Tuesday, March 04, 2008

Tuesday Roundup/Caps 10, B's 2

[AP Recap - Game Summary - Box Score - WashingtonCaps.com Postgame]

Tim Thomas's ownership of the Caps and Alex Ovechkin is officially over. Mind you, it's no bum that Caps torched - Thomas was second in the League in save percentage and tenth in GAA before last night. But while he's been a big dog on most nights this season - and throughout his career against the Caps - he was the fire hydrant last night. Some thoughts on the game:
  • Ovechkin's 50th was gorgeous, but his second most impressive highlight was his homerun pass that Nicklas Backstrom converted to hit the double-digit goal mark.
  • Quick recap of League leaders: the Caps have the League's leading scorer, leading goal-scorer, leading rookie scorer and leading defenseman goal-scorer. Damn.
  • Zdeno Chara tried to change the momentum of the game by fighting Donald Brashear when the B's fell behind 2-0. It didn't work - it just created more room for Ovechkin, who scored his second with Big Z in the box. Oh, and Brash wanted absolutely nothing to do with actual knuckle chuckin' in that bout, and why would he? Shawn Thornton was more to his liking (sidenote: two fights, one goal... a Donald Brashear Hat Trick?).
  • Matt Cooke, Matt Bradley and Brash all scored (Brads twice). That's a recipe for a win every time.
  • Speaking of Cooke (who led the team with four hits), here's a coincidence for you - last night he had a goal and two helpers, five years to the day after he had two goals and a helper... also against Boston.
  • The Caps got an astounding percentage of their attempted shots on goal - for the game, they were credited with 34 shots on and only seven that were blocked. That speaks to how lousy the Bruins were all night.
  • Sergei Fedorov rocked the faceoff circle (11-for-16), but was minus-one on the night. So was Alex Semin. Brooks Laich, too, but he scored twice so we'll cut him some slack.
  • Fedorov, Milan Jurcina and Boyd Gordon were the only Caps held off the scoresheet. If you have Feds on your fantasy team, this was a frustrating night.
  • Eric Fehr had a quiet three assist night.
  • Nice of Claude Julien to wear team colors for the nationally televised game. He didn't look much like a jackass, did he?
  • Speaking of jackasses, someone should have run Marc Savard.
  • Class move by Bruce Boudreau putting out who he did on those late power plays.
Hey, Carolina:

Elsewhere 'Round the Rinks:

On this date in 1999, Calle Johansson moved past Rod Langway on the Caps' all-time games played list when he played his 727th game for D.C. His 983 games played for the red, white and blue, black and bronze remains the franchise mark to this day.

Daily Awards
  • Hart: Alexander Ovechkin (3G, including the game-winner, 2A, +3, 5 SOG)
  • Ross: Alexander Ovechkin (5 points)
  • Norris: Scott Niedermayer (G, A)
  • Vezina: J.-S. Giguere (W, 24 saves on 25 shots against)
  • Richard: Alexander Ovechkin (3G)
  • Calder: Nicklas Backstrom (G, 3A, +3, 3 SOG)
  • Aiken: Tim Thomas (L, 7 goals allowed on 24 shots against in just 36:30 of work... and he got pulled twice)


Anonymous said...

A Matt trick?

Abhinav said...

Nice recap, JP.

I didn't realize what a great idea it was for Brash to just tackle Zdeno and get him out for 5 minutes. Great play.

The second fight looked like a draw to me. A great scrap.

And what did Savard do? I didn't see anything in the highlites.

Abhinav said...

Also, eliminating the 2 line pass makes for exciting hockey. For the record.

Paul Nichols said...

I agree Rage - some of the best plays in hockey wouldn't happen if they still had that 2-line pass rule. Best thing they could have done.

What can you say - a great game. I missed the start of the third, though - why was Olie in there?

Not that I'm against Olie, but was it just to get him some work?

JP said...

@ Rage: On that last point, we may quibble. Obviously you saw the upside of it last night. But the down side is that rather than stacking your D at the redline (because you don't have to worry about guys getting in behind you), teams are stacking at their blueline, which clogs the ice a bit and makes teams have to dump and chase more and carry the puck through the zone less.

Hard to say whether it's a net positive or negative, IMO. But homerun passes like those last night certainly are sweet.

And Savard slashed Kozlov and ran Huet, among other less flagrant transgressions.

@ Paul: Huet had back spasms in the second and was lifted as a precaution. It doesn't sound too serious... for now (bom bom BOM!).

NS said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
NS said...

missed most of this game, so i have a couple of questions:

1. from what i DID see, Cooke seems like a great addition to the team. did he keep it up the whole game?

2. how did Fedorov fair with Semin? looking good so far?

(i hope Ovie scores his 60th at home)

Brian said...

I don't care if Federov ends up on the scoring sheet or not, he's going to pay dividends. I loved the way he killed a penalty in the 3rd by skating around the Boston defensive end with the puck. And he had a near-no-look cross-ice pass that was amazing.

@JP, I agree - thumbs up to BB for that power play unit. Hard work deserves a reward and they didn't disappoint.

Unknown said...

I'm hardly an eye-for-an-eye type, but 10, 87 and 4 must target Savard next time out. His dirty s*it was preposterous: Slashing AO, running Huet, etc. There have to be consequences for that.

Anonymous said...

I was one of the unfortunate few stuck on Metro for about 15 extra minutes. We all rushed up the escalator and into the arena, having missed the first ten minutes or so of the game. And then, wham, we all came to a skidding stop under the nearest TV in the concourse. The small print at the top said ... holy crap, 4-0? After TEN MINUTES? Cripes. Wha? Just how many goals did Ovie score in TEN DAMN MINUTES? (Stupid Metro.)

By golly, neighbors and friends, turns out we just missed the WARM UP!

This is the kind of game that you dig out the video in July or August and watch again with a beer or two.

"Six goals in tonight's game were scored by players 24 and younger." (from Peerless) I love this. Adore it. More. More. More.

And a very good night for my little munchkin Eric Fehr, who was one of the beneficiaries of the more ice time for the other guys mode that Big Boo was in.

My only regret is that assist was taken away from Olie. That extra bit of fluffy frosting would have been sweet indeed.

Anonymous said...

Bruce didn't forget how pissed off his team was when Montreal put out its top PP unit at the end of a lopsided game and he wasn't about to give Boston any additional incentive come Saturday. Smart move by Boudreau and nice reward for the grinders. BTW, that was Matt Bradley's first PP goal of his career.

Anonymous said...

"With skill, speed, and a pleasure in belting every opponent in sight, the Capitals rolled over the Bruins with eight goals to spare and reduced a mountain of confidence into a pile of rubble that will require a significant effort to repair." (from
the Globe article

Possible One-Timer from that same article: "I got more uncomfortable as the game went on and the goals went in." Tim Thomas

Anonymous said...

Remember this quote from "Why the Bruins will win"? Forget the coach, this guy really looks like a jackass. Those no name players sure had their way with his team:

"The Bruins will win because they're on a 6-game win streak. Besides, the only quality players on the Caps' roster are Ovechkin and ...uh....that other....hmm. Well, at least they have Ovechkin." - The Spoked B

NS said...

hope Huet is ok....


1) Anyone miss Flash?
2) Great game for the Caps for sure, but it'll only be significant if its followed up with equal intensity on the road the next few days.
3) Caps undefeated when Bradley scores?

Anonymous said...

It's easy to get hysterical...

But even including the Toronto game, this current Caps squad is playing better in their last 4 games than I think I've ever seen out of this franchise (and I've been watching since 1996 or so). GMGM is looking like a genius right now. Hopefully Huet is healthy and they keep rolling. I want to see what kind of damage this team could do in the playoffs.

Anonymous said...

I agree grapejoos, it'd be a shame if the Capitals pre-Thanksgiving debacle kept them from the playoffs because I think they're pretty clearly one of the best eight teams in the East - who know what they could do in the playoffs?

Anonymous said...

983 games....

Alex has 230 games to this date. If he plays in the rest of the games this season he'll have 245 total.

At that pace he could break the most games record in ~9 years (depending on how many playoff games he gets in during those years).

And he'll still have 4 more years on his contract...

doubleas said...

It is easy to win when the other team doesn't show up, but what I appreciated most was the Caps winning 4-2 AFTER the first period. They didn't sit back and get beat up physically. It is nice to see the attitude has changed.

Also, for MVP:

Crosby: How can you be MVP when your team goes 11-6-4 without you and another player on your team is 2nd in the league in points?
Malkin: How can you be MVP when you're not even the best player on your team?
Iginla: Have you seen Ovechkin?
Ovechkin: of course!

NS said...

doubleas - unless Crosby manages to play the center AND goalie position at the same time, there is no way he can win the Hart.

Marky Narc said...

doubleas: I was going to say the exact same thing! I like that the Caps didn't phone in the last two periods. They could have easily let up on the gas, won the game 6-3, taken the two points and moved on. But they didn't do that.

To me, the 4-2 score AFTER the first period is the most telling stat anyone can put forth about this game.

Anonymous said...

I think the score sheet may have an error OR my math sucks, hows does brooks get 2 points, in a 10-2 game and end up negative in the plus/minus department....

JP said...

@ Mikey: His two points came on the power play, and you don't get a plus when you're on the ice for a PPG. He was also on the ice for Boston's second goal, an even-strength tally. Hence the minus-one.