Holtby Nearly Perfect: Caps beat Oilers 4-1

Derek Leung

Photo: Derek Leung

The Washington Capitals got their road trip off to a rocky yet successful start in Winnipeg on Tuesday. The hope was that the Caps could feed at the trough of Canada’s weaker teams to kick off their jaunt and maybe get back to .500. No better team to feed on than the Edmonton Oilers.

Alex Ovechkin wrapped up a sleepy first period with his 10th goal in 10 games: a quick wrister off the faceoff. Joel Ward crashed the net in the second to tip in John Carlson’s shot from the blue line. Nick Backstrom finished a great series from Ovechkin and Johansson early in the third to make it 3-0. Native son Jason Chimera wowed his family and friends with a gorgeous skill goal in the final 10 minutes.

Justin Schultz got a garbage goal in garbage time to bust up the shutout.

Caps beat Oilers 4-1!

  • There has been a goalie culling in the NHL lately. Pekka Rinne, Tim Thomas, Cam Ward, Henrik Lundqvist: they’ve all gone down to some extent in the last two weeks. Which reminds me: Protect Braden Holtby.
  • It’s a good time to have a site named for Alex Ovechkin. The Great Eight is on a red-hot streak– the hottest of his career. But Ovi isn’t scoring like a madman just because he’s getting  lucky (though his shooting percentage is a bit above his career average), it’s because he’s shooting more. Like we’ve been saying for actual years, Ovi’s enthusiasm to shoot and SCOAR MOAR GOALS is what makes him a generational talent. He’s shooting tons this season. Add to that the tactical edge from Adam Oates’ coaching, we’re looking at something special. Let’s all promise to enjoy it.
  • Here’s your boy John Walton calling goal number 10 for player number 8:
  • The Capitals had kismet on their side for most of the game. The Oilers had some golden chances that they fanned or rang post. This game could have gone very different with a couple of centimeters here or there. Well, that and Braden Holtby.
  • I like it when hometown boys do well in front of family and friends. Edmonton native Jason Chimera worked hard in the paint to help tip in John Carlson’s shot, but it was Joel Ward whose touch counted. Chimmer wouldn’t let that stand so he scored one solo a period later. Good on Chimera, who has not been lady luck’s favorite Caps player in recent years.
  • The common denominator in those two goals above? Mikhail Grabovski. Grabo can make even the third line scoar. This freaking guy.
  • Body doubles: Dallas Eakins and Peter Quinn from Homeland.

body double

  • The Caps were modestly outshot by the Oilers, which is worrying, though the Caps held a lead for most of the game. Possession is still the team’s biggest problem– or perhaps it’s merely a symptom of a defense that is still in a malaise.
  • I was hoping Tom Wilson would have a big night considering I made a video wishing him well this morning. Wilson had a few shot attempts– one of them quite nice– but he also gave up a bad penalty and was stuck in his own zone more than any Caps player.
  • Washington’s top line hasn’t been known for producing much at even strength so far. For that reason, let’s all pay extra-special attention to the skill and savvy that created Nick Backstrom‘s goal. Great pass by Ovechkin, inhuman pass by Johansson, sturdiness by Backstrom.

  • Braden Holtby was oh so close to his first shutout of the season, which would have been a mammoth task given the Oilers’ effort. While they didn’t put a ton of pucks on the net, a bunch were dangerous and a few more rang the post. The Caps D still hasn’t worked out the kinks, but Holtby bailed ‘em out for 58 minutes until Justin Schultz beat him five-hole. I’m sure little Benjamin Hunter was very disappointed. Don’t get down; Holtby has definitely turned around his early-season slumping.
Joe B suit of the night: lil bit of gold

Joe B suit of the night: lil bit of gold

Something about Alberta, Canada, just agrees with the Capitals. They didn’t even need the power play to win this one. The Sunday stat snapshot is gonna look real nice.

The Caps are back to even on the season, and they’ve still got a ton of potential to improve. On the other hand, Washington’s schedule is gonna get a lot harder next month.

Chris Gordon will have you covered on Saturday night’s late game against the Flames. I’ll be at a wedding in Canes Country. I’m gonna wear a vest to honor my main man Adam Oates.

  • William

    Solid Game for the most Part! Edmonton Sucks though

  • Maddyjl

    Can we please get a gif of Holtby prodding Perron in the crotch with his stick? Please oh please oh please someone get on this right away; that is a gif we all need in our lives.

  • dylan wheatley

    those two post rings in the second were both to the outside; neither was going in.

    i liked the possesion strength when oates relaxed and started rolling his lines in the third, i thought it was the best period of caps hockey i’ve seen so far this year. also, weirdly enough, i wanna single out volpatti as a dude i was impressed with tonight.

  • dylan wheatley

    also, peter’s title for this update was almost definitely written up as “Holtby Perfect”, so we can all blame him and not palm restaurant.

  • Freedoooom

    You guys got to tweet this out its freaking hilarious: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Xv5oVLN3iyE

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

    nope nope nope nope nope nope

    it was “Holtbest for the Holtbaby”

  • dylan wheatley

    ahahahahah

  • Red

    Most complete game of the season. My favorite thing is how well our boys
    recovered on defense from last game. Oates must have some real
    authority behind the bench, which is really encouraging. This is the
    kind of win that gives me a lot of hope.

    Holtbeast and Oleksy stood out tonight.

    I wonder how many Pitlick jerseys Edmonton sells…

  • JenniferH

    Good game by the boys. I thought the defense was noticeably stronger. Holts was not left out to dry. Ovi is just on fire or en fuego. Backstrom and Chimmers scored beauts! Possession was better. And the whole team was just clicking, working together, keeping the other team from, well clicking and working together. I like watching this team way more than I have the team from the last few games. Keep it up, boys! Keep it up!

  • https://twitter.com/Haddaweezy Holy_Cal

    At what point do we begin to start rooting for 50 in 50?

  • holtbysaidno

    “They’re gonna put him in the box for that?” haha

  • scrubversive

    “Is that red hair on him? No wonder he’s getting his… arse kicked.”

  • OlietheGoalie

    Funny, I was just thinking that last night. Ovie ain’t no #99, though.

  • https://twitter.com/Haddaweezy Holy_Cal

    Mike Bossy was no #99 either… Although still great.

  • Grahammm39

    On the Body double,
    He looks much more like the Inspector on Broadchurch

  • Mike.Honcho

    Those dudes sound drunk. ha-

  • holtbysaidno

    How could you, Peter? Shinny told you what would happen…

  • Alex Erchov

    Peter, you’ve got the body double all wrong. Dallas Eakins is, in fact, David Tennant (Doctor Who)
    http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/3/31/2009_07_31_David_Tennant_smile_09.jpg

  • Alex Erchov

    who is also the “Inspector on Broadchurch”, as Grahammm39 mentioned