21 Years Later, Caps beat Sharks 3-2 (SO)

BackstromGoalSharks

Photo: Marcio Jose Sanchez

There we were– at #RMNBParty6, pretending like we knew how to recap a game when really we had spent 87% of the night discussing World of Warcraft and prom dresses. Somewhere in the middle there we watched a hockey game between the Washington Capitals and the San Jose Sharks. The Sharks are and were a great team, but the Caps had a certain degree of scrappiness– a certain I do not know what– to buck 21 years of losery.

The Caps kicked it off with a goal attributed to Joel Ward Eric Fehr though technically an own goal. Then Patrick Marleau struck back. James Sheppard put the Sharks up, but the fourth line did good to tie it in the third. That was Chris Brown’s first career goal.

Overtime yielded no decision so the game went to the shootout.

Kuznetsov scored. Fehr did not. Backstrom sunk it, ending a 21-year losing streak in San Jose and taking 5 of 6 points from a California road trip.

Wow. Holtby, am I right?

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  • CAPSnOS

    FOOOOOOOCK YEEEEAAAAAAAAAAAHHHHH~~~~~~~

  • CAPSnOS

    on my 8th beer and all i can say is… POUR IT ON CAPS!!!!

  • Eric Schulz

    Fehr, not Ward.

  • CAPSnOS

    On Chris Brown goal, i was in the WC due to the beer. and i was thinking. there is no way, they can score while i am taking a WC break… and then i come back. there are sharks sprawled all over the ice and CAPS celebrating…. i need more beer pi$$ breaks… GOOOOO CAPS!!!… GET TO PLAYOFFS…. AND MAKE NOISE!!!

  • Jack Conness

    Totally wish I was at #RMNBParty6. Anyways, AWESOME WIN! Five of six points on this road trip is just great. Much more than I ever imagined. About damn time Ovi was left off the shootout. Awesome game from Holtby and congrats to Chris Brown on his first NHL goal! He probably wishes it was a little cooler than that though lol. Let’s win some more games and make the playoffs here.

  • Bugs Fire

    Was worth staying up for this.

  • CAPSnOS

    F THAT… MAKE NOISE FOR THE NEXT 10 GAMES!!!!!

  • Eric Schulz

    On the flip side, pretty sure the reason Ovie was left out of the shootout is because he’s hurt… so that blows.

  • Kyle Reid

    I love the lack of Ovi in the shootout. Even if Fehr didn’t score it gave me hope. Also, how the hell can the Sharks play by play guys, people who have seen the Caps twice, realize Wilson is better than the 4th line but Oates can’t?

  • Sam

    You guys play WOW, man we should have an RMNB guild if there isn’t one already

  • Alex Hughes

    Can we have RMNB Party #7 when the Caps play Minnesota up in St. Paul…. a place we have NEVER won

  • Eric Schulz

    In Oates’ defense, it’s because there’s a logjam; Ovie, Brouwer, then Ward… hard to bump any of those 3.

  • Alex Hughes

    No he is just terrible at the shootout

  • Bugs Fire

    If Caps have showed this much determination whole season long, they could have clinched playoff berth by now. I mean, is this the same group of people that lost those Buffalo games? Same team that allowed nearly every shot from Wild go in? Same team that repeatedly blew 2-3 goal leads?

  • Eric Schulz

    Yeah, but we have known that for some time now… but Oates hasn’t recognized it until now? Or is it just that Ovie is hurting, and Oates realized he had to go elsewhere? I HOPE it’s the former… um.. yeah, let’s just leave it at that.

  • Matthew

    Best. Recap. Ever.

  • Alex Hughes

    Look Holtby had a great game but Halak is still a lot better and still should be and will be the #1 for the rest of the season.

  • Jared

    That moment when a comment is longer than the recap #RMNBParty6

  • Eric Schulz

    Except he’s not a lot better, and goalies are better when they rotate vs when they play every game and get worn down, it’s been proven with stats and stuff.

  • Alex Hughes

    I think Oates just finally realized that Ovi and the shootout don’t mix and he just made the change.

  • CAPSnOS

    POUR IT OOOOOOON FOR THE NEXT 10 GAMES CAPS JUST LIKE I AM POURING ON BEER!!!! AND THEN TEAR EM UP IN THE P WORD!!!!

  • Alex Hughes

    I’m not saying start him every game with no rest, I just think Halak will still get a majority of the starts.

  • Eric Schulz

    Nice to have Kuznetsov. Wilson is better, Penner is a great addition… losing Grabovski hurt, and we certainly went through a rough patch there… Erskine isn’t playing either…

  • Eric Schulz

    I don’t think anybody disagrees with that. I don’t know if we have any intention of trying to keep Halak; I’m just fine with letting him go and rolling with Holtby and Grubauer next year, if that’s the plan. But yeah, Halak’s been just fine so far, and if he keeps playing as well as he has, and our defense keeps it up too, we have a chance.

  • Bugs Fire

    True. Here is a weird scenario – Leafs and Red Wings collapse, and Caps take Atlantic division wild card behind Jackets. They beat Bruins in first round (I know, but it’s just a *scenario*), while Habs beat Tampa. Of course, then Caps lose first two games in Montreal…

  • CAPSnOS

    agree %1203… they were playing REEEEALLY well. WHY NOW? WHO CARES! DON’T MAKE IT TOO LATE. MAKE IT GETTING ON A ROLL BEFORE THE P WORD!!!

  • Chris Cerullo

    Not really if he wasn’t obsessed with handedness

  • Yo8

    Ovi sucks at the shootout? Well, that’s something you wouldn’t have heard 7 years ago *sigh*

  • Chris Cerullo

    Hope the party went/still is going great. Really awesome win. Unfortunate that all East teams are hot. Still have a lot of work to do.

  • Josh Carey

    What was the over/under at #RMNBParty6 for number of times between OT and shootout someone uttered “If Oates puts Ovi in the shootout…”?

  • Alex Hughes

    So when is this Ovi-Nicky-Kuzya line gonna happen, Jay Beagle just isn’t a skilled enough center to play with him or Mojo

  • Matthew Kory

    Of course you realize this means RMNB has to hold parties every game night during the playoffs, right?

  • Eric Schulz

    Honestly, even then…
    Penner – Backstrom – Ovechkin
    Kuznetsov – Johansson – Brouwer
    Chimera – Fehr – Ward
    that’s what I’d do with the lineup, with Johansson replaced by Grabovski when he gets healthy… who do you take out?

  • Roy Schue

    Oates has been giving Wilson more shifts. It seems he’s been getting around 10 minutes instead of 7 lately

  • Chris Cerullo

    I guess the addition of Kuzya and Penner does create a logjam but what was his excuse for the other 3/4 of the season?

  • Eric Schulz

    Unless you want to roll with Kuznetsov at center, with Brouwer and Wilson on his wings… I don’t know, maybe… seems like we want to shelter Kuznetsov a bit, but maybe he would be equally as bad at faceoffs as Johansson, and it wouldn’t make a difference…

  • Bugs Fire

    Sharks announcers were strangely clueless. I think they were shocked that Ovie was not on the shootout list. It was also funny how they pretended to care that Sharks did not clinch playoff spot tonight, as if there is some doubt they will very soon.

  • Begemot

    Pretty sweet! Caps defense on the first Sharks goal was infuriating, but I was happy to see Fehr in the shootout, even if he didn’t score (and he had a great game overall). I wasn’t expecting 5 of 6 from the trip. Well done!

  • Simonezero

    You’re damn right, Holtby.

    Also, I missed discussing wow? Damn.

  • William

    Maybe if we do more RMNB parties the caps will win more #justsaying

  • Josh Carey

    OATES WAS SO CLOSE. I was yelling at my computer watching it. He threw Kuzya-Beagle-Ovi out there in the second a couple of times. I thought it was about to happen, but that’d make too much sense.

  • Eric Schulz

    I understand his reasoning as far as wanting to shelter him, at least a little bit.. but yeah, I don’t know how you can’t find him more minutes. Really, that’s my biggest problem; he could’ve started on the 4th line, just get the 4th line more minutes. Especially when two of the 4th liners were Erat and Wilson (not Volpatti though… not Volpatti).

  • Eric Schulz

    I think that’s too much skill; with Grabovski, I prefer top-6 of
    Penner – Backstrom – Ovie
    Kuznetsov – Grabovski – Brouwer
    without him, I feel like maybe that makes the team too top-heavy. Maybe in OT, those 3 and a defender?
    I prefer a guy like Penner with Backstrom and Ovie to be physical, win board battles, do the dirty work, screen… and forecheck. Totally agree that Beagle with Ovie is killing us though. I’m not sure about Johansson… if we insist on breaking up Backstrom and Ovie, I’d see if Penner and Johansson could work, and have Johansson play center. Maybe that would help him… Johansson used to be a much better player, I don’t know why he’s become so ineffective recently.

  • Catherine__M

    Statistics say you’re 100% correct.

  • Brittany

  • Josh Carey

    I don’t think he’s hurt, nor lost his enthusiasm, as much as I hate to say it, he’s played 8 years of “hit everyone hard” and go 100% at all times. He’s still a great player, but he’s not a quick as he was 4-5 years ago.

  • C Breezy

    Can anyone explain how we snagged this Chris Brown guy in the trade? His AHL numbers are fantastic and it seems like he was kind of a throw in in the Erat deal. Am I wrong? Maybe he was actually the piece we really wanted considering we traded away Kesla and the other acquisition was a mid-round pick.

  • Eric Schulz

    He was the piece; Klesla was a piece that Phoenix wanted to move to clear out his contract.

  • Josh Carey

    I don’t know who’s better, but I found myself a lot more confident in the shootout with Holtby there. He seems to live for those moments.

  • jatt19

    Big problem is Oates doesn’t want to break up the chemistry the 3rd line has going

  • Myan

    I hope the boys go out after this one. They will have deserved it! What a way to end the toughest road trip of the year!

  • Eric Schulz

    Yeah, but the last 2 or 3 games he hasn’t been as good. Again, with those linemates, it’s hard to tell. If he had scored 2 goals in the last 3 or 4 games, maybe I don’t notice… could just be nothing. But that move after he left the box with seconds left in the game.. would’ve expected something better… that’s not the only thing, just the most obvious.

  • Bugs Fire

    True. But there certainly were games this year when I just wanted to throw stuff because Caps seemed so indifferent. They might have lost all three California games (and by stats they should have) but we could all have been proud of how they fought against the odds. I just have trouble reconciling this with, say, Buffalo games or blown 3 goal lead against Devils.

    In my mind, this is where Oates needs to change his attitude. Yeah, I agree that if you just play right, you will eventually get the wins you deserve. It’s a beautiful mirage of a team that never changes pace and wins eventually by doing right things. But I do not want to watch that, or I would be watching German national football team instead.

  • Troy

    stop….. but don’t stop ;) haha would be great, of course Holtby would have to be in net for games 1/2 in Montreal, of course

  • Kyle Reid

    For sure which is why I believed at the beginning of the season that, no matter how much Wilson deserved to be in the NHL, he should have stayed in the OHL. He is much better than a 4th liner and if we knew he would be there all year why bring him up?

  • Roy Schue

    I would like to see them try to sign Halak…I think him and Holtby would make a dynamite 1a and 1b. While Gruby would be our emergency guy. If we go with just Holtby and Gruby, we have no depth in case of injury.

  • http://twitter.com/1bscarbro Benjamin Scarbro

    I only learned two things tonight.

    1.) Caps CAN beat the Sharks in San Jose
    B.) Peter LOVES Bud Light Lime.

  • Eric Schulz

    Yeah, we did the same thing last year (although much earlier in the season).. not sure why we fall flat for too long to begin seasons… would hope that maybe Oates and Johansson are coaching better, learning things, and the players are more comfortable with what the coaches want… but I’ve thought that many times before just to be disappointed. We have some nice young players, which bodes well for the future… we’ll see.

  • Kyle Reid

    Which is good but it has taken him far to long to do it.

  • Josh Carey

    If he doesn’t net a 5v5 goal on Tuesday, he will go a month+ without getting one. I really think that putting him with Kuzya/Nick, two incredible playmakers, could produce a lot from him. He’s not good at lugging the puck, and obviously Beagle isn’t either. He loses a lot of board battles which is why I don’t think he and beags are good together.

  • Alex Hughes

    That would be too risky at even strength, maybe on the PP in OT,
    It would be good to get Penner on a line that scores consistently and off the 4th

  • Eric Schulz

    I agree. It’s too late now, so I’m falling back on guys like Thornton and Lecavalier, who were brought along slowly.. but yeah, I’m a fan of huge minutes in OHL vs low minutes in NHL.

  • Alex Hughes

    I wouldn’t be suprised to see Halak resign

  • Eric Schulz

    I agree it’d be nice to keep Grubauer in AHL… I just don’t see it happening, seems like the organization was too impressed with him in his call-up. Also, until the Cap numbers are released for next year, I’m not sure if I want to resign him or not… need to see how much space we have.

  • Roy Schue

    Totally agree, just glad to see him get more minutes. And the more he plays the better he has looked.

  • Eric Schulz

    Meh, in OT, why not go for it? I don’t like our chances in the shootout anyway (although, if Oates is gonna keep Ovie stapled to the bench in the SO, then maybe).

  • Bugs Fire

    Kuzya is awesome. Maybe staying in KHL was a good choice – he seems so confident about who he is. His shootout goal was surgical.

    I do hope he becomes that second lethal offensive threat Caps need to distract opponents from covering Ovie all the time.

    Can hockey gods give us back our Grabovski, please? And do the inception thing on Oates so that he reunites Ovie and Backstrom, only this time with the guy who does not get bumped off the puck so easily and actually know how to crush the net? I mean, someone named Penner? (I do agree though that Ovie’s +/- has been sterling 0 since he got Beagle on his line. I guess Ovechkin suddenly turned into second coming of Patrice Bergeron, right NBC?)

  • Roy Schue

    The estimates I’ve heard on the cap seem to be good

  • Eric Schulz

    Yeah, but I think Penner would work just as well, if not better, with Backstrom and Ovie for different reasons. If Kuznetsov, Backstrom, and Ovie are together, who wins the board battles? Also, more importantly, I shudder to think of our 2nd line.

  • Josh Carey

    Yeah, you’re probably right there. I’d like to see Penner get the chance, but his tweet to Obama probably pissed Oates off or something. Whatever it is, I don’t think Ovi is at his best when he’s without Nick.

  • Eric Schulz

    I would think we could pretty easily resign Grabovski, Penner, add a legit 2nd pair defender, and still have enough cap space to make room in season if something came up. I’m not sure we could do that if we resign Halak instead of Penner, so at this point, I’m not sure… (not to say that I think we will resign Penner; I don’t think we will try and even if we do, I don’t know why he would come back, since it seems he’s be relegated to the 4th line. But I think he’s better than that, and would like to keep him, is all… we’ll see how it plays out; lots of things up in the air until the season ends).

  • Bugs Fire

    I am still getting over someone named Halak holding off 3rd period push from the team coached by someone named Bruce Boudreau… Weird things are happening this snowy mid-atlantic spring…

  • Eric Schulz

    I would think that Oates would reunite Ovie and Backstrom when Grabovski came back; I assume he just wants more depth now, and we don’t have a lot of top-tier talent to spread out among the top 2 lines without Grabovski (should be 4 guys, instead it’s merely 3, so Ovie is the odd man out).

  • Eric Schulz

    I agree. They are clearly better than the sum of their parts, same as Alzner and Carlson on D. I get the logic behind breaking up our two best offensive players, but in this case, I just don’t agree… but I don’t see any alternatives that are significantly better.

  • Roy Schue

    For some reason Ovie n Backstrom haven’t seemed to have there typical chemistry on 5 on 5 this season.

    Penner-Grabo-Ovie
    Kuzya-Backstrom-Brouwer
    Chimera-fehr-ward
    Beagle-brown-Wilson

  • Chris Cerullo

    They were spot on with Wilson though. Cant really blame them for not knowing a ton about our squad.

  • Chris Cerullo

    Problem?

  • Chris Cerullo

    Skating is night and day better from October. Confidence seems to be rising.

  • Owen Johnson

    So I gotta say this. I think Halak is the best goalie on the roster and we should ride him as long as we have a shot. But people have been sleeping on Holtby. This is not the Braden Holtby of December. He’s a good goalie and I honestly think he is The Guy. Glad I wore my HoltBeast shirt. And thank you RMNB and RFD for having us. I had a blast
    Love,
    #perrycelly guy.

  • Chris Cerullo

    Oates tends to change things that are obviously not working very late. Don’t think Ovie’s hurt. His struggles 5v5 recently are due to his linemates.

  • Roy Schue

    I don’t think penner is as important as Halak, but obviously Halak will be more expensive. I just hope they can make room for him. “Maybe a buyout…Laich, Erskin”

  • Chris Cerullo

    I’d agree with him still being the #1 for the rest of the year considering that’s why we acquired him but don’t give up on Holtby just yet.

  • Chris Cerullo

    Eh, Huet in 08 disagrees.

  • Bugs Fire

    Sure, but the fact that league’s leading goal scorer is no good in shootout is fairly basic. You know, given that previous Sharks game went into shootout as well.

  • Eric Schulz

    Yes, exactly.. I expect Penner to be quite cheap for a top-6 forward (which he is), and I expect Halak to cost about twice as much as Penner will. Plus, Grabovski will probably be getting a raise…

  • Eric Schulz

    He means it’s a problem as far as getting Wilson more minutes.

  • Jack Conness

    Definitely his linemates. No offense to Jay Beagle, but the dude has eight points on the year. He is not a 1st, 2nd, and really even a 3rd line center. Backstrom and Ovi have to play together. Everything else should just fall in around that. Having Grabo back would make all of this a lot easier.

  • Roy Schue

    Just don’t think penner is necessary with ward, chimmer, and Brouwer, fehr, johansson all signed and Wilson ready to step into at least a 3rd line role if not second line.

  • Myan

    I read somewhere that Kuzya’s faceoff percentage in the KHL was something like 33% and in the playoffs it was hovering around 25%. Yikes!

  • Priscilla Villanueva

    Anyone need raid heals?

  • Big Chuck

    WEST COAST CONQUERED!

  • Priscilla Villanueva

    After we lost the last playoff game last year…I sat on my couch eating cake or some sh*t tweeting Ian about whether he played WoW. I sh*t you not, that convo happened.

  • Priscilla Villanueva

    Thanks for calling him Kuzya.

  • Owen Johnson

    KUUUUUUUUUZ!!!

  • Owen Johnson

    I know I said it at least 4 times.

  • Ash

    Man, you would not have liked what John Carlson revealed that the Caps nicknamed the Schultz-Kundratek d-pairing last year.

  • serpent

    If certain folks read this blog, they’ve got to be wondering what the kid did to deserve that.

  • Jonah

    I’m pretty sure this comment was not written under the same influence of alcohol as RMNB when they tried to write this.

  • Shaun Phillips

    B) is sad.

  • http://www.twitter.com/jennrubenstein jennrubenstein

    there were definitely drunk people chanting/muttering “no ovechkin” or “please not ovi” and then there was a big cheer when nicky came out third =)

  • sheena dunn

    Oh Peter…..drink better beer!

  • sheena dunn

    I said no Ovi please!!!!!!!

  • araporrada21

    We had a grea time, working on bikes and listening to the game well into the night.

  • MuzzMuzzington

    Now I must know

  • C Breezy

    Cool, thanks for the insight. I liked Zubrus a lot when he was here so if that is Brown’s ceiling that is nice. I read that he was considered a good two-way player as well, which we sorely need. I haven’t had a chance to witness much of it on the ice, small sample size. Considering our current 3rd line is playing like a 2nd line, maybe he actually makes the 3rd line next season? haha

  • Ash

    Well, Schultz was called Nasty, and Kundratek’s name shortens down to another slang term for female genitals, so… yeah. Carlson let that one slip at last year’s Chalk Talk.

  • DashingDave314

    I guess it’s time to break this out again. FEAR THE HOLTBEAST.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Lfo20dZ7ec4

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

    I wrote this from my phone.

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

    LIES AND SLANDER

  • selftitled85
  • Guy

    Oates seems to be one of the only people fighting for Wilson… What do you mean?

  • GetchaGrubbOn

    Don’t give them TOO much credit. They’re also the ones who couldn’t understand not having Captain -30something on the ice in OT and then couldn’t believe he wasn’t taking a SO attempted even though thy knew he is only 2/15 on the year.

  • Kyle

    Well again they haven’t seen us too much this year so expecting Ovi in OT is understandable. Also I think the colour guy said he was surprised the Ovi wasn’t in the shootout until the play by play guy told him he was 2/15.

  • CLoak And Dagger

    God this is amazing.

  • CLoak And Dagger

    No wonder it’s so bare, I guess.

  • Myan

    I could never call him Kuz! Cmon, ladies & gents, let’s show the kid we care!

  • Jake Ettawakapow

    Backstrom and Kuzya are gaining chemistry. Watch Oates break them up soon. Just like he did with Wilson.

  • http://twitter.com/1bscarbro Benjamin Scarbro
  • Eric Schulz

    I think Penner is a better player than all of them; Wilson has more upside, obviously, and Brouwer has been a more consistent point producer over the last few years, but Penner is great at what he does. Chimera, Fehr, and Ward are all playing well, but they aren’t playing better than they usually do, they are just getting lucky with shots; that will regress. Penner is the only guy I see who could actually hold his own on a line with Ovie and Backstrom, and actually help them out rather than bringing them down.

  • Hockey mom

    Sorry, I’m late to the game, but time for a new theme song!!

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=t6lHm-stXdM