Monday, March 03, 2008

When It Rains...

Capitals 10, Bruins 2
Scoresheet - Wash Post - Wash Times

You could tell that this team was dead tired of being bottled up offensively against the Bruins. The Caps were going to do something about that. In the process the Caps crush the Boston squad by eight goals. Alex Ovechkin had a hattrick and 2 assist for a five point night (also breaking the 50 goal barrier for a second year and getting 51 and 52 in the process). Instead of breaking down the entire game, I will instead just give you a couple of tidbits I found interesting during the game.
  • Only Boyd Gordon, Sergei Fedorov, Milan Jurcina and the goaltenders were held pointless on the night.
  • Brooks Laich, Sergei Fedorov and Alex Semin were all a -1. Rough night.
  • Two players had playmakers (three assists), one was Nick Backstrom. The other was Hershey success story Eric Fehr.
  • Nick Backstrom caught the Bruin defense napping and snapped a pass to Ovechkin breaking him free in the first, Ovie returned the favor for Backstrom in the second period.
  • Matt Cooke had a career night being the catalyst the Capitals have been looking for all season. He scored the opening goal and finished the night with his one goal and 3 points. Welcome aboard Cooke. He also did the most amount of damage while only getting 10 minutes and 21 seconds of ice time.
  • The Caps made amends on two fronts, a lackluster shut out from the last time they lost to the Bruins and the mistake-laden game from Saturday night.
  • Alex Ovechkin looks like he got that "50 goal monkey" from his back. After that goal he looked more like Ovie we know and love. Fast, strong and a nice scoring touch.
  • Brooks Laich scored two goals and was still a -1. Hmm.
  • Alex Semin is starting to pass the puck a bit more than I have seen him do in his last few games. Sure, he is a bit of puck hog, but he did set up a couple of pretty shots including a powerplay tally that Ovie scored sneaking behind the defense.
  • Tim Thomas is a brave, brave man to come back on the ice in the second period. He must have been called out in the locker room.
  • All four goaltenders from both teams saw action. Thomas was pulled twice in favor of Alex Auld, and Cris Huet was suffering from an injury after the second, Olie Kolzig played the third period. Olie was a perfect 5 saves on 5 shots, including a couple of great saves on the penalty kill. Huet gets the win though.
  • The Verizon Center faithful were actually enjoying themselves. It was the first time in a long time I actually saw smiles on just about every face, except for you Bruin fans. "Beat.. the traffic! Beat, Beat the traffic!"
  • Zdeno Chara is a pretty big push over when his team is down by 6.
  • Donald Brashear was an assist shy of a Gordie Howe hattrick. But he was involved in two fights, I think that makes up for it.
  • Matt Bradley did have the Gordie Howe hattrick, a goal, an assist and a fight (two goals actually).
  • The Caps were 4 for seven on the powerplay. The Caps and Bruins were called for the exact same number of penalties.
  • Ted Leonsis was almost constantly on his cell phone all night. Big deal going down? They even caught him on the Versus broadcast and you can clearly see him mouth "Ovie has a hattrick already." Wonder who he was on the phone with? Probably Ben Affleck.
  • If I had a dollar for every time I heard: "...and there are two periods still to go." or some variation of it, I would be sitting in the owner's box too.
  • Hart Trophy talk for Ovie?
As much fun as this game was, it's still only worth 2 points in the standings. Although it was a pretty big statement to the Eastern Conference and Carolina. "Here we come!" was heard loud and clear. Now the Caps have to back it up. They are still 3 points behind Carolina but they did match their season record for points for the previous two seasons. The Capitals hit the road for two games where they face off with a surging Buffalo and Boston again.

The Caps' game on Sunday has been moved up to 12:30 pm as NBC picks up the broadcast. They will be playing the Penguins and it's rumored that Sid "the Kid" Crosby will be back in the line up for that game. Evgeni Malkin must be hogging the spotlight a bit too much.

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