Cover photo from Macomb Now Magazine’s Facebook page
A few weeks ago, Steve Oleksy played his first game in Joe Louis Arena. As a native of Chesterfield, Michigan (a stone’s throw from Detroit), playing at his local NHL rink was a big deal for Oleksy.
“It’s pretty wild,” Oleksy told to The Macomb Daily’s Fred Costello after the game. “To grow up being a Wings fan, and to see so many games from the other side of it at Joe Louis watching from the stands, it was a great experience. I never thought I’d be playing a real game here. It’s definitely something that gives you the sense that all the hard work has paid off.”
Another sign of that hard work paying off: Oleksy appears on the cover of Macomb Now Magazine‘s winter issue alongside Red Wings defenseman Dan DeKeyser. For two hometown kids, this is a big deal.
🙁 (Photo credit: Rob Carr)
A few years ago, the Washington Capitals-Pittsburgh Penguins rivalry was the NHL’s top draw. Led by the league’s best players, the teams spawned epic playoff series and fantastic regular season games. Eventually, though, Sidney Crosby got hurt and Alex Ovechkin got stale. For the past couple seasons, Caps-Pens has been a bit hollow.
This year, however, Ovi vs. Sid is relevant again: Crosby came into the game tied for the league lead in points, Ovechkin was tied for the lead in goals. Wednesday, the Caps were just one point behind the Pens for the Metropolitan division lead. With NBC in town, the good old days of the late ’00s were back — even if Brooks Laich didn’t give a crap.
Unfortunately, the game was less Snovechkin and more 2009 Semifinals game seven.
Paul Martin put the Pens up early through a screen that make Braden Holtby look foolish. Rejected Gossip Girl character Beau Bennett stretched the lead to two on a two-on-four — yes two-on-four — for Pittsburgh midway through the first. The second frame was utterly boring until ya boy Sidney Crosby unleashed an Ovi shot from the Ovi spot on the power play to put the Pens up by three. James Neal added another in the third.
Worst. Pens Blank Caps 4-0.
Brooks Laich has taken a lot a heat for his play this year. Our commentariat is in full revolt over Adam Oates’s insistence on keeping him on the second line, even though he and his linemate Troy Brouwer have posted awful numbers. Well, Friday night against the Red Wings, Laich registered his first goal in almost a month.
Every NHL player gets an allotment of tickets for games. It’s written in the CBA. Washington Capitals captain Alex Ovechkin apparently had a milestone day in this regard, as Mike Green reports on his Twitter account that Ovi has given away his tickets for the first time ever. John Carlson is the beneficiary. No big deal, but there is a reason we’re writing.
Check out the photo. Ovi knows what the internet wants, and he delivers the troll face for the second time in two days. John Carlson is notable just because he is not yelling or grimacing for the first time. And there’s good ol’ Steve “Norris” Oleksy poking his head out between Ovi and Carlson’s torsos. Why not. They won three in a row.
Photo credit: Greg Fiume
Late in the third period, Washington Capitals defenseman Steve Oleksy took a naughty, naughty retaliatory slashing penalty. The Florida Panthers’ Tomas Fleischmann scored on the resulting power play, pushing the game to overtime. It was a bad play, and Oleksy should have known better.
But Oleksy showed remarkable restraint and dexterity a bit earlier when weird ol’ Krys Barch tried to challenge every Capitals player on the ice to a fight. Instead of dropping the gloves, Oleksy did Barch one better. Binky ducked a hit (a late, charging hit) and flipped the psychotic enforcer end-over-end.
Photo credit: Eric Hartline
Fighting in the NHL has been on the decline. It might be on its way out of the sport. Roster spots for goons are dwindling. Nerds have found no evidence that fighting impacts winning.
Yet on Friday night in Philadelphia, the Flyers decided the only way to save face after a figurative beatdown from the Caps was a literal beatdwn. Once Joel Ward scored his hat-trick goal, Wayne Simmonds threw an elbow to incite a fight with Tom Wilson. Ray Emery, Flyers back-up goalie and trained boxer, skated all the way down the ice and started throwing punches at Braden Holtby — even though Holtby declined to fight.
Photo credit: Len Redkoles
Vincent Lecavalier, the man who (thankfully) spurned the Washington Capitals offseason for a deal with the Flyers during the offseason, was all smiles before last night’s game. Why wouldn’t he be? The 33-year-old forward is making a cool $4.5 million over the next five seasons, and he is producing– leading the Flyers in points (7 in 9 games).
After the game, however, Lecavalier was lucky could move his head. His team started a ridiculous line-brawl after getting smoked 7-0 and, the French Canadian, who has dropped his gloves 25 times, fought Steve Oleksy. That proved to be unwise.
Lecavalier reportedly lost teeth in the bout and is day-to-day with a facial contusion (someone please explain to me what that means).
During last season’s playoffs, Washington Capitals rookie forward Tom Wilson lost his right skate blade after attempting a big hit on a New York Ranger player in the defensive zone. This is apparently a huge problem in hockey. Without his blade, Wilson’s legs flailed like a baby giraffe trying to walk for the first time. Wilson fell over a bunch as he desperately tried to inch to the bench.
Good times, but I thought that it’d be the only time I’d ever see that happen in a Caps game. Wrong.
In Vancouver on Monday, defenseman Steve Oleksy experienced the horrible malfunction. After blocking a Kevin Bieksa shot with his left skate on the penalty kill, Binky started to skate up the ice. As he did, his blade popped off. Wuh oh.
Stuck in the middle of the circles without any help, Oleksy tried to get his footing but could not. He even tried, unsuccessfully, to block a shot while sliding on his hip.
Eventually, after a little help from some teammates and the ref, Oleksy made it back to the bench. What an adventure though.
Pure skill. (Photo credit: Nick Wass)
On Saturday night, the Washington Capitals got back on track with 4-1 victory over the Columbus Blue Jackets. The skillful play of the new second line was the story, especially Martin Erat and his three assists. Erat, though, wasn’t the only flowing haired playmaker on the ice. That title also belongs to Steve Oleksy, who made a sublime curl-and-drag on Brooks Laich’s second period tally.
Picking up the puck from Martin Erat, Oleksy charged towards the faceoff dot. Blue Jackets winger Cam Atkinson attempted the poke check, but Steve O went all sick nasty, blowing past him. Oleksy then dished the puck to the front of the net and Laich finished the play. Beautiful.
Swag. (GIFs by welshhockeyfan)
Washington Capitals defenseman Steve Oleksy had one hell of a night (which Chris Gordon wrote about in more detail here). Oleksy earned a second period assist on one sick dangle and then later got in a fight with Brandon Dubinsky in the third. While he didn’t necessarily win the bout, it’s what he did during it that earns him some bonus swag points from RMNB.
Russian Machine Never Breaks is not associated with the Washington Capitals; Monumental Sports, the NHL, or its properties. Not even a little bit.
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