Welcome Back, Capitals.
It was nice to see you return to the ice tonight. Did you have a nice vacation in Ottawa? Get a little suntanned (or jellyfish stung) in Florida? Clearly winter break is now over and school is back in session, because this is the kind of game I've been waiting to see from all of you - and not a moment too soon.
Goaltending? Present and accounted for...and then some.
Lucky bounces? Mais oui. And Mr. Clark says 'Thanks a lot!'
Alex Show in full swing? Two gorgeous goals and a damn fine empty-netter - ladies and gentlemen, I give you the Alexes.
Specialty teams clicking? Click click...click.
Uh, okay. I'm done now.
Clearly I'm happy, I'm punchy, I'm gettin' silly, and I owe it all to a great game by the good guys to end an otherwise depressing road trip on a high note. We'll call this a solid 45-50 minute effort, which is okay by me - hey, anytime you can keep the defending champs out of a game for all but about 10 minutes, it's a good night.
Want to know what makes this an even better night? When not one but both of your teams snap 3-game losing streaks on the road against a Southeast Division team, winning by 3. That's right, kiddies - Montreal is victorious in Atlanta against the dreaded Thrash, 4-1. Yeah, baby!
(Of course, I may be the only one celebrating that since the Caps are actually closer to catching Montreal than Atlanta at this point...details, details.)
- Alexander Semin - I don't think I really have to explain this; the guy is amazing. That second goal where he broke in on net and basically leaped over the defender's stick while shooting the puck...wow. I can barely walk and chew gum at the same time. But that's an issue for another time.
- Chris Clark - El Capitan at it again with two more goals. Sure, the first one was a flukie one (love those flukie goals, at least when they go in our favor) but that empty-netter was all hard work by Clarkie.
- Olie Kolzig - Just being his old spectacular self once more, which is nice to see.
- Boyd Gordon - Has there been a night where I haven't basically been swooning over this guy? He's just such a great asset to the team, whether it's penalty killing or winning faceoffs or driving the net. I loved him between Pettinger and Semin tonight.
And the rest, as usual - a good team win tonight snaps the losing streak at 3 and gives the Caps their first road victory since Toronto back before Christmas. Next up? Revenge is on the menu for the last game before the All Star break as the cats meet the Caps at the Phone Booth this Saturday.
That's another 2 point night!!!