Opening games seem, in my opinion, to be among the most exciting games of the year. But of all the opening nights I’ve been to, last night’s Devils-Caps game one has to be the #1 most exciting. Decked from head to toe in red (literally: I was wearing a wig), I entered Verizon Center for the first time since March; eager to see my Caps play again. And play they did!
Ovie converts on the penalty shot. (Photo credit: Greg Fiume/NHLI via Getty Images)
In the eternal words of Keanu Reeves, whoa.
Tonight’s bout between the New Jersey Devils and the Washington Capitals was everything last night’s lackluster opening game was not. The Caps offense took no prisoners while savaging the Devils’ net. The game had pretty much everything you could ask for: prolific Capitals goal-scoring, the role-playing you’d expect from Caps depth players, and solid goaltending from Michal Neuvirth. And then everything went to hell in the boku battles that erupted late in the third.
Two goals and an assist from Alex Ovechkin, two assists and a goal from John Carlson, two penalties and an assist from Alex Semin. These are the Capitals you’ve been missing. Seven beautiful goals from all sorts of Caps heroes put this game far out of reach for the Devils, who found their only recourse was starting five fights in the waning minutes. Caps beat the Devils, handily, 7-2.
This week we look at Alex Ovechkin’s chances of going down as the greatest goal-scorer in NHL history, a break-down of last week’s big Kovalchuk trade, a look at the change in average shift length for today’s players versus those from 10 years ago (with a certain Capital being a rare exception), and busting a few common myths using the Vancouver Canucks as an example.
I had to wrangle these links up quickly, since I forgot what day it was. That’s when happens when you’re snowed in for almost a week without seeing the outside world. At least I had my spreadsheets to keep me busy.