The Washington Capitals apparently hosted the Nashville Predators to an exhibition game on Wednesday night. The Capitals won, reportedly, 4-1 and most of the talk after the game regarded Matt Hendricks and his return to DC, the fights, and something about Graboners (No, this will never be a t-shirt).
When I checked out highlights of the game this morning, my jaw figuratively hit the floor. Nicklas Backstrom’s goal– wow. It wasn’t so much what Backstrom did; it was what Alex Ovechkin and Marcus Johansson did to set it up.
Look closely at this second GIF. Marvel at it. (GIFs by welshhockeyfan)
Instead of initiating a board battle, Marcus Johansson flips the puck in the air towards Ovechkin’s midsection 15 feet away. Ovechkin raises his stick in less than a second and perfectly bunts the puck with the shaft of his stick to a streaking Johansson. Mojo fires it to Backstrom for a beautiful one-timer goal.
The goal begins at the 20 second mark.
The craziest part is– this appears to be a set play. As soon as Johansson passes the puck, he skates towards the net anticipating a pass.
This also isn’t the first give-and-go goal the first line has scored this preseason. Against Chicago last week, Ovechkin, John Carlson, Johansson, and Backstrom all combined in a beautiful passing to play for another easy score.
If you’re wondering how the first line is going to elevate its game this season, look no further than these two goals. I suppose having one of the greatest passers of all-time as their coach does have its benefits.