And just when we thought we've seen the absolute best....we get a game like last night.
That stinker was the polar opposite of the Carolina game where the Caps started out slowly, but finished strong and gave a dominant performance like we all know they can. But for once we'll get the good out of the way first.
Joel Ward opened the scoring with a hell of a goal. The assists were given to Jeff Halpern and John Carlson, but Ward pretty much got this one on his own. He chased the puck from behind the net after Carlson's point shot bounced off Rick DiPietro. Then, surrounded by three Islanders in the slot, he then batted the airborne puck down with his right hand, corralled it with his stick and flung a wrister over DiPietro's blocker pad.
If you get a chance to catch it on the highlight reel at the official website or at Japers, please do. It was a treat to watch.
Speaking of blocker--SHAMELESS PLUG ALERT! I would like to take this opportunity to wish my good friend Liza and the rest of the Garden State Rollergirls good luck on their upcoming season.
At least Alex Ovechkin scored and that was reason enough to hope for a win last night. They usually do well when he scores. He also drew that interference penalty in the third period that led to Brooks Laich's power play goal. Lots of jump, lots of hustle in those legs last night which is an excellent sign. But it begs the question--why the hell didn't the rest of the team follow their captain's example? In fact, Ovechkin's goal, a blast from 50 feet, was so good, it had Islanders fans wishing Rick DiPietro was hurt again. Well, actually not, but it was the only way I could think of working in my most favorite Podcast game show, courtesy of the Faceoff Hockey Show called (ahem): IS RICK DIPIETRO INNJUURRRRRRRRRREDDD???
In any case what the Islanders fans were calling for apparently was for a certain back up goalie with a certain last name from a certain movie we all love. Enjoy!
Scoring wise we finished with Mr. Human-Swiss-Army-Knife himself, Brooks Laich. This one was half work of art, half just plain work. Brooks got the pass from the point from Dennis Wideman, Ovechkin sets up the screen and SNAP, over the glove hand it goes.
All right, now for the bad stuff.
I don't know if Marcus Johansson is participating in the annual Movember charity where men grow a mustache for the month. But he certainly looked like he had one courtesy of an Islander high stick. The rule is clear and it's been said about a billion times--you are responsible for your stick. There simply is no excuse for missing this call.
The rest of it simply came down to utilities. What do you mean, "What the hell are you talking about?" I mean utilities--water and power. As in plumbing and energy level. Ah, I see you are still confused. Allow me to explain.....
At first it looked like the Caps were going to take this one just by exercising there will. Problem was they failed to connect with a knockout blow early. These aren't the Islanders of recent seasons. Coach Jack Capuano has this team playing competitive hockey night in and night out, something the rest of the league should take note of. So the Caps should have known they weren't going to be in for an easy night.
By about several minutes into the second, the Islanders had taken over the flow of the game and had more energy (see how that works?) By the third period it looked as if the Caps could have used some of this. The Islanders' P.A.Parenteau and Frans (Ferdinand) Nielsen were all over the ice, and while the Caps didn't look horrible, they were clearly having trouble keeping up. Games in back to back nights will do that to you and it doesn't let up anytime soon. Next weekend there's the home-and-home with the Devils and the weekend after Stuff-Your-Face day there's another back-to-back set with the Rangers and Sabres. May as well suck it up, gents.
I've saved most of my venom, however for the chief (but not only) cause of last night's loss. That being yet another shoddy goaltending effort. Grrrrr.
Three games now out of ten we've called Tomas Vokoun's play into question. That's not a very good trend even for a non-numbers guy like me. At least this time he's seemed to have no trouble stopping the puck. But then something would happen. Does he have some sort of a personal problem? If so, I have a recommendation. Perhaps something like this would help.
Maybe it was something he ate. I know this much, sometimes after I eat certain foods--EVERYTHING goes right through me. Sounds like something still might need fixing though. If he's feeling up to it, he could probably even do it himself.
Hope that was enough bathroom humor for everybody.
In addition to a plumber and possibly an electrician, the broadcast could have used somebody else to do the intermission reports. Can we possibly get somebody else in there that can pronounce the names of NHL players? It's really not that hard. If you don't know you just ask. Please do right by us Comcast.
I don't know about you but I feel a little flush. See you next power play shift.