Photo credit: Jamie Sabau
Everyone always has such lofty expectations for New Years Eve. It’s supposed to be a climax, the culmination of the year,whatever. But it’s usually such a letdown, like most of tonight’s battle between the Washington Capitals and league-worst Columbus Blue Jackets. The Caps were disinterested and the Jackets were frustrating until the third act, when Washington injected some drama into the proceedings.
Despite a late flurry from Columbus, the Caps ended the first period unscathed. They weren’t so lucky in the second, as John Moore and Sammy Pahlsson both struck for goals. Alex Ovechkin got one back in the third, finishing off a long sequence in the Columbus zone. Alex Semin tied it up with a lovely lob under the bar. Dennis Wideman got the go-ahead just a few seconds later. Ovechkin converted on a power play.
- The game was a mess: tons of whistles, stifling defensive setups, one power play. Your basic midseason doldrums.
- But the third period had four goals in it– all of them Washington’s. Weeee.
- Blue Jacket Derek Dorsett is a pest. He got Alex Ovechkin to serve time, which is not remotely a fair trade.
- Those first three Caps goals all came within 3 minutes, 2 within 30 seconds. Dennis Wideman was involved in all three. Wides had 3 points in the last 7 games before tonight. Two points just this evening.
- Mike Knuble was ostensibly a third liner tonight, but he got 4th line time: 12:11 TOI.
- Alex Ovechkin (16 G) is gonna be your Capitals goal leader from here on out. We’re calling it. He’s finally got escape velocity, and now we get to watch him soar.
That was 40 awful minutes of hockey followed by 20 terrific minutes. It was a rough start, enough to send many viewers reeling to the punch bowl. For those masochists who persevered, we were treated to the theatrical flair that this team seems to summon from time to time.
And there’s something to be said for timeliness. The Caps show up only when the story requires it. That’s infuriating but entertaining.
Hey, here comes 2012. Make it the best year of your life. If you’re lucky enough to share tonight with loved ones, take a moment to appreciate it. If you’re alone tonight, we sympathize; begin plotting your revenge.