With the Washington Capitals securing the division title on Tuesday night, Thursday’s game against Ottawa started off predictably slow. But that doesn’t mean there weren’t any fireworks. For example: in the first period, when Matt Hendricks did some heavy-lifting and power-cleaned Erik Condra into the net.
Last night Matt Hendricks scored for the first time since the mid-Triassic period. He was happy. Hendy danced like no one was watching for his goal celebration and then gave one of the best post-game interviews of all-time with Al Koken. Hendricks played to the crowd, smiled ear-to-ear, cracked jokes, challenged Triple H to a ladder match, and then threw in a “Playoffs, baby! WOOOO!” at the end.
On April 23, 2013, In Game Recap, By Peter Hassett
MVP. (Photo credit: Patrick McDermott)
And so we said goodnight to the Southeast Division. With one last dance between the Washington Capitals and the Winnipeg Jets (née Atlanta Thrashers), the stakes were a division title and a guaranteed ticket to the postseason dance for the home team. It was a barn-burning good time, which doesn’t sound like a good time if you own a barn but you don’t so it was. The Capitals came out of the gates shooting and hardly stopped to catch their breath. All four lines were clicking, and that’s exactly the kind of hockey we want to see one week before the playoffs start.
Alex Ovechkin is the best.
Caps beat Jets 5-3. The Capitals make the playoffs. The Capitals are Southeast Division champions.
Over the past few weeks, Matt Hendricks has been invisible on the scoresheet. He hasn’t scored a goal since March 3rd and hasn’t tallied a point since March 22nd. That’s why tonight, when The Wagon scored his fifth goal of the year, he danced like a four-year old who just learned how to use the potty.
Saturday afternoon against the rival Boston Bruins, a chippy game stayed somewhat calm until the end of the second period. That’s when Brad Marchand goaded Mike Ribeiro into his first NHL fight and all hell broke loose. Matt Hendricks responded by dropping the mitts with Bruins first-line forward Nathan Horton, bloodying his face.
In the third period after Hendricks exited the box, Bruins heavyweight enforcer Shawn Thornton asked Hendy to drop the gloves several times. The Blaine, Minnesota native refused. That’s when, as Karl Alzner described it, “the biggest joke I’ve ever seen” occurred. Thorton shadowed Hendricks, shoving him and begging him to drop his mitts. Then Bruins defenseman Adam McQuaid cornered him along the boards, forcing Hendricks to pick one of them to dose-e-doe with.
That’s why on Saturday, as they played each other for the second time in 16 days, all hell broke loose. First, Mike Ribeiro fought Brad Marchand, and Matt Hendricks laid down the law with Nathan Horton. Then, in the third period, as Shawn Thornton tried to get Hendricks to drop the gloves, Hendy bloodied his fists in a fight with Adam McQuaid.
Doug Johnson is back to amuse and torment. You know him as one-half of the PuckBuddys. The first one to get them to 3K Twitter follows probably wins a car or something.
The Morning Skate: Gentle readers, before we [CENSORED] all over our Bruins friends, let us pause a moment, as you scramble in blind panic preparing for snow that will never, ever come again, to consider the hazards of making predictions. Especially about the Caps.
For example, if I predict no snow Wednesday, it’s gonna get all crazy 20″ up in here. Conversely, I stone cold guarantee that if I dash to the store today to buy a terror shovel, we will be mopping our brows and sipping Mint Juleps on our verandas by Friday. The point is: predictions can go so wrong. Britain’s Lord Kelvin (he of Downton Abbey, we guess?) said heavier-than-air machines could never fly. Harry Warner said no-one would pay for talkies. The Skipper predicted a three-hour tour. Boom.
The past decade has seen the United States involved in two wars — one in Iraq, one in Afghanistan. We’re all aware of them, we’ve seen the headlines. But for most Americans, the country’s battles are an abstraction. It’s something on the news, not part of the stories of other human beings.
Some Americans, though, can’t remove themselves from them — the wars have taken members of their family. Husbands, wives, children, brothers, sisters, mothers, and fathers: the all have loved ones who will never come home. This has unfolded thousands of times throughout the past 12 years.
While the Washington Capitals got outplayed in the first period of Saturday’s game against the Jets, they came out strong in the second , scoring some goals and getting a little cocky. I love it when my favorite team gets cocky. Particularly because it can lead to a line brawl, one started by five-foot, ten-inch (yeah right) French Canadian Mathieu Perreault.*
After absorbing a legal shoulder-check from tough guy defenseman Zach Bogosian, Perry decided to get a lil’ saucy and slash Bogosian in the legs. Bad idea.
The Washington Capitals looked like a troubled team before Saturday’s game at the Winnipeg Jets. With a grinder on their top line, a goal-scorer in Wojtek Wolski scratched in favor of a tough guy, and more injured players than you can shake a groin at, expectations were low for the early afternoon rumble in Manitoba. For twenty minutes, those expectations were met, and then the Capitals took control of their destiny and looked like a damn fine hockey club.