For a moment there, everything was right in the world. I had a newly-opened Sierra Nevada in my hand, Duke was losing an NCAA Tournament game, Alfonso Soriano had played the outfield for the second-straight day and the Caps held a 3-2 third period lead on the road. Needless to say, I took care of my business (a few times over). So did LSU. Even Fonzy gave it the old college try. But alas, the clean-sweep was not to be, as the Lightning - aided by a horrendous phantom interference call on Ivan Majesky with just over a minute left in regulation - downed the Caps early in overtime. Which brings us to today's Rink trivia question: when was the last time the Caps won a road game for Olie Kolzig? Answer at the bottom.
Without question, the effort was there last night from the Caps, and Alex Ovechkin played his best game in a couple of weeks, registering two goals and an assist and firing a whopping 13 shots on goal. But for the second-straight night they allowed three power-play goals (this time on only five attempts) and failed to capitalize on their own golden opportunities with the extra man, this time a 1:46 two-man advantage immediately followed by a four-minute power-play. The result, then, was predictable, albeit the route taken a bit circuitous.
The WaPo's recap is here, the WTimes' here.
Thread of the Day: If I Were An NHLer I Would Be... - borrowing from Jes borrowing from Vancouver Canucks Op Ed borrowing from the HF Boards (how's that for a citation?), I brought the question to the mostly-unwashed mass of Caps fans.
Elsewhere 'round the rinks:
- The Caps signed their 2005 fifth-round draftee, goaltender Darren Machesney, to a three-year entry-level contract. "Machesney posted a 28-17-1-2 record in the 2005-06 regular season, leading the [Brampton] Battalion to first place in the OHL’s Central Division. He tied for sixth in the OHL with three shutouts, ranked 10th with a 3.03 goals-against average and 11th with a .908 save percentage." But I guess the real question (if you follow the two links above) is how many "r's" are in the kid's first name?
- Happy Birthday to former Cap Doug Jarvis, who turns 51 today. Needless to say, the Caps sure could use a penalty killer like the 1983-84 Selke winner these days. Also of note is Jarvis's ironman streak, during which he played 964 consecutive regular season games from 1975 through 1987.
- Hart: Todd Bertuzzi (Goal, assist, shootout winning goal, +1, 2 shots on goal, 0 opposing players' necks broken)
- Ross: Marian Hossa, Scott Gomez, Brad Richards, Jordan Leopold, Jamie Lundmark, Steven Reinprecht (3 points each)
- Norris: Roman "Stop... Hamr Time!" Hamrlik (2 goals, +1, 4 shots on goal, 2 hits)
- Vezina: Manny Legace (28-save shutout win)
- Richard: Alexander Ovechkin, Roman Hamrlik, Raffi Torres (2 goals each)
- Calder: Alexander Ovechkin (2 goals, assist, +2, 13 shots on goal, 2 hits, 1 takeaway, 0 giveaways)
- Aiken: Martin Brodeur (Loss, 6 goals against on 30 shots in OT loss after giving up 4 third period goals and all 6 after the 12:33 point of the second period)
I was at Olie's last road win. Howabout that. Fittingly, that was the game where my Olie Pirates jersey was stolen out of my car. Awesometown.
"Phantom" Interference call? Come on, he was keeping Fedotenko from fielding the rebound/ricochette puck.
Don't get me wrong - there are plenty of non-calls and calls last night, like all too many nights in the league. I just wouldn't phrase the infraction as "phantom" as-so-much "questionable" or "arguable".
Without a doubt the bad calls cut both way - Artyukhin's "dive," for example, was a joke.
Maybe "phantom" was a bit strong. I think I can accept "questionable but game-deciding," especially considering when it was called and how little it actually impacted the play (the puck never really made it all the way out front anyway).
It's just tough to accept losing a tight game on a marginal (at best) call, especially given the way the Caps have been playing. I've said it before and I'll say it again: let the players, not the refs, decide the games.
Devils are retiring Ken Daneyko's #3 before tonight's game. I love Dano and definately think his number should be retired, but it leads me to one question that I want to pose to the guru of hockey knowledge - has anyone had their number retired with worse statistics than Dano? 1283 GP; 36 G; 142 A; 178 P; +80; 2519 PIM; 3 PPG; 4 PPA; 3 SHG; 5 SHA; 3 GWG; 1 GTG.
The easy answer off the top of my head is yes, as the Caps retired Yvon Labre's #7 back 1981. As the link notes, "Labre was playing for one of the worst teams in league history, and he even had to struggle to make that team each year."
Labre's career numbers (including the 37 games he played for Pittsburgh before coming to Washington):
371 games played
0 playoff appearances
But there must be more out there. Anyone?
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