Caps Just Freaking Destroy Panthers 7-1

greg fiume

Photo credit: Greg Fiume

The Washington Capitals just freaking obliterated the Florida Panthers. I don’t know how else to say it. Any flowery language would make the point less elegant: this was a thrashing. One of these teams is the bottom of the Eastern Conference, the other one is the Washington Capitals.

We learned that early, as John Erskine’s muffinly dump-in baffled Jacob Markstrom. We were reminded soon after– when Wojtek Wolski caught a Steve Oleksy pass and made it 2-0 on the Caps’ second shot. That was enough for Markstrom, who got the hook in favor of Scott Clemmensen, who promptly gave up two more goals on the Caps’ next four shots– one from Carlson, one from Ribeiro.

That was all in the game’s first 10 minutes. I could go on, but you get the idea. This was all Caps. Even when the shooting slowed, Braden Holtby was so on top of his game that this was never really a contest.

Caps beat Panthers 7-1.

oprah-cackle

  • Braden Aloysius Goshdarn Holtby. A stinker in the season’s first ten games, he’s been truly elite since. I don’t know how long it’ll be until we find out if he lives up to the hype, but I– and the Capitals defense– are certainly enjoying the wait. Even without the shutout, Holtby had a gorgeous 29-save night.
  • Serious stuff: Jason Chimera took a dirty hit from Tyson Strachan in the second period. It was a blindside elbow to the head, and it should earn Strachan a three or four game break from pro hockey. He should prefer that over my recommended punishment, which involves him dying in a fire. This was supposed to be Chimera’s night, dammit. Chimera returned to the ice after the hit, although did show signs of wooziness, which is actually a word according to my autocorrect.

  • The flu is ravaging Kettler, but that’s nothing compared to the Florida Panthers, who had 8 dudes on their roster scuffed up in way or another.
  • After a three-point night in which he was strong at both ends of the ice, Alex Ovechkin now has 699 career points. So this weekend should be fun.
  • John  Erskine reported that his opening goal wasn’t even supposed to be a shot– he was just dumping the puck in for a line change. Proof positive of the old maxim: shoot early and often. Erskine is one goal off his career best.
  • Three-point game for Wojtek Wolsi, whom a lot of you thought was a chump. Penitence now accepted in the comments section.
  • Chalk up another one for Eric Fehr. He’s got 4 points in the last three games and deserves every bit of credit he’s been given for it. Fehr worked through what many considered a career-ending injury, and is now so much more than just a good “character guy” for the locker room. He’s been a point-per-game player since getting promoted from the checking lines.
  • Time for the Mike Ribeiro faceoff check-in: 3 for 7.  That’s an improvement!
  • Matt Hendricks was denied a third period goal– a greasy kick that would have given the Caps a full-on touchdown. Hendyface status: teh sads
  • Matthieu Perreault’s 7-spot was a thing of beauty.
Joe B suit of the night

Joe B suit of the night

So pretty much everything is going right for the Caps right now, which makes sense after the way this season started. They’re firing more pucks, asserting themselves in the possession game, but most of all — the Holtbeast in net. The team needed this run so very badly, and now they’ve got it. The question is what happens now.

We’ve got two games coming up this weekend. Can the Caps keep it up? Will Alex join the 700 club? Will Michal Neuvirth get over the flu and take his net back?

I have no answers, but I’m genuinely excited to find out.

Go Caps.

  • Hockeynightincanada

    “Who quarterbacks the Capitals and what can we do to get him?” – NY Jets

  • http://twitter.com/ngreenberg Neil Greenberg

    Jinxes don’t exist!

  • Akay15

    Contract extension for Fehr! Now!

  • Hockeynightincanada

    Despite how horrible the Panthers are, Caps maintained solid play throughout the night in both offensive, defensive, and physical aspects of the game. Very well balanced, and Olesky has made a big impression on me in his first two games.

    I’m still not a GMGM fan, but I’ll give credit where it’s due. Fehr has proved me wrong this season, and I am glad to see Oates vision coming to life. Just like under Dale Hunter, this team is proving that when they adhere to a system and follow through, it pays off when playing the right way.

  • Hockeynightincanada

    Someone on CI actually said “shutout,” so we might let you off the hook. :)

  • JenniferH

    What an awesome game! I was on feet cheering! The Caps were on fire tonight! I do wish that Holtby had gotten a shut-out and that Ovechkin had gotten his 700 — but there’s this weekend!

  • http://www.russianmachineneverbreaks.com/ Peter Hassett

    DOWNVOTE THIS MAN

  • http://www.russianmachineneverbreaks.com Ian Oland

    Neil, I bet you’ll think I’m silly when I eat the same meal and wear the same clothes that I did tonight on Saturday too, right? :D

  • Ben Reed

    Caps have scored 23 goals, just 9 against, in their last 6 games. Come-from-behind games, Ovi hatties, blowouts…ACID FLASHBACKS

  • http://www.facebook.com/bryantpthomas Bryant Thomas

    that fucking oprah .gif. well done, sirs.

  • http://twitter.com/kat326 Rachel Cohen

    #BLAMEGREENBERG :P

  • http://twitter.com/VeggieTart Danielle

    Yes. They. Do.

  • http://twitter.com/VeggieTart Danielle

    Speaking of Ribs, has anyone noticed how well he and Ovi mesh?

  • MJLarson

    I like how the commentators were discussing whether or not the hit was body on body, and if it was a late hit.
    Are you kidding me? There’s nothing borderline about it, in any way shape or form… regardless of whether it was late, that was a blindside elbow to the head with clear “malicious intent,” as Shanahan would put it.
    Also, way to go Greenberg. I think we’ve all learned a valuable lesson from your less than admirable actions tonight.

  • http://www.russianmachineneverbreaks.com Ian Oland

    Caps fans, please do this on Saturday and every game for the rest of the year. https://twitter.com/ianoland/status/309854616206598144 K? Thanks.

  • Yv

    Why no time stamps on tweets to prove that indeed NG doing his usual

  • Yv

    I suspect soon PapaJohns will pull out their ads!

  • Sgt. Hartman

    Ribeiro is the man.

  • http://www.calacirian.org sonja n a

    You’ve never known a goalie, have you? NEVER EVER mention the word “shutout” til it’s over. NEVER. In fact, one should not even think that word til it’s over.

  • http://twitter.com/BigNed Ned Keitt-Pride

    In addition to the dirty hit on Chimmers, any chance the league takes a look at the intentional knee-to-knee #44 put on Ovi after he scored the fifth goal? HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA, just kidding. I know better.

  • http://twitter.com/BigNed Ned Keitt-Pride

    You know if Ovi had made that hit we’d have heard the phrase “out of control” at least 5 times in that segment. FESPN.

  • 28IS(still)GREAT

    Is it wrong to admit that by late in the 3rd I actually felt just the tinest bit bad for Florida? By the end this one just felt like someone kicking a hospital patient in the groin repeatedly. And is it wrong to admit that at the same time I kind of enjoyed that too?