Random ramblings from last night's win....
Brian Fahey earned the lowest amount of ice time for all Caps D-men...hmmm, I wonder why....But seriously, he did start the rush that led to the first goal and looked, meh, okay out there. He could do with a few more games like this. It'd be better for my nerves at least.
Would have been nice if Varlamov got the SO. Except I opted not to start him on my fantasy team....you don't have to say it....it's already been done.
Speaking of Varly, though--what a return! No lapses in concentration at all, the old lateral movement was back on display--his body language said it all. If he can stay healthy all season and into the playoffs it will be fun to watch him and Michal Neuvirth play their game of "Can You Top This?"
Backstrom had a great night overall but that second goal was a thing of beauty. He took a feed from Ovechkin in the corner, turned Tim Gleason into his personal pylon, then put a nice wrister past Peters. Backstrom is scoring and Ovechkin is setting him up....I'm not worried, but one wonders if they're getting a couch trip.
Whaddya mean Ovechkin's not playing well? He got all three assists didn't he? And not all of them were the "bang, rebound, SCORE!" type, either. See above for reference. Folks, we have to get over this mindset that OV has to always be on pace for a 50-goal, 100-point season for the team to be successful. Let's be thankful that he's learning that a captain can do other things (hitting, backchecking, yapping on the ice and on the bench) besides score to help his team. So long as he is CONTRIBUTING, and the team is WINNING, there really isn't anything to fret about is there? I realize there are those of you out there that do enjoy watching him make that red flashy thingy above the goal go crazy. To you I say this--while three goals in 11 games isn't going to impress anyone, is there any reason to think he won't start lighting it up again soon? You're right, there is no reason.
Joe Corvo finished a minus 2 for the game. All I have to say is this--if you're going to wear number 77 for any hockey team and you're a Blueliner, you better at least be awesome enough to match this legend. Joe, awesome you are not...not even close. That's why you were a non-factor in last year's playoffs. That's why you're back in Carolina.
By contrast, Ian White was the only Carolina defenseman who finished on the good side of plus-minus. Mike Vogel commented on the PreCap podcast before the game that this was a pretty good pickup in the recent trade that they made with Calgary. Based on what I've seen of White, Mike Vogel is correct.
Good to see Tom Poti back, mistakes and all. At least none of them cost the Caps the game. It'll all be worth it when he gets back into form. more on this below...
John Erskine got saddled with a bad penalty that led to a tying goal late in the third. I say "bad" because the call was bad. While Erskine definitely tripped the Carolina player (sorry didn't catch who it was) once again, the offended player felt the need to embellish the act by impersonating someone being shot out of a cannon. To those that ask, "How can it be a trip AND a dive?" I point to situations like this. This garbage has to be called more vigorously--it makes grown men look like sissies.
The Capitals won more faceoffs than they lost. Always a good thing. An even better thing is when the power play comes through when it needs to. Once again, it's Brooks Laich creating havoc (and scoring chances) in front of the net. Is someone trying to fill Mike Knuble's skates?
More from the M*A*S*H unit...Mike Green's injury necessitated Fahey's call-up. This is getting harder to watch. I know that somehow they're still winning games, but really--something needs to be done very soon to address the defensive depth issue. This problem seems to me to be the more immediate dilemma--no team is lucky enough to completely avoid injuries. This kind of thing has a way of piling up after a while and, come playoff time, could prove costly if they have to rely on AHLers--even if they are from Hershey. Quality defensemen are always at a premium and therefore harder to obtain. Which leads to the real problem--most likely a trade will need to be completed, so the question becomes "who do you give up?"
That's it from my end (as well as the rest of me. Go ahead and do it, you know you want to). Next up is a meeting with Mr. 19-in-19 himself, Steven Stamkos and the Tampa Bay Lightning...will probably do a follow up after that game. After that, we'll see what happens...hopefully I won't have to go the way of a fellow Caps' blog. Come back soon, we already miss you and your incredible work! As always...good thoughts are a good thing...keep them coming.
Happy Thanksgiving to one and all from The Blueliner On Point. No speeches, just want to make sure you remember the thing you're most thankful for this day. I know I will.