During Game Two of the Caps-Pens series, two bold fans brought a sign and held it behind the glass for Pierre McGuire. The fans, Matt and Todd, started a revolution. Their sign, written in sloppy but emphatic marker, read “Shut up, Pierre.”
Ahead of Game Two, one bold Caps fan brought a fluorescent pink sign to Verizon Center. Written haphazardly in marker and in all-caps, the message read “SHUT UP PIERRE.” The fan held this sign near NBC commentator Pierre McGuire during warm-ups. It was a hit online.
Midway through the (unspeakably horrible) second period, Karl Alzner made a shift change. It wasn’t an ordinary shift change. Alzner jumped Inside The Glass™ with Pierre McGuire, which is never a thing you want to do.
NBCSN continues to employ Pierre McGuire for reasons I don’t understand and Pierre McGuire continues to say things that are dumb. During the second period, Alex Ovechkin had the Caps’ best scoring chance up to that point after he carried the puck up two-thirds of the ice, shed a Flyers defenseman like a boss, and beat Steve Mason cleanly. It would have been a goal except the post had a different idea.
Alex Ovechkin has never made it past the second round of the playoffs. It’s a trite fact, but unavoidable. He’s been in the NHL since 2005, with his window as a primary goal-scorer closing. In 10 years, he has yet to win a Stanley Cup. Some core players around him, like Mike Green, are likely to leave this summer or within the next few years. This may be Ovechkin’s best chance to win a Cup as the undisputed leader of the Washington Capitals. Ovechkin seems to know that. In this year’s Division Final against the Rangers, DC’s captain has put on an astonishing display of talent and dedication, nearly winning games for the Capitals off his play alone. On Saturday, he came up short, but it was another immortal individual performance.
“He’s a force,” coach Barry Trotz said. “No question.”
Midway through the third period, Washington was down 3-1, having just given up a crushing goal to Rangers forward Derick Brassard. Just 90 seconds before Rangers fans were to begin their eight-minute mark “Ovi Sucks! Ovi Sucks! Ovi Sucks!” onslaught, Ovechkin bumbled down the ice with three Rangers on him. He knifed straight through Dan Girardi and Ryan McDonagh, New York’s top defenders, as the two hopelessly whacked at Ovi. Falling to his knees, he let off a perfectly placed wrist shot that went top shelf on Henrik Lundqvist. It was a goal that was nearly impossible to imagine another player in the NHL scoring. It was utter brilliance, under immense pressure, on a huge stage. Save for the cheers of Capitals players, MSG fell silent.
With Braden Holtby sick on Friday night, top prospect goaltender Philipp Grubauer made a spot start for the Capitals in game two. The Caps won the game 4-3, but in the process, Grubauer’s kryptonite might have been exposed: high shots to the glove side.
Earlier this evening, Nats Park opened its doors to NBC and NHL Network host Kathryn Tappen so she could do a preview for the Winter Classic on NBC’s Sunday Night Football. Tappen spoke about the upcoming game and JESUS CHRIST WHAT IS THAT???? RUN KATHRYN. RUN AWAY RUN AS FAST AS YOU CAN.