The most excitable man in hockey. (Photo: Greg Fiume)
The horse show or whatever is gone from Verizon Center, and the Caps are finally back. Good thing too. Friday night’s curbstomp in Philly got really ugly at the end there, and the handsome faces of DC made things all better.
Nick Backstrom scored the game’s first goal in a low-shooting first period, which is pretty much exactly how last game started. Florida’s Jesse Winchester scored on a breakaway in the second, but John Carlson answered back 36 seconds later thanks a lovely saucer pass from Michael Latta. Tomas Fleischmann tied it on a 4v3 with under 3 minutes left because ugh. Into OT we came, and into the shootout we went.
- Grabo with the greatest move of all time
- Barkov did the same thing
- Laich like salmon in the back of the net
- Huberdeau GLOVE SAVED NEUVY
- NICKY WON IT
Caps beat Panthers 3-2 in the shootout!
- The Capitals were in no apparent hurry in the first period. They put only 5 shots on net– one more than they mustered in Friday’s first frame. But just like Friday, they scored a goal. And just like Friday, it was from Nick Backstrom. Nicky has 3 goals in 2 games without Alex Ovechkin. There’s a hypothesis that shooting on a line is a zero-sum thing: every shot Ovi takes is one Nicky does not, so without Ovi Nicky must shoot more. I don’t think that’s entirely true. Backstrom isn’t scoring on volume; he’s just finding the net.
- On September 12th I wrote about how I wanted the Caps to line up. I had Eric Fehr in the top six. Since Ovi’s been out, Fehr has been with Erat and Backstrom. He’s got three points so far. I like him in the top six much more than the bottom six. You?
- Dmitry Chesnokov reports that Alex Ovechkin is expected to play again on November 5th against the Islanders. Remember, remember the 5th of November.
- Michael Latta‘s fight in the first period did nothing for me– especially in the wake of the ugly scene in Philadelphia. His perfect saucer pass to John Carlson, on the other hand, I loved completely.
- This was my favorite RMNB tweet of the year. You suck for not RTing it.
Marcus Johansson makes like Isildur with broken stick http://t.co/SNOwIlNZ0y LORD OF THE RINGS REFERENCE HAPPY SATURDAY NIGHT VIRGINS
— RMNB (@russianmachine) November 3, 2013
- The Capitals have killed 35 straight penalty kills, dating all the way back to the Ford administration. Due credit to the Calle Johansson for adeptness while a man-down, even if even-strength remains a problem. The Caps are certainly taking too many penalties however, and I think that’s both contributing to and the result of the Caps’ lack of O-zone time.
- I was pretty surprised Michal Neuvirth got the start after Braden Holtby’s 30-save shutout on Friday. Neuvy did very well tonight. Perhaps unwisely, I still believe he’s better than his .909 career save percentage. More starts will let me know if I”m truly wrong.
- The NHL seems to have a bunch of garbage moments lately. Krys Barch was out for what Mike Vogel called a clownshift in the third. That whole thing ended in Marcus Johansson catching a stick in the face. No one seemed to notice MJ90 clutching his face in pain as Barch was stealing billy goats and retreating back to under his bridge. Mojo looked alright, and played the rest of the game.
- Shots via ExtraSkater, yall
- Shawn Matthias blocked a Mike Green puck in the 3rd period, though perhaps not using team-approved tactics. The puck glanced off his facial region, and the glance part of that is important, as we’d probably be dealing with another one of those orbital things otherwise.
- Despite having Grabo “lugging the mail”, Jason Chimera‘s goal streak finally cracked.
- Heyyyy good to see ya, Tomas Fleischmann. Way to ruin my Saturday night.
The Capitals are back to .500! I’d personally like to extend a thank you to the billion bad hockey teams the Capitals have played so far. Philadelphia, Calgary, Edmonton, Florida– you guys rule. Watch your mailboxes for the RMNB Christmas card.
Okay, whatever. It’s Saturday night. You’re probably not even reading this. No one seemed to notice my primo twitter game tonight. I feel unloved. The only thing that loves me is hockey.
Thinking back on it, I’m really disappointed in the lack of a Caps-Panthers rivalry. After a trillion years playing in the Southeast, there’s no bad blood there– especially compared to Philly and Pittsburgh. Maybe it’s because the Panthers don’t have, ya know, fans. Wasted opportunity.
Don’t forget to set your clocks back. See you guys next week.
The most excitable man in hockey pic.twitter.com/Z4Rb9aZQc5
— RMNB (@russianmachine) November 3, 2013