Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Ovie's hat trick propels Caps to 5-3 win over Thrashers

With seven starters out with injuries, the Caps called up four Hershey Bears to put a team on the ice against the Atlanta Thrashers in an almost sold out rocking the red pre-Thanksgiving day game.  Top defensive prospect Karl Alzner made his NHL debut and Sami Lepisto joined the blue line while winger Chris Bourque and Graham Mink joined the offense.  After a wearying and injury plagued road trip out West, the four Hershey Bear players gave the Caps the spark and energy they needed to control the game.  Of course, a hat trick from Alex Ovechkin by the 54 second mark of the 2nd period didn't hurt either. 

The highlights:
  • Karl Alzner played a solid even game in his debut and seemed to make Milan Jurcina better.  Coach Boudreau gave him 21+ minutes of ice time so he liked what he saw in Alzner. I like the two of them paired together. Jurcina played even hockey and took two shots on goal.  He's got a monster shot and I want to see it more.
  • Eric Fehr's goal from Tomas Fleischmann and Michael Nylander was a tape-to-tape passing display of beauty that reminded me of how the Detroit Red Wings play.
  • Alex Ovechkin is back with a vengeance.  His hat trick and assist gave him a four point night.  He's now 3rd in total points, 6th in goals just 3 off the leader, 8th in assists and 4th in plus/minus.
  • Viktor Kozlov, 2nd star, netted a goal and 2 assists and Tomas Fleischmann, 3rd star, got 2 assists on the night.
  • The rest of the Hershey Bear calls up played respectably with Chris Bourque getting three shots on goal, Graham Mink tossing four shots on goal and Sami Lepisto netted a point on Ovie's first goal. 
The lowlights:
  • Tom Poti left the game with a groin injury.  It's not supposed to be that bad, but I don't have a whole lot of faith in what we hear from the Caps organization about injuries.  Alexander Semin has been out way longer than expected. That makes 8 Capitals that won't play tonight.  The Caps called up 36-year old defender Bryan Helmer from Hershey.  Tarik has the write up about him here. 
The injuries are getting ridiculous and the Caps have a tough game tonight against the Montreal Canadiens.  The game is at the phone booth so I hope the home town crowd rocks the red and helps the guys get through this.

Let's go Caps!

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