Sunday, February 22, 2009

A Little Push And Shove Encounter

Capitals 5, Penguins 2
Scoresheet - Wash Post

As much as both players have tried so hard to keep their rivalry with each other from becoming front page fodder, the two just couldn't let their disdain of one another from spilling out on the ice. Alex Ovechkin and Sidney Crosby maybe the two best players in the league and it's no secret that there is a dislike of one another. But for all of Crosby's chirpping, he couldn't help his team much at the phone booth as the Penguins get dropped by the Capitals 5-2.

"What I can say about him?" Ovechkin told reporters following the game. "He is a good player, but he talks too much."

And what does Crosby think of Ovi's style of play? "Some people like it, some people don't. Personally, I don't like it."

The two got into a altercation near the Caps' bench where the referee had to separate the two. Crosby gave Ovi a shot from behind and started yapping at the reigning MVP.

"I was just skating to the bench and he pushed me from behind," Crosby said. "So I just gave him a shot back. ...He likes to run around these days, so that was it."

If Crosby means Ovechkin likes to run around defensemen and score, well then sure, he has a point. It seemed the more frustrated Crosby got, the chippier he got. I was surprised at the amount of stuff he was able to get away with. An extra shove after the play here, a face wash way after the whistle there, the "Kid" just looked and acted like a 5 year old when you take their teddy bear away.

Bruce Boudreau summed up Crosby's antics best: "I think he got frustrated because he wasn't getting the freedom he's had in this building before. It adds spice. It's entertainment. It gets your blood boiling a bit. And every time Alex gets a little more excitable, it can be good for us."

Beside the little sideshow that was a crying Crosby, the Capitals' offense woke up. The Caps were able to get five goals off of 5 different skaters. Ovechkin started the scoring with power play goal. Alex Semin, Sergei Fedorov, Shaone Morrisonn and Brooks Laich rounded out the scoring after the team was only able to put up a single goal against Colorado on Friday night.

Boudreau's Saturday practice was an exercise in getting that scoring motivation back as he skated the boys hard. It had an effect as the Capitals came to play with emotion and strong rested legs. The Penguins at times did look pretty worn down and that led to bad decisions with the puck and poor defensive coverage.

Jose Theodore looked as if he was going to have one of those kind of games where he just couldn't get it right. But he shored things up and played pretty solid through out the game. Credit the Caps' defense too as they jumped into passing lanes, read the play well and blocked their fair share of shots.

However, the Caps did play a very undisciplined game being called for nine penalties. The penalty kill did the job though, only allowing one goal in eight chances. Their power play was dynamite as they were 2 for 3. Forcing the Pens to play a clean game played into the Caps hands as they were able to forecheck and pressure the puck carrier leading to turnovers and odd man rushes on the transition.

Penguin Matt Cooke did his job well: agitate. He got away with a late hit on Mike Green, but the hit took him out of position and the Caps were able to score against his line. Green got his revenge with a monster hit against Ruslan Fedotenko late in the game.

The Caps host the Flyers next then Atlanta before heading up north to Boston to take on the Bruins. They will have to work on their consistency to keep their scoring ways up against good Flyer and Bruin squads.

AP Photo, Pablo Martinez Monsivais

1 comment:

PK said...

Caps Suck and so does Overhypedkin