Ted Leonsis sure had a fun night. He watched his team shut out the Avs, he gave Braden Holtby a guitar, he did some intense iPhone swiping, and then he made an ambush cameo on CSN. I guess you can get away with that when you BASICALLY OWN THE CHANNEL NOW.
Following a dominating performance in their 3-0 victory over the Colorado Avalanche, let’s take a look at some numbers that show what the Caps did well–and some that show what they did not-so-well.
As you may have heard, Dmitry Orlov laid a massive hip check on the Avalanche’s Matt Duchene Tuesday night, sending the center flying through the air. In fact, Duchene completed a full flip.
The entire hockey community was excited by Orlov’s clean hit except for one person: Matt Duchene.
Tuesday night, Philipp Grubauer posted his first-ever shutout in a 3-0 win over the Colorado Avalanche. While it was technically Braden Holtby’s night, Grubi proved himself to be a capable backup, stopping all 18 of the Avs’ shots. Grubauer’s efforts were later recognized in the locker room, where he was awarded the Will Over Skill robe.
Yes, you read that correctly. The WILL OVER SKILL robe.
The 2015-16 Washington Capitals were terrific. They soared with a great power play, the league’s best goal-scorer, some talented young players, and the best record in the land. But the shining star of that team was the fella in net, Vezina winner Braden Holtby.
Before Tuesday’s game — a game in which Holtby’s back-up recorded his first big-league shutout– the Washington Capitals and their fans finally got to thank Holtby for a very special season.
Hoo boy we have a team here ladies and gents. The Caps got the upper hand on the Colorado Avalanche Tuesday, largely in part to the power play waking up from its early season slumber to provide the damage necessary to down Jared Bednar’s boys.
First was Ovi’s first of the season from his spot. Second was Timothy Leif Oshie from the slot. Both with a man advantage. Oshie then added another 5v5 off of a rebound from an Ovechkin shot that was sprung by a great play by Dmitry Orlov.
Caps beat Avalanche 3-0. The Caps are now 2-0-1 on the young season.
Dmitry Orlov delivered what will likely be the biggest check of the season on Matt Duchene in the first period. As Duchene cut to the middle of the ice, Orlov stepped up and knocked the Avs forward head over heels. CSN Mid-Atlantic’s Craig Laughlin called the crunching bodyblow the “best hit I have seen in the booth in 25 years.
A photo sequence of the bodycheck just hit NHL.com and you have to see this.
In the first period, Dmitry Orlov had the hit of the year, sending Matt Duchene head over heels. But he wasn’t done yet.
Later in the period, the Russian dynamo fixed all of the Caps’ power play woes, authoring a brilliant slap pass to Alex Ovechkin. The Russian machine one-timed the puck past Semyon Varlamov, scoring his first goal of the season.
Physicality is a criminally underrated part of Dmitry Orlov’s game. Early in Tuesday’s game against the Avalanche, we got to see Orlov do his thing.
This hit will make you yell at something.
Tonight, the Capitals face off against the up-and-coming Colorado Avalanche. It’s the Caps’ third game of the season, and Barry Trotz has made some, er, interesting lineup changes as he prepares to do battle with Jared Bednar, the Avs’ new coach (formerly of the South Carolina Stingrays.)
If the Avalanche’s revamped brand of high-scoring (and low-possession) hockey isn’t reason enough to tune in, tonight’s contest will feature a special pre-game ceremony honoring Braden Holtby. In an ironic twist that will be taught by English teachers ever after, Holtby was Holtbenched in favor of backup goalie Philipp Grubauer.
Bonus points for whoever correctly identifies the type of irony (situational, dramatic, or verbal) exhibited by Trotz’s decision to sit tonight’s honoree. In the meantime, puck drop is at 7 PM on CSN.
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