Cats beat Caps 5-4, Realignment is Happening

Eliot J. Schechter

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.

Image blatantly stolen from SBnation 

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!

  • An iso-cam on Ovechkin these days is more of a metaphysical study in just how many things can possibly fail that used to succeed

  • Brittany

    I’m not going to over react  so the  cats can have this division because next year we wont be in it lol and can some explain this stupid comment from twitter P.S  This way i hate DC fans 
    coltssteve Steve Rubis #Caps are worthless. Ovie couldn’t get it done in crunch time. The Caps are officially a team of chokers. Time to blow the team up.

  • bob

    Speaking of Ovechkin is it safe to say the russian machine is broken?

  • Jon

    Next RMNB article: How Ovi’s tennis girl squeeze has ruined his hockey career.

  •  I missed the part on why he hates DC fans

  • Anonymous

    Ovie’s slump started long before he started dating the tennis player.  He apparently has been through a lot this year and is not playing through it.  Plenty of players have relationships and don’t let it fuck up their play.

  • Jim

    Seriously posed ridiculous question: as we all fret about how Ovi can’t find the back of the net anymore, what can we do to take advantage of the fact that he’s been unreal otherwise in the offensive zone.  Who do we have to put on that line to start sinking the beautiful passes he keeps making?

  • Whiskey

    while i think we are overreacting over one game.  I want to get back to this new setup.  Is the best name they could come up with really A B C and D…That’s so goddam boring.  We could really do much better than that.  Perhaps, West, Mid-West, East, and Central (with central being the one with the florida teams).  Although my naming makes no sense for the east vs. central, at least it tries.  Also how is this going to affect playoff structure?

  • Whiskey

    I would even prefer red, orange, green, blue like the colors in that pretty picture up there

  • Patti

    The realignment is intriguing!!!  I’ll have to develop some kind of way to ration out my hate for every team in our conference……here’s to hoping that Ovi’s slump clears up at some point this season….we’re going to need Good Ovi back next season. 

    Side note:  How many former Caps will FLA end up with by next season?? 

  • Pattyo

    Brooks for Galactic Emperor. Seriously, he’s the best player on that team.

  • Josh Kosco

    Completely agree. Nobody can pot his beautiful feeds. He’s trying to win for the team. He doesn’t care about his personal stats. He is more concerned with the team effort. Of course he wishes his shots were going in but he knows instead of having his shot blocked, he can draw the D out and leave someone else open to score. Once they start scoring from his passes, teams will back off him again and he will have his space again on rushes.

  • Rp_nut

    Just a hunch, but, I’m pretty sure they won’t be called A B C and D. This is all preliminary stuff, they have months to argue over names.

  • Avtopilot

    c’mon, ovi is having a good time, he has a hot girlfriend, it’s inhuman to ask for more than -2.
    Now seriously.
    It’s up to the coach to kick some asses and create butthurt. I’m sure Dale knows how to do it, so, i’ll just watch carefully, how he does it. Would be great to see RMNB focuses on Dale’s methods as he is here to change the momentum.

  • brian!

    Not very pleased with the new realignment to be honest.  Our division is going to be even tougher to compete in, and it still doesn’t solve the issue of Phoenix should they become the relocation wildcard everyone expects them to be.  I’m looking forward to seeing the explanation for why swapping Winnipeg for Detroit/Columbus/Nashville wasn’t feasible.

  • ResIpsa21

    Yeah, Ovi made a couple nice passes, and he is still zipping around the offensive zone. But it’s like his blade has an invisible force field around it that prevents him from keeping control of the puck. When he overskated the puck crossing the blue line with ~60 seconds left in the game, I wanted to cry.

    I was kind of hoping that Maria would encourage him to stop sucking at hockey. Otherwise she might go find someone else who’s actually decent at their sport.

    Any thoughts on Green / Semin being the key to making this team work?

  • serpent

    Wonder why the Florida teams are just tacked on there like an afterthought?

  • guest

    put people who can score on his line… aka not knuble or backstrom and itd be fine.. let semin and ovi skate together its not like we can look any worse

  • Road worrier

    Keep it friggin simple…just call ’em the Patrick (aka Atlantic plus the Caps and *sorry* the Whalers), Adams (NE plus FL), Norris (midwest) and Smythe (west) Divisions just like in the bad ol’ days following expansion of the Original Six.  I do think they should embed these “divisions” in the Campbell (east) and Prince of Wales (west) Conferences and all would be fair.

    My only exception is the Whalers / Hurricanes belong in the Adams Division as do the Nordiques / Avalanche so they can recreate their old rivalry. Move one of the other Adams div teams no one cares about to the Patrick division – maybe Ottawa, so they can serve as a perennial doormat.

  • JessHughes

    Um, because it’s hockey in Florida?  And yes, I’ll always be bitter that TB won a Cup before the Caps.  Sigh.

  • Road worrier

    Can you say Quebec Lightning and Hartford Panthers, boys and girls?  Sure, ah you you could?

  • JessHughes

    I think we saw a major difference between DH and BB:  no way Gabby keeps Neuvirth in net after those shaky (cough) goals.  I do think Neuvy got stronger as the night progressed, but good golly the D (and I include folks who forgot to come back and cover — paging you, #8) was awful through the 1st 40.  By the way, what is Neil Greenberg going to do for Chimera when Jason nets his 30th goal of the season?  Go CAPS!

  • Dougie Fresh

    Because most of caps fans are retards. Case in point, last Tuesday I went to the VC for Dale’s first game and I sat in front of some gay (not that there’s anything wrong with that) loudmouth fat texan, who actually owned season tickets. He didn’t know the simplest rules, barely knew any of the players, thought everyone on the blues stunk and called Arnott washed up.

    That guy is the epitome of caps fans and it’s embarrassing. When I hang around guys from the northeast, I’m pretty shy to mentioned I’m a caps fan and when they give me shit I usually downplay and say I’m not like the rest of them. I’d rather watch a game in shittsburgh or on long island, because at least those fans know hockey.

  • Peter

    haha Jess.

    He actually wrote about the chances yesterday if you missed it:

  • CDizz

    No mention of Carlson’s 3 points?

  • Peter

    well I got his +3 and 2 billions shots in there

  • JH

    Re: realignment.  Christmas in, er, December!  OK, early December.  I have longed for the old old Patrick division (the one that fleetingly included the Pens).  I have never given a rat’s patootie about all those SE division teams.  I remember back in the 80s there was nothing sweeter than beating Philly, NYor the Isles – not just b/c I hate every sports teams from NY and Philly (although that’s a big reason) but also b/c they were division rivals. 

    PS:  Why are the Florida teams in the division with Toronto/MTL/Ottawa?  Simple:  Half of Canada tries to spend the winter down there.  Duh.

  • JessHughes

    I read and I see Peter has now re-evaluated to at least 20 goals.  I still believe Chimera’s freakish anomaly of a season will continue, confounding Neil and leading to rage against the graphing calculator.