5-on-5 with The Production Line, a Detroit Red Wings Blog

Oh man. How awesome was Saturday night? Did this actually pan out for anyone?

We pretend to hate everyone who isn’t us, but we’re actually sorta chummy with hockey fans across this great land (not including Canada). Through Puck Buddys, we hooked up with The Production Line, a charming operation out of Detroit that runs an entertaining podcast I cannot recommend enough. We’re trying to get to know each other better, so we’re doing something called 5-on-5– a rapid-fire Q&A designed to reveal dark secrets and rankle egos. Our answers are already up over on their site, so go feast your eyes on that action.

Below, check out how Robert Discher of The Production Line handles questions about the nature of winning, Steve Yzerman’s legacy, Pavel Datsyuk’s reliability, and cavemen.

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Caps Fight Cancer

Alex Ovechkin

Alex Ovechkin stands next to 12-year-old cancer survivor Anthony Holley during the national anthem. (Photo credit: Ned Dishman)

Cancer affects millions of people every year and is truly an awful disease. So on Saturday night, while the boys in red battled the Detroit Red Wings, the Caps held Hockey Fights Cancer Night, joining in a league-wide program to raise money for cancer research and treatment. During warm-ups, the team wore special jerseys with Hockey Fights Cancer patches and lavender outlining around the names and numbers, representing the official color of the initiative. The sweaters, which were signed by their respective player, were then auctioned off to fans at the community relations booth.

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High and Mighty, Caps beat Wings 7-1! Undefeated!

Photo credit: Ann Heisenfelt

Look how happy those white people are! (Photo credit: Ann Heisenfelt)

The final two undefeated teams in the NHL, the Washington Capitals and Detroit Red Wings, met in Chinatown– each with the intention of removing that title from the other. All eyes were on this game. And it was a good one.

On the power play, Nick Backstrom found Mike Green, who scored with surgical precision from the high slot. Just 61 seconds later, Mike Knuble’s takeaway led to a short-side goal by Marcus Johansson. Back to Mike Green, who turned Ovechkin’s lateral pass into his second powerplay goal of the night. Niklas Kronwall unleashed a monster one-timer during a two-man advantage to put Detroit on the board. Mathieu Perreault ended the second period by cleaning up Matt Hendricks’ rebound. Brooks Laich stole the puck and set up Joel Ward to make it 5-1. Perreault showed up again with a clever wrister up front to make the score just plain ridiculous. The Wings didn’t even try to stop Nick Backstrom, who made it a touchdown. Caps beat Red Wings 7-1.

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TONIGHT: Capitals and Red Wings Enter Thunderdome

The NHL has only two undefeated teams left, and tonight they meet.

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Photo credit: Joel Auerbach

Ever since the Panthers beat the tar out of the Lightning 7-4 on Monday, they’ve struggled to put the puck in the net. On Tuesday, they traveled up to DC to face former teammate Tomas Vokoun and got blanked 3-0. Thursday, the trend continued.  Down one goal to the Sabres after 30 minutes of listless hockey, Florida was  looking for momentum.

Enter Matt Bradley.

After a neutral zone faceoff, the former Capital skated with purpose towards Paul Gaustad and shoved him. You know what happened next.

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Photo credit: Bruce Bennett

The Washington Capitals game with the Philadelphia Flyers should’ve been the clash of the titans: Alex Ovechkin and Jaromir Jagr. Only one of ‘em showed up.

Claude Giroux deked wide to score on a breakaway made possible by Alex Semin’s giveaway. Mathieu Perreault required the rest of the fourth line to screen in his tying marker. Late in the first, someone told Alex Ovechkin that he was tied in goals with ex-Cap Dave Steckel, so Ovi promptly scored on a rebound.

Nothing happened in the second period, but get ready for this. Roman Hamrlik ripped one from way out that deflected in, then Alex Ovechkin found an open spot on open ice and chipped it in, then Joel Ward got a flukey deflection to make it 5-1. All that happened in 150 seconds. Late goal by someone and who cares. Caps beat Flyers 5-2.

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(Photo credit: Andre Ringuette)

True story. Guy walks into a bar. He immediately pulls down his pants, starts cursing a blue streak, and vomits on the floor before stumbling out the door. Bartender says: “Hey, I didn’t know there was a Flyers game today!”

The Low Down: There’s no question Philadelphia is cursed with the worst sports fans in the history of everdom, and that includes the Flyers. Their arena smells, their colors look like butt, and those are the nice things we have to say.

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Welcome Home, Jaromir Jagr

Jaromir Jagr

Doesn’t this picture just make you sick? (Photo credit: Jonathan Newton)

A long, long time ago, in a frightening world before iPads and Windows Vista, there was this belief that the Capitals needed only one guy to get over the hump to become a stone-cold Stanley Cup contender. It was 2001-02. They already had fifty-goal scorer Peter Bondra, Vezina winner Olie Kolzig, and what many thought to be among the most solid defenses in the NHL.

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First rule of hockey writing: if there’s a photo of a guy hit in the junk, USE IT. (Photo credit: Greg Fiume)

The Florida Panthers were still coming down off blowing out Tampa 7-4 when they showed up for their game with the Washington Capitals. That big win must have taken a lot out of them, ’cause they just didn’t show up to play on Tuesday.

Three penalty killers gravitated to Alex Ovechkin, leaving Marcus Johansson enough space to score his third of the season. Early in the third period, Alex Semin effortlessly ripped the puck far side to make it 2-0. With an empty net, Alex Semin fed goal-scoring leader Jason Chimera, who lobbed it in for the coup de graceCaps beat Cats 3-0.

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Evgeny Kuznetsov

Traktor Chelyabinsk’s four-game road trip came to an end today. Over seven days the team traveled from Chelyabinsk to Kazan (two time zones away), Moscow, Mytyschi (which is basically also Moscow), and Riga (three time zones away). After accumulating nine out of twelve standings points and  more than 3,200 miles during the trip, the White Bears now return home for a five-day break from KHL action.

Caps prospect Evgeny Kuznetsov ended a three-game pointless drought today, scoring a late third period goal against Dinamo Riga.

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