Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Wednesday Roundup/Gamenight: Flames @ Caps

[AP Preview - Preview]

The last time we saw the Flames, Alex Ovechkin was blowing up Dion Phaneuf, a pair of Z's scored a pair apiece, and Olie Kolzig was a wall, stopping 37 of 39 shots.

Seventeen months later the Z's are gone, but Olie Kolzig will be back in net tonight and you can bet that Alex Ovechkin will be hitting everything that moves (provided, of course, that he's actually somewhere in the neighborhood of 100% healthy) and taking aim at crossing another off the list of NHL team's he's scored against (which would leave only L.A., Minnesota and San Jose unscathed). His next goal will give him more than Glenn Anderson or Pat LaFontaine ever scored in a single season, and the air only gets more rarefied from there.

Calgary comes to town for the first of back-to-back games against the Southeast Division (they're in Atlanta - where it all began - on Thursday night), trying to complete a five-game sweep of the SED (they already have 2-1, 9-6 and 4-3 wins over Florida, Tampa and Carolina, respectively) and trying to hold on to first place in the Northwest Division (they have a one point lead over Minny).

Led by Hart hopeful Jarome Iginla (who on Monday became the team's all-time leading goal scorer), the Flames score more than the Flames you might remember (though not so much on the power play) and are a tough visitor, sporting an 18-13-1 road record. To top it all off, they're hot (7-1-2 in their last ten), despite scoring two or fewer goals in six of their last eight games.

The Caps playoff hopes, as we've documented over the past couple of days, are on life support. But we're told that there's still a heartbeat. Tonight, you'll see whether or not the team truly believes that.

Why The Flames Will Win:
In a moment of confusion, Nicklas Backstrom will think he's actually Flames' draft pick Mikael Backlund and thus shoot yet another puck into his own net. No? Okay... Calgary natives Mike Green and Jeff Schultz will be so enamored to be playing on the same ice as their hometown heroes that they will get stuck in a time warp, thinking they are playing pond hockey with their buddies (all of whom are wearing Flames red) leading to an even larger moment of confusion where upon finding themselves so close to the opposing team's net (read: Caps) that they will shoot the puck into the net instead of defending. Or maybe the Flames are just better. :P Alright, I don't want to die too horrible of a death by the hands of CapsChick so I will retreat quietly now." - Double D(ion)
Elsewhere 'Round the Rinks:

Happy 31st Birthday to Brent Johnson.... What the hell has gotten into Jeff Halpern? He now has four goals and five assists in eight games for the Bolts (and why do I feel like he's going to do the Caps in in one of those late season games?).... Despite no goals, one assist and a minus-four rating in his last five games, Mike Green = good.... One year ago today we ran down a checklist to see whether the Caps were actually an AHL team.

Daily Awards
  • Hart: Dany Heatley (3G, including the game-winner, A, +2, 6 SOG)
  • Ross: Dany Heatley (4 points)
  • Norris: Pavel Kubina (2G, including the OT game-winner, +3, 6 SOG, 2 BkS)
  • Vezina: Carey Price (38-save shutout win)
  • Richard: Dany Heatley, Vincent Lecavalier (3G each)
  • Calder: Carey Price (38-save shutout win)
  • Aiken: Johan Hedberg (L, 5 goals allowed on 23 shots against in two periods of work)


D.C One Timer said...

does anyone remember the last time the flames came to DC? I think it was early 04 and they traded leads late in the game and Jagr tied it up with like .03 left to send it to Overtime...we tied but it was an amazing game...anyone?

JP said...

You nailed it... well, almost - there was 0.8 seconds left. :) But Gonch tied it with one minute left, Iginla regained the lead 21 seconds later, then Jags tied it in the last second. All in all, six goals in the final 5:37. Insane.

Here's the recap. I remember the game well - it was on my birthday (as well as the b-day of OFB's Gustafsson, I might add).

D.C One Timer said...

Two things I found funny in that article...

“We need a shootout now,” said Iginla, who has six goals and six assists in six games. “We needed a shootout to get the result at the end there.”

...damn you jarome


“It felt like a Pee-Wee game at the end—in all due respect to Pee-Wees,” Washington coach Glen Hanlon said.

That's such a Hanlon thing to go back and make sure no Pee-wees were insulted..

Anonymous said...

I had forgotten Zednik came back to the Caps for a short time.

Anonymous said...

can anyone tell me what channel number the Ovechkam is on with DirecTV? Need to set the DVR before going to the game. Thanks.

Christopher said...

I think it would an excellent idea to encourage the fan base to cheer the ever-loving bejeezus out of Backstrom tonight. I know that the other guys in the room have probably tried to pick him up, and there was a story about Leonsis giving him a hug after practice, but perhaps we as fans could show that we still appreciate all he's done for the
team and all that he will do in the future. Mostly by screaming ourselves hoarse in his support.

It sounds a little cheesy, but he's still just a kid. Knowing that the fan base is 100% behind him after that gaffe could help him get over it. This is honestly one of those times that a gesture by the fans might really mean something to a player. I know I'll be cheering for him like mad and encouraging the fellow denizens of Section 408 to do the same.

Anonymous said...

Trent Freaking Whitfield....

I remember that game but I sure as hell don't remember him scoring the first goal haha

andy grabia said...

Thanks for the win, Caps.



Anonymous said...

Ovechkin named 1st Star of the night again - now leads overall. Is it just me or has he been named 1st star on each of their last 3 game nights? Anyone able to find a listing of the 3 stars for the season?