Monday, December 29, 2008

Garts Honored, Caps Win

Capitals 4, Maple Leafs 1
Scoresheet - Wash Post

Brooks Laich and Alex Ovechkin shared the load in this game both scoring 2 goals each. Jose Theodore stopped 23 shots to get his third straight win. Laich got the first star and the red hard hat for his efforts last night.

Because of my travel schedule it has been hard to catch all these games during the holiday season. You can imagine my disappointment that I would miss Mike Gartner night. I had a chance to see a taped version of the game so I will just make a couple of observations.

--Ovi may have been a bit of a puck hog by not passing to Laich at the end of the game, giving Brooks his first career hat trick. But Ovi apologized later and pointed out that he is now only a goal away from being the top scorer in the league. I mean geez Brooksie, look at the bigger picture here.

--Theo has played his best string of games to date as a Capital. After allowing 4 goals in the Ranger comeback, JT60 has turned away all but three goals in seven periods of play.

--I think the new annoying commercial after the "Saved By Zero" monstrosity has to be the Netstar 1 commercial with the guy in the bathroom making faces in the mirror. What the heck is that all about.

--Matt Bradley took a big spill in the third and you could literally see the birdies fly around his head.

--Eric Fehr should check his stick for holes, I counted at least three times the big forward let a puck past him, including on the Leafs goal.

--Mike Green was back in the line up. He must be going for the most cute moves award, because he had a lot of pretty moves that accomplished zilch. Having said that, that was a pretty wicked shot that rang the post in the first period.

--If the Capitals do consider a third jersey (and I don't think they should) they should do the retro look, because those old Capitals' design looked spectacular in warm ups. The stars down the arms and across the front just made Ovi look faster for some reason. They would also have to bring back the stars on the pants.

--What was with Joe Benanati's tie? U-G-L-Y, you ain't got no alibi, that tie is ugly! (This observation is brought to you by my wife)

--I agree with Craig Laughlin (a rare thing). With Labre, Hunter and Langway, they really did need some speed up there.

--During Mike Gartner's ceremony, the Caps players couldn't look more disinterested. Except Chris Clark.

--Speaking of Clark, he had one of most physical games since being injured. Being a pest and and all around nasty player, getting into scrums and throwing a punch or two. His roughing penalty in the second seemed to energize the Caps when Jonas Frogren and Clark were called for coincidental penalties. Ovi scored on the ensuing four on four to break the tie.

--Jeff Schultz is another player who made a comeback. He had a really bad shift in the first where he coughed up the puck, screwed up his assignment and nearly let a Leaf walk in front of the net with the puck before he stepped in front of him. When the whistle blew Schultz skated right back to the bench, even though it looked as if the coaches were going to leave that defensive pairing on. It's always my mantra that if you have a bad shift, get off, regroup and live to see another shift. Schutlz played much better the rest of the game.

--Congratulations to the Washington Redskins New England Patriots Dallas Cowboys Baltimore Ravens on making the playoffs.

The Capitals open a ten point lead in the Southeast Division and move to second on the Eastern Conference ranking. Their dominance at home has masked a difficult road record where the Caps will be tested in Buffalo for their next game. The Capitals attendance is also up 33% from a year ago, last night's tilt was sold out. It's getting harder and harder to grab a beer between periods.


TheScribbler said...

On the radio immediately after the game Laich acknowledged that Ovi didn't have a lane to pass him the potential hat trick.

Mark Bonatucci said...

Rick is right on - the guy who took away Laich's first hat trick was Kabrele. Personnally if I was Kaberl;e I would have made the early move towards Ovie and given him the passing lane since it was empty net. Hoping that Laich got nervous and shot wide rather then giving Ovie his 25th of the year. That said I'm pretty sure for an NHL level guy it's instinctual on a 2-1 you take away the pass and let the goaltender isolate on the first shooter. Either way that 4th goal iced the result and the win is more important than Laich's first hat trick - he'll get it soon the way he's been playing anyway.

Garrett said...

Having a chance to look at the replay of the game, you're right. Laich was sort of cut off. But on the other hand Laich didn't make a move to get open either. The play makes more sense for Ovi to bury it rather than try to make a high risk pass with the team shorthanded and badly out of position defensively.

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