Thursday, March 15, 2007

Oh Captain, My Captain

Forget the shootout loss. We know by now if it gets past the overtime, they're probably going to lose. And forget about the three power play goals allowed. We know by now that the Caps penalty killing needs work.

Using that selective amnesia, I think I can safely say this was one of the best performances by Washington in weeks. Despite the brief flurry when a 3-1 game became a 3-3 game, and despite the shootout, the Caps looked very sharp. You have to figure Olie's return gave them exactly what I and everyone else predicted - an emotional boost. And for his part, Olie looked incredible in his first game back, making some, well, Olie-esque saves. I think he's all better, although that was a scary moment late in the game when Chara rifled the puck right at Olie's other knee. Thanks, Zdeno.

A few thoughts: Maybe I wasn't watching carefully enough, but I can't figure out why Clymer was benched...Green with the lowest ice time tonight - poor kid was probably better off staying in Hershey...Ovie looked good and even got around Chara, forcing the big goon to take a hooking penalty to stop him...Semin HITS THE POST in overtime, making the loudest and most painful sound ever because it means....Shootout, where Ovie's goal was old school Ovechkin, good to see him get one...

But let's talk about the real story of the night, and that is Chris Clark. If someone had said that one player would get not only a hat trick but the only 3 goals the Caps would score, the obvious choice would be Ovechkin (since he's done it twice already), but leave it to the captain to pull of the unbelievable. All three were nice goals and they put Clarkie just three away from the 30-goal plateau...and if anyone's keeping track, that would give us three 30+ goal scorers on one team. That's something to build on for sure.

What I found funny for some reason, and we all know how easily entertained I am, were the assists on his goals - 2 by defenseman (Eminger and Pothier), 2 by gritty checking line guys (Laich and Gordon) and 2 by the Alexes. I don't know why, but I'm giggling like a mad woman.

Ahem. Anyways.

Good game all around, but a truly great performance by the two leaders of the team and that's how it should be. What else can you say?

Meanwhile this Boston win makes the Eastern Conference a little more interesting down the stretch. I'm pulling for my Habs to sneak in (something the Caps can help with tomorrow...just a thought) so I have someone to root for in the playoffs. The West is no problem, but right now the top 8 spots in the East are pure evil, with the exception maybe, maybe being the Senators. Maybe.


On to the Leafs - preview lite to come!


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