Tony Gutierrez

Photo: Tony Gutierrez

The Washington Capitals wrapped up the first week of the new season with a Saturday night date with the Dallas Stars. The Caps’ blistering power play kept on cracking, but the team looked aimless at even strength.

Alex Ovechkin did the power play thing, scoring the game’s first goal from his favorite spot. Following an unwise hard-around in the D-zone,  Star Erik Cole tied it up from the slot, and Alex Chiasson (playing in his 8th NHL game) gave them the lead on a 3-on-2. A late-game delay of game from Tyler Seguin yielded some excitement in the final minute, but no goal.

Stars beat Caps 2-1.

  • The power play glory continues and all is right in the world. Pay no attention to the 5-on-5 stuff. Unimportant details! Here’s your boy Walton calling Ovi’s goal:
  • Nick Backstrom seemed to get a greasy one in the second period, but it was disallowed. We didn’t get a reason for the wave-off, but Backstrom’s crosscheck to Kari Lehtonen‘s face may have been a factor. Maybe.
  • “You can’t do that.” That’s what the ref said when Shawn Horcoff got busted for hooking in the second period. I hereby declare this to be A Thing.
  • Joel Ward and Jason Chimera seem to be pals, and everyone likes Eric Fehr. Still, I don’t think Ward and Chimera have complementary skill sets and the third line suffers for it. Along with bad breakouts by the D, weakness in the bottom six seems to be contributing to the team’s overall weakness at evens; Oates doesn’t seem comfortable rolling his lines yet.
  • But seriously, 5v5 hockey seems to be a problem for this team. Playing down a goal in a largely even-strength third period, the Caps hardly mustered a shot on goal through 12 minutes.
  • How cute is this:
    ovi-skate-pass
  • Marcus Johansson did not agree with a hybrid icing call in the second period, but whatever. Refs won’t get every call right, but if the new rule stops just one Peake- or Pitkanen-type injury, it’ll be worth it in my opinion.
  • Ryan Garbutt. Heh.
  • Alright, get this: John Erskine chipped in on the offense, big-time. Erskine put 4 shots on net– some muffins, some cannons. Great to see the blue line contributing to the cause, but if Big John leads your team in shots, woof.
  • The ice in Dallas was a mess. The Caps spent a good portion of the third hemmed in their own zone, unable to get control of the puck enough to clear.
  • 0 shot attempts from Marcus Johansson. I’m leaning towards passenger, though word on the street is he’s entering zones like a busta.
Joe B suit of the night. Look at those colors. He's like a painter.

Joe B suit of the night. Look at those colors. Visionary.

I’m trying to withhold stat-based judgment on the team until they get a few more games in, but as good as Ovi looks individually and the man-advantage crew looks, Caps play at evens does not strike fear into the hearts of men.

The good news is that the Caps are off until Thursday and will have plenty of time to work on their even-strength play.

Have a great Saturday night, everybody!

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  • SuperOvi819

    How have you already written this?

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

    I’m dedicated to my craft.

  • CD

    Well, it deals largely with the even-strength problem. So this could’ve been written before the game started tonight.

  • H70

    I thought I heard “You can’t do that..”

  • Annie Lockyer

    I watched maybe four minutes of this game because BASEBALL and also recent history has taught me that the first eight games of the season mean jack. No worries.

  • OlietheGoalie

    I sometimes where we would be without Ovie. He’s dynamic about every single game, and beyond that the rest of the team is quiet.

    Deserving of the MVP for sure.

  • Derek

    Is everyone else suddenly ok with the fact that we are 1-2 and 2 of the 3 teams we have played are no where close to playoff caliber? Im really getting tired of the same old story here in DC where we rationalize playing bad year after year.

  • SuperOvi819

    The Backstrom non goal reminds me of the winter classic when Ovi had a goal disallowed for holding Fleury behind the net, but got no interference penalty for it.

  • yv

    Playing uninspiring hockey, losing points like this and barely missing lowly Flames, one can guarantee that sellouts in VC will end in the next 5 home games, unless some gimmicks, like spreading free couple thousands tickets to federals.

  • Freedoooom

    You’re only mention of Erskine is his shots.

    Should of mentioned he sucked and was completely at fault for both goals against.

  • Bobby

    My thoughts on the game: the bottom 6 forwards have to produce, the Defense is not good at all, and the starting goalie should be Nuevy

  • OlietheGoalie

    The sellouts won’t stop. This is the Caps. They’ve not done much in the playoffs in about forever and yet they still sell out.

  • Owen Johnson

    Because baseball? I’m sorry.

  • Annie Lockyer

    Ha I’d be more than okay with free tix for feds, but it’s waaay too partisan of a move for Leonsis – he won’t touch the shutdown with a ten foot pole. He won’t need to, anyway. Sellouts will continue.

  • Annie Lockyer

    <—— A's fan.

  • yv

    I’m on these games I can tell there are serious changes in attendance. 10$ for ticket is one of them.

  • Jim Kelly

    You should start a blog where you angrily rant about it.

  • Andvari

    As a lifelong Caps fan who’s aching for a deeper post-season run, this loss sucked. As a hockey fan living in Dallas yearning for the local team to make the playoffs, this win was great.

    At least I only have to go through the torture of desperately wanting both teams to win twice a year.

  • JenniferH

    Seriously, the fail on Five on Five is NOT good. And the defense is NOT good. Ovi and Holtby when he’s great in net (which he was tonight) and flashes of brilliance now and then from others players is not enough. Come on, Caps!

    And that Backsie lost goal sucked! We should have kept that goal and then given Backsie the penalty fine. But that goal happened BEFORE the cross-check. Harumph!

  • JenniferH

    And your awesomeness knows no bounds!

  • Dominic

    The stats don’t back this up, but it looked like the Stars made some adjustments after the first and we just got manhandled those last two periods. Holts came up big imo

  • yv

    Bring back MP85?! OT winner by him 5 sec before the end in Ducks-Wild game

  • pixiestix

    why did we wear the home jerseys today?

  • Ash

    Yes, I am okay with it. Because there are 79 more games to play, and 79 is a lot bigger than 3. But, you know, it’s always totally obvious which team is going to win the Cup and/or go deep in playoffs after three games into the season.*

    *Shut up, 2013 Blackhawks, no one asked you.

  • Dan

    How about mentioning that three of our six defensemen played less the 16 minutes the entire game? If we keep that up it is going to be a very very long season.
    Something needs to be done about the defense and lines, 3 games in I know but just because we stuck it out last year and things turned around doesn’t mean that will happen this year and I think Oates is betting on it.
    Fingers crossed he proves everyone wrong.

  • JenniferH

    Because the Stars wanted to show off their fancy new White Jerseys.

  • HarmCity

    We’ve been preaching to fix our defense for the last 10 years. Forgive me if I don’t hold my breath on that.

  • Rhino40

    Perhaps before your time…remember “Billyball™”?

  • Rhino40

    #ovikickpuck right on tape of Le Brooksi was–how you say?…”sick move”. Too bad a “distinct kicking motion” does not count, else he scoar 100 goal.

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