The game can wait.

Washington Capitals Alex Ovechkin continued his blistering scoring pace tonight in front of the fifth most powerful man in America, Secretary of State John Kerry. Ovechkin showed off his own considerable might, scoring goal number 40 on a beautifully ugly backhand. He also should have gotten credit for an assist on Troy Brouwer’s first period goal. This is what secondary assists are for, people.

Let’s review.

First let’s take a look at Ovi’s only point — technically — on the night.

In the third period, with the Caps tied with Winnipeg 2-2, Karl Alzner blistered a shot on net from the point. Nicklas Backstrom, all up in Ondrej Pavelec‘s grill, managed to whack two rebounds on net. With a juicy rebound laying just outside the paint, Ovechkin swooped in and did his thing.

The league leader in goals gets another.

That wasn’t the only impact Ovechkin made on the game. Au contraire.

Ovechkin also walloped Mark Stuart with a big hit in the first period. The haters will say, Dude, he turned the puck over. Not impressive. Yes, but that puck went right to Nicklas Backstrom streaking down the ice, who got a shot on goal.

Then the figurative assist. A few minutes into the first period, Ovechkin wound up from the blue line and snapped an easy shot — for him — on net. But remember, this is Ovi.

Pavelec’s stick cracked in half.


Without the rest of his stick, Ondrej was unable to reach out far enough to poke check away Troy Brouwer‘s point-blank shot. Goal.

And that, ladies and gentlemen, is just another night from your captain.


Photo: Alex Brandon

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  • prut

    backy’s subtle hand pass on the goal 🙂

  • Shaun Phillips

    From Arctic Ice Hockey: “Brouwer Power! Troy Brouwer now has himself three goals at even strength in the last two games. Flipping the switch.” It’s amazing what happens when you remove him from his Black Hole Brother Laich. I am declaring Laich the anti-Brouwer. When they come into contact (on the same line), they annihilate any productivity they would normally have.

  • Eugene Chernov

    Another thing Ovi did was robbing Erat on the way to the long-awaited-seems-so-improbable first goal of the season 😉

  • Diller M

    I thought playing with a broken stick was a penalty, is that not true for the goalie?

  • Glenn Havinoviski

    And Holtby wins from the Holtby spot!

  • Olivia

    Erat had already scored once…for the other team. #fail

  • Hockey mom

    Joe B and Locker were talking about this. They said it is a penalty for players, but not for goalies.

  • Eric Schulz

    Yeah, apparently, the less Erat scores, the better. Oh well, at least we don’t have to worry about Forsberg providing top-6 quality play on an extra-cheap ELC. Have I complained about that trade recently? It feels like it has been 3 days since I pointed out how dumb that trade was…. Monumentally, by the way.

  • Adam Fink

    I only got to watch the third period of this one, but I thought Ovi looked really awesome. Hustle all over the ice and heads up plays

  • http://www.nhl.com/ice/page.htm?id=26286

    10.4 Broken Stick – Goalkeeper – A goalkeeper may continue to play with a broken stick until a stoppage of play or until he has one legally handed to him by a teammate. The teammate must hand the stick to him. He cannot throw it or slide it to the goalkeeper (this includes situations where the goalkeeper has lost his stick and a teammate is trying to return it to him). For a violation of this rule, a minor penalty for throwing the stick shall be assessed to the offending player (no penalty to the goalkeeper for receiving the stick).

    A goalkeeper whose stick is broken or illegal may not go to the players’ bench for a replacement but must receive his stick from a teammate. A goalkeeper may participate in the play using a skater’s stick until such time as he is legally provided with a replacement goalkeeper’s stick.

    For an infraction of this rule, a minor penalty shall be imposed on the goalkeeper.

  • Chris

    Remember that while Erat hasn’t scored in all those games we have won he equally didn’t score in all those games we lost. Considering where we stand I am not thinking that Erat scoring less is a good thing; though it worked out this time.

  • RT23

    Yes the trade was horrible but I think it’s time we stopped blaming Erat for it. He’s clearly putting in a strong effort and having a mostly positive impact. I think the scoring is probably a factor of pressing too hard but my hope is that he’ll have a good Olympics, score a few and come back here on fire. (I’m an optimist)

    That said, the irony of him putting one in our net is almost too perfect. Luckily it was in a win so no harm done.

  • Troy

    Preparing for the Olympics lol

  • Diller M


  • Eric Schulz

    My point was that if he’s scoring on us, I’d rather him not score at all. Joke.

  • Eric Schulz

    I NEVER blamed Erat, I’m just pointing out that he’s not the player GMGM thought he was, and Forsberg was EXACTLY the type of player this team needs.
    I would play Erat probably on the first line, honestly (I think 2nd until Grabovski got hurt), because he’s here now, no point in burying him just to spite GMGM, it just sucks that GMGM has no idea a) how to evaluate prospects, b) how to evaluate their trade value, c) how to evaluate the value of players coming to our team, or d) how to evaluate our team and what we need… hint: cheap players because of our cap problems (Forsberg: cheap; Erat: way overpaid), and defensemen, specifically a top-4 one (Erat: not a top-4 defenseman; using our best trade asset, a guy valued as the 2nd or 3rd best player in his draft class, to acquire a guy who DOESN’T fill any hole on our roster, even a secondary one… monumentally stupid. Losing a guy who will provide, minimum, two years of very good 3rd line play for less than a million before being a RFA… monumentally stupid. Both at once… wow, fired).
    I think I would have started the season with:
    Brouwer – Backstrom – Ovechkin
    Erat – Grabovski – Fehr
    Chimera – Johansson – Laich
    ? – Beagle – Ward
    something like that, because I’d’ve left Wilson in OHL.

  • RT23

    Eric, I wasn’t intending my comment as claiming YOU were blaming Erat but I can understand that you got that impression just because I posted it I’m response to your post. Yours just triggered the thought. I think there area by fans that channeled their anger at the trade against Erat I even did for a while. But he was just a pawn in this (OK, with that salary, maybe a bishop). And it’s clear from his effort on the ice that he is trying to make the best of a bad situation so let’s cut him som slack and even root for him and put the blame solely where it lies as you did so well in your response. I like your analysis.

    I think GMGM did some great work in the past but just like with players and coaches, GM’s often reach a point where it’s time to move on. That seems to have arrived for him.

  • Jalabar

    Forsberg wasn’t able to crack the Nashville lineup. What about someone who can’t earn a sweater in Nashville makes them ‘must-have’ for the Caps? Sure, he had a nice JC. Otherwise, Erat has been more valuable to the Caps this season than Forsberg would have.

  • Eric Schulz

    We have less than $200,000 in cap space, that’s the worst in the league. We have no ability to do ANYTHING because of that, and we are BARELY a playoff contender. We NEED low cap hit, talented prospects to replenish the roster. That’s Forsberg. We DON’T need high-cap hit guys who don’t raise the ceiling of the team. That’s Erat.

  • Eric Schulz

    Okay, just wanted to be clear.
    I’m not sure about GMGM; he’s done mostly some solid work drafting (mostly just adding enough high picks that he could take chances and hit on guys like Semin; his 2nd and later rounds are spotty, at best… and I’m not a huge fan of Wilson and Burakovsky over Teravainen and Erne, but time will tell… either way, it doesn’t look like he made bad picks, I just think he could’ve made better ones). But I didn’t like moving Pothier for Corvo, that seemed dumb and the results really didn’t change my mind. He’s done some nice work getting role players; really, his work at forward AND defense when it comes to drafting and signing is, mostly, good enough, he just can’t get that 2nd and 3rd pairing defender that we need.
    Even cutting Boudreau was defensible; I thought Boudreau was a great coach, and I have been proven correct, but it’s at least arguable that he lost the team, and that he needed to go. I’m not sure how much I believe that; I don’t recall having heard that from the actual players, so I don’t know.
    I just think his trades have been mostly bad, especially recently. Again, I don’t get that Forsberg trade; if I’m the owner, the GM can point me to the 3-year stretch we had as the best team in the league, and just point out that winning the Cup takes both skill AND luck; we just didn’t have the luck, partially because we had inexperienced goalies, but they’ve gotten better, and it looks like keeping them (Holtby and Neuvirth; Varlamov for Forsberg) was a solid decision, since you can’t really know if a goalie was out there that would’ve gotten it done. NOW, we’ve fallen off, but you could’ve pointed to bad luck with Laich and Green getting hurt (Laich wasn’t worth his contract, but again, it was defensible at least, and had neither he nor Green been forced to deal with chronic things, the Caps are, minimum, a playoff team) to blame, at least partially, for that, and point to a nice crop of young talent coming up, like Kuznetsov, Forsberg, Wilson, Burakovsky, Bowey, Carrick, Grubauer… and those are guys he’s acquired (drafted all, I believe). I would keep him on, as long as he continues to do a good (great) job of putting together talent and reloading with young talent, then we have a chance at the Cup. I don’t know why the Erat trade would HELP his job security, because our farm system took a hit from that, and we can’t even add any more talent to the team… and Erat wasn’t even what we needed (top-4 defender, obviously). And it’s not like Leonsis has shown himself to be impatient. I just can’t abide that trade, or the thinking behind it. Blows my mind.