Shorties Galore! Caps beat Jackets 4-3 (OT)

Ovechkin hair cut - Patrick McDermott

Check out Alex Ovechkin’s buzzcut (Photo: Patrick McDermott)

The Washington Capitals and the Columbus Blue Jackets are division rivals now. Seeing as the last fifteen years of Caps rivalries in Southeast were pretty mild, that doesn’t mean much. Lumbus at Washington got off to a sleepy start, and by the time the pace picked up the Caps were already behind on the scoreboard. Some late-game dramatics from the summertime surprise we call Grabo got the Caps into overtime, where the Captain did his thing. You know how it is.

The first period happened and then it was over. I don’t remember much about it frankly.

The Capitals surrendered a shorty goal in the second as Troy Brouwer coughed up the puck to Brandon Dubinsky, who eluded Holtby’s poke check. Then Martin Erat fenced off the Lumbus D to set up John Carlson for a layup: tie game.

The Caps got their own shorty in the third when Joel Ward snatched up a hardaround and beat Bob. Lumbus locked it up at two as Jared Boll tapped in a long bomb. Mike Green and the top line gave Cam Atkinson a breakaway to take the lead, but Mikhail Grabovski tied it up using the mystical art of awesomesauce.

And then Ovi won it in overtime by crashing the goddamn net. Because he’s Ovi.

Caps beat Jackets 4-3 (Overtime)!

Shorties akimbo! That calls for a song.

  • Tyutin is a fun word to say. Tyutin. Kind of related: Fedor Tyutin is pretty good.
  • Tyutin. Heh. Still funny.
  • Brandon Dubinsky‘s shorthanded goal was the third the Caps have given up this year. They previously gave up shorties to Colorado and Winnipeg. The image of Dubinsky waltzing away with the puck will be the last thing Troy Brouwer sees before he goes to bed tonight and the first thing he sees upon waking up.
  • Martin Erat‘s effort on that second period goal was stunning. He entered the zone solo, locked horns with Dalton Prout, suckered Bob out of the net far enough to give John Carlson a clear path once he made a nigh-impossible pass.

  • Mikhail Grabovski got an assist and a goal , putting him at 17 points on the season. He has more points in 19 games than he had in 48 last season. We all knew it would happen, but GMGM put his money (okay, Ted’s money) where our mouth was. Props.
  • The second line (Laich-Johansson-Brouwer) got creamed in zone time. Seems to me those are good hockey players who add nothing to each other’s game. Considering the team’s performance in the last three, I can’t see how they stay together after this one.
  • Our Twitter account got bombarded after the Cam Atkinson goal. The tweeple seem to think Mike Green was at fault there. The tweeple are correct, but that was a tough play– bouncing puck and a forechecker with a lot of speed.
  • Steve Oleksy and Alex Urbom cannot be paired together. 4 out of every 5 shots they saw went towards the Caps net. UPDATE: It was only 3 out of 4– or 2 out of 3. Still awful. Less atrociously awful.
  • OVIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIII. It’s gotta be the hair. I love the Ovi shots from the Ovi spot– don’t get me wrong– but it doesn’t get any better than greasy goals from the greasy crease. Crash the net. Ovechkin had 6 shots on the game. Attaboy.
Joe B suit of the night: Return to Form

Joe B suit of the night: Return to Form

Okay, that ended well. Alex Ovechkin is the beat. Convince me otherwise.

But it’s really not a good thing for the Caps to struggle so much about against a team like Lumbus. Three years ago the idea of getting outplayed by the Blue Jackets would be absurd. Now it’s reality. Marinate on that for a second.

And so ends the easy part of the season. Red Wings, Blues, Penguins: that’s the next 7 days. In the mortal words of Samuel L. Jackson in Jurassic Park: Hold on to your butts.

  • Jack Conness

    I am happy we escaped with the W but I am going to be “that guy” and be real critical of some of the players tonight.

    Mike Green and Nate Schmidt need to get their head out of their ass. Awful play from them tonight. Ugly turnovers.

    I HATE to say this, especially since he scored the game-winner, but Ovi needs to put a full game together and stop being so streaky. He was non-exsistent all game. Luckily MoJo had a beautiful play to end it.

    Great games from Ward and Latta. Ward has been on fire all season and Latta is emerging as an awesome two-way forward.

    GO CAPS!

  • Pat Magee

    I like putting Tyutin and Tootoo on the same team in NHL 14 just to hear the announcer constantly say: “to tyutin, to tootoo” over and over again. Hours of entertainment right there!!

  • JessHughes

    Not just Green on the turnover, but really all night…all season? Is he trying to cover up an injury? He seems lackadaisical with his skating, stick handling and decision-making. Glad to see the boys get the 2 points, though. Go Caps!!!

  • dsume001

    props for the get up kids.

  • Justin

    Great effort tonight from everybody tonight… well, everybody but the 2nd line. Caps proved again tonight that puck possession is not a strong suit of ours, but great individual efforts from Erat, Ward and Latta helped us steal the W at the end. Great seeing Latta having such an impact on the Penalty Kill, I hope to see more of him out there.

    I think it’s now glaringly obvious that the chemistry of the 2nd line isn’t working and needs to be changed up. Sitting either Brouwer or Laich right now wouldn’t be a bad idea. What I can’t understand is why Oates would put that line out there for the last minute of regulation, after demonstrating their inability to maintain any sort of possession throughout the entire game.

  • dylan wheatley

    terrible game all around

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

    It’s hard to express how bad Laich-Mojo-Brouwer were as a line and Urbom-Oleksy were as a pair.

  • Red

    Sexy finish! Bald Ovi FTW.

    Ok, so that thing where the opposing team scores on us immediately after we do…you know what I’m talking about. Even though Adam doesn’t think much of it, we can all admit that’s a thing now, right? I hear the first step is admitting you have a problem. So lets acknowledge this ridiculous reoccurring event, isolate whatever is going on after we score, and STOP FRICKIN’ DOING IT!

    Mystical art of awesomesauce is also fun to say.

  • Graham Dumas

    A) I think on this blog we’re all “that guy.”

    B) Agreed on Mike Green (%$^#Y%!!!). Enough already.

    C) Disagree on Schmidt: I thought he played relatively well (not great, but well) except for that turnover in the third.

    D) Disagree on Ovi: I thought he did a great job offensively all game, but just didn’t have much to show for it until the end. Not so much on D.

    E) Ward continues to be excellent. Latta definitely showing signs.

  • Josh Carey

    I feel like Schmidt has gotten maybe a bit too much confidence. He’s really making some bad pinches and giving up turnovers that put him out of position. I decided to put some logic in this post instead of just saying #UnleashDima

  • Justin

    Oh, and Johannson’s great puck control in overtime to give Ovi to opportunity to SCOAR…

  • MuzzMuzzington

    On a Scale of Chimmer-Grabo-Wardo to Green-Schmidt, I would put them at an Erskine.

  • Justin

    Ovi tries to pull the toe drag in the offensive zone too much, in my opinion. 9/10 times it doesn’t work, but when he manage does get one by the D, it’s a beauty.

  • Graham Dumas

    We need alternatives. Moving 42-84-25 up to the second line is a start, but what to do about lines 3 and 4?

    43-90-16 on 3?
    20-21-24/46 on 4?

  • MuzzMuzzington

    Earlier in the season I thought Green might have had some illness because he just looked sluggish and tired. Now, I’m thinking he is playing hurt and/or trying to do too much.

    He isn’t using his ‘wicked wrister’ and instead opting for the clapper right into shot blockers after hesitating long enough for everyone to re-position for the shot block. Oh, and he seems lost at times. Can’t count how many times a puck is loose near him and he just stares at it waiting for someone else to get it, instead only having a fore checker pick it up unconstested.

  • Graham Dumas

    Hmm, that’s a thing. I hadn’t considered that. It frustrates me more that he’s still trying to charge into the zone with the puck, only to draw two or three guys to no effect.

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

    14 year old me says WHAT UP

  • Freedoooom

    You know what would be a nice alternative, trading Laich and keeping Perreault.

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

    42-84-25, as far as I’m concerned, has been the 2nd line– but they might have to get broken up to fix the REAL 2nd line.

  • RESmith

    This chart is could be a carbon copy of the last few games except Colorado. To me, it is not a system but the players taking their time getting their heads in the game. This team still has a long way to go. From what I’ve seen there are not buying into their assignments as closing up the gaps between the forwards and defense.

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

    Alright, lemme lay it out there.

    Green goofed, but that was a TOUGH ASS play. Whereas Oleksy and Urbom were disastrous on the ice in VERY little ice time.

  • Bob

    the win is great and everything but the inability to hold a lead is so frustrating.

  • RESmith

    I agree that they are 2nd line in everything but the name. They have been the most consistent line we have had all year and hopefully the break up of the Laich MaJo Brouwer line will have them only parsed out over the 4th line and a new third.

  • RESmith

    The latter “them” being Laich-MaJo-Brouwer.

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

    Heh. Oates called Chimera-Grabo-Ward “the first line” in post-game

  • Mike J

    Opens the door for Orlov perhaps?

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

    yeah but people wanna talk about it, so I’m happy!

  • prettygood

    Something has to give on that 2nd line. I’m guessing Mojo goes back to the 1st?

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

    I can’t see why not.

  • seandlax9

    That’s an awful idea, Mojo has done a 180 since switching back to center.

    Laich needs to sit and put Fehr in

  • dylan wheatley

    i don’t just mean for the caps either, i mean this was two bad hockey teams playing each other, badly.

  • prettygood

    and leave Erat on the 1st line that hasn’t had a 5v5 goal since that line has been formed?

  • KG

    Latta had his best game of the season IMO. Very solid defensively, especially on those late PKs. Just wondering, if you think they play him over Beags to justify the Erat trade? Beags was our top PK C the last 2 seasons, what gives?

    Great W by the boys.

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

    I love Erat-Backstrom-Fehr. Needs more time to gel, but it can work.

    Sadly, I’d split up Chimera and Ward, putting one of em on the second with Grabo.

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

    Latta was FANTASTIC.

    I dunno what’s up with Beags. He’s a great 4th liner, and he deserves a chance to play somewhere.

  • Matt

    While everyone else attacks the 2nd line and the defence, the first line has gone unnoticed. Erat-Backstrom-Ovechkin don’t have a goal together yet. It may just be bad puck luck, but something just isn’t working.

  • KG

    Agreed. Still can’t wrap my head around Volpatti getting the nod over Beags AND Fehr. If being a lefty is the only reason, then I guess that’s what makes Oatesie more qualified than I.

  • Freedoooom

    Take away the stupid bounces and the 1st line was fantastic. The only time they got stuck in the zone unfortunately ends up with a goal going off a CBJ players chest. Then of course the stupid bounce for the 3rd goal.

  • Matt

    WHERES OVI‽

  • KG

    How about:

    90-19-8
    10-84-20
    42-21-25
    24(Ughhh)-46-43

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

    I HAVE NO IDEA WHY I WROTE “FEHR.” I meant Ovi.

  • Matt

    I’ve been wanting to see Grabo and Erat together all year.

  • Priscilla Villanueva

    I missed the game! But sounds like it was a good idea. Ovi’s stache is also a good idea. looks awesome.

  • Freedoooom

    Really not sure why they didn’t call this one a trip. If there wasn’t a scoring chance it wouldn’t be a call, but he clearly kicks out Brouwers leg leading to a goal.

    http://i.minus.com/ig7o0aYMT7gzc.gif

  • Roman Z.

    Alzner’s horseshoe stash is coming along just fine … That is all!

  • Barrett

    Can we please find a decent defenseman to pair with Mike Green!? Preferably one that enjoys being a stay-at-home shutdown defender that likes to hit and stick up for his teammates.

  • Roman Z.

    I don’t understand why Laich/Johanson/Brouwer are the second line while Grabo/Wardo/Chimer are the third. That should be inverted asap.

  • MuzzMuzzington

    Oates can see why not!
    But he wont say why not!
    For when the chooses for not!
    The change will be made, not…

  • MuzzMuzzington

    Because Marc Joannette was officiating.

  • http://www.russianmachineneverbreaks.com Ian Oland

    Why hello there

  • Barrett

    stays-at-home. one out of five isn’t bad…i guess?

  • Barrett

    Just tossing it out there…explore sign-and-trade options for guys like Dion Phaneuf or Dan Girardi? They are both under 30 and in the last year of their contracts.

  • Anela

    I miss Fehr and would love to see him back in the line up. The 2nd line is just pulling it together, but I am madly in love with the Chimmer-Grabo-Ward line. The Ward goal was like magic tonight.

    Also, we need better passing and to stop turning over the puck so often.

  • JenniferH

    Erm. We won! Two points! GREAT Ovi pic. So, yeah.

    OK, I don’t know enough about hockey yet to know if any of those goals were Holts fault, or how he did tonight, but I’m thinking he didn’t do too hot. Ah well. At least we won. Yay. Two points, Lloyd!

  • William

    Lot of very poor defensive plays led to the goals against Holts. It’s tough to put a lot of blame on him for the goals.

  • William

    I can’t help but think of the movie “Fargo” everytime I watch the Blue Jackets play, lol.

  • William

    What’s up with all the love for Schmidt? He’s not ready to play the minutes he’s getting I don’t think. #FreeDima

  • JenniferH

    OK, well, that’s good to know. I mean, not good about our D, but good to know as a Holts-fan. Thanks

  • Dandyroller

    Caps seem too talented to be this weak a team especially puck possesion wiseIs. Is it true that ovechkin is weak in the corners? I just remember reading it on rmnbs comments. Considering how big and physically strong he is and good with the puck why is this so? Could someone hockey caps learned explain this to me?

  • sheena dunn

    I guess is Beags might be hurt…but again, that’s a guess.

  • sheena dunn

    HAHAHAHA! THIS just made my morning!!!!!!!

  • Christoffer Salo Salomonsson

    Maybe the last goal.. (not because goalies often take those, more because Holtby usually is very good at it..) its a one on one, but he missed with the stickblock.. and it looked like he knew it..

  • Rhino40

    Totally agree—I have wanted to see Dion Phaneuf rocking the red in DC for a long time.