On February 18, 2014, In Game Recap, By Peter Hassett
And down they drop! Tuesday was the first day of elimination in the Olympic mens tournament, meaning lots of high stakes and desperate players. More importantly, the recaps will be easier from here on out because there will be fewer games. Maybe that’s not more important for you, but it is for me.
Sunday’s hockey schedule didn’t stand a chance of matching yesterday’s operatic levels of excitement. The USA’s Phil-acrity was too much for an inspiring and inspired Slovenian crew. Russia squeaked a win out of a really deflated effort against Slovakia. The Finns nearly exsanguinated the Canadian offense, but couldn’t get the win. And I didn’t even know Austria and Norway were playing.
With these games in the books, we now look towards the next round. Prepare for seedings, brackets, elimination games, and the pressure getting amped up to UNHEALTHY.
On February 15, 2014, In Game Recap, By Peter Hassett
Russia and America collided and our site didn’t self-destruct. Yay!
Saturday in Sochi was an upset festival, but all anyone is gonna talk about is how T.J. Oshie became a superstar in the States’ shootout win over Russia. In today’s recap, I’m gonna pretend to care about everything else that happened, but you’ll know my heart just isn’t in it. T.J. Oshie rules!
On February 14, 2014, In Game Recap, By Peter Hassett
There is a tiny anteater in the back of this photo. (Photo: Getty)
Happy Friday! Hope you were able to dig out of the miserable, snow-flanked hut you spent all day Thursday in.
The mens Olympic tournament fielded four games today, starting at 3 am. The favored team won in each of the four games, though some teams struggled (Sweden) and others had to hold back in the third period to avoid looking unsportsmanlike (Canada).
Plus, while you were getting some delta-wave sleep, Martin Erat scored on a net that actually had a guy guarding it. That’s novel.
Unless your loyalties lie with Milan Jurcina and the Slovenians, Caps fans probably enjoyed Thursday’s hockey. I didn’t exactly relish my five-screen experience (USA on the TV, RUS on the laptop, notes on the other laptop, social on the iPad, Flappy Bird on the iPhone), I think I’ve gotta call it a successful morning as well. Shaybu, y’all.
On February 12, 2014, In Game Recap, By Peter Hassett
Photo: Jayne Kamin-Oncea
Though the women have been playing since the weekend, Wednesday marked my first day actually following the Olympic “ice hockey” tournaments. From now until USA wins gold (both men and women, obviously), I’ll be offering a daily digest of cool stuff that has happened on the ice and miscellaneous musings on the Games as a whole.
It ain’t a game recap, but I’ll try to keep it just as stupid.
On February 8, 2014, In Game Recap, By Peter Hassett
The New Jersey Devils are the worst good team in hockey. For the last thousand years, they’ve mined success by sucking the fun out of hockey. If it feels like the game is less exciting when the Devils are playing, it’s not just you. The team’s style inhibits shooting by both teams– on average almost 20 fewer shot attempts per game. That’s part of why I was a bit mild heading into Saturday’s pre-Olympic finale between the Devs and the Washington Capitals.
The teams traded power plays in the first period without biscuit-basket despositage. The Devils owned the puck for the most the second period, but left the basket unbiscuited. The third period was more of the miserable same until rookie Julien Brouillette put the biscuit in the basket with ten minutes left. The Devils emptied their net and then Marty Erat finally brokered a biscuit-basket merger and then Troy Brouwer was like, “yeah, this basket can handle more biscuits.”
Caps beat Devils 3-0. Braden Holby’s third shutout!
On February 6, 2014, In Game Recap, By Peter Hassett
Photo: Alex Brandon
The Washington Capitals knew they needed points badly going into the Olympic break, and this game against the Winnipeg Jets seemed like a prime opportunity to get them. One problem: they didn’t really have the ingredients to make it happen. With Grabovski and Green out, Neuvirth sick, and a whole bunch of Hershey squirts filling out the blueline, the Caps had to get a little lucky to get two points out of this one.
Troy Brouwer put Marcus Johansson’s pass in the net about five minutes into the game, but a defensive-zone turnover tied it back up (Erat helped).
Dustin Byfuglien gave the Jets the lead in the second with a pretty goal allowed by some weak Capitals defense, but Tom Wilson evened it up in the third period by catching a rebound low in the slot. Alex Ovechkin recorded number 40 with a dirty one with 12 minutes left, and Troy Brouwer made it a two-goal game with a pretty sweet backhand move.
On February 4, 2014, In Game Recap, By Peter Hassett
Strachan vs Martin (Photo: Patrick Smith)
They’re not all barnburners. Some games merely are. They start, sixty minutes pass, and then they’re over. Tuesday’s Capitals-Islanders game wasn’t completely free of drama, but it was a low-scoring, mostly sleepy affair. Every time something cool was about to happen, a countervailing uncool thing (whiff, penalty, Milbury) canceled it out. Worst of all, the Caps lost.
The game went scoreless for 42 minutes until Andrew MacDonald’s muffin floated past Neuvirth. Is that it? Yeah, that’s it. That’s dumb.
On February 2, 2014, In Game Recap, By Peter Hassett
Photo: Patrick McDermott
It’s Super Bowl Sunday, which means the Washington Capitals once again played a matinee game to set the stage for a whole lot of couch-sitting by you all day. You’re gonna go through a lot of wings, chips, pretzels, assorted other fried things, and bad beer on your way to gridiron glory and hypertension. I shall join you, but not before we revisit the real big game: the Detroit Red Wings at Caps. With a national audience, two (or three) crucial standings points on the line, and a triad of Caps scratched to injury, this was a big one.
Jason Chimera got rewarded for some hard work in the opening minutes, recording the game’s first goal five minutes in. Joel Ward caught a great pass from Nick Backstrom to score a powerplay goal and make it 2-0. The momentum shifted as the Wings got the puck more, resulting in a powerplay goal by Gustav Nyquist, but the Caps struck back with another PP marker– this time from John Carlson.
Tomas Tatar got a sneaky shot under Neuvirth’s shoulder to make it 3-2, but Joel Ward struck back nineteen seconds later. A two-handed slash (a greatslash?) by Troy Brouwer gave the Wings a power play and Nyquist’s second goal of the game.
Nyquist got the hat trick early in the third, obliterating the Caps’ lead, but Troy Brouwer crashed the net and created a new lead following a Wings turnover. That one didn’t last either. Justin Abdelkader was all up in the paint to score after a faceoff in the Caps zone. Into overtime we went.