In the last couple years, Mike Green has struggled mightily with injury. His goal production has slumped, and he has failed to put up more than 8 goals and 24 points in the last two seasons. But over the summer, Washington Capitals General Manager George McPhee went all in on #52, giving him a three-year contract extension and a substantial pay raise. A lot of people, including me, were critical of the signing. We were wrong.
That confidence McPhee showed in his struggling player has paid off this season, as Green has returned to form, scoring 12 goals and tallying 26 points in 35 games. Against the Rangers on Saturday, Green did what he did best– scoring the game-winning overtime goal, the only goal of the game. AND HOLY #$%& WHY I AM WRITING SO SERIOUS. WHAT A GOAL WHAT A GOAL WHAT A GOAL!
Two days after Steve Oleksytook a wrist shot to the cheek, he absorbed even more facial violence in game two, this time getting high-sticked in the mouth by Derek Dorsett. Dorsett was whistled for a minor penalty, and Binky, just like on Thursday, didn’t miss a shift. But his poor face.
Steve Oleksy has never been considered a top prospect. In fact, before he made his NHL debut for the Washington Capitals in March, Oleksy played for seven different minor league teams in five years. It’s been a long and often painful road Oleksy has traveled, one that was made even longer because of Braden Holtby.
You see, earlier in the season when Holtby and Oleksy played together in AHL Hershey, the sassy goaltender from Saskatoon, Saskatchewan decided to play a prank on the new Bears defenseman.
I hope your employer allows long, flexible lunches, because from 12 to 3 pm and 5 to 7 pm on Friday, the NHL — in conjunction with NBC Sports — will be giving away free cupcakes at Union Station. And not just ordinary cupcakes. Per the, um, fantastic, press release from NBC, these are limited edition “Stanley Cup(cakes),” which include logos of all 16 teams competing in the playoffs.
In the second period of game one, the Washington Capitals looked wobbly, in a one-goal hole and entirely without momentum. Then Aaron Asham checked one of the Caps in the head and Washington went on its fourth power play of the game. That’s when Alex Ovechkin channeled his inner-MVP-ness, scoring his 31st career postseason goal on the power play. It seized back momentum for the Caps, who went on to score two more goals before the period was done. The Caps held on to win 3-1.
With that goal, the Great Eight is Washington’s franchise leader in playoff goals, passing one of my childhood hereos, Peter Bondra.
Braden Holtby ended New York’s second period shooting flurry in a huff as he snatched the puck away with mucho sass. Srsly, somewhere Beyonce is like, “white boy has got attitude.” Holtby has 23 saves through 40 minutes.
We’ve gone four long days since the Washington Capitals last played. As the Caps spent their Thursdays preparing for game one at home against the New York Rangers, Caps fans across the region and world did their duties as well: rocking the red (including a fair number of RMNB t-shirts) and decorating their worlds with all kinds of Caps paraphernalia.
Let’s all share in each other’s enthusiasm. If you’ve got pics of your own psyche-up rituals, share them in comments.