Patrick McDermott

MVP. (Photo credit: Patrick McDermott)

And so we said goodnight to the Southeast Division. With one last dance between the Washington Capitals and the Winnipeg Jets (née Atlanta Thrashers), the stakes were a division title and a guaranteed ticket to the postseason dance for the home team. It was a barn-burning good time, which doesn’t sound like a good time if you own a barn but you don’t so it was. The Capitals came out of the gates shooting and hardly stopped to catch their breath. All four lines were clicking, and that’s exactly the kind of hockey we want to see one week before the playoffs start.

Alex Ovechkin is the best.

Caps beat Jets 5-3. The Capitals make the playoffs. The Capitals are Southeast Division champions.

  • Southeast Division: You were the best and the worst. You were a bad girlfriend, but we had some great memories anyway. The Capitals owned you and your sad, sad banners.
  • Matt Hendricks had gone pointless (adj. – without a point) for over a month and goalless since March 2nd. That ended on Tuesday when Hendy scored on the scramble, bouncing the puck off Pavelec’s shoulder. If you were waiting for secondary scoring, your wait is over.
  • Jason Chimera and Matthieu Perreault exchanged pretty passes behind the Jets net until Chimmer stormed the crease and scored his third goal of the season, the first one I’ve seen live. I actually called a Chimera goal right before the game (#thebank), but I guess that matters less since this is the 46th consecutive game I have predicted such a thing.
  • The star of the first period was Big John Erskine. Along with Martin Erat, Ersk dove in front of a Winnipeg shot on an empty net to save an early goal. A few minutes later, Erskine swatted away a puck that bounced off and dropped behind Holtby. The play was reviewed, and Erskine was the savior.
    ersk
  • Evander Kane is sadly awesome. Fresh in the middle period and on the power play, Kane used Erskine as a screen and scored on Braden Holtby’s far blocker side. That should have been a wake-up call that the Jets would not go quietly into that good night.
  • Steve Oleksy coudn’t clear the puck late in the second, allowing Blake Wheeler to tie the game up and make it exciting, but the MVP set up Nick Backstrom a few seconds later for a timing play goal, making it 3-2. Backy’s goal was reviewed because, once again, the guys in the war room in Toronto are huge fans.
  • Matthieu Perreault got his tiny French Canadian frame into a scrum and came out with a goal with a couple minutes left in the second period. He thinks he’s people.
  • Alex Ovechkin’s hit on Evander Kane was clean and devastating. Kane looked shook up, but he was back in the third in time to put a dirty elbow into Oleksy’s pretty pretty face.
  • The Verizon Center blacksmiths were at the ready in the third as the Caps started targeting the posts with pinpoint accuracy. Even Volpatti pinged one.
  • Nick Backstrom got boarded, no call. Referees are a joke in your town.
  • Nik Antropov made it a one-goal game with a high slot shot to the top shelf. He had to fight through three Caps to get the shot off, and it was telekinetically directed to the twine. Gorgeous, but kinda deflating, but what happened next made it so much worse.
  • Matthieu Perreault high-sticked Antropov with just five minutes to go. The Caps PK unit kept the Jets shotless, and Verizon Center went ape-bananas.
  • MVP Alex Ovechkin scored the empty-netter, his 31st of the season. He’s taking over the world.

Joe B suit of the night

Joe B suit of the night

What a great damn game.

Fun hockey, to me, is Capitals hockey. That means tons of offense, creative passing, and lots of playing where the ice is painted. The Caps played fun hockey tonight. Every line was pressuring and producing, and anything could happen. That and the possession domination made this a very encouraging game to watch one week away  of the postseason.

You want to see your players dancing. And they did.

So this was the first of what’s now officially a five-game homestand. The Caps have two more games to play in the regular season, and then the real game begins.

I cannot freaking wait.

No-goal GIF by welshhockeyfan

  • Alan

    (That suit pic is from Ottawa)

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

    damn you’re right– one sec!

  • Katherine

    “Alex Ovechkin is the best.” x 1000000

  • http://twitter.com/rmobrien21 R.O’B.

    how you manage to type an entire game recap after that baffles me because I could barely type a tweet.

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

    fixed!

  • DP3

    Oates for Jack Adams. LET’S GET THIS MOVEMENT GOING

  • Toronto Caps Fan

    Best game of the year!!! I really hope the PK keeps this up in the playoffs!

  • http://twitter.com/deniscarmo Denis Carmo

    And then the Jets fans said: “We’re still gonna win the SE” hahaha
    Nice game, the score shouldn’t even be so close, Ovechkin is truly the best

  • brian!

    Hendricks just absolutely killed it in his post-game interview with Al Koken.

  • JenniferH

    OH MY!!! I just…. WHEEE!!!! PLAY-OFF BOUND!!! And a big HUG to RMNB as my unofficial Hockey home since I became a fan! Hope for many more years to come!

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

    That was amazing. He was like a best man giving a semi-drunken speech. Awesome.

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

    Thank you for reading!

  • Jeremiah

    favorite quoate from post game was Alan May” wasn’t sure if Alex was trying to take out the defensemen or score the empty netter”

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

    I’m really really drunk

  • http://twitter.com/_Queless Gerry Q

    “the Jets would not go quietly into that good night.” Love the poetic reference.

  • Ash

    BAILAMOS!

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

    BAILAMOSSSSSSSSSSS

  • JenniferH

    Thank you for existing!

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1005713165 Pat Magee

    RMNB is the best!!!!!!!! With Japers’ Rink in a close second.

  • JenniferH

    Agreed, I also like The Peerless Prognosticator too.

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

    They’re all awesome– I read all of em daily.

  • JenniferH

    Any chance we’ll get video of that?

  • http://twitter.com/mattymatty2000 Matthew Kory

    Yay Caps!

  • http://twitter.com/rmobrien21 R.O’B.

    HAHA have about 10 more for me I’m 22 pages deep in a literature review that decides if I graduate grad school. BAILAMOS

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

    Japers, OFB, Peerless- they are the pioneers of this brave new world we call the internet, and we should always be appreciative of all the hard work they put in for us to be more informed! Okay, so that sounded way less nerdy in my head.

  • blondinwrx

    *COUGH* http://www.russianmachineneverbreaks.com/2013/03/01/neil-greenberg-on-the-tony-kornheiser-show/

    This dude predicted the future, and how awesome John Erskine is.

    Forestfor Trees • 2 months ago


    Interesting, Neil gets paid to analyze hockey, and sport he never played and couldn’t possible understand the intricacies associated with it. I’m in the wrong line of work. Yet everyone is drinking the kool-aid it seems? I’m not biased,
    but i know hockey, and I know this team is much better then their
    record, and much better then bottom ten 5 on 5. Sorry bro, you be wrong.
    Hockey ain’t baseball, and it never will be.

    Ovechkin – All about consistency. All the caps need is for him to be
    the consistent power forward he has shown in the last ten games (minus
    Philly). He’s getting chances, hes making passes, he’s plowing through.
    So he didn’t get a shot vs canes, he had a marvelous game and the stats
    lie on that one. Wouldn’t be the first time.

    “Kornheiser: …He was overpowering, right? He was a big strong overpowering guy.” Glad he shut you up on that last night. No one in the league can power
    through Chara and get calls like he did last night. NO ONE.

    You are right about one thing, he ain’t Crosby. But guess what? His
    brain ain’t mush either. Crosby is one decently hard hit to the head
    away from eating food out of a straw full time.

    Erskine – worth every penny. How was that Jets game? Fan fucking
    tastic. Blocked shots, pushed everyone around and made the QUICK and
    EASY plays out of the zone. He might not have the foot speed, but he
    gets the job DONE, and keeps important pucks inside the O zone. SHultz
    is the weak link and needs to be shown the door. Olesky was a welcome
    addition.

    On the caps top 6 – Sure doesn’t look pretty, but Oates just gets it.
    You need a grinder on the top line with Ovie, you need a guy to do the
    trench work. If you have three skill guys all wandering around asking
    for passes shit don’t get done. Hendricks is that guy until Brooks is
    back. He puts his hard hat on night in, night out and creates space for
    the other two. He has hands and decent vision, or has everyone not been
    paying attention to how that line operates? Fehr has shown he has the
    legs, the shot and the hands to play with Backstrom. Just because he had
    a horrible year last year means jack in the present. Did you need a
    youtube clip of the goal last night for proof? The top six ain’t perfect
    on paper, but I guess thats all you look at, is stats n paper. With
    Brooks back, there are zero issues with the top six. Top 10 in the
    league.

    Now bottom 6. Mr overpaid Joel Ward as some would call him. Not me,
    that guy is money. Big man that can move, makes the smart play and bangs
    home pucks. Matty P is finding his niche, not backing down and working
    his tail off. Chimera skates real fast. He is my weak link this year,
    too many giveaways not enough finish. Jay beagle the hardest worker on
    the team, wins the majority of his draws, finishes checks and wears his
    heart on his sleave. Joey Crabb has been a pleasant surprise, didn’t
    really know what to expect from him. Not really sure where wolski fits
    in, but not very high marks for him. When brooks comes back and
    hendricks drops back down to the third/fourth line, bottom six is plenty
    deep.

    Future? Kuznetsov, Forsberg. Nuff’ said.

    I just can’t keep myself from thinking just how smart is the hockey
    IQ of caps nation. I hail from the white north where I was baptized on
    the rink and played until junior and college. Not quite the same in the
    US of A. The fact that the majority of the feedback on this post is “omg
    yer right caps suck what wuz i THINKING!?!?” is a real big question
    mark for me. I support GMGM because I see exactly how he has owned the
    draft the past 8 years. The lack of Stanley and early season adversity
    has everyone calling for his head, but I shit you not there would be
    another Dale Tallon situation if he got axed. Shit, maybe thats what we
    need to cure the curse.

    I’ll resurface in a month and a half when the caps are situated in
    the playoffs, and my opinion of the caps depth, skill, and just how
    strong their bottom/top six is, are validated.

  • Joe

    But mother, he thinks he’s people!

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1005713165 Pat Magee

    I guess this means i cannot change my profile picture until the Caps have finished playing this season!

  • CDizz

    “Matthieu Perreault got his tiny French Canadian frame into a scrum and came out with a goal with a couple minutes left in the second period. He thinks he’s people.”

    Hahahahahahahahohmygodohmygod I think I just peed my pants a little

  • GuestZ

    Mine’s due next Tuesday. It was class tonight that kept me from watching… dammit. Cheers!

  • Jesse Morgan

    Second that. I’d really like to see this!

  • serpent

    This game would have been horrible without Big John.

  • JenniferH

    What’s OFB?

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

    On Frozen Blog … amazing hockey writing. My second favorite after RMNB :)

  • JJSMD

    Nick Backstrom got boarded, no call. Referees are a joke in your town.
    Public Enemy reference. LOVE IT!

  • araporrada21

    My wife thinks we win when she doesn’t stare at the tv and only listens. At first I though she was wrong and now we watched every game the Caps played this season I have paid more attention to it and she is absolutely correct. I will keep her eyes off the television and look for Caps to go far.

  • JenniferH

    Thanks, I’ll check it out. :)