Despite recent losses on the ice and in the lineup, the Ottawa Senators are still probably favorites to win the Eastern Conference (provided that Ty Conklin, at some point, returns to earth). That being said, I wonder who they're rooting against sneaking into the playoffs in the eight-spot.
The big guns were a-firin' for the home team Tuesday night at Verizon Center, and the result was another come-from-behind victory for the Caps over the visiting Sens. Some thoughts on the game:
- The Caps haven't lost back-to-back games in regulation under Bruce Boudreau (24 games).
- Tomas Fleischmann had a very strong game, and the shift on which he set up Alex Semin's second goal of the game was a great example of hard work combining with a touch of skill. It goes without saying that efforts like that will keep him in the lineup. On the night he had two helpers, a plus-one rating, three shots on goal (which tied him for the team high), four takeaways and no giveaways.
- Sticking with the second line, Semin's first goal was jaw-dropping Sasha circa '06-'07. The ice was littered with the jocks of both Wade Redden and Ray Emery.
- Did Brent Johnson earn a Thursday night start? Are we past "If we're going to make the playoffs, it will be with Olie in net" and at "It's time to play the hot hand"?
- Here's something that Caps and Sabres fans can agree upon: Chris Neil is ten pounds of monkey crap in a five pound sack.
- A little something for the ladies: Antoine Vermette was 13-for-15 (87%) in the faceoff circle and 1-for-1 in the shirt-off circle.
- Nicklas Backstrom was 4-for-13 (31%) in the dot and I don't have any topless shots of him.
- If my name was Cody Bass, I think I'd tell people it was short for Cody Badass.
- Alex Ovechkin and Mike Green scored goals, the sun rose, John Edwards' folks were millworkers, etc.
- Matt Pettinger's penalty was so stupid it hurt. Rest assured that it didn't go unnoticed - he only had four short shifts the rest of the game (excluding his first shift out of the box).
- Milan Jurcina had four blocked shots but no hits. Matt Bradley also threw a no-hitter, a rarity for him of late.
Elsewhere 'Round the Rinks:
The first official Olie Kolzig retirement talk.... Nicklas Backstrom will participate in the Young Stars silliness.... Josh Godfrey is an OHL All-Star.... Complaining about a problem but offering no solutions always makes for a great article.... See if you can read the first two sentences of this post without laughing (then again, just getting up from this hit makes the assertion a little more understandable).... Finally, according to the Hockey Hall of Fame, on this date back in 1905, "'One-eyed' Frank McGee netted an all-time Stanley Cup record 14 goals in the Ottawa Silver Seven's 23-2 victory over the Dawson City Nuggets, who had travelled more than 4,000 miles by dogsled, boat and train to challenge for Cup." Chris Chelios was reportedly a healthy scratch for Dawson City.
- Hart: Marian Hossa (First period natural hat trick, including the game-winning goal, 5 SOG)
- Ross: Ed Jovanovkski (4 points)
- Norris: Ed Jovanovski (G, 3A, +2, 5 SOG)
- Vezina: Jose Theodore (32-save shutout win)
- Richard: Marian Hossa (3G)
- Calder: Peter Mueller (3A, +1, 3 SOG)
- Aiken: Chris Osgood (L, 4 goals allowed on 17 shots against in 27:28 of work)