[Ed. note – Our apologies, but tonight’s game mandates celebration. We’re going to cut the recap short so that we can celebrate!]
Nearing the end of the second period, the Washington Capitals trailed the Montreal Canadiens 4-1. But there was still the tiny matter of Nicklas Lars Bäckström. The blonde swede superstar (who is still waiting on that new contract) made this a historic game all by his damn self. Sinking his first playoff hat trick, Backy is definitely worthy of the “Nine Million Dollar Man” nom de guerre that Craig Laughlin bestowed upon him. We’ll be talking about slapshot goal 31 seconds into overtime for months.
Captain America John Carlson scored the tying goal at the tail end of the third period, instantly carving his name into franchise history. The 20-year old is frankly phenomenal, playing with more consistency than Norris slam-dunk Mike Green.
Also, Alex Ovechkin finally got on the board, tipping in a shot from… JOHN CARLSON.
How much did last night suck? True story: Peter and Ian had a big fight about writing the game recap. Peter was too grumpy to write it, and Ian was too grumpy to put up with Peter’s hissy fit. Today, they exchanged LOLcats and everything seems fine again. For now.
Is the change of mood due to the Caps’ pathetic overtime loss, or is something more sinister behind it? Could it be that our nascent facial hair is turning us into hyper-masculine, moody bastards? The intention of #beardpact was to create levity and togetherness among Caps fans, but it may have gone awry. Let’s take this time to redouble our efforts. No change from yesterday: sixteen wins stand between our team and glory. Within that increment there must be a lot of dudes with itchy necks and annoyed girlfriends/wives/platonic opposite-sex companions.
Let’s check in with the RMNB staff, all of whom could use a hug today.
Caps Nation begins its parallel march to victory. Fans across D.C., Virginia, and Maryland, have shaved their last shave until summertime. Russian Machine is here to solemnly document the personal hell that we put ourselves through in the name of our team. Here we shall offer moral support and gentle mocking in equal portions. #beardpact brings fans together.
Let’s begin our daily recap of the RMNB scruff, most of whom started with a fresh shave yesterday.
In accordance with no one in particular, Russian Machine Never Breaks proudly presents #beardpact. From Thursday morning until the night Alex Ovechkin hoists the Stanley Cup, we vow not to shave.
That’s stupid. Why?
Beards are the zenith of manliness. First, they are scratchy and unpleasant to womenfolk. Second, they look awesome. Third, if you have something tasty for lunch, you can enjoy the smell all the way until dinnertime.
Via Tarik El-Bashir, Bruce Boudreau has confirmed what we all freakin’ knew: Jose Theodore is our man.
Jose has a .911% save percentage this season, and sterling numbers across the board since early January. Jose is a former winner of the Vezina and Hart Trophies, and has simply marvelous facial hair. Many (i.e. – me) consider Theo the main architect of the Caps’ historic winning streak. Fun fact: He also has two assists this year.
Obviously, Jose has a history with Montreal — which is a good thing, because this Stanley Cup Playoffs thing was running a little low on drama.
Hot off the presses, people!
SERIES A TIME (ET) #1 Washington vs. #8 Montreal Thursday, April 15, 2010 7 p.m. Montreal at Washington Saturday, April 17, 2010 7 p.m. Montreal at Washington Monday, April 19, 2010 7 p.m. Washington at Montreal Wednesday, April 21, 2010 7 p.m. Washington at Montreal *Friday, April 23, 2010 7 p.m. Montreal at Washington *Monday, April 26, 2010 7 p.m. Washington at Montreal *Wednesday, April 28, 2010 TBD Montreal at Washington
Asterisks mean this game will not occur because Caps will win in 4 straight.
UPDATE: Thanks to Tarik, we know that Versus will air the first two games and CSN (Craig Laughlin, kthx?) will cover the two in Montreal.
[Ed Note: With Peter galavanting in the middle of California for a wedding and Ian scrambling to keep up with all of the Barack The Red happenings, we’re not going to have a gamer tonight covering the Lightning’s 3-2 victory. Who wants to read more about that anyways? Not I. So tonight, we bring you something that has become a growing concern for the crew here at RMNB: the Capitals below average Penalty Kill. Will this do them in when the games really matter? What do you think? Read Neil’s article and let us know in the comments below.]
To misquote Yogi Berra, “95% of hockey is half defense.” Or more precisely, 58.3% defense according to Alan Ryder.
Now whether that is true or not remains to be seen, but what we do know is that goaltending is not the issue for the Caps going into the playoffs – it is their Penalty Killing (PK).
If we look at the teams that won The Cup since the 1979-80 season a distinct pattern emerges:
Week two of The Frost King’s Webhits – out of 156* – has links looking at how well the Capitals’ goalies perform on the penalty kill, the diversified scoring of Washington’s forwards, which players excelled at scoring in the past decade, whether defense still wins championships, and a discussion about reforming the shootout system. Enjoy!
* My contract apparently goes through the end of time, which latest info says will be December 21st, 2012. Plan to start (and finish) your Christmas shopping a little early that year!
Russian Machine Never Breaks is not associated with the Washington Capitals; Monumental Sports, the NHL, or its properties. Not even a little bit.
All original content on russianmachineneverbreaks.com is licensed under Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported (CC BY-NC-SA 3.0)– unless otherwise stated or superseded by another license. You are free to share, copy, and remix this content so long as it is attributed, done for noncommercial purposes, and done so under a license similar to this one.