Thursday, December 15, 2005

A Clutch Goal Against Kings

Capitals 3, Kings 2

As Olaf Kolzig returned to the locker room at the end of the game, he raised his arms in a sort of “raise the roof” motion. He had good reason to be happy. The Capitals win a big game at the Staples Center 3-2 over the Los Angeles Kings.

Just when I was brewing up the story of this game and complaining to whoever was in earshot, “the Caps need to get a clutch goal,” when Jamie Heward put a laser by Jason LaBarbera at 18:57, just over a minute left in the game. This blog was shaping up to be about the lack of clutch players for the Caps. I am glad it doesn’t have to.

Heward came up with a huge clutch goal for the Caps in the waning seconds of the third. The Kings looked on stunned. They couldn’t even put together a 6-on-5 for the remainder of the game. The Caps finally put a solid team back on their heels.

In a game where the Refs were getting bonuses for calling hooking and interference calls (12 hooking/interference calls out of 22 total penalties), the Capitals finally can rely on their special teams for a win. Maybe this should exorcise the demons from the power play.

Matt Bradley had the defensive play of the game, saving a puck that squeezed past Olie and Bradley caught it just in time to clear it away. Video replay shows the puck right on the goal line, but not in (or at the very least inconclusive). Much to the chagrin of Kings’ fans.

Overall Grade: A

The Caps played their game and got big goals from Heward and Brian Sutherby were both timely and clutch. Too bad I didn’t tape the game, because it was a classic for sure. Caps came out physical, which proved to be a positive for them as the Kings could not match the intensity of their aggressive visitors.

Brendan Witt also gets some mad props in this game. Even if his number didn’t show on the scoreboard, he had some big hits and was solid on defense. Witt must really want out of DC if he is playing this well.

Wash Post gets you the quotes and details from the game, including a ton of stats that I can’t think of right now because it’s 1:17 in the morning. And yes I have to be up early tomorrow, thanks for asking.

Caps face San Jose Friday night, same late time: 10:30 pm EST. The game will be on WB50 for you locals. Good night, I am crashing!

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