Alex Ovechkin does nothing in particular. (Photo credit: Eliot J. Schechter)
Apparently it had been too long since a mortifying loss. The Washington Capitals’ pummeling at the paws of the Florida Panthers fixed that– despite a strong effort in the closing minutes. We don’t care. The realignment thing is happening, so let’s talk about that instead.
Goals went like this: Weiss deflects off Wideman on the PP. 13 seconds later, Santorelli goes 7-hole on Neuvy. Kulikov gets one on the PP. Mike Knuble slaps one under Clemmenson. Bergenheim converts on the PP when Neuvy can’t cover the puck. Weiss gets a layup when Flash draws 4 Caps and the 5th one (Ovechkin) can’t be bothered to play D. Eakin scores thanks to a huge Knuble screen and Perreault assist. Brooks Laich topshelfed it from traffic. Jason Chimera deflected a John Carlson shot. Big flurry at the end, but ran outta time. Cats beat Caps 5-4.
The Big News: The NHL is a-changing. The Board of Governors convened tonight in Pebble Beach to formulate a new scheme for the league. Instead of 6 divisions in 2 conferences, we’ve got 4 conferences. The one the Caps are in resembles a jumbo-sized Patrick Division. The Caps will play every other team in the league twice– once at home and once away. Basically, every player in the NHL will play in Verizon Center at least once next season. More details are coming (check this Puck Daddy piece), but this story is way bigger than anything going on in Sunrise.
These teams will be in the Caps’ conference: Pittsburgh Penguins, Philadelphia Flyers, New York Rangers, New York Islanders, New Jersey Devils, and Carolina Hurricanes. It’s called “CONF. D” right now, so we hereby name it The I CAN’T STAND THESE FREAKING TEAMS Division.
Rest in Peace, Southeast Division.
- The Florida Panthers are now 7 points ahead of the Washington Capitals. Criminy.
- I was really looking forward to this game. Ex-Panthers Vokoun vs. Ex-Cap Theodore, Matt Bradley being pugnacious and grindy. None of those guys played. Theo has the flu and Bradley is nursing an upper-body injury.
- 13 seconds is all it took to sink the Caps. Dale didn’t even change the Caps lines– it was the same guys who failed to kill a penalty just before: Backstrom, Brouwer, and Alzner.
- Speaking of Karl Alzner, his boarding penalty was completely unlike him. Shame.
- After the Caps went down two goals, John Erskine dropped the gloves with Bracken Kearns– which is a real human’s name and not a Game of Thrones character– to switch up the momentum. Big John and his bad shoulder fought valorously, but earned 12 bonus penalty minutes– depriving the Caps of their 6th defender for almost 20 minutes. No one missed 4th liner Bracken Kearns, who is a modest hedge knight in the Reach and a sworn sword to House Tully.
- Mike Knuble scored his first goal since the Canucks game on October 29th. You might’ve thought it’d be a kanooblian wrister measured in inches, but it was a modest low slapper from the slot.
- Michal Neuvirth had a very bad night. He surrendered 3 power play goals and looked– what’s the word? ah, yes. Shaky. Frankly, he cost the Caps this game.
- The last time the Caps gave up 3 PPGs was that Toronto game that we promised never to mention again so we won’t and this bullet never happened.
- Ack! Nick Backstrom shoulda taken the night off. He was on ice for 4 goals against, although two were while he was trying to kill penalties.
- Bright side: John Carlson had 8 shots, plus-3 rating. He’s got the right idea.
That was rough. Here’s a gif of a cat in a shirt sleeve:
Feel better? Good. You’re welcome.
Whew. First a blow out, then nearly a comeback, then defeat. Blame this one on far too many penalties and not enough grit in the goal to fight them off. And the continued diminishment of Alex Ovechkin (4 shots, minus-2, 1 puck impacted in his face), despite being played as much as possible in the third period. Nope, no real progress tonight. Coach Hunter will have to keep working to get win number two.
Sorry for the meh recap! I’m feeling a bit under the weather. Please help me out by sharing your take on the game– and realignment– below. Ottawa on Wednesday!
Joe B suit of the night via @jlrpuck. Thanks to everyone who sent us a pic!