Photo credit: Marianne Helm
The Southeast Division Farewell Tour kicked off with a battle between the Washington Capitals and Winnipeg Jets. The Capitals managed to continue their strong five-on-five play from Tuesday and convert it into two early goals. Big Buff and the Jets tried to mount a comeback, but the Caps stuck two more daggers in ’em instead. And oh yeah: Braden Holtby had his fourth perfect game this year.
Caps beat Thrashers 4-0.
- I don’t want to tell you something you already know, but yeah: Braden Holtby rules. That is shutout number four on the year.
- Troy Brouwer kicked things off early with a goal well screened by returned hero Brooks Laich. I think Brooks might’ve gotten a piece of it, but I’m wrong about most things, so what is one more? Laich was great all over: driving play (plus-6 Corsi), screening goals, and threatening with some shorthanded chances.
- Steve Oleksy fought James Wright and it went a little something like this:
- I was gonna give Dustin Byfuglien credit for being Atlanta’s best player, but then he checked Mike Green into the boards after a whistle, so eff that noise. Mike Green is off limits, you guys. That goes for you too, Evander Kane, who gave Greenie a cheap shot in the final minute. We’re TPing their cars later, so let me know if you want us to pick you up in our Chinook. We gotta stop off at WaWa to pick up supplies first, so just text me.
- Regarding Mr. GreenLife52, he looked pretty solid in his first game back. He certainly wasn’t getting soft minutes (around 23 minutes), and though he didn’t join the O too much, he looked great when he did. Let’s hope he can stick around this time. He’s too good to lose so much of his career to injury.
- Gee, I sarcastically wonder if RMNB will have a post dedicated to that shift by Alex Ovechkin in second period where he unleashed a bunch of MonStar hits? Cause seriously– other than that, the second period was booooooring. And I say that as a fan of Downton Abbey and Infinite Jest.
- Speaking of Ovi, he was the agent of the Caps’s second goal– feeding Marcus Johansson at the back door. I made some crack about Johansson being lucky to have such a great passer setting up him, but on review it was clear that Mojo put himself in position, got his stick on the ice, and let Ovi know to hit him up. It’s a gift to be wrong about a player sometimes.
- I wrote a joke about the name of a Jets player, but then I deleted it for being borderline naughty. You can scan the roster and guess which one.
- The return of the DOG. Steve Oleksy scrambled for a puck behind the goal line, chipping it over the glass in the process. DOG, old friend. Good to see you again. Now go away forever. Srsly, there’s talk that the over-the-glass rule might get rewritten for next year.
- Alex Ovechkin twisted the dagger with a perfect power play goal from his favorite spot. In addition to being Ovi’s second point of the night, it was also Nicky Backstrom’s first primary assist on a PPG this season.
- Ack last-second bullet: Nicky Backstrom got a sneaky one-timer from the high slot late in the third and yeah he’s great no time to check grammar.
That was a terrific performance by your Washington Capitals. I’ll leave it up to you decide if it’s due in part to the return of Orlov, Green, and Laich. And while I’m still not keen on counting standings points, there’s no reason to be cranky about the Caps tonight. Big win over a divisional opponent, three-point night from Captain Alex Ovechkin, healthy roster for the first time since the Taft administration.
The best news of all: they get it to do it again tomorrow. A strange artifact of the lockout-shortened season: the Caps will play the Thrashers again on Friday night, right after JMU beats up on the Hoosiers. See you there? Naturally.
Ovi is having one hell of a game. Check NBC for highlights later. Surely you’ll hear about it.
— RMNB (@russianmachine) March 22, 2013