Another day, another "biggest game since Abe Pollin was in diapers" (the first time around, that is). Sure beats the hell out of the alternative, but I swear it's having an adverse impact on my digestive tract (wow - two sentences and two awful images... we're off to a great start today).
Anyway, the Bolts come to town having done the Caps no favors by rolling over for the 'Canes last night. But Tampa is 4-7-1 in the second of back-to-back games, they have the League's worst road record and are 13-21-4 following a loss, so hopefully they'll be as gracious to their hosts tonight as they were in Carolina.
The last time the Bolts beat the Caps in a regular season game in April was in 1999, four such games ago. Extending that streak to five would set up a likely all-or-nothing Saturday match up with the Panthers, but let's take things one step at a time and dispense with Tampa first.
I'm reminded of Herb Brooks's inspirational pregame speech prior to the gold medal game back in 1980. Guarding against a let down after pulling off the Miracle on Ice, Brooks simply told his boys something to the effect of, "If you lose this game, you'll take it with you to your [expletive] graves." After all the Caps have been through this season, a loss to lowly Tampa would stick with them all summer - a summer which, in all likelihood, would begin on Sunday.
Elsewhere 'Round the Rinks:
Thanks to Jack Davies for passing along a link to D.C.-based rapper WALE's MySpace page, which features a track called "Back In The Go Go" in which the rapper gives Alex Ovechkin a shout out. Sidenote: I'm really lame and white.... Michael Farber (who may or may not have played the father on Family Ties) isn't all that impressed by anything any Caps have done this year, other than one game AO had.... Allan Muir has an interesting take on the MVP debate in that he wouldn't give Ovie the hardware based on - gasp! - the merits.... Carey Price was named Rookie of the Month for March. I, for one, am glad he was given the opportunity to play as much as he did.... Finally, one year ago today we covered some fashion news and sorta previewed that night's Caps game while pimping our ragin' year-end party, and two years ago we previewed that night's Caps/'Canes game and linked to the CBA, which for some reason seemed revolutionary.
- Hart: Chad LaRose (Hat trick, including the game-winner, +3, 4 SOG)
- Ross: Chad LaRose, Sidney Crosby, Sergei Gonchar, Pat Kane (3 points each)
- Norris: Sergei Gonchar (G, 2A)
- Vezina: Marc-Andre Fleury (W, 26 saves on 29 shots against)
- Richard: Chad LaRose (3G)
- Calder: Pat Kane (G, 2A, +2, 3 SOG)
- Aiken: Dominik Hasek (L, 3 goals allowed on 6 shots against in just 7:52 of work)