Alex Semin’s raspberry of hatful determination. (Photo credit: Nick Wass)
You know that video game where you fight Dr. Wily, and you think you’ve got him beat, but then he gets some kind of high-tech armor with lasers and rockets and WiFi and megagigabytes. Turns out Wily is way harder when he’s all upgraded. Well, here comes the Tampa Bay Cyber-Lightning, Mark II. Our southeast conference rivals gave the Washington Capitals a hard time last year, and they only got better over the summer.
The Capitals, led by curio Alex Semin, had a slow start. As if predestined, they surrendered the first goal of the night to Tampa’s Teddy Purcell. Tom Poti and Mike Knuble each notched goals in the second. The third period found Ryan Malone tying the game on the power play, almost taunting the Capitals to step it up. And step it up they did. Alex Semin recorded back-to-back goals with matching assists from line partners Nick Backstrom and Alex Ovechkin. Steven Stamkos returned fire with a frighteningly smart goal, but Ovechkin would strike soon after. An empty net goal in the final half minute earned Semin the hat trick and finalized the question. A crushing win by the home team, their sixth in a row: Caps beat Bolts 6-3.
“Is it October yet?” takes a back seat to “Is it Draft Day yet?” for us Fantasy Hockey poolies. We eagerly wait to draft Ovechkin or any other Capitals our forwards, defensemen and goaltenders and trash talk our way to victory! However, one player’s value seems to be fairly uncertain: Alexander Semin. ESPN has him ranked as the 8th best player overall for your fantasy team, while Yahoo’s Puck Daddy ranks him 33rd. We here at RMNB try to answer the most important question facing you on draft day: What is Semin worth in fantasy hockey?
The last game of the season is a curious thing. The playoffs are a sure thing, and the only matters left to question are individual achievements and not getting injured. So then, was today a bust?
The Boston Bruins, filled out by AHL call-ups, bested the Washington Capitals in 65 minutes of hockey and three rounds of a shootout. Whatever. We’re over it. Upward and onward.
Before his suspension, injury, and second suspension, Alex Ovechkin was easily on the way to getting the Maurice “Rocket” Richard Trophy for the third time in his career. Since the Olympic break, the Russian Machine’s goal production has slowed, allowing the much-loved Sidney Crosby and the fresh-faced Steven Stamkos to catch him. On Sunday evening, Crosby scored two goals to take the lead with 47 goals. He now leads Ovie by 1 and Stamkos by 2.
With only a handful of games left in the regular season, can the Great Eight summon up the same magic he wielded from early in the season? RMNB contributor Fedor Fedin braved scary numbers to project how the remaining games will shake out.
Some of the Caps’ best games this season have been against the Tampa Bay Lightning, and tonight was no exception. Marking Captain Alexander Ovechkin‘s return after suspension, tonight’s bout with the Bolts gave us hits, goals, fights, and — for once– a team that looked truly solid.
Goals from Tomas Fleischmann, the Russian Machine himself, and Alex Semin lifted the Caps above the Tampa Bay team, but the glory of the win must belong to the most excellent Jose Theodore. Stopping all but one of the 34 shots aimed at his net, Jose made tonight’s 3-1 victory possible.
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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