it more!

  • Tim

    The officiating tonight was simply terrible. At least 3 missed penalties on Dallas, and the huge blown call at the end. Once, just once, could bad officiating that decides a game go the Caps’ way?

  • http://twitter.com/conway45 Jon

    I think the ice was just as bad as the officials. Ovi had two clear cut no doubt goal opportunities ruined by him slipping on the bad ice or the puck fluttering.

  • Peter Hassett

    @Jon,

    You’re right; the ice was a mess. At least Ovi’s spaz-out-and-collapse on that PP was fun to watch. And then there’s RIchards whiffing on two consecutive far-side chances during one of those Stars PPs.

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  • Goat

    “Catch you on Saturday, back in friendly, D.C., where the Capitals will face their arch rivals, the NHL officiating crew.”

    I laughed.

    The Caps had their share of troubles getting out of the zone and generating anything looking like sustained offense. That makes things like the waved off goal even more painful, since it was one of the few bounces of the night that happened to go their way. It also really does intensify the crankiness towards the guys in stripes.

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  • The Friar

    Not many people can power their way right past Ovechkin to enable a goal. It’s unfair to Skrastins for that achievement to be taken away from him for incidental contact with the goaltender. Even if if was his own goaltender.