On March 14, 2013, In Game Recap, By Peter Hassett
Photo credit: Gregg Forwerck
The Washington Capitals got rocked by Carolina Hurricanes on Tuesday. Thursday looked like more of the same until Alex Ovechkin threw the team over his husky Russian shoulders and carried them kicking and screaming into the W.
This one could have gone very different. It’s good to know your Capitals can still surprise you.
On March 12, 2013, In Game Recap, By Peter Hassett
Photo credit: Boston Police Department
If the Washington Capitals were this bad last year, and the only thing that kept them afloat was Dale Hunter’s coaching, I feel like I’d owe him an apology. On Tuesday, instead of watching NCIS: Los Angeles, starring LL Cool J and Robin from Batman Forever, we all watched the Carolina Hurricanes mollywhomp the Caps. It was just wretched hockey, the kind so intolerable you’d think it’d inspire change in the organization. You’d think.
It was bad. It was really bad. How bad? Joe Corvo scored. Yeah. That bad.
[Doug Johnson of the PuckBuddys is back! And he has this preview. Yet another preview. Which, for the record, he doesn’t need to do, he just chooses to do. He could stop at any time. Really. Just this one more. Go be co-dependent with him here.]
Morning Skate: Well fiddle-dee-dee. No sooner do we air out the Rangers’ stank from Verizon than the hillbillies from Hooterville return, bringing with them an undiscovered country of smell. Yes y’all, the Carolina Hurricanes are blowing back in, bringing with them their corn-pone, possum caps, crystal meth and Alex Semin, in something like that order.
Just what is happening in hockeyville? What is at the root of this existential struggle? I was contemplating this conundrum when a colleague at work asked me about the loud whooshing in the vent above my desk. “Is it blowing or sucking?” he asked.
For the first time in 290 days, Alex Semin, the 5th greatest goal scorer in Washington Capitals history, was back in his old barn. Now wearing visitors white, the 28-year-old forward was booed each time he touched the puck. Despite four shots on goal, Semin finished the game without a goal.
Here are my 28 favorite Semin-related photos from the night.
For those worrying Tripp would nail Semin with incisive, hard-hitting questions like “Are your shoes comfortable?“, you may now relax. Instead, Tracy tossed up softballs like “What do you think of your teammates?” and “Do you enjoy Carolina?”
Hey, you guys don’t think there was any collusion between Tracy and Carolina PR following Troy Brouwer’s unkind words, do you? Naw! Tracy probably came up with “your teammates are clearly the most important relationship to you” all on his own.
[Ed. note:Today, the latest member of the PuckBuddys team hits the ice. Jason Rogers currently hangs his hat in Virginia, has studied in Paris and worked in China (always one step ahead of Interpol). But where ever he is in the world he’s a Caps fan through and through. He knows the game and we’re not holding that against him. Jason currently sports #8 – and the “C” – playing center for the Manassas Sperm Whales. Srsly. Give him a follow on twitter.]
Morning Skate: Well, Saturday’s game against the Devils sure was fun to watch, no? Alex Ovechkin bowled a Magician, and the whole team clearly ate their morning Oates with breakfast. It was a real big-boy win against the defending Eastern Conference champions for this Caps team, and like a really nice yard with an unmarked septic field, hopefully something they can build on. Today, Southeast Division rival Carolina Hurricanes blow into town like a hot, smelly belch from the South. I hope they brought illegal fireworks.
While the Caps are losing thanks to penalty and possession problems, Alex Semin (3 goals, 8 assists) is prancing around North Carolina doing unspeakably pretty things with hockey pucks.
For example, check out this gorgeous pass from Semin to Jiri Tlusty on the Canes’ way to a 4-3 loss to the Jets. In the video above, Semin makes a blind pass through Anthony Peluso’s legs to find Tlusty right at the goal mouth. Uncanny.
The Canes currently lead the Southeast Division, Alex Semin is averaging just .8 penalty minutes per game, and the Caps have a 4.5% chance of making the playoffs. On the bright side, it is 34 degrees and rainy in Raleigh today.
Hockey hugs for everybody! (Photo credit: Gary Wiepert)
On Friday night, the Carolina Hurricanes defeated the Buffalo Sabres 3-1 at First Niagara Center and one former Washington Capital had a first. Alex Semin, after starting the season with two bad penalties, scored his first goal with the Canes, one of those classic Sasha no-look wrist shots that found the top corner of the net.
The Semin signing was just one reason among many why Carolina Hurricanes fans were optimistic. After a last-place finish in the Southeast division last year, Carolina added Semin to the team’s core of Eric Staal, Jeff Skinner, and Cam Ward, and acquired Eric’s younger brother, Jordan, from the Penguins.
On Saturday, the Hurricanes — projected by many to compete for the Southeast title — got trounced 5-1 by last year’s division champions, the Florida Panthers. In 23:03 of ice-time (6:30 more than his average TOI last year), Semin had one lonely shot on goal and four penalty minutes.