Thanks for your patience while I was traveling for a few days.
I am currently in Atlanta and was present for the game tonight. I will also be in Raleigh on Tuesday. Any Caps fans shoot me an email if your going Tuesday.
So the Caps started off the road trip well..sort of. They escaped Nashville like they escaped the third period on Sunday against Boston. Two points are just that but the effort in Chicago was simply the snowball effect of those two efforts.
Looking at the games starting after the NBC game, no one expected the Caps to be 11-0; they were bound to lose one. When you look at the importance of coming out of the gate (after the Pitt game) and getting a streak going, plus the importance on winning the game in hand, the Chicago game was the perfect game to lose. And why not 5-0? It's a wake up call to the effort they have put in lately. As painful as it was to watch, I think it was good for the Caps in some ways.
You did not want them to drop any games against Tampa or ATL because those are " gotta wins" and the FLA/CAR are too important. So again, the Chicago shellacking was "fine".
Onto tonight's game.
I consider myself to be very lucky to be at this game tonight. There were so many great things about this game (really the third period) but obviously we need to talk about the number 8 and the number 60...and we need to talk about the Caps biggest win of the year.
I had this small feeling inside that the Caps were going to make something happen. As I was walking around the small halls of Phillips Arena with my fleece helment on along with my mullet-wearing cousin, I forced myself to believe. I was ranting about the next 20 minutes being the most important of the season. I talked about the fact that if the Caps don't come out like the best team to ever hit the ice, they need to check their pulses. And I talked about the Miracle Man himself, Mr.Boudreau. I was praying for him to have some coaching magic.
My foolish optimism was spot on. With about 12 minutes left and about 35 shots on net, I told my cousin something had to give with so many shots and much time left. Although we have seen this scenario so many times, it felt different.
The Ovy rebound was uplifting, seeing Green carry that puck all the way in like he should be was amazing, seeing Backstrom rip off a really nice shot that he usually isn't able to was surprising AND seeing Nic pot almost the same goal from Nashville to clinch it was breathtaking.
One of the best games I have ever seen. Congratulations to Alex Ovechkin on an amazing season. He deserves all the attention he is getting plus more. For those who argue against his MVP status, I can't even justify a rebuttal anymore-it's simply not worth my time if they can't get it.
Some random thoughts.
- The refs missed quite a bit in the second period.
- I didn't think twice about Brash being out. Now I have learned my lesson as the Thrash took advantage.
- I wish that Flash would be scratched permanently.
- I think Eminger needs to play here on out. No offense to Lepisto, he will get his chance. Eminger has played well and confidently. We will need that down the stretch.
- Semin was up and down tonight. Fedorov had a good game.
- I thought for a lot of the night the Fehr-Laich-Cooke line was the best out there.
- To all the Caps fans I met down in ATL tonight, it was great doing so. The absolute silence/shock in the arena tonight as about 100 caps fans through the arena screamed in disbelief after the 4th goal was beautiful.
- So Rangers can't get er done and Philly takes 2 points in the shootout. Toronto does a huge favor and beats Buffalo. Caps are 1 point out of 8th, 2 points out of 7th and still 5 pts out of 3rd.
- Onto Carolina where a very tough game lies ahead.
Caps live to see another day.
One quick note about this afternoon's chat with Tarik.
Tarik's chat was kind of negative. Tarik believes Huet won't be in DC come next September because he will want more money then we will put up. I disagree. The Caps know what they have in the Neuiv and Varl and that they are years away. GMGM knows the importance of goaltending. Whether or not Kolzig stays, he wont be making 5.5 million. Why wouldn't GMGM give Huet a 3/4 year deal between 4-5? It just makes sense. I say he will be a Cap for the next few years.
I say Cooke is here to stay and Fedorov will not.