Flyers beat Caps 4-1, Grubauer Plays His First NHL Game


Photo credit: Elsa

Washcaps Philaflyers. Last game good. This game less good. Make words hurt so use less. Puck not in good net. Puck in bad net. Giroux make goal. Simmonds make goal. Gagne make goal. Maxbag Talbutt make goal. Ward make goal make Bryz sad. Groooooooooooo.

Flyers beat Caps 4-1.

  • Claude Giroux got credit for the game’s first goal– just 23 seconds in– but it was mostly lady luck’s doing. Before the goal, the puck bounced off Karl Alzner‘s knee towards Scott Hartnell. A few seconds later, it hopped off his skate and into the arms of Giroux. I mark it down as a freak accident–but G was right to be waiting in the sweet spot.
  • Despite the two goals against, the Caps of the first period really weren’t bad. They kept the possession game close. If they had kept it up, they could have won. The second period saw cede the puck to Philly with a 32-12 count of attempted shots.
  • It’d be pretty cool to watch Simon Gagne get his first goal with his old club if that club weren’t the Philadelphia Flyers and that goal wasn’t scored against the Washington Capitals. But it was, and it was. So, no, hypothetical me, it was not pretty cool at all.
  • 34:55 into the game, Braden Holtby got the hook, and Philipp Grubauer saw his first NHL action. Denying two Flyers shots in the first half-minute, Gru seemed up to the challenge. He stopped another barrage in the third and served with distinction during the penalty kill. Nothing not to love about his work tonight except the fact that he actually had to work tonight.
  • But let’s not do the thing where we’re like “he stopped 14 shots make him the new starter!” Goalies need to face thousands of shots before we have any real idea how good they are. For now, let’s just say: “Nice [saving], kid. Don’t get cocky!”
  • Mike Ribeiro committed a hooking penalty in the first and a pottymouth penalty in the third. He’s had a reputation as a hot head for a long time, and I guess these are the moments when those personality flaws let themselves out. Unfortunate.
  • If the Behind the Net Shot Timeline for this game were a ski slope, it’d be the bunny slope.
  • Even broken clocks are right twice a day. Even broken clocks can commit assault and battery on a 12-year-old and then get off because some dumb sports network paid him enough money to be obnoxious that he could afford a nice lawyer.
  • Some nights you’re not even sure Troy Brouwer will show up to the rink: 0 shots, 1 blocked shot.
  • Late in the game, Mathieu Perreault took a knee-on-knee hit from Harry Zolnierczyk, far away from the puck. Perry left the ice, apparently hurt.
Joe B suit of the night

Joe B suit of the night

Alex Ovechkin scored a hat trick two games ago. That was good. Last game he had zero shots on goal, but still participated in the offense. That was okay. Tonight he led the Caps with six shots and would have had more if not for a couple bad falls on rough ice. That’s still really good. Don’t believe the hype– especially when the hype comes from people who are paid to inflame and provoke instead of illuminate and inform.

Word on the street is that Edmonton’s front office was in attendance in Philly tonight. If the Caps were to make a move, whom would they move? Hard to say. Three games ago, everyone but Braden was a bum. One game ago, everyone was fantastic. Tonight was torpid overall.

Yeah, the Caps got smoked in the back half of a back-to-back while on the road. They’re gonna have to do better when away from Verizon Center and particularly when playing from behind.

It’s not gonna be all early leads and blowouts for the Caps, and they must learn to deal with that adversity. That was a problem under Boudreau’s leadership, and it seems to have survived his exit. Can Oates do better?

  • Grubauer is phenomenal. Best goalie i’ve seen in Hershey. Yes, better than Varly, Neuvy, and even Holtby.

  • Akay15

    This season’s giving me ulcers.

  • KP

    Someone seriously needs to get that clip of Joe B. imitating Yoda

  • Hockeynightincanada

    There are perks to not having Center Ice, and aside from Grubauer’s nice performance, my eyes were spared of an otherwise horrendous game.

    On to the next game.

  • 28IS(still)GREAT

    Really? Holtby comes out unscathed in the recap? Guess he played well. Or maybe everyone else on the ice played so bad he gets a pass? Or maybe its Semin’s fault for sapping all the energy out of them last night. Whatevs.

    Anyway, what a waste of an opportunity to work late and impress the boss.

  • Meh. First goal was bad luck. Second goal was PK breakdown. Third goal was on Holtby. Fourth goal had Green and Alzner surrender the slot to Talbot. What can ya do?

  • Ash

    I hope they absorb some lessons but put this game behind them. Bleah. Not fun at all to watch. But good for Grubauer, and happy he put on a strong showing.

    Mike Milbury is a waste of space and air. He’s just the worst. Fortunately, 99% of the hockey world is aware of this.

  • Lol great han solo quote. Good laugh in relief of a depressing night.

  • 28IS(still)GREAT

    Except we’ve heard that exact same sentiment for each of other 3 ascthey came up and look what that’s got us. (I don’t mean we heard that from you btw – just generally)

    And yes I’m pretty down on the goaltending. Hard not to be when your family of Rangers fans has a lundqvist card they play on you non stop.

  • JenniferH

    Eh, this is just a Holtby-hater — only shows up when Holtby has an off night. Whenever Holtby does great, not a peep from him. Keep up the great work, Peter.

  • I was kind of a butt towards Holtby early in the year, so I hope I don’t have a rep as a Holtby-lover. I wish Neuvy coulda started this game.

  • Neuvy always seems to get the short end of the stick… Yeah Holtby was amazing in the playoffs last year, but Neuvy was also incredible against the Rangers the year before!

  • Poor Neuvy, I can’t imagine how frustrated he is right now….

  • ImissOldOvie

    Quite honestly we need a new captain, yeah yeah hat trick but he’s not leading his team, only himself. Pick up the slack Ovie and put some more effort into your game…

  • Chris

    Who do you guys think might get moved? Chimera? Hamrlik? Schultz?

  • JenniferH

    Holtby didn’t play his best at the start so I don’t blame non-Holtby lovers for not rah-rah-rahing. My point was that the commenter you responded to only comments on Holtby when he doesn’t have a great night and insists he’s terrible and shouldn’t be anywhere near a starter. Yet, when Holtby has great games — which he’s had a lot of recently — we don’t hear anything. Typical.

    I wish Neuvy had played tonight too (and I heard he was supposed to, but got sick). Holtby clearly needed a break and Grubauer did a great job for his first outing.

  • JenniferH

    Yeah, and once he found his footing, Holtby was AMAZING his last batch of games. He was off tonight, but wasn’t even supposed to play. And it doesn’t take away how fantastic he’s been, easily as good as he was during the playoffs.

  • vahockeymom

    This is exactly why I read RMNB. Even after a train wreck like last night’s game, I am laughing out loud. Maxbag Tallbut, a Han Solo reference, an awesome Milbury reference, and best of all, this one: Some nights you’re not even sure Troy Brouwer will show up to the rink: 0 shots, 1 blocked shot. HA! Somewhere, Sasha is smiling.

  • vahockeymom

    Semin’s fault. LOL. You know somebody somewhere thinks that.

  • “Some nights you’re not even sure Troy Brouwer will show up to the rink: 0 shots, 1 blocked shot.” – Perfect.

  • isthiskosher

    Please find a GIF of Ribeiro handling the puck while having his stick pass hands behind his back.

  • KareeLyn

    Paging Nick Backstrom… Poor thing is having a little bit of a rough go of it this season, apart from the Carolina game.

  • 28IS(still)GREAT

    I’m a “Holtby-hater” – I’m more of a strong Holtby-skeptic who thinks the current fan and media-flamed love-affair with him is both premature and not supported by enough evidence (yet). Holtby keeps getting the benefit of the doubt, and I find that annoying because my eyes and (increasingly) the stats are raising red flags. Sorry if that means pissing on your hero parade a little.

    Do I hope I’m wrong? Absolutely. But at least on this side of the fence I’m willing to admit that. Not so much from all the fans who think he’s the biggest and best pair of mutt’s nuts since…I don’t know… Varly? Theo? Vokoun?
    Look, the point is our goaltending is very much one of several weak links. But all season long all I’ve heard and read about is how the goaltending problem we’ve faced for years has been (or is close to) being solved. I respectfully disagree (for now).

  • 28IS(still)GREAT

    “AMAZING” and “fantastic” are generous words to be used for a goalie who’s currently ranked 42 (out of 50) in GAA and 36 (out of 50) in SV%.
    By way of comparasion, Tuukka Rask who has the same games played number (13) is ranked 5 and 6, respectively. What words would you use to describe him? Or is he just not as pretty?
    And before you call me a hater again, all I’m arguing for is some perspective here.

  • You shouldn’t use GAA to rank goalies. GAA is a function of both Sv% (which a goalie can control) and shots against (which a goalie cannot). GAA is basically a team stat.

  • 28IS(still)GREAT

    Fair enough – and I appreciate the response. Though the SA number between the two is only 29 (where Holtby has faced only 29 more shots against than Rask), which I why I put it forward.
    And while I also appreciate the “quality” of those shots isn’t measured in those raw numbers, I think – at a minimum – they support taking a deep breath before heaping praise on Holtby (or blaming Neuvy for our team’s goaltending situation) – whichever the case may be. (BTW – that last part isn’t directed at you Peter)

  • JenniferH

    The thing is it doesn’t come across as respectful (and not just “pissing on my hero parade”) because you don’t ever come out and comment when he has a great night — which he’s had SEVERAL of recently. You only comment on Holtby when he has a bad night, or even when he doesn’t, to say that he doesn’t deserve praise. This despite when everyone else is praising him. I can admit that he has not lived up to the expectation of the playoffs, but there are a lot of extenuating circumstances, and the fact that in 7 of his last 8 games, he kicked ass, is notable — but not by you.

    The fact that I recognize your name as someone who essentially comes in just to bash Holtby is telling. As soon as I hit the comments for this thread, knowing it was a poor Holtby showing, I knew you would be ready to comment on it. Yet, you’re never here for when he does good. That doesn’t comes across as someone who wants to see great goaltending. That comes across as someone who has some resentment against one specific goalie because I don’t see you doing it for Neuvy… just Holtby. And while I like Neuvy, comparing their games this season side by side, Holtby’s risen to that potential quite a lot recently, Neuvy hasn’t as much.

  • maveric101

    You’re also comparing season stats. Everyone’s acknowledged that Holtby didn’t do well at the start. If you discount those games, he’s been great.