Photo credit: Rob Carr
In an unconventional move, Eric Fehr chose to play the Boston Bruins solo on Tuesday night. After falling back in the first period, Eric Fehr, completely unassisted, clawed his way back before scoring a spectacular overtime game-winner.
It was a night of first and a night of comebacks. Fehr was a hero, Wojtek Wolksi redeemed himself, and two plucky kids got on the scoreboard. A great team performance.
Eric Fehr beats Bruins 4-3 (OT)
- I’m so immensely glad Eric Fehr is back on this team. Even if Chimera never scoars again, we’ve got Eric Fehr playing like we always knew he could. He’s a slightly scuffed up diamond in the rough– the kind GMGM has a talent for finding– just like Ribeiro and Wolski, two other guys who had big nights.
- The Caps got lit up in the first period, but they kept the shooting game even. That’s why the game was never truly out of reach, and by the end of the second the Caps led shooting at even-strength 17 to 13, and shot attempts overall 46-37.
- John Carlson took a bad trip on a Bruins shorthanded breakaway. Chasing the play, Alex Ovechkin chose to hook Brad Marchand, who beat Braden Holtby five-hold on the ensuing penalty shot. This bullet contained four player names.
- It was a night of firsts. Tomas Kundratek‘s deflected knucklepuck earned him his first NHL goal. Recent call-up Steve Oleksy got his first NHL point with an assist on the Ribeiro goal.
- The Caps got totally walloped on the power play. Forget about Marchand shorthanded penalty shot goal– the zone entries were a mess. Boston isn’t the top-rated PK for nothing as they successfully stymied the Caps and kept them in neutral– shotless on PP until the third period.
- Maybe Mike Ribeiro should take fewer faceoffs. He was a dismal 1 for 10 on the dot. He does great with Ovi when they have the puck, but I worry about how rare that is.
- FIGHT! John Erskine vs Shawn Thornton. (Let’s call it a draw? Please?)
- Alex Ovechkin slammed into the Boston net in the third period, aided by Wun Weg Zdeno Wun Dar Chara Wun, who had to serve time for the deed. It looked really painful, but honestly the net looked more hurt by it. It was one of three net crashes by Ovi, who is lucky not to have been hurt.
- Aaron Volpatti’s ice time was just four minutes more than Troy Brouwer, who probably watched this game from within a small radius of a toilet.
- Wojtek Wolski has been the target of your ire for awhile now. With Brouwer on or near the aforementioned toilet, the bear earned his way back into a sweater and freaking nailed it. His tying goal was a sneaky one-touch from the crease– set up by Eric Fehr, who had 2 genius assists on the night in addition to his OTGWG.
- It’d be dim to slam Braden Holtby for his work tonight. Penalty shots are a coin toss, and that Chara goal was pretty superb (big ups to Krecji for the crotch-pass by the way). 30 saves on 33 shots. Solid.
The individual efforts the Caps put up continues to be heartening. They’re playing well as a team and don’t seem half as flustered as they did in February. I think they’ve got good leadership, good coaching, and good attitudes. I do not think they’ve got the right players.
Yeah, a bunch are injured: Green, Laich, and Brouwer all missed Tuesday’s game. Even with them, I’m not sure this team has the gear to race. They’re Kim Crosby’s Boudreaux’s Butt Paste car up against Roush Racing. They might squeak out a win in a short track, but they’re not built to win the 500.
That is no criticism of the guys themselves, who are working their oddly bulky hockey butts off on the ice. They actually kept pace with the second strongest possession team in the league. That’s huge. But they can’t do it forever.
Time for an upgrade. Or, at least, it’s time to plan for an upgrade.
For now, let’s be happy: The Caps took two points off what I think is the best team in the East. That’s a big flipping deal.
Stay safe in the storm, everybody. We need you alive for Thursday, when Jason Chimera will surely score on the Florida Panthers.