It was an unlikely game. The Capitals dominated the Islanders for most of the hour, but were without a goal until Troy Brouwer finally beat Nabokov in the waning minutes of the third. Brouwer pulled through again in the final minute of regulation, and then we were treated to a sight we haven’t seen enough of lately.
Alex Ovechkin, who extended his Washington Capitals OTGWG franchise record to 11, carried the puck across neutral, skated to the center lane, used New York’s Travis Hamonic as a screen, and scored the game-winner through Nabokov’s five-hole. Video is below the jump.
If I had told you in October that a late-February game against the Islanders would be one of the most important games of the season, you would have laughed yourself sick. This one was big, though. All of them will be from now on. The Caps hung in there, didn’t stop fighting, tied up the game in the most completely improbable fashion possible — and then they won. You might not have seen that one coming.
Josh Bailey glided right through a defensive breakdown and scored the first goal. Matt Moulson deflected a long shot in front of Neuvirth to make it 2-0. Brouwer scored one Knuble-style in front of the net with the clock winding down. Brouwer then officially became a certified hero by tipping in a second goal with seconds left to go and took us to overtime. Alex Ovechkin ended it with a five-hole beauty, and you know what? We might believe. Just a little bit. Caps win, 3-2.
On Monday, there was a great deal of confusion about why the Capitals didn’t make any roster moves — after both owner and general manager expressed a desire to buy, many were left wondering why they never did. Luckily, we got an exclusive look at General Manager George McPhee’s Facebook Timeline, and we think it may shed some light on the mysterious events of February 27, the Tradeless Deadline.
The Pregame: Strap in, ladies, because here we go. Good news and bad news. And you know which doesn’t come with fancy French nibbles. Radishes for you.
Ugh, here’s the bad. Over the next five+ weeks, 20 nights, every one of you will be simmered into a jersey jelly of slimy aspic. Demi-glacé, oui? You get it: a trebling, molten slop of hope and desire and fear and torment, exactly as smelly as that sounds, and with no escape possible, all watching on the stovetop that is the Capitals’ next 20 games. Stupid French chefs.
It was to the surprise of more or less everyone, then, that the Caps made no roster moves whatsoever. It was announced through a team spokesman around 3:00 that the Caps did not expect to be making any trades, and this was confirmed by General Manager George McPhee at a 5:00 PM press conference where he addressed the events of the day — or lack thereof.
Who knows what thoughts lurk behind those steely, impassive eyes… (Photo credit: Nick Wass)
This weekend has been quiet. Too quiet. Trade deadline is 3 PM today, so expect a great deal to go down before then. Here’s where you can come to get the all updates relevant to the Caps! Buckle up, folks, because here we go.
This post will be updated throughout the day. Freak out, stress, and speculate wildly in the comments below!
If you submitted a guess for the Trade Deadline Pick ‘Em contest, stay tuned! Whoever guesses closest to the time of the first Caps move will win some cool stuff.
Update: Congratulations to Alan Campbell who correctly guessed “No trades.” Thanks to everyone who participated. That was fun, minus the whole nobody getting traded to our team part.
Original Post: With the trade deadline rapidly approaching, we wanted to once again try to put a little fun into the most stressful day of the hockey year. Here’s the deal. You guess the time (without going over) on when the Caps make their first trade of the day on our Facebook Fan Page (i.e. 11:22 AM) and if you are the first person to get the time right or are the closest without going over, you win this signed Mike Knuble “Be A Player” Rookie Card, a game-used Mike Green jersey card, and a game-used Alex Semin jersey card (pictured to the right).
You have until either 10 AM EST to submit your picks, or when GMGM makes his first move, whichever comes first.
Fine print: You must like our Facebook Fan Page and follow us on Twitter (@RussianMachine) to win. There will be only one – I repeat – one winner. If you pick the same time as someone else, the person who guessed the time earlier will win. You may pick “none” (as in “no trades”), but you must be the first person to guess it to win. Also, keep in mind that the trade deadline is Monday at 3pm, and many trades will be reported after that time as they come in. Finally, we will use the first media member to tweet the deal as the official trade announcement time.
By this time Monday, Capitals general manager George McPhee will have already made whatever moves he has deemed wise for the future of his club. With all the prognostication and educated guessing about trade scenarios going around, I have decided not to add any noise to an already muffled signal.
Instead, we conclude this series with a look at two Capitals players who will loom large on Monday in one way or another. Those players are Mike Knuble and Tomas Vokoun.
Coiner’s goal was so pretty, it deserves a closer look. Let’s set the scene. After going down 2-0 to the Caps within the first five minutes and then 3-0 by the second period, the Leafs were left scrambling to climb out of a hole. The play starts at 5:13, with the Caps in possession of the puck in their own zone.