Mike Ribeiro punishes the Caps for one of their many penalties. (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.
- Let’s get right to it. John Carlson’s un-goal should not have been waved off.
Stephane RobidasKarlis 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.
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.