Senators beat Caps 2-1 (OT) Because Mike Ribeiro

Patrick McDermott

Check out the Hendyface! (Photo credit: Patrick McDermott)

I was expecting some kind of letdown after the Washington Capitals ensured themselves a playoff spot on Tuesday, but dude. Thursday’s game against the Ottawa Senators wasn’t bad by any stretch, but it didn’t carry the same gravitas now that the Caps are locked in third place. Erik Karlsson’s unlikely return to service was heartening for pure hockey fans, but it’s way too late in the season for us to muster up that kind of neighborliness. Besides, it’s totally possible this is the team the Caps will have to face in the playoffs, so we should probably get the enmity brewing now.

Karlsson got one, then Ovi got one. Then overtime, where ex-Cap Sergei Gonchar won it all because Mike Ribeiro is a liability.

Sens beat Caps 2-1. Ottawa makes the playoffs.

  • Matt Cooke injured (and how many sentences have started that way?) Ottawa’s Erik Karlsson in February with a skate slice to his achilles tendon. Most thought he’d be out for the year, but Karlsson made his big comeback in DC on Thursday. The game’s first goal was his, although tipped in by he of the unnecessary consonants, Jakob Silfverberg. Karlsson whipped the puck in from near the blue line, which Silfverberg tipped past Michal Neuvirth. Michal and I both felt that Silfverberg interfered with Neuvy in the same manner that the Caps have been penalized so many times the past, but the refs disagreed.
  • If the Caps and the Sens play in the quarterfinals, there’s maybe half a day’s worth of stories about both countries’ capital cities playing. After that it’ll be all tedium and players whose name end in “son.”
  • Maybe that’s not entirely true. Ottawa has plenty of peppy players who don’t hesitate to mix it up after a whistle– plus they all race to defend Captain Daniel Alfredsson. That’s exactly what happened when John Erskine mixed things up with 40-year-old Alfie in the third period. The two went off for matching minors (the old guy a bit more reluctantly than big John).
  • Ian Oland spreads wisdom on tonight’s opponent:
    (9:12:35 PM) Ian Oland: ottawa are cheaters
    (9:12:39 PM) Ian Oland: they should go on the show cheaters
  • On the Caps’ first shot of the third period, Alex Ovechkin got behind the Ottawa defense and backhanded in his 32nd goal of the season. An even-strength, finesse goal in which he carried the puck and beat the defense– just to remind us all that he’s no one-trick pony. What even is a one-trick pony? Who even teaches ponies tricks, and why the hell can’t they all learn more than one? And did anyone see that Paul Simon movie? Sucked. Unlike Ovechkin, who is awesome. #analysis
  • Not sure how it happened, but the Capitals surrendered the possession game somewhere near the end of the second period and ended up getting smoked. This may sound trite, but a team that tilts the ice usually goes further than a meeker team. Shoot moar pucks and don’t loaf in the third period.
  • Mike Ribeiro failed to sabotage the game with a late-game, offensive-zone penalty for Ribeiroing. Then Steve Oleksy somehow got away with cold-cocking Jakob Silfverberg in the face during play, and yes, I am very happy I got to use the word “cold-cocking” this season. Oleksy didn’t get called for that punch– inconceivably. Then Ribeiro then got caught another goddamn penalty with one-minute left, because I guess if he can’t score then might as well play galactically stupid hockey. Sergei Gonchar scored the OTPPGWG.
Joe B suit of the night

Joe B suit of the night

Here’s a scary thought: that might have been Michal Neuvirth‘s last game as a Washington Capital. Neuvy, with all of 13 games played, will be a restricted free agent at the end of the season. I doubt the Caps will let him go, but Oates’ preference for Holtby at least makes it a question. Neuvy was a total stud with 39 saves tonight. He’s had an off year, but his rough starts came when the Caps defense was atrocious. I’d really like to see him re-up soon.

And then there’s Mike Ribeiro, for whom I have the opposite feeling. I don’t understand what came over him, but when people talk about selfish penalties, they’re talking about stuff like this. When a player chooses to mix things up with the opponent before considering how it may hurt his team, that’s selfishness. Most of the time that won’t cost you the game, but tonight it did– and it gave the Caps’ most likely playoff opponent a ticket to the dance.

I really don’t wanna see the Senators next week. I’d love a series against the Leafs, but that is now impossible. What match-up do you guys wanna see?

One more game left– Boston on Saturday night. Then the Capitals and RMNB kick things into high gear. Let’s do it.

  • Ovechkin scored, I don’t care about the rest… Oh yeah, Ribeiro is a damn idiot sometimes but today it didn’t matter

  • OlietheGoalie

    Ribs needs to calm the eff down. This isn’t a freaking street fight.

  • OlietheGoalie

    Thug time galore with Ribs. If he costs us a game in the playoffs because he can’t calm the F down…

  • Guest

    don’t you mean Neuvirth stopped 39 shots in the paragraph next to Joe B and locker?

  • Akay15

    I really wanted to give Ribs a chance throughout the season but his attitude reeks. Oates/GMGM should know what to do with him now if they don’t already. Oh and Ovi is the best damn hockey player ever. He can’t be human.

  • They gotta sit him down in the locker room and tell him to calm the hell down. He does this shit in the playoffs, there will be angry mobs looking for him!

  • You guys are straight up idiots for blaming Ribeiro.

    Turris was punching him right back.

    Then Alfredsson doesn’t get a penalty for yapping at the refs and keeps skating away from the box when we know Caps player would get one for just talking.

  • Oates needs to have a chat with Ribeiro, that’s twice now this one cost the game whether it mattered or not. He’s not going to fight and he wasn’t even a part of the play at all. Huge asset but better settle him down.

  • Ryan White

    I think the Leafs are going to clinch the 5th spot. If the regular season is any indication on how the Caps will perform against the Iles, Rags or Sens, I don’t think they’re going to make it past the first round. They were swept by the Sens and each win (that’s win, as in they only beat each team once) they had over the Iles and Sens were in the shootout, which not only is not a bad indicator of who should win the game, but of course doesn’t exist in the playoffs. The Caps are hot but they don’t fair well against these defensive-minded teams. Plus the Rags have had great offense lately. We’re hosed.

  • Also: the fact that Neuvy DIDN’T get player of the game is total B.S.

  • yeah sorry! fixed

  • Alfie shoulda gotten a misconduct for that mess, but he’s got a shining reputation.

  • totes, but I don’t have much respect for that or the 3 stars of the game stuff

  • Totally true. Meaningless game for the most part.

  • Greg

    Harsh on Ribeiro. He didn’t cost them the game, 23 – 4 shot differential in the 3rd did.

  • Michael McGraw

    Not that I ever want to see the Caps lose, but does Ottawa winning not make it MORE likely that the Senators will move up to the 5 spot and we would get a shot at the Leafs?

  • I dunno– I suck at this math!

  • JenniferH

    Your one-trick pony #analysis had me laughing out loud. Great job, Peter. Oh, Ribeiro, so not my favorite tonight. *sigh* What was he thinking? Neuvy did a great job, it just seemed like the Caps fell asleep a bit in the 3rd while the Sens woke up. Ovi’s goal was AWESOME-SAUCE all the way, though. Still, yeah, I don’t want to face them first either. We have not shone against them.

  • yv

    It is the most frustrating to watch how Caps playing with Sens and then to see satisfactory hairy smirks on the face of their HC. 3 games 3 losses and just 4 goals scored. I’m not sure how they will play with them in playoffs. The only excuse could be that Caps didn’t want to see Rangers so early. At-least, Ovi scored and leads by three now.
    And how about in real time overtime crashes by Jets. Firstly, Rangers, while loosing, escaped to OT and then scored OTGWG that clinched for them playoffs, and, secondly, minutes later OTT also scored clinching OTGWG, while Jets still playing and leading against Habs.
    Ribs not doing good job for his next contract. In playoffs such behavior would be extremely costly.

  • HockeyMom5

    Love the Oleksy/cold-cocking reference! I watched the play thinking, “did I just see that?”

  • I’m a big fan of the “Conclusion.”

  • yv

    As what’s happening tonight all 4 bottom teams (Tor, Ott, NYR and NYI) can be almost equally Caps opponent, especially considering that they will not play with each other in remaining games

  • troyerlaw

    NEED gif of Oleksy punch. that was hilarious!

  • Yeah, i dont take it too seriously, but sometimes they’re just waaay off!

  • Michael McGraw

    Blame Ribeiro for that too!

  • buck

    ribiero you turd

  • dave

    how did Nicky miss that shot?!

  • Puck was rolling on him! Tragic!

  • Manda

    When I heard the Game Misconduct for Chinmer at VC, I though it was for Alfie at first. He played the heck out of that Captain card.

  • Eric

    meaning less game??? tell the people who bought tickets to go see the game, I’ve spent a good bit of money for Saturdays game, i want to see production, meaningless in the standings yes, but c’mon we pay good money for hard work, not for fing things up in the last minute….however i loved oleksys punch need a GIf of that hilarious, and of coarse the MVP Ovi with that sexy old style do anything goal

  • List of NHL players with a lower body weight than Ribeiro’s 177 lbs: Steve Sullivan, Brian Gionta, Nathan Gerbe. WHY ARE YOU TRYING TO FIGHT?

  • I really hope we re-sign Neuvy. Like you said, he was awesome today and his other games were during the time when our defense was on Mars. I don’t think we should bring up Grubauer as the back-up for Holtby yet — he should play more in Hershey before he comes up. Plus, it’s hard enough getting good goalies for a good price, and we already have one, so why should we let him walk when we can re-sign him for a reasonable price?

  • Ruben

    I actually wouldn’t mind seeing the Sens in the first round. They were desperate trying to secure their playoff spot. We were like whatever we got 3rd bro. They took 41 shots and only got 2 by Neuvy (the game winner being on a 4 v 3) and we landed about 400 punches.

    I wasn’t too impressed by Ottawa tonight outside of their defense and I think when we’re on our game next week we can take them. Over confident? Mayyyyyybe

  • they didn’t score in the third, they scored in ot when they were up a man from ribs penalty.

  • Idiots really, Mike was 30 feet from the play before coming in and that’s why the penalty. Not the 1st time either, meaningless game for us but meaningless penalty as well.

  • maveric101

    Irrelevant. Nuevy stopped all those.

  • A lot of that shot diff is the result of being on the PK because Ribz was in the box.

  • If that penalty didn’t lead to us losing I think we’d be laughing about it, and praising it. I like that he did that he’s a small dude who doesn’t wanna be fucked with keep it up Ribs.

  • Yea, the Leafs are still a possibility. They have 1 game left, and Sens have 2, so if the Leafs lose and Sens get 2 wins (unlikely against Boston), they’ll get the 5th spot.