This offseason felt particularly long, so I smiled extra wide on Thursday as I watched Alex Ovechkin crush Montreal Canadiens left and right. While Ovechkin didn’t score in the shootout loss, he did finish the night with six hits, tied with Brooks Orpik for the most among all skaters.
My favorite hit was Ovechkin leveling left wing Jiri Sekac. The Czech was playing in just his second career NHL game. This had to hurt.
Over the offseason, Brooks Orpik signed what many thought to be the worst contract of free agency– a five-year, $27 million deal that ends when he’s approximately 84. After months of kind of bummer analysis (even from us), the former Penguin jumped on the ice tonight for the first time as a Capital and he was noticeable– in a lot of different ways.
First, let’s see the hits because you guys want to see the hits.
19-year-old Andre Burakovsky has already scored his first NHL goal, and we’re not even ten minutes old! Skating between Troy Brouwer and Marcus Johansson, Burakovsky continued his torrid pace from the preseason, scoring a one-timer from the slot.
It’s the kind of smart, innovative design that logo-ethusiasts and illustrators fall in love with, but fundamental readability issues keep it to the cutting-room floor. That’s what happened in this case, but boy is it a beautiful design.
The man behind the Capitals’ best-known cheer is simply known as The Horn Guy. Before every opening face-off, after a goal, or any time the Caps need a kick in the pants, Sam Wolk unleashes three blasts from the upper level of Verizon Center. The crowd responds with a hearty “Let’s! Go! Caps!” chant. You heard it on TV. You’ve probably participated in it. Sam is famous.
The always-stylish and always-awesome Eric Fehr took over the Washington Capitals Twitter account on Wednesday. It went about as well as you could imagine. The first-line right wing/children’s book author unveiled an odd nickname the players have for Tom Wilson, discussed the Baltimore Orioles (heated rivals of his beloved Toronto Blue Jays), and talked a heck of a lot about country music.
Minus him rooting for Lemieux as a kid (which we’ll give him a pass on), this was perfect.
We got some devastating news from The Washington Post’s Alex Prewitt on Tuesday: Jay Beagle‘s long-time companion Flipper has gone to a better place. By better place, I’m thinking a dumpster or a Verizon Store recycle bin.
Recent years in Caps-land have been chaotic, but there’s always been something you can rely on: everybody having a different opinion on how Alex Ovechkin can improve. You’d think the sixth fastest player to 400 goals is maybe doing alright, but for the media and the revolving door of Caps coaches, “fixing” Ovechkin is always all the rage.
Dale Hunter wanted Ovechkin to sacrifice his body and block shots, Adam Oates wanted The Great Eight to play with fourth-liners, and Bruce Boudreau wanted Ovi to push the pace and look for odd-man breaks.