Washington Capitals captain Alex Ovechkin scored his 13th goal of the season tonight and is now once again tied for the league lead. But we’ve seen seen a ton of Ovi goals from the Ovi spot, and leading the league in goals is sooo 2010. How about something fancy for a change.
Ovi delivered late in the second period. As Ovechkin carried the puck through neutral ice, he found himself being shaded by the entire Minnesota Wild team; it was Ovi vs. the world. You’d think this would be a problem, but nope. Instead of dumping the puck in, the Russian machine put the puck through the legs of Zenon Konopka before racing into the zone and trying to get a shot on net.
No idea how he pulled that off.
The Great Eight didn’t score, but this is still the highlight of the night.
It took Washington Capitals rookie forward Tom Wilson 15 games and 100 minutes, but he finally did it. Wilson recorded his first NHL point– a primary assist– on Tuesday night. Alexander Urbom also scored his first goal as a Capital on the play.
Wilson’s assist was a little silly and a lot awesome.
As the 2012 first round pick went to the net, John Tavares tripped him. Wilson fell over, but landed in a sitting position. He slid through the crease and towards the boards, but he was able to pass the puck — from a seated position — to the slot. It went right to Urbom. Just like they drew it up.
Latta poses with his milestone puck. (Photo credit: Patrick McDermott)
The Washington Capitals have had a wealth of fourth line enforcers over the last decade: Stephen Peat, Donald Brashear, Matt Bradley, and even Matt Hendricks. But don’t lump center Michael Latta, the other guy in the Filip Forsberg/Martin Erat trade, into that category.
Over the first month of the season, Latta has been playing some of the most inspired hockey of his career. And it’s because he’s doing a little bit of everything well.
None of that is too uncommon, but Latta also has some offensive talent. He had 38 points in 76 games between AHL Milwaukee and Hershey last year. This season, he has been Hershey’s second leading scorer before getting called up to the Capitals. He is blossoming as a player, translating the finishing ability he’s been developing in Hershey into his first NHL point: a beautiful assist on John Carlson’s goal.
When the Martin Erat trade happened last year at the trade deadline, many people (including me) criticized George McPhee for trading away the team’s second best prospect for an aging forward and a nobody. Latta is belying that descriptor, and he may yet have a long career in the NHL– just like Forsberg.
Take a look at Latta’s week and you’ll see why I’m excited.
Late in the third period, Washington Capitals defenseman Steve Oleksy took a naughty, naughty retaliatory slashing penalty. The Florida Panthers’ Tomas Fleischmann scored on the resulting power play, pushing the game to overtime. It was a bad play, and Oleksy should have known better.
But Oleksy showed remarkable restraint and dexterity a bit earlier when weird ol’ Krys Barch tried to challenge every Capitals player on the ice to a fight. Instead of dropping the gloves, Oleksy did Barch one better. Binky ducked a hit (a late, charging hit) and flipped the psychotic enforcer end-over-end.
After scoring a hat trick opening night, Washington Capitals center Mikhail Grabovski struggled, scoring only two points in his next six games. However, since being demoted to the third line with Jason Chimera and Joel Ward, Grabovski has found his groove, scoring 7 points in his last 5 games. And on Saturday night against the Florida Panthers, Grabovski reminded us again just how freakin’ skilled he is, scoring a fantastic goal in the shootout.