Photo credit: Mitchell Layton
The Washington Capitals were at the lowest of lows before the defending champion Boston Bruins came to town. This being the last game before the All-Star break and the first game of Alex Ovechkin’s suspension, expectations were barometrically low.
Rich Peverly tried to go around Karl Alzner, who knocked in the goal from his belly.
It was a 5-goal second period! Joel Ward set up Cody Eakin, whose shot trickled past Tukka Rask. 41 seconds later, Mathieu Perreault executed a give-and-go with Alex Semin to score. John Carlson surrendered a pathetic giveaway, and Tyler Seguin roofed it. Mathieu Perreault scored his second of the night on a blistering breakaway. That “little ball of hate”, Brad Marchand, caught a lucky bounce in the crease and tied it back up.
Mathieu Perreault recorded his hat-trick goal in the third period while fighting off a dozen men in the paint who were armed with flaming swords and guns that fire sharks. It was the game-winner. Dennis Wideman got the empty netter. Caps beat Bruins 5-3.
- No Green. No Backstrom. No Ovechkin. NO EXCUSES.
- The CSN-DC crew chose Mathieu Perreault as the player to focus on with the isocam. NICE MOVE. The ol’ canucklehead summoned up ancient French Canadien magicks to slay Boston. Fickle are the fates that allow a player like Perry to be scratched last week and soar now. His hat trick was the first of his career.
- No less impressive was Perreault’s high stick on Zdeno “would you like a peanut?” Chara, who has 11 inches on the kid. [UPDATE: Via this @SWhyno tweet, Perry is 5’8″. Make it THIRTEEN INCHES.]
- Following the Penguins game on Sunday, Matt Hendricks’ ear needed some time in the garage. Hendy took a puck to that same ear on Tuesday, but he hardly missed a shift. What a hardy dude. But the goatee has gotta go. Whattaya think?
- The 2011-2012 Capitals are supposed to be a grind-em-down kinda team– particularly since Coach Hunter came to town. But all three second period goals came on the rush, right after zippy zone entries. While Mike Knuble is executing the cycle game plan fastidiously and getting nothing from it, players like Semin and Perreault are entering the OZ like lightning, filling up the lanes, and reaping the benefits.
- Mike Knuble set a good tone for this one early. Old man Kanooble even attempted a wraparound. Seriously. A wraparound. From Knuble. Like a cat walking on two legs.
- Alex Semin‘s give-and-go with Perreault made for a pretty goal, but Semin was masterminding offense all night. He was rushing the crease after offensive-zone faceoffs, setting up drop passes to put traffic up front, and playing like the quarterback he could and should be every night.
- Joe Corvozzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz.
- Sorry, dozed off there for a second.
- Meanwhile, John Carlson‘s tailspin continues. Choking in his own end gave Seguin a giftwrapped goal. Karl Alzner‘s own-goal was embarrassing too, but those things happen in pro hockey.
- Tomas Vokoun, made of granite, kept his net sacrosanct. 29 saves and one fantastic win.
- The Capitals slayed the giant. Boston is the best offensive team in the league, stretching out miles beyond their peers. And the Capitals felled them like any anonymous foe.
The Washington Capitals are supposed to be a trainwreck right now. Their offense is gone, and their stars are injured and suspended. They’re supposed to suck.
No one told them.
They Caps played like champions tonight. They didn’t play the quiet, restrained game of a shellshocked hockey team. This was the rowdy, dynamic, obstreperous, and just-freaking-fun-to-watch style of play that made Washington a great franchise.
It’s a shame Ovi had to sit in the press box for this one, but at least he got a good view of something remarkable.
And someone, please, for crying out loud, buy Mathieu Perreault a beer. Pat ’em on the back and tell him that he just had his moment.
Now get out there and have another.
Can you think of a better way to head into the all-star break?