Photo: Carolyn Kaster
The Washington Capitals wrapped up a week of tremendously unimpressive hockey with a stunning comeback win over the Phoenix Coyotes.
It started off great with Alex Ovechkin generating four shots in the game’s first six minutes, but the Caps couldn’t sustain the pressure, giving the Coyotes the puck and plenty of opportunity to pepper first-time Capitals Jaroslav Halak in goal. Down two goals with ten minutes to go, the Caps summoned up some magic they hadn’t used since last week: even-strength scoar.
Brandon McMillan struck first, catching Keith Yandle’s stretch pass while the Caps were making a line change. Radim Vrbata made it 2-0 with a power play goal that dwibblwed between Halak’s pads.
But then! Karl Alzner tallied goal number two of the season thanks to a feed from Eric Fehr, and then Brooks Laich tied it up thirty seconds later. Life back in Verizon Center, and then everyone’s head exploded as Backstrom gave Troy Brouwer a layup to put the Caps up from the Ovi spot.
This stupid team. This stupid, lovely team.
Caps beat Coyotes 3-2.
- I don’t mind deleting my whole recap and starting over from scratch with ten minutes to go. That’s the good kind of wasting time. Well done, boys.
- Like I said, the Caps started off nice with a lot of chances on a power play, but they were lost at evens. After the 6th minute of the first period, the Yotes got 14 shot attempts to the Caps’ 4. This team hasn’t been good at even-strength since last week with the exception of 30 glorious seconds in the third period.
- With that shutout-shattering goal, Karl Alzner ties his career best total in goals (two ). Your boy Karl has been upping his shot volume this year, and he’s finally getting rewarded for it.
- Some people blame Jaroslav Halak for the Capitals decline. While his very name still makes me a little queasy, these people are wrong. Halak’s hotness in 2010 merely got the Caps booted from the playoffs. The team’s reaction to that loss– what they did in the months and years afterward– is what brought the team down. Halak let up a pair on Saturday, one of them a slowly roller that he should’ve had. Oh well, he gets the W and he’ll get more before the season is up. Good goalie. Bygones.
- Brooks Laich– thank goodness his groin was feeling good tonight. After missing last “game” (still using scare quotes), Laich scored the tying goal and then participating in that excellent, clinching power play.
- No bygones for Mike Ribeiro, who did the Ribeiro move a few times tonight. You know the move, right? Get into the offensive zone, slow down play, don’t generate any shots, then turn the puck over. Looking good while doing nothing of substance. Quintessence of Ribs.
- Rob Klinkhammer. That’s a cool name. No content here, just wanna get that name out there.
- Did I hit my bullet quota? I don’t care. I had to rewrite this whole thing, and I had to delete a whole bunch of funny/sad GIFs. I’ll take what I can get. Ws over laughs every time.
I didn’t expect that.
I mean– I definitely expected the 5v5 suckiness, but I thought these were supposed to be the “mentally weak” Caps who can’t get up for games. Is that not the case? ‘Cause hell yeah.
Tomorrow’s snapshot is still gonna be brutal, but don’t let that overshadow this team’s achievement in the micro scale. They shook off a lot of bad vibes and offensive weakness in those final ten minutes. They squeezed goalmilk from some secondary scoring stones to squeak out a crucial rego win.
Remember this one. It might end up being really important come this time next month.
Pens up next. Plus, the new kid suits up. Should be interesting.