Rangers beat Caps 3-2, Alex Ovechkin MIA

Photo credit: Scott Levy

Sunday afternoon’s date between the Washington Capitals and New York Rangers was a mixed bag. There were some tasty kibbles of Good Sasha and Chimdog, but also some rancid defensive morsels  in there as well. And not nearly enough Ovi snacks, which is supposed to be the best part.

Ryan Callahan stopped the puck with his skate and scored while Neuvy was out of the  paint. In the second period, Jason Chimera dropped a pass to Alex Semin, who slapped home the tying goal. Ryan McDonagh put the Rangers up and then promptly injured himself on a bad patch of ice (he came back a few shifts later). Brandon Prust got a 2-on-1 breakaway and scored the shorthanded dagger. John Carlson took a slapper that bobbled under Henrik’s five hole. The Caps valiantly attempted the comeback but ran out of time. Rangers beat Caps 3-2.

  • So Roman Hamrlik duffed a pass from Alex Semin. It led to an odd-man rush by the Rangers, but don’t worry ’cause Alex Semin dove in front of the shot and blocked it with his wrist to diffuse it. Stupifying. This is the world we live in now. Semin is averaging just about a point per game lately, so you should just ignore whatever nonsense Mike Milbury is spewing. As if you’re not doing that already.
  • Tomas Vokoun reportedly led the Caps out for warm-ups, but Michal Neuvirth got the start instead. I don’t think I’ve ever heard of that happening before– where the goalie who led the team out didn’t get the start. Neuvy didn’t have a good outing, but the goal support wasn’t enough.
  • Karl Alzner and John Carlson got hemmed up in the defensive zone for a long stretch in the second period. Dale Hunter didn’t call timeout during the icing whistle, and the Caps couldn’t clear the zone cleanly. The result? A monster 3:06 shift for Karl.
  • Alex Ovechkin was just plain awful on the ice today. He didn’t fire a shot on net until a power play deep into the second period. He was hopeless trying to shut down Prust’s shorthanded breakaway. He was credited with only one hit (insert MSG stat keeping conspiracy theory here). This was a nationally televised game, and Ovi just didn’t show up.
  • Also a bad Russian, Dmitry Orlov had a stinker of a game. Minus-10 Corsi score and two goals against. Kind of a bad time to revert to rookie talent level. Maybe it was the cage? Or maybe he’s just really sad about Whitney Houston and it affected his play.
  • Madison Square Garden is a pit. In addition to the pervasive gloom of the arena, the ice looked rough. Troy Brouwer fell several times without a blueshirt anywhere near him, and Ryan McDonagh almost hurt himself badly with that tweaked knee. John Carlson’s got caught in a jag and led to Brandon Prust’s shorthanded dagger. It’s weird for the Caps to leave Verizon Center only to skate on worse ice on the road.
  • Goalposts have an obvious anti-Washington bias. It is known.

This game sucked, but we don’t have time to dwell on it. The Sharks are coming to town on Monday (I’ll be there!) and then we’re off to Florida and some pretty nasty road games. Plus there’s that whole trade deadline thing too.

Ish is about to get real.

  • AL

    Psst, um, 3-2 in the body of the recap, guys. Don’t stiff the RAHJC!

  • A-town down

    Thank you for not getting on the semin bash band wagon. He’s valuable asset and his numbers rival most great forwards on winning teams. And $20 dollars says GMGM pulled vokes. We’ll find out in two weeks.

  • Pattyo

    SH chances > PP Chances = NOT GOOD

  • Alex

     Agreed

  • Anon

    Yeah, Semin was one of the few Caps who came to play today.  He looked great!

  • capcup12

    I have only been saying this for three years, but…where are we going to find someone who offers MORE than 28??  Dangling him in ANY sort of deal in February should be enough to get GMGM canned.

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  • http://holidayblues.tumblr.com/ capsinmd

    I didn’t watch this game, but your recap made up for that.

    I have a question, though. The people I’m following on twitter dislike Neuvy a lot – a LOT – and I was wondering, does their dislike have a legitimate basis (they were huge Varly fans, so I guess that counts towards the dislike, but anyway)? I mean, his stats certainly could be a lot better, and yeah, today was a bad outing for him, but can this be qualified as a sophomore slump (a la Corey Crawford)? Is he actually not as good of a goalie as we think he is? Or is his play affected by other factors (not enough games, poor support in front of him, etc.) – or is it a combination of stuff?

    Just liked to know your opinion on this.

  • Yv

    Does Knuble infected Brouwer? How in the world he managed to find post from one feet and completely empty net? Orlov is needed quickly straighten up, otherwise if he also transforms into Carlzner, Hamerlik type Dman, Caps would be in big trouble. Hope removal of the cage will help? And maybe we should stop chanting and horn in VC, so that our sensitive Caps would not feel too much difference between home and away arenas. Florida now 4 points ahead, again.

  • Peter

    I think he’s a solid NHL goalie and so close to Varly in talent that it’s not worth debating who is better.

    I don’t think he’s slumping really. He and Vokes both had awful runs around games 10-25, but he’s gotten a lot better since. If he gets some more starts, I think we’ll see his season averages fall where it belongs. If he doesn’t get starts, there may not be enough ice-time for him to even out again.

    Neil at WaPo might be able to shed more light on the quality of shots he’s been facing.

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