Photo credit: Patrick McDermott
The Carolina Hurricanes lost 9 of their last 10 games before visiting the Washington Capitals for their final meeting of the season. Since re-signing a contract for too much and too long, Alex Semin had cooled off in a way that literally no one on earth could have expected, but the team was motivated to climb out of their rut on Thursday night. Dominating the early minutes, the Canes seemed to have a handle on the game until Verizon Center released the long-dormant kraken of secondary scoring.
Caps beat Canes 3-1.
- This felt like a letdown game, didn’t it? The Canes kept the Caps without a shot for the first 10 minutes, scored on an power play, and kettled up the home team in their own zone. It coulda been bad, but the Caps eventually clawed their way into a possession tie by the end of the first period.
- Hay, Troy Brouwer scored his first goal in two weeks, a monster shot from the slot on the power play. Sassymouthed Mike Ribeiro set him brilliantly, patiently waiting for the right moment from the goal line. Brouwer has been pretty dull of late, suffering on a weary second line, but his goal was everything the Caps want from and love about Troy— smart positioning, net crashyness, and shooting the puck so darn hard that Joe B dubbed it the Brouwitzer.
- Troy got two– with an empty netter in the final seconds. It’s great to see Troy get back in the game– but even better to see him have words with his old frenemy Alex Semin. Hopefully those words were small and spoken slowly.
- It was a night of pretty goals: Mike Green spanned the space from the blue and the faceoff dot like a stalking lion before releasing a roofer to Justin Peters‘ far side. I dunno if Green is “back” in the mythical way that we hope Ovi is back, but I’m really eager to find out. When he is on, Green is among the best in the league.
- Some explain to me how Maria gets cell signal in Verizon Center? My iPhone turns into a 400 dollar brick when I’m in there. (Actually all the tweeple are telling me that the fan wifi has been solid lately. That’s awesome. I’m gonna watch YouTube videos and download episodes of Arrested Development next time I’m at a game).
- My least favorite thing about Mike Ribeiro is that when he’s on the ice most of the shots go towards his team’s goalie. My second least favorite thing about Mike Ribeiro is how he jaws at refs and players at every turn. I don’t know if his trash-talk led to the soft cross-check penalty that neutralized a first period Caps penalty, but I wouldn’t be surprised. I mean– how does he talk to waiters? Cause that’s a deal-breaker to me.
- 15 shot attempts– 6 of them on net for Alex Ovechkin. He’s not gonna score every night, but if he shoots like that he’ll come darn close. Ovi was also a big factor in Green’s goal: he was all up in the goalie’s grill, presumably chatting about his golf swing and passing on musky odors.
- I’d write about the Matt Hendricks–Nicolas Blanchard fight, but it’d be like describing the taste of water. It happened and then it was over, and that is all there is to say about it.
- Braden Holtby acquitted himself quite well after two games off. After a scary start, Holtby dialed in and was offering up his typical inhuman rampage saves by late in the third (that glove in the last 90 seconds? Sheesh.) 43 saves!
- The mini-brawl between Skinner and Johansson was just adorable. Anne Geddes cute. Awwwwww.
It’s tempting to turn every game into a “Did Ovi Scoar?” thing, but we can’t. The Southeast is still tight, and wins gotta matter more than goals right now. And besides– if Ovechkin can play the way he did tonight, he’ll get his.
I like the way the Caps played this one. It was an atrociously and unacceptably slow start, but they found their groove didn’t allow Carolina to tilt the ice.
Caps are on a streak. Six wins in a row. Jets gained no ground tonight. The stars are shooting and the Holtby is halting. It’s springtime in DC. Buckle up.
And oh yeah, totally called it:
This power play. #thebank
— RMNB (@russianmachine) April 12, 2013