By now we all know Matt Hendricks has Serious Shootout Skills. But the shootout is a gimmick, a sideshow that decides games for no good reason except to entertain fans. The shootout never really meant much… until tonight.
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While the glove kiss remains Alex Ovechkin’s first reaction to scoring, we’ve seen him add new flourishes over the years. There’s jumping into the glass and the hot stick fiasco, and now it’s time to add a new item to the list: the belly pat.
We like to think of it as the gestural companion to “attaboy”, something that a four year-old boy who just learned how to eat with a fork might do when he’s pleased with himself. It’s a thing of joy, of bravado, of that precise brand of smugness that makes Ovi so lovable to his fans and so infuriating to everyone else.
Photo credit: Bruce Bennett
With eight games left in the regular season and the Capitals struggling to hold onto the eighth and final playoff spot in the Eastern Conference, every standings point matters. So when the Caps were unable to break a 1-1 tie with the Flyers after 60 minutes of regulation and a five-minute overtime, the shootout carried high stakes.
Enter Matt Hendricks.
Dale Hunter selected Hendy as the Capitals first shooter. The Blaine, Minnesota native did not disappoint. Hendricks used his patented move, this time baiting Ilya Bryzgalov to pokecheck. Bryz missed, allowing yet another highlight-reel shootout goal for the team’s leader in penalty minutes. Video is below the jump.
Photo credit: Nathan Denette
During the second period of the Capitals-Leafs game, Michal Neuvirth denied Toronto’s Carl Gunnarsson with a flashy glove save that deserves a spot on this week’s highlight reel. Video is below the jump.
It’s difficult to pick out just one low point of Washington’s 5-0 blowout loss to Carolina on Monday, but if there’s any sight guaranteed to make a Caps fan’s heart sink, it’s Alex Ovechkin limping to the locker room.
There was a great deal of confusion as to what actually happened that night, but Dale Hunter set the record straight Wednesday morning — Ovechkin is day-to-day with a lower-body injury.
The Washington Capitals returned to Verizon Center for a matinee match with the Boston Bruins, their second game in 24 hours. Disaster.
Milan Lucic scored after a bad read by Dennis Wideman gave him an opening. Brad Marchand made it 2-0 after Karl Alzner and John Carlson funneled the puck to their own crease. Marchand set up Tyler Seguin for the game’s third– and the second in which Dennis Wideman lost his man. A gorgeous 200-foot series culminated in a goal by Marcus Johansson (or Ward, whatever) and the end of Tim Thomas’s Sovereign Shutout. Peverly got the empty netter. Bruins beat Caps 4-1.
Orlov and Max Pacioretty fight for the puck. (Photo credit: Richard Wolowicz)
Way back on November 23rd, Dmitry Orlov registered his first NHL point in his second NHL game against the Winnipeg Jets. That night he also made his presence felt physically with two monster hits. On one, he hit Evander Kane so hard into the boards that his stick flew into the crowd. On the other, he laid out an unsuspecting Blake Wheeler with an open-ice hip check.
“I really like the physical element of the game,” Orlov told RMNB’s Igor Kleyner a few days later. “Always have, since I was a kid. One of the reasons I came to play here – there is more hitting. I like that.”
Well, here’s a hit you may not have even known happened. On January 13th against the Tampa Bay Lightning, Orlov caught Steve Downie with a hip check after the pest rifled a shot on goal. The hit flipped Downie end-over-end to the ice in
hilarious spectacular fashion. Video is below the jump.
Tuomo Ruutu is a pest. From picking on Nicklas Backstrom to giving Dennis Wideman world’s grossest injury, the dude is flat out annoying. So in the third period of the Caps’ 2-1 win over Carolina, Alex Ovechkin — after losing an edge — decided to take his anger out on the 28-year-old Finn. As Ruutu dumped the puck in the Capitals’ zone, Ovi leveled him into the boards with his titanium left shoulder. The hit was so powerful, in fact, that it took out both Ruutu and the linesman beside him. After the officials disallowed Laich’s second period goal, this is the kind of accident that’s nice to watch over and over on replay.
Marcus Johansson and friends congratulate Orlov on his marker. (Photo credit: Mitchell Layton)
In his young, 25 game NHL career, Dmitry Orlov has already established himself as a solid defenseman. Just 20-years-old and less than a year after first playing in North America, Orlov has supplanted Jeff Schultz and John Erskine in the Caps lineup and earned high praise from his coaches and teammates. One thing, however, has been missing: a coveted National Hockey League goal. One minute and 12 seconds into the third period, the Novokuznetsk native got just that, breaking a 1-1 tie with what turned out to be the game-winning tally. Judging by his reaction, we think it’s pretty safe to say Dima was pleased. Check out the video below the jump!
Let’s hope we see a reenactment of this photo many more times in the future. (Photo by: Evan Vucci)
It’s certainly hard to believe, but earlier this year, on February 27, Dmitry Orlov — at the ripe age of 19 — played in his first professional game for the Hershey Bears. Orlov, who won gold at the World Junior Championships only five weeks earlier, stepped into Hershey’s line-up and immediately made an impact. Looking more like a 10-year veteran than a wide-eyed rookie, Dima assisted on Steve Pinizzotto’s second period power-play goal, collecting his first AHL point in his first AHL game.
Boy, it seems like history is repeating itself. Tonight, Orlov — still not looking out of place in his new surroundings — collected his first NHL point in his second NHL game, assisting on Nicklas Backstrom’s second period marker. Video is below the jump.