Gregg Forwerck

Photo credit: Gregg Forwerck

It’s a busy week in the world of the Washington Capitals with the trade deadline coming tomorrow, but there was actual hockey to be played on Tuesday night as the Caps faced off against Alex Semin and his Carolina Hurricanes.  It was like old times at PNC Arena, as the Caps did the thing where goals come in torrents but defense is like eh whatever, maybe if we have time.

As the guy who has been misspelling “score more goals” incorrectly for a few years, I am completely okay with this style of play. The Caps fought back from a deficit and then took a big ol’ lead that wasn’t hard to hold onto when you’ve got Braden Holtby between the pipes. Am I doing run-on sentences tonight? Okay fine, let’s do that.

Caps beat Canes 5-3.

More bullets than Robocop 2. Parental guidance advised.

Photo by @margaretfogs

Sasha in the Sasha box. (Credit: @margaretfogs)

  • Jiri Tlusty got two goals in the game’s first 10 minutes, but let’s look a bit closer. The first was probably tipped in by future goat sacrificer Jason Chimera as the entire Caps crew did everything they could to make Jiri feel welcome in the paint.  The second goal was a power play tally that Karl Alzner failed to block… as Alex Semin high-sticked him right before the shot (no whistle, natch). Tlusty had been ice cold for the last two weeks, so it’s nice of the Caps to help him out of the streak.
  • Chimera scored his second goal of the year, but chose the wrong net. Pretty sure J.P. called that before the game.
  • Tlusty got the hat trick (the first of his career) with a real casual-looking power play goal. Tlusty is fine and all, but Washington treated defense like an abstract concept through 60 minutes.
  • The Caps mounted a big ol’ comeback. It started with Alex Ovechkin sending a sick unbelievable red snapper into Dan Ellis‘ net. Ellis eventually got pulled in favor of Justin Peters.
  • Then Nick Backstrom set up a goal for Mike Green.
  • Then Nick Backstrom set up a goal for Mike Green.
  • Not a typo. Green has four goals in the last three games and cares little for your trolly comments, you commenting trolls. And..
  • Nick Backstrom had a four-point night– all assists, all primary. In addition to him breaking the 400-point threshold, the night also put him over a point-per-game career pace (402 in 401).
  • And if you wanna houserule it, give Backstrom a fifth assist. Joel Ward scored a shorthanded guac assisted by some great threading from Marcus Johansson. Backstrom was serving a penalty at the moment, so it’s kind of like shake and bake and he helped.
  • Jeez lotsa bullets tonight. It’s like 2010 up in here. Whatever. Let’s embrace it. Here come some more.
  • Alex Ovechkin keeps the scoring streak going– all the way to nine games. He got two tonight, putting him in the league-leader discussion. Whoa. Alex Ovechkin– even past his prime– is still better than pretty much everyone else in this league. I wanna add that he’s not even getting that lucky on the bounces– Ovi is scoring because he’s putting tons of rubber on the net: 6 shots tonight. That’s how Alex became a star in the first place, and he’s got that vibe going again. I love it. RMNB.
  • Joni Pitkanen won the icing race against Troy Brouwer to get a whistle, but it cost him some knee ligaments. The crash was awful, with Pitkanen’s legs folding underneath him before his knee collided with the boards. It was too ghastly for a replay, but I have a feeling the board of managers are see it a few more times as the hybrid icing debate continues.
  • When the Caps finally did give the Canes a hard time for occupying the crease, John Carlson did it with a crosscheck to Patrick Dwyer. You took it too far, John. You took it too far.
  • John Erskine took a shot to his face, but no big deal. The trainer keeps a bucket of nails behind the bench for him to chew on in just such an occasion. He’ll be fine.
Joe B suit of the night

Joe B suit of the night

Alright, that was a Joss Whedon movie of a game: fantastically fun but punctuated by some harrowing scares. Even the most vile Cane-hater (as if anyone cared about the Canes enough to hate) would pause at Pitkanen’s injury. Pucks to Ward’s and Erskine’s faces were thankfully not serious (although if Ersk had to rip a tooth out I’d be surprised not even a little bit).

A convincing win in a very big game as the Caps’ playoff hopes are still alive. I’m not up for scoreboard watching, but the tweeple seem encouraged  by it. So… yey?

Wednesday is the trade deadline. The Caps are a .500 team again, so I think it’s really unlikely that the Caps are gonna sell, but I have a feeling McPhee won’t do anything drastic either way. A player or two might depart, but I think we’ll be able to keep our pants on. Wait, what does that even mean?

Good game!

  • Welp. Guess we had better hang on the Ribby, something like a trade deadline acquisition for $ free.99

  • i thought mojo was our best guy on the ice tonight (just kidding it was nicky but still, mojo was skating and pokechecking and stealing pucks, it was great)

  • I luv the new “washed-up” Ovi!!

  • Erskine was digging around in his mouth while on the bench and I was afraid I was gonna see a tooth emerge. But it was just his mouth guard … thankfully!

  • A game behind Winnipeg for first in the division. That’s at least a little better than just “being in the playoff picture” right?

  • Joben

    Ribeiro had a bad case of puck luck tonight when that puck rang off the inside post, but he has been playing like he wants to get re-signed all season. I really hope the Caps don’t dole him away just yet, or at all. Really disappointing that Ovi’s last shot on the open net was blocked, that would have shut Milbury up for the rest of the season.

  • OV’s hit on Skinner GIF request

  • JGP

    Today was perfect between the win and extending Ribs 2 years for a reasonable price. Wait, sorry, what? Hillen? Huh..ooooookaaaayyyyyy. Well, the reign of Gabby Oates is fun.

  • The main picture for this article may the most boss picture on the internet

  • JenniferH

    Was thinking the same thing myself. Holtby and Ovi are my boys! LOVE THEM!

  • JenniferH

    AHHHH!!! So happy to see this win! So needed, so awesome. Ovi was amazing. Backstrom was amazing. Green (!?) was amazing. Holtby was amazing. Heck, even Ward did pretty good, and MoJo and Ribs were out there doing their dangest! I am a happy, happy Caps!Girl right now. GO CAPS!!!

  • HarmCity

    When John Erskine gets hit in the face by a hockey puck, the puck gets checked for injuries.

  • Yv

    If it was Adam Oates plan to play open game and to provoke Canes for it Caps definitely succeeded. The number of scoring chances, especially for Canes, was staggering.
    For the bullets, three remaining musketeers (and AS with 2a), aka guns, again producing lion share of points;
    It should be mentioned that in addition for now usual magnificent scoring game from Ovi and 6 shots, he has 2 goal posts, that not included in stats. And seeing the speed of puck when it hits the net I’m waiting when the puck will actually rip the net and will go through. It is not surprising now that within last several days Neuvy felt almost concussed, while Flyers GT Bryzgalov complained that he almost broke his hand, when they try to stop Ovi’s shots. Just incredible speed.

    Caps now in driver seat to win division, get home ice and to do some playoffs splash and GMGM should help them a little tomorrow.

  • ha

  • washed right up to the top of the league leaders list

  • If they win the division, they might catch TOR in the 7th seed. That’s a good match-up for the Caps IMO

  • GuestZ

    Goals or not, Green pretty much fumbled the puck right behind/beside Holtby again. That ish has got to get taken care of…

  • Yv

    Yes, you mean 6th, either OTT or TOR both very beatable, and then Boston or Habs, if first round will end according to seeding, which usually never happening. It will mean, at-least, extra 4-7 home games and considering that each playoffs game bringing somewhere of 3 M$, GMGM should work hard to earn some money for his boss and bring extra help tomorrow.

  • Akay15

    I’m new to hockey– what is that thing that Ovi wears on his lower back?

  • Those are his pants, he just tucks the back of his jersey in to look cool!

  • Goals are fun. I like goals.

  • Hockeynightincanada

    Major credit to Adam Oates for tuning up and adjusting Ovie’s offensive game this season. Loved Hunter but we would not see that change in Ovie this year, and definitely not under Bruce Boudreau.

  • Fedor

    I thought his tooth emerged a little earlier, when he was skating to the bench.

  • Fedor

    I almost died when reading your post. A couple of times, actually.

  • hendybobendy26

    I caught that too!

  • hendybobendy26

    I caught that too!

  • lrhflute

    LOOOOVED the game….LOOOOOVED the recap….LOOOOOOOOOOVED the Joss Whedon reference!!! 😀 Glad that Erskine and Ward are ok after pucks to the face! That can’t be a pleasant experience!!

  • Rhino40

    Chuck Norris Facts–>Vin Diesel Facts–>Wendel Clark Facts–>John Erskine Facts.

  • Rhino40

    Yes: LOVE THEM…or else!

  • Rhino40


  • Rhino40

    Suck it Milbury..hahahahaha)))))))

  • Rhino40

    Good one!

  • mjlarson

    It looked to me like Pitkanen’s ankle snapped when it hit the boards, though I’m sure his entire right leg suffered major damage.