Caps beat Leafs 4-2, Dennis Wideman Gets a Hat Trick!

Bruce Bennett

Photo credit: Bruce Bennett

Dale Hunter recorded the first two wins of his NHL career against Canadian teams. After tonight’s date between the Washington Capitals and Toronto Maple Leafs, you can make it three.

Dennis Wideman caught Mike Knuble’s pass and converted the PP. Dennis Wideman threaded the needle and converted the PP. (Phil Kessel scored.) Dennis Wideman fed Nick Backstrom, who converted the PP. (From the blue line, Cody Franson slipped one past a screened Vokoun.) Dennis Wideman converted the PP. Caps beat Leafs 4-2.

[UPDATE: Okay, maybe not so much on that hat trick.]

  • The Capitals did not record a shot on goal until 12 minutes into the game. The first shot was a perfunctory backhand from Mike Knuble. That flipped a switch, and the Caps looked their 2009 selves for the rest of the game.
  • This next bullet is awesome.
  • Hats off in RMNBHQ

    Dennis Wideman. DEN. NIS. WIDE. MAN. After streaking at the beginning of season, he cooled off during the Movember Capstrastophe. He turned it on tonight in a big way, earning 4 power play points from the pension plan puppets and getting a hat trick purely off the man-advantage. Kinda messed up: the guy leaves the game minus-1 as he was on ice (and responsible) for Kessel’s whack-a-mole goal. Remember tonight, Wide Man.
  • According to Joe B, Dennis Wideman is the first Caps D-man to get a hat trick since Sergei Gonchar.
  • Same story but on a broader scale. Via Stephen Whyno, the Capitals have played their first game with 4 power play goals since December 5, 2009.
  • Alex Ovechkin continued the superior hockey he started playing on Thursday. He was creating scoring chances, blocking shots, leveling hits on players (including one monster on Dion Phaneuf) and officials alike, and being typically awesome.
  • Check out Ovechkin’s shot in the second period, a shot which did not obey the laws of geometry as they were taught to me: (Thanks, VazorProduction!)

  • Nick Backstrom‘s PPG gives him 30 points and ties him with Jason Chimera for the team’s scoring lead.
  • Alex Semin semined in the seminth period. It was Semin’s seminteenth of the semin. They killed the Semin, but the Leafs semined before Semin could even semin the ice. 15:42 ice time, 0 shots, 3 giveaways, minus-1.
  • The Caps got all the right penalties, no-calls, and late whistles tonight. Maybe it was Alex Ovechkin knocking them down multiple times, or maybe the zebras were wearing their weagle underoos. Either way, the power play made all the difference.

Joe B suit of the night

Toronto performed terrific tonight considering they got sold this afternoon. That kind of thing is more than enough for the Caps to phone in a performance, but the Leafs seemed pretty dialed in. But with the refs living in fear of our Capitals, they never really stood a chance. What a perfect reversal of their last meeting, when the Caps gave up 3 power play goals.

The Capitals have strung two wins together for the first time of The Hunter era.  They’ve hulked out their power play squad. Now they’ve got a long weekend off, and Coach Hunter has his first real chance to do some big-time systemic coaching.

Finally, ex-Cap David Steckel hit Roman Hamrlik so hard his skate blade came off. And that’s all the excuse we need for another STECKELBOMB!

Photoshop by Ian Oland, who is a good designer. Honest.

  • Anonymous

    that steckelbomb confuses me.

    also, kind of crazy how “phone it in” and “dialed in” are opposites, eh? gotta love idioms!

  • Ovechkrieg

    Ovechkin really stepped it up tonight. It should be noted that Phaneuf got plenty of payback after Ovechkin’s hit, and it looked like Ovechkin was generally trying to avoid him. That guy is a monstrosity so who can blame him. Caps played well tonight but their goals were all because of power plays, I still think they need to make some big improvements. It’s not often that an opposing team is so careless in giving away penalties.

  • Cameronw

    For Ovi’s shot, it tipped reimer’s glove, hit sasha’s stick, and then sasha went to bat in the floating puck.  That’s the only explanation I can think of.

  • Jim

    Yeah, I dunno if I’d call our terrible 5 on 5 2009-esque, but it was good to see some offense generated… anywhere.  So we’ll take it.

  • Anonymous

    God I love Dennis Wideman. Hematoma Trick!!!

  • JessHughes

    Enjoyed seeing Ovi’s extra gear tonight.  At least 3 of his opportunities were just bad *##%#% luck rather than poor choices (e.g., going low when he should’ve gone high, going short side instead of far side, etc.) and those pucks will eventually wind up in the net.  Certainly encouraging and now 4 days for Hunter and his crew to tweak some stuff before the Eastern Conference leading Flyers (boo, hiss) come to town.  Happy weekend, everyone!

  • DClark1032

    No Jeff Schultz. Love it.

  • I have nothing constructive to add, so here’s a lame macro involving a Maple Leaf and waffles.

    Steckel looks like he’s about to try out for the Blue Man Group. Or become a blueberry á la Willy Wonka. :’D

  • Cameronw

    I lied, it hit the post and the crossbar.  The NHL clip of it is much clearer.  No idea how its not in the net if it managed to hit 2 posts

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  • bistrict

    Wideman knows how to palm read, based on the picture above. He probably knew he was going to get a hattrick then have it denied.

  • Anonymous

    The only thing better than this blog post was the game itself.

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