Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Caps get 2-points on Laich's 4-point night

Caps played the Minnesota Wild tonight, rarely seen at the phone booth, and won 4-1. Brooks Laich started the scoring 2:41 into the game, assisted on Eric Fehr's first goal of the season and Shaone Morrison's first goal and finished with another goal 18:27 into the second period for his 4-point night and a well-deserved first star of the game. Laich has really developed into a good role hockey player this year. I wasn't a big fan of his prior to this season, but I like the way he's been playing.

Apparently, the news that Cristobal Huet, Sergei Federov, and winger Matt Cooke are coming to town was enough to spark the Caps to a win and make it seem like the playoffs are doable if they work for it...but work hard. Olie Kolzig showed it, too, by playing hard tonight, making great saves and earning the 2nd star of the game. It's still going to be interesting to see how the goal tending situation shakes out the rest of the season with Huet, Olie and Brent Johnson.

The trade news didn't help Ovie who is in a 6-game scoring drought. Spending too much time with his new girlfriend? Who knows, I'm not worried, but it would be nice if Ovie got hot going into the playoff stretch.

GMGM surprised a lot of us fans today based on the comments I'm seeing on Tarek's blog and the message boards. He surprised me, too, and he seems to have made some shrewd inexpensive moves. Now, Caps it's your turn.

Next up, the Devils again on Friday.

Let's go Caps!

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Wow...what just happened here?

I'm not even sure yet, but the Caps have acquired Cristobal Huet, goaltender for the Montreal Canadiens in exhange for a 2009 2nd round draft pick. GMGM also picked up left winger Matt Cooke, from Vancouver, in exchange for Matt Pettinger and drafted Sergei Federov, from Columbus & prior to that the Detroit Red Wings, you know, one of those teams where Federov got lots of playoff and Stanley Cup experience.

I'm fascinated and blown away.

Well, the puck drops in about 10-minutes as the Wild visit the phone booth. Can't wait to hear Joe B. & Craig.

Let's go Caps!

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Friday, February 22, 2008

Ugh...1 point after a 2 point lead

The Caps lose in a shootout, 3-2, to the New York Islanders. After Alexander Semin scored a beautiful goal on Di Pietro less than three minutes into the game and Brooks Laich got a late goal in the 1st period on a power play, Di Pietro didn't let the Caps score again. He always plays the Caps tough. Sigh, the Caps need every point possible right now.

The Caps didn't want it bad enough. I hope they do in their last 20 games.

Carolina up tomorrow. A huge game.

Let's go Caps!

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Sunday, February 17, 2008

Godzilla gets 2 points from Lightning

After blowing it against the Florida Panthers the night before (what is it about Florida ...Lehtonen's stellar net minding, of course, but Florida nettles the Caps all the time), Olie Kolzig pretty much won the game for the Caps against the Tampa Bay Lightning with his 39 saves, most of those in a 2nd period onslaught. Olie is benefiting from resting more now that Brent Johnson is back. Olie got 2nd star while Alexander Semin got 1st star for his game winning goal on a rebound from Viktor Kozlov with 3 minutes left in the game. Tampa Bay made it interesting by scoring 2 goals in 33 seconds right before Semin's goal. Semin stuffed his in the net less than a minute after the two Lightning goals. Dave Stekel and Tomas Fleischmann also scored for the Caps.

Defenseman Sami Lepisto made his NHL debut since Tom Pothi got injured playing Florida (he's not supposed to be out long, thankfully), but Lepisto played well. The stat that cracked me up in the Caps post game write up is the one that says Pothi & Pothier combined have played 935 games while the six starting defensemen (Green, Morrison, Lepisto, Erskine, Eminger & Schultz) have played 908 games. That tells you why Olie was busy!

Watching these games is nerve wracking to me. Every game counts so much and the Caps are struggling a bit right now to generate offense if Ovie's not scoring. They get a few more days off before the Islanders visit. The Islanders just helped the Caps by beating Atlanta. I hope they thank them by beating them.

Let's go Caps!

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Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Why I love Coach Boudreau...

He's a big football fan and say's in this USA Today article here, that he "cannot stand the prevent defense, because it never prevents anything." Isn't that the truth?

Let's go Caps!

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1 point is better than none

The Caps lose to Kari Lehtonen, in a shootout. I didn't say Atlanta Thrashers because it was Lehtonen that won that game, assisting and setting up Hossa's goal to make it 2-1 and stopping 41 shots from the Caps. Sigh. The Caps needed that extra point but flat out stunk in the shootout.

Viktor Kozlov scored off a play started by a brilliant pass from Nicklas Backstrom that went to Ovie. Ovie blasted a shot to the net that broke Ken Klee's (the former Capital) stick as he was trying to deflect the shot. Kozlov got the rebound for the score. Pretty funny goal.

Ovie scored his 48th goal continuing his torrid pace since he signed his $124m deal and putting him 9 goals ahead of Atlanta star forward & fellow Russian, Ilya Kovalchuk. GMGM, maybe you should have gotten that deal done sooner!

Olie played another stellar game, too. He's had a lot of critics this year for his horrible numbers, but I hope his play continues to be strong down the stretch. I wear his jersey for many reasons.

Up next...the Florida Panthers on Friday.

Let's go Caps!

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Monday, February 11, 2008

Caps Back in First after Beating the Rangers

So, I'm not devoting an entire blog entry to Friday night's ugly loss to the Carolina Hurricanes to knock the Caps out of first. Carolina wanted it more...enough said. But, hey, for today anyway the Cap are back on top. Beating the New York Rangers wasn't a pretty affair at the phone booth yesterday, but the Caps came away with 2 points and first place on a Mike Green overtime winner. More importantly, that was the 2nd power play goal during the 3-2 win. The Caps' power play has been hurting lately.

Olie got first star of the game and another win. I know, Olie's numbers are horrible this year, but he made some great saves yesterday and I'm glad he got first star. In fact, Coach Bourdreau credited Olie with the win on Tarek's blog.

And aside...if you read the comments on Tarek's blog, a comment from charmcitycapsfan to Tarek, "Does Semin fall a lot during practices, too?" Great question, what is up with that?

Suprisingly, the $124M man did not get a star yesterday even though he was involved in all 3 goals with 2 assists, as I was reminded by my other half, Jeff. Boyd Gordon, who tied it up off an Ovie pass with seconds left in the 2nd, got 2nd star of the game. Ovie, however, netted #47, 1 shy of his total last year and it's only February 11th. Hee, hee, hee. He's a Cap for a loooong time.

I'm not sure what was up with Shaone Morrison yesterday, but 3 penalties is ridiculous and unusual behavior.

I'm glad the Ranger's fans went home with a loss and Cap's fans were louder. The place looked pretty crowded.

The Caps got their two points and 1st place for the moment. Atlanta, in 2nd for the moment, is up next.

Let's go Caps!

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Wednesday, February 06, 2008

First Place!

A nail biter for sure, but the Caps pull out a 4-3 win over the Flyers on the road to move into first place in the SE division and they did it by beating the Flyers...ahhh. From dead last in the NHL in November to first in early February (albeit, in a weak division), the Coach Boudreau era has arrived with a bang. There's a long way to go this season and in a division that is separated by 2 points among the top 4 teams, first place will probably change hands several times before April. Tonight though, I've got a smile on my face!

Alex Ovechkin mixed it up with James Vandermeer early in the game and ended up sitting for two minutes. Vandermeer knocked Ovie after the whistle and Ovie shoved him right back. You'd think teams would learn that when you piss off Ovie he does things like score 4 goals against you. He didn't score 4 against the Flyers, but he got his 8th game winning goal (and #in the 3rd off of his own rebound.

Caps got a beautiful goal from Brooks Laich in the 2nd period to start their offense and Matt Bradley and Viktor Kozlov both scored early in the 3rd. Mike Green had 2 assists and seemed to be everywhere. He picked up 1st star of the game and Bradley got the 3rd star. Olie also made some great saves. So, even though Philly fought back hard in the 3rd, the Caps edged out a win and moved into first place.

Great win, but I don't think I can't take too many of these games.

Caps play an important game on Friday against the Carolina Hurricanes.

Let's go Caps!

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Tuesday, February 05, 2008

2 points against Columbus and #44, #45

The Washington Capitals don't play the Columbus Blue Jackets often, but they eked out 2-points against them on the road last night. Surprisingly, it was Tom Pothi's goal in the 3rd that tied the game up with 6:53 left in the period. Pothi hasn't scored a goal in 45 games and this one had to be reviewed because it didn't light up, but it was clearly a goal. Poti got 3rd star of the game. Good for you, Pothi! Rick Nash, the talented forward for the Blues, made the night rough for the Caps with a short-handed goal on an expiring 5 on 3, no less (not good, by the way...the power play is lackluster right now), and another goal when Shaone Morrison got tangled up with the referee.

Alexander Semin got his 13th goal of the season on a Viktor Kozlov assist. Eric Fehr played on the 1st line, during his season debut after a back injury, with Ovie & Nicklas Backstrom tonight which seems to have given the 2nd line a spark since Semin got a goal. And, Alex Ovechkin added goals #44 and the game winning goal in overtime, #45 to his total this year, putting him 6 goals ahead of Ilya Kovalchuk and 13 ahead of Daniel Alfredsson (who is out) and Jarome Iginla assuming he doesn't score tonight.

Wow, how many times can I say I'm thrilled Ovie is a Cap for the next 13 years! I guess we'll see.

Up tomorrow, Caps at Flyers.

Let's go Caps!

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Monday, February 04, 2008

Ahhh...big media love for Ovie

and Adam thank you for being one of the ones that voted for Ovie as the rookie of the year and pointing out that 2 of the legendary moments since this post-lockout era have been made by the Russian phenom. I'll never forget reading about him before he started playing here and hoping that the hype about him might actually be true and I'll never forget the jaw dropping experience of watching "the goal". As a Cap's fan since 1974, nothing beats signing this gifted young hockey player to a 13-year contract.

Let's go Caps!

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A disappointing loss...and Eric Fehr debuts

The Caps played a lackluster game against a division team, the Atlanta Thrashers, they should be fired up against and lost 2-0. What more is there to say about that since I'm not in the mood to compliment the player most responsible for Atlanta's win.

Eric Fehr, recalled from the Hershey Bears today, is slated to play on the 1st line against the Columbus Blue Jackets tomorrow night. Wow, let me count the ways I hate that decision. I know the Caps have played tepid offense lately, but I'm not sure I'd want to break up the line of Ovie, Backstrom and Koslov to bring up a forward who's been sidelined with a mysterious back/hip ailment for 10 months. And, to rush him up here after only 10 games played in Hershey. I'm going to hope management doesn't quickly regret this decision.

All I know is that I want to see the Caps fighting tomorrow night. Because, fighting for 1st in the SE or fighting for 8th in the Eastern Conference is the only way they're going the playoffs. And, i want to see Ovie play in the playoffs. And, yes, I'm very aware I'm not the only one.

Let's go Caps!

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Friday, February 01, 2008

Ovie single handedly wins 2 points against Montreal

What can I say about Alex Ovechkin, except to say I'm thrilled he's a Cap for the long-term. It was him and only him that won the game, 5-4 in overtime (with Ovie getting the game winner) against the Montreal Canadiens. He was also named the NHL first star of January, with his 13 goals and 9 assists for the month. I'm so glad his contract is signed because he's playing inspired hockey. I keep telling my other half, Jeff, that I remember when the sports writers and commentators kept saying that Ovie's shot was a hair off early in the season, but they had no doubt he would fix it. Did he ever and with the usual Ovie flair...according to this quote from Tarek El Bashir's blog.

"Today was special day," Ovechkin said after the team doctor went to work on his nose, which he broke for the fifth time. "I broke my nose, I have stitches, I score four goals. Everything go to my face."

Tarek also reports that Shaone Morrison said he hopes to be back in the lineup against Atlanta tomorrow. Boy, do I hope that comes true. The Caps have sorely missed Mo and Brian Pothier manning the blue line.

Up next...Atlanta tomorrow.

Let's go Caps!

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