Feel the Swedish excitement. (Photo: Len Redkoles)
Sometimes hockey makes sense. Sometimes it doesn’t. File Capitals at Flyers under Column B. The Capitals stunk in the first period, defecated on the Flyers in the second, and then managed the s-show in the third. Let’s get into it.
The first period was one of the worst ever played by the Capitals …and then they scored. Nick Backstrom snagged a turnover and put a shot top-shelf to make it 1-0.
The second period was one of the funnest ever played by the Capitals. Joel Ward got the last touch on a series of swats he and Mikhail Grabovski lobbed to make it 2-0. Red hot Jason Aloysius Chimera combined speed and skill to roof a breakaway shot. Nicky Backstrom got his second goal of the night on what I’m not even sure was a deliberate shot attempt. A Joel Ward shot destined for the post somehow hit the back of the net, and then Troy Brouwer converted the power play.
Third period. Joel Ward. Hat trick. Amazing. Then everything got pear-shaped, which we’ll talk about below.
Caps absolutely demolish Flyers 7-0.
- I mean. I don’t even. What the. All of the. For crying out loud.
- Okay let’s start here. The Capitals did not attempt a shot on goal until Nick Backstrom missed the net 4:41 into the first period. The Caps didn’t make Steve Mason make a save until John Carlson put one on target at 15:05. The next shot on the net was a goal– a gorgeous one by Nick Backstrom. Here’s how your boy John Walton called it:
- There’s a player for the Flyers whose name is actually pronounced “ROFL.” Synecdochal. That team is a joke.
- I can’t really stress how bad that first period was. The Caps were hardly in the Flyers’ zone for the first three quarters of the period. When they actually were in there, the Caps were chasing down dumped-in pucks. The Flyers, who are a bottom-third possession team, owned the puck for 70% of the first period. From ExtraSkater:
- Okay, enough with trashing the Caps. I don’t know what happened during that first intermission, but I freaking LOVE it. The Capitals came out in the second like a team possessed. And also like a team with possession. Really since Nicky Backstrom‘s goal, the Caps had complete control of this game. Either that or the Flyers completely self-destructed. I’m not sure which. Let’s go with the one that makes the Caps look awesome.
- What is there even to say about Jason Chimera. He is become death. Don’t look directly at him.
- Steve Mason was chased from the net after 22:18. I’m just including this bullet so we have some kind of written record of Philadelphia’s goaltending misery. For our blog-reading posterity.
- Joel Ward recorded his first career hat trick. Reminds me of when Perreault stepped up last time Ovi was out. That third line, anchored by Grabo, is a freaking monster.
- The Flyers have Zac Rinaldo and Steve Downie. They’re a bad team and a dirty team, so what happened after Joel Ward hat trick goal, the 7th of the game, should be no surprise. What Ray Emery did to Braden Holtby is just pathetic. I’m seething here. The refs standing by doing nothing as a hockey fight turned into simple assault was pretty bad too. Luckily, Braden kept it together.
- Braden Holtby shut out. Eat that, Ray Emery.
Quick story. My buddy Johnny was the person who got me into hockey in the first place. Johnny brought me to games with him in the late 90s to watch rinkside as Chris Simon smeared dudes into the glass. We ate pizza and bedgrudhingly cheered Mario Lemieux on his final run. Together we watched Ray Bourque finally raise the Cup.
Johnny turned 30 last week, and he was at tonight’s game with his wife. The flood of pics and text messages from him reminded me of watching those games with him 15 years ago. If you’re reading this, Johnny, thanks for everything.
Ovi who? After a rough 15 minutes, the Capitals really stepped up. The Flyers played their typically shitty style of hockey, but the Caps kept their composure. Can’t ask for more.
Good game. See you tomorrow night.