Finally! Back to back wins. Now that's more like it. It could possibly be the beginning of something good. For those of you who might be a bit confused let THIS be your guide to what I'm talking about.
Won't bother with a full rundown--anyone who saw the game knows what went down. And for anyone who didn't, well here's pretty much how it went:
Early PP goal by the Captain to set the pace, with some help from Christian Erhoff
Lots of fighting, hitting, and tough play in the first period
Backi gets a pretty tic-tac-toe goal, his career 100th,and makes it 2-0
The screw up fest begins as the Caps sit back and let the Sabres dictate the play
Result--outshot 24-10 for last two periods and one goal against
Only one GA? Why? Because Evil Kounevil has his swagger back, that's why
Caps only committed one minor the whole way, naturally they killed it off
On the same note, Joe B and Locker mentioned that Dmitry Orlov, in his 18 games in DC has Zero (0) PIM
Mr. Semin, are you taking notes?
You are? Good. We thank you for the assist on the last goal
And we thank you, Captain Ovechkin for bringing the thrill back to Verizon Center
It must have been a good night--Roman Hamrlik even had an assist, two blocked shots and a hit
King Karl got his customary four blocked shots
One case where plus/minus doesn't tell the whole story--Brooks Laich
So except for the middle 25 to 35 minutes of the game, a great win
Call this one afternoon quickie if you have to. Try explaining that one to the kiddies....
So now it's off to Columbus and the NHL's perennial whipping boy, the last-place Blue Jackets. As in dead last...in the league. This could be a tale of two games: great opportunity exists for another win, and yet it's just as great an opportunity for a letdown.
Already there's some news as far as the lineup: Last night Cody Eakin was recalled from Hershey. The consensus that he's to serve as a spare forward with Matty Perreault still hobbled. In even bigger news, guess who will be in the lineup for the first time in a long time? According to the PreCap show it's Jeff Schultz, with John Erskine to sit. A chance for redemption no doubt and against a low-quality opponent. This is most likely Sergeant Steady's last chance to shine for the new coach.
The optimism is growing and the Caps seem to be shaking off the doubt. Last night proved that they don't have to play perfectly for 60 minutes as long as they believe in each other. And of course it didn't hurt that the goaltending came through...again. Which is something they haven't had in a while. So we have the offense clicking, the defense clamping down, the goalies playing their level best and even the special teams chipping in. The time is ripe for a long-absent winning streak.
It's the Blue Jackets. Please don't blow it.
On a final note, I could have sworn I heard "Red Solo Cup" last night at the game during a break in the action. It's a safe bet that wherever most people go tonight, there will be plenty of those around. Some even with beverages designed to make you forget where you are. Make it a Happy New Year for yourself and those around you--if you happen to have one or more of those drinks tonight, please let someone else do the driving. We at the Blueliner OnPoint want to keep you around for as long as possible.
I need all the readers and listeners I can get.