Tuesday, October 31, 2006

Caps Extinguish Flames

There were Z's a plenty on the ice tonight.

Not the kind that was emanating from the crowd for most of Saturday's matchup with Edmonton. Instead it was the combined forces of Zednik, Zubrus and KolZig (reaching a little there...go with it).

What can I say? Every Caps win this season has been a demonstration of pure team effort from goaltending to forwards and everyone in between, and tonight was no exception. Olie once again turned in a brilliant performance and as a result takes his rightful place in history alongside the great Ken Dryden. Ovechkin was throwing his body and the puck around the ice all night, landing 3 glass-rattling hits and firing numerous shots on Kiprusoff. The team as a whole played a very solid, disciplined yet aggressive road game and was rewarded with a win in Calgary. And Richard Zednik finally broke out of his slump to the tune of 2 goals and an assist while continuing his hard work and consistent play...I'm sure everyone saw the relief on his face after that first goal.

And so the Caps bid adieu to Western Canada for another year. The trip had its ups and downs, its media circus, its homecomings, and at the end of the rollercoaster ride the Caps collected a remarkable 5 out of 8 possible points.

They now return home with hopefully a little more confidence after pulling off a mostly successful road trip. A win at the conclusion of a long stretch on the road is always good, especially with three days off to mull over the last match - you don't want those thoughts to be focused on a disappointing loss. The guys have earned the right to relax and savor a hard-earned victory before getting those game faces back on for Friday's matchup against division rivals and perennial pains in the butt Atlanta.

Congrats to Olie on tying Ken Dryden's marker of 258 wins for 33rd all-time - next on the list is Felix Potvin with 266, with former Caps' great Don Beaupre slightly ahead with 268.

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