Ovi and the Great Eight Hundred: Caps beat Bruins 4-2

Michael Dwyer

No idea what is happening here. (Photo: Michael Dwyer)

March and its steady trickle of tough games began on Saturday with a matinee match-up against the Boston Bruins. Alex Ovechkin, perhaps still seething over his loss at the hands of Finnish goaltender Tuukka Rask, was terrific (again), but the Washington Capitals needed more than their captain to win this one.

Ovi scored from the Ovi spot in the first period, then ripped a terrific shot from above the circles in the second. Both goals came on the power play. Joel Ward went Rambo-style, scoring unassisted with a backhand on Rask. Boston struck back with a nifty powerplay goal by Patrice Bergeron and a lucky deflection off Mike Green’s stick. Eric Fehr got his own breakaway and beat Rask to make it 4-2 midway through the third period.

Caps beat Bruins 4-2!

  • Even before he scored, it was clear Alex Ovechkin was motivated. He fired three shots in his first couple shifts and looked head-and-shoulders above every other player on the ice. 9 shots for number 8.
  • And then there’s the whole 800 career points thing. Not. Bad.
  • Both Marty Erat and Mikhail Grabovski missed the game due to injury. Erat’s lower-body injury belied anyone who said his trade value could not get any lower earlier in the week. Put another way:

  • Just an exhibition of bad officiating today. Jay Beagle got busted with a weak holding call to join Tom Wilson in the box, but Boston was unable to score on the two-minute five-on-three. Zdeno Chara’s stick broke, but big Z complained to the ref to get Backstrom punished for it. Then there was the mysterious matter of the first period ending two seconds early. Amateur hour by Rob Martel and Francois St. Laurent.

  • All season long the Caps have been struggled to prevent breakaway chances. Saturday was the opposite as Boston was the one with the holey D. Ward got through on his own, Eric Fehr scored on that great third-period breakaway, and Ovechkin set up Brouwer on the rush for what could’ve been a real flashy goal if not for Tuukka Rask.
  • Based on Adam Oates’ adjustment in the third period, it seems like Brooks Laich‘s time on the top line is over.  Marcus Johansson reclaimed his old spot. I kinda liked what Laich brought to the top line, but neither he nor Ovechkin can or should carry the puck in neutral.
  • When John Erskine is good, John Erskine gets credit. John Erskine was good today. Loved that pokecheck during the 5v3.
Joe B suit of the early afternoon

Joe B suit of the early afternoon

Don’t look now, but the Caps are streaking.

Missing two of their best players in Erat and Grabo, the Capitals got an important win against a Cup favorite. And they did it by combining a leading effort from their captain with some secondary scoring.

There’s a lot more trouble coming on this schedule, but if they’re playing like this, the Capitals might surprise some tough teams.

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  • Jack Conness

    I definitely thought this was one of the better games for the Caps this year. A win IN regulation IN Boston. That is pretty big. Yet, Iam still worried about this team. They played much better today but they are still pretty one dimensional, relying on the power play and Alex Ovechkin.Without Ovi, who knows where these guys would be. Hats off to him for another marvelous game. He finished the game with two goals and a minus one. The world hates him.

    The defense was also a little shaky again. I don’t know if anyone else saw this but Orlov had an absolutely awful shift sometime in the 2nd. He couldn’t get the puck out of the zone. And once again, too many mental breakdowns. Dumb penalties and dumb mistakes. Blowing this huge leads is not acceptable. They can’t keep doing this if they want to make the playoffs.

    Regardless, it is a big W. I hope they can keep this going. Go Caps baby!

  • capsov

    And Admiral won!

  • JenniferH

    I wasn’t as worried as much as others about the tough road trip because I’ve noticed that the Caps tend to play to the strength of the team they’re playing more often than not. Obviously that’s not the bestest thing ever, but there you go. And this game (as well as their play against the Panthers) kinda showed that I might be onto something.

    They were pretty awesome tonight. Great game, dominant and our defense was actually pretty dang good. A well-earned two points. Go Caps! Great showing by Ovi, Holts and the rest of the Caps and it was really nice hearing that there are only 2 other teams that have such a high number of double-digit goal-scorers actually.

  • Rob W.

    Such a big win and confidence booster for the boys, hopefully we have some legs left for tomorrow. So happy for Ov and his 800th point, just sucks Jagr has to steal his moment by scoring his 700th goal

  • Freedoooom

    Hot mic after the game ended on GCL, JoeB does not like Twitter. He dropped a couple F Bombs, he does not like Twitter.

  • Rob W.

    does that mean Kuzy’s team is outside of the playoffs right now?

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

    oh yeah?

  • Myan

    I was really impressed with our resiliency today. I was worried coming out of the 2nd INT that the flood gates would open for Boston but we stayed calm and Fehr took it to the #bank when he got the opportunity. Big win. These next two games vs Flyers are going to be crucial. LET’S GO CAPS

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

    Hahaha “Admiral”

  • Mike Reppenhagen

    My oh my what a quality win. Great contributions up and down the roster led to a team that just looked legitimately good against one of the toughest teams to play. A lot did not go their way but they never felt out of control of this one and I could not be happier.

    Now do it again tomorrow and get back in that coveted third spot!

  • Tadd

    Isn’t this kinda, sorta what we’ve been looking for, longing for, all season long? 4 in a row, secondary scoring and some solid, compact defense? As good as the B’s are, especially at TD Garden, they didn’t make much fuss in front of Holtbeast. One PP goal, one lucky goal.. and then what? Pretty much nothing.

    This was one of the best efforts I’ve seen this team do this season.

  • JenniferH

    I disagree when you say — relying on the power play and Alex Ovechkin because of the 4 goals, only 2 were power plays and only 2 were from Ovi. The other 2 were from Ward and Fehr and even strength. And I was struck by Joe B. saying that only 2 other teams have more players that have more players who have 10 goals or more on their team. So obviously we actually DO have a team that is pulling more weight. I think it’s just that Ovi is SO phenomenal in the goal-scoring department that he sticks out.

    I thought our defense was pretty dang good. We stifled the Bruins. We kept them locked down for the most part. I was very happy with our game. Sure we made some mistakes, but that’s going to happen. This was a good game and a good number of Caps players did what they needed to do to get us the win.

  • Freedoooom

    Have a audio hosting website to suggest, I’ll post it.

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

    can’t go wrong with soundcloud!

  • Jack Conness

    Don’t get me wrong, I thought the Caps looked a lot better. One of the better games this season. I just still have my worries. It was one game so it isn’t much of a sample size but without Ovi carrying this team early, where would they be? They rely so much on him and the power play. When they encounter a team that shuts him and the PP down, they are in some serious trouble.

  • Chris Cerullo

    I thoroughly enjoyed that game. All 4 lines did an absolutely great job on both sides of the ice. All of the defensemen had their best games in a long time. I thought particularly the 3rd line was spectacular and Holtby was solid all game long. This is the kind of effort we need for the rest of the year. Maybe we should just always play at 1 in the afternoon lol?

  • Freedoooom

    https://soundcloud.com/simplysensational/joebhatestwitter

    Hilarious woman in the background is telling him to stop talking.

  • Chris Cerullo

    I think it needs to come gradually. Today was a very good start against a very good Bruins team.

  • Josh Carey

    Yes. Traktor is now one point back with two games to go. Admiral only has one game left.

  • Myan

    HAHAH you’re a hero to us all, Joe B! “Did we just feed NHL Network?” LOLLLL thanks, Freedoooom!

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

    Noble comeback effort by the Bs. Fehr’s goal stemmed that. Probably less of an “insurance” goal than we’d think.

  • johnnymorte

    Now that Miller’s off the table, I hope GMPH wakes up and realizes that we need another good shut down Dman on our roster. Girardi, Tallinder, and Nikitin are undervalued UFA’s who are all good candidates. Now would also be a good time to dump Brouwer since he’s on the up and lock up Grabo before his value skyrockets.

  • yv

    For last 7 years, every March Ovi successfully leading and pushing Caps into playoffs. Tomorrow’ win against Flyers should stimulate GMGM to bring some real help before trade deadline.

  • Chris Cerullo

    I really didn’t think the B’s were that dominant like the chart shows. Thought we did a good job in the crease and letting Braden get good looks at everything. Normally we’d have completely collapsed but I thought we did a good job recovering after it went 3-2.

  • ChrisN

    The banes of Boston Strike Again. Ward-o and Fehr somehow always manage to score on them. Way to go boys! Keep it up!

  • riggorules

    Wow, looked like a competent team playing a smart road game, unlike the clown rodeo Thursday in Florida and for much of the year. Even their untimely penalties were just soft, to bad, calls.

    Forgot how much I hated Marchand. Don’t think I’d like him even if he was “our” team pest. Yuck.

  • JenniferH

    Then lets talk about that problem in those games is how I feel, I guess. That didn’t happen in *this* game. We didn’t rely on Ovi or the PP only in this game. Maybe we will tomorrow, maybe we won’t. I’m just really, really happy we didn’t today and that is what I’m focusing on right now because it got us two very much needed and very much well-earned points.

  • OVECHKING

    The caps are a terrible even strength team. All the stats are out there to prove this. Look at how the goals were generated tonight at even strength. Both goals were monumental (no pun intended) collapses by the bruins in coverage. When was the last time the caps have generated consistent offense from a cycle game or extended zone time of more than 5 seconds? Its very rare. Jack is 100% correct in saying the caps rely to much on the PP. This is a trend that started since oates has taken over and has not stopped. In the playoffs when teams make adjustments, the caps will need better Even strength play. What they have shown up till now will not cut it.

  • OVECHKING

    You need to look at the bigger picture. The ways the caps play is not a recipe for post season success. Being narrow minded / short sighted only opens you up to heart break and disappointment in the playoffs.

  • JenniferH

    I get the bigger picture, but I personally feel that only looking at the bigger picture when your team is not the bestest is a recipe for not having the best fandom experience and I like to enjoy my fandom experience.

    I thought they had a great game so instead of focusing on when when they do suck, I don’t see the point in looking at the things they DIDN’T do in this game that sucked that they normally do. They did a great job this time around so I’m gonna enjoy the exception to the rule of late and enjoy my fandom. That’s how I roll. I know the heartbreak is coming, so I’ll enjoy the joy now thank you very much. :)

  • OVECHKING

    That’s your opinion. I rather enjoy breaking down what the team does wrong as to understand the who/what/when/where/why a team is struggling or failing. So at the end of the day, I’m not sitting here wondering what went wrong or oblivious to the fact that a general manager who has had a job for 17 years is incapable of building a winning team.

    Just FYI, I predicted the Caps would win tonight and that had nothing to do with the caps, but rather I watched the sabres bruins game on Wednesday and saw that they were still trying to find their structure and discipline. The caps appeared more focused coming out of the break.

  • Matt Lauer

    I agree. Lots of perimeter shots along with other forms of low-percentage shots. I’ve been tooting this horn for a while now.

  • Langway

    I noticed that cluster from Dima too, it was almost comical. But overall I thought he had a strong game, I like his hustle.

  • Dave

    How could you forget about hating Marchand?? Hating him is the first thing I think of when we play the Bs…

  • ErskSMASH

    RMNB giving ersk credit!?!?!? IS THIS REAL LIFE???

  • Amykins

    So, can we have some fun and photoshop this? I suck at photoshop, but I know some of you are geniuses at it.

  • Simonezero

    Didn’t see 2/3’s of the game do to 3 stars brewing, missed a good one I guess. I should stop having player favorites, if only I’d remained impartial no one would be hurt.

  • Owen Johnson

    Admiral won, but what about AK Bars?

  • Ben

    Girardi is no longer a FA. Got extended. 6 years 33 million

  • Eric Schulz

    Bad news: gave up another 2-goal lead. Good news: we had a 3-goal lead!

  • Matt

    …you used a picture from a bruins goal as the header…

  • Hyusis

    Joe B. looks like a doozer!

  • Hyusis

    Wait…Not a doozer, a gelfling getting its essence drained.

  • Owen Johnson

    The Caps need to pretend they’re playing the Bruins every game. I think we have their number.

  • Lawrence

    For some reason I just can’t picture Joe B cursing haha.