For the first time in a while it's the Caps on the losing end of a regular season tilt with the Pittsburgh Penguins. At least it was a much better effort overall for the team. Just wishing the end result was a bit different.
As we've been accustomed, this was the more typical Caps/Penguins game that contained everything: fighting, hitting, great saves, great goals....everything we could possibly want. Except for the two points.
I'm not going to do a full recap of the game and you'll figure out why if you keep reading. Suffice to say I didn't quite get to see the game as I'd like. I don't think I could have done it justice anyway to be honest. I don't like everything John Walton does, but he did a fantastic job conveying the excitement of the game.
The morning stories from various sources indicate that both Alex Ovechkin and Penguins defenseman Zbynek Michalek face disciplinary hearings for separate incidents during the game. Michalek's infraction, an elbow to the head was penalized during the game. Ovechkin's hit, a "leaping" check that appears to target the head of the opposing player, ironically Michalek, was not penalized. I haven't seen either play as I had the pleasure of listening to John Walton's call via radio as I was on the road most of the day. Therefore, I will not comment on either play except to say this--they both deserve to be suspended.
Now, I won't comment, but it obviously hasn't stopped certain idiots from commenting.
There is no excuse if the initial point of contact is intended to be the head of the opposing player. Rule 48 clearly makes any such deliberate contact illegal. Unfortunately in Ovechkin's case, this will most likely mean a suspension approaching double digits as he has been labeled a "repeat offender" from previous incidents. But that's how it should be--no one should be above the rules.
If that happens, you can pretty much write off half the month of February for the Caps. They're already missing Nick Backstrom. Lord knows when he'll be back. Marcus Johansson had some sort of illness that was hopefully the 24 hour kind. Too bad this isn't the NFL where they only play once a week, he could have come back like Eli Manning did.
It was a tremendous effort overall, given the circumstances. But I have to wonder whether or not the Caps' already mercurial fortunes might have taken a turn for the worse....