On Sunday, Alex Ovechkin scored his 500th career goal, becoming the 43rd player in NHL history to accomplish the feat. I said on Monday night after our 11th article relating to the goal, and I will say it again during our 12th: there were so many tiny, wonderful moments contained inside that one, we’re still sorting through them all.
Over the offseason, three-time Stanley Cup champion and man nicknamed Mr. Game Seven, Justin Williams, said that he signed with the Capitals because his son Jaxon thought Alex Ovechkin was “the best.”
While Williams didn’t assist on the tally, he was on the ice when Ovechkin scored. And just like he has been all throughout his career, Williams was calm under fire, remembering to pick up the milestone puck before joining in on the team’s celebration.
Old man Jason Chimera notched his 11th goal in the first period of the Blue Jackets game, but that’s not important. Not to take anything away from Chimera, but straight-up, you could have scored on this pass. Your pomeranian could have scored on this pass.
Yeah, Evgeny Kuznetsov did it again. Look at this pass. Just look at it.
Photo: Nick Wass
Last season, Capitals forward Jason Chimera was at times in open revolt against head coach Barry Trotz. The veteran winger tallied just one goal in his first 18 games. By December, he was a healthy scratch for the first time since 2013. He sat in the press box again later that month, a demeaning moment captured by EPIX’s Road to the Winter Classic crew.
“I think it’s embarrassing as a player when you get sat out,” Chimera said at the time. “I think as a player that’s played a long time, it’s embarrassing.”
On the same goal, Caps forward Jason Chimera put the Habs away and reached the twenty-point plateau for the first time since the 2013-14 season.
After a set play off a breakout, Tom Wilson redirected a Nate Schmidt pass to a streaking Chimera. The Ice Cheetah put on his jets and beat Mike Condon on the breakaway.
Tom Wilson showed how hard his fists could be in the first period. In the second, Willy Baby showed his hands could be soft too.
After racing to a turnover in the Habs offensive zone, Wilson flung a pass behind his body to a trailing Jay Beagle. Beags skated to a better shooting angle before fling a wrist shot past Habs goaltender Mike Condon. Craig Laughlin called the goal, Jay Beagle’s “best shot of his career.”
Photo: Graig Abel
At the end of this season, Jason Chimera will be 37. Nevertheless, the bottom-sixer known for his hands of stone is undergoing a revival. On November 11 against Philadelphia, Chimera scored two power play goals, his first game on the man advantage this season. In his nine games on the power play, Chimera has six points.
“Just a fine wine,” Chimera said, comparing himself to another high quality aged product. “Like French Oak or the new stuff, the steel cask maybe.”
Photo: Geoff Burke
For the last few years, when you think of Alex Ovechkin, or even the Capitals, you are drawn to their savage power play. Since Adam Oates took over, it has been at the top of the league, ranked first in last season, second in 2013-14, and first in the lockout-shortened 2012-2013 season. Ovechkin is the heavy artillery. Last season, Alex Ovechkin accounted for 42 percent of the Washington Capitals’ power play goals. From 2012-14 seasons, Ovi was responsible for nearly four tenths of the man advantage tallies. Year after year, he fired shot after shot from the same spot. There was little change in the result: a whole bunch of goals.
This year, however, something has been different. Through 20 games this season, Ovechkin had just one power play marker. The numbers tell a pretty clear story: Ovechkin just isn’t getting as many shots attempts on the man advantage.
But Friday night, Ovechkin was peppering Tampa Bay Lightning goaltender Andrei Vasilvskiy on Washington’s first power play. His first five shots went wide or were saved. His sixth attempt in under two minutes hit the back of the net, set up by a brilliant pass from Jason Chimera. It marked Ovechkin’s third power play goal of the season.
The Washington Capitals have been playing just like they want against the Tampa Bay Lightning with the singular exception of the score. Despite outshooting the Bolts, the Caps had just a one-goal lead in the closing minutes of the second period. Then, as Braydon Coburn’s delay-of-game penalty was about to expire, Evgeny Kuznetsov slapped a pass right onto Jason Chimera’s stick. Scary good.
The Caps had a lot of zone time, incidentally provided by Kuznetsov’s solid carry-in to the zone, but couldn’t beat Tampa goaltender Vasilevskiy. Alex Ovechkin had left the ice as time was about to expire, which is when Kuznetsov did his thing.
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