When I guarantee a win, you can take it to the bank (although I was certain that another recent post of mine would be the one to be revisited Tuesday night).
On a superficial level, last night's game was won the way Caps games should be won - with Olie Kolzig stopping everything in sight and Alex Ovechkin providing the offense. We can quibble over details (such as the impotent power-play), but at this point I'm sure we can all agree that just winning a game is an exquisite feeling unto itself.
In addition to Olie's mastery in net and AO buzzing like the AO we all know and love, props go out to Shaone Morrisonn for gutting out the last 45 seconds or so of the game after taking a hard shot from the point in what appeared from my vantage point to be in the vicinity of the yambag (medical term).
Also worth noting - on a gorgeous night on which the Nationals played their first evening home game of the season, the Caps drew 16,311 to see the Florida Panthers. What's up with that? Actual versus paid attendance aside, that's still a huge number for a "meaningless" mid-week tilt between two relatively-crappy teams.
So it's off to the ATL (perhaps without Alex Semin, who seems to have hurt his foot late in the second period) to face the Thrashers tonight. The Thrashers have a slim one-point lead over Tampa in the Division, and you can bet that this Caps squad would like nothing more than to play spoiler and hurt Atlanta's chances at winning the Southeast. Will I guarantee a victory? No. But I wouldn't bet against it.
The Brilliant Musings Of J.P. You May Have Missed From The FanHouse
- Hart: Joe Sakic (Game-winning goal, 3A in 4-3 win)
- Ross: Joe Sakic (4 points)
- Norris: Barret Jackman (Game-winning goal, +3, 2 SOG, 2 hits, 3 blocked shots)
- Vezina: Dominik Hasek (35-save shutout win)
- Richard: Saku Koivu (2G)
- Calder: Drew Stafford (2A, +2, 2 SOG)
- Aiken: Curtis Joseph (L, 5 goals allowed on 22 shots against)