This pretty much sums up the night. (Photo credit: Greg Fiume)
So our dads Peter and Ian decided to give your humble PuckBuddys the keys to the RMNB-car for recaps over the next few games. Ha! We promised them not to drive at dangerously high speeds with the top down while stealing people’s mail and laughing wildly. We promise you we won’t keep that promise.
Speaking of a wild ride, Tuesday’s geshrey was whether Adam Oates would pull his Caps back together under his new system, or whether they would revert to old ways/panic. Would this be the first home opener loss since the turn of the century? Would we rally from the Bolts shellacking and figure out our PK? Would Ribiero perform? Would Lady Mary really marry cousin Matthew? We have our answers.
10:02 in the 1st, Matt Hendricks gets the pass from Nicky for the first home score in almost a year, with a big crash o’ the net. That’s answered at 12:34 into the first, on a power play when the nasty Evander Kane sunk one on Holtby, unassisted. Andrew Ladd sinks a direct bullet at 16:26 – right through a non-existent Caps defense and a tired-looking Holtby (there, I said it.)
Second frame brought out a little toughness from both sides, with hopes on a Dustin Byfuglian penalty, yielding nothing. Kane knocks to Blake Wheeler, who then taps in at 14:32 to take the Jets up 3-1. PuckBuddys start crying. And then oh-noes: with less than a minute left, Slater tips in a dribbler for a boo-bird 4-1. Everyone grab your junk as Hendy puts Slater down after the horn; Verizon hall yawns.
In the third, an early Capitals power play nets Troy (handsome) Brouwer in the bin and washes out our chances. Remember when we were up in this game? haha. Caps swarm to save Braden Holtby half-way in, which almost raises our spirits. Hendy tries to rally the team; nothing juicy follows. A spit more than 1 minute left, Troy-Boy (off Ribiero) swags it in but gives the Jets a PP.
JETS BEAT CAPS 4-2.
- On Your Toes: There’s really no question here; our Caps are just looking tired on their feet. The stars are asleep and the back-ups are napping. Mike Green ? John Carlson? Are you there?
- D-Men in Demand: Like last season, we’ve come to expect that the first line isn’t going to save us. We instead look to Poti, Ward, and lately, to some degree, Crabb and Brouwer. What the hell is happening in front of the Caps net? We’ve seen Amsterdam professionals who were more open, if you follow. “Unappealing” is how Joe B. described it; we agree.
- Vortex of Awful: We’ve written before of the cold, dead hole of hopelessness that is Winnipeg. And sadly in their first season, they did much to confirm this. Evander Kane, tubby but dependable Dustin Byfuglian, badd-Ladd; they just had their way with us this evening. That’s as much a comment on them as it is us. No, wait: it reflects worse on us. See previous.
- Good Kabongs: We saw a couple good hits this game, as we have every meeting with the Manitoba Bruisers. That includes Nick Backstrom who just laid down the Scandinavian hammer on Mark Stuart; or as Joe B. described it, “issues with Stuart.” It wasn’t Sasha bongos, but it was a start. Memo to Matt Hendricks: we love you, but don’t pick a dumb fight after the bell. And we wish it wasn’t just you.
- Who’s Home?: Our DC Caps operatives code named “Michele” (heh) and “Dave” (secret, huh?) report that Verizon was less than full. “Inaugural hangover,” they said. “Naked” they said. “Why are we not shooting the puck?,” we said.
- Don’t Panic: As in, it took exactly one game before “fans” started calling for #fireeveryone. It only gets uglier now.
- Welcome Home: We haven’t seen hockey in Verizon for 258 days. Since then, Verizon has hosted the Washington International Horse Show, Kellogg’s Tour of Gymnastics Champs (or as we call it, Spandex Ballet) JBeibs, Dylan and The Who (not on the same bill), WWE Raw and assorted hoops games. Don’t make us regret all these nobodies (yes Mr. Dylan we said that.)
- Unleash the Furies: A season or two back the Caps were famous for electric come-backs, as the home crowd unleashed the fury. Now we rely on this? If you have to unleash anything at three points behind, just check into the nearest Green Turtle and pretend the hot girl at the bar likes you. Heck, why not? Let’s just pretend everything. #worried.
What Did We Learn Tonight (WDWLT): Capitals – who is your spirit animal? Cheetah or slow loris? Are we rabid greyhounds or slobbering retrievers? If this were an inaugural, it would be poo-poohed with huge open spaces in front the net, poor action on the offense and incoherent strategy. And I thought Ian and Peter promised us a fun win.
What’s Next: So we camp out at home, practice one day and get our jocks in order for Thursday against le Canadiens. Le Flambeau and what what. Honestly, we like the way this sets up now, at least if we have a little more step in our offense and way WAY biggs action from our D-men. Otherwise: WE WERE RIGHT BRING BACK BOUDREAU. Just sayin’.
See you Thursday! Don’t blame us!