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Friday, November 26, 2010

Semin...Naturally! (reCap vs. Tampa Bay Lightning 11/26)

Not going to be much of a recap, I'm afraid.  You see Friday's my later-starting shift and I forgot that tonight's game started at 5 pm.  Lucky for me though I had one last break.  On that break I went to the Yahoo! NHL page and checked the score.  Very cool, at the time anyway.  Leading one nothing on a goal by John Carlson.  Who knew that would be all they need.  So the end of shift comes and I go to refresh the screen--BOOM, there it is!  One-nothing turned into FIVE-nothing just like that.  Unbelievably enough, as he did in his last game against the Lightning, Alex Semin scored another hat-trick.  I haven't seen this kind of mastery over this team since Peter Bondra.
WASHINGTON - DECEMBER 23:  Right wing Peter Bondra #12 of the Tampa Bay Lightning controls the puck persued by left wing Vaclav Prospal #20 of the Washington Capitals during the NHL game at MCI Center on December 23, 2002 in Washington, D.C.  The Capitals won 3-0.  (Photo by Doug Pensinger/Getty Images/NHLI)

And not even a regular hat-trick but a natural hat trick...wish I could have seen it for myself as it doesn't happen all that often.  For those of you who either don't know or are fuzzy on the definition, a natural hat-trick is where a player scores three straight goals in a game.  Forget all the baloney sauce about all the goals having to come in the same period and all that--that doesn't matter.

So really the only thing left to find out was two things:

1. Would Varly get the shutout?  (Yes, I remembered to start him this time!)
2. If he didn't, would the Caps suffer from a late-game collapse and allow the Lightning to get close, possibly even force overtime?

I was actually pretty confident the Caps would at least hang on and win.  The shutout would have been, and was, a bonus.  Equally surprising, however was how a good team like the Lightning just plain got the stuffing beat out of them.  I don't mean stove-top either...mmmm, memories of yesterday....

Apparently John Erskine got himself another goal as well.  Talk about firing on all cylinders.

I'll leave the breakdown to my buds over at Behind the Goal Line, Red Line Station and Japers.  I didn't see any of the actual game so it would kind of ring hollow anyway.  I will say that I totally agree with Jonathan Warner who said in the postgame show on Federal News Radio that the Caps rise to the level of their opponent.  They knew they would be in for a tough one against one of the up-and-coming teams in the NHL.  So they took it to them--and never let up.  Let's hope this is a trend.
WASHINGTON - NOVEMBER 26: Alexander Semin  and Alex Ovechkin  of the Washington Capitals warm up before the game against the Tampa Bay Lightning at the Verizon Center on November 26, 2010 in Washington, DC. (Photo by Greg Fiume/Getty Images)
Batman and Robin?  Robin and Batman?  A dynamic duo nonetheless and with other members of the Hockey Justice League in the background (Flash Gordon and Aquaman perhaps?)

Next, we welcome the Hurricanes.  Gotta love division games.  Still can't make any promises yet, but things may be looking up...keeping fingers and other body parts crossed for the time being!

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