Patrick McDermott

Photo credit: Patrick McDermott

As the Washington Capitals returned home to face the New York Islanders, they were likely pondering the 6 points out of a total 8 they earned on their recent road trip. That pondering may have led to some absent-minded play in the first period, but the Caps recovered in the second to put forward one of their strongest possession games of the season. But possession was exactly what Mike Green didn’t have when his goof-up allowed the GWG for John Tavares.

Islanders beat Caps 3-2.

  • The Islanders grabbed an early lead off goals by Michael Grabner and Josh Bailey. Both of those goals were due to some hard work by the Isles along the boards– plainly outworking the Caps. The Islanders took Verizon Center out of the game early, a palpable blow to a big homecoming game.
  • In general, the Capitals aren’t a strong possession team when they’re behind on the scoreboard. Tonight was different. The second period Caps worked their way back, establishing a plus-11 even-strength shot attempt differential after 40 minutes. And, oh yeah, two goals.
  • The first came from Mike Ribeiro, who doesn’t shoot until he sees the whites of the goalie’s eyes. Ribs caught a really smart pass from Troy Brouwer that created space and speed for the scorer. Ribeiro is scoring on more than a quarter of his shots on goal, which is laudable. No player has a bigger incentive to win games right now than he, so it makes sense.
  • The second goal was a (possibly tipped) shot by John Carlson, who was moving laterally along the blue line like Oleksy is so wont to do. Yeah, Oleksy appears to be rubbing off on the tactics of others. Is that more awesome or weird? I can’t tell.
  • Al Koken says “Literally!” more than Chris Traeger.
  • Dmitry Orlov does not shoot enough. He’s been on the ice for over 75 minutes this season and has put just one puck on the net. Deliberately wide shots have their time and place, but Orly can make a real career for himself if he makes like Carlson and takes Oleksy’s lead: shoot early and often!
  • The Capitals expertly killed Matt Hendricks‘ interference penalty in the third. As Hendy escaped the box, he drew a penalty from the Isles. A good turnaround of fortune, but the ensuring power play was shotless– despite some Ovechkin solo heroics.
  • Late in the third, Mike Green lost track of the puck between his skates. Matt Moulson got that loose puck to John Tavares, who transmogrified it into the game-winner.
  • Alex Ovechkin‘s point streak hits 6 games. His 32 on the season is more than Mike Milbury got in all but his two best years– when he played 70-80 games.
Joe B suit of the night

Joe B suit of the night

That was disappointing. Rough start, big comeback, and then one innocent goof costs the Caps the game. That was a very valuable pair of points the Caps let go. When the final standings show a margin of one or two points, remember how they bobbled off the blades of Mike Green back in late March. And then reach for an adult beverage.

But don’t get down on the Caps though– this was a well-played game lost by a slim margin. That’s hockey, the sport we usually love but tonight we hate.

P.S. Joe B and Locker in plaid over there sorta has an “early days of Monday Night Football” vibe to it, right? Only thing missing is, well, fedoras, scotch, and seething misogyny.



  • Chris

    Mike Green went full retard. You never go full retard.

  • Hockeynightincanada

    Game Over Green takes on a whole meaning now. It’s not him other teams have to watch out for….it’s us.

  • sentientcheese

    You know, it was one mistake which lost us our last game. don’t be surprised if we rip off another string just because we are that angry.

  • boo

  • There’s no margin for error. Losing at home tonight just made GMGM’s job impossible. This team’s focus is limited to three games max, and this was the worst loss of this sorry season.

  • Hockeynightincanada

    Remember Caps fans, McPhee is “in the game” which means our input is useless since we know nothing about hockey. All of us on here have only been saying for the last 5-6 years that this team has needed a #1/#2 shut down defenseman and a 2nd line center. How did it take him so long to finally get at least one of them?

  • Joben

    While the Green/Laich folly may have cost them the game, I’d like to point out that Johansson again whiffed on two open nets. Easily could have been 4-2 Caps. Sure Johansson’s production has been up since he was paired with Ovi and Backstrom, but its time to put him on the second line with Ribeiro and either Brouwer or Laich and put 20 or 21 on the first line so there is someone who can actually convert on those chances.

  • Yv

    Back to square one. 7 points behind Jets and 4 points behind 8th Rangers.

    One phrase can describe this absolutely frustrating Caps:
    “Just when I thought I (Caps) was out…they pull me (us) back in” Al Pacino in Godfather 3.

  • Rhino40

    Only thing missing is, well, fedoras, scotch, and seething misogyny.
    More alliterative gold from Peter–Kudos are in order.