Photo: Rob Carr
The Washington Capitals wrapped up a weekend of early games by taking on the Philadelphia Flyers at noon on–
[NBC CHIMES DROWN OUT REST OF INTRODUCTION]
– my grandmother riding by on a bicycle giving me the finger, and a duck!
The Caps and Flyers are a resurgent rivalry that rarely leaves us lacking drama. This was no exception.
Dmitry Orlov capped off some great zone time by putting a one-timer past Steve Mason. Claude Giroux tied it up with an in-and-out goal that took 90 seconds of game time before the refs figured it out. Marcus Johansson got in the paint to deflect in Jason Chimera’s pass as a power play expired. Nick Backstrom won a scramble with Steve Mason, but the war room in Toronto didn’t have enough evidence to overturn the no-goal call.
Alex Ovechkin abandoned the puck behind the net during a power play, allowing Adam Hall to tie the game with a shorty, but no worries: Jay Beagle got a pass off Joel Ward to score from exactly zero feet out. Dmitry Orlov got his second goal with a nice little mudskipper of a shot from the blue line and through some traffic up front.
Jakub Voracek scored on a screened Holtby during Orlov’s five-minute major penalty and then set up Giroux for the game-tying goal with just over a minute left.
Vincent Lecavalier won it in overtime.
Flyers beat Caps 5-4.
(There was a Bailamos here, but I removed it.)
- At least that first period was fun. The Caps have a reputation for sometimes not being “up” for games– particularly early games. That wasn’t the case on Sunday. Philly got a couple chances in the first couple minutes, but the Caps took over after that. The Caps doubled up in shot attempts in that period 31 to 15. It could’ve been 4-1 after twenty minutes. If you need an excuse to get excited about the Caps, there you freaking go.
- Today Marty Erat got his 17th even-strength assist and Marcus Johansson got his second even-strength goal. Erat is second in assists, third in close-score possession, and probably on his way out of town. Johansson, meanwhile, gets the best linemates and lots of power play time. Both are good players, but they way they are treated (and talked about) is so ridiculously out of whack.
- This should have been a goal.
In addition to woefully mismanaging their goalies, the Flyers are also known for playing scumbag hockey. With both Zac Rinaldo and Steve Downie in their ranks, they’ve elevated dirtbaggery to an art form. For example, Downie either tripped or slewfooted Ovechkin in the first, then sent Erskine to get stitches in the second with a high stick into the boards. Ersk demanded satisfaction in the third period, roughing up Downie during Orlov’s five-minute major.
- In the midst of his best game as a professional, Dmitry Orlov completely ruined it. Seemingly cranky after a hit from Brayden Schenn, Orlov returned fire with a dirty hit. Orlov hit Schenn’s numbers and got some airtime, earning a totally justified five-minute major for charging. Just dumb, dumb, dumb. Dumb and dangerous. The Flyers scored just once on the ensuing penalty, which is probably due to some great work in net by Holtby.
- Orlov’s five-minute major kind of makes that “scumbag hockey” bullet above a glass houses kind of thing, doesn’t it?
- Braden Holtby was amazing. The Caps didn’t do a good job limiting the Flyers’ chances in the second period, forcing Holtby to make some ridiculous saves. Here’s a taste. I hope Ryan Miller has a blast in St Louis because the Caps already have their franchise goalie.
- The NBC broadcast was kind of excellent. Last night’s Stadium Series game meant that we got the B-squad. They had insight– Adam Oates’ opinion of Tom Wilson, Braden Holtby changing his style– and the presence of mind to credit Alex Ovechkin for a great backcheck once John Carlson allowed a breakaway for Philly. On the other hand, there were all those NBC chime sound effects for storm warnings that drowned out the audio of Brooks Laich’s pre-game interview. And when Nick Backstrom had the puck during a second period power play, he was literally under the radar taking up the bottom-right of the screen.
- Alex Ovechkin had a wild game. He was shooting like crazy in the first period, but generally struggled during evens. Then there’s the whole “left-the-puck-behind-the-net-so-the-Flyers-could-get-a-shorty” thing. Not sure what to make of all that yet. I was hoping I could say the Caps can win even if Ovi doesn’t score, but… ya know… they didn’t.
- Jay Beagle got the greasy goal, but Joel Ward‘s sneaky pass to set him up from the crease was pretty clean. Ward doesn’t really get credit for having soft hands, but in the middle of his career season, it’s pretty obvious he’s got the moves.
The Capitals should be ashamed. They had the rego win, and they wasted it. Once again, they blow a multi-goal lead. Instead of seizing a playoff spot, the Caps remain on the bubble.
This is a crisis. There should be a war room meeting somewhere. The Caps need to hire Olivia Pope & Associates. Blowing leads is dooming this team. Today it ended their winning streak and cost them a playoff spot. The team just plays wrong. I’ll put the Fenwick timeline in the comments and you can go, “Oh yeah. That’s the exact moment they went into a shell and completely undid all the good work they did in the first 40 minutes.”
Ugh. This team is capable of being so much better, and it’s just dumb stuff– easily solvable stuff– costing them wins.