Click here to see the full photo. (Photo credit: Bruce Bennett)
Tuesday’s Baltimore Hockey Classic may have been dampened — see what we did there? — by puddles, poor ice conditions, and a Predators win, but there was one high point. Midway through the second period, Alex Ovechkin skated down the ice before Preds’ defenseman Ryan Ellis tried to separate Ovi from the puck at the half wall. Ellis lost. Apparently, really bad.
On Friday, the first day of free agency, the Capitals surprised many as busiest team in the NHL. Dumping Semyon Varlamov to Colorado, they then signed five players, including three bound for Washington’s NHL roster. The biggest wild card of the bunch? Thirty-year old right wing Joel Ward, who was given a four year $12 million deal.
“It’s going to be fun to make a new batch of friends and join a new family, start bonding right away,” Ward said of joining the star-laden Caps. “Obviously you see them on the highlight reel every night.”
Brooks Laich celebrates his OTGWG. (Photo Credit: Joe Howell)
With Tom Poti and Mike Green out due to injury, we all knew that the Caps’ defense was going to be a little bit suspect tonight. But really, the main issue for the visiting team ended up being their collective effort. Case in point was the opening face-off where Tomas Fleischmann lost the draw cleanly to Cal O’Reilly. He then turned and watched helplessly as Steve Sullivan raced past his four other unprepared teammates and went in alone on Michal Neuvirth.
But for Neuvy, it was no big deal. He stone-walled Sullivan 8 seconds in. He stone-walled five Predator powerplays, including 29 seconds of a 5 on 3. And he made 37 saves in total to collect his fourth straight win.
Thanks to ten minutes of actual hard-work in the third period and two minutes of pure domination in the extra session, the Capitals leave Bridgestone Area with a huge 3-2 character victory.
On October 3, 2010, In Game Recap, By Peter Hassett
Photo by Nick Wass/AP
Well, it’s a good thing we got this out of the way. Every hockey team has a measure of bad hockey games in them, so we should be relieved that the Caps disappointing performance came before anyone started keeping track.
After a sterling performance in net by Michal Neuvirth for thirty minutes, Dany Sabourin‘s relief effort fell woefully short. The first shot he faced, courtesy of Nashville’s Cal O’Reilly, got past him. Two of the twelve shots he faced in the third, both from Joel Ward, put the game well out of reach for the home team.