“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.
- 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.
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.