A photo of the entire Capitals offense by Patrick McDermott.
The Capitals banged up the Philadelphia Flyers last time they met, but for a while this sleepy Sunday matinee rematch between looked like it would go another way. From the very first faceoff, the Flyers had control but then, in the third period, Green started a raucous rally and a couple of Russians kept it going. Epic.
On a first period power play, Alex Ovechkin put a lovely pass to Marcus Johansson to put the Caps up 1-0 (
UPDATE: Ovechkin has been credited with this goal. A two-goal game. UPDATE UPDATE: The NHL has reversed the reversal). ROFL hit up Claude Giroux from behind the net to tie the game before the first intermission.
The game got away from the Caps in the second. Mark Streit made it 2-1 Flyers after an unwise stretch pass from Carlzner to the top line found an orange sweater.
Sean Couturier got an impossible shot past Philipp Grubauer to make it 3-1 early in the third, and then Voracek deflected what looked like the dagger goal just 80 seconds later. Mike Green’s wrister found the back of the net with 8 minutes left, and then Dmitry Orlov scoarlov’d a one-timer after the faceoff.
I thought it was over, but then Alex Ovechkin- OF COURSE– scored during 6-on-5. That guy. I love him, but now I’ve gotta rewrite my recap. Overtime yielded no decision, so son of a– here they come…
- Fehr’s shot was stopped but then trickled in
- Grubi didn’t bite on Read’s fake
- Ovi blocked down the middle
- Girioux stopped it and swept it in with ease
- Backstrom ripped it blocker side
- Couturier blocked CAPS WIN
Caps beat Flyers 5-4 (Shootout).
- The Caps lineup was full of surprises on Sunday, so let’s start with those. Philipp Grubauer got the start instead of ace Braden Holtby. It did not go well, and I think that’ll be it for Grubi for awhile. Some speculated that Holtby was sick, but I knew better. Grubi has “the hot hand” (an awful myth), and the Flyers– ranked 22nd in shots– probably sounded like good matchup for an AHL goalie about to head back to Hershey. Plus, Adam Oates’s lineup decisions are just inscrutable. For example…
- With Mikhail Grabovski ill, Adam Oates selected Jay Beagle to center the second line. So Beagle is 2C and Martin Erat is 3C. There are two ways to think about this. I) Adam Oates incorrectly believes Beagle is a better center and better fit for the second line than Erat. II) Oates would rather keep his quite-good 3rd line unmolested than have three completely new lines. While I think the Caps are not very good at evaluating talent for their lineup, I choose to believe reason II. Regardless, you ask everyone worth their hockey salt for one way to improve the Caps lineup on Sunday and you’ll hear a Gregorian chant telling you to swap Beagle and Erat. That’s not to say the Beagle line was bad– they weren’t.
- John Erskine in. Nate Schmidt out. That Orlov dodged the bullet this time means something, but I’m exhausted from trying to guess what Oates is thinking in the last two bullets. I’m not reading too deeply into Schmidt’s exit; he’s made Green a better D-man and I bet he’ll be back.
- Erskine, who is healthy, was on the ice for two Flyers goals in under 13 minutes of ice time. He allowed the Flyers twice as many shot attempts (10) as his team put up (5).
- Personally, I was titillated by Alex Ovechkin‘s assist in the first period. Instead of an Ovi shot from the Ovi spot, Alex instead offered a deft pass to the slot, picked up by– well, someone– to score. I think the goal will stand with Marcus Johansson, but I also thought Spider-Man 3 would be good so what do I know.
- The Caps never really had the advantage in this one. The Flyers got the better of them from the first puck drop– winning on shot quality, possession, PunchCorsi, pretty much everything except special teams (the Caps PK was great). Until those final 8 minutes, this looked to be a huge letdown game of Shanahanian proportions. Oh, ME of little faith. I doubted Ovi.
- Seriously, Alex Ovechkin is still scoring crucial goals. It never gets old. He certainly doesn’t look bored with it. The aplomb is the bomb. His specialty act is the most special specialty act.
- The second line with Beagle instead of Grabo was pretty darn good, although Troy Brouwer is still snakebit. That suggests that Fehr ain’t just riding the coattails of Grabovski. I’m even more enthusiastic about that line once Mikhail takes his Tamiflu.
- This game had fights. I’m not gonna write about ’em because they don’t matter. I am gonna write about Spider-Man 3 though, because I’m a complicated dude.
- Michael Raffl had 3 assists, so I at least have to say his name correctly instead of just ROFL. Well played.
- As first reported by JP of Japers Rink, Nick Backstrom had a point in 9 consecutive Caps goals until the Orlov bomb late in the game. That is both sick and unbelievable.
- Michael Latta suffered a lower-body injury and did not finish the game.
- I hate the shootout.
I have rewritten this part of the recap three times now.
The Caps salvaged a very bad game. I had this whole spiel about learning lessons from defeat, but then the Capitals won– despite pretty much everyone getting smoked for 52 minutes. Carlzner got smoked. The top line got smoked. If Tom Wilson got more than 7 minutes of ice, he’d have gotten smoked. It was a smoke show. I don’t know what “smoke show” means.
But then Green stuck it to the haters, and Orlov continued to make his case.
And then Alex Ovechkin, who might as well get the Hart Trophy tattooed on his forehead, did the Captain thing. The specialty act had a goal and an assist. (
UPDATE: Nope. Two goals. Alex Ovechkin is amazing. UPDATE ON THE UPDATE: The people responsible for the previous update have been sacked.)
It’s like games against the Flyers are constitutionally incapable of being boring. When we thought all DC sports sucked– around 5:10– Alex Ovechkin must’ve taken a double whiff of smelling salts.
We need some more regularity, some normality, from the next Caps game. Let’s hope they play a boring team on Tuesday. Let’s check the schedule.
Welp. Okay, Xanax and chamomile it is.
After careful consideration, Georgia has decided to keep the fury leashed. pic.twitter.com/Nn8bMNK0B0
— Peter Hassett (@peterhassett) December 15, 2013