Photo credit: Francois Lacasse
On Saturday afternoon The Washington Capitals got to feed at the trough of the league’s sideshow, the Montreal Canadiens. That doesn’t mean this game was zany and fun or anything, just kind of sad.
Dennis Wideman scored off the faceoff, firing a weird knuckle puck that dropped behind Peter Budaj. The Caps held Montreal scoreless through a sloppy second period. Matt Hendricks swept in a goal on a yawning net to make it 2-0. Alex Semin drew a penalty shot and slapped home the three-spot goal. Caps beat Habs 3-0.
- Tomas Vokoun recorded his 3rd shutout of the year, but…
- The Capitals were outshot by second worst team in the east. 29-23.
- Returned hero Alex Ovechkin mustered up only 1 shot (from 36 feet out). Ovechkin used to average more than 6 a game. Maybe he’s getting the rust off, or maybe this is the New Normal and our expectations are all out of wack. Every day a few more fans jump from the former group to the latter.
- Dmitry Orlov caught a puck with his nose in the first period. The disc jumped off his stick, broke his visor, and made him bleed his own blood! Orly seemed okay afterwards and even delivered some of his patented hefty hipchecks. (Video courtesy of VazorProduction)
- Wow, this game was light on content. Let’s talk about things that DIDN’T happen. No one fought Rene Bourque, despite all the pageviews and ad impressions on articles that said otherwise. Also not happening: Nick Backstrom playing hockey, the poor Swedish baby.
- Hey, it’s snowing! Is it snowing where you are? Okay, back to hockey.
- Brooks Laich took 23 faceoffs. That’s a 2 with a 3 after it. In second place, MJ90 took twelve– which kinda tells you a bit about who Hunter trusts and doesn’t trust to start shifts.
- Two penalty shots. You don’t see that often. Errr… ever. CSN tells us this was the first time in history the Caps got two regulation penalty shots. Troy Brouwer blew the first one right into Budaj’s armored five-hole, but Alex Semin went weapons free from like ten feet out– releasing a terrific slapshot that hit the top shelf. Beautiful.
This game was dreary. The Capitals will be fighting for their postseason life from here on out, but they played disinterested for the full hour. Montreal’s hopes for the playoffs are probably already dashed, and they still dominated possession. “Domination” should be considered a relative term as few shots came from under 30 feet out.
But a win is a win is a win is a win is a win is a win. And a road win for the Capitals is even more precious as it helps adjust their crummy record away from Verizon Center.
Verizon Center, by the way, is where the team is heading now. Thanks to the Canadiens’ sad trombone version of hockey, the Caps will be delicately wafted into tomorrow’s nooner by a breeze both favorable and favonian. But waiting for them in DC will be the Boston Bruins, who are super duper mondo walloptastic this year.
But we beat ’em last time– even without Ovi. We’re gonna do it again.
Crash the net.