Caps Jets 5-4 (SO), the Second-Period Ovisplosion!

Jonathan Kozub

“In the shower I use a water-activated gel cleanser, then a honey almond body scrub, and on the face an exfoliating gel scrub. Then I apply an herb-mint facial mask, which I leave on for ten minutes while I prepare the rest of my routine.” (Photo: Jonathan Kozub)

The Capitals finally got the heck out of Dodge following a miserable homestand. The first game of their road trip found them in frosty Winnipeg, where the Capitals hoped to rid themselves of the gremlins in their defense and get an easy win from a soft opponent.

Haha. As if.

We were goalless until Mikhail Grabovski broke the tedium four minutes into the second period, sweeping a rebound home. The Caps swiftly surrendered that lead on a shorty by Bryan Little. To make junk worse, Andrew Ladd tipped in a Grant Clitsome shot just 70 seconds later. Luckily the Caps still have one guy who can deliver this season: Alex Ovechkin got two late in the second: a breakaway and a set play off the faceoff.  Call it the Ovisplosion. Of course, Blake Wheeler knotted it at 3 goals apiece before the buzzer.

Troy Brouwer put then Caps ahead again in the third period, taking a Jedi pass from Nicky Backstrom right up in the kanooblian paint. Little got his second of the night a bit later as the Caps were unable to escape their own zone.

Into overtime we came and went without a result.

Shootout bullets!

  • Wheeler had nothing for Holtby.
  • Grabo musta left the smooth moves elsewhere on his attempt.
  • Little’s attempt got kicked away.
  • Ovi couldn’t get a nibble from Pavelec.
  • Ladd beat Holtby stick-side to put the dirty Peg up.
  • Nicky B had a sneaky delay to tie it up and send us into extra rounds.
  • Jokinen wasn’t jokining with a sly five-holer. (Sorry.)
  • Brooks Laich roofed it, so kept on going.
  • Setoguchi got a low one on Holtby.
  • Troy Brouwer roofed it, so we kept on going.
  • Evander Kane got denied as the puck rolled on him.
  • Marty Erat, the man, WON IT!

Caps beat Jets 5-4 (shootout)!

  • Odd-man rush is the name of my next stomach ulcer.
  • The Capitals defense has been awful so far, and tonight was the worst example yet. I had been trying to be coy about this, but I’ll just say it: I don’t like how Calle Johansson organizes the D. That said, Mike Green‘s flub leading to Little’s goal had nothing to do with systems and everything to do with bad choices. He made a soft pass in a dangerous spot and then played some la-dee-da defense instead of breaking up the shorthanded chance.

  • Remember that guy over the summer who said the Caps were a mess because Ribeiro left and something called Corsi-out? He also said the Caps D was their biggest remaining problem. This is how bad stuff is right now: that dude was right.
  • Tom Wilson fought a guy. I don’t care. Maybe some people still think that his fight contributed to the game, but those people are wrong. On another night, I’d be all let’s agree to disagree / I see why you might think that / let one hundred flowers bloom, but tonight sucks and so do those people. Fighting might make fans feel excited or something, but it doesn’t help win games. It’s a sideshow. Wilson is sideshow Tom. Or at least that’s what I’m gonna call him until he adds some forward to his supposed power forward status.
  • 3rd liner Mikhail Grabovski scored a wonderfully dirty goal to get the Caps going. According to your boy JP, Grabovski, who plays on the third line and not the second line, scored the team’s first two road goals at even strength. Of course Grabo, 3C (not 2C or 1C), was also on the ice for the breakdown that led to Wheeler’s goal at the end of the second. Grabo plays on the third line.
  • Goodness gracious, Alex Ovechkin! Just as the game was getting away from the Caps, the Great Eight wrassled the sumbitch to the ground. Two goals in under 200 seconds– both of them fancy. Alex Ovechkin is back to the top of the league’s goal-scoring race. His shot totals are on pace to be record-setting. He’s your team’s Captain, dammit. Now, I’d like you to listen to John Walton call those two second-period goals:
  • Braden Holtby would be totally justified if he kirked out on his teammates after the game. He faced 30 shots in just the games forty minutes. His skaters positively effed him over– both Little goals and the Wheeler goal were just the result of atrocious defense. The goals against count belies how excellent Holtby was in his duties at MTS Centre. If I had to work that hard at my job, I’d quit and do something easier. When the Jets fans began chanting Holtby’s name, I thought to myself the more fitting taunt would be to chant the names of every other Washington player on the ice.
  • Known Caps-killer Evander Kane got just a single assist on the night, but he was Winnipeg’s best weapon, leading the team in shot attempts. Kind of like how Semin went to the team he was best against, I have all these daydreams about Kane playing for DC.
  • Big ups to Marcus Johansson for taking the advice of our blog, and presumably other people too, and actually putting some rubber on the net. I was worried that Johansson shooting would require that Ovechkin’s totals drop, but that hasn’t happened yet. We may see a multi-dimensional offense on that top line yet.
  • John Erskine and Mike Green got little or no ice in the third and OT. Once the chaos dies down, we’ll figure out exactly what’s going here, but this seems to be a– WAIT THAT’S ORLOV’S MUSIC
  • Marvel with me, won’t you, at the nastiness of Nick Backstrom‘s moves before Troy Brouwer’s PPG. Maybe he meant to hit Johansson, I dunno. Whatever, it worked.

Joe B suit of the night: variety is the spice of life

Joe B suit of the night: variety is the spice of life

This isn’t about me. Well, this paragraph is about me. I spent most of the afternoon doing tech troubleshooting– through the first period and into the second. It sucked, but Grabo got a goal before the call was done. As I finally hung up– without having resolved anything (thanks Microsoft), Winnipeg got its shorty. I was defeated: a hungry, cranky dude– and the Caps’ play was doing nothing to help as Clitsome/Ladd got their goal. I threw up my hands, eff this ess, and I ordered some wings from the restaurant around the corner. As I bit into the first wing: Ovi happened. I must have eaten five more before he got his second goal two minutes later, because hey, I was hungry.

I think what I mean to say is this: hockey is crazy, you guys. Ups and downs like my blood sugar. And your blood pressure too I guess.

Like I said, somewhat scatologically, the Caps have some issues to work on. Too many wins (okay, just two) have required the coin toss of the shootout decide. We admit Oates has made some adjustments to his lines, and they are definitely an improvement, though I still doubt they’re fully optimized. The defense, on the other hand, is an ongoing fiasco. It’s a mess. It’s an oil spill in a forest fire during a sharknado at a bar on the day before Thanksgiving with a fake ID. Adam Oates’s number one job is to fix it.

His number two job is to tell me where he got that vest. Because daaaaaaamn son.

  • Priscilla Villanueva

    No alcohol! it dries the skin.

  • Buck

    whats a “defense” ?

  • Henrik

    Am I the only one who thinks that Holtby should freeze some pucks when his guys are tired and not just throw them out there when no one expects it? 😀

  • William

    What a game! Screw defense, it was a lot of fun. Clutch game from Holts, Nicky b, Brouwer, Erato, etc. ton of fun

  • Chris Cerullo

    Mike Green wake up sir. Defense was mighty bad tonight.

  • Hindsight is everything. They gave up a goal after one of those plays, so yeah, maybe not a great move. I think he wanted to get the eff out of that period.

  • Quinn

    woooohoooo!!! Classic Cardiac Caps, an awesomely accurate alliteration.

  • Brouwer Rangers

    Definitely think Nick’s pass was meant for Brouwer. The reverse angle shows it better as TB20 was charging and NB19 put it on the spot. (Not to take away from NB19s sick setup play, but that reverse angle also showed Brouwer with a nice skate-to-stick-to-net move to finish it because Brouwer Pouwer.)


  • Brouwer Rangers

    Oh nm TSN’s main angle there shows it all. CSN had a tighter shot there I guess. Carry on.

  • Jared

    Does Ovi drop a couple of F bombs on Canadian TV after that Brouwer goal? Are they allowed to air that on TV up there? #ThingsLessConcerningThanTheCapsD

  • Josh Carey

    I count three. Good work.

  • dylan wheatley

    that was a badly played game, gmgm

  • PittGrad

    Excellent use of “kirked out.”

  • StickyIckyNicky

    Nicky is now expecting his second child after that dime to Brouwer.

  • bwahahahaha

  • Chris Cerullo

    I could assemble a D core that resembles what was on the ice tonight. Good to get the win though.

  • J

    American Psycho reference was perfect

  • Matt

    Mojo’s first 7 games: 3 shots. The last 2 games: 7 shots. Someone has definetly been reading some blogs.

  • THANK YOU. 20 minutes and you’re the first to acknowledge it!

  • Freedoooom

    Do not agree with the praise of Holtby.

    After the Little breakaway coming out of the box, Ovechkin right by him signifying that there is 4 forward out hold on to the damn puck, instead he throws the puck out with no warning which ends up turning into penalty to Wilson.

    Then on the 3rd goal against, instead of freezing the puck onces again, he skates out lobs a puck with his glove hand that was a suicide pass the puck got out, but came right back in because players were tired specifically Ovi and MoJo, thankfully Ovi got off before he got the minus.

  • yv

    And nothing about first-time benching of MG52?!

  • Matt

    If you get 47 shots against you’re gonna make some mistakes.

  • It’s in there, but we didn’t know why he wasn’t playing until 25 minutes after this was posted.

  • Red

    As a stand-alone game, this was fantastic. Within the framework of any kind of future success….not so much. New game feature unlocked!: Unlimited odd-man rushes and shots on net!
    Tons of talent, zero consistency.
    P.S. Erat’s jailbreak has been tremendous!

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  • Alan

    how the hell is one game his fault?

  • Capitals Hill

    I think Joe B was extra excited about Locker’s choice in ties

  • MuzzMuzzington

    Did Greener get sick or something? He looked absolutely awful out there. That whole short-handed sequence had me shaking my head like Dale Hunter. BAD, BAD BAD. Lame whiff of a pass to nobody with no starch on it, then just goes full pylon mode and does nothing.

    Urbom is definitely an upgrade over Erskine. Big John is just too dang slow and doesn’t have the amazing vision and positioning to make up for it.

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  • joeDc55

    Great analysis and good read. Go caps!

  • maveric101

    Or listening to their coach.

  • Ben Reed

    Plus I think he rang the crossbar?

  • jennrubenstein

    i don’t know which part i love more, the “the Great Eight wrassled the sumbitch to the ground” or the this:

    also, for those of you not expecting christian bale’s ass: you’re welcome.

  • maveric101

    Regardless of whether or not fighting makes any difference, why do you get so worked up over it, going so far as to insult people? The players involved in the fighting are obviously fine with it. The coaches are obviously fine with it. The owners are obviously fine with it. If they actually wanted to, teams could ban fighting individually. But they don’t. Everyone who actually has any real stake in the effects (positive or negative) of fighting is fine with it. I don’t see what the big deal is.

  • chronic traumatic encephalopathy

  • maveric101

    And? The players accept the risk, as I said. If they want to fight, who are you to stop them?

  • Ash

    I hope this didn’t aggravate Ian’s recovery too much!

  • CTE is different from brain damage, though it is a type of brain damage.

    I am a hockey fan. I am a person with loved ones who have suffered from CTE. I am a person with loved ones who have suffered TBIs. I am a person with loved ones who have had substance abuse problems.

    Are the players fully informed of the risks? Are the players making their decision free of factors that may reduce their agency? If yes, why is it marginal NHL players (who have the most to lose when sent down) who do the most fighting?

    And I think you’ll see that I’m not stopping anyone from doing anything. I’m writing. An opinion. On a blog. That’s not exactly fascism.

  • I definitely felt like I was going to barf a few times during the game for a multitude of reasons.

  • maveric101

    > “It can be due to direct injury to the brain, or illness remote from the brain.”

    In the context that you’re using the term, it’s brain damage.

    > “Are the players fully informed of the risks?”

    I’m sure you agree that they’re aware that risks exist. If they don’t bother to inform themselves about the risks their activities put them in, then that’s on them.

    > “Are the players making their decision free of factors that may reduce their agency?”

    Doesn’t matter. They’re still in full control of their decisions.

    > “And I think you’ll see that I’m not stopping anyone from doing anything. I’m writing. An opinion. On a blog. That’s not exactly fascism.”

    Are you not aware that “who are you to ____” is an extremely common phrase, and not one meant to be taken literally? Or are you just up to your usual lame tricks, trying to pick at every little corner of a comment to try and sway the opinions of the lesser-minded?

    Lastly, please tell me, when did I accuse you fascism?

  • Cee

    If you’ve got a problem with the way Tom Wilson’s playing the game, maybe consider looking at the coaching staff and management who decided that the best way to develop a 19-year-old who was still working on figuring out his offensive game was to give him minimal minutes on a line that has about as much offensive threat to it as John Erskine shooting from the far blue line. For whatever reason, they seem to be fine with him fighting rather than being an actual forward. It’s not like he’s not trying out there, either, seeing as he’s had more shots on net than Beagle and Erat combined and nearly as many as Johansson, Chimera, and Ward, despite getting the fewest minutes of any player, and he has the same (0.0) shooting percentage as half the team…including the entire defensive corps.

    I’d definitely rather see him playing his actual game, like he was in Plymouth, but crapping on him for doing pretty much the only thing he really can do at this point to feel like he’s making a difference to the game just makes you sound kind of petty.

  • dylan wheatley

    an excellent question.

  • brian!

    YES! I was going to post that! His line about aftershave is one of my favorites. Try working it into casual conversation and see what happens.

  • brian!

    From Wikipedia:
    Four months after Boogaard’s death, two enforcers, Rick Rypien and the retired Wade Belak, died as well. Rypien, who was also in his late 20s, committed suicide. The 35-year-old Belak’s death was described initially as a suicide but family and friends say it was accidental. Both had also suffered from depression and substance abuse, like Boogaard.

    Comfirmation on Substance abuse:

  • riggorules

    I, for one, would like to read more insight on the (unimpressive) CalleJo defensive formula. Did Jim Johnson get better results out of similar players because the forwards were so conservative?

  • maveric101

    Your citation adds nothing to this discussion. Everyone knows that brain damage can lead to bad things, depression and resulting substance abuse among them. That’s not what I’m arguing. But because Peter mentions these “loved ones” with substance abuse problems separately from the ones that suffered CTE, I’m going to make an educated guess that CTE was not a factor in those cases.

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  • Alex


  • (Are you just catching on now that I’m petty?)

    I’m on record about these three points:

    – I don’t blame Wilson.
    – I do blame the coaches and management.
    – I continue to hold out hope that he can become a worthwhile player and not just a thug.

  • maybe, probably the blog though

  • “Lastly, please tell me, when did I accuse you fascism?”

    You didn’t, but you said I pretended to be in some kind of position of power to tell people what to do. I’m not. I’m sharing an opinion.

    Listen, your points are fine, but if you don’t know about the connection between NHL fighting and drug abuse, I don’t think we’ve got enough of a shared understanding to have a valuable conversation.

  • Bryan Egan

    I like to dissect girls. Did you know I’m utterly insane??

  • Rhino40

    To those who would criticize Holtby for giving up 4, I say unto you:

    The goals against count belies how excellent Holtby was in his duties at MTS Centre.
    …um, well, actually it’s Peter who says this, but I agree 100%: IMO Holtby did not allow any soft goals in during regulation/OT, and without him in net the Caps could have been blown out. All 4 of those goals were either screened shots, backdoor plays, or deflections that left young Braden with no chance to stop them.

  • Rhino40


  • maveric101

    Yeah, probably. I heard Mojo’s closet is half full of RMNB t-shirts.

  • maveric101

    Did you happen to skip the bit I wrote RIGHT above that? Here, I’ll quote myself:

    “Are you not aware that “who are you to ____” is an extremely common phrase, and not one meant to be taken literally? Or are you just up to your usual lame tricks, trying to pick at every little corner of a comment to try and sway the opinions of the lesser-minded?”

    Do you understand what I’m saying there? Please answer this directly.

    Of course I don’t think you have any actual power over league rules. Why the hell would I? Given that, I would never accuse you of practicing fascism with regards to the NHL, because you have no opportunity to do so. However, one could possibly argue that your viewpoint is fascist. I don’t see the point in sticking a label on it, though. I just think you’re wrong.

    “Listen, your points are fine, but if you don’t know about the connection between NHL fighting and drug abuse”

    I’ll quote myself yet again from a comment of mine in this very thread:

    “Everyone knows that brain damage can lead to bad things, depression and resulting substance abuse among them.”

    Your move, Hassett.

  • My move? This isn’t a duel.

    I think your argument is poorly constructed, poorly stated, and filled with innuendo.

    I’ll just go about my day if that’s alright with you.

  • Stew

    Awesome write-up! After the game, I wondered if the headline for the article would be something like “jailbreak” given the lack of D. Calle Johannson’s recommendations today must be fairly basic…”Hey, we should play defense sometimes, too…No? Too soon? Too soon.”

    It’s too bad no one pointed out that Grabo is on the 3rd line, though.

  • Pat Magee

    I knew Mike Green was gonna have a bad night when i saw Bufuglyan skate right around him for a chance. It was a hiccup, but seriously, keep him with Alzner!

  • Thanks

    And now that you mention it, jailbreak would’ve been a better headline. I coulda used the Thin Lizzy song. Damn.

  • maveric101

    As far as I can tell, the great majority of your retorts consist simply of taking common phrases and idioms, and interpreting them literally. What’s worse is that you KNOW the obvious intent of these statements, but attack them anyway to make it look like you’re winning something. You’ve also avoided almost every direct question I’ve asked you. You ought to be a politician.

    Likewise, I’m quite certain you understand the crux of my argument perfectly fine, and you’re simply lying when you say otherwise. You said above that my points are “fine.” But I’ll amuse you:

    I believe that fighting in hockey is fine. The risks are pretty well known, and any organization or individual hockey player can easily educate themselves on these risks, and it is their responsibility to do so. Also, no person or organization is literally forcing these players to fight. If a player is willing to risk his health in the hopes of improving their hockey career, whether the motive is money or competitive success, that is their decision alone, and they alone must accept the consequences of their actions.

    Is that good enough for you?

  • dylan wheatley

    are you some kind of libertarian or something

  • Charlie Jackson

    Long time reader, first time commenter … This blog is more fun when it’s about fun.

  • I’ve moved on

  • maveric101

    I believe in people taking personal responsibility for their actions. I’m not a political person, but you can call me whatever you want.

  • maveric101

    No surprise there. I didn’t use any idioms for you to pick on.